Tire options for 17" wheels

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1,807
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
One of the mechanics at a shop I go to has agreed to sell me a set of 17" Long Beach wheels for the Mk4 Golf or Jetta. He's selling the 225-45ZR17 Michelins to one of the other mechanics.

These wheels will be going on a 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, so I don't think a tire with such a low profile is the way to go. And I'll want a long-lasting all-season tire with good wet-road traction.

So, what size tire and which tire is recommended?
 

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575
Location
Canadia
Do you plan to have your speedometer recalibrated if necessary? If not, your starting point would be to use an online tire size calculator to plug in your OEM tire size, then determine what aspect ratio of 225-width tire would give you the same outside diameter as OEM.
 

Tornado Red

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1,807
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
I'd like to keep the speedometer and odometer readouts about the same. It looks like a 205/50 R17 will have about the same diameter, but I'm still uncertain and would like more information and opinions. FWIW there's a TireRack distribution center only a few miles from where I live.
 
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11,957
Location
USA
225/45-17 is the correct size for 17" wheels on your TDI according to Tire Rack :)

Is winter performance important? Do you have separate tires for winter? :unsure:

The longest treadlife tires in that size seem to be Goodyear Assurance Maxlife (85k warranty) and the Bridgestone Quiettrack (80k)

The popular RT43 has a 65k warranty
 
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6,001
Location
down in the park
I'd like to keep the speedometer and odometer readouts about the same. It looks like a 205/50 R17 will have about the same diameter, but I'm still uncertain and would like more information and opinions. FWIW there's a TireRack distribution center only a few miles from where I live.
My car came with 225/45R17 from the factory. I've run those, 205/50, 215/50, 235/45, 245/45 and am considering 255/40.

You need a very good 205/50 to make up for the performance loss over 225/45 and a lot more air pressure aswell. Also 225/45 is an often used and cheap size, the others not so much, luckily i got the 215/50 for free (insurance write off) though they were the worst for grip (hankook ventus prime 2) wet or dry. The 205/50 were grippy but needed lots of air and never felt as sharp as any other size (crossclimate). Still one of my favourites though.

Best performance so far are the 235/45 R17.

I've used the original 17x7.5" wheels and aftermarket 17x8" wheels.

None made my speedo under read, but with the 215/50 and 235/45 it was close to calibrated. I expected the 245/45 to overread but they didn't. That was a good reminder the aspect ratio isn't very exact, they were the widest thread though.
 
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2,265
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Tirerack is a good site to look up the right size for your vehicle and find tires that best meets your needs whether that be price, wet traction, dry braking, low noise, tread life - whatever. I've used it a number of times and have never been disappointed in the tires I've chosen.
 
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3,692
Location
Parts Unknown
I'd like to keep the speedometer and odometer readouts about the same. It looks like a 205/50 R17 will have about the same diameter, but I'm still uncertain and would like more information and opinions. FWIW there's a TireRack distribution center only a few miles from where I live.
225/45r17 is a factory size for the MK4's, so no issues with speedometer and odometer. Try Continental PureContact LS

or the BITOG Favorite, General Altimax RT43

If you don't want low profile tires, what's wrong with your stock 15" wheels with 195/65r15 tires?
 

Tornado Red

Thread starter
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1,807
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
If you don't want low profile tires, what's wrong with your stock 15" wheels with 195/65r15 tires?
We've got two Golfs and a Jetta wagon. I don't particularly like the 16" wheels on the wagon and these 17" Long Beach ones will improve the looks. The 16" ones will be fine on my DD Golf, which needs some all-season tires now instead of the Blizzaks it's still running.
 

Tornado Red

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1,807
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
Well, you are all persuading me that I should probably stick with the 225/45R17 and probably the General Altimax RT43, with the V speed rating.

But I have a few days before I need to decide, so am willing to consider other options.
 
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353
Location
open range
What did you end with?
Since this wheel is 17x7.0" both 225/45R17 and 205/50 R17 are fine, as well as the slightly taller 215/50 and 235/45 R17.
However I remember 205/55 R16 still felt best on the Mk4. This car doesn't benefit from too large tires. I had Michelin Pilot Sport PS3 UHP summers on it before I sold it. Tire selection often has a bigger impact than size.
 
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18,387
Location
Silicon Valley
In 2021, 45 is really not low profile anymore. Anyways, buy whatever you like, most likely the tire will be way over qualified for your TDI if it is 225 45 17.
 
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