The difference between steel and alloy is huge, in terms of what you’ll be using your vehicle for as well as the look you want. It’s important to choose the style that both keeps your vehicle safe as well as in the best looking condition.
Traditionally, steel was the go-to choice of car manufacturers, as it cost them very little to buy. Alloy was hardly ever used. However, in the last few decades we’ve seen the cost of alloy drop, and now it’s used far more frequently in newer vehicles, especially those in entry to mid level.
Steel can still be fairly cheap, so long as you don’t care what they look like. They are more for Lower end vehicles and usually have stylized wheel covers to give the effect of Alloy Wheels.
That said, alloy is still much more expensive than steel, and it can cost almost 30 times as much depending on manufacturer of the wheel.
Though alloy costs more, it also weighs less. That means greater city fuel economy, as it accelerates much easier. So what you’re spending upfront can be made back by the gas it saves.
Alloy’s lighter weight allows for better handling, like driving around tight corners and on bumpy roads. The downside is that they are easier to break and crack, especially when the road gets a little too rough.
Steel wheels are much heavier than alloy. With the heavier mass, your brake pads are working that much harder to stop your wheels, which could lead to them wearing down faster.
The *average* weight of a steel rim is 45 lbs,, while an alloy wheel is around 30 lbs. Multiply that by four wheels, and you get a 60 lb. difference. That’s the equivalent of carrying a child!
Given its lighter material, alloy is much easier to cast into designs. If style is what drives you, then this is something important to take into consideration.
Steel design has fewer options. The wheels are also prone to rust, something which doesn’t happen with alloy. This happens when the paint is chipped or if it wears off. When you buy steel wheels, you want to make sure they are well-maintained.
So, as you can see, steel and alloy wheels have significant differences. They aren’t necessarily pros and cons, just things to consider that may suit one driver or vehicle better than another.
In short, if you are using your vehicle for mostly off-road purposes and driving through rugged roads, go with steel. If your vehicle is more for city driving and you’d like to customize the look, go with alloy.
Let us know if you have any further questions. Remember, the type of wheel has a huge impact on the car’s performance, so choose wisely!