Fuel efficiency, comfort and handling

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18 Mazda CX5 AW
The following post is based on my experience with the CX5.

Have ran 19 inch, 17 inch and 16 inch rims/tires so far and these are results on fuel efficiency, handling and comfort. Appearance is subjective so left that out.

19 inch rims/toyo tire combo-
Fuel efficiency was so-so highway avg @ 32 mpg and city avg @ 23 mpg even with barely any tread left. Heavier wheel/tire combo made acceleration very sluggish. Responsive handling. Very uncomfortable bumpy ride. No one would ride in the vehicle as passengers.

17 inch rim/tire combo .
Ran nokian winters.
Fuel efficiency highway was 37 to 38 mpg (however this was towards end of tire life with little rolling resistance.) City mpg avg 24 to 25 mpg.
Fair acceleration with
very responsive handling. Nicer ride but still not ideal comfort.

16 inch rims with firestone all terrains.
Fuel efficiency dropped to 33 mpg highway assuming due to AT tread. City mpg dropped to a whopping 18 mpg. Upon less spirited driving, city mpg at 23 mpg. Very quick acceleration however reduced mpg due to easy acceleration. Need to exercise self control and easy on the pedal for better mpg. Still decent handling but slightly reduced from 17 inch. Very comfortable ride that was ideal and
Offroad was great.

Aside from curb appeal , the bigger 19 inch rims felt very sluggish and were very uncomfortable.

17 inch rims appear to be ideal balance between fuel economy, handling and comfort.

16 inch rims sacrifice some handling and fuel efficiency but increase acceleration, comfort and offroad performance.

My preference is the 16 inch but it seems the ideal rim/tire combo would be the 17 inch.
 
Wow I found that comparison very interesting. When looking at cars, I drove two Murano's that had different trim levels. My wife was with me and found the ride to be a little rough in one but nice in the other. The salesman thought this was surely due to the smooth riding one having 20 inch wheels while the other one had 18's. I bought a CX-5 with 17's and I was wondering if I should put larger wheels on it some day to improve the ride a bit for my wife.. but now I know better.

Well done!
 
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N. California
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2022 CX-5 SG
You didn't mention tire size but from the data provided I'm guessing the 16s" were a smaller OD which would lead to higher RPMs and therefore degraded gas mileage. Or do you attribute that lower MPG strictly to those AT tires?
 
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18 Mazda CX5 AW
You didn't mention tire size but from the data provided I'm guessing the 16s" were a smaller OD which would lead to higher RPMs and therefore degraded gas mileage. Or do you attribute that lower MPG strictly to those AT tires?
Increased width to 235 70r16 and slightly increased OD. Think decrease gas mileage due to AT tires, wider track and the tendency to accelerate more now that vehicle has a more sporty feel. The increased acceleration and comfort is worth the tradeoff for slight decrease in handling.
 
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N. California
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2022 CX-5 SG
Great input, Jack Rabbit, Thanks.

I do give Mazda credit for the improved ride comfort with the 19-inchers on our 2020 Signature. Compared to our 2020 GT it not only rides much smoother but the wheel motions feel better controlled as well. It may be an older platform but Mazda has taken advantage of that time to improve it incrementally over the early editions.
 
I think our GTS rides quite well with 19" wheels @ 35 PSI. The best gas mileage we ever achieved was 25.7 being a combination of city and highway (75-80 mph). This is for the 2017 GTS on 19" wheels with original Toyo A36 tires.
 
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2017 Mazda CX-5 Touring
The following post is based on my experience with the CX5.

Have ran 19 inch, 17 inch and 16 inch rims/tires so far and these are results on fuel efficiency, handling and comfort. Appearance is subjective so left that out.

19 inch rims/toyo tire combo-
Fuel efficiency was so-so highway avg @ 32 mpg and city avg @ 23 mpg even with barely any tread left. Heavier wheel/tire combo made acceleration very sluggish. Responsive handling. Very uncomfortable bumpy ride. No one would ride in the vehicle as passengers.

17 inch rim/tire combo .
Ran nokian winters.
Fuel efficiency highway was 37 to 38 mpg (however this was towards end of tire life with little rolling resistance.) City mpg avg 24 to 25 mpg.
Fair acceleration with
very responsive handling. Nicer ride but still not ideal comfort.

16 inch rims with firestone all terrains.
Fuel efficiency dropped to 33 mpg highway assuming due to AT tread. City mpg dropped to a whopping 18 mpg. Upon less spirited driving, city mpg at 23 mpg. Very quick acceleration however reduced mpg due to easy acceleration. Need to exercise self control and easy on the pedal for better mpg. Still decent handling but slightly reduced from 17 inch. Very comfortable ride that was ideal and
Offroad was great.

Aside from curb appeal , the bigger 19 inch rims felt very sluggish and were very uncomfortable.

17 inch rims appear to be ideal balance between fuel economy, handling and comfort.

16 inch rims sacrifice some handling and fuel efficiency but increase acceleration, comfort and offroad performance.

My preference is the 16 inch but it seems the ideal rim/tire combo would be the 17 inch.
This is a very interesting comparison. I'm surprised by the results. For the 17s, did you use OEM size (225/65) tires? Did you calculate MPG or use MPG numbers from the dash display?
 
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18 Mazda CX5 AW
This is a very interesting comparison. I'm surprised by the results. For the 17s, did you use OEM size (225/65) tires? Did you calculate MPG or use MPG numbers from the dash display?
225 65r17 vs.
235 70r16

Actual calculated mpg which is similar to dash readout.

Was able to get avg mpg up to 24.3 mpg.
with light pedal control.
 
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