185 vs 205 Tires

185 vs 205 Tires

The difference between 185 and 205 tires is the width of the tire tread in millimeters. The 205 tire size is 20mm wider than the 185 tire size. This difference in width can affect a vehicle’s handling and stability.

185 Vs 205 Tires

It’s important to thoroughly understand the various tire sizes available and how they can affect a vehicle’s performance

205 Tire185 Tire
Wider (8.07 inches)Narrower (7.28 inches)
Lower Gas millage due to increased rolling resistance and rotational massHigher Gas millage due to smaller contact patch and lower rotational mass
More comfortable due to wider contact patch and taller sidewallLess comfortable due to smaller contact patch
More aggressive aesthetic appeal, may impact aerodynamicsContributes positively to aerodynamics
Improved stability and traction, especially off-roadEnhanced handling on pavement, quicker response
Higher due to larger contact patch to distribute weightLower due to smaller contact patch
Potentially more road noise, but also dampens vibrationsQuieter on smooth roads, more vibration transmission
Endures impacts but may increase vehicle component wearPotential for even tread wear and longer tread life
Advantageous traction in off-road or muddy conditionsCan cut through snow/ice more effectively

Gas Mileage

With a slightly smaller contact patch and less rotational mass, 185 tires generally confer better fuel efficiency, an aspect crucial for daily commuters and long-distance travelers.

The larger 205 diameter and width might detract from fuel efficiency owing to increased rolling resistance and rotational mass. Larger tires with heavier weight give you less gas mileage.

Ride Comfort

The 205 wider tires generally offer a more comfortable ride than the 185 smaller tires due to their wider contact patch and taller sidewall.

Larger 205 tires give you better off-road performance compared to the smaller 185, but smaller tires tend to have better on road performance.


The 185 smaller tires contribute positively to vehicle aerodynamics, whereas 205 larger tires can offer a more aggressive and aesthetic appeal but may hinder aerodynamic efficiency.

Handling & Stability

The 185 smaller tires typically offer enhanced handling and quicker response on paved roads.

Conversely, the 205 larger tires might present improved stability and traction, particularly in off-road scenarios or on uneven surfaces.

Load Capacity

The load capacity of a tire increases with tire width. The 205 is wider than the 185, so it has a larger contact patch, which can distribute the weight over a wider area and support more load.

Noise & Vibration

The 185 smaller tires may provide a quieter ride on smooth surfaces but might transmit more vibrations from road irregularities.

The 205 larger tires, especially those with aggressive treads, might generate more road noise but could also dampen vibrations due to increased air volume and sidewall height.

Durability & Wear

The 185 smaller tires can potentially exhibit even wear and potentially longer tread life. The 205 larger tires, while potentially enduring more impacts and absorbing more stress, might introduce more wear to vehicle components due to their added weight.

Adverse Conditions

The 185 smaller, narrower tires can sometimes navigate snow and ice more effectively by cutting through the road surface.

The 205 larger tires, mainly if they are wide, might provide advantageous traction in specific off-road or muddy conditions.

Difference Between 185 And 205 Tires?

The main differences between 205 and 185 tires are in their width, diameter, and speedometer readings. A 205 tire is 20mm wider than a 185 tire, giving it a more aggressive appearance.

Can I Use 185 Tires Instead Of 205?

Using tires that differ in diameter by more than 3% from the original ones is generally not recommended. Let’s consider a scenario where both tires have a rim size of 15 inches and an aspect ratio of 65.

For example, a tire of 205/65R15 has a diameter of 25.49 inches, while a tire of 185/65R15 has a diameter of 24.47 inches. You will notice that the difference between them is about 1.02 inches or 4.2%.

It is important to note that this difference exceeds the recommended 3% limit between tires. Choosing a 185 tire instead of a 205 may result in rubbing or clearance issues. It is not advisable to use 185 tires in place of 205 tires.

What Size Is 285 Tire?

The tire size notation, such as “205”, usually represents the width of the tire’s section in millimeters. In other words, the 205 tire means it has a width of 8.07 inches.

This measurement is taken from the tire’s widest point, from one sidewall to the other, when mounted on its specified rim width.

How Tall Is A 205 Tire?

Assuming a 15-inch wheel size, a tire with a 205 tire size and 65 aspect ratio would have a sidewall height of 113.25 millimeters, calculated as 205 multiplied by 0.65.

Since both sidewalls have a height of 157.5 mm, the total height difference is 266.5 mm or 10.49 in.

This means that the 205 tire size height, when mounted on a 15-inch wheel, would be approximately 32.83 inches (10.49 in + 15 in). Therefore, the tire with a 205 tire size and 65 aspect ratio would be about 25.49 inches tall.

185 vs 205 Tires

How Much Taller Is A 205 Tire Than A 185?

The height difference between 205 and 185 tires depends on their aspect ratio. For instance, if both tires have an aspect ratio of 65, the 205 tires will have a sidewall height of 205 x 0.65 = 133.25 millimeters. In comparison, the 185 tires will have a sidewall height of 185 x 0.65 = 120.25 millimeters.

This difference of 13 millimeters is the total difference between the two sidewalls of each tire, making the total height difference 26 millimeters between a 205 and a 185 tire.

Therefore, assuming that these measurements are in millimeters and the tires are of the same type, a 205 tire will be 26 millimeters taller overall than a 185 tire with the same aspect ratio.

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