Powered by Mustang Enthusiasts - Call Now (866) 507-3786

Mustang Staggered vs Squared Wheel & Tire Guide

Created by Jay Walling / 10 min read
Date Created: 1/4/2022
Last Updated: 12/13/2022

The Staggered vs. Squared wheel debate is a subject that has gone through many changes over the years. Follow along, and we will cover what may be best for you!

Viewing this install and using the information shared is subject to the terms set forth here - View the LMR Install Instructions Disclaimer.

FOLLOW: wheels , mustang , tech guide , 79 93 mustang , 94 04 mustang , 05 09 mustang , 10 14 mustang , 2015 mustang

Mustang wheels and tires have gone through many changes over the years. Many of these changes were due to the influence of racing. The staggered vs squared debate is one that rages on to this day. This leads to the questions of which configuration provides better performance and handling.

Mustang Staggered vs Squared Wheel and Tire Guide - Mustang Staggered vs Squared Wheel and Tire Guide

For some time, staggered wheel setups have been the standard OEM choice on performance vehicles and muscle cars. But now since there are so many aftermarket wheels and tire combinations available, staggered wheels are not always the first choice for many car enthusiasts. Squared wheels and tires can sometimes offer more versatility in terms of what you can do with your car's looks and performance. Regardless of what you choose, both fitment styles have their pros and cons. So which setup is right for you? Let’s take a look at Staggered vs Squared Mustang Wheels and Tires to find out!


3 Types of Wheel Offset

When it comes to staggered wheels and tires, you have different options with offset. The concept of offset means that the wheel is placed closer or further away from the center of where the tire contacts the ground.

A Positive Offset has a smaller number which means the mounting surface of the hub is closer to the wheel's face. This will give you more fender and quarter panel clearance, which will help you avoid tire rubbing issues.

Mustang Staggered vs Squared Wheel and Tire Guide - Mustang Staggered vs Squared Wheel and Tire Guide

A Negative Offset has a higher number which means the mounting surface of the hub is closer to the back of the wheel. This will offer you more clearance for aftermarket suspension as well as a broader overall stance.

Mustang Staggered vs Squared Wheel and Tire Guide - Mustang Staggered vs Squared Wheel and Tire Guide

Lastly, a Zero Offset has a number of 0. This offset has the same distance from where the tire contacts the ground making it even with the wheel centerline. This makes it flush with your staggered setup. Check out our Mustang Wheel Offset Guide to learn more!

Mustang Staggered vs Squared Wheel and Tire Guide - Mustang Staggered vs Squared Wheel and Tire Guide

About Wheel Backspacing

Another thing to consider is wheel backspacing. Wheel backspacing is the distance from the wheel's mounting surface to the back edge of the wheel. This is measured in inches. The benefit of having staggered wheels with more backspacing is that you can fit wider staggered rear wheels and rear tires on your Stang without making contact with the fender. On the other hand, staggered wheels with less backspacing will have fewer tire width options.


What Is A Staggered Wheel and Tire Setup?

Mustangs have always been known to be an affordable vehicle to get some of the most impressive performance numbers that money can buy. Many enthusiasts often upgrade their Mustang with staggered wheels and tires to improve both the performance and looks of their car. Unfortunately, staggered wheels and tires can be a pretty intimidating change for some, but it doesn't have to be.

A staggered wheel and tire setup is when you have different-width wheels on your car, with the two wider wheels at the back of the car. This staggered setup is often used on sports cars like the popular Ford Mustang GT and is meant to enhance the driving experience. Depending on what you use your car for, staggered wheels and tires can improve traction and power transfer or reduce the understeer and rotational mass of your car.


Pros of Staggered Wheels and Tires

The staggered wheel and tire setup have several pros with a popular improvement being handling. Another pro is that staggered setups arguably look more appealing than squared setups. Additionally, staggered wheel and tire setups can provide more traction and power transfer to the ground.

Benefits

  • Improved handling.
  • Looks more aggressive than squared setups.
  • More traction and power transfer to the ground.

Cons of Staggered Wheels and Tires

One of the main cons of staggered wheel and tire setups is that they can be more expensive than squared setups. The staggered wheel and tire setup will also eliminate the ability to rotate your tires in a normal fashion. With two different-sized tires on each side, you will not be able to rotate your tires from the front to the back.

Disadvantages

  • More difficult to rotate tires.
  • Are usually more expensive and heavier.

What is a Squared Wheel and Tire Setup?

To the surprise of many cars enthusiasts, squared wheel and tire setups are becoming increasingly popular. If you're looking for a more simple and practical look on your Mustang, you might want to consider this type of setup. A squared wheel and tire setup are when you have the same width wheels on all four corners of your car. This setup is often used on everyday vehicles because it's more practical and easier to maintain than staggered fitments.


Pros of Squared Wheels and Tires

The squared wheel and tire setup have several pros such as it's normally cheaper than staggered setups, the tires will usually be more balanced, they are easier to rotate, and there are fewer issues of uneven wear with squared setups.

Advantages

  • Cornering improvements from the front tires.
  • Normally the cheaper option.
  • Tires are more balanced.
  • Easier to rotate.
  • Fewer issues of uneven wear.

Cons of Squared Wheel and Tires

One of the main cons of squared wheel and tire setups is that they usually don't look as appealing as staggered setups. Additionally, some people argue that a squared setup doesn't handle as well as a staggered setup.

Disadvantages

  • Less aesthetically pleasing.
  • Complaints of being a less comfortable driving/riding experience.

Which is Better for a Ford Mustang? Staggered or Squared Wheel and Tire Setup?

So, what's the verdict? Should you go staggered or squared on your Mustang? The answer really depends on what you're looking for in your car. If you're looking for improved handling and a more aggressive look, staggered is the way to go. However, if you are looking for a simple, easy-to-maintain setup or are concerned about cost and uneven tire wear, squared may be the better choice for you.

No matter if you have an Ecoboost, V6, Mustang GT, Performance Pack, Mach 1, Cobra, Roush, Shelby GT350, or Shelby GT500; there is a perfect wheel and tire setup for every Mustang model.


Final Thoughts

LMR offers a variety of new wheels for Fox Body's all the way up to the newest S550 Mustang models with finishes such as gloss black wheels, matte black, satin black, graphite, bronze, gold, chrome, machined, gunmetal, and anthracite. For tires, we offer sizes starting at 15" all the way to 20" from brands such as Nitto and Mickey Thompson. We also offer a variety of Mustang wheel accessories and components such as spare tires parts, lug nuts, TPMS kits, center caps, and much more!

Some of the Mustang wheel offerings we provide are SVE Bullitt wheels, SVE Mach 1 style wheels, SVE Drag wheels, SVE Series 1-3 wheels, 5.0 Resto 10-Hole wheels, just to name a few. Our SVE and 5.0 Resto wheels come with a limited warranty of lifetime structural coverage and two-year finish coverage. Check out our Wheel Warranty Page if you want to learn more!

In the end, it's up to you to decide what's best for your Mustang. Our team at LMR always recommends staggered setups for those looking for an improved driving experience and a more aggressive look. However, squared wheel size and tire size setups are becoming increasingly popular and can be just as effective – it all comes down to personal preference.

As always, for all things Mustang Wheels & Tires shop with us at LMR.com.


People Also Ask

Are Staggered Wheels Better?

There is no definitive answer when it comes to staggered vs squared wheels. Each setup has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it ultimately depends on what you are looking for with your car. Some people prefer staggered setups because they offer better handling and look better than squared setups, while others prefer the more practicality and affordability of squared setups.


Do Ford Mustangs Have Staggered Wheels?

Most newer Mustang models have some form of a staggered wheel setup. If staggered wheels are not included in your car when you purchased them, staggered rims and tires can be purchased and installed on the vehicle. If you purchase a staggered wheel and tire kit from LMR they are mounted and balanced free of charge!


Is It Bad To Have Staggered Wheels?

There are pros and cons to both staggered and squared wheel and tire setups. Staggered setups often provide better handling and traction while squared setups are usually more economical. However, staggered setups can be more expensive than squared setups and cannot always be used on certain racing circuits. Additionally, a staggered setup can cause uneven wear on the front tires when you drive in the rain or on rough terrain.


What Offset Are Mustang Wheels?

Here are some specs of Mustang wheel offsets and their bolt patterns:


1979-1993 Mustang LX, GT, & Cobra

  • 15-25mm (M)
  • 4"x108mm

1994-1998 Mustang, V6, GT, & Cobra

  • 35-50mm (H)
  • 5"x114.3mm

1999-2004 Mustang, V6, GT, & Cobra

  • 35-50mm (H) (M)
  • 5"x114.3mm

2005-2009 Mustang V6, GT & GT500

  • 35-50mm (H) (M)
  • 5"x114.3mm

2010-2014 Mustang V6, GT & GT500

  • 35-50mm (H) (M)
  • 5"x114.3mm

2015-2021 Mustang V6, GT & Ecoboost

  • 35-50mm (H) (M)
  • 5"x114.3mm

Thumbnail image of the author of this article, Jay Walling.

About the Author

Jay has written content for Late Model Restoration for over 10 years, producing over 120 articles. Jay has an extensive 25-plus-year background in automotive and is a certified Ford Technician. Read more...