Tire Size 265/70r17 vs 255/75r17
The main difference between the two tire sizes is the width and sidewall height. The 255/75R17 tire is 0.4 inches (10 mm) narrower and has a 0.5 inches (13 mm) taller sidewall than the 265/70R17 tire.
265/70r17 vs 255/75r17
By referring to this comparison table, you can better understand the distinctions between 265/70r17 and 255/75r17 tire sizes.
Replacement tires should be within 3% of the original tire’s overall diameter to avoid issues. The 255/75R17 is 1.4% larger in diameter than the 265/70R17, so it falls within the recommended 3% limit.
Both tires should fit most vehicles designed for 17-inch wheels without modifications.
The 255/75R17 provides 0.23 inches (5.75 mm) more ground clearance due to its taller sidewall. This extra clearance benefits light off-roading, clearing obstacles, and preventing scraping on uneven roads.
However, the larger diameter causes a 1.4% lower speedometer reading compared to the 265/70R17.
The narrower 255/75R17 has a more minor contact patch and less rotational mass, resulting in slightly better fuel efficiency.
The wider 265/70R17 has more rolling resistance, decreasing gas mileage. The 255/75R17 is the more efficient choice for daily driving and long trips.
The taller 70 aspect ratio sidewall of the 265/70R17 absorbs road impacts better than the shorter 65 aspect ratio of the 255/75R17.
This provides a smoother ride over uneven pavement. However, the difference is minor, and both deliver a comfortable ride.
Visually, the 255/75R17’s taller sidewall gives a slightly “stretched” look compared to the 265/70R17. This can suit the aesthetics of trucks and SUVs well. However, the difference is subtle and subjective.
Handling & Stability
The shorter sidewall and wider tread of the 265/70R17 provide enhanced responsiveness and handling over the taller 255/75R17. But both tires deliver stable handling for regular driving conditions.
Noise & Vibration
With a shorter sidewall, the 265/70R17 transmits more road noise and vibration into the cabin. The taller 255/75R17 sidewall dampens vibrations better for a quieter ride. However, the differences are minor.
Durability & Wear
The narrower 255/75R17 may exhibit slightly more even treadwear and longer life than the wider 265/70R17. The lighter 255/75R17 also causes less strain on suspension components.
Performance in snow, ice, rain, and off-road is very similar between the two. The 255/75R17’s narrower tread can cut through to the road surface well in snow/ice.
The 265/70R17 provides a bit more traction off-road. Both handle adverse conditions adequately.
At an actual vehicle speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reading is slightly lower with 255/75r17 tires compared to 265/70r17 tires. Specifically, the speedometer indicates 20.29 mph with 255 tires and 20.00 mph with 265 tires.
This 0.29 mph difference is due to the smaller diameter of the 255 tires. While drivers may notice a minor decrease in indicated speed with the 255, the discrepancy between these tire sizes is relatively small overall.
Overall, the 265/70R17 and 255/75R17 perform well as tire options, each having minor advantages over the other depending on priorities.
For drivers focused on fuel efficiency and a smooth ride, the 255/75R17 is likely the better choice, as its narrower tread width reduces rolling resistance for improved gas mileage.
At the same time, its taller sidewall absorbs bumps in the road more effectively. However, for those who value responsive handling and traction in loose terrain, the wider tread and shorter sidewall of the 265/70R17 offer marginally better performance.
When selecting between these two similar sizes, carefully consider your specific vehicle’s typical driving conditions and needs. Consulting the owner’s manual or an experienced tire retailer can help determine which size fits your automotive needs and preferences better.
While both deliver capable real-world performance, subtle differences in size can translate to noticeable variations in fuel economy, ride comfort, handling precision, and off-road capability.
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.