Take a look around at any car dealership and you’ll notice that the majority of cars sold in the U.S. offer aluminum alloy wheels or “rims” as they’re sometimes called. Once a fairly uncommon option, alloy wheels have supplanted their steel counterparts as the must-have option for car buyers. Alloy wheels also dominate the aftermarket wheel market.
So what makes these wheels so popular among today’s car owners? Read on to find out.
They Simply Look Better
When it comes to overall attractiveness, aluminum alloy wheels usually stand out as the clear winner. The bright, shiny appearance of the typical alloy wheel gives it an unmistakable visual appeal to countless car owners. Even as they age, alloy wheels are more than capable of keeping their good looks as long as they’re properly cared for.
In contrast, steel wheels tend to be dull-looking, with the vast majority of them having to be hidden behind hubcaps and wheel covers to look appealing.
They Come in More Varieties
Another reason why aluminum alloy wheels are so popular among today’s car owners is that they come in an amazing variety of designs and finishes. Whether you prefer painted, machined, polished or chromed wheels, you’re sure to find one in the style of your choice. Steel wheels can be painted or even chromed, but they usually come in fewer styles.
The latest alloy wheels offered by car manufacturers come in increasingly intricate multi-spoke designs, which helps set them and the vehicles they’re installed on apart from everything else on the road.
They’re Lightweight Yet Strong
Aluminum is an exceptionally lightweight metal when compared to steel, which has 2.5 times the density of aluminum. This makes an aluminum alloy wheel very light in comparison to a traditional steel wheel. This particular advantage comes in handy in a rather surprising way - the reduced weight allows for better fuel economy and improved handling.