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What is the max tire size people have gone without using a lift kit? And if you have any pictures that would be much appreciated!
 

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There are other factors such as wheel width and offset, and effect on overall gear ratio to consider. Broadly speaking approx 28.5 to 29" tires work without causing problems.
 

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I ran 225/75-16s on my '08 Patriot. The 1st generation Compass and the Patriot are sister vehicles so I imagine the fender openings and tire clearance are at least similar if not identical. I did get a slight rub under extreme conditions, but that was rare. I didn't do any off-roading, but I drove on some pretty rough roads. Those tires came off my Wrangler so they were already worn some -- probably around the 29" zoner99 mentioned.

A decent shop ought to be able to advise you. A local guy might even do a trial fit. I think Discount Tire has a function on their website that will tell you how much oversize you can go.
 
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