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Old April 26th, 2005, 19:06   #4
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Join Date: Jun 1998
Location: Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
Fuel Economy: 116 mpg(e), 36 mpg gas, 100 mpg combined
Default Re: MPG Tires -- 205/65R15 versus stock (195/65R15)

Wider tires usually lower fuel economy.
Taller tires usually lower fuel economy, but the longer "miles" may mask this effect.
The 205/65/15 (or is it 16?) is a size approved by VW for the Passat. You don't have a Passat.
If you want better lateral grip, a wider tire will usually help, but expect to give up some straight line tracking consistency as well as less hydroplane resistance for a given tread depth and pattern.
If you need a low cost ground clearance increase, a taller tire will help, but the 1/4 inch added (195x.65 on 15s vs. 205x.65 on 15s) is negligible for those sizes. A 16 inch wheel with 205-65 will add 3/4 inch ride height over the 195-65-15.
If you want improved fuel economy, then a narrower tire, operated at higher pressure, will do the most. Consider a 175-70-15 on the original wheels. Higher pressure will lower rolling resistance and the taller sidewall will retain most of the ride qualities.
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