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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a huge difference in feel between stock 18s and stock 20s?
I haven't done the test drive comparison.


On a handling scale of 1 to 10, 1 is an "all-stock non-sport" 35 and 10 is a completely dialed in 35.

When going from stock 18s to stock 20s Are we talking about going from 1 to 2 or from 1 to 5?

How much difference is there in the tires on the 20's at stock diameter?

On the same scale of 1 to 10, can the tires move you up a half point or 2+ points?

What other upgrades get you all the way to 10 and how many points are they worth?

Thanks in advance for your opinions.
 

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Well, I recommend you do take the test drive comparison - handling feel is a personal thing!

I test drove both and ended up with a non-sport 35. There is a definite difference in feel between the two and there are pro's & con's to the 20s.

The ride on the 20s is noticably firmer. 85% of my driving is on secondary roads that are beat up from heavy truck traffic, and here the 18s provide a much more comfortable ride. However, I do wish for 20s when I get a chance to drive on smooth twisty roads. The 18s sidewall flexes noticably when you dive into a corner at speed. This also increases the body lean in a tight corner and will be disconcerting if you are coming from a sports sedan. The 20s give much more of a "corner on rails" feel.

For your specific questions:

In my opinion, below 45mph on average roads the handling difference is only 1 or 2 points, but at the cost of a much harsher ride.

Above 50mph on smooth roads the handling difference is significant - maybe 4-5 points.

The outside diameter of stock 18s and 20s is the same.

Regardless of which wheels you get, the best bang for buck handling mod is the Stillen STB (search the forum for lots of info). This improves turn-in feel, but the biggest advantage for the kind of driving I do is that it improves the stiffness of the car. At low speed over rough roads the feel is greatly improved.

Hope this helps - but you should test drive both!

Jeff
 

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I've had both sport and non-sport & I was fortunate to live with a non-sport for a month before I got swaped into my current ride. The difference in handling is quite different. The 35 non-sport handled sweepys very well in a more rythemed type of road with constant turns. Smoothly paved roads felt real nice.

Anything that requires a fast response, or if the pavement is a bit broken or uneven, forget about it. Way to much sidewall, and pretty vague feel. Not at all inspiring to push the limits. I installed an STB in the non sport, & while it did help, the sport just blows the stock away in accurate approach, feel, & sudden meneuvers. The non-sport has a very 'floaty' feel and the steering was not precise. You could turn the wheel a couple inches in either direction and get no feedback from the chassis. Sport seems to respond to the slightest wheel movement, & I'm pretty sure the tire profile takes the credit on that one. I'm under the impression that it's not just wheels and tires either. Contrary to most opinions, I find the Sport ride much more comfortable on all surfaces. The non sport seems to be very bouncy with a lot of rebound while the sport hits bumps and gets right back into a flat position. Gives me much less headache. I guess to each his own. If you never drive the sport, I'm sure the 'non' is pleasing overall, but if you do, there's no going back.
 

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gto-dave said:
Sport seems to respond to the slightest wheel movement, & I'm pretty sure the tire profile takes the credit on that one. I'm under the impression that it's not just wheels and tires either.
No one has definitively proven that the rest of the suspension components (struts, springs) are any different between the non-sport and sport FX35s. Go check out the part numbers for the struts - they're the same for both models according to my tech. Only differences are wheel/tire size and Infiniti's claim of a "sport-tuned" suspension in the Sport package. IMO, "sport-tuned" suspension = bigger wheel/tire size plus a lot of marketing hype.

The AWD FX35 and FX45s have a rear-sway bar that will make a significant difference in handling vs. a RWD FX35 though...
 

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GeoFX said:
gto-dave said:
Sport seems to respond to the slightest wheel movement, & I'm pretty sure the tire profile takes the credit on that one. I'm under the impression that it's not just wheels and tires either.
No one has definitively proven that the rest of the suspension components (struts, springs) are any different between the non-sport and sport FX35s. Go check out the part numbers for the struts - they're the same for both models according to my tech. Only differences are wheel/tire size and Infiniti's claim of a "sport-tuned" suspension in the Sport package. IMO, "sport-tuned" suspension = bigger wheel/tire size plus a lot of marketing hype.

The AWD FX35 and FX45s have a rear-sway bar that will make a significant difference in handling vs. a RWD FX35 though...
Cannot comment on the sway bar addidtion. Maybe some others can chime in on that. I spoke to parts and was told that part numbers are different for struts & springs, so who knows. All I can say is based on driving both cars for extended periods, the differences are huge. Especially in suspension rebound. As I'm in dry So Cal, I went with the RWD. No snow, offroad, or any other technical terrain. We take our MDX camping and the muddy MTB's fit in back much better. Had no use for the added weight and extra mechanicals, and the RWD has a better balance to weight ratio than any AWD configuration . The RWD's road manners feels pretty close to perfect and the driving dynamics are equally as good pushing at the limit, even without the additional rear sway.
 

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ShadyJC said:
gto-dave said:
As I'm in dry So Cal
LA area meet 6/4 at Stillen in Costa Mesa! See the MEETS thread!
Would love to come, but my plans are in Cabo that weekend.
 

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I have a new non sport, got a good deal on it compared to the sport so I went with it, figuered I'd get chrome rims and keep the 18s for the price diff, and yes the rebound is what makes it bouncy, more at slow speeds. I'm curious if it is the tire profile making it bounce or is there a difference in the struts & springs. High profile tires on a stiff suspension will make it bunce but to what degree is it tires or susp. Anyone with a non sport who went to 20s care to compare. I think I'm going with some aftermarket 20 in rims. Can anyone look up part #sfor struts & springs? To bad you can't get tokico adjustables with the eibachs.
 
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