I have a `98 S70 GLT with standard size 195/60/15 tires on them, and will need to replace them soon. Would a different size tire improve handling? Would like to keep original rims if possible. Appreciate your thoughts?
Generally if you go with a wider tire (to get more tread on the road) you will need to go with one that is not as tall (so they fit in the wheel wells). With the wider tread you will probably get better handling, with a resulting loss in smoothness of ride. Example: My friend has a 2001 S60. He has P 195 60 R 16 tires. My 2002 S60 has P 205 55 R 16 tires. The P stands for passenger the next number (195 etc.) is the tread width in milimeters, the third number is the sidewall heigth as a percentage of the tread width (60, 55, etc.), the R stands for radial and the last number (16) is the diameter of the wheel. As you can see our cars have the same size wheel and different tires. His will probably ride smoother than mine. However, all that being said unless you go to a much larger diameter tire (17, 18, etc.) your increases in handling will be marginal. All that being said, I personally like the lower profile tire for the looks and the slightly better handling.