The Dumbest Wheel Lug Patterns, Ranked
Some of us are luckier than others when it comes to finding wheels that even bolt on easily.
Those of us that are into modifying and personalizing our cars often start with a good set of wheels. Sometimes, a lot of the time, factory wheels on cars are either ugly, heavy, or have weak “fitment” meaning that they sit far too inboard of the fenders. Any one of these transgressions results in immediate replacement. All wheels are going to have what’s called a “lug pattern” which is the farthest distance between the wheel studs or bolts from center-to-center, and the number of holes/studs on the wheel. Some are easier to deal with than others.
As this little smash-up is gonna show, some of us are going to be luckier than others when it comes to finding wheels that even bolt on to our car. Let’s get amongst it.
5×110: The bane of the GM compact car… and the Lotus Exige?
This lug pattern is incredibly strange and rare. It has come on just a few cars through the years, most notably the Cobalt and Cobalt SS, the Tesla Roadster, and the Lotus Exige. According to fitmywheels.com it has also come on some random Alfa Romeos and the smaller car-based Jeeps. I can’t find a decent set of aftermarket 5×110 wheels for sale anywhere. They are the weirdest lug pattern possible.
Seriously, good luck finding any cool wheels if you’re lugged with this pattern.
5×108 and 4×108: Ford hatchbacks deserve better.
This one is only a little bit better than 5×110. There is a reasonable selection of wheels in 5×108 and 4×108 from companies like Sparco, Fifteen52, and… that’s it. Some other cool stuff like a couple Aston Martins, ’80s-’00s Ferraris, some Renaults and some Peugeots. The only relevant thing to us Yanks are the Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST, which are 5×108 and 4×108 respectively.
The small selection and scarcity of the lug pattern in the United States make for a tough problem to solve, but not impossible, thanks to the popularity of the Ford ST hatchbacks. Good luck with variety, though.
5×105: Just dumb because there are no cool cars using it.
I don’t think anyone is doing any meaningful modifications to the Chevy Cruze, Aveo, Bolt, Volt, or Cavalier, so this is strictly a weird lug pattern. I couldn’t find any aftermarket options, so you’re stuck within the family if you’re unlucky enough to have this lug pattern.
Perhaps a burgeoning track community surrounding GM EVs will save you guys. I wouldn’t count on it.
5×112: Weird, but actually pretty solid.
This is the lug pattern for VAG cars, so Audis and VWs all fall under this umbrella. It’s pretty easy to get wheels for 5×112, and you can even adapt a common 5×114.3 wheel to 5×112 very easily, without a full adapter.
On my own 2010 GTI, I run TUV-approved wheel bolts with a “wobble” seat on them. VW/Audi uses a generic conical seat, so the bolts simply allow the difference in size to be taken up between 5×114.3 and 5×112. I’ve run them for many track days and canyons drives, no problem. Pretty cool!
5×120: Only good because BMW.
5×120 has been the one-and-only lug pattern for most of the modern five-lug BMWs. Only recently did they start moving over to 5×112, which is weird. There are many options for this size, and even entire wheel companies dedicated to mostly making wheels for 5×120, like Apex Race Parts.
Fun fact: the new Civic Type R runs on 5×120. Not sure why, but you can slap some M3 wheels on your CTR and call it a day! Well, if the offset works at least.
If you see your car on this list, I am very sorry. If you care about putting sick wheels on your car, then be wary of what you’re buying. We recommend against using bolt on spacer-adapters to get stuff to fit, and generally speaking, stock wheels are the safest option for your car.
Keep it safe, and happy modding!