Search Cars for Sale

Remember When We Thought 20-inch Wheels Were Huge?

I remember being in high school in the mid-2000s when 20-inch wheels were absolutely massive. Do you remember this? People who had 20-in wheels, which was practically no one, called them "dubs," and if you were really cool, your car had "dubs." They were all aftermarket, of course: no automaker actually fitted standard "dubs" on a vehicle. But if you were really rich, and you wanted to show off, you had them. Maybe you even had 22s — but usually not. Those were rare.

Back then, it wasn’t just that you had 20-in wheels. There was an entire culture around them. There was a "DUB Magazine," which apparently still exists, and which was devoted almost entirely to giant wheels and other aftermarket accessories. And — this was my favorite part — if you really wanted to show off your dubs, you put a little emblem on your front fender that displayed your wheel size for everyone to see.

And then it happened: a few automakers came out with factory dubs. The ones I remember were Dodge and Infiniti: some high-end trim package of the Dodge Ram had 20-in wheels, and the optional upgrade wheel on the Infiniti FX45 did, too. I think this was in 2003, as both of those vehicles were launching right around then (the FX was all-new, and the Ram was recently redesigned).

Factory dubs! We were in shock. I remember arguing with people in internet forums about whether a factory wheel could technically be considered a "dub" — though I don’t remember which side of the argument I took. I also remember seeing an FX45 with the 20-in wheels and telling a friend the car had "dubs from the factory," and he didn’t believe me. It was preposterous.

I say all this because, well, it isn’t preposterous now, is it?

The other day, I was driving along in that Tesla Model 3, which is equipped with 19-in wheels, and I realized just how far wheels have come. Everyone has huge wheels now. Not just big wheels. HUGE wheels. The current Range Rover comes standard with 20-in wheels — and, quite honestly, they look pathetically undersized. You can upgrade to 22s, which look nice. And forget about SUVs: Even sports cars have massive wheels; the Lamborghini Aventador offers a staggered setup with 21s in front and 22s in back. On a Lamborghini!

Of course, I could go on and on — the Toyota Camry now offers a 19-in wheel! — but the point here is made: Our youth has gone past us, time is marching on and wheels are becoming more and more massive. It won’t be long before the 30-in wheel is the new 20, and DUB Magazine will show off a line of accessory stepladders so you can climb into your car.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

Here’s Why the McLaren 720S Is Worth $300,000
Massachusetts Has the Coolest Hidden Trick On Its License Plates
My Toyota Land Cruiser’s Brake Exploded at the Top of a Mountain


Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...

More Articles Like This

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

How to Disinfect Your Car During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus can live as long as three days on the surfaces in a car. Here is how to kill it safely and effectively.

What Are Safe Coronavirus Disinfectants for Your Car?

Most EPA-registered coronavirus disinfectants may harm your car's interior. We list familiar coronavirus disinfectants safe for your car.

Research by Style

More Articles Like This