I know that I saw on a few threads here when I was shopping tire choices that there was a lot of mystery to the downsizing of the rear tires to 225 vs. the stock 235 size. I saw mention of a few that had done so, but for some reason I could never find pictures. So here is my review of the difference.
First off the tirs that came with my car had great tread on them, but I knew that they were not going to be my long-term solution if I wanted to drive the car on the highway. They were too old and had some issues. The fronts had flat spots that I could not get out with an overinflate and heat them up and the rears had shifted belts which was all probably effects of sitting for too long.
The choices that I had found were:
Michelelin Exaltos in stock front size and 225 rears
Cooper Cobras in stock sizing, but discontinued and only NOS stock for fronts available
Mastercraft Avenger G/T in all original sizing
Falken Ziex ZE-512 in original front size and the 225's in the rear.
I debated hard with the pros and cons of each direction and really wanted to stay stock with the size. The Exaltos were out because they were too expensive compared to the Falken Ziex's and didnt really bring anything to the table as far as I was concerned. The cooper Cobras were out because I didn't want to put old stock tires on since what you find is usually a few years old and were probably quality rejects. I liked the Avenger G/T's because they came in the right sizes and seemed to be available, but when I went to order them I found that every online retailer (and I checked over a half dozen) could not get the fronts. No one could say if they were discontinued or not, but no one could get there hands on them. This left me with the Falken Ziex's which happened to be the cheapest by far ($284 shipped from DiscountTire.com) and had an acceptable tread pattern. I wasn't happy with having to go down a size in the rear, but thems is the breaks.
After checking what the actual tire differences were, I started to care a little less about the size difference. The 225 are about half of an inch smaller overall diameter and half of an inch thinner profile. Here are the exact specs from this great tool I downloaded Tire Size Comparitor.
Tire Size Comparator.jpg
Overall I am very happy. I can barely see the difference in the rears and the tires look good and function great so far. It still bother me a little that I know that the rears are down a size, but I have a feeling that lots of Jack Daniels can fix that. Here are some before after picts that I put together to try to visually show the difference. It is hard to see from pictures what the differences are, especially since my before pictures weren't taken with the comparison in mind. Hope this helps anyone who was having the same dilemma I was. I'll try to get overall car picts with the new tires soon and post them up as well.
Tire Size Difference.jpg