Tire Size 265/70r17 vs 285/70r17

The primary difference between 265/70r17 and 285/70r17 tires is the width. The 285/70r17 tire is 0.79 inches wider than the 265/70r17 tire.

This means that the 285/70r17 tire will have a larger contact patch with the ground, which in turn can provide better traction.

265/70r17 vs 285/70r17

This table of comparison will assist you in quickly understanding the distinctions.

Fitment Guide

Replacement tires should be within 3% of the original tire’s diameter to avoid clearance issues or speedometer inaccuracies.

The overall diameter of 265/70r17 tires is 31.61 inches, while 285/70r17 tires are 32.71 inches in diameter. This difference is 1.1 inches or 3.5%, which is within the 3% fitment guideline.

Larger 285/70r17 tires may require small adaptations like a minor lift to prevent rubbing at complete turn.

Ground Clearance

The 1.1-inch larger diameter of 285/70r17 tires provides more ground clearance compared to 265/70r17 tires. This added clearance is useful for off-road driving, preventing scrapes over rough terrain.

However, the larger diameter also causes a 0.7 mph lower speedometer reading at 20 mph actual speed.

Gas Mileage

The narrower 265/70r17 tires offer slightly better fuel efficiency over the wider 285/70r17 size.

The smaller contact patch and lower rotational mass improve efficiency, which is ideal for daily driving. The wider 285/70r17 has more excellent rolling resistance, reducing economy.

Ride Comfort

The taller sidewalls of 285/70r17 tires absorb road impacts better than 265/70r17 tires. This cushioning effect creates a smoother ride over uneven surfaces.

The 265/70r17 is still comfortable, but its shorter sidewalls transmit more harshness into the cabin.

Aesthetics

Visually, the difference is minimal. The 285/70r17 has a slightly taller sidewall, giving a subtly stretched, aggressive look compared to the 265/70r17.

This suits trucks and SUVs well. The 265/70r17 has a slightly lower profile appearance.

Handling & Stability

The 265/70r17 tire’s shorter sidewall enables crisper handling and quicker response on pavement.

The taller 285/70r17 sidewall flexes more, reducing handling precision a bit. However, both deliver responsive, stable handling overall.

Noise & Vibration

With its taller sidewall, the 285/70r17 dampens road noise and vibrations better than the 265/70r17 tire.

The shorter 265/70r17 sidewall transmits more harshness into the cabin over uneven roads. But both provide a relatively quiet, comfortable ride.

Durability & Wear

The narrower 265/70r17 tire may exhibit slightly more even treadwear and longer life than the wider 285/70r17.

The heavier 285/70r17 also adds more stress to vehicle components. But both offer durable performance.

Adverse Conditions

In snow and ice, the narrower 265/70r17 can cut through to the road surface well. The wider 285/70r17 provides better traction in specific off-road conditions.

Both perform well in the rain. The 1.1-inch extra ground clearance of the 285/70r17 is advantageous.

Speedometer Reading

At an actual speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reads 0.7 mph lower with 285/70r17 tires compared to 265/70r17 tires. This must be accounted for to avoid unintentionally speeding.

Our Observation
Based on this comparison, the 265/70r17 appears optimal for everyday on-road driving. Its narrower width provides better gas mileage and handling over the 285/70r17.

However, the 285/70r17 excels for off-road driving or rough conditions. Its added width and diameter increase traction, ground clearance, and ride comfort on uneven terrain.

For mixed usage on and off-road, we’d recommend the more versatile 285/70r17 tire. Its superior performance beyond paved roads outweighs the minor tradeoffs in economy and handling. Overall, the 285/70r17 is the better choice for most drivers.

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