Steel Rims vs. Alloy Wheels for Winter Use

If you're shopping for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, you'll notice that steel wheels are offered for many vehicles and are more economical than aluminum alloy wheels. Keep in mind that price only tells part of the story. While they may be the right choice for you, be sure to consider the advantages and disadvantages of using steel wheels versus alloy wheels.

Steel Wheels

  • Meet the basic needs of drivers who want the convenience of a winter tire package without the additional cost of an alloy wheel
  • Typically available in black or silver finish depending on the application
  • Basic styling can often be updated with wheel covers
  • Cost less than alloy wheels due to ease of manufacturing and lower material costs

Since steel wheels aren't the sportiest addition to your vehicle, wheel covers will hide the wheels while enhancing your vehicle's appearance. If a good look is especially important to you, alloy wheels may be the way to go! When creating a Winter Tire & Wheel Package, why should you consider an aftermarket alloy wheel? What are the benefits of alloy wheels over steel?

Alloy Wheels 

  • Enhance the look of your vehicle
  • Are manufactured to precise standards to meet exact fitment and performance needs
  • Weigh less than steel wheels and have often have superior strength
  • May be the preferred option for your vehicle based on fitment requirements
  • Will allow for better brake clearance (depending on wheel style and brake components installed)
  • Some may require proper maintenance as finish damage may result in the harshest winter climates where salt and sand are routinely used
Steel Wheels
Steel Wheels
Sport Edition A7
Sport Edition A7

It's important to remember that alloy wheels may be the only option for your vehicle since steel wheels aren't made to fit every application. To learn more about the benefits of an alloy wheel, read "What is an Alloy Wheel?"


Friday, March 29, 2013 by ron

i am looking for 235/16 in. 5 bolt(for 08 honda pilot) steel rim for my spare tire. i have a doughnut tire and i want to replace with full size. i also have a tire. i just need 1 rim for it.please quote me a prize with shipping please
Friday, March 29, 2013 by Gary


Click on the link above or use this one for pricing and availability of steel wheels for your vehicle :
Thursday, August 29, 2013 by John Breen


I am a long-time customer. I have been trying to put together a winter tire package for my 2012 Mazda Miata GT. I would like to get a set of 4 steel wheels and Blizzak snow tires for this car but I cannot seem to find a way to put that together via your Internet site. The las time I did this it was easy but this time not so much.
Thursday, August 29, 2013 by Gary

We have not found any steel wheels that fit the 2012 MX-5 Miata Grand Touring, sorry. We do have some inexpensive alloy wheels available to fit it.

Winter Package Shop by vehicle
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by Bill

I'm looking for a great price on a pair of 15" tires mounted onto steel wheels with a 5x4.5 bolt pattern for a small utility trailer. I could also go 13" or 14" if you had some deals. Please let me know what you have to offer and the price delivered to Washington state (98275). Thanks!
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by Gary


I'm sorry, we do not carry any steel wheels in these specs.
Friday, July 25, 2014 by Craig H

I am looking for a set of 4 winter tires, preferably Firestone of Michelin x-ice, to fit my 2012 Nissan Maxima SV. What would you recommend? My all season tires are 245/45 R18
Monday, July 28, 2014 by Gary


Based on last years data, we would suggest the Michelin Xice Xi3 tires for the best snow and ice traction.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Stephen

Definitely we should make consider the best tire for winter use...Great information on alloy wheels....
Saturday, September 6, 2014 by Ryan

Looking for a silver set of steel snow rims for an '86 Mitsubishi Delica L300. 15"x6lugx139.7mm. Medium offset. Any fits? Thanks
Monday, September 8, 2014 by Gary


I'm sorry, we do not carry any wheels with these specs.
Monday, September 8, 2014 by Chandler

How much do 17" steel wheels weigh? They would be for a 2014 Ford Focus ST. Can you suggest a good economical wheel/tire combo for this vehicle?
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by Gary


I'm sorry we do not carry any steel wheels for the Focus ST. Inexpensive alloy wheels are available and can be found at the "winter" section of our site here :
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 by Mike

I'm going to buy snow tires on rims for my new CX% Mazda. Which is a better rim steel or alloy? Forget the price and look. i just want to know which is best. Thanks
Sunday, November 9, 2014 by Boris

Any basic steel wheels for 2014 Mercedes GLK250? Thanks.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 by Gary


I'm sorry, we do not have any basic steel wheels to fit the 2014 Mercedes GLK250.
Friday, March 27, 2015 by Larry b

I have aluminum wheels on my Malibu.This winter the tire pressure fluctuated a lot to the point where I often had to inflate the tires before driving.I did have the wheels revealed an d ground where this normal with performance tires?
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 by Gary


Neither the material of the wheel or the tire type will have much effect on tire pressures. Tire pressures will vary based on ambient temperature.
Sunday, September 13, 2015 by barry

I am looking for steel rims and X-Ice snow tires for a 2015 GMC Terrain
Monday, September 14, 2015 by Gary


We do not carry an y steel wheels that fit the 2015 GMC Terrain but we do have a variety of inexpensive alloy wheels that fit the vehicle.

You can check out the complete list here :
Saturday, November 26, 2016 by Nancy

I'm looking for the best winter tire for my 98 jeep wrangler. I live in Colorado on mile long uphill rutted dirt road. 235/75/r15. How long for deliver?
I appreciate your recommendations
Monday, November 28, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Nancy, Take a look at the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 at about a four business day lead time:
Friday, July 7, 2017 by Marc

I'm looking for 18 inch steel rims to fit a 2016 golf r; any recommendations?
Monday, July 10, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


We do not carry any steel wheels in 18 or 17 inch for your car, sorry. We have alloy wheels starting around $118 though if that helps:
Monday, March 5, 2018 by bob

I am looking for 18" steel wheels for my 2017 Honda Ridgeline RT. I live in the Northeast where salt,brine and other anti-icing chemicals are used on the roads seven months of the year. Alloy wheels have a limited lifespan under these conditions; even if the wheels are regularly washed and waxed they still corrode.
Monday, March 12, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

bob, unfortunately, we do not have any manufacturers making an 18-inch steel wheel for your 2017 Honda Ridgeline RT.

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