I am attempting to get a straight answer regarding winter tires. The size as shown on the inside of the door is "215/60R/15". I am told that I can use 195/65R/15 and 205/65R/15 tires as well. Is this true or am I being mislead? HELP!
Here's how it breaks down. The stock tires have a rolling diameter of about 24.4 inches (assuming a rolling diameter of 97 percent of the specified diameter, which is typical for passenger car tires).
The 195/65 tires have a rolling diameter of about 24.23 inches, or about 3/4 of a percent less than the stock tires. Clearance-wise that's a non-issue. Your ride height will be about 3/16 of an inch lower. Whether or not that's a problem is a judgement call. I would say probably no, unless your car is already quite low. Your speedometer will read about 3/4 of a percent higher (0.75 kph at 100 kph). The narrower tires will probably be slightly better in deep snow than the same tire at the stock size. I would say that's a reasonable trade off.
The 205/65 tires have a rolling diameter of about 24.73 inches, or a little more than 1 percent larger than the stock tires. I doubt that will be a clearance problem (it's less than 3/16 of an inch on the radius). Your speedometer will read about 1 percent low, or 1 kph at 100 kph. It's a slight increase in ride height but, for a passenger car, I doubt it's enough to be worried about. (The extra ride height might even help, in snow.) As with the 195s, this is probably a better size in snow than the stock tires because of being narrower, and also, in this case, taller.
So, all things considered, I think those are both reasonable choices.