Swap out wheels on Touring Model - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Swap out wheels on Touring Model

New to the forum, and strongly interested in selling my 2012 Fit and replacing it with a 2017 Niro. Sounds like the best combo of features would be the Touring model - except for those MPG-eating 18 inch wheels and tires.
Any idea if I can just swap them out for 16s via the dealer? otherwise - The moonroof, improved audio and advanced tech features sound right up my alley. Except for the big honking wheels. Not sure I even get the point of the bigger wheels ...

But now sounds like a good time - 0.9% Kia financing would be awesome.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 04:03 PM
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I think it's less the size of the tire and more the TYPE of tire. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) In any event, I got the Touring model and the mileage has been routinely well beyond the mpgs listed by Kia. I'm getting around 44 on the low end to 49-50 on the high end. This morning, I managed at one point more than 60 mpg and the trip average was more than 51. It does take a little getting used to to drive. But don't be afraid to use the sport mode when you need a bit more power to get up to speed and then put it back in normal mode. I think that actually helps with mpgs a bit.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 05:07 PM
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Yes, if you reduce the wheel and tire size you could get some better mpg due to lower rolling resistance. But there are other factors with the Niro Touring. First the Touring has more electrical gadgets that are all eating up power, so some of the power that would be used to for mpg is used for that. In addition those gadgets add a bit more weight, so that reduces some mpg as well. Last, you need to be sure you select a correct wheels and tires too. If you went to a lighter 16 in wheel and a low rolling resistance tire you could save some weight and resistance and get a few mpg back.

Net is, if you want the best mpg save yourself some money and get an FE or EX model.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 08:51 PM
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Not so sure that 16" wheels and tires are lighter than 18" wheels and tires. But the 18"s definitely get lower mpg, certainly due to the increased width, and possibly because of lower compliance with narrow sidewalls. 16"s have other advantages such as lower replacement cost, lower road noise, and lower chance of rim damage from road hazards. Seems like an irrational choice to get 18's other than no other choice for a model trim you want. That said, the 18's due to their width and lack of sidewall compliance, will corner faster, brake shorter, and "feel" better.

I seriously doubt that the base FE and the base EX (without options) are more than a few pounds different. Most of any mileage difference will come from the roof rails on the EX, which are removable. Part of the issue with the lower mpg rating of the EX/LX comes from technical details of EPA ratings per weight - you can have a decrease with 1 pound of extra weight between two weight tiers. The larger mpg decrease of the Touring models is largely related to the wheels. However, they are heavier, by about one passenger. This is directly reflected in slower 0-60 times as tested by Car and Driver. And that weight does have a mpg impact, depending on how heavy your foot is, and the hills in your normal driving.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 09:38 PM
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I'm not sure if this still applies but it used to throw off the speedometer and odometer readings if you changed the overall diameter of the wheel/tire combo. The speedometer and odometer used to be calibrated for a specific combo and diameter.
I don't know if it would still impact the accuracy of those two functions...perhaps a techie on this forum would have more info.

note...there's a site on the web that let's you calculate the difference when you change sizes ...

https://tiresize.com/speedometer-calibration/

Last edited by basicbill; 04-24-2017 at 09:44 PM.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 10:51 PM
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Not changing the diameter between the 16" and 18" if the tire size is properly specced. Straight swap between the OEM 16" and 18" wheels and tires.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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I was just reading other posts and saw PAULRIDES post -
"Bought a Spare Tire Kit for $199 from KIA OEM Superstore (price included shipping). Good speedy delivery."

ACKK! I just did some searching and Kia offers some kind of "Tire Mobility Kit" instead of a real spare tire or even a spaceSaver tire!! I always HATED the spacesaver, but NO Spare seems worse if a tire goes at 3AM as happened once on I-95 below Fredericksburg in my 2004 CR-V!

Last edited by thewebgal; 04-25-2017 at 11:59 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 01:22 PM
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I've always had AAA 100 mile towing. Kia offers free towing too. Admittedly, if this happens at 3 am, you are in a pickle to get home (although if you have both services, get a tow home, and then a tow to your tire shop the next day or take the wheel in if you have another vehicle). But the chances of this happening to you twice are pretty darned remote. I haven't had a flat for many years, probably over 20 years.

There is a mpg hit to lugging around a spare tire for every single mile you travel and getting good EPA ratings is the major reason Kia isn't providing it (they do in some markets). So you are saving money by not having one.
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Last edited by yticolev; 04-25-2017 at 01:24 PM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 05:32 PM
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The wheel and tire size will be critical. You need to maintain the correct revolutions per mile in order to not affect the speed and dormitory. You can re-calibrate this is most modern cars, but need to have a shop do it for you.

Generally speaking if you swap to a smaller rim size you will need to replace the tire with one that has a higher sidewall in order to keep the correct circumference and revolutions per mile.

Here is a good online calculator 6 Best Leather Cleaners and Leather Conditioners To Use 2017

Other things to remember include the size of your brakes. You can't do smaller rims than the breaks will allow for. You also need to keep the backspacing and offset correct or the wheels will not be correctly positioned and may rub.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 12:27 AM
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My other car is a collector Miata, great for slaloms. I went for the Touring because of the better cornering. Our Canadian fuel is more expensive for us to buy than it is for you, don't worry about the small increase in consumption when it's better than many motorcycles.

The sport mode moves the car quickly from a stand still, lots of electric torque. It's also better for coasting stops, being more effective.
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