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  1. #1
    Ringo805 is offline Newbie
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    17" Vs 18" wheels

    I'm thinking of buying new base Cayman and going for most of the comfort options e.g nav, stereo upgrade, heated seats. Need recommendation on wheels. I currently have Boxster with 18" which I like the handling on. but wondering if the 17" on the Caymans are good? This is for daily driver, no tracking, and don't want to pay extra $ if not needed. Is there really a difference in daily driving handling? Will this effect resale, since I'm spending about $8000 on other options? - Also is the Navigation worth it? When looking at used I don't see many with this option? Thanks

  2. #2
    danieldolin's Avatar
    danieldolin is offline Porsche Purist
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    to me, Nav is not worth the $$$, I know where I am going most of the time, and if not, I can get a garmin for $100 at Walmart. I do not think you will notice a performace difference in 17 vs 18 vs 19 in normal daily driving unless you drive extremely spirited. That said, 18's look a whole lot better than 17's, and 19's are even better than that.

    I would skip the Nav, and go for the 18's. I'll bet they would increase resale more than the Nav as well, or at least help it sell faster if going private party. I know that if I had the choice between two cars, one had nav and the other had 18's and no nav, I would choose the wheels Changes the whole look of the car.

  3. #3
    juansolo's Avatar
    juansolo is offline Porsche Activist
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    IMO the 17/18" debate is dependent on a couple of things. How bad your local roads are and if you have PASM. If your roads are bad and you don't, your spine will thank you for the extra compliancy that the taller sidewalls offer you on the 17" wheels.

  4. #4
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    Drop the nav and go for the 18" wheels, I wouldn't buy 2nd hand with 17s if I had a choice of another with 18s.
    As has been said, satnavs can be had for washers, why pay silly money for one ?

  5. #5
    AtoB is offline Porsche Specialist 500 post club
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    skip NAV... go with 19"s.
    they look better a hell of a lot better then 17"

  6. #6
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    Ditto, skip the NAV and go with 18's or 19's. The 18's are a good handling compromise and are less noisy, lighter, and not as vulnerable as the 19's. Love my heated/cooled seats here in Houston. You can also save some bucks and weight by getting the mechanical (non-motor driven) seats as well.
    Gary

    2009 2.9L Guards Red Cayman: 18" S wheels + SC + PSM + PDK. Added: FVD exhaust,
    GIAC DME code, Evoms V-Flow filter with partial desnork, SS brake lines, H&R rear bar
    with Tarett links, matte black side vents and front grill mesh, and 3M 50% window tint.

  7. #7
    edkporsche is offline Porsche Prophet
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    You can get a really sweet Garmin and a bean bag mount for < $400 and be able to get database updates for cheap via the internet. And get a way, way, better nav to boot.

    Get the wheels.

    JMOHO
    --Ed

  8. #8
    bglz42@yahoo.com's Avatar
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    I love my 17s... cheap to replace and ride great. I have yet to hear anyone say, "Nice Porsche... too bad you have 17s..."
    Be careful... the car/boat/girl you just bashed is someone's pride & joy...
    2007 Cayman SOLD,
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  9. #9
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    Okay, can't hesitate I would definitely get the PCM3.0 I have it and love it would not buy another Porsche without it. I use my 2010 base Cayman as a daily driver. Big difference between PCM 3.0 and 2.1. Also if you are buying a new base Cayman (2009-2011) you do not need PASM the new suspension is softer so you can get 18's or 19's without it. On the other hand I have 18's as well. I would get PCM3.0 because you can't get that put in after you buy the car but you can switch wheels very easy. The integration of the PCM 3.0 with the rest of the car is nice, it ties into a lot of the other features of the car.

    dave-t

  10. #10
    engnr1's Avatar
    engnr1 is offline Middle-Aged Porsche Punk
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    I ordered both PCM 2.1 and the standard 17 inch wheels when I bought my '08. Not sorry about getting PCM 2.1, although it clearly has dated-looking map displays. The car looks nicer inside with PCM, it plays MP3 disks unlike the standard CDR-24 radio, and I was able to integrate a satellite radio system with it (at that time factory satellite radio was not available).

    Although I'd originally considered 18-inch wheels, instead I ordered a sport steering wheel and a body-colored console, figuring I could always get a set of wheels later if I really wanted them. I did get a couple other Cayman people commenting that my tires looked "strange" because the sidewalls were so big. When compared with their vehicles, it did look odd.

    Last year when my original tires began wearing, I bought a set of OEM 18" S wheels done up in the '08 Boxster limited edition livery (silver spokes and rim over black hub and interior surfaces, all nicely clearcoated). The tires were Hankook V12's, about 1/2 the price of the Michelin Pilot Sports but excellent performance in both dry and wet weather. The 17's will return to my car in December with a set of winter tiresicon.

    Conclusion - slightly better and quieter ride with 17". There was a little more noise and some vibes over cracks and bumps with the 18" when I first got them, almost none now that they have about 3000 miles on them. I agree with the others here that the 18" wheels overall offer little sacrifice in comfort. The 17's are lighter, but the better grip with the 18's makes the car feel quicker. That said, you can brazenly toss the car into a curve or spiral ramp with the 17" wheels, where there will be almost no understeer and sometimes a tad of oversteer if you get too enthusiastic. It is said by many to be an optimal set up for autocross.

    As far as looks go....see the comparison for yourself. Keep in mind mine is an '08 and the wheels are of that vintage as well. Interestingly, the 2009 and newer Caymans have different 17" wheel designs that look almost like the old 18" S wheels but with thinner spokes. Try the Wheels FAQ for more info.
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    Last edited by engnr1; 10-05-2010 at 09:05 PM.

    "He who dies with the most toys is, nonetheless, still dead."

  11. #11
    danieldolin's Avatar
    danieldolin is offline Porsche Purist
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    the previous post brings up a good point with the sport stearing wheel, if there is something like that you like, get it with your car, interior trim can be painted by bumperplugs guys, but stuff like stearing wheels get really expensive if not ordered with the car. I.E. I would like to upgrade to the sport wheel, but not for $1400... it is like $900 for the wheel and another $500 for the round airbag. If it would have been orderd on the car, it was a $200 upcharge. $200 vs. $1400.... much more bitter pill to swallow.

  12. #12
    Flea's Avatar
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    I noticed no change in the ride quality when I went from 17" to 19" wheels. I might be able to tell a little difference in the handling when havin' fun in the mountains. I believe the 18" and 19" wheels look better than the 17", but the 17" doesn't look bad. I don't think a Cayman with 17" wheels is screamin' to have them replaced with somethin' larger. As others have said, I would skip the navigation. I would choose a car with 18" or 19" wheels over one with navigation. Also, in these cars, I think manually adjustable seats are just as easy to use as power seats, and manual seats could probably even be quicker to adjust.

    '07 Cayman - Arctic Silver, CCW SP16a wheels in Comp Grey finish, FVD Brombacher exhaust (Sound Version)

  13. #13
    AtoB is offline Porsche Specialist 500 post club
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    it was funny.. my last car a Z4M came with 18" wheels, and they looked good on the car. my boxster came with 18"s... and for some reason, they really were bothering me... they seemed far to under scale for the car. oddly enough, it was my wife that randomly mentioned to me that the boxster 18"s looked kind of "wimpy". that was all the convincing i need to move up to 19"s.
    i will say, there is a considerable difference in ride quality... the 19"s are definitely firmer then the 18's.

  14. #14
    clark666 is offline Porsche Chatter
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    I would look at the tires you plan to use. I have 18" wheels and can only use stock tires which means that I can't drive when there is any snow on the road. The stock tires have so little traction that I slid off the road during a hail storm!

  15. #15
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by clark666 View Post
    I would look at the tires you plan to use. I have 18" wheels and can only use stock tires which means that I can't drive when there is any snow on the road. The stock tires have so little traction that I slid off the road during a hail storm!
    you'll need to install a winter tire when temps go under 45 degrees F.

  16. #16
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    I have 17" and 18" wheels. Neither set of wheels has "winter tiresicon" but it doesn't get really cold here. Nevertheless, I use the 18" wheels in warmer weather and the 17" wheels in colder weather. The 17" wheels give a smoother ride. The 18" wheels give better handling.

    Skip the navigation system. As others have said, Garmin has some pretty good systems for around $400. They are easy to update. The beanbag mount works just fine.
    2014 Cayman S
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  17. #17
    ccd
    ccd is offline Porsche Enthusiast
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    I agree with everything that has been said about nav. Porsche nav is WAY too expensive and there are FAR cheaper alternatives that offer better navigation to boot. The problem with not getting the Porsche nav is that there are other features you may want (or would be good for resale) which are not available without nav. Until Porsche "unbundles" features like bluetooth, etc from nav, you are faced with a difficult choice.

  18. #18
    Simonizer's Avatar
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    I agree, the Nav is expensive and with the A/M options you can find what you need.
    I kept 17's on mine and I think you can always change if you don't like them, it is all about preference.
    As was said previous," nice porsche, shame about the 17" wheels." Ani't going to happen.
    2011 Cayman
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    One Life!

  19. #19
    riva's Avatar
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    17's with fat tires look better, ride better, and let you have more fun driving. The wider 18/19 wheels/tires have too much grip making it difficult to push to the limit. Tires looking like "smears of black paint" on the wheels do nothing for me style wise.. Reminds me of the ridiculous tires on some of the SUV's on 26" rimz..

    Remember when 50 series tires were lo pro? What in the hell happened?

  20. #20
    yoniyama is offline Porsche Prophet
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    Re: 17" Vs 18" wheels

    In the good old days, before monster wheels had become a phallic (or fashion) symbol, even the BMW M1 only came with 15-inch wheel and 205/55 tyres. I don't remember anyone complaining about poor handling of the BMW M1.

    European car companies used to laugh at the monster wheels/tyres of Yank muscle cars as a poor substitution for sound suspension design.

    I am an old fashion petrol head: I believe in minimising unsprung weight for better ride, lower noise, nimbler handling, higher resistance to aquaplaning, lower fuel consumption, and quicker acceleration.

    From an engineering stand point, the stock size 17-inch wheels and tyres actually provide the best compromise in performance/ride/noise/economy for daily driving. This was confirmed by a Porsche suspension engineering at the Boxster launch that I attended years ago. Porsche only offered the 18-20 inch wheels to cater to the market demand for fashion. (Bigger wheels/tyres/brakes for race application is another story.)

    My problem is the difficulty in finding light weight 17" wheels in the US. The OZ Alleggerita HTL is the only 17" wheel I can find which is lighter than stock, but Tirerack only sells 18" and above. The alternative is to order from Europe, but a set will cost over $2,500, after shipping charges and import duty.

    Any suggestion where I can find light weight 17" wheels for the Cayman without breaking the bank?

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