On your car’s tires, there is a series of numbers and letters running along the sidewall. You may be wondering what this means and how it can help you get the most out of your vehicle. At first glance, it might seem that it is some kind of secret code, but really it is an indicator of different dimensions and measurements. By having a good idea of how these measurements can affect your car, you can get tires that are perfectly suited to it. Today’s article can help you with this.
Figure 1: The numbers on the side of your tires denote the size and proportions. Source: CarTalk.com.
The numbers on the wall of your tires refer to the size and make up of individual areas. For today’s post, we will be focusing on tires with 195/65r15. These numbers and letters correspond as follows:
This number is the measurement of the width of the tire tread surface area. It is expressed in millimeters and is the width of the very outer edge to the inside edge facing in towards the axle. The bigger this number is, the more surface the tire will have to make contact with the road.
This number refers to what is called the aspect ratio of the tire. In today’s example, this means that the sidewall is 65% of the tire’s width. This will give you an idea of how tall the tires themselves are in relation to how wide they are.
This letter denotes what kind of construction is used internally in the tire. The “R” in this case means that this tire is a radial type. The other options are Diagonal and Bias Belt, however, many tires for modern automobiles are going to have radial construction.
This final number is the size, in inches, that the rims will have to be to match the tire. 15 inch rims are relatively small and will be found on most coupes and sports cars.
Now that you know how to interpret this series of numbers and letters, you can get a good idea of what this size is best suited for. With that, you can start to understand what the best 195/65r15 tires are. Since this size is used on a wide range of smaller, two-door coupes and sports cars, it can be hard to sort through the market. Fortunately, we have put together a shortlist of the best 195/65r15 tires available to help you get the right set for your car.
What Makes a Great 195/65r15 Tire?
The best 195/65r15 tires are going to enhance the performance and handling of a smaller, more responsive vehicle. Cars like the Alpha Romeo and the Acura Legend use this size tire for its wide contact patch and low profile. If you have a quick, high performance car like this, they could be the best option for you based on their size alone. However, there are many factors and features in tire technology that can be even more effective in this size.
We spoke to a tire specialist at Big O Tires who told us “that size is usually on smaller cars that don’t generate a lot of downforce and need good traction and a tight steering response. For that, grand touring all season is a good category to start with. It’s got a good, wide contact patch and won’t sacrifice any acceleration in the process.”
The best 195/65r15 tires will have independent tread blocks that lock together when necessary to create a stronger grip on the road. This gives you both good traction and tight handling which will accentuate your sports car’s high performance handling and other steering dynamics. It will also enhance the fact that this size is able to react to the road with it’s larger width, without diminishing the acceleration you get with the lower profile.
How Did We Pick the Best 195/65r15 Tires?
In putting together our short list of the best 195/65r15 tires, we went through the grand touring all season category and picked the sets that have the most innovative technology. These tires use cutting-edge tire compounds in their rubber blends. By utilizing additives and computerized tread designs, they are able to deliver high performance and safety all at once.
Our shortlist of the best 195/65r15 tires also include tires with all season capabilities. What this means is that they use grooves and sipes in their tread designs to help keep your vehicle steady and safe in all kinds of weather. Many of these tread designs work to wick water and snow out from under the tires’s contact patch. This can help mitigate hydroplaning in heavy rain and wheel spinning in moderate snow and ice. If you tend to drive in all four seasons, this is a crucial feature, and can help prevent having to change out sets of tires when the weather turns.
Figure 4: The Assurance WeatherReady by Goodyear uses a soy-based compound to adhere to the road year round. Source: TireRack.com.
The Assurance WeatherReady by Goodyear is a grand touring all season tire designed for coupes and crossovers. It combines a comfortable and quiet ride with high performance in a way that is perfect for drivers who want the best of both worlds. Having both confidence and comfort in poor weather is a great feature for any kind of car.
The Assurance WeatherReady used a soy-based tread compound that will react to the road and deliver high quality traction no matter what the terrain is like. This is molded into an asymmetric tread that helps clear out the bottom of the contact patch and ensure that water doesn’t get stuck in the grooves and get between the tire and the road. This safety feature is what makes it one of the best 195/65r15 tires available on the market.
It also uses Goodyear’s 3D TredLock Technology Blades on the outer edge to create a biting surface for sharp cornering and handling. This is one of the reasons it is perfect for smaller, quicker cars that are fun to drive and have responsive steering.
Bridgestone’s Turanza QuietTrack is an all season tire that is developed for both comfort and performance. It uses an all season compound that is molded into a unique tread pattern that uses Turanza’s patented quiet tracks to move air out of the grooves as the tire spins. With the low profile of the 195/65r15 size, it keeps them quiet and comfortable, even at high speeds on the highway.
Using computer modeling software, Turanza has created a tread design that has a rounded contact patch. This helps keep the tire stable and gives the steering a tighter, more responsive feel. This rounded contact patch also helps the tire cut through water as opposed to rolling over it. In the event that you hit a deep puddle of water, this will help you avoid hydroplaning and keep the contact patch on the ground instead of above the water.
The tread also features interlocking grooves that give you more biting edge per square inch. This allows you to keep a high amount of traction, even in moderate snow. By having these biting edges, the tire allows you to have more control of the car, which is perfect for small, quick cars.
Figure 6: The CrossClimate+ by Michelin has a directional tread pattern for superior handling on wet surfaces. Source: TireRack.com.
The CrossClimate+ by Michelin is designed to give you the most responsive driving experience you can get in any kind of weather. It is meant to be a multi-purpose tire that will deliver the same high performance steering and braking in both wet and dry climates. As opposed to the other tires on our shortlist, it uses a directional tread pattern with sturdy ribs that hold their grip on the road no matter where the tire is in its circumferential rotation.
This directional tread pattern also provides steady handling through many sipes and biting edges. By combining these with a specially formulated compound, it is able to also give you a low rolling resistance. This means that it requires less energy to produce the rotation of the tire. This can result in more responsive handling as well as better gas mileage.
The tread blocks on the CrossClimate+ are beveled instead of square. This is one of the design elements that contributes to the lower rolling resistance. It does not, however, give you less traction and grip in wet or snowy weather. In fact, the CrossClimate+ was able to receive the Rubber Manufacturer Association’s 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol, meaning it is rated for moderate snow and ice. Its best of both worlds approach is what makes it one of the best 195/65r15 tires available.