Tata Altroz: Reducing wheel size from R14 to R16 for ride comfort

I am planning to downsize to R14 alloys and fit softer 195/70 R14 tyres.

BHPian @rbvg recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I’m a proud owner of a Tata Altroz XM Plus (1.2P) which runs on stock 195/55 (R16 steel) MRF ZVTV tyres. The suspension on the Altroz does only one job: Keeping the vehicle planted. But that’s it. Every minor road imperfection, no matter how slight, seems to filter through the cabin, making the low-speed driving experience less comfortable.

I have upgrade plans in the next year but have to live with this until then.

Hence I am planning to downsize to R14 alloys and fitting softer 195/70 R14 tyres. Given that this change would result in a mere 1.2% alteration in overall diameter, well within the acceptable 3% change limit, and with a 28% increase in sidewall height, I believe this combination offers a more comfortable ride.

I think that handling may not be significantly compromised, and might even see improvement, as switching from R16 steel wheels to R14 alloys can help lower the unsprung mass.

I would greatly appreciate your input on this modification. If anyone has had experience with such a change, your insights would be invaluable.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

Unconventional, but go for it . Will make a significant difference to ride quality & comfort levels. It’s also made easier as the Altroz has lower variants with R14 wheels.

Before you do that though, do check the tyre PSI levels & ensure your tyres aren’t overinflated. Get your own tyre pressure gauge instead of relying on the petrol pump ones. You can also safely drop it by 1 – 2 PSI for city use only (increase for highway driving).

I absolutely hate this new obsession that car manufacturers have with large wheels. The new Harrier / Safari get a 19″ option, while the Seltos Facelift has an 18″ option! If I could change my 530d’s wheels from R18 to R17, I’d do it tomorrow (but I need 275 mm at the rear due to the 600 Nm torque and that’s unavailable in R17). I’d also looked all around for 16″ rims for my Thar, but was unable to find fat tyres in that size. The choices & range were only for R18 and above.

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Here’s what BHPian Roadie09 had to say on the matter:

I can totally relate to what you are saying about the ride comfort and I am also very keen to do this to my July 2023 Safari XZA+ Adventure that came with 18″ wheels. I had posted a similar query in Safari thread but got no response so am going to be keenly observing this thread. I really wonder how the 19″ in facelift is going to impact ride further.

The harshness of the ride due to the thinner sidewalls takes away the comfort and enjoyment out. Safari too comes in 16″ in lower variant and I think it is possible to downsize there too.

Only thing comes to mind is would it give an excuse to TAS to not honor warranty? The SA advised against it during first service but I didn’t find him knowledgeable enough toe trusted. Is your car still under warranty?

Here’s what BHPian condor had to say on the matter:

Definitely can do that change. I too dont like the current trend of manufacturers giving larger dia wheels – both from the point of reduced comfort – and the higher cost of tyre replacements. I would also say that the smaller dia tyres are that little less prone to damage on pot holes.

Here’s what BHPian PrideRed had to say on the matter:

If the car is predominantly used on highways, stick to 16, may be get slightly higher profile. While the 14inchers will make you feel good at slow speed inside city or while driving through bad roads, on open roads higher profile can make the car bouncy and will roll more roll on corners. Don’t blindly go for 14inchers rather do the swap based on your driving style/usage and what is acceptable to you.

Here’s what BHPian iamgyan had to say on the matter:

Keeping ride comfort aside, if your car comes with ESP and ABS, which I’m sure it does, the change will affect their function. By how much? I can’t say but even basic ABS calibration is done for specific tyres sold as OE spec. While stock tyre changes are common, the impact of kind of change you intend to do which changes sidewall stiffness, wheel moment of inertia etc is much bigger and may affect the electronics adversely.

These may be used to decline insurance coverage or warranty in case of a bad accident.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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