A/T tires - Go bigger, or go "smaller"? (225/55R18 vs 215/65R16)


2019 Mazda CX-3
2019 CX-3 Touring with 18" wheels, planning on switching to the Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail. I know I can put the 225/55R18 on - folks here have done it, and folks on the FB group have done it. That'd increase my overall tire diameter about 1.2"/4.5% - over the 3% generally considered "safe". Alternatively, I can go for new wheels and tires and get 215/65R16 - a modest 1/2" / 1.9% change. Would cost a little more, but the cheaper tires and ability to sell the old wheel/tire combo might offset that a bit. I'm leaning toward the 225, but the biggest factor stopping me is how the size difference might mess with the automatic trans shift points. That was easy enough to adjust on my Jeep, but not so much on the CX-3.

What do you guys think? Make my decision for me!

225/55R18 + Stock Wheels
-Don't need new wheels
-Ground clearance
-Will look bad ass with a lift (and oh yes, I will lift)
-Proven combo for mild trails
-Greater than 3% change (speedo/shifting)
-Less sidewall
-More expensive tire to replace eventually

215/65R16 + New Wheels
-Can sell stock wheels/tires to offset cost
-Look bigger/meaner due to big tire/small wheel
-Cheaper tire
-Closer to stock size
-More faux-flex once lifted (though I'm pretty sure that's a non-issue)
-Less ground clearance
-Have to buy new wheels, so...
-Will be more expensive regardless
-Limited on wheel selection due to offset and bolt pattern
If you go with the bigger tire size then the ECU would have to be updated if there are noticeable issues with the Speedometer.

I am planning on getting new Tires/rims on my 2016 CX-3 GT along with lifting it and to make sure I get the correct fit I am going to invest in a wheel gauge.

I already know that with my new setup my speedometer will be off and I am planning on flashing the ECU, to get more HP and also to correct the speedometer issue.

Everything is still in the planning stage due to what's happening now but I'm hoping by the end of summer i'll be able to do my upgrades.

How much do you plan on lifting your cx-3? I know someone did it on the CX-3 forum and got 2" lift if I'm not mistaken.

If you are looking to go to a different rim other than OEM take a look at the picture I attached. That is for the 2106 18" wheels that came with the car from Mazda, I am assuming it's the same for your 2019, if not you can always search also the 67.1 Bore is very important because most aftermarket rims have a bigger bore and a spacer would have to be added to keep your rims centered and not from riding on the bolts.


  • 20200517_175847.jpg
    42 KB · Views: 121