Tire Size 205/60r15 vs 195/65r15

The main difference between the tire sizes 205/60r15 and 195/65r15 is that the 205/60r15 has a wider tread width while the 195/65r15 has a taller sidewall. Let’s take a closer look at how these differences impact various performance factors.

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



The 195/65r15 tire has an overall diameter that is 1.2% larger than the 205/60r15. This means you can likely replace a 205/60r15 tire with a 195/65r15 without issues.

However, going more than 3% bigger or smaller in overall diameter may require adjustments to avoid rubbing or clearance problems.

Ground Clearance

The taller sidewall of the 195/65r15 provides an extra 0.15 inches (3.75mm) of ground clearance compared to the 205/60r15.

This added clearance reduces the risk of scrapes and damage from obstacles or uneven roads. However, the larger diameter of the 195/65r15 causes a slightly lower speedometer reading.

Fuel Economy

With a narrower tread width and smaller contact patch, the 195/65r15 tire has less rolling resistance, which can improve fuel efficiency slightly compared to the 205/60r15. Less rubber on the road means the engine has to work a little less hard.

Ride Comfort

The extra cushioning from the taller sidewall of the 195/65r15 absorbs more impacts from cracks and bumps, leading to a smoother ride than the 205/60r15. This difference is modest but can be noticeable over very rough terrain.


Visually, the 195/65r15 will have a slightly taller sidewall than the 205/60r15, giving it a subtly “stretched” look. This aesthetic can suit trucks and SUVs well compared to an overly low-profile appearance.


The shorter, stiffer sidewall of the 205/60r15 allows sharper, more responsive handling and cornering compared to the flexible 195/65r15. However, both offer stable handling for everyday driving.

Road Noise

With its shorter sidewall unable to dampen vibrations as effectively, the 205/60r15 transmits more road noise into the cabin than the 195/65r15. But both tires still deliver a relatively quiet ride.


The even contact patch of the 205/60r15 can promote uniform treadwear. The taller sidewall of the 195/65r15 endures more flexing, which generates heat and can accelerate treadwear.

Snow & Ice Traction

The narrower 205/60r15 tread can sometimes cut through snow more effectively to contact the road compared to a wider tire. However, differences in winter traction between these two tires are minor.

Off-Road Ability

The extra ground clearance of the 195/65r15 provides a slight advantage over the 205/60r15 when driving over bumps, rocks, and ruts off-road. But both handle moderate off-road conditions well.

Speedometer Reading

Due to its larger diameter, the 195/65r15 causes the speedometer to read 0.66 mph lower than the actual speed.

At 20 mph actual speed, the speedometer reads 19.34 mph with 195/65r15 tires compared to 20 mph with 205/60r15 tires.

Can I use 195/65r15 instead of 205/60r15?

Looking at the overall diameter, the 195/65r15 tire has an overall diameter of 24.98 inches (or 634.5 mm). In contrast, the 205/60r15 tire has an overall diameter of 24.69 inches (or 627 mm).

The difference in diameter between these two tires is about 0.3 inches (or 7.5 mm), representing a decrease of approximately 1.2%.

This is less than the 3% difference typically advised against when replacing tires, so using a 195/65r15 tire instead of a 205/60r15 tire might be possible.

Can I put a 195/65r15 on a 205/60r15?

The 195/65r15 and 205/60r15 tires both have a rim width range of 5.5-7.0 inches. This indicates that these tires could be mounted interchangeably on the same rims, as their required rim widths overlap.

205/60r15 vs 195/65r15 

205/60r15 vs 195/65r15

The table compares the features of tire sizes 195/65-15 and 205/60-15, along with the percentage difference between them.

Our Observation
The 205/60R15 is best suited for responsive handling and a quiet ride thanks to its shorter, stiffer sidewall. The 195/65R15 emphasizes ride comfort and light-duty off-road use with its taller, more flexible sidewall.

For typical on-road driving, we recommend the 205/60R15 for its nimble handling and hushed cabin noise. The 195/65R15 is a good option if you frequently drive over very rough roads or require extra ground clearance.

Overall, most drivers will appreciate the balanced capabilities of the 205/60R15 as an all-around tire size.

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