GTI Mark 7: Anyone swap stock wheels/tires for ride comfort?


Ready to race!
I got 17" lightwheight wheels and put 225/45/17 snow tires on for the winter. The ride is a lot smoother even in DCC sport setting just not cornering because snow tire. So I am going to buy some summer tires(Firehawk Indy 500) to put on them in a few weeks. Just can't decide if I want 235/45 or 245/40, I have 17x8 et 45 wheels. Anyways if comfort is your goal go 235/45 or 225/45 depending on tire tread width. The other benefit is tires and wheels are cheaper in 17", more for your money.


New member
Yes - larger wheels & tires (no rubbing tho)

Just installed 245/40R18 (Firestone Firehawk Indy 500) on Neuspeed RSe11 18x8.5 (ET +45mm).

Stock GTI suspension, no rubbing. Bumps and broken pavement (still plenty leftover from winter here in CT) are definitely smoothed out compared to stock wheels/tires. Handling and grip is definitely upgraded.

Tirerack Review:

Neuspeed link:


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Ready to race!
another 245/40R18. only downside is the weight (this combo is about 2lbs more than stock austins), otherwise comfort has improved and mpg is roughly the same.

VWR springs
18x8.5 VMR V810
245/40R18 Michelin PS A/S 3


Passed Driver's Ed
I live in the boonies and I found the 18s to be jarring on the poor pavement and subjectively I was not a huge fan of the Austin's. I ended up getting a set of 17 inch rennforms (16.8 lbs!) with 235 45 17 Firestone Indy 500 tires mounted. I find the ride less harsh with better initial turn in.

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Ready to race!
I did this:

MSW Type 22 Black 16x7 exact hub as OEM, no hub rings needed, reuse OEM lug bolts.

215/55R-16 Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season. All from Tire Rack.

Discount Tires has a great size comparator on their site.

Could not be happier! (Not a but still handles great)
215 on 16" rims. Nice. I'm on 205/55R16 (transplant from the Golf I've trade for GTI- 195/65R15 proved just too much for me) and I like it. g-Force COMP-2 A/S handles g forces quite well;) OK, 205 will be limited in some situations but I'm fine with some squeal. I think that the setup is a good match for GTI's suspension. I may consider 215s when it's time to replace them, though extra weight and impact on mpgs may sway me away. 16" will not clear PP brakes and even on standard GTI the balance weights have to be mounted towards the center only (so far no problems with this) so 17" may the reasonable option for performance crowd. I've never understood people "upgrading" to 19"+.

Sportwagen SEL

Ready to race!
Burlingame, CA
I just switched to a 225/45 setup on 17x7.5 rims and can confirm that the ride is a lot better! Part of it also has to do with the new continental extremecontact sport tires which (for a max performance summer tire) do an absolutely incredible job taking the edge off bumps and potholes. Also like people above have said, you can also run lower pressure as you start upping the sidewall height (due to the increased load rating) which will also really help the ride a lot.