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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an SE with the 16" aluminum wheels, and I feel that the handling is a little "rubbery", probably due to sidewall squish. I also think there are some tracking issues, as little road disturbances definitely make the car "dance" sideways a little bit, require lots of correction from me.

Can those of you running the 17" stock Michelins tell me, how do you like your ride and handling? How is cornering? How is braking? How is road noise? Tracking?

Or, to put it another way, would upgrading form 16" OEM to 17" OEM be worth $500-600? (minus resale value of 16" set)
 

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I went from the 16s to the 17s, but for appearance only. If you're looking strictly for performance, then going with the 17" OEM combo will not get you any real gains. All it did for me was create a little stiffer ride. Better tires are what you need for better handling. Also, I thought the Continentals were gripper.
 

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I'm running the 17" stock Michelins and I really haven't had too many issues with minor road hazards causing a true dance. One time I did get a little sideways due to a hellified road hazard but it was really my fault (aka signage and cones were there...just enough of the comes were gone so I decided to go for it :) The dance is actually a little worse with the Eibachs on. I definitely have to be careful If I were you, I don't think that going from 16-17 is really going to make that much of a difference unless you wanted the visual gain that it would give.

I was told that these Michelins were the best for the Fusion, but that could be just because I have them on mine......somewhere right now some service guy or salesman is saying "Those _______ tires are the best on the Fusion" (insert name of tire that's on the car they're trying to sell or pump up in the eyes of the owner).

I haven't driven any other Fusion with any other tires on it besides the Michelins. However, on my truck I had Michelins, Continentals, MasterCraft (Cooper) and Goodyear tires - the MasterCrafts were actually my favorite.
 

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After about 3500 miles, I'm also not impressed withthe OEM 16" Contis. It is the only tire I have ever driven on -- with a traction rating of "AA". I think it's a joke. The tires will spin/squeal easily around turns -- and I have the I4. They do ride nice, and are quiet. I'm thinking of upgrading to 225/55/16 on the stock wheel. That will still give me decent sidewall height (protection from curbs). 17s/18s would obviously look better.
 

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I have no complaints with the 17" Michelins. They are quiet, and seem to work well in handling and braking. No problems with tracking either. The ride is reasonable too. Much better OEM tires than the 16" Contis that were on my 2004 Taurus.
 

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I too have the 17's with the Michelin's and must say that I am very impressed with the tire. I have never owned this brand before as it is more expensive then other brands but must say they are worth every penny. The ride is buttery smooth, there is absolutely no tracking whatsoever. I live in an area where there is lots of contruction and trucks and the Michelin's go where ever the steering wheel is pointed without any deviation. They are very quite, corner quite aggressively without embarrassing squeeling and have excellent traction in the wet. I have yet to see the traction control light come on the dash due to lack of tracktion. When I first got the Fusion and wanted to take off really fast off of the line, I use to ease on the gas to avoid spinning the tires, but the grip is so good that I just floor it now and the car just takes off (with minor wheel spin but not enough to have the traction control come on). I saw a video from Michelin where they explained that the outter blocks of the tire have been designed so that the blocks are made in intermittant lenghts to reduce standing waves which results in less road noise coming into the cabin. It's possible that other manufacturers do this as well but never heard anyone promotes it. I have driven a BMW 3 series with Continental SportConti tires and can say that they are quite impressive as well but am unfamiliar with the tires fitted to the OEM 16's.

Good luck with the project!
 

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I have done exactly what you are asking($400 from the dealer that i bought the car from). I drive the stock contis for 14500 miles and thought they were pretty good. Boy was I mistaken! I have about 1k miles on my sel 17's and love them.
On the contis I could feel the tire's sidewall lean on aggressive turns and then they'd make some squeal while the ass end of the car felt like it was comming up and about to come off the ground. I thought what I needed was a rear sway bar and that was my problem because the rear sway bar is 16MM(pretty small).
The 17's and Michelin's are WAY better. While the tires could have a little more grip(i have plans for some Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Positions) everything else is perfect. Thinks like potholes are slightly more aggressive, but at the same time the cars controls them much better. I can take off in wet weather pretty quick without spinning the tires. The cornering is where you'll notice the difference the most. The ass of the car doesn't feel like it's going to float near as much! The cars leans a little bit a sticks. While this is such a great improvement, I'm still thinking about buying the rear sway bar just because I know it will help even more. Don't forget style, I'm very happy with the 17's and would buy them all over again, however, I'd wait a few more days and install them after the guy hit me(see my post in general discussion) If you're a spirited driver I'd recommend them anytime(at least if it's a fair price).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: Scored a take-off set for $500, brand new no miles.

I like the ride of the 17" better over all. Control is better, cornering is better. More road feel. On the downside, they are quite a bit noisier, but I'd rather have better handling than a quiet ride.

Now all I need to do is sell my 16" set and I'll be in good shape!
 

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Congrats. That's a great price for a complete set of wheels + tires.

I'm undecided. I'd like the 17s for obvious reasons, but the 16s give me an extra inch of sidewall protection from curb rash, etc. The 16s are also very nice looking, and very easy to clean. Maybe I'll hold out for some 17 or 18 from the Sport Appearance packages. The 17s in the new 08 Accessory Catalog are also very nice.
 

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[quote author=koreySE link=topic=89189.msg1737404#msg1737404 date=1190729114]
Congrats. That's a great price for a complete set of wheels + tires.

I'm undecided. I'd like the 17s for obvious reasons, but the 16s give me an extra inch of sidewall protection from curb rash, etc. The 16s are also very nice looking, and very easy to clean. Maybe I'll hold out for some 17 or 18 from the Sport Appearance packages. The 17s in the new 08 Accessory Catalog are also very nice.
[/quote]

Hi korey. :wavey: I just wanted to try and straighten out a mis-perception in your last post. The 16 inch wheel/tire combo on the Fusion does not give you an extra inch of protection over the 17 inch wheel/tire combo. The Fusion's 16 inch wheel comes standard with a 206/60 R16 tire, the 17 inch wheel with a 225/50 R17 tire. The difference in sidewall height between those two tires sizes is approximately .41 of an inch (less than 1/2 an inch). Wheel size has no direct correlation to sidewall size. It is the width and sidewall ratio of the tire that makes the difference in sidewall height (and ride handling characteristics).

In other words, a 16 inch wheel with a 205/60 tire on it will have the same size sidewall (and therefore same amount of protection) as an 18 inch wheel with a 205/60 tire on it. However, the outside diameter of the tire will be larger on the 18 incher. Therefore, for aesthetics, fit and speedometer/odometer accuracy, tires size is plussed up/down according to wheel size.

Hope this information helps. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. :cheers:
 

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[quote author=bbf2530 link=topic=89189.msg1737504#msg1737504 date=1190731998]
[quote author=koreySE link=topic=89189.msg1737404#msg1737404 date=1190729114]
Congrats. That's a great price for a complete set of wheels + tires.

I'm undecided. I'd like the 17s for obvious reasons, but the 16s give me an extra inch of sidewall protection from curb rash, etc. The 16s are also very nice looking, and very easy to clean. Maybe I'll hold out for some 17 or 18 from the Sport Appearance packages. The 17s in the new 08 Accessory Catalog are also very nice.
[/quote]

Hi korey. :wavey: I just wanted to try and straighten out a mis-perception in your last post. The 16 inch wheel/tire combo on the Fusion does not give you an extra inch of protection over the 17 inch wheel/tire combo. The Fusion's 16 inch wheel comes standard with a 206/60 R16 tire, the 17 inch wheel with a 225/50 R17 tire. The difference in sidewall height between those two tires sizes is approximately .41 of an inch (less than 1/2 an inch). Wheel size has no direct correlation to sidewall size. It is the width and sidewall ratio of the tire that makes the difference in sidewall height (and ride handling characteristics).

In other words, a 16 inch wheel with a 205/60 tire on it will have the same size sidewall (and therefore same amount of protection) as an 18 inch wheel with a 205/60 tire on it. However, the outside diameter of the tire will be larger on the 18 incher. Therefore, for aesthetics, fit and speedometer/odometer accuracy, tires size is plussed up/down according to wheel size.

Hope this information helps. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. :cheers:


[/quote]

Thanks. Makes sense after I thought about it more. That make my decision easier. .4" isn't very much.
 
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