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Short answer: Yes, the 18" wheel did change a lot of the ride qualities. I had a good idea going in what I wanted in this package and what the compromises would be with this combo. The short run: get the lightest wheel as your budget allows you.
I got the style wheel I wanted (though a bit heavier) and the improved handling capabilities that were sought. Overall, I'm quite pleased. The current prices on these wheels is a no-brainer if they are something that catches your taste.
Those wheels look gorgeous on the LS. That is EXACTLY the rims I am looking for. And since we both have same color and 2nd gen LS, then yours gives me a good view of how mine will look as well. Saw them on another CL member (leeladisky) and have been searching for them since. I'll check with the vendor if the Dec special price carries over to Jan.
'05 SLK55 AMG silver/black, loaded... my little pocket-rocket... fun - fun - fun.
'06 530i mystic blue/tan, loaded, wife's DD
'02 A4 1.8Tq, black/black, loaded, College D's daily driver.
I'm sure if I did a 0-60 time, the new set-up is good for a few tenths slower time. Mileage, since this is a smaller diameter tire I'm guessing that I've dropped a tad...it isn't that obvious. My usual runs I am pulling to get gas at the same intervals and with a near same amount of fuel used. My wild guess, I've lost maybe 1/2-1 MPG with the new wheel/tires. Your VVT-i is stronger and you may not notice a thing with accelleration and/or mileage.
The compression and rebound of the suspension has been negatively effected but how bad depends what ride qualities you want. I think it is slight and it is not bone jarring. The suspension in mine is wearing and in need of new bushings so the unforgiving nature of a lower sidewall brings this out. Once I replace these little things, it won't be an issue.
Bottom line, all this is more than compensated by the enhanced handling capabilities.
I'm in the market for new wheels and tires and while I like the look a larger rim gives the wheel well and car, the added weight, price and lower mileage rating of lower profile tires are more important to me. If my OE chrome wheels are around 21lbs then most aftermarket 16" are easily 3lbs lighter. Tire Rack lists the MXV4 at around 26lbs new.