Tire Size 215/55r17 vs 225/45r17

The primary distinction between the 215/55r17 and 225/45r17 tires is their sidewall height. The 225/45r17 tire is approximately 0.67 inches taller than the 215/55r17 tire size. This difference in sidewall height can affect the tire’s performance in several ways.

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

When replacing tires, the new tires should be within 3% of the overall diameter of the original tires to avoid clearance issues or speedometer inaccuracies.

The 215/55r17 tire has an overall diameter of 26.31 inches, while the 225/45r17 tire’s diameter is 24.97 inches. This is a difference of 5.1%, exceeding the 3% limit.

So, the 225/45r17 may require adaptations like a suspension lift to prevent rubbing at full turn.

Ground Clearance

The 215/55r17 tire’s taller sidewall provides 1.34 inches more ground clearance than the 225/45r17.

This added clearance helps prevent scrapes and damage when driving over rough terrain or obstacles. However, the larger 215/55r17 diameter causes a lower speedometer reading than the 225/45r17.

215 55r17 in inches

Gas Mileage

The 225/45r17, with its slightly smaller contact patch and lower rotational mass, offers better fuel efficiency compared to the 215/55r17.

This makes the 225/45r17 well-suited for daily commuting and long distances, where gas mileage is crucial.

Ride Comfort

The 215/55r17 taller sidewall absorbs road impacts better than the 225/45r17, providing a smoother ride quality.

The more flexible 215/55r17 sidewall cushions the ride over uneven pavement. However, the 225/45r17 delivers a firmer, more responsive ride that some may prefer.


Visually, the 215/55r17 has a “stretched” look due to its taller sidewall compared to the more low-profile 225/45r17.

Subjectively, the taller profile better suits trucks and SUVs aesthetically. The shorter 225/45r17 promotes vehicle aerodynamics better.

Tire Size 21555r17 in inches

Handling & Stability

The 225/45r17 shorter, stiffer sidewall enhances handling precision and quicker steering response compared to the 215/55r17. However, both tires deliver stable, responsive handling overall.

Noise & Vibration

With its shorter sidewall, the 225/45r17 transmits more road noise and vibration into the cabin.

The 215/55r17 dampens vibrations better with its extra sidewall flex. However, both tires provide relatively quiet, comfortable rides.

Durability & Wear

The 225/45r17, with its shorter sidewall, promotes more even treadwear and potentially longer life.

The larger 215/55r17 sees more stress, possibly leading to uneven wear. However, both tires exhibit good durability.

Adverse Conditions

The narrower 225/45r17 can cut through to the road surface more effectively in snow and ice.

But the taller 215/55r17 sidewall provides better traction in muddy or rugged conditions. Performance in the rain is comparable between the two.

Speedometer Reading

Due to its larger overall diameter, the 225/45r17 causes the speedometer to read lower than the actual speed.

At 20 mph actual speed, the 225/45r17 speedometer reads 18.98 mph. The 215/55r17, with a smaller diameter, reads closer to the actual speed.

Can I use 225/45r17 instead of 215/55r17?

The overall diameter of a 225/45r17 tire is 26.31 inches, while the diameter of a 215/55r17 tire is 24.97 inches.

The difference between these two tires is approximately 1.34 inches, or 5.1%, more than the suggested 3% difference. Therefore, using a 225/45r17 tire instead of a 215/55r17 is not advised.

Can I put a 225/45r17 on a 215/55r17?

Based on the rim width range, a 225/45r17 tire is compatible with a 7.0-8.5″ rim, and a 215/55r17 tire is suitable for a 6.0-7.5″ rim.

The rim width range for both tires overlaps, meaning that a 225/45r17 tire can be mounted on a rim appropriate for a 215/55r17 tire.

215/55r17 vs 225/45r17

225/45r17 vs 215/55r17

This comparison table presents the differences in a concise and easy-to-understand manner.

Our Observation
The 215/55r17 and 225/45r17 tires offer comparable overall performance with some key differences.

The 215/55r17 provides a smoother ride and better traction off-road, while the 225/45r17 offers enhanced handling, longer tread life, and better fuel economy.

For most drivers, the 225/45r17 is likely the best choice for daily use due to its responsive handling and gas mileage benefits.

However, the 215/55r17 is better suited for off-road conditions or absorbent ride comfort. Ultimately, the ideal tire matches priorities to the subtle differences between the 215/55r17 and 225/45r17.

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