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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up my new to me 2015 Fiesta ST in the only color that matters. 35k miles and it looks like the guy before had a bit done to it judging by the COBB exhaust and access port.
First thing I'm hoping to do is wheels and tires but can't decide if I want to stick with the OEM size 17s or drop to 16s and fatter tires for better all season performance (I live in Eastern Pennsylvania). On one hand the 17s offer a lot more wheel options, including the coveted Fifteen52s, but with the infamous PA winters (and the road conditions that come with it) I'm tossing up the idea of getting some more rubber below me.
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Congrats on your new purchase! Hard to tell for sure whether it's the red or orange in the pic but if it's red, it's the same year and color as mine!

Don't know much about Pennsylvania so I can't comment on that but if the roads are anything like it seems that you said they are, the 16s should be more comfortable. I went with 15s myself for a similar reason because our roads here (Los Angeles) are very bad and I do a lot of driving that occassional gets me in other rough areas. The extra rubber helps not only smooth out the bumps a bit but it also helps protect your rims.

Ultimately though it depends on you, your preference, and how you plan to use your FiST. The 16s obviously will cost more so there's that too but they also tend to be a bit lighter. Another option (if you don't plan to lower your car) could be to try a thicker tire on your oem rims (205/45). It's a slight improvement without necessary hurting your wallet, especially if you are in need of new tires anyway.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congrats on your new purchase! Hard to tell for sure whether it's the red or orange in the pic but if it's red, it's the same year and color as mine!

Don't know much about Pennsylvania so I can't comment on that but if the roads are anything like it seems that you said they are, the 16s should be more comfortable. I went with 15s myself for a similar reason because our roads here (Los Angeles) are very bad and I do a lot of driving that occassional gets me in other rough areas. The extra rubber helps not only smooth out the bumps a bit but it also helps protect your rims.

Ultimately though it depends on you, your preference, and how you plan to use your FiST. The 16s obviously will cost more so there's that too but they also tend to be a bit lighter. Another option (if you don't plan to lower your car) could be to try a thicker tire on your oem rims (205/45). It's a slight improvement without necessary hurting your wallet, especially if you are in need of new tires anyway.

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It's the Molten Orange tri coat, beautiful color. Would you mind sending a picture of your wheel setup? Worried 15s might look a little out of place with a fat tire on them. I'm not looking at slamming it all but Bilstiens are on the to do list as I've heard it really helps out with the road feel.
 

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I have had the stock wheel on my car here in Westchester County NY. Plus I drive into the city a fair amount. I love the sharpness the 17s give me and so far, as long as I keep my head about me as far as speed goes, they are comfortable and have no dents. Also I recommend a dedicated set of wheels and tires for our brutal winters. I have a set of Sparco 15s with Blizzaks that I bought as soon as I got my car, (took delivery in December). They were on sale at Tire Rack and the Sparco wheels cost less than the cheapest steel ones. This will also free you up to get dedicated summer performance rubber even if you go to the smaller 16s. I remember Car and Driver calling All Season tires No Season rubber in some article I read years ago. The 15s do offer more compliance, especially on sharp edges. To each his own, but if you are planning to autocross or track your car, having dedicated wheels and tires will give you maximum performance and grip while allowing you to do so without having to tow and swap tires on site.
 

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I bought a set of 16" steelies from eBay and I love them. More comfy, less worry over potholes and dirt roads. After 6 months I've had no desire for 15".

195/50/16 has a bunch of tire options. A couple are summer/performance tires, but I got some cheap "UHP" all-seasons and in some ways they make the car more fun. Yes, they grip less than the stock Bridgestones, but this means more dynamic cornering situations at safer speeds. More fun with less risk!
 
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