195 Vs. 205 Vs. 215 Tires, Are Wider Tires Better? 

Among 195, 205, and 215 tires the 215mm has better traction, smooth cornering, short braking distance, and time, excellent off-road performance, and the least amount of understeering tendency. 

There are some advantages of narrower 195mm and 205mm as well. These include being slightly lighter, cheaper, having better handling capability while turning, being less noisy, etc. Moreover, narrower tires are better to drive on sand or snow. 

To get an in-depth understanding of these tire parameters and what it means in terms of vehicle performance while you are driving, continue reading. 

195 Vs. 205 Vs. 215 Tires; Are Wider Tires Better?

Wider tires, 205mm and 215mm in this case are better performing in some parameters than narrower 195 mm tires. Similarly, the narrow tires have some upsides as well. 

Now, here is a brief comparison table of 195, 205, and 215mm tires. 

Parameters195 mm205 mm215 mm
Tire Width Narrow Wider Widest 
Traction Good Better Best 
WeightLightest Slightly heavier Heaviest 
Turning Radius Smallest Small Biggest 
Rim size Compatibility (inches)5.5-7 6-7.56.5-8
NVH Least Noisy Noisier Most Noisy 
Hydroplaning Tendency LessMore Most 
Cornering Good Better Best 
Braking Distance, Time Longest Shorter Shortest 
Lateral AccelerationLow Higher Highest 
Sand, and Snow Driving Best Better Good 
Off-road DrivingGood BetterBest 
Chassis Raise TallTaller Tallest 
Fuel Consumption Low Higher Highest 
Understeer Tendency Most  More Less 
Oversteer Tendency LessMore Most 
Aesthetic Good Better Best 
Vehicles Used In Ford cougar, focus, Toyota picnic Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Toyota Prius Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler 
Price Low Higher Highest 

Remember, the width difference is only 10mm. So, even when there is a difference in performance, it won’t be statistically significant. 

Tire Width 

There is a 10mm difference in width between 195 and 205 tires. But the difference between a 195mm and a 215mm tire is 20mm. So, among all three tires, 195mm tires are the narrowest and 215mm is the widest one.

And, if you’re like to know about wider tires than 215mm, read this- 215 vs. 225 vs. 235 Tires.


Wider tires have a larger contact patch area with the road, hence more traction than narrower tires. So, 215mm tires have more traction than 195 and 205mm tires. 


Since a 215mm tire is bigger in size than 205 and 195 mm tires, it has more material in it. This makes the 215 tires the heaviest and the 195 mm tires the lightest. However, this is a general rule and there might be exceptions due to special design by the manufacturer. 

Turning Radius

The turning radius of 195mm is the smallest among all three tire sizes and 215 has the largest turning radius. A smaller turning radius allows vehicles to turn more sharply than larger ones.  

Compatible Rim sizes 

These three tires have some common rim sizes. So with those rims, these tires can be used interchangeably. As you can see, the widest tire also allows for the largest rim size. 


NVH is a noise, vibration, and harshness test that shows a tire’s tendency to be noisy on the road. 215 mm is the noisiest among these three since there is more contact area of the tire with the road. 


Wider tires are more prone to hydroplaning than narrow tires. Hydroplaning or aquaplaning is the tendency of tires to lose traction and float in wet road conditions. This is because there is a larger surface in contact with the wet road and a layer of water builds up between the tire and the road. 


Wider tires such as 205 and 215 have more traction than 195 tires. This allows for smooth cornering and stability during cornering. Wider tires provide more grip and are especially better for high-speed cornering. 

Braking Distance, Time

The braking distance of wider 215 and 205 mm tires are shorter than 195 tires. This is because wider tires have more rolling resistance hence they can apply the brake within a short distance. The same goes for braking time. 

So, among 215, 205, and 195 tires, the 215 tires will be able to brake within the shortest time and distance. Shorter braking distance and time are preferred for safety and performance issues.  

Braking Distance

Lateral Acceleration

The tire that can hold the highest lateral acceleration without sliding on a wet road surface is always preferred. Wider tires have higher lateral acceleration values than narrower tires. So, 215 is capable of handling most lateral acceleration and 195 has the lowest value. 

Snow Driving

Narrower tires have more applied pressure on their contact patch which is especially crucial for snow driving. So, 195 tires are best for snow driving among these three while 215 is the worst-performing one. 

Off-road Driving

For off-road driving here, we are suggesting driving on rocky terrain. Wider tires have more grip and handling capability on rocky terrain. So, 215 tires are best for off-road driving out of 195, 205, and 215 tires. 

Chassis Raise

Wider tires raise chassis height and consequently change the center of gravity of the vehicle. This will increase the roll and oscillation of the vehicle which is often not desired. 

The 215mm tire has the tallest chassis height and as a result, the highest oscillation and roll of the vehicle. On the other hand, 195mm tires have the lowest chassis raise and roll tendency. 

Fuel Consumption

The wider tires, 205 and 215 have more rolling resistance than the 195 tires. As a result, 215 tires have the highest fuel consumption and 195 is the most fuel economical among the three. Also, 195 is the lightest, hence more fuel economy than the heavier ones like 205 and 215 tires. 


Wider 215mm have more oversteering tendency than narrower 205 and 195 tires. Oversteering is when a vehicle turns more than the driver inputs in the steering wheel. This is an undesired phenomenon when rear tires lose traction and the vehicle starts to spin around. The 195 tires are least prone to oversteering among 195, 205, and 215mm tires. 


Narrow 195mm has a more understeering tendency than wider  205mm and 215mm tires. Understeering is when a vehicle does not turn when the driver applies the steering wheel. The 215 tires are least prone to understeering among 195, 205, and 215mm tires. 

Understeering is bad for vehicle performance and safety. That’s because the front tires lose traction and the vehicle continues to go in a straight path instead of turning.


Wider tires look better on semi-trucks, SUVs, and off-road vehicles. However, the aesthetic value is highly dependent on personal preference. Generally, people like a wider, bulky tire. In that regard, 215 is the best one for aesthetics. 

Vehicles Used In

195mm wide tires are used in the Ford cougar, Focus, and Toyota picnic. Popular vehicles like the Prius and Honda accord use 205mm tires. Jeep uses 215mm tires on their wrangler and Cherokee. 


215 mm tires are usually slightly more expensive than 205mm and 195mm tires. The wider tires cost more to produce and hence they are costlier. However, it depends on the tire brand and the make of the tire. The price range is around 180-200$.

If you already made up your mind about which size of tires you’re going to get, know about KM3 vs. KO2 vs. STT Pro before making a purchase. You’ll get a clear idea about different tires on the market.

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

Yes, you can use 205 60r16 instead of 215 60r16 on your vehicle since they have a common rim size. However, as we discussed above there will be changes in your car’s performance and ride handling when you switch to a narrower 205mm tire. 

Can I use 205 60r16 instead of 195 60r16?

Yes, you can use 205 60r16 instead of 195 60r16 on your vehicle since they have a common rim size. However, as we discussed above there will be changes in your car’s performance and ride handling when you switch to a wider 205mm tire from a 195 mm tire. Also, there is a chance that your speedometer readings will be incorrect after installing the 205s. 


Does the Height Of The Tire Matter?

Yes, the height of the tire matters. Because tire height change will cause the vehicle’s center of gravity to change as well. So before installing a larger/ higher tire, you must check if the tire height is suitable for your vehicle. 

Is It Ok To Have 2 Different Size Tires?

Yes, it is ok to have 2 different size tires on a vehicle when one size is for the front wheels and one for the rear wheels. However, it is not recommended to have different size tires on the same axle of a car because it can damage your differential. 

Do All 4 Tires Need To Be the Same Width?

Yes, all 4 tires need to be of the same width. Otherwise, the load distribution on tires will be messed up and as a result, your car’s performance and stability will be affected. For AWD and 4WD, all tire sizes must be the same.  

Bottom Line 

Hopefully, this article cleared up the confusion about 195 vs. 205 vs. 215 Tires. Besides the width, the wheel diameter and aspect ratio also have a significant impact on vehicle performance. 

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at Autoglobes.com with a passion for the automotive industry.