What Is the Difference Between Alloy and Premium Wheels?

Choosing a wheel for your eligible vehicle has never been harder given its vast market. Nowadays, they are available in so many sizes, designs, materials, and aesthetics. However, now that many are making the shift from the standard steel wheels, the main battle is between premium and alloy wheels. 

The main difference between premium and alloy wheels is their appearance. They are inherently similar only that premium wheels have a chrome layer surface over the alloy. Moreover, they is a slight difference in braking and accelerating capabilities in that premium wheels are better. 

This article gives a comprehensive review of the differences between alloy and premium wheels. Read on!

What Is the Difference Between Alloy and Premium Wheels?

difference between alloy and premium wheels

Premium wheels are basically alloy wheels with chrome placed on top of the alloy. The main difference between the two lies in their appearance. 

Premium wheel versions are made of 60% aluminum and 40% magnesium, plus other materials. They also have a layer of chrome on the surface to make them ‘high-end’ wheels. Alloy wheels also have 60% aluminum and 40% magnesium.

Besides the difference in appearance, there is a notable change in braking and acceleration. Premium wheels are able to accelerate in a short time and can brake under high temperatures. 

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Alloy Wheels 

Alloy wheels are made from a combination of metals such as magnesium or aluminum. They are usually cast and this allows designers to create different complex designs. 

Alloy wheels are preferred by many car owners. Some time back, only sporty models or premium cars came pre-installed with alloy wheels. They have long since been considered a desirable feature in cars that contributes to aesthetics. Thankfully, now more car manufacturers are adopting this type of wheel due to its many benefits. 

It is also possible to upgrade your car with a new set of alloy wheels, regardless of whether they were factory-installed or not. They are able to make your car outstanding thanks to the different designs, sizes, and finishes.  Hence, you can fit them accordingly to suit your taste. 


Compared to standard wheels, alloy wheels are lighter in weight. Therefore, they reduce the overall weight of the car.

Moreover, their lightweight nature helps to improve fuel economy. They also reduce the braking pressure hence improving braking abilities and reducing brake wear. Furthermore, being lightweight, they improve acceleration hence offering a more agile performance. 

These wheels are known to dissipate heat better which also enhances braking performances. This explains why they are preferred for sporty vehicles. 

Alloy wheels are rust-resistant thanks to the aluminum component. Aluminum is highly reactive which instantly forms an oxide layer upon exposure to the atmosphere hence rust cannot occur. 

Alloy wheels contribute to the aesthetics in your vehicle. They come in different striking finishes and many designs that can help improve the overall appearance of your vehicle.  


They are expensive. If you want to fit your car with a new set of alloy wheels, you need to be prepared to dig deep into your wallet. 

Given that all car wheels are susceptible to damage by clipping curbs, alloy wheels take this a notch higher—they are more likely to crack and are harder to repair. Also, given their striking design and finishes, they are more likely to show these cracks or scrapes. 

They are prone to corrosion that may be caused by road salt and brake dust iron. 

If white dust accumulates on alloy wheels, it is capable of affecting the structural integrity of the alloy. They are also unsightly.  

Premium Wheels 

Cars are increasingly being widely used by the day, making it more difficult to buy a wheel. They are available in a wide range of sizes, materials, and shapes. However, if you are looking for a set that will deliver better performance and last a long time, premium wheels offer that and more. 

Premium wheels are basically an alloy version with a chrome coating. Most of the luxurious vehicles in the market today come installed with premium wheels. They differ from the standard wheels with the enamel surface layer that makes them look more elegant. However, this enamel layer does not add any engineering benefits but is solely to improve its appearance.


Premium wheels offer fuel economy. Although they are larger than the standard counterparts, the new versions are lightweight hence they make your car lighter. In turn, your car has less wheel weight to carry, and this less fuel to consume. 

Moreover, they offer high-temperature durability. Premium wheels are better at delivering excellent temperature strength compared to other wheel types. They feature a hard chrome part that works to protect your car from thermal shock since they are able to withstand extreme temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

You get to enjoy the faster speed with premium wheels due to their lightweight nature. 

Premium wheels give you a better engine life since you can run your car with less pressure on the motor. Hence, the engine works more efficiently and lasts longer. 

Furthermore, these wheels improve the appearance of your vehicle. They are considered exotic wheels that make your car stand out. 


Unfortunately, these wheels have short longevity. Although they offer an amazing service when exposed to high-temperature conditions, they are unlikely to last longer than the standard ones. Repairing them tends to be expensive as well. 

Premium wheels are fragile and more prone to damage. Cleaning them with normal cleaning products poses harm to the shiny surface. 

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Premium wheels offer more peace of mind in high-temperature conditions. It is up to you to take good care of the wheels. They can easily crack due to unideal public road conditions and you should repair them as soon as possible. In case of paint corrosion, you may be forced to make a new purchase. All in all, these wheels are reliable in most cases. 

The popular size choice is the oversized premium wheel 20 with 8.5J width. Ensure that you find tires that will tightly hug the wheels and then fix them on your car. 

Premium wheels will cost you around $250 to $600. The common price tag is $400, which is higher than the standard steel versions. The extra cost is for aesthetics used, material, and the technique used in these advanced versions. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to alloy and premium wheels, your decision will come down to how you want your car to look. Both of them offer many advantages and contribute to the overall appearance of your car. They are both upgraded versions of the standard steel wheels for better aesthetics and functionality. 

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