Difference Between 11.5 VS 12.5 Tires – Which One Better?

If you are looking for new tires for your car, you are likely to come across 11.5 and 12.5 tires. What is the difference between the two?

When comparing 11.5 vs. 12.5 tires, the main difference is in their width. 11.5 and 12.5 represent the width of the tire. An 11.5 tire is 11.5 inches wide, while a 12.5 tire is 12.5 inches wide. The difference in width between the two tires is 1 inch.

To help you understand the differences between the 11.5 and 12.5 tires better, we will compare two common tire sizes, 33/11.5-15 vs. 33/12.5-15.

33/11.5-15 vs. 33/12.5-15: Table Comparison

Tire width11.5 inches12.5 inches8.9%
Overall tire diameter32.93 inches33.03 inches0.3%
Circumference103.46 inches103.76 inches0.3%
Sidewall height8.97 inches9.01 inches0.5%
Revolutions per mile612.38610.63-0.3%


Tire width is the distance from one tire’s sidewall to the other. Compared to 33/11.5-15, the 33/12.5-15 tire has a wider width. The difference is, however, minimal.

Overall Tire Diameter

Overall tire diameter refers to a tire’s outer diameter. It is measured in the tread’s center.

This measurement is done without applying any weight to the tire after it has been mounted correctly on the industry-specified measuring rim, inflated, and reset to its test pressure after 24 hours.

The difference is minimal when comparing the overall diameter of 33/11.5-15 vs. 33/12.5-15.

Sidewall Height

Tire sidewall height refers to the distance between the top of a tire’s tread and the top of the rim.

The difference is minimal when comparing the sidewall height of 33/11.5-15 vs. 33/12.5-15 tires.

Revolutions Per Mile

Revolutions per mile (RPM) refers to the number of revolutions a tire makes for every mile a car covers.

The difference is minimal when comparing the RPM of 33/11.5-15 vs. 33/12.5-15 tires.

Advantages of 11.5 Tires

The following are the advantages of 11.5 tires over the 12.5 tires:

  • Comfortable
  • Fuel efficient
  • Cheap
  • Light
  • Require minimal to no modification to fit into a car

Cons of 11.5 Tires

The following are the cons of 11.5 tires when compared to 12.5 tires:

  • Reduced contact patch
  • Poor handling
  • Minimal aesthetic appeal

Pros of 12.5 Tires

The following are the pros of 12.5 tires when compared to 11.5 tires:

  • Enhanced contact patch that leads to improved grip on surfaces
  • Enhanced handling
  • Enhanced aesthetic appeal

Cons of 12.5 Tires

Below are the cons of 12.5 tires when compared to 11.5 tires:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Reduced fuel efficiency

33/11.5-15 vs. 33/12.5-15: Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing between 33/11.5-15 vs. 33/12.5-15 can be challenging because the difference between the two tires is minimal.

However, if you are looking for a cheap tire that is fuel efficient, offers a comfortable ride, and requires minimal modifications to fit into your car, the 11.5 tires would be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you are interested in a tire that has better grip and handling and adds to the aesthetic appeal of your car, then the 12.5 tires are the best option.

Tips For Buying New Tires for Your Car

Get the Appropriate Size

The tire size is written on the sidewalls in a format like P275/70R17. Replacement tires must always match what is indicated in your vehicle’s door jamb or owner’s manual, and not necessarily the tires you are using.

Ensure that You Are Not Buying Too Old Tires

A 4-digit number always indicates the tire’s manufacture date; for example, 5110. This number denotes that the tire was manufactured on the 51st week of 2010.

Regardless of their condition, tire manufacturers advise replacing tires every six years. Examine the age code to ensure you aren’t buying tires that are outdated.

Get Familiar with the Terminology

For most drivers, “all-season” tires are a common and sensible option. Do you, however, believe that products labeled “ultra-high-performance” or “high-performance” are superior? Think again.

A tire’s performance refers to its capacity to handle excellently at greater speeds, not how long it can last. Any tire whose name includes the term “high-performance” will most likely last less time.

Consider the Warranty

Manufacturers frequently highlight mileage guarantees ranging from 50 to 80 thousand miles depending on the tire type. Going for tires with the best mileage warranty is always advisable.

Understand Where and How to Bargain

Can you haggle for a discount on tires despite their high cost? Without a doubt, give it a shot, but all the best.

With limited profit margins, your local garage or auto dealer will likely provide no discounts or very few.

You’ll do your best to look for a discount on associated services instead of just tires, such as installation, oil changes, or lifetime tire rotations. Expect salespeople to push for more costly add-ons like brake repairs and alignments since they may have to achieve sales quotas. Request a discount for them as part of the tire purchase if your automobile requires them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Will Wider Tires Offer a Better Ride?

Wider tires offer a better grip on dry surfaces. However, on wet and slippery surfaces, they have an increased risk of hydroplaning.

How Wide is a 12.5 Tire?

A 12.5 tire has a width of 12.5 inches.

Are Narrow Tires Better for Off-Road Use?

Narrow tires will be suitable for off-road use if you are driving over rock, hard-packed dirt, or other hard surfaces. On the other hand, if you are driving over sand, mud, snow, or loose gravel, wider tires will be the suitable option since they offer better floatation.

Do Wider Tires Consume More Gas?

Yes. Wider tires consume more gas compared to narrow tires. This is mainly due to their weight.

Does the Width of a Tire Affect Its Fuel Economy?

Yes. The larger the width of a tire, the poorer the fuel economy it will offer.

Final Take

We hope this article helped you understand the differences between 11.5 and 12.5 tires. The 12.5 tire is 1 inch bigger than the 11.5 tires when comparing the width of the two tires.

The tire you choose to buy between the two will depend on your preferences and tastes.

Abdullah Anas

I am Abdullah Anas, a tire expert. I hate seeing people struggle to find the right tires for their cars. That is why he puts much effort into writing well-researched content about car tires. Today, it’s six years since he started the good work. I have received a lot of positive feedback from his readers and friends. Now my target is to let you understand every detail about all the tires available in the market

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts