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.
225/45r17 vs 215/55r17
This comparison table presents the differences in a concise and easy-to-understand manner.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meet Caitlin McCormack, a Tire Size Expert and Blogger Passionate About Everything Related to Tires. With Years of Experience in the Tire Industry, Caitlin Has Become an Expert in Tire Sizes and Their Impact on Vehicle Performance.