Wheels and tires are the best way to customize any vehicle, and our Tacomas are no exception. Whether you intend to do some serious off-roading, or just cruise down the highway, there are options for you. There are some things to know before diving in.
Stock Tacoma Tire Sizes
Between 1995 and 2018, Toyota did have varying sizes of the wheels and tires for the Tacomas. Even one model year may have different sizes depending on the model you get: base model, PreRunner, etc. If you’ve got stock wheels, it’s best to check your manual to see what the factory tires are supposed to be. That doesn’t mean different sized tires can’t fit, and it doesn’t mean you can’t change your wheels. That’s where customization comes in.
Tacoma Lug Patterns
Your lug pattern is also something to consider if you plan on changing the wheels. You are most likely going to have a five or six lug pattern. Which one you have depends on the model, but you can also always take a glance at yours or check your manual. In most cases, a 4x4 or PreRunner is going to have a six lug pattern (5.5 inch or 137.7mm medium offset), and the rest will have the five lug pattern (4.5 inch or 114.3 high positive offset).
Regardless if you want traction or looks, a bigger tire on our trucks is good way to go. From the factory, we have room for a larger tire, but how big can we go? There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your big tires.
Your speedometer and odometer will be affected. Both are calibrated by the factory to work with factory wheel and tire sized. Your speed is calculated by the number of rotations your wheels are making. If you pick bigger tires, you are increasing the circumference around the tire, so the distance around it is longer.
Here’s an example. Your 2017 TRD Pro has stock tires that are 265/70R16, but you put 265/60R18s on instead. Your speedometer will read 50 MPH, but you’re actually going 49.86 MPH. That’s not a big difference, but if you drive it frequently and plan to keep it for a while, your odometer will show a false reading. You can reprogram your truck for new wheel sizes to avoid this issue.
A more noticeable issue with larger tires is a loss of power. When you increase the diameter of your wheel, you effectively decrease your rear axle ratio. This will cause a reduction of torque upon acceleration.
Lift Kits & Spacers
Keep in mind that you can only increase your tire and wheel size by so much until you need to lift your truck, get new wheels, or start trimming. Just remember the “3% Rule”. Basically you can increase your tire height or width by 3% before having to change your ride height or wheels. In numbers, this is about 1 inch of height, and about .3 inches of width.
If you lift your Tacoma, you can get away with bigger tires. A good way to remember how big of a tire you can have is to think one inch: one inch of lift can allow one inch more height in your tires. This does not apply to the width of the tires. Width depends on the back spacing of your wheels.
Legal Note: If your wheels and tires are wide enough to where they extend beyond the body of your truck, you may have to buy fender flares to cover the excess protrusion. Some states in the US require wheels to be covered. Check with your state laws to be on the safe side.
*There are not many viable options for stock wheels with a three inch lift. A common width for tires on a Tacoma with a three in lift is 285mm, so the tires sizes are based around that. We are going to skip the 15” wheels for obvious reasons.
When it comes to buying tires and rims, there are plenty of options to choose from. It all depends on your budget, where you are planning on driving, and personal taste. What looks good to you may not look good to someone else. To help you out however, let’s take a look at some popular options. I will focus more on the size of wheel and tire, and not so much on the style of the wheels themselves. Again, that comes down to personal preference.
For people with 16” wheels, a common choice on the forums are the 265/75 R16 KO2s by BFGoodrich. You can generally get them for around $150 to $180 each. Reviews on TireRack rate them at around nine out of ten. Tacoma users say they have some great snow traction and they have a long life to them. For the biggest sized tire you can get with no lift on a 16” wheel and best all terrain performance, it looks like it’s hard to beat.
For about $150 each, Taco drivers on 17” wheels tend to like General Grabber AT2 265/70 R17. They are aggressive looking, and seem to perform well on and off road, and have a long life. If you’re looking for the max tire size on a 17” wheel without lifting your truck, this could be the choice for you.
At the same size as the Grabbers, Cooper’s Discoverer is a common option as well. Though not as rushed after as the other, it still gets decent reviews, and at less than $150 each, they are a pretty good deal. For day to day driving, it's an all around good tire.
A final option, while closer to the $200 mark, is the Nitto Terra Grappler G2 (there's are what I have). They are an aggressive looking all terrain with good reviews. The Nittos are popular on a number of off-roading sites, which should give you confidence in them being able to conquer most terrains.
There are tons of options. It all depends on budget and taste. If you can lift your truck, you have more options. If you can get new wheels, you have more options. As long as you keep in mind the speedometer and odometer changes, as well as potential rubbing issues if you go too big, then you'll be fine. People love to add mods to their Tacoma trucks, so make your truck yours!
BFGoodrich KO2 – User Mauiboi84 on Tacoma World
General Grabber AT2 – User Mtbkrguy on Tacoma World
Cooper Discoverer – User Maticuno on Tacoma World
Nitto Terra Grappler G2 – User texastaco11 on Tacoma World
* Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.