Tire Size 235/55r17 vs 225/55r17

The main difference between tire sizes 235/55r17 and 225/55r17 lies in the section width. Let’s take a detailed look at how the dimensions and features of these two tire sizes compare.

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 235/55r17 tire has a 1.6% larger overall diameter than the 225/55r17. Replacement tires should be within 3% of the original size, so the 235 can directly replace the 225 with no fitment issues.

Ground Clearance

With a diameter of 27.18 inches, the 235/55r17 provides 0.43 inches more ground clearance versus the 225/55r17 at 26.74 inches.

This modest increase can help prevent scrapes over bumps or on inclines. However, the larger 235 diameter also causes a slightly lower speedometer reading compared to the 225.

Gas Mileage

The 235/55r17’s larger contact patch and heavier weight result in slightly higher rolling resistance, decreasing fuel efficiency somewhat.

The 225’s smaller size and lower rotating mass give it a fuel economy advantage, making it a better choice for daily commuting.

Ride Comfort

The taller sidewall and greater air volume of the 235/55r17 help absorb impacts from uneven roads, leading to a smoother ride over rough terrain.

In contrast, the 225/55r17 transmits more vibration into the cabin due to its shorter, stiffer sidewalls. This makes the 235 more compliant over bumps.


Visually, the difference between these sizes is subtle. The 235 will have a slightly taller sidewall, giving it a mildly “stretched” look.

This suits some vehicles better aesthetically than the lower profile of the 225. Overall, it’s largely subjective in terms of appearance.

Handling & Stability

The shorter sidewall and smaller contact patch of the 225/55r17 provide sharper handling and quicker turn-in. The 235’s extra sidewall flex reduces responsiveness slightly. However, both offer stable, precise handling for everyday driving conditions.

Noise & Vibration

With its stiff sidewalls, the 225/55r17 transmits more road noise and vibration into the cabin. The 235/55r17’s additional air volume and sidewall flex help isolate and dampen noise and vibration. This results in a quieter, more comfortable ride.

Durability & Wear

The 225/55r17’s smaller size and contact patch distribute stress more evenly, potentially increasing tread life. The larger 235 carries more weight, generating higher stresses that can accelerate tread wear. However, both offer good durability for typical use.

Adverse Conditions

Performance in snow, rain, and off-road conditions is comparable. The 235’s added ground clearance is a slight advantage off-road, while the 225’s responsive handling gives it a slight edge in snow. But both perform well in adverse conditions.

Speedometer Difference

When traveling at 20 mph, the speedometer reads slightly lower with 225/55r17 tires than 235/55r17 tires. Specifically, the speedometer indicates 19.68 mph with the 225 tires and 20.00 mph with the 235.

The 0.32 mph difference is because of the smaller diameter of the 225 tires. While drivers may notice a small decrease in indicated speed with the 225s, the discrepancy between these tire sizes is minor overall.

235/55r17 vs 225/55r17

Alternative For 235/55r17
This table provides information on the overall diameter and the difference in diameter for some of the most popular alternative tire sizes.

Tire SizeOverall DiameterDifference
135/90R1726.6″ (676 mm)-2%
245/50R1726.7″ (678 mm)-1.7%
205/60R1726.7″ (678 mm)-1.7%
225/55R1726.8″ (680 mm)-1.4%
155/80R1726.8″ (680 mm)-1.4%
255/50R1727.1″ (688 mm)-0.3%
215/60R1727.2″ (690 mm)0%
145/90R1727.3″ (694 mm)0.6%
165/80R1727.4″ (696 mm)0.9%
205/65R1727.5″ (698 mm)1.2%
295/45R1727.5″ (698 mm)1.2%
225/60R1727.6″ (702 mm)1.7%
245/55R1727.6″ (702 mm)1.7%
305/45R1727.8″ (706 mm)2.3%
345/40R1727.9″ (708 mm)2.6%
275/50R1727.9″ (708 mm)2.6%

Alternative For 225/55r17
Below is a table that provides information on the overall diameter and the difference in diameter for some of the most popular alternative tire sizes.

Tire SizeOverall DiameterDifference
285/40R1726″ (660 mm)-2.9%
255/45R1726.1″ (662 mm)-2.6%
165/70R1726.1″ (664 mm)-2.4%
145/80R1726.1″ (664 mm)-2.4%
335/35R1726.2″ (666 mm)-2.1%
235/50R1726.3″ (668 mm)-1.8%
215/55R1726.3″ (668 mm)-1.8%
295/40R1726.3″ (668 mm)-1.8%
205/60R1726.7″ (678 mm)-0.3%
245/50R1726.7″ (678 mm)-0.3%
155/80R1726.8″ (680 mm)0%
255/50R1727.1″ (688 mm)1.2%
215/60R1727.2″ (690 mm)1.5%
235/55R1727.2″ (690 mm)1.5%
145/90R1727.3″ (694 mm)2.1%
165/80R1727.4″ (696 mm)2.4%
295/45R1727.5″ (698 mm)2.6%
205/65R1727.5″ (698 mm)2.6%

Our Observation
After reviewing the differences, the 235/55R17 is the best all-around choice. The slightly larger diameter provides subtle advantages in ground clearance, ride quality, and aesthetic appeal without significant trade-offs.

While the 225/55R17 offers crisper handling and fuel economy, the differences are minor. For most drivers, the 235 hits the sweet spot between capability, comfort, and appearance. Its balanced attributes make it versatile for everything from off-roading to daily commutes.

For these reasons, I recommend the 235/55R17 for most applications, thanks to its well-rounded capabilities and lack of significant compromises compared to the 225.

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