17 vs 20 Inch Wheels: Why and How they Matter to You?

Wheels not only pull your vehicle from one place to another but also add various features for better handling and comfort. Whenever you exchange your vehicle’s wheels, it changes the vehicle’s ground clearance, looks, and overall performance.

So, changing wheels from 17 to 20 inches or 20 to 17 inches is not like changing aftermarket accessories, and there are a few other facts you should know before anything do to the vehicle’s wheels or rims. In this article, I will let you know various differences in wheel size, especially 17 vs. 20-inch wheels.

Main summary

Swapping your vehicle’s wheels (17 and 20-inch wheels) might change your vehicle’s overall looks, ground clearance, performance, and fuel economy.

A 20-inch rim makes vehicle wheels wider, and a 17-inch doesn’t change width; as a result, you need to keep your eyes on tire adjustment for better fitment. 20-inch wheels improve the braking system, and the price of these wheels is much high compared to 17 inches.

17 vs 20 Inch Wheels


When you change your vehicle’s wheels, alloy or rim, many things happen with your vehicle, and changing the look is one of them. If you add 20-inch wheels in your car, truck, or jeep from 17 inches, your vehicle appearance might change, and it will look more aggressive and stunning.

I am not saying 17 inches wheels look becomes worse day by day after coming 20 inches. There are different kinds of wheels with perfect color combinations available in 17 inches which make your vehicle adorable. But, as usual sense, wheels or rims, bigger wheels like 20 inches, give your vehicle a more confident appearance.

Tire Adjustment

You also need a solid tire adjustment if your vehicle’s wheels become 3 inches larger or smaller than regular. A 20-inch wheel is big and wide compared to 17 inches, and you need wider tires for better fitment. In any offroad vehicle like a pickup truck, jeep Rubicon or Willys, jeep XJ or ZJ, you can add 17 or 20-inch wheels without further thinking. 

And 35 or 37 tires with 17 or 20-inch wheels don’t make a big difference in the off-road vehicle industry. But, when you want to use 20-inch wheels with bigger tires in your narrow car, sometimes they might rub your car’s fender flares.  

Changes Ground Clearance 

Ground clearance is the height between the surface of your car, jeep, or truck, which depends on your vehicle’s factory trim levels, suspension, wheels, and tires. If you don’t find this ground clearance attractive, use any kind of jacks and exchange wheels with a newer set.

With 17-inch wheels, you need to use slightly smaller tires for the perfect combination with your vehicle, and sometimes it reduces the ground clearance of your vehicle.

On the other hand, 20-inch wheels are bigger and wider, and you need to use bigger tires like 35-inch or 37 for better fitment, which also increases the ground clearance of your vehicle. If 20-inch wheels enlarge the vehicle’s ground clearance much high, you can minimize it by lowering the jeep wrangler.

Impact On Vehicle Braking System

sometimes 20-inch wheels ensure better braking on your dodge ram or jeep for its larger brake caliper though 17-inch wheels are also better. I think off-road travelers should have a fantastic braking conditions in their vehicles, and 20-inch wheels can maximize it in different ways.

Most offroad travelers use wheel spacers for more benefits in the wheels and aggressive looks in the vehicle, though sometimes bigger wheels with wheel spacers are overdoing. 20-inch wheels make the total wheel system larger, so you should not use extra spacers in the wheels. 17-inch wheels with 3-inch spacers are the combination both for looks and support in any off-roading vehicle.

Performance And Fuel Mileage

A regular and skilled driver can ride a vehicle comfortably without knowing the size of the wheels. But, if a new owner is riding his vehicle with the same sized wheels for a long time, he might find out his comfort and disturbing zone by changing wheel size.

20-inch wheels might ensure more handling and cornering power and help drivers to boost confidence. Though bigger wheels have different advantages, sometimes it increases vehicle width, which might firm your vehicle in a narrow space. 

Moreover, as larger wheels improve friction, torque, change offset, and use more surface, it needs much energy to run the wheel system and uses more fuel than 17 inches.

On the other hand, 17-inch wheels use less fuel and can run in narrow spaces compared to 20 inches, though their performance is not soothing as bigger wheels.


There are a few popular brands like Goodyear, Touren, and RTX available for both 17 and 20-inch wheels. The manufacturer needs more materials, experiments, and budget to produce bigger wheels like 20 inches; as a result, the price of a 20-inch wheel is almost double of a 17-inch wheel in any brand.

If you want to buy Touren 17-inch wheels, it will cost closer to $150 to $200, and when you need 20-inch wheels, at least you have to spend around $300.

Main differences17-inch wheel20-inch wheel
LookNot much more beautiful than 20-inch wheelsGives your vehicle aggressive and sporty looks
Tire adjustmentAny tire can match 17-inch wheelsNeeds bigger and wider tires
Ground clearanceMinimize ground clearanceMaximize ground clearance
Braking systemDoesn’t create much impact on the brakingImproves braking system
PerformanceLess performingImproves
  MileageDoesn’t reduce mileageReduces vehicle mileage
PriceLower than 20-inch wheelsHigher than 17-inch wheels

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the advantage of 20-inch wheels?

20-inch wheels change the vehicle’s look dramatically, give sporty looks, run comparatively faster and ensure more power from the driver’s seat. If your car or jeep has a sports mode, activate it, and you will find faster and more energetic riding with these wheels.

2. What is the advantage of 17-inch wheels?

17-inch wheels are also pretty and mostly supportable for a small vehicle like a car. They don’t enlarge the vehicle’s width so that your car won’t get stuck on a narrow road.

Moreover, 17- inch wheels make less friction with the ground, and it helps your vehicle to get better gas mileage in your jeep or car.

3. Why do bigger wheels go faster?

Biggers wheels with big tires make your vehicle wheel system larger and create a comparatively large circle.

As a result, comparatively, it turns more than 17-inch tires with the same acceleration. Though bigger wheels get more speed in a few seconds, it decreases vehicle fuel mileage for its demanding tractions with tires.

4. Do bigger rims hurt the car?

No, bigger rims ensure more handling facilities and don’t create extra pressure on your car. But, sometimes, bigger rims with bigger tires might rub your vehicle’s fender flares if your car is small-shaped and not made for off-roading from the factory.

Otherwise, bigger rims are okay for a car and might expand your car’s beauty with additional performance.

5. Do larger wheels give a better ride?

The answer is yes and no, as it depends on the driver’s or owner’s taste and comfort. But it is well known in the auto industry that bigger wheels change your vehicle’s look, make a high ground clearance, and increase visibility from the driver seat.


I have discussed some common arguments between 17 vs. 20-inch wheels and provided you with the authentic information to choose the right wheels for your car, truck, or jeep. Both wheels have different advantages and disadvantages, and you have to find out which wheel is desired.

If you want to drive your vehicle in a narrow space, have soothing riding, and make your vehicle fuel-friendly, 17-inch wheels could be your best option.

Wanna take your vehicle in a rough area, have sporty looks, crease friction with the ground, and get more control and fun on your vehicle? then,I say 20-inch wheels may fulfill your extra desire if your vehicle matches them.

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