Cars that look awesome with steelies (steel wheels)

While alloy wheels are pretty much the standard today, there are some cars that carry off steel wheels really well. They might be cheap & relegated just to economical base variants today, yet steelies do suit some cars:

Mahindra MM550 military spec

The civilian MM550 had sad utilitarian steel wheels, but the military spec Jeeps had some of the most appealing steel wheels I’ve ever seen!!! No alloy wheels can match the rugged appeal of these steelies.

Volkswagen Beetle

Anything else would just not go with the car.

Tata Hexa

While alloy wheels do suit the Hexa, the MPV manages to carry off steel wheels remarkably well. This might be partly due to the stylish design of the wheel.

Land Rover Defender

The icon that actually got me thinking about this topic in the first place. The rugged appeal of the Defender is only enhanced by regular steel wheels. In fact, the older generations looked best with steel wheels & NOT alloys. The latest Defenders wear alloy wheels, but steels wheels are also available. Not only Defender purists like me, even newer Defender fans have found the steelies desirable.

Premier Padmini

This car actually looked great with steel wheels. Alloys were hardly available back then, but the Padmini’s steel wheel design truly suited the car. I’ve seen some Padminis with alloys and just didn’t find them appealing enough.

Maruti Gypsy

The stock wheels of the Maruti Gypsy look pretty good. However, these aftermarket steelies look killer! Too damn smart. With these wheels, the Gypsy looks as good as – if not better than – one with the most attractive alloys. 

Vintage and Classic cars

IMHO, vintage and classic cars look their best with steel wheels only.


This Toyota Land Cruiser J80 looks absolutely irresistible. Steelies suit the tough & utilitarian nature of 4x4s.

Tight on cash? No worries, just paint your steelies black & your ride will look H-O-T.

Then there are structured wheels which are steel wheels resembling alloys.

Tata’s innovative Duralloy wheels are actually steelies with plastic wheel caps. The wheel-wheel cap combo is such that it looks almost like a proper alloy wheel to an average Joe.

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