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Plan to ditch the worn out, teeth-rattling, narrow-walled Continentals on my Passion next week. Getting dizzy with size and wheel recommendations as I proceed. Like the looks of the 2015 tire-size setup. Contiprocontact 195/50/R15 on the rear and 165/60/R15 on the front (According to Tire Rack only Continental makes the 165/60?). Those were the standard sizes and brand on the half dozen or so passions I checked at the Smart Center here in Seattle. Anyone satisfied with the performance? Also had recommendations for 175/55/R15s front and rear? Wheel swap in front necessary? One last real basic new Smart Car owner question, are the 2015 and 2009 Passion wheels the same width front and rear? Thanks.
 

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2009 451 Rally Red, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40, Wix XP 51356, 185/55R15 tires, 44 psl
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Original front was a 155/60R15,
Smart changed to a 165/60R15,
Not sure when...

Wheel widths are the same, 4.5 front, 5.5 back.

I consider either 175/55R15 or 195/50R15
all around to be the best options, but you will need to replace the front rims with rear width ones.
 

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Changing to all 4 rear rims is the least expensive way to gain a smoother ride and less expensive tires.

I went with 195-55-15 General AltiMAX RT43and have been extremely happy with them! they ride much quieter, handle bumps in the road better, and seem to go a bit straighter in side winds. Not able to comment about winter driving yet, but that too will happen. Cheaper price than Kumhos or Conti's ($68.47) and a longer wear rating to boot.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...R5AMRT43&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes
 

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Discussion Starter #4
looks like a nice combo but is the wheel swap expense worth it? like the idea of same size at all 4 corners but not sure, considering I tow the Smart on a trailer to destinations, if keeping the wheel size ratio similar to factory makes more sense. Don't put a lot of miles per year on the Smart. looks like owners configure tire and wheel sizes to individual tastes and applications. again, like the looks of the 195/50 rear 165/60 front combo. Conts not too pricey.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Final tire configuration

This is a thread I started about change out of the front tires from 165 /60 R15, since Continental only makes this tire size I was looking for alternatives: here is the link
http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f64/contipro-165-60-15-replacements-98602/
Here's what I ended up with and why. Contiprocontact 185-55-R15 rear, 175-55-R15 front from Discount Tire 1) didn't want the added expense of swapping out front wheels 2)wanted more rubber on the road 3) don't care about rotating the tires since I drive it so little 4) originally wanted the same setup as the 2015 Smart but Continental only supplies Smart Dealers with the rear (and now) front sizes at nearly twice the price as advertised by Tire Rack and Discount Tire (neither of which can get 2015 Smart front or rear size tires). Our local Smart Dealer has plenty of both sizes in stock.
End result: Great ride, much smoother than with the original tires, much easier ride on rough roads) and the serious under-steer is gone. It's all good.:)
 

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over 5 years ago i went with 15x6 wheels all around and 195/50-15 tires, Kumho Ecsta's that are good for everything but snow and ice. i will either buy dedicated snows for the original wheels or get better tires for the 15x6's :shrug:

handling is fantastic with the wider wheels and tires, inflated to the same levels as stock tires gives slightly better fuel economy. my ABS/ESP has been AWOL for the last 3 years, so i can drive crazier than the computer would normally allow, i take 25mph exit ramps at 50mph with no tire squeal. :D
 

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2009 451 Rally Red, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40, Wix XP 51356, 185/55R15 tires, 44 psl
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175-55-R15 on a 4.5 rim?

Here's what I ended up with and why. Contiprocontact 185-55-R15 rear, 175-55-R15 front from Discount Tire
How did you get a 175-55-R15 on the front 4.5 Rim?
 

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Changing to all 4 rear rims is the least expensive way to gain a smoother ride and less expensive tires.

I went with 195-55-15 General AltiMAX RT43and have been extremely happy with them! they ride much quieter, handle bumps in the road better, and seem to go a bit straighter in side winds. Not able to comment about winter driving yet, but that too will happen. Cheaper price than Kumhos or Conti's ($68.47) and a longer wear rating to boot.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=General&tireModel=AltiMAX+RT43+%28H-+or+V-Speed+Rated%29&partnum=955VR5AMRT43&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes
I also have four 195-55-15 General AltiMAX RT43s on 15x5.5 rims. Finding 2 reasonably priced used rims was the hard part. I ordered my tires at Discount Tires in Sequim and had them mount them. 32 psi in the front and 36 psi in the rear. The Discount Tires folks expressed their concern that I was ordering very much out-of-spec tires for my car. They also told me that I may have rubbing issues with the front tires. Duh!

@mattwithcats : I originally had Discount tire mount the best rear OE 175-55-15 on one of my 15x4.5 rims - to be used as the spare tire. Discount tire told me that 175-55-15 was the largest size available for the 4.5 inch rim.

I have since bought a 3rd 15x5.5 rim and a 5th RT43 for use as a spare. Some time in the near future I will clean the 2 15x4.5 front rims and post them for sale.

Here is my smart with 195-55-15 General AltiMAX RT43 tires on all four corners. Note: when I had the Roadmaster baseplates and cross bar attached, the wheel well clearance was reduced by about a quarter of an inch. Do I care? Not at the moment. If I do/when I do, I'll buy four nice fender flares, have them painted to match, and have a body shop widen the front wheel wells and hide the work with the fender flares.



Some numbers (from my Discount Tire receipts):
four RT43 tires @ $76 each , lifetime balancing (includes the 175-55-15 spare tire), lifetime rotation, four TPMS rebuild kits, shop/disposal fees, sales tax = $462.18
RT43 spare tire @ $76, lifetime balancing, lifetime rotation, NO TPMS, shop/disposal fees, sales tax = $103.72
 
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