Tire Size 265/70r17 vs 265/70r16

The main difference between 265/70R17 and 265/70R16 tires is the wheel diameter. The sidewall aspect ratio and section width are the same for both tires, but the 265/70R17 tire has a 17-inch wheel diameter, while the 265/70R16 tire has a 16-inch wheel diameter.

265/70r17 vs 265/70r16

To help you understand the differences easily, we have prepared a comparison table for your reference.

Fitment Guide

The 265/70R17 tire is 3.2% larger in overall diameter than the 265/70R16. Replacement tires should be within 3% of the original size to prevent clearance issues.

The larger 265/70R17 may require small adaptations like a leveling kit to avoid rubbing at complete turn. The 265/70R16, being smaller, is more likely to fit without modifications.

Ground Clearance

With a diameter of 31.61 inches, the 265/70R17 provides 1 inch more ground clearance than the 30.61-inch 265/70R16.

This added clearance aids off-road driving by reducing scrapes over obstacles. However, the larger 265/70R17 diameter causes a lower speedometer reading than the 265/70R16.

The smaller 265/70R16 diameter increases the risks of scraping but gives a higher speedometer reading.

Gas Mileage

The 265/70R16 smaller contact patch and lower rotational mass improve fuel efficiency compared to the 265/70R17.

The larger 265/70R17 diameter and width increase rolling resistance and weight, negatively impacting gas mileage.

Ride Comfort

The 265/70R17 taller sidewall absorbs road impacts better, providing a smoother ride over uneven terrain.

The shorter 265/70R16 sidewall transmits more harshness over bumps but offers a tighter on-road feel. Overall, comfort differences are minor between the two.


The 265/70R17 has a slightly taller sidewall, giving it a more rugged, aggressive look suited to trucks and SUVs.

The 265/70R16 shorter sidewall has a lower-profile appearance that some vehicles suit better aesthetically. Overall, visual differences are subtle.

Handling & Stability

The 265/70R16 shorter sidewall enhances responsiveness and handling precision on the pavement.

The taller 265/70R17 sidewall flexes more, reducing handling sharpness slightly. However, both provide responsive, stable handling for everyday driving.

Noise & Vibration

With its stiff sidewall, the 265/70R16 transmits more road noise and vibration into the cabin. The 265/70R17 extra sidewall flex dampens vibrations better for a smoother, quieter ride. Differences are minor between the two sizes.

Durability & Wear

The 265/70R16 smaller size could allow for slightly more even tire wear and longer tread life. The heavier 265/70R17 may introduce more wear on vehicle components like wheel bearings.

Adverse Conditions

The narrower 265/70R16 can cut through to the pavement more effectively in snow and ice.

The wider 265/70R17 provides better traction in specific off-road conditions. Overall, both perform well in adverse conditions.

Speedometer Reading

At an actual speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reads 19.37 mph for the 265/70R16 and 20 mph for the 265/70R17. This 0.63 mph difference is due to the smaller 265/70R16 diameter.

Can I use 265/70R17 instead of 265/75R16?

Yes, you can use 265/70R17 tires instead of 265/75R16 tires in most cases. The two tire sizes are very similar, and the difference in size is unlikely to cause any problems.

However, the larger 265/70R17 may require minor adaptations like a leveling kit to avoid rubbing at the complete turn.

What does the 70 mean on 265/70R17 tires?

The “70” in the tire size 265/70R17 refers to the aspect ratio of the tire. It means that the height of the tire’s cross-section is 70% of its width. In this case, for a 265/70R17 tire, the sidewall height is approximately 70% of 265mm, which is about 185.5mm.

Our Observation
Regarding comparing 265/70r17 vs 265/70r16 tires, both perform similarly with only small variations. The 265/70r16 provides slightly better gas mileage and handling thanks to its smaller size.

But the 265/70r17 offers more off-road capability with extra ground clearance and traction. It also has a slightly tougher look.

While both tires work well, the added versatility of the 265/70r17 makes it our top recommended pick between these two popular sizes for most drivers needing solid performance both on and off the road. The differences are minor, but the 265/70r17 is more well-rounded.

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