205 vs 215 Tires | Can I Use 205 Tires Instead Of 215?

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Since the vehicle’s weight is distributed across the tires and related accessories, they play an essential role. It’s important to consider the tire’s width, diameter, and other dimensions before purchasing different tire sizes.

When it comes to tire replacement, you may think we can replace 205 tires with 215 without changing the rim. We have to know the difference between these two tire sizes. Which tire should you use: 205 vs 215 tires? These are common questions among drivers, and the answer might vary depending on various conditions.

Before replacing your vehicle’s tires, a few things to consider. The most important consideration is the tire’s width, measured in inches. This post will compare the two tires and help you decide which is better for your vehicle.

inspect car tires for car vibrating
Inspect car tires for damage.


What Is The Difference Between 205 And 215 Tires?

There are a few key differences between 205 and 215 tires. The most significant difference is the tire’s width, and 215 tires are about 0.4 inches (10mm) wider than 205 tires. This is a significant difference. These two tires have different contact patches. 215 has a larger contact patch, and 205 has a relatively smaller one.

The 215 tires are slightly bigger than the 205 tires and provide more traction. Another difference between 215 vs 205 tires is their traction; the 215 tire provides slightly more traction than the 205 tires. Instead of a 205-sized tire, consider a 215-sized tire if you’ll be driving on wet or snow-covered roads.

The following 205 vs 215 tire comparison has been made, considering that only the tire’s width has changed, and the aspect ratio and rim size are the same. You can use our free tire size comparison tool to check these tires’ differences.

205/55 R16 vs 215/55 R16

Parameter205/55 R16215/55 R16Difference
Overall diameter24.9 inches25.3 inches+0.4 (+1.7%)
Section width8.1 inches8.5 inches+0.4 (+4.9%)
Circumference78.2 inches79.5 inches+1.4 (+1.7%)
Sidewall height4.4 inches4.7 inches+0.2 (+4.9%)


Can I Replace 205 Tires With 215?

Yes, you can replace a 205 tire with a 215 tire without changing the rim. 205 and 215 tires are compatible with a 7-inch rim, and the 7.5-inch width rim is also compatible. If your car manufacturer recommends 205 sizes, you can replace 215 size tires if the rim size and load rating match.

Click the following button to use our free tire size calculator to check tire diameter, width, sidewall, circumference, and revolutions per mile.

Rim width and Tire size

Rim widthMinimum tire widthMaximum tire widthIdeal tire width
5.0 Inch155 mm185 mm165 to 175 mm
5.5 Inch165 mm195 mm175 to 185 mm
6.0 Inch175 mm205 mm185 to 195 mm
6.5 Inch185 mm215 mm195 to 205 mm
7.0 Inch195 mm225 mm205 to 215 mm
7.5 Inch205 mm235 mm215 to 225 mm
8.0 Inch215 mm245 mm225 to 235 mm
8.5 Inch225 mm255 mm235 to 245 mm
9.0 Inch235 mm265 mm245 to 255 mm
9.5 Inch245 mm275 mm255 to 265 mm
10.0 Inch255 mm285 mm265 to 275 mm
10.5 Inch265 mm295 mm275 to 285 mm
11.0 Inch275 mm305 mm285 to 295 mm
11.5 Inch285 mm315 mm295 to 305 mm
12.0 Inch295 mm325 mm305 to 315 mm
12.5 Inch305 mm335 mm315 to 325 mm
13.0 Inch315 mm345 mm325 to 335 mm
13.5 Inch325 mm355 mm335 to 345 mm



205 tire specification.

The 205 tires’ width is 8.1 inches, and other specifications, such as the tire diameter, sidewall, and circumference, are varied. Because in the market, we can find different aspect ratios and wheel diameter 205 tires. When the tire aspect ratio and wheel diameter change, the tire’s overall diameter, circumference, and sidewall height change accordingly. This tire is narrower than the 215, so it is better for snow-driving conditions.


215 tire specification.

The 215 tires are 8.5 inches wide and come in various diameters, sidewalls, and circumferences. When changing the tire aspect ratio, change the tire’s overall diameter, circumference, and sidewall height. The 215 is a wider tire than the 205, which is best for dry surfaces. Since it is a wider tire, it provides better traction, grip, cornering, and durability than 205 tires.


What Are The Advantages Of 205 Tires?

  • Better traction in wet conditions.
  • Better fuel efficiency.
  • Cheaper.


Better traction in wet conditions.

The 205 tire has a relatively smaller contact patch. Due to that reason, it has higher surface pressure per square inch; therefore, the 205 tire has better traction and handling performance than the 215 tires in wet & snow driving conditions.


Better fuel efficiency.

Since the 205 has a smaller contact patch. Therefore it has a relatively low rolling resistance, which means that the 205 tire requires less force to roll. So 205 tires consume less fuel than 215.



The 205 tires are less expensive than the 215. If you are looking for an affordable tire set for your vehicle, you have to go with 205.



What Are The Advantages Of 215 Tires?

  • Better grip and traction in dry conditions.
  • Better handling (Improved Cornering).
  • Better appearance.
  • Better braking and acceleration.


Better grip and traction in dry conditions.

Wider tires perform better on dry roads. 215 tire has better traction and grip because it has a larger contact area than the 205 tires. However, wider tires have relatively low pressure per square inch.


Better handling (Improved Cornering).

Wider tires have a larger contact patch area and tread area than slim tires. Therefore 215 tire has better handling and cornering performance than the 205.


Better appearance.

Most car owners tend to use wider tires to improve the car’s appearance. Wider tires have a more sporty look than narrow tires.


Better braking.

The 215 has a greater contact area. Therefore, it has more tread and a stronger grip. As a result, it has a reduced braking distance. Since the 215 tire has a larger contact patch, it has a slower acceleration speed than the 205 tire.



How to measure tire size?

Every time mentioned, the size in its sidewall. The measurement is mentioned in ISO format. In this example, I use 205/55R16 91H. 


205/55R16 91H tire size
205/55R16 91H tire size.


Tire width.

Tire width is mentioned in mm (millimeters). The first number in the tire size iso code is the size (before the slash). In this example, the tire width is 205mm.


Aspect ratio.

After the tire width, it shows the tire aspect ratio. Generally, it is two digits number. The aspect ratio measures the tall tire’s profile, which is mentioned in the percentage. The aspect ratio of a tire is calculated by dividing the sidewall height by the width of the tire. Lower aspect ratio tires provide more excellent handling performance.



The construction is how the tire’s internal construction architecture is. There are two types of construction, and we can find mainly three types of interior construction architectures. They are R – radial and D or B stance for Diagonal or Bias Ply.


Rim diameter.

Right after the R, the two digits are the tire rim diameter (wheel diameter) in inches. Our example 205/55 R16 93H tire’s rim size is 16 inches.


Load index.

The load rating of a tire indicates how much weight (in pounds) it can safely support when it is completely inflated. In our example, tire size 205/55 R16 93H, the load index is 93. This means this tire can support 1433 lbs (650 kg).


Speed Rating.

The tire size ISO code final letter is the tire speed rating. There are 35-speed limits, starting from 3mp/h (5km/h) to 186mph (300km/h). In our example 205/55 R16 93H tire, the H rating has a speed limit of 130mp/h (210km/h).




Can I Replace 215 Tires With 205?

Many people wonder if they can replace their 215 tires with 205 tires. The answer is yes; you can return your 215 tires with 205 tires without changing the rim.


Can I use 205/65R16 instead of 215/60R16

When selecting whether to use 205/65R16 tires instead of 215/60R16, there are a few factors to consider. The first thing to consider selecting these two tires is the width. 205/65R16 is a standard tire size used on many vehicles, and 215/60R16 is a wider tire size that may be better for some applications, such as off-road vehicles.


Can you replace 215/70R15 with 205/60R16 tires?

This is why 215/70R15 tires are heavier than 205/60R16 tires. If you decide to replace your 215/70R15 tires with 205/60R16 tires, adjust the wheel alignment, suspension, and brakes on your car. Changing these parts will allow your new tires to work correctly.


How Much Bigger Is A 215 Tire Than A 205?

There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether or not to replace your tires. The most crucial factor is the size of the tire. A 215 tire is more significant than a 205 tire, the tire size is measured in inches, and a 215 tire is 3 inches bigger than a 205 tire.


Can I use a 205 tire instead of 215 on a trailer?

If the rim size and load rating match, you can use the 205 tires instead of 215 on a trailer. For instance, ST205/65R16 tires can use ST215/65R16 on a trailer. Furthermore, you can replace 215 tires instead of 205 on a trailer (rim side and load rating match).


What is the difference between 205/55R16 and 215/55R16?

The main difference between 205/55R16 and 215/55R16 is the section width and sidewall height. The 205 tire is 8.1 inches wider and 4.4 inches in sidewall height; the 215 is 8.5 in width and 4.7 inches in sidewall height. The two tires’ circumference difference is 1.4 inches, and the overall diameter difference is 0.4 inches.


Can I use 215/55r16 instead of 205/60r16?

Yes, you can use 215/55R16 instead of 205/60R16. When choosing different size tires, select the same or higher load index and speed rating, and the tire load index lower than the car manufacturer recommended is not recommended.



If your car manufacturer recommended 205-size tires, you could replace the 215 tires and vice versa if the aspect ratio and wheel diameter do not change. Make sure that when you choose a new tire, it has the same rim size, load index, and speed rating.

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