305 vs 315 Tires: Differences

305 and 315 are common tire sizes that refer to the tire’s width in millimeters. The first number denotes the width, while the second number is the aspect ratio, and the third number is the diameter.

For example, a 305/50R20 tire has a width of 305mm, an aspect ratio of 50%, and a diameter of 20 inches. A 315/35R22 tire has a width of 315mm, an aspect ratio of 35%, and a diameter of 22 inches.

So the main difference between 305 and 315 tires is the width – 305 tires are narrower while 315 tires are wider. Wider tires typically provide more traction, stability, and load-carrying capacity compared to narrower tires. However, narrower tires tend to be lighter and more fuel-efficient.

Below is a more detailed comparison between 305 and 315 tires.

Main Differences Between 305 and 315 Tires

  • Width. The 315 tire is 10mm wider than the 305 tire. This extra width provides more contact patches for better grip and traction.
  • Aspect Ratio. 315 tires tend to have a lower aspect ratio like 35 or 30. Lower aspect ratios lead to shorter sidewalls and stiffer rides. 305 tires may have a taller 50 or 55 aspect ratio for more flex and comfort.
  • Load Index. 315 tires typically have a higher load index than 305s, meaning they can carry more weight and load. Common 315 load indexes are XL and 104+, while 305s are often 100-102.
  • Intended Use. 305s are more common on lighter vehicles like sports cars and coupes. 315s are popular on trucks, SUVs, and muscle cars needing more grip and load capacity.
  • Performance. The wider 315 tire offers better lateral grip and stability at higher speeds, along with more traction from the larger contact patch. 305s can’t match this performance but are lighter and more fuel-efficient.
  • Ride Comfort. 305 tires with a taller sidewall absorb bumps better and have a softer ride. The shorter 315 sidewall transmits more road feel for a firmer ride.
  • Cost. 315 tires are more expensive than 305 tires due to the increased materials, width, and advanced construction. Expect to pay $50-100 more per 315 tire.

Main Benefits of 305 Tires

  • Lighter weight compared to 315s.
  • More responsive steering and handling due to narrower tread.
  • Tall sidewalls (50, 55, 60) absorb bumps for a comfortable ride.
  • More fuel efficient than wider 315 tires.
  • Typically costs less than 315 tires.
  • Provide sufficient grip for lighter vehicles.

Benefits of 315 Tires

  • Wider tread provides more grip and traction, especially in corners.
  • Short sidewalls (30, 35) are stiffer for crisper handling and steering.
  • Extra width adds lateral stability at higher speeds.
  • Can carry higher loads thanks to higher load index ratings.
  • Work well on heavy vehicles like trucks and SUVs.
  • Improve traction in wet and snow conditions.

Pros and Cons Of 305 Tires


  • Lightweight
  • Responsive steering
  • Comfortable ride
  • Affordable price
  • Good fuel economy


  • Less grip than wider tires
  • Not ideal for heavy loads
  • Limited high-speed stability

Pros and Cons Of 315 Tires


  • Excellent grip and traction
  • Stiff sidewalls for crisp handling
  • Added lateral stability
  • Handles heavy loads well
  • Great for trucks and SUVs


  • More expensive
  • Harsher ride comfort
  • Heavier than narrower tires
  • Can reduce fuel economy

305 vs 315 Tire Width

The main difference between 305 and 315 tires, as the sizes suggest, is the width.

  • 305 tires have a width of 305mm or about 12 inches.
  • 315 tires have a width of 315mm or about 12.4 inches.

So 315 tires are about 0.4 inches wider than 305 tires. This 10mm difference may not seem like much, but it has an impact on performance.

The wider 315 tire will have a larger contact patch and more tread touching the road. This provides more grip, better cornering traction, and improved lateral stability compared to a 305 tire.

However, the 305 tire has some advantages too. The narrower width makes the tire lighter, reduces rolling resistance for better fuel economy, and allows for more responsive steering inputs.

In summary:

  • 305 tires prioritize responsiveness, comfort, and efficiency.
  • 315 tires emphasize traction, handling, and stability.

Are 315 And 305 Tires Interchangeable?

315 and 305 tires are close in size but are not directly interchangeable in most cases. Here’s why:

  • The 10mm width difference will change how the tire fits on the wheel. A narrower 305 may not properly seat on a wider 315 rim.
  • Aspect ratios are often different, with 315s having shorter sidewalls. This changes the diameter and overall height.
  • 315 tires typically have a higher load capacity than 305s. Putting a 305 on may overload the tire.
  • Speed ratings and construction details also differ between sizes. A 305 may be H-rated while the 315 is V-rated for example.

However, some plus sizing with lower aspect 305 tires on wider rims can match a 315 tire diameter. Always consult manufacturers’ fitment charts before swapping sizes.

While not directly interchangeable, 305 and 315 tires can sometimes be crossed over with care. But the differences in width and load capacity need to be considered.

Do 315 Have Better Dry Traction Than 305?

Yes, 315 tires generally provide better dry traction and grip compared to narrower 305 tires. There are a few reasons why:

  • The wider 315 tread creates a larger contact patch with more rubber on the road. This extra grip improves acceleration, braking, and cornering traction.
  • Wider tires can generate higher cornering forces with less slip angle for better dry handling.
  • Shorter 315 sidewalls are stiffer, keeping more tread flat on the pavement for optimal traction.
  • Advanced 315 tires use technologies like large shoulder blocks and rigid tread blocks to enhance grip.
  • 315 tires are often tuned for SUVs and trucks that demand strong traction. 305s are more common on lighter sports cars.

While high-performance summer 305 tires can still deliver good dry grip, heavy-duty all-season or off-road 315 tires will outperform them for maximum traction on dry roads and surfaces.

Are 315 and 35 Tires the Same?

Although the sizes look similar, 315 and 35 tires are not the same. Here is how they differ:

  • The 315 refers to the tire’s width in millimeters. A 315 tire will be 315mm wide, or about 12.4 inches.
  • The 35 refers to the tire’s aspect ratio, which is the sidewall height as a percentage of the width. A 35-aspect ratio means a short sidewall.
  • A 315/35 tire will then have a width of 315mm and short sidewalls with a 35% height ratio.
  • A 35-tire size by itself does not specify the width. A common 35-series tire is the 245/35. This tire is 245mm wide with a 35 sidewall.
  • So a 315/35 is a wider tire with the same short sidewall height as a 245/35.

The 315 width gives the tire a larger contact patch and more grip than a traditional 35-series tire. But both sizes will have stiff sidewalls for responsive handling.

Tested Verdict

Having tested both 305 and 315 tires on my vehicles over the years, I tend to prefer the wider 315 size for most applications. The extra grip, stability, and traction of the 315 are hard to beat, especially living in a snowy climate where the roads can get slippery. The small sacrifice in fuel economy and responsive steering is worth it for the added performance.

That said, I can understand the appeal of narrower 305 tires for some drivers. If you prioritize fuel efficiency or lap times on a twisty circuit, the 305 may be the better choice. For large trucks and SUVs hauling heavy loads, I would always go with a sturdy 315 tire for the job.

Ultimately it comes down to carefully weighing your priorities and being honest about your driving needs. I suggest trying both sizes on your vehicle if possible and picking the one that fits your lifestyle best. For me, the versatile 315 tire ticks the most boxes for traction, grip, and capability required where I live and drive. But every driver’s needs are different!

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Stephen Moen is a renowned expert and a guiding beacon in the tire industry, with an illustrious career spanning over two decades. As the founder of AutoTireUp, Stephen combines hands-on experience with profound industry knowledge to provide genuine, in-depth tire reviews and insights.