Tyre size dilemma - Jock
I have a 2001 Seat Alhambra S TDi (115bhp) which is fitted with 205/60/15 tyres (reinforced). I phoned Costco to find out the price of replacements and they said that 205/60/15's were £88 each, but that the recommended tyre for my vehicle is a 195/65/15 (reinforced) at £64 each.
I have contacted Seat who eventually told me that my car should be fitted with 205/60/15, but various tyre websites which I have visited since say the same as Costco - that 195/65/15 is the correct size.

Does anyone have the same model as me ?
What tyres do you have on yours?

I'm more inclined to take Seats word with them being the manufacturer, but with the 195/65/15 tyres being significantly cheaper I am also slightly tempted to change.

Tyre size dilemma - Chad.R
Your Owner's manual should have the recommended tyre sizes (and pressures). It's possible that there may be more than one "correct" size.
IIRC, 205/60/15 and 195/65/15 should give you (virtually) the same rolling radius so it may well be the case.

Have a look in the back of your owners manual and don't forget to check the recommended speed ratings too.

Tyre size dilemma - Jock
I can't read the handbook just now but will have a look in the morning. I think the tyre pressure sticker on the car lists both tyre sizes.
I saw a tyre comparison chart on a website which said that fitting 195/65/15 tyres on a car meant to have 205/60/15 tyres would result in the speedo reading 1.2% too slow (23.5mm difference in circumference apparently).

Tyre size dilemma - CMark {P}
Jock, a few quick questions. Have you had the car from new? If so, have you changed the tyres before?

Tyres are safety critical items on your car. Price should not be the only factor in your purchase decision.

What make of tyre do you currently have fitted? What make are the two sizes you have had quotes for?
Tyre size dilemma - Jock
CMark, I've only had the car a couple of weeks. I think the front tyres are 'Gislaved's, the rears are 'Continentals'. The spare appears to be unused and is also a Continental, so presumably these are what was on the car from new (the cars only done 20k miles).

Costco quoted for Michelin Energy's in both sizes (they only sell Michelin, I think).

www.mytyres.net have the following options for a 205/60/15 (reinforced) tyre :-
Dunlop Sport SP200 - £51.50
Bridgestone ER30 - £55.00
Continental CH90 - £55.10
Pirelli P6 - £61.60
Goodyear Eagle NCT5 - £64.40
Michelin Energy - £72.20
Fulda Carat Attiro - £48.50
Yokohama A539 - £50.60

If I buy from them I will then have to pay a local fitter to put them on, balance etc. I presume that this will cost £8 - 10 per wheel - is this correct ?

Would you recommend, or advise against, any of the above tyres ?

Price isn't the major factor, but in Costco's case I would have saved £96 on a set of four by fitting the tyre that they say Michelin recommend for my car.
Thanks for replies so far,

Tyre size dilemma - andymc {P}
For the 195/65 R15 size, a recent (August 2003) Which? comparison test recommended Vredestein Sportracs, followed by Toyo Roadpro 610 - dry grip and wet grip, then comfort, noise and rolling resistance, then price and availability were the criteria for the test. I'm a subscriber so I can't pass on the URL without including my password, but the Continentals fitted as standard to my Leon came fourth out of twelve. The only brand I didn't see which I would have expected to be included was Michelin, although it is included in the 185/60 R14 comparison. The Vredesteins I just had fitted to my car on Saturday cost £50 each, including VAT, fitting & balancing.
Tyre size dilemma - NARU
Costco are doing £35 off a set of 4 tyres in a couple of weeks time - might be the best time to change?
Tyre size dilemma - Jock
Yeah, Marlot - I got my Costco Passport book in the post a few weeks ago and that's what prompted my original call to Costco.
I've bought a set of 4 tyres from Costco the last 2 times the deal was on, but don't think it will be economic this time.
Thanks for the reply anyway,

Tyre size dilemma - CMark {P}

Your car is a low mileage, nearly new car so we should do this by the book.

Tyre size dilemma:
[a] Firstly, as Chad.R says, please see if your manual confirms the correct tyre size for your particular model. Don't forget to take into account whether your car has dealer option or aftermarket alloys.

[b] Next, please confirm what size the original spare is.

My feeling from what you have already said is that [a] and [b] will confirm the 205 size is the right one. Plus that is what Seat have already stated.

Remember, if you wanted to change to the cheaper 195 you should buy 5 new tyres to include the spare. If you stick to the 205 then you only need 4 new tyres, depending on [b]. This will negate any cost saving going to 195.

Tyre model choice:
I have bought over 20 new tyres in the last two years [1] so I could go in to great geek detail about tyre choice. But I won't. ;-)

[c] If you are considering buying from mytyres.net then you should of course call around your local fitters for a quote (and at the same time you can compare prices on tyres they offer).

[d] The Michelin Energy is a fine tyre, I am sure, but those Continentals look much cheaper. And if they are exactly the same model as your original spare then I would go for those (notwithstanding answers to the above).

Hope this helps.

[1] something to do with my vast personal fleet and my reckless desert driving.
Tyre size dilemma - Andy P
You can get the new directional Bridgestone RE720 from here www.mytyres.net/start.html for £60.50 each. In recent tyre tests, these came second to the Goodyear Eagle F1, regarded as one of the best tyres around.

Tyre size dilemma - Jock
Andy P,

That is the site where I got the prices quoted earlier from. Those Bridgestones don't appear in the list I get when I search.
Are they reinforced ? (mine must be)


Tyre size dilemma - Jock

I've checked the manual and there is no mention of tyre sizes in there at all. It refers you to the inside of the fuel filler door for tyre pressures. The sticker there lists 4 different tyre sizes - the 2 mentioned at the start of this post and 2 215 sizes. My car just had standard steel wheels with trims (no alloys).

The spare tyre (which I am assuming is original) is the same as the rears, a Continental Sport Contact CH90. I see that the one listed at 'mytyres' is called CH90 so this is probably the same tyre. I suppose these are what I should go for.


Tyre size dilemma - AndyT
Quote-"The spare appears to be unused and is also a Continental, so presumably these are what was on the car from new (the cars only done 20k miles)."

I reckon your answer lies in the above quote, what size is the spare?
Tyre size dilemma - Jock
Hi AndyT,

The spare is a 205/60/15 like the others.

Yeah, I've come to the conclusion that it is 205's that I need to buy. The strange thing is that Costco (Michelin) recommend 195's, as do various tyre websites (those which ask which make / model you've got rather than letting you search for the desired tyre size)

Tyre size dilemma - AndyT
I can't really see a problem with fitting the 195 tyres if you are changing all four. Perhaps the 195/65 is the spec for a lesser model than yours, but for a change of one tyre size down I think the rims would be the same.
I would be more dubious about going from 195 to 215 on the same rim or vice-versa.
Perhaps you could double check with Seat that the rims would be the same for the base model and yours for your own peace of mind.
Tyre size dilemma - John S

I'm intrigued by this 'reinforced' comment. I can't believe a normal car like the Seat needs reinforced tyres - my 323 Coupe (170 bhp) runs on 'normal' 205/60 VR 15's, and I can't believe your Seat loads the tyres any more than that.

Reinforced tyres were commonly used on vans to cope with the load. They were usually 'large' car sizes, but had exra plies to push up the load rating and included the word reinforced on the wall of the tyre. They sure didn't come in 60 series, and were not recommended for cars as their speed ratings were lower. Has this recommendation been confirmed by Seat?

As for price, I bought a pair of tyres (P6000) at Micheldever a year back and they cost £112 the pair.


John S
Tyre size dilemma - CMark {P}
John, the Alhambra is a van! :-) It is Seat's name for their Ford Galaxy/ VW Sharan clone.
BTW, the early Discoverys also used a reinforced 205R16 tyre.
Tyre size dilemma - John S

Ooops! Total confusion on the vehicle size front! I was thinking of a car, not a people carrier. Yep, it also the reinforced 205/16 Disco/RR tyres I was thinking of. Apologies.


John S
Tyre size dilemma - CMark {P}
John, although the classic RRs also came with 205R16s actually only the Disco required reinforced ones, IIRC. Something to do with a higher GVW/ axle weight.
Tyre size dilemma - Jock
John S,

The tyres should definitely be reinforced. Seat confirmed this in one of their e-mails to me regarding size.


Tyre size dilemma - robZilla
This got me thinking and I just checked the owners manual for my Vectra. It says I can either have 195/65/15s or 205/60/15s; I currently have the former. As I'm going to replace all the tyres soon I wondered what noticable differences there would be between the two sizes - visually, handling, safety or anything else I haven't thought of. Any info would be much appreciated..
Tyre size dilemma - kithmo
I wish my tyres were only £88 each. My Mk3 Mondeo Ghia X has 205/50/17W tyres and the cheapest tyres I could find were Bridgestones at £125 each, none of the tyre manufacturers do a "budget" tyre of this size, it's a performance tyre size. The Continentals that were originally on were £175 each!
Tyre size dilemma - Chad.R

As Andy P posted earlier in this thread see www.mytyres.co.uk you can 205/50/17 for a lot less than £125! - e.g.
Conti Sport Contact 2 - £92.50
Toyo Proxes T1-S - £89.40
both are decent tyres but if you really want to go budget...
Marshall 717 - £67.50
Kumho KH11 - £68.10



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