/ / 255 vs 265 Tires: Detailed Guide With 3 Similarities and 8 Differences

255 vs 265 Tires: Detailed Guide With 3 Similarities and 8 Differences

If you don’t know what to choose between 255 vs 265 tires. Worry not, as we are here to help you out. By diving into key factors such as performance, traction, economy, and appearance, we aim to help you make an informed decision.

Read on to explore the benefits and drawbacks of each tire size and uncover the three similarities and eight differences between these them. Let’s dive right into it!

255 vs 265 Tires: A Quick Comparison

While both tire sizes are commonly used, they have distinct characteristics that make them suitable for specific vehicles and driving conditions. Let’s learn about them below:

255 Tires

A 255 tire is narrower when compared to a 265 tire.

255 Tires
  • This slimmer profile of the 255 offers certain advantages such as improved fuel efficiency and enhanced handling on snow-covered roads.
  • It is commonly found on medium vehicles and compact sedans, balancing performance and fuel economy.

265 Tires

In contrast, a 265 tire offers a wider contact patch with the road, resulting in increased stability and traction.

255 vs 265 Tires. 265 Tires
  • This size is often preferred for larger vehicles like SUVs, trucks, and performance cars.
  • It provides better grip and handling, especially during cornering and off-road driving
  • The extra width also contributes to a more aggressive and muscular appearance.

Here is a table comparing different aspects of both tire sizes:


255 Tires

265 Tires

Outer Diameter inches (mm):



Width inches (mm):



Circum. inches (mm):



Sidewall height inches (mm):



Revolutions per mile (km):



Load Capacity:

2405 Pounds

2679 Pounds

Revs per mile:



Tread Depth:

18 32nds

10 32nds

Rolling Resistance:



Car Load:



Braking Distance:


Very Short










Positives and Negatives of 255 and 265 Tires

Now that we have introduced both 255 and 265 tire models. It’s time to explore the perks and downsides of each size to further assist you in choosing the compatible pick for your vehicle.

255 Tires

This is why you should and shouldn’t choose 255 car tires:

  • The small sidewall height contributes to a comfortable riding experience.
  • It is a narrower tire, so it is easier to find parking slots or navigate narrow lanes.
  • Their elevated stature makes them well-suited for off-road driving.
  • Not heavier on the purse compared to the counterpart.
  • On-road driving could be better.

265 Tires

Listed below are the perks and downsides of these tires:

  • Large sidewalls contribute to a comfortable on-road drive.
  • The wider size provides a greater surface area, enhancing comfort during driving.
  • Capable of handling large loads due to their substantial load-bearing capacity.
  • Compatible with a wide range of vehicles, offering versatility in terms of vehicle support.
  • These tires are expensive.
  • Not so great when it comes to off-roading.

Shedding Light on the Similarities

Now, that we have laid a basic foundation regarding both of these bigger tires, let’s discuss the similarities between these two tires:

Similar Construction

Both 255 and 265 tires are radial tires. It means that the steel belts in the tire are arranged in a parallel pattern perpendicular to the direction of travel. This construction provides several advantages, including:

Similar Construction
  • Balance: The parallel steel belts help to distribute the weight of the vehicle evenly across the tire. It improves the balance and prevents the tire from wobbling.
  • Flexibility: Both tires have high resistance to punctures which helps them to maintain traction on rough surfaces.
  • Traction: The parallel steel belts also help to increase the tire’s contact patch with the road. It is helpful in improving traction.

It is also worth noting that both tires are typically made from a combination of rubber and nylon. They have a tread pattern that is designed to provide good traction in a variety of road conditions.

These are Big Tires – High Rolling Resistance

Both 255 and 265 tires are wider than 245 tires, so they have a larger contact patch with the road. This can give the tires better traction.

More Gas Consumption

With a larger contact with the road, both tires have to work hard to push the car forward. This leads to less gas mileage.

The exact amount of increased gas consumption will vary depending on the vehicle, the tires, and the driving conditions but generally, it is 1-2% greater for wider tires.

More Gas Consumption

Follow these tips for reducing gas consumption:

  • Drive smoothly and avoid sudden acceleration and braking.
  • Avoid driving in stop-and-go traffic.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated.
  • Remove excess weight from your vehicle.

255 vs 265 Tires: 8 Parameter Comparison

Let’s take a closer look at how 255 and 265 tires compare in each of the following areas:

1. Rim Width

When it comes to rim width, both tire sizes have recommended ranges within which they can be safely mounted.

Rim Width
  • The optimal rim width for a 255 tire generally falls within the range of 7 to 9 inches
  • A 265 tire is typically recommended for rim widths of 7.5 to 9.5 inches.

In general, a wider tire like a 265 tends to enhance traction and stability, particularly during cornering, because of its increased contact area with the road surface. Whereas, its counterpart provides advantages such as improved fuel efficiency, reduced rolling resistance, and potentially lower costs.

Winner: When comparing these two tires, there is not an obvious winner. If you are looking for sporty and responsive handling, you may want to choose a wide tire width like the 265. However, if you are looking for a comfortable ride, you may want to choose the 255 tires.

2. Wet & Snow Performance

255 tires provide superior traction in inclement weather conditions, primarily due to their higher pressure per square inch rating. A narrower tire can push into the snow, slush, and rain more effectively compared to a 265 tire.

While wider tires provide better dry traction, they face difficulty in cutting through the snow to reach the ground.

Note: Snowmobiles are often equipped with relatively narrow tires such as the 255s, acting as the sharp end of a hammer. In contrast, tires like the 265s function more like blunt hammers due to the lower weight distribution. These differences are not very significant, but they do affect wet and snow performance.

Winner: Between the two tires, 255 stands tall in this category due to its narrower design and high pressure.

3. Dry Traction

Typically, a wider tire like a 265, featuring a larger contact patch, will have a greater surface area in contact with the road, resulting in enhanced grip and stability. This is why wider tires are often used in performance cars, as they can provide better actual speed and acceleration.

Dry Traction

A 255 tire has a high-pressure rating and is better in snow but not on a dry road. It has a smaller contact with the road so the grip is not there when you compare it to a 265.

Winner: When it comes to dry traction, a 265 tire’s width is going to do much better than its counterpart. So, it is the clear winner in this category.

4. Fuel Economy

A 255 tire is 10 millimeters narrower than a 265 tire, resulting in less weight and improved aerodynamics.

  • These two factors contribute to tire rolling resistance.
  • ‘With lower rolling resistance, a 255 tire requires less energy to roll, reducing the workload on the engine.
  • It leads to better fuel efficiency due to the smaller size of the 255.
  • A 265 is going to have much more rolling resistance as it is a bigger tire. So, you won’t get better fuel economy out of it.

While the differences may not be substantial, they are present and have an impact.

Winner: 255 tires are always more fuel efficient as they have a narrower width.

5. Cost Comparison

A 255 tire offers a more affordable option compared to a 265 tire due to three distinct reasons.

Cost Comparison
  • The use of fewer materials in manufacturing a 255 tire. This reduction in material usage helps lower the overall cost of the tire.
  • The narrower size of a 255 tire allows for more tires to fit into a container during shipping. Lower shipping costs per tire so more units are transported in a single shipment.
  • Higher demand for 255 tires makes them more readily available, and increased availability tends to lower prices.

You can get the 255s for about $200 to $400. While the 265s are available somewhere from $250 to $450.

Winner: As the 255s are generally less expensive and affordable, they are the clear winners.

6. Load Capacity

265 tires distribute weight better than 255 tires. This is because the larger size of the 265 tires provides more stability and allows them to carry more weight. On average:

  • A 265 tire has a higher load capacity of around 2,680 pounds.
  • While a 255 tire has approximately 2,400 pounds.
  • This weight-carrying capability makes a noticeable difference, even if you are not fully maximizing the load capacity of the tires.

A car equipped with 265 tires is going to feel more controlled, regardless of the amount of weight it is carrying.

Winner: Generally speaking, a 265 tire has better load capacity than a 255. So, it comes out as the winner.

7. Handling Performance

When it comes to handling performance, a 265 tire outclasses the smaller 255. It is due to the increased width that allows for better traction and handling. You get a better weight transfer when cornering and there is also improved stability.

Handling Performance

The steering feel on a 265 is much heavier which makes them a suitable choice for performance cars. So, if you are considering stability, traction, handling, and performance, a 265 is superior.

Winner: A 265 is without a doubt the better tire in terms of handling performance.

8. Appearance

Talking about the visuals of both tires, it is a matter of personal preference. Some people like the look of wider tires, while others prefer narrower tires. If you want a more aggressive look, a 265 is a better choice. On the other hand, a 255 is suitable for those who want a streamlined experience.

Ultimately, the look of the tires on a vehicle is subjective and depends on your own personal style and preferences.

Winner: There is no clear winner as the appearance of the tires is subject to one’s preferences.

Vehicles That Use These Both Types of Tires!

These tires are supported and easily installed on a lot of different vehicles. Some of the cars compatible with these tires are:

  • Audi Q7
  • Fiat Fullback
  • Ford Ranger
  • GMC Canyon, Envoy, Sierra 1500
  • Holden Acadia, Jackaroo, Rodeo
  • Honda Pilot
  • Infiniti JX35, QX4
  • Isuzu Ascender, D-max, KB, Rodeo, Mu-7
  • Jaguar F-pace
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Land Rover Discovery

Unexpected Benefits of Proper Tire Maintenance

Proper tire maintenance is often associated with safety, longevity, and improved performance. Several unexpected benefits come along with diligently caring for your tires. Let’s take a look at them:

Unexpected Benefits of Proper Tire Maintenance
  • Enhanced Fuel Efficiency: One of the unexpected benefits of proper tire maintenance is improved fuel efficiency. When your tires are properly inflated and aligned, there is less rolling resistance. It results in less energy required to move the vehicle forward. This translates to better fuel economy and cost savings at the gas pump.
  • Extended Tire Lifespan: Regular tire maintenance significantly extends the lifespan of your tires. In this way, you can avoid premature tire replacement and save money in the long run.
  • Improved Handling and Safety: Well-maintained tires provide better traction, grip, and handling on the road. Adequate tread depth and proper inflation levels help maintain control during braking, cornering, and various driving conditions.
  • Reduced Risk of Blowouts: Neglected or underinflated tires are at a higher risk of experiencing blowouts. Checking for proper inflation and examining tire condition, helps identify potential issues early on. Thus, reducing the risk of sudden tire failures.
  • Smoother and Quieter Ride: When your tires are in good condition, properly inflated, and balanced, they contribute to a smoother and quieter ride. It minimizes vibrations and road noise, so you can enjoy a more comfortable driving experience.
  • Enhanced Resale Value: Well-maintained tires can positively impact the resale value of your vehicle. Prospective buyers appreciate a well-cared-for vehicle, including properly maintained tires.


Can I use 255 tires instead of 265?

Yes, you can use 255 tires instead of 265 tires, but it is not recommended. It is important to consult with a tire specialist to make sure that they are the right fit for your vehicle.

What does 265 mean in tire size?

The 265 in a tire size refers to the aspect ratio, which is the ratio of the tire’s width to its height. In other words, it is 265 millimeters wide and has an aspect ratio of 65. This means that the height of the tire is 65% of its width.

What does 255 mean on a tire?

The number 265 in tire size refers to the width of the tire in millimeters. The tire size is a combination of three numbers: the width, the same aspect ratio, and the rim diameter.

Is it ok to use different tire sizes?

No, it is not okay to use different tire sizes on the same axle. Using different tire sizes can cause handling and safety issues. This is because the tires are not able to rotate at the same speed. This can lead to the tires slipping or sliding, which can cause a loss of control of the vehicle.

Is 265 the tire width or height?

The number 265 in tire size refers to the width of the tire. The tire width is the first number in the tire size, and it is measured in millimeters.


Comparing 255 vs 265 tires, both have their fair share of benefits and drawbacks. If you are looking for the best possible handling and traction, then a 265 tire may be the best option for you. However, if you are looking for a comfortable ride or are concerned about fuel efficiency, then a 255 tire is a better value.

In the end, the final decision boils down to your personal preference and needs. Choose the one that suits you the best.

So, which new tires are you going to use on your vehicle? Let us know in the comments!

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