Visually speaking, the answer to that question is fairly obvious. But there's more to an aftermarket wheel than simply the good looks. Aftermarket alloy wheels produce a number of performance benefits for your vehicle, starting with reduced unsprung weight compared to steel wheels. What is unsprung weight? Any portion of your vehicle not supported by the suspension system. Without that support, those components get hit with road shock and cornering forces. To combat that, wheels make steering precise and improve "turning in" characteristics.
Aftermarket rims are also lighter than steel rims, which helps reduce the overall weight of your car. Clearly a lighter car handles much easier than one with significant weight to it. In addition, alloy wheels are quite strong. And strong wheels support your tires in the corner.
Finally, alloy wheels are made with metals that conduct heat most excellently. Heat is moved away from the brakes, which reduces brake fade. And often, alloy wheels are designed in a way that allows air to flow away from the brakes a little easier.
Still wonder why aftermarket wheels are so great? Let's go back to that visual note. Play around in the Upgrade Garage to see what some of Tire Rack's best aftermarket wheels look like on your vehicle. You just might find yourself sold on a particular set from one of our manufacturers. A list that includes BBS, moda, MSW and more.