Tire Size 265/75r16 vs 31×10.5r15

The main difference between 265/75r16 and 31×10.5r15 tires is their diameter. The 265/75r16 tires have a diameter of 31.6 inches, while 31×10.5r15 tires have a diameter of 31 inches. This means that 265/75r16 tires are 0.6 inches larger in diameter than 31×10.5r15 tires.

Tire 1 Front View
Tire 2 Front View
Tire 1 Side View
Tire 1 Wheel
circumference 1
Tire 2 Side View
Tire 2 Wheel
/ R
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Parameter235/35 R18205/40 R18Differ.
Tire Height
Section Width
Sidewall Height
Rim Size


Fitment Guide

When replacing tires, the new set should be within 3% of the original size’s overall diameter to avoid issues.

The 265/75r16 is 2.1% larger than the 31×10.5r15, so it might require lifting or leveling kits on some vehicles for proper fitment without rubbing.

Ground Clearance

The taller 265/75r16 provides 0.67 inches more ground clearance than the 31×10.5r15, an advantage for off-roading by preventing scrapes over rocks or obstacles.

However, this also causes a lower speedometer reading for the 265/75r16. The 31×10.5r15’s reduced clearance increases risks of scrapes and damage from road hazards but gives a higher speedometer reading.

Gas Mileage

With less rotational mass and more minor contact patch, the 31×10.5r15 confers slightly better fuel efficiency, which is beneficial for daily driving and long trips.

The heavier 265/75r16’s larger size leads to more rolling resistance, worsening gas mileage.

Ride Comfort

While the 31×10.5r15 offers a smoother highway and city street ride, the 265/75r16’s taller sidewalls provide superior impact absorption for a comfortable ride off-road. The extra sidewall flex cushions bumps and cracks well.

31x10.5r15 tire size


The 31×10.5r15 contributes to better aerodynamics, whereas the 265/75r16’s larger size has a more aggressive, muscular look but worse aerodynamics.

The 265/75r16 also has a subtly “stretched” sidewall appearance compared to the shorter 31×10.5r15.

Handling & Stability

The 31×10.5r15 exhibits slightly better responsiveness and handling on the pavement with its shorter sidewall and stiffness.

The 265/75r16’s more flexible sidewall reduces handling precision a bit but offers improved stability and traction off-road.

Noise & Vibration

On smooth roads, the 31×10.5r15 provides a quieter, calmer ride but transmits more vibrations from irregularities.

The 265/75r16’s extra sidewall height dampens noise and vibrations better but can generate more road noise, especially on aggressive treads.

Durability & Wear

The 31×10.5r15 often exhibits more even treadwear and potentially longer life. The heavier 265/75r16 withstands more impacts, but its added weight also increases drivetrain component wear over time.

Adverse Conditions

In snow and ice, the narrower 31×10.5r15 sometimes provides better traction by cutting through to the pavement.

With traction, the wider 265/75r16 offers a slight advantage in deep mud or specific off-road conditions.

Speedometer Reading

At an actual speed of 20 mph, the 265/75r16 reads 20 mph on the speedometer, whereas the 31×10.5r15 reads 19.58 mph. This 0.42 mph difference is due to the larger diameter of the 31×10.5r15.

265/75r16 vs 31×10.5r15

Alternative of 31×10.5r15
When selecting replacement tires, it is important to ensure that their overall diameter does not deviate by more than 3% from that of the original tires.

Tire sizeDiameterDifference

Alternative For 265/75R16
Replacement tires must maintain an overall diameter that is no more than 3% different from that of the original tires.

Tire SizeOverall DiameterDifference
235/80R1630.8″ (782 mm)-2.7%
345/55R1630.9″ (786 mm)-2.2%
225/85R1631″ (788 mm)-2%
295/65R1631.1″ (790 mm)-1.7%
275/70R1631.2″ (792 mm)-1.5%
235/85R1631.7″ (806 mm)0.2%
375/55R1632.2″ (818 mm)1.7%

31×10.50r15 Equivalent

The 31×10.50r15 tire size does not have an exact equivalent in the metric tire sizing system, but the closest match is 265/75r15.

Metric tire sizes are typically rounded to 5mm increments, so the 265/75r15 provides the nearest metric dimensions to 31×10.50r15. The section width of 265mm converts to 10.43 inches, close to the 10.5-inch width of 31×10.50r15.

While not precisely the same, the 265/75r15 metric tire size has similar measurements and is the closest equivalent to 31×10.50r15. Even though not an exact match, the 265/75r15 fits well as an equivalent replacement.

Our Observation
After comparing the 265/75r16 and 31×10.5r15 tire sizes, the differences between them are relatively minor. In my view, the slightly larger 265/75r16 performs a bit better for off-roading thanks to a little more ground clearance, stability, and traction – but it does compromise on-road handling a small amount.

On the other hand, the 31×10.5r15 is a touch better suited for paved driving with its responsiveness and efficiency, yet it remains capable off-road. The differences would be subtle for most drivers, and both tires would likely perform well.

I don’t see one as clearly superior overall. The ideal tire depends on the priorities and intended use of each driver. But in most cases, either tire size could work well and deliver a good experience on and off the road.

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