:roll: With the OEM tires "Low rolling resistance" and the OEM wheels of lightweight alloy, it is evident that changing to "wider tires" and sporty wheels would most certainly adversely affect mileage. In addition, the speedometer accuracy would be affected unless the circumference of the wider tires was identical to the OEM tires (unlikely).
As you know the OEM's are 185/65R15's which makes them a 24.5" outside diameter (tire that is). Coincidently 205/40R18's are the exact same diameter! I'm in the process of swapping them here shortly.
Check out "http://www.centerlinewheels.com. They have super-light alloy wheels and at a great price. The 18's I mentioned above only weigh about 14 #'s. Close to the 16" OEM's but with less tire weight. The increase in rolling resistance will still cost you a couple of mpg but hey...
Wouldn't the added mass of larger and heavier wheels and tires act similar to a flywheel and assist with the momentum after you get rolling? I know they would be harder to get rolling, but once rolling, should help with mileage.
Take it from one who has done it. I picked up a set of 17" Scion tC wheels and tires. They were a set of showroom pull-offs. The look great on the Prius. Overall diameter is almost exactly the same so speedometer is still pretty accurate. Gas mileage suffered by about 3 MPG. A small price to pay for the great improvement in looks.
There is a Prius I see parked usually in the same spot on my way home from work. It has rims very similar to the ones in the second picture but chromed. Its jsut my opinion but since the first day I saw that car I thought they never did look good on there.
My friend has got a set of the 17" scion Tc rims on his black 04 and they look great. I got a new undriven on set from a kid with the undriven on tires for $400 cash. You can get deals close to that off eBay, jsut something to consider at a good price.
Custom wheels looks great but "rear" drum brakes on the Prius will look bad if the "Wheels" has too large of spacings between the spokes. Perhaps the ones with the dense spokes will hide the rear drums.
Any change at all that you make to the car in wheel sizes, exterior shape ect; will affect it in some way and probably not for the good. But afterall, cars are a personal thing so whatever pleases you go ahead and do. Then take your "lumps."
Any change at all that you make to the car in wheel sizes, exterior shape ect; will affect it in some way and probably not for the good. But afterall, cars are a personal thing so whatever pleases you go ahead and do. Then take your "lumps." Jut don't expect any improvement in performance. (but maybe in your imagination) Toyota spent years and a lot of money getting it "just right."