Wheel and tyre-size options for IS300 Sportcross

Recommended Posts

I need the advice of experts and enthusiasts, in doing something which seems to swim against the tide.

I have a 2002 IS300 Sportcross.  It comes with 17" wheels as standard, with fairly low-profile tyres:  215/45 R17 on the front, 225/45 R17 on the rear. The alloy wheels are scabby and corroded, and the current Michelin Premacy tyres are due for replacement.  So now is the moment!

Most people who change wheels and tyres seem to want bigger wheels and even lower profile tyres.  Fair enough - for appearance and perhaps hard cornering.

I want to go the other way.  I want to fit 16" wheels (I have a set) and deeper profile tyres.  The reason is mainly to improve the ride and reduce vulnerability to bad road surfaces, potholes, and the thumping of cats-eyes.....

So this is where it gets complicated.  What tyres do I fit?  I want to change the rolling-radius as little as possible in order not to affect the speedo and odometer.  I also want decent quality tyres that aren't noisy, wear reasonably well and are good in the wet (I have Falkens on my 4WD and they are horrible when it's slippery).  I plan to put the same size tyres on all four wheels (I don't carry heavy loads in the Sportcross so can't see the justification for slightly wider wheels on the back).

The brilliant guidance on the website includes a calculator for tyre-size options.  That appears to suggest that I could fit either 50-profile tyres:   215/50 R16 or 225/50 R16,  or if I wanted taller 55-profile ones, 205/55 R16 or 215/55 R16.

So.... first question - what size/profile should I go for?  My instinct was to choose 215/55 R16 all round, but that's a really rare size (I can only find Kumho KH31 in that size).  The manufacturer alternative spec (and standard on the IS200 Sportcross) seems to be 205/55 R16.  What do others think?

Second question..... what brand?  My shortlist is Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance, Dunlop Sport Blu Response, or maybe Hankook or Kumho.  I think Michelins are too costly (I'm not a high mileage driver), and Yokohamas and Bridgestones too soft and wear out quickly.  I have no knowledge of Uniroyal and little experience of Contis (except on an older Merc where they were OEM).

Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated, especially from those in the trade!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Depending on how wide your new wheels are going to be, I'd suggest 205/55R16. Like you say it's the OEM fitment for an IS supplied with 16" wheels. It's also a very common size, especially when it comes to winter tyres so there ought to be plenty of choice re: brands.

I used to fit a set of RX300 wheels with 205/55R16 tyres during winter months on my old IS200.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks John - very helpful.

The set of 16" wheels I plan to use are standard 6 spoke Lexus IS wheels (ie the OEM ones as fitted, I think, to some versions of the IS300).  See attached pic. I can't immediately recall the width - I think they are 6.5" - but they are certainly intended for the OEM 205/55 R16 tyres.  Having now browsed a lot of tyre suppliers online, you're absolutely right that it's a very common size, so lots of choice...

I still have the Goodyears and Dunlops on my shortlist.  But I am now thinking quite seriously about the Michelin Cross Climate.  More costly, but the reviews seem to suggest that it really does deliver in both summer and wet/cold winter conditions, and there is a promotional deal on Michelins this month.  As I'm in the Scottish Highlands, I think it might well be worth trying them (even though I try hard to avoid using my Lexus when there is snow/salt/slush on the roads).

More browsing needed to source the best deal!



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Steve - that site is very helpful (so I've bookmarked it!)

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Update for anyone interested.  I ended up deciding to put 205/55 R16 tyres on all four of those standard Lexus wheels (which are incidentally 6.5" wide).  I chose Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance tyres.  I have just tried them out.  Much quieter, with a much better ride quality, scarcely any thumping over cats-eyes, and the grip and handing both on dry and wet roads feels better than the previous Michelin 45-profiles on 17" wheels.   The change was definitely an improvement and worth doing.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Normski
      After a TOTAL mare of a journey last night travelling from the Manchester back to Leicester (M6 > Stoke > A50 > M1) I *really* need to get my tyres changed. Took it steady unlike the MANY fools that drove past me and then seconds later ended up the embankment or in the central railings. Thankfully made it back in one piece...
      I've ran winter tyres on the cars for years but out of laziness on my part didn't get round to sorting them on the GS (OK partly because I keep on thinking of selling it!)...Don't fancy going down the route of swapping them over each season so thought I would look into All Seasons. Thinking the Vredsteins. Anyone have experience of these or any other All Seasons?? Worth it??
      Or should I really sort out my advert for selling the car 
    • By Magic7032
      Before I start I have spent quite a few hours looking and reading posts, but most are old and photos no longer available and also many post were pre having 3rd party harnesses available, I’d prefer to avoid cutting and splicing 
      ive removed the 6cd changer, got the new fascia, got a stereo, got everything I thought I needed and built and framed it etc, went to plug it in and no go.
      the plugs that are quoted and in the set I bought have 2 separate connections but only 1 come out of the back of the CD player and are all different shapes. I have read I may need to access the amp wiring but it’s pretty tight around the amp so will wait before having to remove if required
      photos, CD player back, cable plugs into right side socket then I assume through the dash behind the glove box to the amp, and other photo is the adapter kit I got which is the same as Halfords etc for a Lexus/Toyota loom
      does anyone have any guidance please?

    • By John Hannah
      I have a recently purchased IS200 Sportcross and the rear tyres need replacing soon. Can anyone make recommendations for the best replacements please?
    • By harrylime
      I'm still deciding what tyres to put on my LS 400 17" dhp wheels, I need all five as I'm changing to a different size, due to expense and the age (2007) of my existing tyres. As usual I'm doing my research re noise , handling etc ( I probably overdo the research at times )
      It occurred to me that I do low mileage (currently on 69000), so the next replacements may be needed due to age rather than mileage. I contacted Blackcircles and asked whether I could specify tyres with a very recent date (DOT number), to ensure that I get the maximum lifespan. Their response explained that they could not guarantee recent tyres, as they obtained tyres from many suppliers. They also explained that tyres sold as new can be up to five years old, by law. It seems to be the luck of the draw, but your new tyres may have been manufactured a month ago, or 59 months ago. Obviously, much depends on handling and storage (exposure to sunlight etc), but I imagine the process of perishing starts immediately. I'd bet this is not common knowledge. it probably is not an issue for people who do greater mileages, but for me, it could be.
    • By sannyp

      So I recently got into a little accident with my is200 manual and now need a new rear hub, and maybe other parts although unsure what yet. Question is will parts from a is200 auto suffice. So I wanted this post to outline the differences.
      I know the differential is different with a higher ratio i believe, and obviously the tranny. But is there anything else?
      I have a guy ready to sell me a bunch of parts from an auto is200, but I'm sceptical with mine being a manual