Tire Size 285/55r20 vs 35×12.50r20

The main difference between 285/55r20 and 35×12.50r20 tire sizes lies in their overall diameter and width, which impacts various performance factors.

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
/ R
Parameter235/35 R18205/40 R18Differ.
Tire Height
Section Width
Sidewall Height
Rim Size

Fitment Guide

Replacing 285/55r20 tires requires new tires to be within 3% of the original overall diameter of 32.34 inches. The 35×12.50r20 is about 8% larger at 35.02 inches in diameter, so it exceeds the 3% limit.

This means installing 35×12.50r20 tires likely requires modifications like a lift kit to prevent rubbing issues.

Ground Clearance

The 35×12.50r20 tire provides 2.68 inches more ground clearance than the 285/55r20.

This added clearance benefits off-road driving, helping prevent scrapes over rocks or obstacles. However, the larger diameter causes a lower speedometer reading.

285/55r20 in inches

Gas Mileage

The 285/55r20’s more minor contact patch and lower rolling resistance provide better fuel efficiency compared to the larger, heavier 35×12.50r20. This makes the 285/55r20 better for daily driving.

Ride Comfort

The 35×12.50r20’s taller sidewall and larger air volume absorb bumps better, providing a smoother ride off-road. But the 285/55r20 offers a more comfortable highway ride with responsive handling.


Visually, the 35×12.50r20’s taller sidewall suits the rugged aesthetics of trucks and SUVs. But the lower profile 285/55r20 promotes better aerodynamics.

285 55r20 in inches

Handling & Stability

The 285/55r20’s shorter sidewall enhances handling precision on the pavement. But the 35×12.50r20’s additional sidewall flex provides stability off-road.

Noise & Vibration

The 285/55r20 transmits more road noise, while the 35×12.50r20’s extra air cushioning dampens vibrations. But both provide relatively quiet rides.

Durability & Wear

The 285/55r20 exhibits more even treadwear, while the larger 35×12.50r20 can absorb impacts but add stress to components.

Adverse Conditions

The narrower 285/55r20 performs better on snow/ice. The wider 35×12.50r20 provides traction in mud or loose dirt.

Speedometer Difference

At the same actual speed, the speedometer reads around 7.7% higher with the 35×12.50r20 compared to the 285/55r20 due to the larger diameter. This could lead to inadvertent speeding reading.

What Does 35×12 50r20 Tire Mean?

The “35” in the 35×12 50r20 tire size is the tire’s height, which is in inches. The “12.50” in the 35×12 50r20 tire size is the tire’s width in inches.

The “20” in the 35×12 50r20 tire size is the diameter of the wheel that the tire will fit on. The last letter, “r,” refers to the type of tire, which in this case is “radial.”

285/55r20 vs 35x12.50r20

285/55r20 vs 35×12.50r20

Here’s a comparison table that can help you easily understand the differences between the options.

Our Observation
The 285/55r20 is best suited for street and highway driving thanks to its improved fuel efficiency, handling, ride comfort, and durability over the 35×12.50r20.

Meanwhile, the 35×12.50r20’s larger size gives it superior off-road performance through added ground clearance, stability, and traction.

While the 35×12.50r20 can handle rugged terrain better, most drivers will benefit more from the well-rounded attributes of the 285/55r20 for daily commuting and long trips. For these reasons, we recommend the 285/55r20 tire size for most drivers.

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