17" wheels on a CLS

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molgrips

Active Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
112
Location
Cardiff
Car
CLS 250
Hi folks, just bought my first MB and as always I can't resist tinkering. For reasons I won't bore you with our old car crapped out the Sunday night before we were due to go on holiday on Monday. That was the last straw with it so I went to a car supermarket looking for anything with a towbar. The two choices were a Kia Sportage or a 2013 CLS 250 shooting brake Blue Efficiency with AMG Sport pack (I think).

Not knowing anything about Mercs I was a bit confused at first but I've been reading up and most of my questions have been answered. However I am now thinking about going to smaller wheels.

It has 19" wheels on now with 30/35 profile tyres which I admit do look good but I'm normally a comfortable cruiser type of person and I would rather have quiet comfort (and economy) than good looks. I actually really like the handling and I can put up with the firm springs for the handling benefits at speed but I think smaller wheels and bigger tyres would be better for me.

According to the handbook I could get 18s and 35/40 but it also lists a 17" option with narrower tyres - 245/45R17. This will of course be softer, but I wonder if it won't match the springs and end up feeling odd?

The other benefit of 17s would be much cheaper tyres but also possibly significantly better fuel economy as there are comfort/energy saving tyres available in those sizes which aren't available for 18 and 19s.

I would probably wait until these tyres are getting low then look for some 17s on eBay. I could sell the 19s but I suspect it might be worth keeping them as I have a feeling 19s it will make the car more desirable when I come to sell.

Oh, and why is there nowhere to put your sunglasses in this car?
 
Very nice car and welcome. I have the same problem with my E class convertible which has had 19s put on. Looks nice, rides rubbish! If you are looking at 17s just check brake clearance as MB fit different sizes depending on the spec of the car.
 
I’ve found 18” tyres tend to be cheaper than 17” - maybe just down to the sizes our cars use.
 
It's more the range of tyres that are available - the 18 and 19 are 255 front and 285 read and they only make performance tyres in those sizes. The luxury/comfort ones are available in the 245/45R17 size but not in the others.
 
The 18s are the same width and profile front and rear. I have a 2012 CLS 350cdi which has 255/40 18. Plenty of availability for different tyre models as I've found but if you are after all season or winter tyre the range in that size is small.
 
It does also list 255/40R18 you are right. There are also some energy efficient tyres listed under that size although they are more expensive than the 17 options.

Does the forum think that I should keep the 19s for when I come to sell? It appears to be a bit of a draw.
 
I assume your car doesn't have Airmatic. What condition are your 19" wheels and tyres in? You could probably swap them for a set of 17-inchers plus cash, but as you say, 19" wheels will make the car easier to sell. If you are unlikely to keep it for long, it might be better to keep them for when you sell it, but the older it gets, the less (in cash terms) they will add to the price it will fetch.

If the car isn't quiet now, why not? My identical (but V6) diesel is very quiet at speed - on good tarmac; the only thing that really makes a difference is tyre roar. It may be, of course, that the four-pot diesel is inherently noisy, but tyres will make no difference to that.

I'm not sure what you mean by luxury/comfort tyres? As for so-called 'energy efficient' tyres, on a big heavy car they're not going to make much difference; if you want maximum economy, your right foot is the key...
 
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Pretty much the only noise is tyre roar. On smooth roads it's amazing, on rough roads it's not a great deal better than my Passat or my Hyundai (although it is a bit better). Re economy, I'm pretty good at getting good fuel economy, but the best I can do in this car on open A roads is about 48mpg, but I'm averaging about 42 on this holiday. I haven't yet done any of my regular journeys to compare directly but I'd have expected my old Passat to get mid 50s here.

In any case moving to tyres rated A for fuel on that car gained me about 5% economy. And I would expect that downsizing wheels on the Merc would gain a bit in itself, so I could save a noticeable amount of fuel, a fair bit of money, and gain comfort and refinement with 17s.

I just don't want to introduce any weird effects if the suspension is tuned for the lower profile tyres or something.
 
Good luck.

Reducing the wheel size won't significantly save you any fuel, because you have to maintain the same rolling radius, but the narrower tread will have an effect; you will lose grip that way, though, and affect the handling.

The ride will be softer on the higher-profile tyres, which will also affect the handling. If 17" wheels were available as an option for your car, I doubt they will be ill-matched to the suspension setup; MB usually keep it the same for the cooking models, and only fiddle with the settings for the more powerful versions.

Tyre roar depends entirely on what tyres you fit, and I suspect your VW or Hyundai would have been almost equally as quiet as your MB if they had the same tyres fitted.

If you want to do things on the cheap, you would I suspect have been better off buying the Kia, which would certainly be more reliable, and cheaper to service to boot...
 
Of course I don't mind spending a bit of money (I did just buy a Mercedes after all). I just don't like wasting any more fuel than I already am. And if I can save a bit on tyres at the same time then why not?

I'll probably run these tyres down to 3mm or so then get some 17s and put new tyres on.
 
Of course I don't mind spending a bit of money (I did just buy a Mercedes after all). I just don't like wasting any more fuel than I already am. And if I can save a bit on tyres at the same time then why not?

I'll probably run these tyres down to 3mm or so then get some 17s and put new tyres on.
I have a (V8) CLS SB which has had 18" wheels from new (staggered 255/40 and 285/35). Having reduced from 19s to 18s on my previous CLS, there was a noticeable difference in ride quality and road noise without going any smaller or narrower, although I'm not sure what difference having Airmatic on both cars has made.

Either way, you have a lovely sounding car. I'm in the Vale. When you're back from your holiday, pm me and I'll come and kick the tyres and unload 20 years' and 11 MBs'-worth of experience if you like!
 
The 18s are the same width and profile front and rear. I have a 2012 CLS 350cdi which has 255/40 18. Plenty of availability for different tyre models as I've found but if you are after all season or winter tyre the range in that size is small.
Not necessarily. As above, mine are staggered 255/40 and 285/35 from factory.
 
I found the brochure online and the non-AMG sport version of that model year came with four 255/40R18 as per @Drpaul10 above. You can get tyres rated A in fuel in that size and it would preserve the aesthetics I think.

@jdrrco I might call you up if I need a second opinion on the state of the car after I have taken it to A1 diagnostics! It's still under dealer warranty for 3 more weeks.
 
I think Airmatic makes a considerable difference. My 350 CDI SB (with Airmatic) rides very well on the 19" wheels; I could discern little difference between it and the S211 E500 Elegance (also Airmatic) on 18" wheels that preceded it.

It eats rear tyres, though; 1 mm of tread goes west every 1000 miles, at over £200 each for Goodyears (285/30R19). Fortunately, the fronts are faring rather better...

Jdrrco, I presume you have a post-facelift with a 4.7 M157? I wasn't aware there ever was an X218 CLS500 SB; I thought the only engine options were a four-pot or V6 diesel or the AMG, and I've never seen a 500 SB for sale either.
 
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I have a (V8) CLS SB which has had 18" wheels from new (staggered 255/40 and 285/35). Having reduced from 19s to 18s on my previous CLS, there was a noticeable difference in ride quality and road noise without going any smaller or narrower, although I'm not sure what difference having Airmatic on both cars has made.
I have a 2010 E Class on air and moving from 17's to staggered 18's definitely affected the the ride quality.

Form over function......
 
I found the brochure online and the non-AMG sport version of that model year came with four 255/40R18 as per @Drpaul10 above. You can get tyres rated A in fuel in that size and it would preserve the aesthetics I think.

@jdrrco I might call you up if I need a second opinion on the state of the car after I have taken it to A1 diagnostics! It's still under dealer warranty for 3 more weeks.
I would happily recommend Continental Cars off Ocean Way. They look after our two MBs. Experts and enthusiasts.
 
Jdrrco, I presume you have a post-facelift with a 4.7 M157? I wasn't aware there ever was an X218 CLS500 SB; I thought the only engine options were a four-pot or V6 diesel or the AMG, and I've never seen a 500 SB for sale either.

Almost. It's a pre-facelift with the 4.7 M157. Only two were brought to Britain by MB HQ, one black, one red. According to howmanyleft mine is the only one still in use.

But thank you for asking. Three years on, I still never get tired of namedropping!
 
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When you come to move it on, let me know?
 
17s or non-staggered 18s is the choice now. Hmm.
 

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