LAST UPDATED: October 10, 2019
Best Rims: Make Your Car Stand Out From the Rest
Enhance the look of your car and add your own style with these high-quality rims
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON October 10, 2019
Upgrading your car with a new set of rims is one of the best ways to change how it looks. Rims can vary in size and color, offering you a number of ways to enhance your vehicle. Whether you need a good set to replace worn-out rims or are looking to make your car look more aggressive, there is a set for you. Here are some of the best rims to increase the value, look, and ride of your car.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Rims
- Looks. Custom wheels can give your car a completely new and unique look. Change nothing else, and fancy rims will turn heads. There are aftermarket wheels that come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and sizes to fit your personal style.
- Performance. Custom wheels can perform better when you’re off-roading or racing. Off-road wheels are stronger and more durable. Racing wheels are lighter to keep the overall weight of the car down while speeding around the track.
- Increased safety. Putting bigger rims on your vehicle can actually make your car safer. Bigger rims require a bigger tire. This puts more tire surface on the road and gives you better traction.
Types of Rims
These wheels are the traditional material for aftermarket wheels. The entire wheel is made out of steel. You can easily get steel wheels that are chrome-plated or painted. The steel makes them heavier than other wheel options, so these aren’t the best choice if you’re looking to race. They work well for off-roading because they’ll withstand the abuse. You can also easily bend them back into shape while on the trail.
These are a combination of steel and aluminum. The outer rim of the wheel is steel, and the center is cast aluminum. This combines the strength of the steel but allows for more custom styling with the aluminum center. You’ll find most of these wheels come with chrome plating on them.
One-Piece Cast Aluminum
These are the most common type of aftermarket wheels on the market today. Their easy fabrication makes it possible for them to come in a wide variety of sizes, finishes, and styling. You’ll find them polished, machined, painted, and chrome-plated. They also are a good combination of durability while also offering some weight savings.
These are the lightest wheels you can buy. They’re so lightweight because their manufacturing process requires a lot less material. You’ll find these wheels have limited styles because they cost a lot more to manufacture. However, they’re not limited in finishes; they come in polished, painted, chrome-plated, and machined.
These are two-piece aluminum wheels that are similar to the steel wheel with a rim piece and a centerpiece. The rims are rolled. The center can be forged, machined, or cast aluminum. To hold the pieces together, they are pressed and welded. These are quite strong wheels because of the aluminum density. They’re limited in their finishes, though.
These are three-piece aluminum wheels where the rim is two pieces, and the center is the third piece. The two outer rim pieces sandwich the third centerpiece between them to create the wheel. Styles are limited, but there are plenty of finishes to choose from. You’ll notice that there are rivets or bolts that hold the pieces together.
Founded over 35 years ago, Konig has been one of the most well-known brands in the aftermarket wheel industry. It now produces wheels for use in countries all over the world. It even manufactures OEM wheels for some of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world. Check out the Konig Helium Bronze Wheel for a unique set of wheels.
Owned by Wheel Pros, Motegi Racing is known for producing wheels that are meant for high performance. The wheels are meant to function better when under extreme heat. This makes them perfect for modern performance cars. Check out the Motegi Racing Matte Black Wheel With Red Racing Stripe for a sleek racing look.
Founded in 1950, Enkei has produced wheels for both motorsports and street use. It has a presence in Europe and North and South America. It also manufactures OEM wheels for GM. Its wheels are known for using the latest innovations and technology. The Enkei ENKEI92 Gold Rim embody both style and innovation.
Started during the American muscle car era, American Racing produces high-performance wheels. Its wheels combine innovation with classic American style. You have seen American Racing wheels appear in professional racing, on tv, and in the movies. The American Racing Hot Rod Torq Thrust II Polished Wheel is the modern iteration of the original wheel offered.
- $100-$500: Wheels in this category tend to be on the smaller end of the spectrum. They also have simpler finishes and designs. You’ll find wheels that are manufactured through gravity casting.
- $500-$1,000: These wheels are slightly larger and will have more details and options. Fabrication methods will include flow-forming and low-pressure casting.
- Over $1,000: Wheels in this price range can go up to several thousand dollars. Fabrication will include forging, the highest-quality method. These wheels are also the largest and the most intricate in design.
Pay attention to the bolt pattern on the center of the wheels. You need to match this pattern with the bolts that are on the car. Bolt patterns can be anywhere from four to eight. Be careful though—just because the wheel says it’s five, and your car has five, doesn’t mean that it will automatically fit.
This refers to how far inside or outside the mounting component sits within the wheel. You need to match the stock wheel, or you risk the wheel and tire rubbing on the suspension or the car’s body panels. A neutral offset is a mounting hub in the middle of the wheel. A positive offset puts it more towards the outward-facing side of the wheel. A negative offset puts it on the inward-facing side of the wheel.
Try to stick to a diameter size that is close to your stock wheels. That way, you don’t have to have your car re-tuned to account for the increase in diameter. Also, you also don’t want the diameter of the wheel to be so big that the tires rub on the braking components.
- Finish. Think about the finish that will work best with your car. You want the finish to compliment your style and enhance the overall look of your car. Chrome-plated is a classic look. Painted and machined are common these days. If you’re planning on off-roading, then you’ll want something durable that won’t easily get scratched.
- Multi- or Single-Piece. Wheels can come in single-, dual-, or triple-piece construction. When there are multiple pieces, they’ll need to be bolted together, which can add weight to the wheel. You’ll find a wider range of size options with multi-piece wheels. The multiple pieces don’t mean that they are less durable or strong.
- Weight. The lighter your car weighs, the faster it can accelerate and stop. Horsepower is a weight to power ratio, so if you reduce your car’s weight, you change this ratio. If maximizing horsepower is important to you, then look for lighter weight wheels. Look for aluminum, as it’s lighter than steel.
Best Rims Reviews & Recommendations 2020
These bold and aggressively-styled wheels are sure to grab attention as you roll by. They feature a gloss black finish all over with red accenting. They come in a diameter of 19, 20, and 22 inches.
These are some seriously attention-grabbing bold wheels. They come in large sizes, which is perfect for giving your car an aggressive and sporty look. Their durable fabrication will ensure they continue to look good for years to come.
These wheels are quite expensive due to their fabrication, size, and intricate design. You’ll also need to check and see if they’ll physically fit your car. Even if they do fit your car, their bold style won’t look good on all vehicles.
Choose from 15, 16, 17, or 18 inches in diameter for these matte black wheels. These multi-spoke wheels will give your car a sporty look. They also come in a wide range of widths and offsets. They have a wide multi-spoke design to give them an open look and clear view of the brakes.
You’ll get a lifetime warranty for the structure of these wheels. They also have a one-year finish warranty to protect you against lifting or peeling of the finish. The wide range of sizes makes them compatible with several makes and models of vehicles.
Lug nuts are not included with these wheels, so you’ll need to save your stock ones or buy replacement aftermarket ones. These wheels are also quite heavy when compared to similar-sized wheels.
Made of sturdy gray aluminum, these wheels will give your vehicle both good looks and improved performance. Their price makes them quite affordable. They’re 17 inches in diameter with a five-lug pattern and are designed for 2014-2016 Toyota Corollas.
These wheels are a direct replacement for your OEM wheels, which makes them easy to install. There are no sizing options, so you’ll need to make sure they fit your car.
You’ll find that these wheels are quite heavy, at about 30 pounds each. Four of them will add noticeable weight to your car. They also don’t come with lug nuts, sensors, wheel covers, or valve stems.
- You want to ensure you have the correct size tires for the rims to fit properly. You can find the size written on the tread of the rubber or consult your car’s owner’s manual.
- If you own a sports car, consider checking the size of the rear and the front rims. Most of the time, the rear rim of sports cars will be larger than the front.
- If you can’t find a rim color that matches your vehicle, you can have a professional powder coat them whatever color you like.
Q: How can I make sure a rim is compatible with my vehicle?
A: Check with the manufacturer. Make sure the rims you buy match your vehicle’s lug pattern. The rim manufacturer will have a chart listing what cars the rims will fit properly.
Q: Can I drive on the rims as soon as they are installed?
A: If you install them yourself, you can drive on them but they may not be properly aligned, making the drive feel slightly off. You will want to install magnets on them to make sure they are balanced. You might want to use a professional for installation.
Q: Can I remove the tires from the rims by myself?
A: This is not something that can be done in your garage unless you have the required tools. While you can use a crowbar, mallet, and a lot of strength, you might want to use a mechanic to ensure that they aren’t damaged and the rims aren’t bent.
For one of the best sets of rims, consider the Marquee Staggered Rims for their unique color and aggressive style.
Or there’s the Motegi Racing Matte Black Rims, which are much less expensive and feature a sporty look.