There are many reasons why dumping a set of giant wheels on a car is a bad idea. You’ll most likely end up with a much harsher ride, your tyre bills will get a lot more expensive, and you’ll be left with something that’s far easier to kerb. Oh, and as the new rims will probably be heavier, you’ll have more rotational mass to deal with, which will affect performance ever so slightly.
However, because I’m a big kid, I rather like silly big shiny things. And on modern cars, what better way is there to fill such large arches with a set of equally large rims? With that in mind, when Skoda offered to swap the 18-inch ‘Gemini’ rims on our Octavia vRS longtermer for a set of 19-inch ‘Xtreme’ wheels, I was rather interested.
However, when I got to my friendly neighbourhood dealer - Progress Skoda Letchworth - there was a problem: the lovely anthracite rims (like the ones above) I was expecting had ceased to be available for all but the hotter vRS 230 Octavias, so instead we’d be getting a black set with silver detailing. To begin with, I wasn’t sure if they really went with the car…
I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t convinced; when we put the first few images of the car on our Instagram page, the reaction was pretty mixed too. However, it’s been a few weeks since the new rims went on, and I’m really starting to like them. Yes, they’re ridiculously in-yer-face, but that’s the appeal. It’s an entertaining juxtaposition having a relatively subtle car with a set of outrageous rims, and the car’s now pretty damn distinctive to look at.
I reckon they’d go a lot better with a different paint finish - they’d fit nicely with a white Octavia, for instance - but if you fancy getting a set of these wheels, it’s worth bearing in mind that there’s more than one way to get hold of them. When ordering them as an accessory, you’re looking at £260 a corner plus tyres, but if you spec the ‘Black design package plus’, you get the wheels (including tyres), some natty black trim pieces and a few other bits for a much more reasonable £800.
What do you think of the wheels? Are they an improvement, or just too damn obnoxious?