Tire Size 265/70r18 vs 275/65r18

The main difference between tire sizes 265/70R18 and 275/65R18 lies in the section width. Though minor, these distinctions matter when selecting the optimal tire for your driving needs. Weighing the trade-offs helps choose the best fit.

275/65r18 vs 265/70r18

Gain a better understanding of tire dimensions 275/65R18 and 265/70R18 with this table.

Fitment Guide

Replacing 265/70r18 tires requires new ones to be within 3% of the original 828.2mm diameter. The 275/65r18 at 814.7mm is 1.6% smaller, meeting the fitment threshold.

However, switching to a 275/65r18 on some vehicles may require adjustments to prevent rubbing or clearance issues.

Ground Clearance

With a 1.08-inch larger diameter, the 275/70r18 provides extra ground clearance beneficial for off-roading. This helps avoid scrapes over obstacles.

However, the bigger diameter causes a lower speedometer reading than the 275/65r18. While the 275/65r18 reduces clearance, increasing road hazard damage risks, it has a higher speedometer reading.

Gas Mileage

The 275/65r18’s slightly smaller contact patch and rotational mass improve fuel efficiency, which is crucial for daily driving. The 275/70r18’s larger diameter and width increase rolling resistance and rotational weight, hindering mileage.

Ride Comfort

While the 275/65r18 offers a smoother highway and city ride, the 275/70r18’s taller 70 aspect ratio cushioning absorbs impacts better on rough terrain. Its extra sidewall flex reduces harshness from bumps and cracks.


The 275/65r18 contributes to aerodynamics, while the 275/70r18 provides an aggressive, muscular appearance. However, its larger size can reduce efficiency. The 275/70r18’s taller sidewall visually has a “stretched” look suiting trucks and SUVs.

Handling & Stability

The shorter 275/65r18 sidewall enhances responsiveness and handling on pavement. Although the taller 275/70r18 flexes more, reducing precision, both deliver responsive, stable handling.

Noise & Vibration

The 275/65r18’s stiffer sidewall transmits more noise and vibration into the cabin. The 275/70r18’s extra flex dampens vibrations for a comfortable, quieter ride.

Durability & Wear

The 275/65r18 exhibits potentially even treadwear and longer life. The larger 275/70r18 endures more impacts, but its added weight strains components, increasing wear.

Adverse Conditions

The narrower 275/65r18 cuts through the snow for traction. While the wider 275/70r18 provides excellent mud traction, the performance in rain, snow, and off-road is similar. The 275/70r18’s extra clearance gives a slight advantage off-road.

Speedometer Difference

When driving a vehicle at an actual speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reading will vary slightly depending on whether 265/70r18 or 275/65r18 tires are installed.

The 265/70r18 tires with a larger overall diameter will register a speedometer reading of exactly 20 mph.

However, the 275/65r18 tires with a smaller diameter will register a speedometer reading of 19.67 mph at the same true vehicle speed of 20 mph. The difference in tire diameter results in this minor variation in the speedometer readout.

Our Observation
After comparing these two similar tire sizes, I’m struck by how minor differences in diameter, width, and sidewall height result in noticeable impacts on performance and suitability.

Personally, I favor the 275/65R18 for its smoother on-road ride, improved handling, better fuel efficiency, and longevity over the 275/70R18.

However, the 275/70R18’s extra ground clearance and cushier ride quality over bumps make it a better choice for off-road adventures.

Unless you frequently go off-roading, I recommend the 275/65R18 as the best all-around option for most drivers, thanks to its responsive handling, comfort, and efficiency blend. With thoughtful evaluation of usage, either tire can be the right fit.

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