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Tyre Upsize Guide. Pros and Cons of Smaller Vs Wider Tyres

Tyre Upsize Guide. Pros and Cons of Smaller Vs Wider Tyres

Smaller Tyres or Bigger Tyres with More Width Comparison with Pros and Cons. Differences in Handling, Mileage, Suspension, Warranty Terms. Upsize Guide


Tyres - Safety

The Shoes of Cars - also known as Tyres plays a key role in Drive-ability and Handling Characterstic

As most of the Entry Hatch Cars in India lacks ABS and If your Car has duo combination of Smaller Tyres and Smaller Wheels - then your Car is relatively more Vulnerable to lock up in event of sudden force braking on even Moderate Speeds - failing to lose control over Steering

This may Just Prove Fatal, especially if applying sudden brakes with force in Emergency Situation.

Add on Factor - Cars with Smaller Wheels and Tyres - would not be best in Handling - especially if you frequent drive on High Speeds. If you are looking to choose New Tyres, refer below on what to look for

Size of Tyre - Normally its is 14 to 16 Inch Tyres been used in Most of Indian Cars. However - there is more - If you read a size of Tyre for a New Car its always mentioned like - 185/60 R 15 85 V -

Width & Height: Here 185 is Width in MM and 60 is Percentage Height of Tyre as against Tyre Width

Wheel Size: Here R 15 Implies Wheel Size. Normally it is the most important factor

Load Index: 85 Implies Load Index and in a car normally most of branded tyres have atleast 85 and above load index

Maximum Speed: V signifies Maximum Speed like V is for 240 km, H for 210 Km , W for 270 and Y for 300 Km

Radial Tubeless Tyres to be always chosen because of technology and multiple plus points including performance, life and mileage.

Tyre Brands / Companies : Some of the Prominent Tyres Companies in India are - Apollo, Yokohama, Ceat, JK, Michelin, MRF, Bridgestone . Go Always with the Brand


Why Smaller Tyres chosen by Car Manufacturers

Cost Cutting is Evident in Indian Cars.

Leave aside Light Build - Cut down costs on Cabin AC Pollen Filter, Omitting ABS as Standard Safety Spec, Smaller Tyres, Smaller Wheels - to sole remain Price Competitive with Good Mileage has been long mantra of most of Entry Hatchback Segment or even Entry Mid Sedan Segment

Though the Mileage Benefit and Cost Savings is put up - but its a user to decide - to choose Safety or Mileage. Before Choosing in for Tyre Upsize -

Disclaimer Warning (for Cars Equipped with ABS): If your car equipped with ABS and you go in for Tyre Upsize - then there is likely possibility that ABS may not work properly if other than OEM recommended Tyre size used. There is a reason that ABS works by comparing changes in wheel speed when braking and the sensor may not detect in event of Tyre been changed.


Key Difference - Smaller Tyres Vs Wider Tyres

Wider Tyres - Tyre Upsize Benefits Smaller Tyres Benefits
Increased Grip on Road due to More Surface Width Area of Tyres Low Friction - Ideal for Cars driven in Daily City Ride. Been Sidewall is thicker due to higher Aspect ratio - ride is particularly soft and comfortable
Better Stability on High Speed. Ideal if drive Often on Highway Light Weight - Improved Low Speed Acceleration
Improved Balancing & Handling even on Bad Patch Roads. With Sidewall been thinner - it adds a firmness to Ride Cost Effective been Smaller Tyres costs Significant lesser
Macho Feel and Drive-ability. Cars Looks Well Planted with Wider Tyres Relative Easy Steering Response with Smaller Tyres
Net All Benefit: Thus Ride Quality Improves Net All Benefit: Able to Deliver Better Mileage

In terms of Tyre Upsize - Make a tradeoff basis requirement and Benefits Mentioned


Below are the Downside Risks

Wider Tyres - Downside Risks Smaller Tyres - DownSide Risks
Suspension (Link Rod, Lower Arm, Bushes, Shockers etc) are suspectible to even much faster Quicker Wear & Tear - if chosen Aggressive Tyre Upsize Grip and Handling Feel is always missed in Puny / Small Tyres
Mileage would tend to be Impacted. Extent depends on Upsize, Profile. But can dip by anywhere from 5% to 10% Can Potentially be Risky in Smaller 12 Inch, 13 Inch Wheels with Smaller Tyres - if lacks ABS and applied force brake on high Speed
If you care for Light Most Steering Response and drive primarily on City Roads - then should not go in for Upsizing Wheels & Tyres - as a slight weight may take away that super lightness in Steering response. Lacks Highway Dynamics. Not Ideal for Upcountry Bad Patch Roads or High Speed Drive.
Ride is slight Firm and not as Soft - in City Ride due to Low Profile Sidewall Ride Lacks Firmness due to Thicker Sidewall if Driven on High Speed, Upcountry Roads


How is Tyre Upsize Done

There are generally 3 Ways in which upsize are done by Car Owners :-

» Retain in Existing Wheels, Only Upsize Tyres of Higher Width - Upsize should not be beyond 2% Deviation in Circumference Wider Tyres

» Upsize Both Wheels and Tyres - Generally under 2%, but to play Slight aggressive - upto 2.5% max Deviation

» Upsize and Replace Steel Wheel with Alloy Wheels and Upsize Tyres - This is the Most Expensive replacement and costs Significant sum Generally 2% Deviation, but to play Slight aggressive - upto 3% max Deviation


If Buying New Tyres - its important to buy in Tyres with Latest Manufacturing. Know -  how to decode :-

Find Tyre Manufacturing Date


Look at Below - how is Tyre Size Readed (Especially Width and Size)


Tyre Size of Some Cars - where Upsize Needed

Hyundai Eon Dlite Plus R12 145/80 Maruti Wagon R Lx, Lxi R13 145/80
Alto 800 R12 145/80 Datsun Go R13 155/70
Hyundai Eon Era Plus onwards R13 155/70 Renault Kwid R13 155/80
Alto K10 R13 155/65 Chevy Spark R13 155/70
Tata Nano R12 155/65 for Rear. R12 135/70 for Front Ford Figo and Ford Figo Aspire Diesel with 100 PS Power R14 175/65 
Swift & Swift Dzire Lxi/Ldi, Vxi/Vdi R14 165/80 Honda Amaze Diesel with 100 PS Power R14 175/65 
Datsun Go Plus R13 155/70 Honda City with 128 PS Power / 100 PS Power R15 175/65 

Would recommend an Upsize - for better feel, Grip, Handling in above Cars. Especially Cars like - Swift, Swift Dzire Ford Figo Diesel, Honda Amaze, Honda City - which has descent higher end Power Band Output - can be fun for enthusiasts with wider Tyres. 

Do note that Cars which are Loaded with Higher Power Output and calls on for Enthusiastic Drive, To unleash there Potential and Improve Handling - a Tyre Upsize can do wonders. Disclaimer: However, if you do this in Brand New Car - by upsizing Wheels - your warranty may get Void - Pls contact Manufacturer / Dealer for information


How to Upsize Tyres - Which Size

Basic Principle of Upsizing Tyres on Ideal Basis :- The Width of the Tyre Increased and the Height Profile should come down

Overall - Diameter Variation should not be more than 2% - else will impact Mileage and lead to early Wear & Tear

Calculate Existing Wheel Diameter and Compare it with New Tyre Diameter

How to Calculate

Example - New Honda City Tyre Size is 15 Inch, R15 175/65 - which to the stature of this car is smaller to our view.Lets see whether 16 Inch Tyre R16 185/55 will suit it or R15 195/60 (expanding the width)

» Existing Diameter - Tyre Size (15 Inch * 2.54 cm) + Sidewall Gap of both Side of Tyre (17.5*.65)*2 = 60.9 cm

» Diameter with New Tyre - Tyre Size (16 Inch * 2.54 cm) + Sidewall Gap of Both Sides (18.5*.55)*2 = 60.9 cm

» Diameter with New Tyre - Tyre Size (15 Inch * 2.54 cm) + Sidewall Gap of Both Side (19.5*.6)*2 = 61.5 cm

Difference is less than 2%. Its best to have R15 195/60 as you do not need to change wheels (been of similar size) and also the height of the Tyre is not getting reduced considerably, rather the width is increasing with total diameter change as less than 2%. Its the best fit Tyre for New Honda City.


Lets take another example for Wagon R Lxi, which comes in R13 145/80 and to upgrade tyres to R14 165/65

» Existing Diameter - Tyre Size (13 Inch * 2.54 cm) + Sidewall Gap of both Side of Tyre (14.5*.80)*2 = 56.22 cm

» Diameter with New Tyre - Tyre Size (14 Inch * 2.54 cm) + Sidewall Gap of Both Side (16.5*.65)*2 = 57.01 cm 

Note - if you choose bigger Inch Tyres - you will be required to change Wheels too. Though - its best to choose Tyres in Same Size having More Width - if tyre size is smaller, but 13 Inch Tyres Specs is relatively smaller to our view - its best to Upgrade to 14 Inch


Tyre (Wheel Size of Cars)

Hyundai Eon Dlite, Dlite Plus, Era, Maruti Alto 800, Tata Nano 12 Inch
Maruti Alto K10, Wagon R Lxi, Datsun Go & Go Plus, Renault Kwid, Eon Magna Plus onwards 13 Inch
Nissan Micra, Renault Pulse, Wagon R & Celerio Vxi onwards, Ritz & Swift Lxi, Lxi Option, Vxi, Chevy Beat, Honda Brio, Etios Liva, Hyundai Grand i10, Elite I20 except Asta Trim, Ford Figo 14 Inch
Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent, Swift Dzire Lxi & Vxi, Chevy Sail 14 Inch
Tata Zest, Swift Dzire Zxi, Toyota Etios, VW Polo C/L & H/L, Tata Zest, Honda City, VW Vento, Skoda Rapid, Honda Mobilio, Maruti Ertiga, Renault Lodgy, Toyota Innova, Ford Ecosport 15 Inch
Hyundai Verna, Renault Duster, Elite I20 Asta, Fiat Avventura, Maruti Ciaz Zxi, Tata Safari Storme, Hyundai Creta all Variants except Top, Nissan Terrano, Ford Ecosport Top End 16 Inch
Mahindra Scorpio, XUV500, Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero, Hyundai Creta Sx Option 17 Inch
Luxury High End Cars 16 Inch to 19 Inch

Important - If you change RIM from Steel to Alloy Wheels, you may have to spend additionally from Rs 15000 to 25000 (for 14 Inch to 15 Inch Alloy Wheels in India).

Tyre Prices

Indicative Range of Tyres basis Common Size is listed below - Each Tyre

Wheel Size Price Range Wheel Size Price Range
12 Inch Tyres Rs 2400 - 3200 16 Inch Tyres Rs 6000 - 11000
13 Inch Tyres Rs 3000 - 4200 17 Inch Tyres Rs 9000 - 15000
14 Inch Tyres Rs 3600 - 5000 18 Inch Tyres Rs 15000 - 25000
15 Inch Tyres Rs 4200 - 6500 19 Inch Tyres Rs 18000 - 30000
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Comments 1

Guest - Nayan ajmera on Friday, 11 August 2017 19:02

Hello ...I had a grand i10 and I want to upsize the tyre for better comfort so I search a bit and I found 185 60 14 but I m confused dat is it right or wrong so plz. Suggest and which tyre is better between Yokohama earth 1 vs Michelin xm2....Thank u

Hello ...I had a grand i10 and I want to upsize the tyre for better comfort so I search a bit and I found 185 60 14 but I m confused dat is it right or wrong so plz. Suggest and which tyre is better between Yokohama earth 1 vs Michelin xm2....Thank u
Monday, 21 August 2017