Tire Size 185/55r15 vs 185/60r15

The main difference between 185/55r15 and 185/60r15 tires is the aspect ratio. 185/55r15 tires have a 55 aspect ratio, while 185/60r15 tires have a 60 aspect ratio.

This difference in aspect ratio will have a few impacts on the tire’s performance. Lets Find Out!

Tire 1 Front View
Tire 2 Front View
Tire 1 Side View
Tire 1 Wheel
circumference 1
Tire 2 Side View
Tire 2 Wheel
/ R
/ R
Parameter235/35 R18205/40 R18Differ.
Tire Height
Section Width
Sidewall Height
Rim Size


Fitment Guide

Replacement tires should be within 3% of the original tire’s diameter to prevent clearance issues or speedometer inaccuracies.

The 185/60r15 tire diameter is 3.2% larger than the 185/55r15. So 185/60r15 tires may require adaptations like a lift kit to fit some vehicles optimized for 185/55r15 tires.

Ground Clearance

The taller 60 aspect ratio of the 185/60r15 provides 0.36 inches (9.25mm) more ground clearance than the 185/55r15.

This added clearance is helpful for off-roading by preventing scrapes over rough terrain. However, the larger 185/60r15 diameter causes a lower speedometer reading than the 185/55r15.

Gas Mileage

With a minor contact patch and less rotational mass, 185/55r15 tires offer slightly better fuel efficiency than 185/60r15.

The larger diameter and width of the 185/60r15 create more rolling resistance and rotational inertia, hindering mileage.

Ride Comfort

The extra sidewall cushioning of the 185/60r15 absorbs road impacts better than the shorter sidewall of the 185/55r15.

This provides a marginally smoother ride over uneven pavement. However, both sizes deliver comfortable highway and city driving.


The 185/60r15 modestly taller sidewall has a subtle “stretched” look compared to the 185/55r15 shorter sidewall. This aesthetic can suit trucks and SUVs well. However, the visual difference between the sizes is minor overall.

Handling & Stability

The 185/55r15 shorter sidewall enables crisper handling and quicker response on paved roads.

The 185/60r15 extra sidewall flex slightly reduces handling precision. But both offer responsive, stable handling for everyday driving.

Noise & Vibration

With a shorter, stiffer sidewall, the 185/55r15 transmits more road noise and vibration into the cabin versus the 185/60r15. However, the difference is modest, providing a quiet, comfortable ride.

Durability & Wear

The 185/55r15 smaller contact patch may promote more even treadwear and extended service life compared to the marginally larger 185/60r15. However, real-world tread life depends heavily on driving habits and conditions.

Adverse Conditions

Both sizes handle rain, snow, and light off-roading well. The 185/60r15 has more ground clearance and traction, while the 185/55r15 is more responsive. But overall capability in adverse conditions is very similar.

Speedometer Difference

At an actual speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reads 20.63 mph with 185/60r15 tires versus 20 mph with 185/55r15 tires. This 0.63 mph speedometer difference results from the larger diameter of the 185/60r15.

Can I put a 185/55r15 on a 185/60r15?

Based on the provided data, the rim width range for the 185/55r15 and the 185/60r15 tires is 15″ x 5.0-6.5″. This means that both tire sizes can be mounted on a rim with a width ranging from 5.0 inches to 6.5 inches.

Since the rim width range is the same for both tires, it is possible to mount a 185/55r15 tire on a rim that initially had a 185/60r15 tire and vice versa without any issues related to rim compatibility.

Can I use 185/55r15 instead of 185/60r15?

The overall diameter of a 185/55r15 tire is 23.01 inches (584.5 mm), while the overall diameter of a 185/60r15 tire is 23.74 inches (603 mm).

When we calculate the difference between these two tire sizes, it comes out to approximately 0.73 inches (or 18.5 mm), about 3.2% of the overall diameter.

Since the difference between the two tire sizes exceeds the recommended 3% range, using a 185/55r15 tire instead of a 185/60r15 may be better. They can provide more specific advice based on your vehicle’s specifications and requirements.

185/55r15 vs 185/60r15

185/60r15 vs 185/55r15

This table compares the differences between the options so that you can easily understand them.

Our Observation
The 185/55R15 and 185/60R15 are very evenly matched, with only minor differences in performance. The 185/55R15 offers marginally better handling and fuel efficiency thanks to its shorter sidewall and smaller size.

However, the 185/60R15 provides a bit more cushioned ride and better absorption of road impacts. We recommend the 185/55R15 for most passenger cars and crossovers where responsive handling is preferred.

But the 185/60R15 is a fine choice for vehicles where ride comfort trumps absolute agility. Both deliver excellent ride quality, grip, and everyday drivability.

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