Anyone with MK3 1.8/2.0 (not sport) lowered with 17" wheels ?


I have been asked by someone purchasing a MK3 can they lower their standard MK3 that has 16" wheels (so it  has not got the sport suspension nor the Bilstein shocks) and put 17" wheels on the car

My answer has been that yes they can lower the car with the standard 35mm Mazda lowering kit and should be able to fit 17" wheels

But would the car ride differently for having 17" wheels over the 16" wheels ?

Any other issues ?

Many thanks for any advice  




Yes it can be done as I have looked into doing it and spoken to Tony at WIM to get info - same rolling radius/arch fill basically, as tyres on 17" wheels are lower profile. He says the ride difference would be negligible, bit of course the lower profile tyres will be a firmer ride if your friend’s buttocks are particularly sensitive! I certainly notice the difference between stock UK springs and Eibachs in ride, and that is about as bumpy as I am happy to be for now, so am holding off on 17s - although they look very nice.

My experience of the Eibachs is that the ride is no more hard/harsh, but on some roads the rear can feel “bouncy” (almost as if the springs are a bit soft - although it may be the Bilsteins?). But on other roads, the ride feels better!

And this is with the 17" wheels and 45-profiles.

That’s odd - shorter springs should logically give a firmer ride and that’s definitely been my experience! The ride was a lot softer and more forgiving the two weeks I had stock springs. Still if I had wanted a soft ride I would be in a Mondeo :o)

I thought the Eibachs were better (in ride quality terms) on all types of road, until I drove down the “roller-coaster” like Southport Coastal road. The long and periodic undulations of this road really upset the ride. Head bumping on roof is not uncommon, and have had the back end airbourne once when overtaking!

But all in all, they are an improvement. And that’s before you consider the handling/roadholding and appearance!