Tire Size 33×12.50r20 vs 35×12.50r20

The main difference between 33×12.50r20 and 35×12.50r20 tires is in the overall diameter, which directly influences the vehicle’s ground clearance, speedometer accuracy, and aesthetic appeal.

The 35-inch tires offer a 2-inch larger diameter than their 33-inch counterparts, resulting in a 5.7% increase in diameter.

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

The 35×12.50r20 is 2 inches taller in overall diameter compared to the 33×12.50r20. This 6.1% difference exceeds the 3% diameter tolerance for direct replacement.

So lifting the vehicle or modifying fenders may be required to fit 35-inch tires without rubbing. The widths are identical at 12.52 inches.

Ground Clearance

The extra diameter of the 35-inch tire provides 1 inch increased ground clearance. This can help with off-road driving by better clearing rocks, ruts, and other obstacles.

However, the larger diameter also causes the speedometer to read lower than actual speed.

Gas Mileage

Larger tires like the 35×12.50r20 can decrease gas mileage due to increased rolling resistance and weight.

Conversely, the slightly smaller 33×12.50r20 tires might offer better fuel efficiency by maintaining closer to the vehicle’s original tire size, thus minimizing the impact on fuel consumption. Vehicle owners prioritizing fuel economy might lean towards the 33-inch option.

Ride Comfort

The 35-inch tire’s taller sidewall provides more cushioning from impacts like potholes or gravel. This can improve ride comfort, especially at lower inflation pressures ideal for off-road use.

The 33-inch tires, while offering less clearance, keep the vehicle closer to its original design specifications, affecting the speedometer readings minimally.


Subjectively, the 35-inch tire’s taller sidewall looks more proportional on trucks and SUVs, minimizing a stretched or balloon-like appearance.

It projects a rugged off-road style. The 33-inch tire has a slightly more street performance look.

Handling & Stability

The 35-inch tire’s flexier sidewall reduces handling precision slightly. But it provides more stability and traction in loose dirt, mud, and other low-traction surfaces. The 33-inch tire offers crisper responsiveness in on-road driving.

Noise & Vibration

Despite a more aggressive tread, the 35-inch tire runs quieter than the 33-inch version. Its larger air chamber and taller sidewall help absorb noise instead of transmitting it into the cabin.

The 33-inch tire tends to relay more road noise and vibration through its stiffer sidewall.

33×12.50r20 vs 35×12.50r20

Durability & Wear

The heavier 35-inch tire endures more stress and distributes impacts over more rubber. However, it also adds rotating mass that strains components like wheel bearings.

Overall tread life is likely similar between sizes with proper alignment and inflation.

Adverse Conditions

In deep snow or mud, the 35-inch tire’s larger contact patch and tread provide an advantage thanks to increased traction.

Its higher ground clearance also helps maneuverability. The narrower 33-inch tire can occasionally cut through to the pavement better in very deep snow.

Speedometer Difference

Due to its larger diameter, the 35-inch tire causes the speedometer to read 5.7% lower than actual vehicle speed.

At a true speed of 20 mph, the speedometer would read 21.21 mph with the smaller 33-inch tire. Being aware of this discrepancy is important for staying within posted speed limits.

What Does 33×12.50r20 Tire Mean?

The 33×12 50r20 tire size is a 33-inch diameter tire with a 12.50-inch width, and the Last number, 20, indicates that it has a 20-inch rim.

The letter R means that it is a radial tire. This size tire is often used on lifted trucks and SUVs.

What Does 35×12.50r20 Tire Mean?

The 35×12 50r20 tire size is a 35-inch diameter tire with a 12.50-inch width, and the Last number, 20, indicates that it has a 20-inch rim. The letter R means that it is a radial tire.

Now look at 35×12 50r20, the only difference here is the diameter of 35 inches compared to 33 inches of the first tire size. 

Our Observation
After comparing the 33×12.50r20 and 35×12.50r20 tire sizes, it’s clear the larger 35-inch option favors off-road use. The additional diameter of wheels enhances ground clearance, traction, impact absorption, and visual appeal for trucks SUVs.

However, it may lead to compromised on-road handling and fuel efficiency. The 33-inch tire better retains responsive street performance and speedometer accuracy.

Carefully weighing intended driving conditions and vehicle requirements helps determine which size best suits your needs. Both offer capable performance with the correct application.

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