Tire Size 205/50r17 vs 225/45r17

205/50r17 vs 225/45r17

The main difference between 205/50r17 and 225/45r17 tires is the section width. The 225/45r17 tire size is about 0.79 inches wider than the 205/50r17 tire size.

205 50r17 vs 225 45r17

Fitment Guide

The overall diameters of the two tire sizes are very close, within 0.4%, making the 225/45r17 a direct replacement for the 205/50r17 in most cases.

The 225 is under the 3% limit for diameter change, meaning adaptations like lift kits are generally not required to accommodate the marginally larger 225 widths.

Gas Mileage

With a modestly smaller contact patch, the narrower 205/50r17 confers somewhat better fuel efficiency over the wider 225/45r17.

The 205’s smaller size reduces rolling resistance, benefiting gas mileage. This difference is minor, but fuel-conscious drivers may still prefer the 205 for its frugality.

Ground Clearance

Ground clearance is nearly identical, with both tires having a sidewall height of around 4 inches. The 205 is fractionally taller at 4.04 inches versus 3.99 inches for the 225.

This 0.05-inch disparity is insignificant in terms of clearance. Neither tire size has an advantage for ground clearance.

Ride Comfort

Ride quality is also very similar between the two sizes. With comparable diameters, widths, and sidewall heights, they absorb impacts and irregularities similarly.

The 205 slightly taller sidewall may provide a subtle ride comfort advantage, but differences would be negligible in most driving scenarios.

205 50r17 in inches


Visually, the two sizes are difficult to distinguish. The 225 width confers a subtly more muscular appearance, which some drivers may prefer on sports cars or performance vehicles. Overall, aesthetics are broadly comparable between the two tire sizes.

Handling & Stability

Performance attributes like handling, stability, and responsiveness are also nearly alike.

The 0.79-inch section width increase from 205 to 225 equates to a slightly larger contact patch, which could theoretically improve cornering grip. But differences would be modest at most. Both offer responsive, stable handling.

Noise & Vibration

With similar diameters and sidewall heights, noise and vibration levels are analogous too.

If anything, the 225 transmits marginally more noise by virtue of its larger tread contacting the road. But cabin noise and vibration are very comparable overall between the two tire sizes.

225 45r17 In Inches

Durability & Wear

The 205’s smaller size subjects it to less absolute stress, allowing for a longer tread life.

However, both tires use comparable materials and designs, leading to broadly similar durability. The 225’s larger contact patch also helps distribute wear evenly across the tread.

Adverse Conditions

Performance in rain, snow, and other adverse conditions is evenly matched. The narrower 205 widths could have a slight advantage in deep snow by cutting through to the road more quickly.

But differences would be small, with both tires competently handling a variety of conditions.

Speedometer Difference

Due to the nearly identical diameters, speedometer accuracy is unchanged between the 205/50r17 and 225/45r17 sizes.

At an actual speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reads 20.00 mph with the 205 tires and 19.92 mph with the 225 tires. The difference is negligible at just 0.01 mph.

205 50r17 in inches

Can I use 225/45r17 instead of 205/50r17?

Yes, you can safely replace 205/50r17 tires with 225/45r17 tires on most vehicles. As the data shows, the overall diameter difference between these two tire sizes is only 0.1 inches, or 0.4%.

This is well under the 3% diameter difference threshold, where issues with speedometer accuracy or clearance typically arise when substituting tire sizes.

As long as the 225/45r17 meets or exceeds your vehicle’s load rating requirements, you can feel comfortable installing the 225 width tires as a direct replacement for 205 width tires currently on your 17-inch wheels. The nearly equal diameters ensure proper fit and functionality.

Can I put a 225/45r17 on a 205/50r17?

Installing a 225/45r17 tire on a rim designed for a 205/50r17 tire depends on the rim width. The recommended rim width range for the 225/45r17 is 7.0-8.5 inches, while the 205/50r17 tire fits on rims with widths ranging from 5.5-7.5 inches.

If the existing rims fall within the broader range, then it is possible to install a 225/45r17 tire on a 205/50r17 rim. However, always consult a professional before making these changes to ensure compatibility, safety, and performance.

Our Observation
The data shows that 205/50r17 and 225/45r17 are evenly matched overall. The 225 is slightly wider, but key dimensions like diameter, sidewall height, and circumference are nearly identical.

This translates to comparable real-world performance in criteria like ride quality, handling, noise, durability, and capability in adverse conditions.

Differences between the two tire sizes are generally minor. Given this parity, we recommend selecting the tire based on vehicle fitment and individual priorities around aesthetics, costs, availability, etc., rather than product attributes alone. Both remain excellent, broadly interchangeable options that will serve most drivers very well.

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