Tire Size 265/70R17 vs 285/70R17

The main difference between tire sizes 265/70R17 and 285/70R17 lies in the width. The 285/70R17 tire is 0.79 inches (20 mm) wider, approximately 7.5% wider than the 265/70R17. This wider tread width impacts various performance factors.

265/70R17 vs 285/70R17 Table

To quickly understand the differences, you can refer to this comparison table. It will provide you with a clear overview.

265/70R17 285/70R17 Difference
Tire Height 31.61″ Tire Height 32.71″ 1.1 inch
Width 10.43″ Width 11.22″ 0.79 inch
Circumference 99.29″ Circumference 102.76″ 3.46 inch
Sidewall Height 7.3″ Sidewall Height 7.85″ 0.55 inch
Revolutions per mile 638.1 Revolutions per mile 616.6 -21.51
Radial Tire Radial Tire No Difference
Rim Size 17″ Rim Size 17″ No Difference

What Does 265 70R17 Tire Mean?

This size offers a good balance of comfort and performance. This is an excellent option if you’re looking for a tire that can handle off-road driving and provide a smooth ride on the highway.

The first number in tire size, 265, refers to the tire’s width in millimeters. The second number, 70, is the aspect ratio. This is the height of the sidewall as a percentage of the width. In this case, it’s 70%, meaning that the sidewall is 70% as tall as comprehensive.

The 17 refers to the rim diameter in inches. In this case, it’s 17 inches. The letter “R” at the end stands for radial, the most common type of tire.

Fitment Guide

The new size should be within 3% of the original tire’s diameter when replacing tires to avoid clearance issues or speedometer inaccuracies.

The 285/70R17 is 3.5% larger in diameter than the 265/70R17, just crossing the 3% threshold. This may require lifting the vehicle slightly to accommodate the larger size without rubbing.

Ground Clearance

The taller 285/70R17 provides 1.1 inches (28 mm) more ground clearance than the 265/70R17, an advantage for off-road driving and clearing obstacles.

However, the larger diameter causes the speedometer to read 3.4% lower than the actual speed. The 265/70R17 offers less clearance but gives a more accurate speedometer reading.

Gas Mileage

The wider 285/70R17 has slightly more rolling resistance, which reduces fuel efficiency marginally compared to the 265/70R17.

With less rubber and weight, the 265/70R17 provides a fuel economy advantage, albeit small. Expect up to 1 mpg difference, depending on driving conditions.

Ride Comfort

The extra sidewall height of the 285/70R17 absorbs road impacts better than the shorter 265/70R17 sidewall.

This cushions the ride, especially over uneven surfaces. However, both sizes deliver a smooth, comfortable ride under everyday conditions.


Visually, the 285/70R17 taller sidewall gives a slightly more aggressive, “off-road” look compared to the 265/70R17 shorter sidewall.

Lifted trucks often suit the stretched appearance of a taller sidewall. However, the difference is subtle.

Handling & Stability

The 265/70R17 shorter, stiffer sidewall enables sharper handling and quicker response.

The 285/70R17 extra sidewall flex reduces handling precision slightly but offers excellent overall stability. Both deliver responsive, stable handling for everyday driving.

Noise & Vibration

The 265/70R17 transmits more road noise and vibration into the cabin due to its shorter sidewall.

The taller 285/70R17 sidewall dampens noise and vibrations better. However, both sizes provide a relatively quiet, comfortable ride.

Durability & Wear

With similar tread depths and compounds, durability and longevity are comparable between sizes.

Rotation and proper inflation impact treadwear more than the minor size difference. Expect similar tread life from both.

Adverse Conditions

Both sizes handle rain, snow, and light off-road duty well. The 285/70R17 has slightly more traction from its wider tread and extra ground clearance.

The 265/70R17 smaller footprint provides a touch more grip on packed snow. Overall traction is comparable.

Speedometer Difference

At an actual speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reading is 0.30 mph higher for 285/70r17 tires compared to 265/70r17 tires. This difference of 0.30 mph is attributable to the larger overall diameter of the 285/70r17 tires.

The speedometer reading will be consistently higher across all speeds for the 285/70r17 tires versus the 265/70r17 tires due to this diameter discrepancy.

Our Observation
After reviewing the differences, I believe the 265/70R17 is the ideal choice for most drivers looking for a responsive daily driver.

Its shorter sidewall and narrower tread offer advantages in fuel efficiency, handling, and noise reduction that matter most for paved road driving.

Though I’m drawn to the aggressive styling of the 285/70R17, I don’t require the extra ground clearance or off-road capabilities it provides. For those needing more off-road traction and clearance, the 285 may be a better option.

But for the average driver focused on performance and efficiency, I recommend going with

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top