Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chicago - SW 'burbs
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I went from 18" to 17" and the ride quality increased dramatically, but the steering response and handling were only marginally affected. My 15" winter tires, on the other hand, feel like I bolted on marshmallows. In other words, much softer ride, but also sloppy handling.
If you care at all about handling, I would look into trading for some OEM 17's instead.
2005 6s Hatch - ATX
Summer tires - 235/45-R17 Fusion ZRi on Kazera KZ-J 17x7.5 +50, rolled fenders in the rear
Winter tires - 215/50-R15 Michelin X-Ice XI2 on stock alloys
Old winter tires - 205/70-R15 Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50 on steelies 15x6 +40
OEM Mazdaspeed 6 Shocks all around, OEM MS6 springs in the rear, stock 6s springs in the front (1/4" larger gap with the MS6 springs in front)