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Old 04-29-2019, 09:51 AM   #1
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205/60R16 vs 215/55R16

Hey all. Not quite time for tires yet, but will be in another year or so and I'm doing some research now just to ask the question. When I traded up to the 2018 I made the dealers keep my Pirelli P7s which I love, but are a bit low on wet traction and steering feel compared to my previous General RT43s. I was originally wanting the Continental Purecontact, but apparently they no longer make that, or the newer Purecontact LS in the 215/55R16 size, only the Contiprocontact (yuck) or the Truecontact Tour. The PureContact LS is available in 205/60R16 which looks to be very similar in size to the 215/55R16, slightly taller, and slightly narrower. Has anyone gone with the 205/60R16 instead of the 215/55R16 on the Focus and has experience with that? The diameter is only a bit higher so the speedo should only be 1-2mph off at highway speeds, but I'm more worried about possible rubbing with people in the backseat or at full lock.

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Old 04-29-2019, 11:24 AM   #2
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I bought my car with 245/45R18 tires on it. The dealership thought that this was acceptable, but noted it on the inspection. This threw the speeds out by almost 5%, which I personally didn't like. These were winter studded tires, which aren't so good now, so I bought a set of Pirelli P-Zero+ tires in the factory recommended 235/40R18 size.

I don't think that you'll have rubbing issues, as I didn't with tires both taller and wider than stock (Though I never did load down the back of the car anywhere near capacity, to be fair.) Also, if your struts and springs aren't in great condition, that could change things. Never a problem with steering at full lock, which I did do.

195/60R16 might be closer to OEM diameter, I believe that this is the size that I'll be looking at for next winter, with a set of steel wheels.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:50 AM   #3
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I went with 195/65R15 for my winters because they didn't have 16" covers and I had a set of 15" covers from my previous focus. The diameter is slightly less than the stock 17" tires, and I thought this would negatively affect gas mileage, but to my surprise, mileage actually seemed to be slightly higher.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:55 AM   #4
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I ran 205/60r16s this past winter and zero issue with rubbing on full-lock steering and no rubbing with 4 grown men in the car.
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