|Abstract In the evaluation of road roughness and its effects on vehicles response in terms of ride quality, loads induced on pavement, drivers' comfort, etc., it is very common to generate road profiles based on the equation provided by ISO 8608 standard, according to which it is possible to group road surface profiles into eight different classes. However, real profiles are significantly different from the artificial ones because of the non-stationary feature of the first ones and the not full capability of the ISO 8608 equation to correctly describe the frequency content of real road profiles. In this paper, the international roughness index, the frequency-weighted vertical acceleration awz according to ISO 2631, and the dynamic load index are applied both on artificial and real profiles, highlighting the different results obtained. The analysis carried out in this work has highlighted some limitation of the ISO 8608 approach in the description of performance and conditions of real pavement profiles. Furthermore, the different sensitivity of the various indices to the fitted power spectral density parameters is shown, which should be taken into account when performing analysis using artificial profiles.