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Alloy Wheels vs. Steel Wheels: Which Are Better?

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An 18-inch wheel of the 2019 Cruze Hatch RS
An 18-inch wheel of the Cruze Hatch RS
Photo: Chevrolet

When choosing wheels for your next car, there are a wide variety of alloy and steel options to choose from. Before making your decision, it’s important to consider the following key factors for each wheel type

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Alloy wheels have a lightweight design, which allows them to improve the fuel economy, acceleration, and braking of your vehicle. This design even makes it easier for tires to keep their grip on the road.

Steel wheels have a heavyweight design, which can put more strain on your suspension. However, one positive of their design is that the wheels can increase your vehicle’s traction when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.


Steel wheels have the advantage when it comes to durability. They are stronger than alloy wheels and can better handle rough conditions when off-roading. Alloy wheels, on the other hand, can more easily get dents and cracks.


Although they’re more likely to be damaged, alloy wheels don’t have an issue with corrosion. This makes them better options for drivers living by the beach or another area with salty air. Steel wheels, on the other hand, are more prone to rust in a humid environment. Nevertheless, this problem can be avoided if you choose steel wheels with a powder coating.


Alloy wheels are typically more expensive to both purchase and repair than steel wheels. This is because the manufacturing and repairing procedures are more elaborate for alloy wheels. Steel wheels are accordingly the more budget-friendly options.

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Deciding which wheel is the better choice for you comes down primarily to your personal preference. Be sure to take all these factors as well as each wheel’s appearance into consideration before making your purchase.