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TechnoBabble time ................
That all depends on the rolling radius of the tyre.
If the wheels/tyres sizes were chosen purely because of looks or to lower the ride height (the usual reasons for smaller sizes), you might find they improve the acceleration . They will also lower the MPG, and will make the speedo read higher than you are actually travelling.
If they were properly sized so that the rolling radius is the same as the 17" the difference will be so small you wouldn't notice.
On the other hand, if the 16" tyres were a much higher profile (like 195/70 instead of 195/55) they would blunt the acceleration, give better MPG and fool the speedo into reading low.
scrathes head - right - will check the 16" tyres onmce home - bought in dark and not seen properly since !
I think the 16s were put on so the bloke could sell the 17" ones !
Currently in baldfrog's garage:
laguna 2001 1.6 expression