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Thread: Abarth 16" wheels versus 17" wheels

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    Abarth 16" wheels versus 17" wheels

    Hi there,

    First post on the site! I'm gearing up to pull the trigger on a Nero (black) Abarth, but I'm having a tough time deciding what size tires to get. Please weigh in with any opinions, pro or con, about either 17" or 16" rims / tires.

    My Situation

    I live in a suburb of Seattle, WA so I need something that ALWAYS works well in the rain. During the winter, I like to ski and every few years there is a HUGE ice + snow storm where I live, so in the winter I'd like something that will give me a chance to get around in the Abarth in snow and ice.

    The 17" rims come with summer ties, so if I get the 17" rims I'll also need some winter tires. The dealer said I'd get the best results by having a dedicated set of 16" snow tires (he said the smaller tires will be more grippy in snow), but this seems like an expensive option. Can I get reasonably good results if I use 17" winter tires, then switch to summer tires from say April through September?

    Other Pros & Cons

    17" - more expensive option, about $1,300 more
    17" - sportier and better trackhandling
    17" - stiffer, bumpier ride in the city or on rough roads

    The 16's are cheaper and have a smoother ride, but the rim + tire combination isn't nearly as mean looking as the 17's.
    Last edited by Armchair Bronco; 08-14-2013 at 10:53 PM.

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    I started a thread about 16's in Abarth General Discussion a few days ago. It doesn't relate to your weather conditions, but I picked up my Nero Cabrio with 16-inch wheels today, and I disagree that they look inferior to the 17's. You may be right about the 17's being "meaner", but I like the smaller-rim/taller-tire look of the 16's. Thay have a vintage racing vibe that I think fits the Abarth's "nod to the past" design well.

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  4. #3
    Welcome to the forum! Tough choice. I live in the north east, so I understand about the weather. What I do on the Audi I drive during the winter is switch the summer tire/wheel combination to a 15 inch set of alloys with aggressive snow tires. I don't like the ideas of garages mounting and dismounting tires off of my rims because there is always a chance they mess up and scratch a rim. If you order a car with 17 inch wheels, you can probably get a set of used set of 16 inch wheels to throw some snow tires on or check Tire Rack for winter tire/wheel combos.

    When the 17 inch wheels were $1000, it was a good deal for a set of forged rims with P-Zero Neros. Now that the price on the 17s went up, you may find a set of aftermarket 17 inch wheels you like better, so you could buy a car with 16 inch wheels and put the $1300 you save towards an aftermarket set of 17s. You may even have some money left over to apply towards 16 inch snow tires.

    Take a look at what's available to help you decide. Either way I recommend having just a set of wheels you use for the winter with aggressive snows on them. Can't beat a good snow tires on all four wheels.


    Here is a picture of the 16 inch wheels. Actually pretty nice looking.


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    Thanks for the feedback. It's a tough choice because I really prefer the look of the 17's (both the rims and the tire profile) but I also recognize the importance of having great winter tires (and the 16's fit this bill better). Maybe I should just do what the dealer suggested and get a set of both 16's and 17's. if I can score a set of 16" Abarth rims I would be golden.

    Are the factory rims available for purchase from Fiat? I have yet to see any aftermarket 16" rims that look even half as nice as the stock Fiat Abarth ones.
    Last edited by Armchair Bronco; 08-15-2013 at 03:06 AM.

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    I chose the dark 17" wheel/tire combo for my grigo Abarth, but living in Minnesota, I've always had a set of dedicated rims for winter tires. No risk of damaging either the rims or tires from repeatedly mounting/demounting the tires from season to season. Plus, you can swap tires yourself whenever the mood suits you, or have a tire shop do it for you. If you've bought any wheels or tires from a place like Discount Tires, for example, they typically swap mounted tires for me for free!

    I got these rims in 16" for my winter tires: http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/Wheel...m=CV56535498MG

    Most of the time, I actually think they look even better on my grigio Abarth than the Abarth 17" rims do! (Then I gently slap myself.) They're available in the correct bolt pattern and offset for our Fiats, too. I don't know the prices for original 16" Abarth rims, but suspect they're more expensive than these aftermarket ones. I think either one would look good on your Abarth.

    I chose Michelin X-ice 2's in 205/50 x 16, and was insanely happy with their performance last winter. An added benefit: the 16" Michelins and the stock 17" Pirellis both read 100% accurately on my speedometer!
    Last edited by hownowcb; 08-15-2013 at 12:41 PM. Reason: More info...

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    OP mentions the other option was doing a winter on the 17's. Has anyone done this? I was going to look into all season tires since I have the wheel warranty.

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