Tire Size 275/60r20 vs 275/65r18
The main difference between 275/60r20 and 275/65r18 tires is the sidewall height. The 275/65r18 has a 0.54 inch (13.75 mm) taller sidewall, which impacts ride comfort, handling, aesthetics, and more.
275/65r18 vs 275/60r20
The two tire sizes’ differences are provided in absolute and percentage terms.
The overall diameter of the 275/60r20 is 2.8% larger than the 275/65r18. Replacement tires should be within 3% of the original size to prevent clearance or speedometer issues.
So the 275/65r18, being under 3% smaller, can directly replace a 275/60r20 without modifications. Going the other direction, a 275/60r20 could also feasibly replace a 275/65r18.
With a marginally smaller contact patch and lower resistance, the 275/65r18 tire should be slightly more fuel-efficient than the 275/60r20.
Less rotational mass from the shorter sidewall may also improve efficiency. This difference is minor but can add up, making the 275/65r18 a sensible choice for commuters focused on fuel economy.
The 275/60r20 provides 0.92 inches (23.3 mm) more ground clearance – beneficial for off-roading but potentially causing speedometer error.
The lower clearance of the 275/65r18 increases the risks of scrapes but maintains accurate speedometer readouts.
The taller 70 series sidewall of the 275/65r18 absorbs bumps better, likely providing a smoother ride than the 60 series 275/60r20.
More flexible sidewalls generally translate to improved ride quality over uneven pavement.
Visually differentiating these tire sizes is challenging. The 275/65r18 will look slightly more “stretched” thanks to a taller sidewall.
This subtle change suits some vehicles, giving an aggressive stance. Subjectively, a moderately tall sidewall matches trucks aesthetically.
Handling & Stability
The 275/60r20’s shorter sidewalls enable sharper handling and quicker turn-in response on pavement than the 275/65r18.
But both remain stable, making either suitable for performance driving. Off-road, the 275/65r18’s extra flex lends it more traction.
Noise & Vibration
Expect marginally more road noise and vibrations from the 275/60r20 as its stiff sidewalls transmit more energy into the cabin.
Conversely, the 275/65r18 better isolate occupants from noise and shakes thanks to more sidewall cushioning.
Durability & Wear
Due to its rigid construction, the lower-profile 275/60r20 may exhibit slightly more even treadwear.
But both tires utilize rugged materials and designs engineered for longevity and resilience. Either should deliver years of reliable service.
Foul weather traction is comparable between the two – wider tires like the 275/60r20 can struggle for grip on snow and ice but perform well off-road. The sizing difference doesn’t greatly impact all-weather capabilities.
At the same actual speed, the 275/65r18 causes speedometers to read 0.66 mph slower than 275/60r20 tires.
This discrepancy emerges from the smaller overall diameter. It’s a modest difference that likely won’t hugely impact driving.
Can I use 275/60r20 instead of 275/65r18?
Yes, you can replace 275/65R18 tires with 275/60R20 tires. The overall diameter difference between these two sizes is 2.8%, which is under the 3% replacement guideline.
So, the 275/60R20 tires should fit without needing modifications to prevent clearance issues. However, do ensure the load rating meets or exceeds your vehicle’s requirements when switching sizes.
The load rating indicates how much weight a tire can safely support. Using a lower load-rated tire than the original equipment poses safety risks.
The 275/60R20 and 275/65R18 are very comparable overall, with only subtle differences. The 275/65R18 provides marginally better ride quality and fuel efficiency thanks to a taller sidewall.
However, the 275/60R20 enables slightly sharper handling through tighter sidewall construction. For off-road use, the 275/65R18’s added flexibility lends more traction. Durability and adverse weather performance are alike.
Ultimately, we’d recommend the 275/65R18 for most drivers. The small comfort and efficiency gains outweigh the 275/60R20’s minor handling advantage for daily usage.
More aggressive drivers may still prefer the 275/60R20’s responsiveness. Either tire remains a great choice.
Meet Caitlin McCormack, a Tire Size Expert and Blogger Passionate About Everything Related to Tires. With Years of Experience in the Tire Industry, Caitlin Has Become an Expert in Tire Sizes and Their Impact on Vehicle Performance.