Tire Size 265/75r16 vs 235/85r16

The main difference between tire sizes 265/75r16 and 235/85r16 is that the 265/75r16 has a wider tread width while the 235/85r16 has a taller sidewall. Let’s dive into how these variations impact performance in different driving conditions.

265/75r16 vs 235/85r16 Table

This table compares the variances between tire sizes 265/75r16 and 235/85r16.

265/75R16 235/85R16 Difference
Tire Height 31.65″ Tire Height 31.73″ 0.08 inch
Width 10.43″ Width 9.25″ -1.18 inch
Sidewall Height 7.82″ Sidewall Height 7.86″ 0.04 inch
Circumference 99.43″ Circumference 99.68″ 0.25 inch
Revs Per Mile 637 Revs Per Mile 635 -1.58
Radial Tire Radial Tire No Difference
Rim Size 16 inch Rim Size 16 inch No Difference

Fitment Guide

When replacing tires, the new set should be within 3% of the diameter of the originals to avoid issues. The 265/75r16 and 235/85r16 differ by only 0.2% in overall diameter, so fitment isn’t a concern.

Ground Clearance

With a diameter of 31.65 inches, the 265/75r16 offers 0.08 inches less ground clearance than the 31.73 inch 235/85r16.

This minor difference has little impact on off-road clearance but slightly reduces the risk of scraping on the 265/75r16. It also causes a negligibly higher speedometer reading on the 265/75r16.

Fuel Efficiency

The 235/85r16’s narrower tread face and shorter sidewall make it slightly more fuel-efficient than the wider, taller 265/75r16.

Less rubber on the road means lower rolling resistance, while less sidewall flex reduces energy loss. For highway travel, the 235/85r16 maximizes miles per gallon.

Ride Comfort

Both tires deliver comfortable rides, but the taller 235/85r16 sidewall absorbs bumps and impacts better. Its extra cushioning smooths out imperfections, especially on uneven terrain.

The 265/75r16 provides a firmer, more responsive ride that can jitter over cracks and potholes.


The 235/85r16’s taller sidewall visually gives it a stretched look compared to the 265/75r16. This elongated aesthetic suits the rugged styling well for larger trucks and SUVs.

However, on sportier vehicles, the shorter sidewall of the 265/75r16 can better match aggressive, performance-oriented designs.

Handling & Stability

With a shorter, stiffer sidewall, the 265/75r16 offers sharper handling and cornering response on pavement compared to the flexible 235/85r16.

But both remain stable at speed and resist deflection from impacts or load changes. The 265/75r16 delivers an agile, nimble feel for rewinding roads.

Noise & Vibration

The softer 235/85r16 dampens noise and vibration transmitted into the cabin better than the 265/75r16. Its extra air volume and sidewall flex help isolate bumps and road imperfections. But both tires keep the interior reasonably quiet and comfortable on most road surfaces.

Durability & Wear

The 235/85r16’s narrower tread face distributes contact stresses over less rubber, concentrating wear in a smaller area. The 265/75r16 disperses forces over more tread, slowing wear.

Both exhibit even wear patterns and long tread life barring alignment issues or damage.

Adverse Conditions

Performance in rain, snow, and off-road is comparable between the two. The 265/75r16’s shorter sidewall responds slightly quicker on loose surfaces, while the 235/85r16’s extra clearance aids deep snow or mud. But both handle adverse conditions reliably.

Speedometer Difference

The speedometer reading is very similar between 265/75r16 and 235/85r16 tire sizes. At an actual vehicle speed of 20 mph, the speedometer reads 20 mph with 265/75r16 tires.

For 235/85r16 tires, the speedometer reading is 20.05 mph at the same actual speed of 20 mph. The difference in speedometer reading between these two tire sizes is minimal at just 0.05 mph. Overall, these two tire sizes produce nearly identical speedometer readings.

Alternative for 235/85r16
To ensure proper fit and performance, replacement tires must have an overall diameter that is within 3% of the original tires.

Tire Size Overall Diameter Difference
235/80R16 30.8″ (782 mm) -3%
345/55R16 30.9″ (786 mm) -2.5%
225/85R16 31″ (788 mm) -2.2%
295/65R16 31.1″ (790 mm) -2%
275/70R16 31.2″ (792 mm) -1.7%
265/75R16 31.7″ (804 mm) -0.2%
285/70R16 31.7″ (806 mm) 0%
225/90R16 32″ (812 mm) 0.7%
375/55R16 32.2″ (818 mm) 1.5%
265/80R16 32.7″ (830 mm) 3%

Alternative For 265/75R16
The overall diameter of replacement tires must fall within a 3% tolerance range of the original tires’ diameter.

Tire Size Overall Diameter Difference
235/80R16 30.8″ (782 mm) -2.7%
345/55R16 30.9″ (786 mm) -2.2%
225/85R16 31″ (788 mm) -2%
295/65R16 31.1″ (790 mm) -1.7%
275/70R16 31.2″ (792 mm) -1.5%
235/85R16 31.7″ (806 mm) 0.2%
375/55R16 32.2″ (818 mm) 1.7%

Our Observation
After comparing the nuances between 265/75r16 and 235/85r16 tires, I’m struck by how each has strengths tailored to different needs. The 265/75r16 shines for responsive handling and a bold, truck-like look.

Yet the 235/85r16’s plush ride quality and improved fuel efficiency make it ideal for comfortable cruising. For off-road use, I’m partial to the 235/85r16’s extra ground clearance.

Overall, I recommend the 265/75r16 for vehicles requiring sharp handling, while the 235/85r16 suits those prioritizing ride comfort, efficiency, and light trail use. But both deliver capable real-world performance – choose based on your specific needs and priorities.

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