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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I did a fair bit of research on wheel sizes before we bought our pilot in 2017. The research showed that lighter wheels are always better than heavier wheels and that 18" wheels are giving up almost nothing compared to 20" wheels on the Pilot. I recently purchased some 18" after market wheels that weigh in 21.75 lbs per wheel. Compare this to the stock 20" wheels which weigh in at 33.1 lbs. So total that's 45 lbs of unsprung weight that was shed. The new wheels came with some Blizzak V2s. The overall wheel diameter is the same.

I've had the wheels on a week or so and driven about 300 highway miles over holiday weekend. What do I notice?

1. The ride is slightly softer/smoother. With more rubber on the wheel, it's like the edge has been taken off. Definitely quality of life improvement.

2. The vehicle seems to accelerate with less effort. The Pilot feels lighter off the line. This isn't a dramatic change and it is only noticeable if you go open throttle. Driving casually, there's no noticeable difference in vehicle weight.

3. Might be an iota more squirm on high speed corners. The one advantage smaller sidewalls are supposed to convey is less tire flex. Driving the same sharp radius on-ramps, I did perceive something. Whether that was wet pavement, Blizzaks, sidewall flex, or simply my imagined loss of high speed cornering, I can't tell. But normal freeway driving feels the same at other familiar places.

4. Noise seems the same. I figured the Blizzaks should be louder, but I didn't notice a difference on the highway.

This summer, I will probably put the OEMs back on and update this thread. But after the stock tires wear out, I most likely keep the 18"s on year round and simply by all seasons for those instead of the 20's.

I will admit to being hesitant about switching over to 18"s. First, I had heard rumors on these forums that the Touring/Elite use a softer suspension tune on account of the 20" wheels. However, when I researched the part #s on suspension parts that matter, they were all the same. I could have faulty information, so maybe someone who definitely knows the springs/struts are different in EX vs Touring can chime in.

Second, modern marketing has done a great job of drowning out facts and convincing people that bigger wheels are desirable. I am not immune to that, despite my research which indicates the contrary.

Third, I probably would not have simply gone to 18" for a 2-3 lbs. But 11 lbs per tire is a big deal on a 33 lbs wheel rotating at high speeds.
 

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This is one of the many reasons why I went with the EX-L w/Nav. 20" wheels are overkill, less choice in brand names, more expensive & a firmer ride. As to the cornering "squirm", as you put it, I would agree. Slightly more sidewall, but I would also attribute it to the somewhat softer rubber used on snow tires. What make/model wheels did you purchase?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
ASA GT14's

What's funny is that we almost bought a 2016 back in 2016, but the dealer wouldn't cost me a set of 18's in exchange for the 20's. I couldn't believe it. I was so annoyed with their unwillingness to negotiate, I waited a year and went to a different dealer. Glad I did because the 2017's seemed to have had a lot of the bugs fixed. I've had zero problems with the 9-speed.
 

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ASA GT14's

What's funny is that we almost bought a 2016 back in 2016, but the dealer wouldn't cost me a set of 18's in exchange for the 20's. I couldn't believe it. I was so annoyed with their unwillingness to negotiate, I waited a year and went to a different dealer. Glad I did because the 2017's seemed to have had a lot of the bugs fixed. I've had zero problems with the 9-speed.
Nice looking wheels. I had the 9 speed tranny in my Odyssey & I also had zero problems with it, but I'm fine with the 6 speed. A lot of people complained about the 9 speed, but I think it was mostly in their head after reading about some of the issues on the very early 9 speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, it's clear there were some definite problems with the early 9-speeds, but the way that some of the reviewers and posters complained about it in 2017 and beyond, it came across as more psychosomatic. I'd love to make those people sit blind-folded in any other SUV with 9-speeds and see if they felt it was smoother.
 

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I downsized to 18's for winter tires also. Partly for the same reason and partly for the price compared to purchasing a winter set of 20" wheels. I have not noticed an MPG gain, but it's already been in the teens multiple days in a row. I'm sure cold weather and winter tires don't improve mileage. It probably offsets any weight savings (other than possibly improved braking performance)

I will say, I was worried a little about the AWD system. It's the first system I've had that wasn't close to a 50/50 split by default. So far so good though. Anxiously waiting for more snow and ice so I can do some more "testing" :)
 

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I agree that lighter wheels are the way to go. Is the 18" the minimum? I'm curious if you checked tire weights as well, there can be big differences there too.
 

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I run 20’s on my EXL in the summer and 17’s with Blizzaks in the winter. For me I prefer the handling and looks of 20’s over smaller rims. The only seat of the pants thing I notice is a softer mushier ride with the 17’s. Maybe I am used to the 21’s and 20’s I had on my previous three cars.
 

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Here's pics of my 2017 EX-L with the 20" summers and with the 17" Steelies with Blizzaks for winter. In the 1st pic you can also see the Body Side Mouldings that I installed.





 

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I put 17” Blizzaks on Moda MD11 rims for the winter...nicer ride than the 20’s, I’m not as worried about scuffing the rims with added sidewall height and I actually like the way it makes the Pilot look more rugged/truck-like. I’m thinking of running 18” aftermark rims during the summer too...

We had 8” a few weeks ago and this thing was a beast in the snow!
 

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I did a fair bit of research on wheel sizes before we bought our pilot in 2017. The research showed that lighter wheels are always better than heavier wheels and that 18" wheels are giving up almost nothing compared to 20" wheels on the Pilot. I recently purchased some 18" after market wheels that weigh in 21.75 lbs per wheel. Compare this to the stock 20" wheels which weigh in at 33.1 lbs. So total that's 45 lbs of unsprung weight that was shed. The new wheels came with some Blizzak V2s. The overall wheel diameter is the same.

I've had the wheels on a week or so and driven about 300 highway miles over holiday weekend. What do I notice?

1. The ride is slightly softer/smoother. With more rubber on the wheel, it's like the edge has been taken off. Definitely quality of life improvement.

2. The vehicle seems to accelerate with less effort. The Pilot feels lighter off the line. This isn't a dramatic change and it is only noticeable if you go open throttle. Driving casually, there's no noticeable difference in vehicle weight.

3. Might be an iota more squirm on high speed corners. The one advantage smaller sidewalls are supposed to convey is less tire flex. Driving the same sharp radius on-ramps, I did perceive something. Whether that was wet pavement, Blizzaks, sidewall flex, or simply my imagined loss of high speed cornering, I can't tell. But normal freeway driving feels the same at other familiar places.

4. Noise seems the same. I figured the Blizzaks should be louder, but I didn't notice a difference on the highway.

This summer, I will probably put the OEMs back on and update this thread. But after the stock tires wear out, I most likely keep the 18"s on year round and simply by all seasons for those instead of the 20's.

I will admit to being hesitant about switching over to 18"s. First, I had heard rumors on these forums that the Touring/Elite use a softer suspension tune on account of the 20" wheels. However, when I researched the part #s on suspension parts that matter, they were all the same. I could have faulty information, so maybe someone who definitely knows the springs/struts are different in EX vs Touring can chime in.

Second, modern marketing has done a great job of drowning out facts and convincing people that bigger wheels are desirable. I am not immune to that, despite my research which indicates the contrary.

Third, I probably would not have simply gone to 18" for a 2-3 lbs. But 11 lbs per tire is a big deal on a 33 lbs wheel rotating at high speeds.
I sure would like to know the weight difference are on the tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I sure would like to know the weight difference are on the tires.
So the 2017 touring comes with these
Continental CrossContact LX Sports
These weigh in at 29 lbs.

I ordered these:
Blizzak DM V-2

These weigh in at 34 lbs. SO I lost 11 lbs of rim weight and gained 5 lbs of tire weight. But, if I had purchased these same tires in 20", they would have weighed 33 lbs. So my true weight savings from switching down to 18's is 10 lbs per wheel.

Another data point is cost. The 18" Blizzaks cost $188. The 20" cost $205.64 So that's $70 less for the 18"s. Let's look at some all season tires:

Michelin Premier LTX at 20" these are $225. At 18" they are $206. So that's $76. Not a lot of money, but at least you're not paying more for better acceleration, shorter breaking distance, improved ride comfort, and better gas mileage.

My biggest reason for going 18" is shorter breaking distances and better gas mileage. Even 1' of breaking distance can make a difference. I don't have any scientific data to back this up, but I would think shaving 40 lbs of rotational mass off the car would hep as the 18"s have the same tread width as the 20's.
 

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I just put some Continental WinterContact SI's on the factory 18's on wife's EX-L. I wanted to go with the 17's but couldn't find rims locally at price. I was hoping to stay with factory rims not aftermarket. Wife wanted to bring Pilot back after 2 days when we had sudden snow and she slid down the hill and through intersection. She's been spoiled in always having snows. The factory 18's on all the Pilots at dealers by me are Bridgestone Sport A/S that rate bad in snow (and mine still had mold release on them).

Wife like the ride better with the snows as sidewall is probably a bit softer. Conti's stick out at bead as a rim guard also. Now I just need it to snow again so she can appreciate the new ride. She would still prefer to have the old Sequoia back if rust wasn't such an issue.
 

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