Tire Size 225/50r17 vs 215/55r17

225/50r17 vs 215/55r17

The main difference between the two tire sizes is the width and sidewall height. The 215/55R17 tire is 0.4 inches (10 mm) narrower and has a 0.3 inches (7.6 mm) taller sidewall than the 225/50R17 tire. This will result in a slightly narrower stance and a slightly softer ride.

225/50r17 vs 215/55r17

Fitment Guide

When replacing tires, it’s important to choose a size that’s within 3% of the diameter of the original tires. This ensures proper fitment and prevents clearance issues.

The 215/55R17 is 1.7% smaller in diameter than the 225/50R17, so it falls within the 3% guideline. No adaptations to accommodate size should be needed.

215 55r17 in inches

Ground Clearance

The 215/55R17 provides 0.23 inches (5.75 mm) less ground clearance than the 225/50R17 due to its shorter sidewall height.

This slightly reduces clearance for rough roads and obstacles. However, the difference is relatively small, and both tires should deliver sufficient ground clearance for most conditions.

Gas Mileage

With its narrower width and lighter weight, the 215/55R17 may provide slightly better fuel efficiency than the 225/50R17.

The difference is estimated to be 1-2 mpg at most. The narrower 215 width has an advantage for those seeking maximum fuel economy.

Ride Comfort

The taller 55 aspect ratio sidewall of the 215/55R17 can absorb bumps and impacts better than the 50 aspect ratio of the 225/50R17.

This contributes to a marginally softer, more comfortable ride, especially over uneven pavement. The difference is modest, though.

225 50r17 in inches


Visually, the 215/55R17’s taller sidewall gives it a slightly more stretched look than the shorter 50 aspect of the 225/50R17. Subjectively, the 215’s proportions better suit smaller cars and sport compacts seeking a performance look.

Handling & Stability

With its shorter, stiffer 50 aspect ratio sidewall, the 225/50R17 provides sharper, more responsive handling and cornering compared to the 215/55R17.

However, the 215’s taller sidewall aids stability somewhat. Both deliver stable, predictable handling.

Road Noise

The 225/50R17’s stiff sidewall transmits more road noise and vibration to the cabin. The 215/55R17’s extra sidewall flex better absorbs noise and vibration, contributing to a slightly smoother, quieter ride.

Durability & Wear

The 215/55R17’s narrower width may promote more even treadwear across its surface compared to the wider 225/50R17. This can potentially extend tread life slightly. Both sizes should deliver similar overall durability.

Adverse Conditions

Both tires deliver quite similar performance in rain, snow, and light off-roading. The 215/55R17’s narrower footprint provides a bit better snow traction, while the 225/50R17’s wider stance aids acceleration traction. Overall traction is comparable.

Speedometer Difference

At an actual vehicle speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reading is slightly higher with 215/55r17 tires compared to 225/50r17 tires.

Specifically, the speedometer indicates 20.35 mph with the 215 tires and 20.00 mph with the 225. This 0.35 mph difference is attributable to the larger diameter of the 215 tires.

While drivers may notice a minor increase in indicated speed with the 215s, the discrepancy between these tire sizes is relatively small overall.

Can I use 225/50r17 instead of 215/55r17?

About the overall diameter, the 225/50r17 tire measures 25.86 inches (656.8 mm), and the 215/55r17 tire measures 26.31 inches (668.3 mm). The difference between these two tire sizes is roughly 0.45 inches or 1.7%.

Given that this percentage difference is less than the suggested maximum of 3%, it is possible to use a 225/50r17 tire instead of a 215/55r17.

Can I put a 225/50r17 on a 215/55r17?

Concerning the rim width compatibility, the 225/50r17 tire can fit a rim width range of 6.0-7.5 inches, and the 215/55r17 tire fits a 6.0-8.0 inches range. Given this information, both tire sizes can accommodate a rim of 6.0-7.5 inches in width.

Therefore, placing a 225/50r17 tire on a rim with a 215/55r17 tire might be possible. However, it’s recommended to check with a tire professional before making any changes to verify fit and safety.

Our Observation
Our observation is that both the 215/55R17 and 225/50R17 tires have merits that make them suitable choices depending on individual driving needs and preferences.

The slightly taller sidewall of the 215/55R17 should provide a more comfortable ride quality, absorbing bumps and road irregularities better than the 225/50R17.

This could be beneficial for those who spend a lot of time driving on poorly maintained city streets or rough rural roads. The extra ground clearance is also helpful for clearing parking lot curbs and speed bumps.

However, the 225/50R17’s shorter, stiffer sidewall gives it a slight edge for drivers who care more about responsive handling and sharp turn-in.

And some may simply prefer the look of a lower-profile tire. You really can’t make a wrong choice here. Both are capable, durable tires that offer a great blend of comfort, performance, and styling.

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