Sport Utility Vehicles or SUVs became one of the most preferred vehicles nowadays not only because of its sleek look but also due its safety features. Aside from having the usual style and comfort the vehicle gives, it also boasts of sturdy body which provides greater protection during accidents.
Its higher center of gravity helps keep the vehicle from rolling over easily. It has other built in features such as the anti-lock brake system or ABS which lets the driver steer while braking and traction control which minimizes skidding on slippery or uneven road surfaces making the SUVs perform better in almost every kind of terrain and weather.
They are designed for on and off-road driving. It comes in 2-wheel, 4-wheel and all wheel drive types. The 2-wheel drive SUV, also known as 4×2, is good for normal street cruising and relatively flat terrains. The 4-wheel drive version, also known as 4×4, has greater traction. This is the type used for off-road racing, trekking, dirt road and sloped terrain driving. The all wheel drive type or AWD is good for slippery conditions. Power is evenly distributed to all its wheels making it safe from skidding. AWD makes maneuverability easier and on-road driving smoother. CUVs use AWD. SUVs have more space compared to a typical car which makes it ideal as a family vehicle. It can also function as a mini-truck for hauling. Its powerful engine can take on heavier loads and it can tow light equipment or smaller vehicles better than your sedans. Multi-functionality is what makes it more preferable to have around.
SUVs have two general classifications: car-type SUVs, also known as the Crossovers or CUVs, and truck-type or plainly SUVs. CUVs are more akin to their cousins the sedans and station wagons while the SUVs are more like their older sisters the Jeep and Land Rover. CUVs handle more like a car. It is has all the features of an SUV but more fuel efficient than its bigger sister. The down side is it cannot navigate on steeper inclines and rougher terrains. CUVs are more preferred by city drivers, women drivers and are used more as a family car than the SUVs. The more popular examples of CUVs are Chevrolet Equinox, Cadillac SRX, Mercedes Benz R Class, Ford Edge and Acura CDX. SUVs, on the other hand, are not only great for rough trekking. They are also used in racing particularly the off-road rough terrain ones. The best SUVs as reviewed by motoring experts are Nissan Murano, Lexus RX350, Lincoln MKX, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Sta. Fe. SUVs can also be classified by the fuel it consumes and its transmission type. All SUVs are be powered either by gasoline or diesel. The newest version can be powered both by fuel and electricity. It is known as hybrid and is gaining popularity due to environmental concerns. Transmission-wise they can either be in manual or automatic transmission. Manual transmission gives the driver full control over speed shifts while in automatic transmission, the vehicle automatically shifts gear based on the vehicle’s speed and traction needs.
No matter how sleek your SUV is, if it does not have the right set of SUV wheels, it’s like a man wearing a tuxedo without the right stylish black leather shoes or a woman in a highly fashionable gown wearing clogs on her feet. That doesn’t match up, does it? So is your SUV without the right wheels. The wheels are the attention getters in your SUV. Great wheels add value to your vehicle. Bad wheels do otherwise. SUV wheels come in all sorts of types and sizes. It can vary in the metal used and most especially in the design.
All SUVs have their own manufacturer designed specifications. The specifications ensure a smooth driving vehicle with all its safety features working as designed. If ever you want to dress up your SUV wheels, you need to stay within the specifications’ allowable limits. Size, for example, is measured in diameter. You can have 16 to 19 inches wheel diameter. The bigger wheels are for the bigger SUVs. The smaller ones are for the smaller CUVs. Wheel size also determines the vehicle’s height clearance from the road. In off-road trekking you need higher height clearance to traverse very rough road conditions. You can change your SUV’s wheel diameter to give your vehicle a more ominous look but you must stay within the allowable 15% increase. This already includes your tire. Anything beyond that can cause the vehicle’s safety functionalities to fail.
How you use your vehicle should be the determining factor in choosing the right SUV wheels. For better performance, you should have the right wheels for the right use.
City Cruising/Regular Driving
On-road driving does not require much on your SUV’s wheels. You don’t need studier wheels since the terrain is relatively flat and smooth. You can stick with your SUV’s original wheels or if you want to jazz your vehicle up, you can use chrome or alloy rims. If you are more into looks, a chrome wheel sports the highest gloss. Chrome rims are of two kinds: steel based and aluminum based. Steel based chrome wheels are heavier but sturdier. The aluminum based ones are lighter. They also come in three finishes: polished, matte or black.
Compared to the other types of wheels, chrome resists rust and corrosion better making it more durable. However, chrome is more tedious to maintain. You need professionally made chrome polish to keep the quality of the finish last longer. The best chrome wheels in the market are the American Racing and Motegi Racing brands. Alloy wheels, on the other hand, are made of aluminum. Compared to chrome, aluminum is lighter for better handling. It can help save a little on fuel costs. It prevents your breaks from overheating by dissipating heat. But it is less resistant to corrosion. Alloy SUV wheels are very easy to maintain. Regular cleaning with soap and water will do. However, you have to clean it often to prevent it from being damaged.
Rough driving would require the sturdiest SUV wheels available. The off-road SUV wheels should be able to withstand the bumps and scratches the wheels will encounter along the way. Any sign of damage could lead to fatal accidents. Your off-road wheels should have thicker and wider spokes with lesser spacing for strength. It can be made of chrome, alloy or stainless steel. Of the three metals, steel is the strongest but it is also the heaviest. Some of the best off-road wheels are from American Racing, Pro Comp Wheels and Weld Racing to name a few.
Custom wheels are basically manufactured having customer preferences in mind. They are made more for their aesthetic values rather than functionality making them a bit pricy. As the term implies, it is designed based on the desired specifications of the customer. The more unique or intricate the wheel design, the higher the price. Customers can choose all the details they want in their wheels starting from the type of metal. Custom wheels are available in chrome, stainless steel and aluminum. Chrome wheels have the best look. Stainless steel wheels are the sturdiest but also the heaviest. Aluminum wheels have the most flexibility when it comes to color. Readily available wheel colors are silver, magenta and black. However, if you want to have your own wheel color, custom wheel makers can pre-paint the color you want for you.
Custom wheels vary in size. The in thing now among the fashionable SUV is big wheels having diameters of 26 inches or more. They can go as big as 30 inches. They also vary in width. A typical rim is normally 5 to 6.5 inches wide. Bigger cars have rims ranging from 6 to 8 inches wide. Narrow wheels are good for easy maneuverability while wider wheels are best for traction.
There are three basic wheel designs: the classic five spoke line, the wire or multi-spoke line and the off-road line with broader and the least number of spokes. In variation, you can find 6 spoke and 8 spoke custom wheels in the markets today.
Spinners are the latest add-on to the wheel design. The spinner rotates even if the wheel is stationary. It definitely gets the attention of people around. You can buy spinner attachment for your existing wheels. The 18 inches spinner for larger wheels is now out in the market. But if you really want to upgrade to your wheel, chrome spinner wheels are already available. They look really sleek and they cost a lot. You will really get what you paid for, satisfaction guaranteed.
Wheel accessories can also be custom made. Lug nuts now vary in their design. There are light weight lug nuts and lug nuts that can enhance the look of your wheels.
Personalized designs are so diverse that some manufacturers of custom made wheels have a simulation page on their sites. This allows customers to input the specifications they want. The computer processes the data received and generates a simulated image of what the final result would look like. The customer can view their preferences in 3D so they can see the design they made prior to purchasing. Every design decision is based on how the customer feels about the final product.
Wheel customization results to diverse designs that no two customized wheel looks the same. Designs can go as far as the customer’s budget and creativity can take them. The only thing constant with a custom made wheel is its shape. The best companies that can handle the most diverse customization are the ones making their own brand of customized wheels. They may be smaller than the established wheel companies but they may have the necessary specialized machines that can do unique designs. You can search online for the most capable ones. Just make sure that you research well prior to engaging their services. Get customer reviews to protect you from scammers. Established companies can also do the job for you but their design capabilities can be limited to what their factories can already handle. Some known brands of custom wheels are the Foose Wheels, Ace Alloy, Red Sport and Ultra Wheel. These companies that have been around the custom wheel market for quite some time and have already made a name. They have cutting edge manufacturing processes and out of the box custom designs that a lot of clients are already patronizing. However, American Racing is still the biggest maker of custom wheels. They have the largest collection of designs that you can choose from.
After making the final decision on your SUV custom wheels and choosing the right company to deliver the services you require, make sure that their products are fully backed up by excellent after sales service. This includes mounting your wheels and product and service warrantees. Special machines are necessary to be able to mount the wheels well. Adjustments have to be made to accommodate changes particularly in wheel size. After mounting your wheels, tests have to be done to make sure that the new wheels pass safety standards. Have everything checked prior to bringing your vehicle home.
A person is truly defined by the car he or she drives. Car enthusiasts will always tell you that their cars are the extension of their character and personality. How they jazz up their cars reflect the type of persons they are. Some even go to the extent of spending a lot of money just to dress up their cars bumper to bumper, top to bottom. The more they personalize the design, the more unique the car gets. SUVs are status symbol for power and personality. Heads turn every time an SUV passes by. Your SUVs wow factor is fully enhanced by beautifully crafted set of wheels. The wheel is the part of your SUV that you can be most creative with. Personalized wheel designs exude uniqueness and individuality which definitely increase brag points and appeal scores. Customizing your wheels will really put you at the top of your class.