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255 70r17 Vs 265 70r17 Differences : [ 2022 Updated ]

255 70r17 Vs 265 70r17 Differences : [ 2022 Updated ]

If you’re planning to purchase new tires for your car, 255 70r17 and 265 70r17 are two tire sizes that you might be considering. Both these tires are great and are quite popular, which might make the choice a little difficult.

The specifications in these tires are very similar, but the two have different widths. Let’s have a look at how exactly the two tires differ and which one might be a better option for your car.

255 70r17 Vs 265 70r17 Differences

Despite how similar two tires might be, you need to pay close attention to their specifications when trying to choose the right tire for your vehicle.

Even a small difference in the dimension of your tires can have a huge effect on your car’s performance and handling. As for 255 70r17 and 265 70r17, both of them are great choices for medium and off-road vehicles. However, you’d notice a slight difference in their specifications.

Thankfully, finding out the specifications of a tire isn’t too hard. You won’t even have to look up online resources for it – the index number of the tire is all you need.

In this case, 255 70r17 and 265 70r17 are the index numbers of the two tires you’re considering. This means you already have everything you need to figure out the specs.

Here’s how to read a tire’s specifications from its index number:

  • The first number represents the tire’s width in millimeters.
  • Following the tire width, is a number showing the aspect ratio (height as a percentage of the width) of the tire.
  • There’s a letter next, which stands for the tire’s construction type.
  • The number at the end is the wheel’s diameter, in inches.

Now that you know how to decipher the index number of a tire, you can easily figure out the specifications of two tires and compare them without much hassle. Let’s now take a more detailed look at how much the two tires in question differ from each other.


Going by the order of the index number, let’s start with the width. As you may notice, this is the only part of the index number where 255 70r17 and 265 70r17 differ.

The former is narrower, with a width of 255m, while the latter is 265mm wide. As most cars have wheels that can fit both these tire widths, compatibility won’t likely be an issue.

However, the width of the tire has a major impact on a car’s handling. As a wider tire has a larger patch in contact with the road, it offers better traction and stability. On the other hand, a car with narrower tires is easier to control.

Aspect ratio

A tire’s aspect ratio is another factor to consider when shopping for new tires for your car. Not every aspect ratio is suitable for every wheel size.

The height of a tire plays a role in the driving experience too. Tires with taller sidewalls offer greater suspension, but can potentially make the car feel a little unstable.

In the case of these two tires, however, there isn’t much of a difference in case of 255 70r17 and 265 70r17 as they have the same aspect ratio. Both these tires come with an aspect ratio of 70%, which means their height is 70% their width.

Construction type

The two tires also share the same construction style. As the letter r in the tire index numbers signifies, both of them have been built using the radial construction style. This is a good thing since radial tires are more advanced and better than the other construction type – cross-ply construction.

The cross-ply tires have diagonally arranged nylon wires inside them, with thick layers of rubber on the outside. This makes the cross-ply tires tough and damage resistant. However, it also increases the rolling resistance faced by the tires, causing them to heat up faster.

Radial construction tires, on the other hand, have rubber-bonded cords running along the tire’s circumference. A single casing belt constructed of cord or steel covers the radial plies, followed by the rubber tread on the outside. Radial tires offer better fuel economy and a more comfortable ride.

Rim diameter

Ultimately, let’s compare the parameter represented by the last part of the index number – the rim diameter. Once again, both the tires are equal in this parameter too.

They both have a rim diameter of 17 inches, which means they’ll fit on a wheel with a 17-inch rim. These rims are especially common among SUVs and trucks, which explains why you’ll mostly notice the 255 70r17 and 265 70r17 tires on these two vehicle types.

So, this should give you a clear idea of how similar or different the two tires are. Here’s a table comparing the two tires, to make it even easier:

Parameters 255 70r17 265 70r17 Difference
Width 255 mm 265mm +10mm (3.9%)
Overall Diameter 788.8 mm 802.8 mm +14 mm (1.8%)
Aspect Ratio 70% 70% 0
Rim diameter


17 inches 17 inches 0
Construction type Radial Radial None
Sidewall height 178.5 mm 185.5 mm 7 mm (3.9%)

Thus, it’s quite evident that there isn’t much difference between the two tires apart from the fact that 265 70r17 is a slightly bigger tire.

The advantage of using a tire with greater width (265 70r17 in this case) is that it will ensure more traction. However, a bigger tire can also be slightly harder to control and there might be a small drop in your car’s fuel efficiency.

Conclusion: Which one to choose and when

Both tires will be good for your vehicle, especially if it’s an SUV or a truck. The tires are also quite suitable for off-roading. Overall, 265 70r17 is a better choice due to the traction it offers. However, if you aren’t comfortable with the difference in handling, you may also stick to a 255 70r17 instead.