Tire Size 265/70r17 vs 33×12.5r17

The main difference between 265/70r17 and 33×12.5r17 tires is in the section width. The 33×12.5r17 tire size is about 2.09 inches wider than the 265/70r17 tire size. This wider tread makes a difference across 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
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Parameter235/35 R18205/40 R18Differ.
Tire Height
Section Width
Sidewall Height
Rim Size

Fitment Guide

Replacement tires should be within 3% of the original size’s overall diameter to prevent clearance issues or speedometer inaccuracies.

At 4.5% larger diameter, 33×12.5r17 tires may require slight suspension modifications to prevent rubbing during complete wheel articulation.

Gas Mileage

The narrower 265/70r17 tire is more fuel-efficient than the wider 33×12.5r17 with a more minor contact patch and lower rolling resistance.

This can translate to measurable fuel savings over time, making the 265/70r17 a good choice for daily drivers focused on efficiency.

Ground Clearance

The 33×12.5r17’s larger diameter provides 1.42 inches (36mm) more ground clearance than the 265/70r17 size.

This added clearance aids off-road driving by reducing the risk of scrapes or damage from obstacles. However, it also causes a 4.3% lower speedometer reading.

Ride Comfort

While the 265/70r17 offers a smooth highway ride, the 33×12.5r17’s taller sidewall and larger air volume provide superior impact absorption.

This cushier ride increases comfort on uneven terrain but marginally reduces handling precision.


The wider 33×12.5r17 has a bulkier, more aggressive visual stance than the narrower 265/70r17. This styling suits trucks and large SUVs well, but drivers preferring a lower-profile look may favor the 265/70r17.

Handling & Stability

With a shorter, stiffer sidewall, the 265/70r17 provides slightly sharper handling and quicker response on pavement.

However, the 33×12.5r17’s 0.71-inch taller sidewall flexes more, reducing responsiveness slightly but aiding stability.

Noise & Vibration

The 265/70r17’s stiff sidewall transmits more road noise and vibration into the cabin. The 33×12.5r17’s flexible sidewall dampens vibrations better for a more comfortable ride, but its aggressive tread produces marginally more noise.

Durability & Wear

With a narrower tread and contact patch, the 265/70r17 exhibits more even wear across its tread life.

The wider 33×12.5r17 sees more stress across a larger footprint, potentially shortening tread life. Its extra weight also adds strain on suspension components.

Adverse Conditions

The narrower 265/70r17 cuts through to the pavement more effectively for better traction in snow and ice.

Meanwhile, the meatier 33×12.5r17 tread provides an advantage in deep mud or sand. Both perform well overall in wet conditions.

Speedometer Difference

At the same actual vehicle speed of 20 mph, the 33×12.5r17 displays a speedometer reading of 20.9mph due to its larger diameter.

This 4.5% increase should be considered if relying on the speedometer for accurate speed tracking.

Is 265/70r17 A 33 Inch Tire

No, a 265/70R17 tire is not the same size as a 33×12.5R17 tire. A 265/70R17 tire has an overall diameter of 31.61 inches, while a 33×12.5R17 tire has an overall diameter of 33 inches.

Therefore, the 33×12.5R17 tire is larger in size compared to the 265/70R17 tire.

265/70r17 Equivalent

The 265/70R17 is equivalent to 31.7×10.4R17 in inches. The 265/70R17 tire size has a diameter of 31.7 inches (804 mm), a section width of 10.4 inches (265 mm), and a rim diameter of 17 inches (431.8 mm).

33×12.5R17 Equivalent

The equivalent metric size for 33×12.5R17 tires is 315/65R17. This is the closest metric equivalent to the 33×12.5R17 size.

The 315/65R17 tire is slightly taller and has a slightly smaller width compared to the 33×12.5R17 tire, with minor differences in other parameters as well.

Can I Use 265/70R17 Instead of 33×12.5R17?

The 265/70R17 tire’s 4.5% smaller diameter exceeds the 3% limit typically allowed for direct replacement. However, at only 1.42 inches less, it may still be an option.

Some suspension adjustments may be required to prevent rubbing. Check load ratings as well – the 265/70R17 must meet or surpass the 33×12.5R17’s carrying capacity.

Also consider the 4.3% lower speedometer reading with the smaller 265/70R17 size. With these factors addressed, the 265/70R17 can potentially substitute for 33×12.5R17 tires.

How Much Taller Is A 33×12.5R17 Tire Than A 265/70R17?

The 33×12.5R17 tire is 1.42 inches, or 36.04mm, taller in overall diameter compared to the 265/70R17 tire.

This equates to a 4.5% increase in overall tire height, going from the 265/70R17 to the larger 33×12.5R17 size. So, drivers can expect a modest lift in ride height with the 33-inch tall tire.

How Much Wider Is A 33×12.5r17 Tire Than A 265/70r17?

The 33×12.5R17 tire is 2.09 inches, or 53mm, wider than the 265/70R17 tire. This translates to a 20% increase in section width from the 265/70R17 to the wider 33×12.5R17 size.

So, the 33×12.5R17 tire has over 2 inches more tread on the road for added traction and stability.

265/70r17 vs 33x12.5r17

33×12.5r17 vs 265/70r17

Our Observation
Overall, both the 265/70R17 and 33×12.5R17 tire sizes have merits depending on the application. For most daily drivers and on-road use, we recommend the 265/70R17 due to its fuel efficiency, even tread wear, responsive handling, and a smoother ride.

For dedicated off-roading, the 33×12.5R17 is advantageous thanks to its added ground clearance, traction, stability, and damage resistance when navigating rough terrain.

Casual off-roaders and SUVs striking a balance could benefit from either tire, but the 265/70R17 optimized for street and highway use gets the nod for best all-around choice. Its minor on-road tradeoffs outweigh the 33×12.5R17’s off-road specialization for most drivers.

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