205/55R16 vs 205/50R16 - Focus Fanatics
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:11 PM   #1
rpokorny
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205/55R16 vs 205/50R16

I am looking for all season tires for my focus zx5 2004. It seems that very few places sell the original size of 205/50R16, but 205/55R16 is common.

Will the 205/55R16 fit the zx5? will there be a problem with the speedometer? What is the difference between the 2?

Should I just settle for the expensive original size?

I have bought Canadian Tire tires for over 30 years and never had a problem. they include road hazard and free flat repairs with their tires, but they don't have their tires in 205/50R16.


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Old 09-21-2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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Yes indeed they should fit no problem. They will be a little taller than your 205/50R16. At highway speeds your speedo may be off 1 or 2 mph. It may show 65 and you will be doing 66-67. But I think you should ok. Also welcome to Focus Fanatics.
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:53 PM   #3
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205-50-16 vs. 55s

Just from the size you can tell the 55's are 5% taller. Go to The TireRack website. Check tires by size then click on specs. It will give you a chart with various specs like overall diameter, section width etc. I briefly checked the Bridgestone Potenza. The 50s are 23.1 inches vs. the 55s 24.9. The also have revs per mile. The 50s are 902 vs. the 55 837. Taller tires generally ride softer but deflect more in cornering. The lower revs of the taller tire may help with gas mileage or tricking your car into a slightly higher top speed (if you don't recalibrate the speedo). Hope that helps.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:39 PM   #4
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Thanks, according to my manual, I should be able to use 195/60R15 or 205/50R16 but not the 205/55R16.

When I do the tire size check, I get a 2.66% tire diameter difference between the 195/60R15 and the 205/55R16. How ever when I compare the 205/50R16 to the 205/55R16 it gives me a 3.22% difference.

Are the 205/50R16 the original size tire or are the 195/60R15?
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:53 PM   #5
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I have 205/55-16's for three years now with no problem at all. Factory speedometers are not known for great accuracy. Who knows, it may be even closer with a slightly taller tire. It is definitely close enough for me.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:27 AM   #6
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I run a 205/55-16 during the winter and my speedometer actually is more accurate with them on than the stock 205/50-16. I have had absolutely no issues with the 205/55, even with running Eibach Sportlines.

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Old 09-22-2009, 05:27 AM   #7
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My '06 SES came with 205/50/16 alloys stock, but some Focus models came with 195/60/15 wheels, either alloy or steel. The diameter between the two is almost the same.

I decided to get a set of 15" wheels and go with 195/60/15 Michelins. The car runs much smoother now. The tires cost a bunch less than the 16" equivalent. 15" wheels won't work with SVT brakes however.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:05 AM   #8
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I now feel better about putting on the 205/55R16 tires. Cost was a factor, but I wanted to make sure they wouldn't cause problems. Kinda makes you wonder why they didn't just use this size in the first place. would have made it much easier to get replacement tires.

thanks all for the info.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:51 PM   #9
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I went to Canadian Tire today and bought 4 205/55R16 tires for my focus and I am glad I did. they don't rub on the fenders and the speedometer is fine. the ride difference is very noticable. with the 50 size tire, the ride was harsher then the 55. the price difference between the 50 and 55 was large as well.
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