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Be prepared for a hit to ride quality, steering force and probably fuel economy. I just downsized my 18 inch wheels to 16s and the car feels vastly better. It's form vs function in this case.
 

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2017 Mazda 3 GT hatch
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Be prepared for a hit to ride quality, steering force and probably fuel economy. I just downsized my 18 inch wheels to 16s and the car feels vastly better. It's form vs function in this case.
Or you can have a happy medium and do 225/50R17...looks much better than the 16's and still gives plenty of sidewall.
 

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My 16-inch factory alloy wheels weigh about 19 pounds each without the tire. Although they weigh a bit more than some higher-priced aftermarket alloy wheels, I like the fact that the OEM rims have proven to be sturdy and trouble free in my pothole-infested area.

Besides that, I tend to actually like the 16-inch tire look; they provide the wheels with a little "meat on the bones." Yummy.
 

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The 18s look vastly better. Although I will say the ride quality on the 16s is much better. The 18s are borderline harsh on my 2015. Also, so far I’ve had good luck with no cracked rims in Chicago but I noticed one of my tires was leaking slowly 5-7 psi over the course of a month and found that the part of the rim that connects to the tire stem had corroded. Discount Tire replaced the part but said that once it’s started, the problem will return until eventually when the rim will need replacing. Anyone else had this issue? I’ve heard of it on older cars but not on an 8 year old car before.
 

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Apparently certain 18s on Mazdas can crack on severe potholes. I saw a newer 3 at my dealership with a wheel bent in at 90º and that's what I pictured every time I went over railroad tracks or big craters. The switch to 16s makes me much less paranoid! Plus, as I mentioned, it makes a world of difference to the car's refinement. I'm no longer irritated by the ride, and the steering is much more pleasant.
 

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I find 40 series sidewall is a great balance between comfort and performance. Currently on 18x9.5 on mine.

In regards to breaking/bending wheels, I've run 35/40 series rubber almost constantly for decades and attribute the issue to inattentiveness.
 
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