Snow Tire/Wheel Questions

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Jan 27, 2021
I am looking at snow tires for my 2019 SEL e-Golf and was recommended to put them on a new set of wheels instead of the stock wheels to preserve the integrity of the stock wheels as much as possible for non-snow season. I have seen two different recommendations:
1. Stick with the 16 inch (205/55-16) and get steel wheels with a pair of Michelin X-Ice Snow, Conti Winter Contact, or Blizzacks (or something similar).
2. Go one size lower for the snow tires/wheels and go with 195/65-15's on a 15 inch steel wheel.

Any recommendations either way? or just put the 205/55-16s on the stock wheels?

Great question! I used to live in Michigan and drove a BMW 328iS (car I got rid of in 2015 when I switched to e-Golf). I kept summer tires on the stock 16 rims and bought used 15 inch BMW rims that put a minus 1 size set of snow tires. I had a garage and kept the other set of rims in the garage. I was able to swap the wheels myself over the course of an hour and did not have to hassle with going to a shop. That is what I recommend for you, if you have a place to keep the alternate set of wheels. 15" tires cost less than 16" tires, give you better traction (due to minus 1 narrower tread width), and then you don't need to punish your OEM rims with winter salt and other road junk.

Yes, go minus 1 on new steel rims (or used 15" Golf alloy or steel rims, if such a thing exists, with the correct offset) and put snows on those. 195/65R15 is the right size, only off by 0.4% with respect to the outside diameter of the stock tires.
That's similar to what I was thinking. I called a few different VW dealers and got varied responses. But the most thorough response I got echoed what you recommended as well. Thanks!
I’ve got Michelin Cross Climate 2 tires on mine on the factory rims. An all season tire, but crucially 3PMSF rated so actually a legit winter tire. So far been very impressed in the Chicago snow, and they’ve been great through the summer and in the rain too. So much better than the horrid Ecrapia’s it came with, and actually seemingly as, if not more efficient!
Not being a gearhead or wheel expert, back in the winter of 2019 I looked up what VW recommends:

These are the north american factory spec "Aspen" winter wheels (6J x 16 ET48) for the e-Golf and match the factory tire dimensions (205/55 R16). Note that the wheel offset is slightly wider than the "Astana Aero" rims.

I went to buy these but they were out of stock nation wide. So I came up with this alternative, which is ECE-certified (Economic Commission for Europe) as an aftermarket match and look much nicer.

I bought the silver wheels on ebay (€433 inclusive of shipping and tax) direct from in Germany. With those I paired a used set of Michelin X-Ice studless snow tires ( that I pulled off my Subaru.

I've been getting around New England just fine and dandy ever since. The black ones look dope, but I tend to get alot of curb rash so decided against them because the paint will scuff. The silver ones are a speckled/matte flavor, not chrome. I still need to find VW logo'd center caps for them.