A/T tires - Go bigger, or go "smaller"? (225/55R18 vs 215/65R16)

V
2019 Mazda CX-3
Also posted on the CX-3 forum but I'd like as much input as possible.

2019 CX-3 Touring with 18" wheels, planning on switching to the Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail. I know I can put the 225/55R18 on - folks here have done it, and folks on the FB group have done it. That'd increase my overall tire diameter about 1.2"/4.5% - over the 3% generally considered "safe". Alternatively, I can go for new wheels and tires and get 215/65R16 - a modest 1/2" / 1.9% change. Would cost a little more, but the cheaper tires and ability to sell the old wheel/tire combo might offset that a bit. I'm leaning toward the 225, but the biggest factor stopping me is how the size difference might mess with the automatic trans shift points. That was easy enough to adjust on my Jeep, but not so much on the CX-3.

What do you guys think? Make my decision for me!

225/55R18 + Stock Wheels
Pros:
-Don't need new wheels
-Ground clearance
-Will look bad ass with a lift (and oh yes, I will lift)
-Proven combo for mild trails
Cons:
-Greater than 3% change (speedo/shifting)
-Less sidewall
-More expensive tire to replace eventually

215/65R16 + New Wheels
Pros:
-Sidewall
-Can sell stock wheels/tires to offset cost
-Look bigger/meaner due to big tire/small wheel
-Cheaper tire
-Closer to stock size
-More faux-flex once lifted (though I'm pretty sure that's a non-issue)
Cons:
-Less ground clearance
-Have to buy new wheels, so...
-Will be more expensive regardless
-Limited on wheel selection due to offset and bolt pattern
 
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