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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to figure out what the standard official size of rims and tires are for my MY 2018 electric Smart.
I find conflicting information online although I understand some variations are allowed. I am looking for new alloy rims for summer tires and need to make sure I get the right size and fit of course. It would be fantastic to get rims for All Weather tires (not All Season) but it seems impossible to get any.

I just want to see what people think is the best for the car. I live north of Toronto and I am not looking for "performance" - just stability. I have already seen:
Front 5Jx15 ET32 Rear 6Jx16 ET42 but I haven't found exactly that combination. I have found rims that are Front Wheels: 5Jx15 ET32 (p/n A4534013900) Rear Wheels: 5.5Jx15 ET42 (p/n A4534014000)

Tires seem like another complication! These two seem to be mentioned often, and are both 15"
165/65R15 front tires 185/60R15 rear tires

Then PCD 5x127 is mentioned although one site said PCD 4x100?
Thread size M12 x 1.5 does seems standard.

Any advice would be warmly welcomed!
 

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Here's a good list to look at: https://www.evilution.co.uk/mod/453-alloy-wheels.htm
On the 453, keep the rear tires 20mm wider than the fronts and the overall diameter close, centered around 23.0" to not have TCS issues.

The OEM (and Brabus) tire sizes all follow this ratio.
The 23" diameter 225/35/17 size has been discontinued by the manufacturers so there is no need for a rim wider than 7" now.
The front tire is the fitting issue as Smart chose an odd size, and, limiting the rear to something 20mm wider...

Ex. My 453 came with 16x6 Front and 16x6.5 Rear rims with 185/50/16 Front and 205/45/16 Rear tires.
The only thing out there in 185/50/16 is stock Contis...

But if you go down to a 15" rim size, there is a 23" diameter 185/55/15 and the 205/50/15 (or 175/55/15 & 195/50/15) made by several tire manufacturers.

To summarize, find your tires first, then you'll be able to nail down the rim sizes.
I did work out an 'All Weather' set for my 453 but I had to use 165/60/15 Front and 185/55/15 Rear on a set of 15x6 rims (same width wheel all around, 20mm different width tires mounted on them).
For these sub 100hp cars, wider is not better because the wide tires are discontinued in 23" diameter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Here's a good list to look at: https://www.evilution.co.uk/mod/453-alloy-wheels.htm
On the 453, keep the rear tires 20mm wider than the fronts and the overall diameter close, centered around 23.0" to not have TCS issues.

The OEM (and Brabus) tire sizes all follow this ratio.
The 23" diameter 225/35/17 size has been discontinued by the manufacturers so there is no need for a rim wider than 7" now.
The front tire is the fitting issue as Smart chose an odd size, and, limiting the rear to something 20mm wider...

Ex. My 453 came with 16x6 Front and 16x6.5 Rear rims with 185/50/16 Front and 205/45/16 Rear tires.
The only thing out there in 185/50/16 is stock Contis...

But if you go down to a 15" rim size, there is a 23" diameter 185/55/15 and the 205/50/15 (or 175/55/15 & 195/50/15) made by several tire manufacturers.

To summarize, find your tires first, then you'll be able to nail down the rim sizes.
I did work out an 'All Weather' set for my 453 but I had to use 165/60/15 Front and 185/55/15 Rear on a set of 15x6 rims (same width wheel all around, 20mm different width tires mounted on them).
For these sub 100hp cars, wider is not better because the wide tires are discontinued in 23" diameter.
Thank you very much Mailman for all that information. That helps me a lot.

I am curious, which All Weathers did you find? I have Nolkian WR G4s on our other car and they have been great but probably a little noisier. My range did not change. Did you find the ones you mention to be OK?

I am thinking of ordering the mix of Front Wheels: 5Jx15 ET32 (p/n A4534013900), Rear Wheels: 5.5Jx15 ET42 (p/n A4534014000) but that would mean I could not use the combination you had and it might mean I couldn't get the right size for the rear wheels, if I read you correctly. I guess I could order 4 of the 5Jx15 ET32 and that would work.

I note that the eviloution site always shows the wider rims at the back, never the same in any size - does using the same size affect anything?
 

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The width of the rim determines a range of tires that can be safely mounted to it.
Let's take the Nokian WR G4 in the only 23" diameter size 185/55/15 for example.

In 'Tire Specs'. it has Rim Width Range of 5.0" to 7.0".
This tire does not care if it is on a 5" wide or 7" wide rim - it still puts it's 185mm (~6" of tread though) on the road.
The wider rim widths allow wider tires to be safely mounted - if they were available...
So if you went with four 5" wide rims all around, the 185/55/15 would be the widest tire you could put in the rear.

The other OEM tire size is based on 165/65/15 (23.4" Diameter) & 185/60/15 (23.7" Diameter).
Looking up the front tire, only the Conti is available in this size...

In 'Specs' this tire size has a Rim Width Range of 4.5" to 6.0".
So you could mount this tire on a narrower width rim.

Personally, I do not prefer the OEM sizes [165/65/15 (23.4" Diameter) & 185/60/15 (23.7" Diameter)] because they are 0.3" different in diameter.
That combined with only Continental being available means the dealer can charge whatever they want when you go to replace the OEM tire.

Now the 'All Weather' tire solution is limited by what tires you can get.
I went with the 165/60/15 -- 185/55/15 sizes because all four tires are 23.0"
I got a set of 185/55/15 Nokian WR G4s and went looking for the 165/60/15s.
I had to get a set from Europe, where there are more small cars and thus more selection of 23.0" tires and ended up with Nokian WR D4s in 165/60/15.
With overseas shipping those front tires were close to $200 a tire...

With the truly 'global' supply chain shortages, you really have to look every month for tires that will fit the Smart.
This is why I said to get your tires in hand before ordering rims.
Look for a front tire first as that is the one that it seems Conti has a monopoly on.
Alternative tire sizes that work are (165/60/15 -- 185/55/15) and (175/55/15 -- 195/50/15) to help you in your search :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks once more for the detailed information. I DO appreciate your patience with me!

Wow, am I learning so much about tires and rims from you!! Lots to learn for sure.

I think I will drop the All Weather idea - far too limiting and I have space to store the winters and have rims. I may even challenge myself to change them! I used to do it but stopped.

I have found a new small fly or two in the ointment maybe, unfortunately. I bought the car used and it came with
  • black summer steel rims which have TPMS sensors, and
  • silver winter steel rims; much older without TPMS sensors.

The black summer ones were new rims and have new tires and I felt happy to see that, BUT it turns out that all summer tires are the same size AND all rims are the same - 185/60/R15 84H on 5.5J 15".

The winter tires seem more "normal" - Front 165/65/R15 88T and Rear 185/60/R15 81T on the 5J and 5.5 rims,

I was thinking of getting the more normal 15" alloy rims which would be Front Wheels: 5Jx15 ET32 and Rear Wheels: 5.5Jx15 ET42. Part of my dilemma is that it is very hard to find alloy rims in Canada - I am only finding them in the UK, so importing them is a big enough expense for now but I want make sure I won't be trying to return them! Researching tires has been made a lot easier with your help. I can get the OEM sizes here and have some choice.

My initial plan was:
  • take the summer tires off the steel rims and put them on the new alloy rims with sensors
  • use the new black rims as winter rims, but can I transfer tires to them that are different sizes? It looks like I could based on your comments. I am not sure how much life there is left in the winter tires but replacing them can wait.

I could get 2 new summer front 165 tires and have 2 spare 185 rear tires of course and I suspect rear tires wear faster. It does look like I will go the OEM route for tires but I can see why you went a different way.

Sorry to drag this out with more questions than decisions.
 

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It has been reported by other ED folks that the rears need replacing in under 20K miles.
Think of it as you'll need 2 front tires and 4 rear tires in 40k miles.

Also, in the us right now available the new Vredesten Quatrac (used to be Quatrac 5) All Weathers in the 175/55/15 -- 195/50/15 that would fit great on the alloys :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
You have rekindled my hope for All Weathers Mailman!

I have written to Vredstein to find somewhere I can buy them in Canada.

I assume you chose the 175/195 combo because the 165/185 is not available or is there some other reason? They seem close re. diam - 22.6 and 22.7

I also found that Nokian WR G4 comes close:
175/65/15R 24" 6.9" (nothing less than 175)
185/65/15R 24.5 7.3" There is also a 185/60/15R at 23.7" and 7.3"

Thoughts please? Am I looking for a similar diam and width?
 

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I mentioned the rears wear twice as fast as the fronts from the RWD.
Most tires start with 10/32" tread (0.3125") depth.
The rears will need replacing at around 0.1" tread.
So during the life of the rear tire, it loses 0.4" in overall diameter.
Thus, I like the combos where the rear is within 0.2" or less (on the larger side) because most of the time the front axle and rear axle diameters will be exactly the same.

On the other cars with AWD and TCS systems all four tires are the same and the tire store will insist on replacing all four say if the fronts are worn on a FWD setup.
They are going on keeping all tire diameters within 0.2" to avoid the liability of messing up the TCS system (drivability) of the car.

The Smarts with the understeer built in by having 20mm narrower front tires leave very few tire combinations that would work...Safely, and not set off the 453 TCS.

I mentioned before I do not prefer the OEM sizes [165/65/15 (23.4" Diameter) & 185/60/15 (23.7" Diameter)] because they are 0.3" different in diameter.
On a 453, I would rather run 165/60/15 -- 185/55/15 (all four tires are 23.0") and 175/55/15 (22.6") -- 195/50/15 (22.7").

When I did the monthly tire lookup (worldwide btw), and found the All Weather Vredesteins in these exact sizes coming available, it's a no brainer for me - All Weather Vred or 3 season noisy contis... :)

In other words, finally a set of four tires in staggered sizes that I could mount that have the same tread, tread pattern, traction rating, etc. instead of having different ones on Front and Rear axles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I mentioned the rears wear twice as fast as the fronts from the RWD.
Most tires start with 10/32" tread (0.3125") depth.
The rears will need replacing at around 0.1" tread.
So during the life of the rear tire, it loses 0.4" in overall diameter.
Thus, I like the combos where the rear is within 0.2" or less (on the larger side) because most of the time the front axle and rear axle diameters will be exactly the same.

On the other cars with AWD and TCS systems all four tires are the same and the tire store will insist on replacing all four say if the fronts are worn on a FWD setup.
They are going on keeping all tire diameters within 0.2" to avoid the liability of messing up the TCS system (drivability) of the car.

The Smarts with the understeer built in by having 20mm narrower front tires leave very few tire combinations that would work...Safely, and not set off the 453 TCS.

I mentioned before I do not prefer the OEM sizes [165/65/15 (23.4" Diameter) & 185/60/15 (23.7" Diameter)] because they are 0.3" different in diameter.
On a 453, I would rather run 165/60/15 -- 185/55/15 (all four tires are 23.0") and 175/55/15 (22.6") -- 195/50/15 (22.7").

When I did the monthly tire lookup (worldwide btw), and found the All Weather Vredesteins in these exact sizes coming available, it's a no brainer for me - All Weather Vred or 3 season noisy contis... :)

In other words, finally a set of four tires in staggered sizes that I could mount that have the same tread, tread pattern, traction rating, etc. instead of having different ones on Front and Rear axles.
Your enthusiasm for understanding and knowledge of wheels, rims and tires is contagious! :)

I have now worked out my options but of course there is absolutely no rush for buying the tires right now because I have winter tires already on and I may as well get one season out of them - I need to check the measurements but they certainly look OK.

The alloy rims ship next week and you have discovered the right Vreds for me, so I have already started looking for them here in Canada and I am certainly leaning towards the All Weathers again. I have a plan B but hopefully in a month or two the right Vreds will be bought. I can technically wait till March if I have to.

I always thought buying tires was simple. Wrong! Well at least for a Smart car. :)

Thanks once more for all the sharing of your knowledge. MUCH appreciated.
 
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