[Editor’s Note: This important tire sizing note comes to us from John Rastetter, director of tire information services for The Tire Rack]
North America has begun to receive global cargo/passenger vans designed for work and recreation. In addition to the Ford Transit Connect, we’ve recently added the Nissan NV200 and Ram Promaster, as well as will receive the full-size Ford Transit in the near future.
Tire Rack is concerned that the OE tire sizes used on these new vans will prove to be challenging to understand by consumers and service providers alike. Most of these vehicles use heavy-duty fitments featuring relatively small tire sizes and high inflation pressures.
The Ford Transit Connect features the P205/65R15 95T Extra Load P-metric sized tire that requires cold inflation pressures of 36 psi front and 49 psi rear, with the rear pressure being much higher than typical.
Euro-metric Commercial Sized Tires: The arrival of the newest global vans brings with it expanded use of Euro-metric Commercial sized tires identified with a C following the rim diameter in their size (not to be confused with Load Range C). Euro-metric Commercial sized tires are rated to carry significantly more load than their dimensionally equivalent LT-metric sized tires popular in North America.
The Nissan NV200 uses 185/60R15C 94/92T Euro-metric Commercial sized tires. Standard Load Euro-metric and P-metric 185/60R15 sized tires are assigned an 84 Load index and Extra Load P-metric tires only have an 88 Load index (all of which must have their load capacity reduced by 9% when used on light truck vehicles).
In comparison, the Euro-metric Commercial size is assigned a 94/92 Load Index for single/dual applications. Besides the OE Euro-metric Commercial tire, there are no other tire sizes designed to meet the vehicle’s requirements.
The new Ram Promaster uses 225/75R16C 121/120R Euro-metric Commercial sized tires. While the 225/75R16 dimension is common, this vehicle requires Euro-metric Commercial sized tires. Even LT-metric Load Range F tires in that size are not rated to carry equivalent load.
While the tire sizes being used on these global vans may appear familiar, tire dealers will have to confirm the sizing system used for the OE tires before recommending winter tires today and replacement tires in the future. Hopefully more choices of appropriate Euro-metric Commercial sized tires will become available in the near future.
Note: Full-size Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Nissan NV Passenger and NV Cargo vans use traditional LT-metric Load Range E sizes.