Home » These Jeeps Have The Same Diameter Tires As The New Cadillac Escalade IQ And That’s Just Nuts

These Jeeps Have The Same Diameter Tires As The New Cadillac Escalade IQ And That’s Just Nuts

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The new Cadillac Escalade IQ doesn’t look like an Escalade, and while you can argue that that’s not a great thing given that Escalade is Cadillac’s strongest brand by far (arguably stronger than Cadillac itself) and that this brand was built largely on that squared-off body and upright grille, I understand why the new EV looks different. Plus, the 40 speakers, gorgeous interior, and 450 miles of expected ranges tell me this will be a wonderful machine to drive. But forget about all that: I’d like to focus on something much more mundane — the tire size. Because it is absurd.

We all have to realize that electric cars are bringing upon the death of low ride-height and the proliferation of huge wheels and tires. Just look at the Volkswagen ID.3 electric hatchback. Its 215 55R18 tires are 2.2 inches larger in diameter than those of the car’s gasoline equivalent, the VW Golf (225 40R18). Check out the Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan, and compare it with its gasoline equivalent, and you’ll see that the EV’s 225 55R18 tires are 1.5 inches larger in diameter than the Sonata’s 235 45R18s.

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Skinnier and taller — that tends to be the trend with EV tires. It all makes sense; reducing the width reduces rolling resistance and frontal area, and the extra diameter is, at least in part, needed to make up (aesthetically) for the added girth between the rocker panel and the floor (girth added by the battery pack).

So it’s no surprise that the new Cadillac Escalade — a very-much on-road SUV with very, very few real off-road credentials — comes equipped with large-diameter rubber. But I was not expecting 35s. THIRTY FIVES!

Screen Shot 2023 08 09 At 2.14.45 Pm
Image: Cadillac

The outgoing Escalade’s 275/50R22 tires weren’t small, at 33 inches, but ask any Jeeper, and they’ll tell you that going from 33s to 35s is like experiencing Jesus for the first time. It’s a life-altering game-changer in the off-road world (so long as it comes with a locking differential or two). I’m so amazed that the new Cadillac’s factory tires are 35s (275 50R24) that I felt it necessary to put it into a bit of context. Here’s new the Escalade IQ

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2025 Cadillac Escalade Iq Sport
Front 3/4 view of Cadillac ESCALADE IQ Sport in Flare Metallic. Image: Cadillac
2025 Cadillac Escalade Iq Sport
Cadillac ESCALADE IQ Sport 24-inch wheel. Image: Cadillac

And here are Jeeps with the same diameter tires:

366369956 6517765678266399 6421382297009503788 N
Image: Doug Osterfeld
365294783 24364637376469117 7647862422366696374 N
Image: Bob Nuss
364138249 10224266286390386 4338149685091280070 N
Image: Jerre Thompson
363846336 10229335144864309 7855665612484248761 N
Image: Danielle O’Grady
364714137 10226684251446698 3114940694440546828 N
Image: Monty Wonnacott
363982117 10232822369167272 3742830515616805580 N
Image: Patrick Browne
363930478 10224390780137258 2316268353358761455 N
Image: Jenni Johnson
365323005 10227956109801473 547505827504981628 N
Image: Patrick Bogoski
366248629 10230508542518496 7752747437978341150 N
Image: Michael Canfield
365722884 1934425136950477 2599890420842195991 N
Image: Dominic Vettraino
Screen Shot 2023 08 09 At 2.06.29 Pm
Image: Gerry Spencer
363838481 10160712637854920 7769137908230421408 N
Image: Kelly Swickard
365279148 251097581128405 1592935805256420543 N
Image: Michael Sztajer

Here’s a preproduction Ford Bronco with a Sasquatch Package that adds 35-inch tires:

Screen Shot 2023 08 09 At 2.12.24 Pm
Image: Ford

35s used to be big-dog off-road tires. Now they’re Cadillac Escalade street-tires that, really, don’t look all that big:

2025 Cadillac Escalade Iq Sport
Full side view of Cadillac ESCALADE IQ Sport in Flare Metallic at sunset.

Obviously, vehicles have become much larger since most of the aforementioned off-road vehicles were built, obviously all of the tires I showed were wider and have much larger sidewalls than the Cadillac’s, and obviously there are some old vehicles with much bigger tires than 35s, like the Hummer H1, which rocked 37s even in the 1990s. But that’s an H1 — an off-road menace — not an on-road luxury SUV.

This isn’t a criticism of the new Cadillac Escalade IQ, it’s just an expression of my realization: Wow, the car-world is changing. Quickly.

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Hat Tip to Wicked Jeeps Southeast Michigan for getting me photos of 35″-tire-equipped Jeeps in insanely-quick time. Y’all rule!

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Sam G
Sam G
10 months ago

I live around a few of those XJ’s. How big is t his thing? Also DT I thought you left MI.

Abraham Smith
Abraham Smith
10 months ago

No it’s not because of EVs. It’s because designers like the look of giant wheels because they want fantasy anime cars. It’s about looks on expensive trim levels, and vehicles as fashion accessories.

The most efficient on-road wheel would be small. See Leaf.

Bassracerx
Bassracerx
9 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

they also want to fill up the wheel wells without going too low. 33 inch wheels are still big but you would have a giant gap in the wheel arches unless you lowered the car. consumers are pushing for bigger and bigger wheels. 20 inch truck wheels used to be an option now they are standard. now you are also getting trucks with 22 inch wheels from the factory!

Ilikecarsandbikes
Ilikecarsandbikes
9 months ago
Reply to  Bassracerx

I don’t know about most consumers but I like small wheels and more sidewall. It indicates a lighter car, more ride comfort (and less damage to wheels), and more efficiency.

Ilikecarsandbikes
Ilikecarsandbikes
9 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

One other reason: Bigger cars, with heavier batteries require bigger brakes. This requires larger wheels as well.
But I agree efficiency would lower unsprung mass and make wheels smaller and larger side walls would improve ride.

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