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Does anyone who's actually tried or knows someone who's actually tried, know whether or not 205/70-15 winters will fit without rubbing? They're 1.3" taller than the stock 225/45-17s, which means they'll probably put the speedometer right where it belongs (don't care about the odometer). The added ground clearance would be welcome, too. If these won't work, then I'll have to settle for 205/65-15s which only gain me about 0.5"...
 

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15" wheels will fit Golfs, but not Jetta Sportwagen (Golf Varient, Golf Sportwagen, etc.).

I'd be quite concerned with tires that tall rubbing when turning, depending on wheel offset. Definitely no clearance left for chains, should that need arise. I would not attempt to go that large without test fitting prior to purchase.
 

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Thanks for the heads up about the Golf vs. JSW.

I just checked VW.com and according to their site, the Golf 2.5 uses 288mm front rotors and has 15" wheels. The Golf TDI uses 288mm w/17". The JSW/GSW uses 312mm front brakes with 16" which is the GTI size rotors. I will add a note to the buying guides about this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
15s will fit. I'm worried about the o.d. of the 1.3"-taller tires rubbing on something. Someone on another forum says 205/70-15s WILL work OK, but that answer came too late. I chickened out and ordered 205/65-15s instead. I should have asked sooner...
 

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If you are not buying them locally so that you can test fit them, going with the 205/65 was the prudent move. I've got a new set of the 195/65-15 on steelies for mine, and after checking the clearance on them I just don't feel all that good about the possibility of the larger 205/70s fitting w/o problems, despite the reply posted on Vortex. I'm sure the 205/65 should be fine, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice user name...is it because you are really orderly? If not I don't want to hear the story!:ugh
As in: anal retentive. Yes, I worked on the quality-control side of the industry for 37 years before retiring. I've always considered myself to be a "customer advocate" and I prefer to see things done correctly, rather than quickly or short-term cheaply.
 

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What tires did you get for 15 wheels?

If you are not buying them locally so that you can test fit them, going with the 205/65 was the prudent move. I've got a new set of the 195/65-15 on steelies for mine, and after checking the clearance on them I just don't feel all that good about the possibility of the larger 205/70s fitting w/o problems, despite the reply posted on Vortex. I'm sure the 205/65 should be fine, however.
Hey there 6th VW/1stTDI:
I'm leaning toward 15 steelies and 195/65s too for my 2011 Golf TDI 4dr-HB. Is that the same car you have? What brand & model of tire did you go with? Where did you buy? Do you have them on, and is all OK? Did you put them on yourself, go to a VW dealer, or who mounted them on the car? Thanks, Robert.
 

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Hey there 6th VW/1stTDI:
I'm leaning toward 15 steelies and 195/65s too for my 2011 Golf TDI 4dr-HB. Is that the same car you have?
Close enough. Mine is a 2010 2dr.

What brand & model of tire did you go with?
Studded Hankook iPike W409. I don't leave mine on all winter, really don't need them at all for where I live. I only need them for driving through the Cascade Range a couple of weekends per winter to visit family. For the hard-pack snow and ice I have to drive on then, studded still makes sense.

Where did you buy?
I buy my tires from local dealers, never mail order. Typically, for here in the Pacific NW, I go to Les Schwab.

Do you have them on, and is all OK?
I have test fitted them, but no, they are not on the car right now. As I noted above, I only need them for a weekend trip now and then, so I only bolt them on for those trips. I have my Contis and TSWs on the car the rest of the time. Will probably be bolting them on for Thanksgiving next week.

Did you put them on yourself, go to a VW dealer, or who mounted them on the car?
I do it myself, always. Only takes 20-30 minutes with a floor jack.
 

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thanks 6th vw guy

I may give my 225/45 17 all seasons a try, and if they aren't up to the task, winter in Indiana, will likely go with 195/65 15s Blizzaks on steelies fm TireRack. Thanks for the detailed response, and be careful going through the pass, probably a very scenic drive. R.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
15s will fit. I'm worried about the o.d. of the 1.3"-taller tires rubbing on something. Someone on another forum says 205/70-15s WILL work OK, but that answer came too late. I chickened out and ordered 205/65-15s instead. I should have asked sooner...
Update:

I ordered those "chickened out" 205/65-15 Michelin X-Ice XI2s more than a month before my new Golf TDI got here (I took delivery of the car Nov. 29th). The dealer installed the snows for me before delivery. Today I checked the speedo. It's dead-nuts through 40mph. At an indicated 50mph the actual is 50.8. At an indicated 60mph, the actual is 61.1. That's as fast as I could test it at the time, but extrapolating, at an indicated 70-75mph it'll probably be off by about 1.5mph. Over-all, I'm very happy with the way the speedo turned out. Also, the tires are quiet, ride really nice, and seem to coast forever. Those 15" rims? They are an open, six-spoke design and though they look a bit small, at least the stock brakes fill them right up, just like the 17" winter rims were on my R32...
 

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anal, do you have a measurement of tire diameter for those tires? Michelin doesn't list it on their site.

whoops, tirerack does have the measurement... 25.5 on a 6" wide rim
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The rims are MSW Type 15s. They're 15x6.5 and ET45. The stock rims are 17x7 and ET54. One of the reasons I chose to bite the 15" bullet in spite of the cosmetics was that the wheel/tire combination weighs 38lbs. I haven't weighed my 17" stockers yet (still dirty from the trip from Germany), but over on the VW/Audi wheel database, they did and came up with 46lbs. That's 32lbs (total) of unsprung, rotating weight that is eliminated from my drivetrain. They (I know...who are "they"?) claim that the effect on performance of each pound of unsprung weight eliminated equals 10lbs eliminated from the rest of the car. Does the car feel 320lbs lighter? Well...I've only driven the car with the 15s so far, but that would be an awful lot of improvement, wouldn't it? What I can say is that it sure can't hurt any. The improvement in acceleration (economy) and braking, even if it's only minuscule, is present from day one and I'll be driving the car for years...so it'll add up over the long haul. I plan on selling the stockers and duplicating this setup with A/S LLRs for the other three seasons...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, they're 25.75" in diameter...another 0.25" taller than my 205/65-15s. I briefly considered 195s, but, again, I just chickened out. I was stepping down (in width) from 225s, and 205s seemed enough of a reduction to noticeably affect rolling resistance. My '99 Passat had a 2.8 Audi V6 and a 5-speed manual. Believe it or not, that car was delivered new with 195/65-15s on it...and it was at least 400lbs heavier than my '11 Golf. It got amazing fuel economy for that time, but I remember a couple of occasions when I had to really "throw out the anchor" and those 195 Michelins were simply not up to the task. As I look back on it, it was asking an awful lot of those narrow tires. The Golf being a smaller, lighter car...it's not quite the issue it was on the Passat, but I chose to err on the "safe" side anyway...
 

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I've been playing with the tire gearing calculator a lot comparing the stock tire/rim to the spare tire/rim and my proposed 15"x6" 42mm offset steel rims I'm considering. That calculator is great. Love to have it as an excel sheet to play with offline.
 
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