Tire Size 215/55r17 vs 215/50r17

The main difference between 215/55R17 and 215/50R17 tires is the aspect ratio. In this case, the 215/55R17 has an aspect ratio of 55%, while the 215/50R17 has an aspect ratio of 50%. This means the 215/55R17 tire has a taller sidewall than the 215/50R17 tire.

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

The 215/55R17 tire has a 3.2% larger diameter than the 215/50R17. This is within the 3% limit where tires can directly replace each other without fitment issues.

Larger deviations beyond 3% may require lift kits or other modifications to prevent rubbing. Both these 17 inch tire sizes should fit the same wheels and vehicles without issues.

Ground Clearance

The taller 215/55R17 sidewall provides 0.42 inches (10.75mm) more ground clearance than the 215/50R17.

This can help prevent scrapes and damage from obstacles, especially when off-roading. However, the larger diameter does result in a slightly lower speedometer reading.

215 55r17 in inches

Gas Mileage

With less rubber and a shorter sidewall, the 215/50R17 is lighter than the 215/55R17. This reduction in rotational mass improves fuel efficiency slightly.

The 215/50R17 would likely provide 1-2% better gas mileage over the 215/55R17, a modest but measurable difference.

Ride Comfort

The 215/55R17’s taller sidewall can absorb road impacts better, providing a more comfortable ride.

The 215/50R17’s shorter sidewall transmits more bumps and vibration into the cabin. The difference is minor but could be noticeable on very uneven roads.


Visually, the 215/55R17 will have a slightly taller sidewall compared to the 215/50R17’s shorter sidewall.

Some may prefer the more aggressive look of a shorter sidewall. Overall, the difference in appearance is quite subtle between these sizes.

Tire Size 21555r17 in inches

Handling & Stability

The 215/50R17’s shorter sidewall enhances responsiveness and handling precision. The taller 215/55R17 sidewall has a bit more flex, reducing handling sharpness slightly.

Both offer stable handling, but the 215/50R17 has a handling advantage, especially when cornering.

Noise & Vibration

With its shorter, stiffer sidewall, the 215/50R17 transmits more road noise and vibration to the cabin.

The 215/55R17 better absorbs noise and vibration thanks to more sidewall cushioning. Overall cabin noise is low with both, but the 215/55R17 is slightly quieter.

Durability & Wear

The 215/50R17 may potentially have slightly longer treadwear thanks to its shorter sidewall and smaller contact patch.

However, both tires should deliver comparable durability and longevity barring any manufacturing defects.

215 50r17 in inches

Adverse Conditions

Performance in rain, snow and off-road conditions is similar. The 215/55R17 provides a bit more traction off-road due to the added sidewall height.

The 215/50R17 is slightly more responsive handling slippery conditions. Overall, both perform well in adverse conditions.

Speedometer Reading

At a true speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reads 19.36 mph for the 215/50R17 tires versus 20 mph for the 215/55R17s.

This 0.64 mph speedometer difference is due to the smaller diameter of the 215/50R17 tires.

Can I use 215/55r17 instead of 215/50r17?

When comparing the overall diameter of the 215/55r17 and 215/50r17 tires, there is a difference of about 0.85 inches (or 21.5 mm), translating to approximately -3.2%. This variation is slightly more than the recommended maximum of 3% difference.

Although the tires are relatively similar, using tires that differ in diameter by more than 3% is typically not advisable. Hence, using a 215/55r17 tire instead of a 215/50r17 might not be recommended.

215/55r17 vs 215/50r17

Can I put a 215/55r17 on a 215/50r17?

The 215/55r17 and 215/50r17 tires are compatible with a rim width range of 6.0-7.5″. Therefore, it is possible to mount a 215/55r17 tire on a rim that initially held a 215/50r17 tire, given the identical rim width range.

215/55r17 vs 215/50r17

The table compares the features of tire sizes 215/55R17 and 215/50R17 and the percentage difference between them.

Our Observation
Based on our observation of the “215/55r17 vs 215/50r17” tire size comparison. The 215/55R17 strikes the best balance for most drivers with its smoother ride, quieter cabin, and added ground clearance, which is beneficial for rugged terrain. Its all-around capabilities make it ideal for SUVs and crossovers used for both on-road commuting and weekend adventures.

However, the 215/50R17 is a smart choice for drivers prioritizing responsive handling, cornering, and maximizing fuel efficiency. Its firmer ride and sportier capabilities suit performance sedans or coupes focused on on-road driving dynamics.

Ultimately, we recommend the 215/55R17 for its versatile performance across various conditions, providing a comfortable daily driver tire with enhanced off-road potential.

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