Tire Size 275/70r18 vs 265/65r18
The main difference between 275/70r18 and 265/65r18 tires is the sidewall height. That means the 275/70r18 tire size is about 0.8 inches taller than the 265/65r18 tire size. This impacts ride quality, noise, aesthetics, off-road capability, and more.
265/65r18 vs 275/70r18
This table provides a quick overview to help you understand the differences more easily.
It’s important to note that replacement 265/65R18 tires have an overall diameter of 4.8% smaller than the original 275/70R18 tires. This difference exceeds the 3% of the original tire’s overall diameter rules.
Therefore, if you want to switch to larger tires, you’ll need to make some adjustments, such as using leveling or lift kits to accommodate their size and prevent issues like rubbing.
The 265/65R18 tire’s smaller size, lower rotational mass, and reduced rolling resistance contribute to slightly improved fuel efficiency over the 275/70R18.
While differences are modest, the 265/65R18 is the better option for maximizing gas mileage. It makes an excellent replacement for commuter vehicles, or highway cruisers focused on efficiency.
With a taller overall diameter of 33.16 inches (842.2mm), the 275/70R18 provides 1.59 inches (40.5mm) or 4.8% more ground clearance than the 265/65R18 tire 31.56 inch (801.7mm) diameter.
This added clearance is useful for off-road excursions over rough terrain where scraping or impact damage is a concern. However, it also causes a lower speedometer reading.
The 275/70R18 extra sidewall cushioning and impact absorption capabilities provide a smoother ride over uneven pavement and gravel.
Meanwhile, the 265/65R18 shorter, stiffer sidewalls transmit more road noise and vibration into the cabin. But both tires still deliver a relatively comfortable ride quality.
Visually differentiating between these two similar sizes is challenging. However, the 275/70R18 modestly taller sidewall has a subtle “stretched” look, which suits the aesthetic of trucks and SUVs better than the 265/65R18 lower-profile appearance. This comes down to subjective preference for overall proportions.
Handling & Stability
With a shorter, more responsive sidewall, the 265/65R18 offers sharper handling and steadier high-speed stability on paved roads.
The 275/70R18 extra sidewall flex slightly reduces handling precision but improves traction on loose or uneven terrain. Both deliver responsive, stable handling for their intended purposes.
Noise & Vibration
The 275/70R18 taller sidewall and added air cushioning absorb noise and dampen vibrations more effectively.
In contrast, road impacts transmit more directly through the 265/65R18 shorter sidewalls, generating marginally higher noise and vibration levels inside the cabin. But differences are minor – these sizes offer comparable comfort and refinement.
Durability & Wear
The 265/65R18 shorter sidewall and reduced flexing under load contribute to more even treadwear. As such, it should achieve marginally longer service life before requiring replacement.
Meanwhile, the taller 275/70R18 sidewall endures more punishment, which can take a toll on longevity. But both feature durable construction and deliver plenty of miles.
Both tires perform well across varying conditions. The narrower 265/65R18 cuts through snow more efficiently, while the 275/70R18 extra ground clearance aids deep snow or off-road driving.
Ultimately, traction, grip, and capability differences are minor between these versatile all-terrain sizes.
At the same actual vehicle speed, the smaller 265/65R18 diameter causes speedometer readings to be around 5.1% higher than with 275/70R18 tires.
For example, at an actual speed of 20 mph, the speedometer would read 19.04 mph with 265/65R18 tires compared to 20 mph with 275/70R18s installed.
Can I use 275/70r18 instead of 265/65r18?
No, replacing 265/65R18 tires with 275/70R18 tires is not recommended for most vehicles. The overall diameter should be within 3% of the original size when choosing replacement tires to prevent clearance issues.
As shown, 275/70R18 tires have an overall diameter of 33.16 inches compared to 31.56 inches for 265/65R18 tires. This difference is 1.59 inches, or 4.8% larger in overall diameter, for the 275/70R18 tires.
Since this exceeds the 3% threshold, the larger 275/70R18 tires are likely to rub, requiring modifications like a lift kit to accommodate the size increase.
Therefore, with making adaptations to account for the 4.8% diameter increase, substituting 275/70R18 for 265/65R18 tires is directly possible. Selecting a replacement tire that matches the original 265/65R18 diameter is recommended.
Based on the detailed comparison, both the 275/70R18 and 265/65R18 deliver well-rounded capability for on and off-road driving.
The 275/70R18 extra sidewall height makes it better for absorbent comfort and off-road clearance. But the 265/65R18 offers marginally sharper handling and longer treadwear. Real-world differences are minor.
Ultimately, we recommend the 275/70R18 tire for trucks and SUVs focused on ride comfort, light off-roading, and rugged aesthetics.
The slightly more street-oriented 265/65R18 is an excellent choice for vehicles emphasizing responsiveness and highway stability. Either tire size is versatile for mixed on/off-road use.
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.