Tire sizes for a Tacoma

I have been wanting to replace the tires on my 2012 Tacoma since I bought it. I have decided on the Cooper ST Maxx. The difficulty comes in choosing a size. The truck suspension is currently stock and will remain so until I have the money to change it, which may be a couple of years. I'm trying to keep the tires the same width or less than stock so they fit in the wheel well, but as large as I can in diameter to maximize ground clearance.

265/75-16 = 31.65" 1.04" larger than stock.
-Common tire size. Easy to make an emergency replacement. Fits with no suspension change. Fits spare tire location.

235/85-16 = 31.73" 1.12" larger than stock.
-Common tire size, less so than above. Slightly larger than above. No suspension change, fits spare tire location. Least expensive.

255/85-16 = 33.07" 2.46" larger than stock.
-Uncommon size, not many options for emergency replacement. Provides the largest increase in ground clearance. Will rub. Won't fit factory spare tire location without modification. Most expensive.
 

SALT

New member
265/75R16 should fit just fine on a stock '12 Tacoma. I ran this size in a AT2 for over a year. The stock rugged trails are junk IMPO, I imagine that you will appreciate the upgrade.

Do not move up to a 255 without understanding the required mods first.

I'm also considering the ST maxx but in the 255's to replace my current ST's (also 255's). I prefer Expedition Portal as a source for useful & applicable info but if you're interested Tacoma World has MILES and MILES of tire threads.

Good luck!

Salt
 

brianjwilson

Some sort of lost...
Looks wise I prefer the 265 over 235. The 235s look really skinny, the 265s look just right, even with a small lift. Height wise there is really no difference.
The 255 will give you a "little" more clearance but unless you're planning to re-gear, you're just killing performance.

Since money is a concern with suspension as is, stick with one of the smaller sizes.
 

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mike2100

Observer
255/85-16 fit fine if you remove the front mud flaps. Ive been running that size in a KM2 for a while, which are slightly taller than those Coopers and have had no problems. The key is to mount them on stock offset wheels. The TRD off road wheels have a 32mm offset.
I am about to mount them to some FJ Trail Team wheels, which are 15mm offset and I think they'll still work fine with no modification to the wheel well.
I ran this size on stock suspension and lifted with Icon's stage 2 setup raised about 1.5". No difference in clearance. I took them offroad with both stock suspension and lifted, stuffing all the tires in the wheel wells. Only issue I had is a let too much mud cake up on one of the rear tires and it started to pull on the rear fender flare, popping two of the buttons off.

I will say that with stock gearing the truck is still plenty peppy, but obnoxious on the highway if you like to use cruise control. I did not try towing with 33s and stock gearing. I recently re-geared to 4:56 and highway driving is waaaayyy better. I also just did some towing (about 4k pounds) and it feels fine.
 
The mud flaps are already gone and I'm sticking with stock TRD wheels. I have heard that the V6 does okay with the 255/85's without a re-gear.
 

aardvarcus

Adventurer
You can find the 265/75R16 in a P rated tire if tire weight is important to you, the 255/85R16 and 235/85R16 both only come in LT rated. The 265 and 235 will probably still have the speedometer reading close to accurate (my speedometer with Michelin 235/85R16 reads within 1MPH @ 60 per GPS, best to check against a GPS when you change sizes), but the 255 will require you to remember your speedometer is reading about 5% fast, or change the little gears out in the speedometer sending unit.

There is no right/wrong choice, depends on terrain (sand vs rocks vs mud vs ice vs snow vs pavement) and other concerns (gearing, MPG, acceleration). It's not in vogue but I got a set of Michelin LTX M/S2 235/85R16's for daily driving, and I have a set of Cooper Discoverers A/S in 255/85R16's mounted on spare wheels for the trail. The Michelins have way better on road traction (as they are a street tire) for daily use and can handle light off-roading without issue. Plus I am not wearing out the off-road tires pounding the pavement. The obvious downside is the effort to swap wheels when I want to go off-road, and then my truck doesn't look nearly as cool in the parking lot.
 

Mrknowitall

Adventurer
I have heard that the V6 does okay with the 255/85's without a re-gear.
All depends on your OK. And whether or not your truck has a man pedal. The smaller OD will tolerate the taller tires better, while the auto definitely has a tougher time with it. As hilly as things are in WA though, I'd go with the smaller tires. The 235's will cut through slush very well. Mostly just comes down to cosmetics- do you like the skinny (different from most) or wider (like everyone else) look.
 

mike2100

Observer
Keep the stock tires until they wear out, saving money to do it "right" the first time. If you really want 33's with no drawbacks then you'll want to re-gear.
You won't be gaining much going from the stock 31" Rugged Trail (if that's what you have) to say, a P rated 32 inch tire.

BTW, LT rated 33" tires are also too heavy for the stock suspension. My front end (TRD Off Road) could not handle the extra weight of the 255/85 KM2s.

Lots of money to spend if you don't want compromises. I lived with the compromises for a while, mostly because I didn't know they were coming. But I'm very happy with my 255/85 KM2s, Icon Stage 2, and a re-gear. No more compromises really. I think the KM2s handle great on the street.
 
I'm going with the 235/85-16. I will probably be able to fit chains up front if I put spacer's on the stock wheels. With the 255's I'm not even sure I could get chains on the back. That combined with the additional weight and gearing has made me decide against them. Maybe someday.
 

vanhornsky

Observer
I have the 235/85r16 and love them bfg all terrain. They handle the road great and off road. It was my compromise since i run down the road a lot.
 

mike2100

Observer
I don't see the appeal in going with such a narrow tire (235). The 255s are quite narrow already. If I wanted 32" tires I'd go with 265/75-16. Same width as the stock tires.
 

brianjwilson

Some sort of lost...
I don't see the appeal in going with such a narrow tire (235). The 255s are quite narrow already. If I wanted 32" tires I'd go with 265/75-16. Same width as the stock tires.
Well they should cut right through the standing water on the freeways in the NW at least. Great in light snow.
I wouldn't want something that narrow off road myself but I've seen 235s work way better than I expected off road too.
 

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m3bassman

Observer
For what it is worth, i have run 235/85/16s before and now run a 255/75/17. both have about the same diameter. Rim width will play a role in how wide the tire looks as well. Many people are surprised just how skinny the 235 is. But the thing ive noticed in the two months ive had the 255s, is they dont bite as well in the gravel or rain. the front end pushes more on turn in where as the 235s seem to grip and rotate the truck better. another benefit to the 235 is as a spare, it tucks up under the bed really nice with its narrow width.
 

Paddy

Adventurer
I just put on a set of 255/85 on my tacoma. I went with toyo because they are wider and taller than others. 34". Also because they are a very heavy duty tire and I've had good luck in other sizes. So far they wander a bit but I expect that to settle down. Not sure why the stock suspension can't handle the weight? I had 285's before and they seemed fine on stock suspension and much heavier.

They did take some shoehorning to get into the stock spare location, but they do fit, sort of.
 

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