205 vs 235 Tires

205 vs 235 Tires

The main difference between a tire size of 205 and 235 is the section width of the tire. The number represents the width of the tire in millimeters. This means that the 235 tire will be 30 mm wider than the 205 tires.

205 vs 235 Table

This comparison table provides a quick overview of the differences between 205 tires and 235 tires.

235 Tire Size205 Tire Size
Slightly less Gas Mileage due to more rolling resistanceBetter gas mileage from lower rolling resistance
More comfortable ride due to wider footprint and taller sidewallsLess comfortable but more responsive on smooth roads
More aggressive, athletic stanceMore aerodynamic, sleek profile
More stability, especially in uneven conditionsQuicker turn-in and responsiveness
May generate more noise but absorb vibrations betterTransmit more road noise and vibration into cabin
Taller sidewalls resist curb damage, may have uneven wearLast longer before needing replacement
Much higher load capacity and weight ratingLess load capacity due to smaller size
Better traction and control in snow, mud, etcMay cut through very deep snow to pavement

Gas Mileage

The 205 tires, with their smaller width and diameter, provide better gas mileage thanks to reduced rolling resistance and rotational mass. The lighter 205 tires require less energy to rotate.

However, the 235 tires have a larger contact patch, which can actually improve grip and reduce slippage in certain conditions, balancing out the mileage.

Ride Comfort

The wider 235 tires offer a more comfortable ride than the 205. Their taller sidewalls and wider footprint provide better absorption and isolation from minor road irregularities.

However, the 205 shorter sidewall makes them more responsive and nimble over smooth pavement. Overall, the 235 strikes a better balance for ride comfort over varied surfaces.


Visually, the wider 235 tires fill out the wheel wells more for a more aggressive, athletic stance. Their larger diameter even allows for fitting larger wheels.

However, the narrower profile of the 205 contributes to a slimmer, more aerodynamic appearance. The 205 maintains a classic, sleek look for older vehicles with smaller wheels. Ultimately, aesthetic preference here is subjective to the vehicle.

Handling & Stability

The 205 tires provide quicker turn-in and responsiveness, which enthusiasts prefer for spirited driving. Their shorter sidewalls make them feel more connected to the road.

But the 235 shine in stability – their wider footprint and taller sidewall lend confidence in handling uneven pavement, weather effects, and high-speed maneuvering.

So, while the 205 handles better on smooth roads, the 235 inspires more stability in real-world bumpy conditions.

Noise & Vibration

The narrower 205 tires transmit more road noise and vibration into the cabin from their shorter sidewalls. But the wider 235 generate more noise themselves, especially when equipped with aggressive tread patterns.

And their softer sidewalls allow more vibration absorption. In most cases, the 235 finds the best balance between noise isolation and generation.

Durability & Wear

The significant difference in contact patch width between the 205 and 235 tires suggests the potential for uneven wear on the 235. The lesser weight of the 205 puts less strain on suspension and driveline components.

However, the taller sidewall on the 235 makes them more resistant to curb damage. The 205 needs less replacement for longevity, but the 235 can withstand more abuse.

Load Capacity

With their wider footprint and bigger overall size, the 235 tires offer substantially more load capacity over the 205. They can handle heavier vehicles and payloads with less strain and deflection.

For light passenger vehicles, this advantage is muted. But for larger sedans and trucks, the 235 safely support more weight by design.

Adverse Conditions

Here, the 235 tires pull ahead again thanks to sizing. Their large contact patch, aggressive tread patterns, and tall sidewalls provide much more traction in snow, mud and loose dirt compared to the narrower 205.

The 205 may cut through to pavement better in very deep snow. But overall, the 235 gives more capability and control when traction is limited by weather or surfaces.

What Is 205 Tire Size In Inches?

A tire size of 205 refers to the tire’s width in millimeters. Specifically, the number 205 indicates that the tire is 205 millimeters wide.
To convert this measurement to inches, you can divide 205 by 25.4 (the number of millimeters in an inch), which gives you approximately 8.07 inches. So, a tire size of 205 is approximately 8.07 inches wide.

Can I Replace 235 Tires With 205?

Replacing 235 tires with 205 tires is generally not recommended as it likely exceeds the 3% overall diameter difference guideline for tire replacement.

With the same aspect ratio of 70 and 17-inch rims as in the example, 235 tires would have an overall diameter of 29.95 inches while 205 tires would measure only 28.3 inches in overall diameter – a difference of over 5.8%.

Going with a smaller 205 width could alter gear ratios, calibration, and even body clearance without careful consideration.

What Does 205 Mean On A Tire?

The number 205 on a tire refers to the width of the tire tread in millimeters. It is the measurement from sidewall to sidewall, indicating the width of the tire.

205 vs 235 Tires

How Wide Is A 235 Tire In Inches?

The 235 tire is 9.3 inches wide. The number 235 refers to the width of the tire tread in millimeters, and to convert it to inches, we divide 235 by 25.4 (since there are 25.4 millimeters in an inch).

How Tall Is A 205 Tire?

Assuming a typical 70 aspect ratio and 17-inch wheel size often used for sedans, a 205 tire would have a section width of 205mm, and 70% of 205mm equates to a sidewall height of 143.5mm.

With two sidewalls per tire, the total tire sidewall height is 287mm or 11.3 inches. Add that to the 17-inch wheel/rim size, and the total tire height for a 205/70R17 tire is approximately 28.3 inches. Tire heights can vary slightly depending on specific manufacturer specifications.

Our Observation
Our comparison shows no universally “best” option between the 205 and 235 tires. Both widths provide advantages depending on vehicle type, intended use, and priorities.

For heavier vehicles, load capacity and stability point to 235. For nimble and street-focused vehicles, 205s offer a livelier driving feel. Consider your needs.

But typically, for most drivers seeking day-to-day drivability and all-weather surefootedness across varying road conditions, the more versatile 235 sizes will deliver the most well-rounded performance and value.

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