Tyre sizes: India vs. USA/Europe
You may have occasionally seen a car with oversize tyres and wondered:
- Is it a fad?
- Is it good for the car?
- Does it improve the ride quality?
- What effect does it have on fuel consumption?
And a visit to many website on Cars and Bikes would tell you - the manufacturer always fits the best/optimum spec'ed equipment to the product; don't change it.
So what is the truth, especially about tyres? Here is a comparison:
Suzuki Swift: India=165/80 R14 and 185/70 R14, UK=185/60 R15
Hyundai i20: India=175/70 R14 and 175/65 R14, UK=185/60 R15
What is the deal behind larger tyres?
Larger tyres help in the following:
- better grip due to larger contact area with ground
- better traction
- improved response to steering
- better control
- reduced braking distance
- looks good (especially with chrome-steel alloyed rims)
So why this difference?
Car manufacturers reduce the size for many reasons that especially make a difference in India:
- smaller tyres = reduced cost
- reduced cost = lesser excise = lower price
- smaller tyres yield better fuel efficiency - very sensitive for the Indian buyer
- Indian road are narrow and average speeds are not great - large tyres do not necessarily make a difference
Should you upgrade?
Definitely not if the tyres are brand new. It will cost you a lot to change rims and tyres. It is pointless to do so for new car or new tyres. A full set change of 5 tyres/rims will cost anything from 30K to 70K.
If your car tyres are up for changes then it may make sense if you do a lot of highway driving. But do consult the authorized service center on the best possible size upgrades. After all, you cannot fit a Swift tyre to an M800.
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