Tire Size 215/65r16 vs 215/70r16

215/65r16 vs 215/70r16

The key difference between 215/65r16 and 215/70r16 tires lies in their aspect ratio. The 215/65r16 tire has a shorter, 65 aspect ratio sidewall, while the 215/70r16 tire has a taller, 70 aspect ratio sidewall. This impacts various performance factors.

215/65r16 vs 215/70r16

Fitment Guide

With a 3.1% larger overall diameter, the 215/70r16 tire exceeds the recommended 3% size difference for directly replacing 215/65r16 tires.

Larger 215/70r16 tires might require minor vehicle adaptations like a suspension lift to prevent rubbing at full suspension compression or lock.

Gas Mileage

The 215/65r16 tire’s smaller size and contact patch reduce rolling resistance for slightly better fuel efficiency than the taller 215/70r16.

With a lower diameter and less rotational mass, the 215/65r16 optimizes gas mileage, a plus for daily drivers.

Ground Clearance

The added sidewall height of the 215/70r16 tire increases ground clearance by 0.42 inches (10.75mm) over the 215/65r16 size.

This modest clearance gain provides a minor advantage in rough terrain, over obstacles, and on uneven roads. It reduces the risks of impacts and underside scrapes.

Ride Comfort

The 215/70r16’s additional sidewall cushioning and flex improve the absorption of cracks and bumps in the road.

Its taller profile better dampens vibrations and impacts for a more comfortable ride over uneven pavement.

Speedometer Difference

With a 3.1% larger diameter, the 215/70r16 tire causes a higher speedometer reading than the 215/65r16.

At an actual speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reads 20.63 mph with 215/70r16 tires, whereas 215/65r16 tires read 20 mph at the same actual pace.


Visually, the difference between both tire sizes is subtle. The 215/70r16 has a modestly taller sidewall, which lends a slightly “stretched” look compared to the 215/65r16’s shorter sidewall.

This moderately higher-profile aesthetic suits some vehicles better than an overly low-profile appearance.

215 65r16 in inches

Handling & Stability

The 215/65r16 tire’s shorter, stiffer sidewall enables more responsive steering input and handling precision compared to the flexier 215/70r16 sidewall.

However, both tires deliver stable handling and traction. Differences are modest in most on-road conditions.

Noise & Vibration

With its shorter, less flexible sidewall, the 215/65r16 transmits marginally more road noise and vibration to the cabin.

The added damping from the 215/70r16’s extra sidewall flex reduces transmitted noise for a slightly quieter, smoother ride.

Durability & Wear

The 215/65r16’s shorter sidewall experiences less deflection from impacts, potentially enabling more even wear across the tread.

However, both tire sizes deliver comparable durability and tread life under normal conditions. Differences are modest.

Adverse Conditions

Both the 215/65r16 and 215/70r16 handle rain, light snow, and muddy terrain well. The 215/70r16’s slightly taller profile gives it a minor advantage through deeper snow or overlarge obstacles.

However, performance differences are generally negligible across both tires.

Can I Use 215/70r16 Instead Of 215/65r16?

Yes, you can use 215/70r16 tires instead of 215/65r16 tires. The diameter difference between the two tire sizes is 3.1%, which is just slightly above the recommended threshold of not exceeding 3% diameter difference.

While not ideal, a 3.1% difference is generally acceptable, so switching to 215/70r16 tires should not cause major fitment or drivability issues.

You may notice slightly different speedometer and odometer readings. Still, this minor diameter discrepancy should allow you to replace 215/65r16 tires with a larger 215/70r16 size.

What Does 215/65r16 Mean?

The tire size 215/65R16 can be expressed as 27×8.5R16 in inches. The tire size 215/65r16 denotes a tire with a width of 215 millimeters, a sidewall height that is 65% of the width, radial construction (indicated by “R”), and designed for a 16-inch wheel rim.

What Does 215/70r16 Mean?

The tire size 215/70R16 indicates a tire width of 215 millimeters, an aspect ratio (height to width) of 70%, and a rim diameter of 16 inches.

The tire size 215/70R16 is the same as 27.9×8.5R16 when measured in inches. It specifies the tire’s dimensions, providing essential information for compatibility with a vehicle’s requirements.

How Much Taller Is A 215/70r16 Tire Than A 215/65r16?

The 215/70R16 tire is 0.85 inches taller than a 215/65R16 tire, representing a 3.1% increase in diameter. The distance from one side of the tire to the other passing through the center is called the tire width.

How Tall Is A 215/65r16 Tire?

The 215/65R16 tire has a height of 27 inches or 685.9 mm. When properly mounted and inflated, the tire measures 27 inches in total diameter from one outer edge of the tread to the other outer edge across the outer circumference.

How Tall Is A 215/70r16 Tire?

The height of a tire with the size 215/65R16 is approximately 27.85 inches. The tire diameter is measured from one side to the other, passing through the center.

However, it’s important to note that the tire height may vary slightly depending on the brand and model of the tire.

Our Observations
In our comparison of 215/65r16 vs 215/70r16 tires, the 70 series tire edges out the 65 due to its greater ride comfort from the taller sidewall.

While the 65 series delivers slightly better handling, the differences are modest and do not outweigh the 70 series’ cushioned absorbency over cracks and bumps.

Though performance is similar, the edge goes to the 215/70r16 tire for its supple ride quality and mild stance. We’d recommend the 215/70r16 for a comfortable daily driver tire.

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