Tires with a comparatively bigger diameter such as the 35 and 37-inch tires are better for off-road driving since they have more ground clearance than a 33-inch tire. On the other hand, 33 and 35-inch tires are better for fuel economy and quiet rides.
In this article, all three tire diameters, 33, 35, and 37 inches are compared across a varied range of parameters to find out the best-performing one. Bigger tires in this context do not mean, the wheel size is being upgraded but the tire size.
These tire sizes are commonly found on 4wd vehicles that are used for all-terrain driving. Continue reading to get into the evaluation where a complete comparison is done considering this vehicle.
33 vs. 35 vs. 37 Tires; Are Bigger Tires Better?
Here is a comparison table of the parameters for tire diameters of 33, 35, and 37 inches. It includes factors such as traction, weight, sidewall, usable power, ground clearance, noise, fuel economy, braking distance and time, towing capability, etc.
It’s important to consider these factors when choosing between tire sizes and selecting the best option for your specific needs and preferences.
|Parameters/ Tire Diameter||33 inches||35 inches||37 inches|
|Tire Diameter (inches)||33||35||37|
|Off-road Performance (Mud and Rock)||Good||Better||Best|
|Braking Distance and Time||Shortest||Longer||Longest|
|Vehicles Used In||Jeep Wrangler, Ram 2500, Toyota Land cruiser||Jeep Wrangler, Ram 2500, Toyota Land cruiser||Jeep Wrangler, Ram 2500, Toyota Land cruiser|
*This price is as of March 2023, and highly dependent on the make and manufacturer of the tire.
The table shows that in most areas, tires with large diameter, the 35 and 37-inch performs better than the 33-inch tires. Even though larger tires are more expensive and burn more fuel, the benefit outweighs the cost.
The tire with the largest diameter among 33, 35, and 37 inch tires, is the 37-inch one. The largest diameter means the 37 inch tire will have a larger contact patch and tire footprint than 33 and 35-inch tires.
The 37-inch and 35-inch tires have a larger tire footprint and a contact patch means better traction while driving. In terms of traction, the 37 is the best one and the 33-inch tire is the worst one among the three tires.
Bigger tires, 35 and 37 inches have more raw materials in them so they are heavier than smaller 33-inch tires. Larger and heavier tires can decrease the acceleration of the vehicle, reduce its top speed, and increase braking distance.
Tires with bigger diameters such as 35 and 37 inch tires have higher sidewalls than 33-inch tires. Smaller sidewall height provides better handling when taking turns than bigger ones.
Smaller tires like 33-inch ones have more usable engine power while driving since the power loss due to their weight is lower than bigger tires. Bigger tires lose power because of the larger contact patch and the heavy weight of tires.
Ground clearance of tires with larger diameters like 35 and 37 inches is higher than the ground clearance of smaller tires. The 2-inch difference in tire diameter makes a 1-inch difference in ground clearance which is the distance between the car’s undercarriage and the ground.
The NVH ( noise, harshness, vibration) test shows that bigger tires, in this case, the 35 and 37 inch ones, have higher road noise than the smaller 33-inch tires. So, the 33-inch tire will give you the quietest ride out of all three tire diameters.
Speaking of noise, unusual noises can also be a reason for a broken belt in tires.
Tires with larger diameters like 35 and 37 inches consume more fuel than comparatively smaller tires like 33 inches. Studies show that bigger tires have low fuel economy as well as longer acceleration time from 0 to 60mph.
For example, if you have a car with factory-installed 33-inch tires and switch to 35-inch tires, the circumference of the tires will increase, and the speedometer will be under-read by a certain percentage. This can lead to potential issues such as getting a speeding ticket or not being aware of your true speed while driving.
33-inch tires are best among all three, 33,35, and 37-inch tires, for driving on the beach or sand, than bigger tires like the 35 and 37-inch. This is because, on the sand, the smaller tires have more pressure in a smaller contact patch area which is good for grip.
Off-road Performance (Mud and Rock)
On mud and rocky terrain, 37-inch tires will be best since they have the highest ground clearance. On the contrary, vehicles with 33-inch tires are the least efficient to get out of the mud and rocky terrains.
Braking Distance and Time
While fitted on the same wheel, the bigger tires such as 35 and 37 inches had longer braking distance and time than the smaller 33 inch tires. One example showed a 8.3m difference in braking distance for 2-inches difference in tire diameter.
This is because larger tires have a greater mass and rotational inertia, which means they require more force to stop or slow down. The increased weight and momentum of the larger tire results in a longer stopping distance compared to smaller tires.
If all other factors are held constant, smaller tires like 33 inch tend to have a higher towing capacity than larger tires, such as 35 and 37. This is because smaller tires have smaller radii contributing to greater acceleration and more torque being transmitted to the wheels.
This increased torque and acceleration can allow the vehicle to tow heavier loads with less strain. In contrast, larger tires have a larger radius, as a result, the vehicle may struggle to tow heavy loads.
Speaking of acceleration, did you know that wider tires offer higher lateral acceleration? Read 235 vs. 245 vs. 255 Tires to know more about it.
Smaller 33 and 35-inch tires are easier to handle than 37-inch tires. Increased tire height leads to high body roll and changes in load transfer. This makes handling difficult, especially at high speed.
Bigger tires such as 35 and 37-inch tires look better and give a more rugged look and are usually preferred by customers. Smaller 33-inch tires have a more classic look on the road. But this matter is highly subjective and depends greatly on personal preferences.
Vehicles Used In
Light duty pickup trucks and SUVs use 33, 35, and 37-inch tires. Most vehicles that use these tires run on four-wheel drive and are used for off-road driving. However, these tires can run on the tarmac as well.
Smaller tires such as 33-inch are comparatively cheaper than 35 and 37 inch tires. However, tire prices depend on the manufacturer and the manufacturer. But in general, tires with bigger diameter costs more than smaller ones.
Can I Replace 33 Tires With 35 Tires?
Yes, you can replace 33 tires with 35 tires. However, keep in mind all the performance changes that have been discussed above. You would have to pay more for a set of 35s and weigh the benefit to price ratio before upsizing your tires.
What Is The 4 Psi Rule?
The 4-psi rule is that the tire pressure difference between after traveling (hot) and before traveling (cold) should be 4-psi. If it’s more than 4-psi that means, tire is under inflated. When the difference is less than 4-psi, then the tire is overinflated.
What Is The Best Tire Pressure For Highway Driving?
The ideal tire pressure for highway driving is between 30 and 35 psi. This is the ideal range for tire pressure for safe driving. Moreover, your tire pressure should never go below 20-psi or above 50-psi.
What Size Wheel Is Best For 33-Inch Tires?
A 15 or 16 inch rim works well with a 33-inch tire. In general, most people tend to use wheel sizes between 15 and 20 inches in diameter with 33-inch tires. The best wheel size for 33-inch tires depends on personal preferences and the intended use of the vehicle.
Hopefully, this article has all the information you need regarding 33 vs. 35 vs. 37 Tires. Besides, changing tire diameter, upsizing tires can be done by changing wheels as well.