What is a Staggered Fitment?
A staggered fitment, also referred to as a staggered application, is the use of different size wheels and tires on one axle of the vehicle.
Some vehicles with staggered fitment have wheels and tires of a different diameter, but it is the difference in width that truly creates the staggered fitment. The most common staggered fitment is the use of wider tires on the rear axle and narrower tires on the front axle for rear-wheel drive vehicles.
The wider tires typically go on the rear of the vehicle, whether for performance or aesthetic purposes, because the fixed rear axle is capable of accommodating much larger tires.
A staggered wheel and/or tire setup can be multifunctional by being both aesthetically pleasing and serving a specific performance purpose. The wider tires on the rear axle allow rear-wheel drive, high-performance vehicles to get more traction for acceleration. This also allows for better handling response from the front axle.
Many sports and performance vehicles come from the factory equipped with staggered tires and wheels. Due to the maintenance limitations that are inherent in the staggered fitment, some drivers prefer a vehicle with a non-staggered fitment. Some vehicles that come from the factory with a staggered fitment can be changed to non-staggered, however this does not apply to all manufacturers. Changing the fitment can have an impact on your vehicle’s handling characteristics. We recommend checking with the vehicle manufacturer before making any changes to the staggered fitment of your vehicle.
Changing to a Staggered Fitment
A non-staggered fitment can be changed to a staggered fitment by changing the wheel and/or tire size. It is important to note that while this may provide the look that you want for your vehicle, it may not have the performance impact you are hoping for. Using a staggered fitment on a non-staggered vehicle can negatively impact your vehicle’s handling characteristics. Also, the staggered tires and wheels will not allow for normal tire rotations and can decrease the life of the tire. Most tire manufacturers will reduce the mileage warranty of a tire up to 50% on a staggered tire application.