Fitment 411: Staying On Top Of Popular New Vehicle Sizes - Tire Review Magazine

Fitment 411: Staying On Top Of Popular New Vehicle Sizes

At a time when we all need to reduce operating costs and squeeze as much profit out of every sale as we can, I’ve assembled several of the latest offerings that have a good potential of providing you with a canvas on which to add tire and wheel packages.

Keep in mind there are a number of technical concerns regarding the lug stud size on several models. Take note of these so you don’t lose time or money ordering the wrong products.

First up, the 2009 Honda Pilot. As for tire size, the OE P245/65R17 tires have an overall diameter (OD) of 29.5 inches. A set of 20- or possibly 22-inch wheels will match well for the OD, but make sure you look for a load index that will carry the weight. This truck is much heavier and can tow more than previous versions. Old versions of the Pilot were much smaller, with a straight forward high positive offset (HPO) with 5×4.5 bolt pattern (BP) and 12mmx1.5 threads, but its size has been increased dramatically and it now uses the same HPO 5x120mm bolt pattern and 14mmx1.5 setup that was introduced on the Ridgeline a couple of years ago. The HPO and 5x120mm don’t pose a problem, but the 14mmx1.5 studs can cause a headache. The HPO 5x120mm has been common for decades on BMWs, but with a 12mmx1.5 stud. Most all wheel manufacturers drilled the lug holes to accommodate a 12mm stud, not a 14mm one. When ordering wheels for the Pilot, make sure to ask your distributor which wheels have been drilled to clear the larger lug studs.

If this combo sounds familiar, you will recall that the 2008 Caddy CTS introduced last year uses a HPO, 5x120mm and 14mm lug stud.

Adding to the CTS, the new Pontiac G8 is riding on the same setup and is targeting the driving enthusiast that may have been otherwise looking at an Acura TL. This car is running P245/45R18 tires on front and rear, which is a perfect OD for 255/35R20s. The car is rear wheel drive and has a very aggressive look with bulging fenders and sweeping body lines. Opt for the 6.0L V8 with a 2.92 axle ratio and see how much of the 8 grand tack and 180 mph speed you can use up – on a closed course with a professional driver, of course. I checked the list of available accessories from GM and the only option is a 19-inch OE summer tire package. As hard as the car dealerships try, they still don’t have the savvy to enhance a car like we do. Be ready for this one.

Dodge has introduced the new Journey. This is another offering in the crowded midsize market, but with EPA gas estimates in the mid 20s, many people will probably look to more of these than full-size SUVs. It utilizes a HPO, 5×5 bolt pattern and 1/2-20 lug like the Jeep Commander. HPO wheels will fit, but with the molded-in fender flares, a medium offset would look really nice, as well.

Another mid-sized SUV is from Infinity. The EX35 offers the curved lines of the FX in a slightly smaller package. Built on the “G” car platform, the OE P225/60R17 tires offer similar plus-sized tire options to the Journey. A common HPO, 5×4.5 bolt pattern and 12mmx1.25 will give us plenty of options to upgrade this new arrival.

Finishing off the domestic offerings, the Pontiac Vibe uses a 5×100 bolt pattern for the base model and a 5×4.5 for the other models. We mentioned before that the Cobalt has different bolt patterns per model as well, so be sure to let your distributor know which one you’re working with to avoid ordering the wrong part.

Jumping across the “pond,” the Germans have been very busy. First, the new BMW 135.

This car is about the size of what a 3 series was a few years ago, as most manufacturers make their vehicles larger as they age. This gives rise to a need for another entry-level model. As such, the new 1 series holds to traditional BMW specs with a HPO 5x120mm bolt pattern and 12mmx1.5 lug bolts. This convertible was riding on 215/40R18 front and 245/35R18 rear. This doesn’t allow for much room other than a 19-inch package. Considering the limited number of choices for tires and wheels, I would stick with the 18-inch OE tire and suggest a lightweight wheel to lower unsprung weight.

Not to be left out, the new Jaguar FX has arrived. Now separated from Ford, it will be interesting to see what the new owners of Jaguar/Land Rover will do for these brands. The standard tire is a 245/40R19, but a high performance version shod with 255/35R20 and 285/30R20 is available. Keep this handy so that you can offer a custom built, 20-inch wheel using the OE specs. This rear wheel drive car uses the common Ford HPO 5×4.25 BP that has been constant on the S-Type for many years.

Staggered offsets are hugely popular right now, so use this to your advantage to sell these high profit packages.

Rounding out the list is Audi. This is a car company that very quietly gets your attention. As the 24 Hours of Le Mans wraps up and Audi walks away with more records and trophies, their street cars are looking pretty good as well. Just arrived is the A5 coupe.

This is a stunning car with long, sleek lines, all wheel drive and a sticker price of $44,000. Yes, $44,000, about what you will pay for a loaded Camaro when it debuts next year. This is a remarkable offering that will surely sell quite well. The 3.2L will move 3,800 pounds to 60 mph in under 6 seconds. Spend the extra $10K for an S5 and you get the 4.2L that will hit 60 in sub 5 second times. For the Gen X and Gen Y who are about to outgrow their Evo or STI, this is the next step. Stock P245/40R18 and optional 255/35R19 tires could be kept and mounted on a high-end forged wheel to appeal to the enthusiast. Audi stays true to HPO 5x112mm bolt pattern and 14mmx1.5 lug bolts.

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