Tire Size 215/45r17 vs 215/50r17

The main difference between the tire sizes 215/45r17 and 215/50r17 lies in the sidewall height. The 215/50r17 tire has a larger diameter and sidewall height than the 215/45r17. Specifically, the sidewall height for the 215/50r17 is 4.23 inches (107.5mm) compared to the 215/45r17’s height of 3.81 inches (96.75mm), constituting an 11.1% increase.

215/45r17 vs 215/50r17 Table

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

Feature 215/45r17 215/50r17 Difference
Diameter inches 24.62″ 25.46″ 0.85″
Width inches 8.46″ 8.46″ 0 (0) 0%
Circumference 77.34″ 80″ 2.66″
Sidewall Height 3.81″ 4.23″ 0.42″
Revolutions 819.24 792.01 27.23
Rim Size 17″ 17″ Same
Rim Width Range 7.0-8.0″ 6.0-7.5″ Different

Overall Diameter
Tire Height of 215 45r17 vs 215 50r17The 215/50r17 has a diameter of 25.46 inches (646.8mm), which is larger by 0.85 inches (21.5mm) or 3.4% than the 215/45r17’s 24.62 inches (625.3mm). A larger tire height provides more ground clearance, beneficial for off-road driving or rough terrain, but may result in lower speedometer readings.

Conversely, a smaller diameter might increase the risk of scraping the vehicle on obstacles, but would give a higher speedometer reading. However, both these sizes are within the 3% diameter difference usually recommended, so they are both viable options.

Section Width
Both tires have the same width of 8.46 inches (215mm). A wider tire generally improves traction due to a larger contact patch, leading to better performance during acceleration, braking, and cornering.

Nevertheless, wider tires might produce more road noise. Since both tire sizes are equal in width, they offer comparable performance and noise levels in this aspect.

Sidewall Height
The sidewall height of 215/50r17 is 4.23 inches (107.5mm), which is 0.42 inches (10.75mm) or 11.1% taller than that of the 215/45r17 at 3.81 inches (96.75mm). A taller sidewall absorbs more bumps and road irregularities, giving a smoother ride and increased traction on snowy or icy roads.

However, a shorter sidewall might lead to a harsher ride due to less cushioning, while giving the tire a sportier and more aggressive look.

The circumference of 215/50r17 is 80 inches (2031.98mm), larger than the 77.34 inches (1964.44mm) circumference of the 215/45r17 by 2.66 inches (67.54mm) or 3.4%. Increased circumference results in lower speedometer readings, while a smaller circumference results in higher readings.

Revolutions Per Mile
The 215/45r17 tire makes 819.24 revolutions per mile, which is 27.23 revolutions per mile (or 3.3%) more than the 215/50r17 tire at 792.01 revolutions.

More revolutions per mile typically mean increased wear due to higher friction with the road surface, potentially reducing the tire’s lifespan. Conversely, fewer revolutions per mile can extend the tire’s lifespan due to less wear and tear.

Rim Size
Both tires fit on 17-inch rims. However, the 215/45r17 can accommodate a wider rim range (7.0-8.0″) compared to the 215/50r17 (6.0-7.5″). Larger rims are associated with a sportier look, while smaller rims provide a more classic or conservative appearance. Both tires are radial, the most common tire construction, offering good flexibility, durability, and fuel efficiency.

How much taller is a 215/50r17 tire than a 215/45r17?

The height of a 215/50r17 tire is 25.46 inches (646.8 mm), while the height of a 215/45r17 tire is 24.62 inches (625.3 mm). Thus, the 215/50r17 tire is around 0.85 inches (or 21.5 mm) taller than the 215/45r17 tire.

How much wider is a 215/50r17 tire than a 215/45r17?

The width of both the 215/50r17 and 215/45r17 tires is the same at 8.46 inches (215 mm). So, there is no width difference between the 215/50r17 and 215/45r17 tires.

Can I use 215/50r17 instead of 215/45r17?

The overall diameter of a 215/50r17 tire is 25.46 inches, whereas the 215/45r17 tire has an overall diameter of 24.62 inches. The difference between these two tire sizes is approximately 0.85 inches or around 3.4%.

Since this exceeds the commonly suggested 3% difference, using a 215/50r17 tire instead of a 215/45r17 tire might not be recommended.

Can I put a 215/50r17 on a 215/45r17?

The 215/50r17 tire has a suggested rim width range of 7.0-8.0″, whereas the 215/45r17 tire has a suggested rim width range of 6.0-7.5″. Since the ranges overlap, you should be able to mount a 215/50r17 tire on a rim designed for a 215/45r17 tire.

Our Observation
Choosing between the 215/45r17 and 215/50r17 depends on your vehicle’s requirements and driving conditions. If your priority is a smoother ride and improved off-road performance, the 215/50r17 with its higher sidewall and larger diameter offers advantages.

However, if you prefer a sportier look and potentially longer tire lifespan, the 215/45r17 might be a better fit. Despite their differences, both tire sizes comply with the recommended diameter difference rule, offering similar traction and noise levels due to their equal width.

In conclusion, whether you choose the 215/45r17 or the 215/50r17, each tire size offers a unique set of benefits that can enhance your driving experience in different ways. It is always important to consider your vehicle’s specifications and your driving conditions before making a final decision.

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