Tire Size 215/45r17 vs 215/50r17

The main difference between tire sizes 215/45r17 and 215/50r17 is the sidewall height. The 215/50r17 has a sidewall height of 4.23 inches (107.5mm), which is 11.1% higher than the 215/45r17’s height of 3.81 inches (96.75mm).

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 overall diameter to prevent clearance issues or speedometer inaccuracies.

The 215/50R17 tire is 3.4% larger in overall diameter than the 215/45R17, slightly exceeding the recommended threshold.

So, while the 215/50R17 may fit without modifications, some vehicles may require minor adjustments for proper fitment without rubbing.

Gas Mileage

With a more minor contact patch and less rotational mass, the 215/45R17 tire offers marginally better fuel efficiency over the 215/50R17.

The larger 215/50R17 diameter and width increase rolling resistance and weight, hurting mileage. Thus, the 215/45R17 is a smarter choice for fuel-conscious drivers.

215 50r17 in inches

Ground Clearance

The taller 215/50R17 sidewall provides 0.42 inches (10.75 mm) more ground clearance than the 215/45R17 tire.

This extra clearance is useful for navigating rough roads or obstacles without scraping or damage. However, the larger 215/50R17 diameter causes a lower speedometer reading.

Ride Comfort

The 215/50R17’s additional sidewall cushioning delivers a smoother ride over uneven pavement. The more flexible sidewall absorbs impacts rather than transmitting them into the cabin.

By comparison, the 215/45R17’s shorter sidewall transmits more road harshness.

Speedometer Difference

At an actual vehicle speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reads 20.69 mph with 215/50R17 tires versus 20 mph with 215/45R17 tires.

This 0.69 mph speedometer difference is due to the larger diameter of the 215/50R17 tire.

215 50r17 in inches


Visually, the difference between these tire sizes is subtle. The 215/50R17 simply has a slightly taller sidewall, giving it a modest “stretched” look.

For some vehicle styles, this taller profile better suits the intended aesthetic over a low-profile appearance.

Handling & Stability

The 215/45R17 tire offers quicker steering response and handling precision thanks to its shorter, stiffer sidewall.

By comparison, the more flexible 215/50R17 sidewall reduces handling sharpness slightly. Both deliver responsive, stable handling however.

Noise & Vibration

With its shorter sidewall unable to absorb as much road noise or vibration, the 215/45R17 transmits more unwanted elements into the cabin.

The extra sidewall cushioning of the 215/50R17 effectively dampens noise and vibrations for a more refined ride.

Durability & Wear

Differences in durability and treadwear between these tire sizes are minor. The 215/50R17’s taller sidewall better withstands sidewall punctures, but its larger contact patch generates more wear over time. Both exhibit comparable construction quality and tread life.

Adverse Conditions

Performance in rain, snow, and other adverse conditions is comparable between these two tire sizes.

The taller 215/50R17 sidewall assists in deep snow, while the shorter 215/45R17 profile offers a handling advantage on slick roads. But both traverse poor conditions well.

Can I Use 215/50r17 Instead Of 215/45r17?

Using 215/50r17 instead of 215/45r17 increases the tire diameter by 3.4%, exceeding the recommended 3% limit. It’s generally not advised due to potential speedometer inaccuracies and handling issues.

Additionally, ensure the load capacity of 215/50R17 meets or exceeds that of the original tire for safety and performance.

What Does 215/45r17 Mean?

The dimensions of the 215/45r17 tire are equal to those of the 24.6×8.5R17 size in inches. The tire size “215/45R17” denotes a tire that is 215 millimeters wide with a sidewall height of 45% of the width.

The “R” signifies radial construction, the most common type, and the “17” indicates it fits a 17-inch wheel.

What Does 215/50r17 Mean?

The 215/50R17 tire size is equivalent to the 25.5×8.5R17 size when converted to inches. The 215/50R17 tire size refers to a tire that is 215 millimeters wide with a sidewall height that is 50% of that width.

The “R” indicates radial construction and the 17 designates that this tire fits on a 17-inch diameter wheel.

215/45r17 vs 215/50r17

How Much Taller Is A 215/45r17 Tire Than A 215/50r17?

To put it simply, the 215/50R17 tire is 0.85 inches or 21.5 mm taller than the 215/45R17 tire. The 215/50R17 tire has a height of 25.46 inches, while the 215/45R17 tire has a height of 24.62 inches.

This means that the 215/50R17 tire is approximately 3.4% taller than the 215/45R17 tire.

215/50r17 vs 215/45r17

The table compares the features of tire sizes 215/45r17 and 215/50r17, along with the percentage difference between them.

Our Observation
Both the 215/45R17 and 215/50R17 tires have merits depending on user priorities. The 215/45R17 offers marginally better handling, fuel economy, and a quieter ride, making it a great daily driver tire.

Meanwhile, the 215/50R17 provides extra ground clearance, a smoother ride, and improved aesthetics for truck and SUV fits.

With only subtle performance differences, drivers seeking an optimal blend of on-road behaviour and off-road clearance may favor the more well-rounded 215/50R17 size. But ultimately, either tire delivers strong capabilities for most drivers.

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