"XL" vs. Standard load tires ... what should I do?

Can I place an "extra load" tire on a vehicle that calls for a "standard" rating?

The "XL" (extra load) tire can be ordered for a vehicle that had a standard load tire as its Original Equipment. This is accomplished in the manufacturing process by adding additional material to the shoulder of a tire for extra strength. These reinforcements (usually accomplished with polyamide belting found where the sidewall and tread meet) are designed to minimize any tire deflection and reduce potential damage due to road impact. These strong tires will be branded with an "XL" or "RF" in their descriptions.

Will the XL tire have an effect on my comfort?

The "XL" tire will change the perception and feel of the vehicle. Tires that are engineered with reinforced sidewalls typically fall into the performance tire category. These tires have a rubber compound formulated to accentuate performance but not necessarily detract from the ride quality.  

A driver should consider XL tire options when plus sizing any wheel packages or if more feedback from the tire is desired. Drivers seeking a firmer ride and enhanced car control would not need to be concerned with the XL warning when comparing different tires to match their driving expectations. As a matter of fact, this type tire will enhance the overall vehicle stability and handling. Also, the selection of a more aggressive tread compound will increase grip in the wet and dry.

For drivers desiring a softer feel and are willing to forgo the car’s stability in cornering, the standard load tire will be a more appropriate choice.

A perfect example of a tire featuring the XL rating and the standard load in the same size is the 235/70R15 Kumho Solus KR21.

Kumho Solus KR21
Kumho Solus KR21 XL and Standard load


Friday, May 29, 2015 by Louis Rendon

What about when a car comes OEM with XL and i unknowingly put standard on the front when changing them. Could this cause unstability at higher speeds, because im having an issue there.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 by Tire Rack Team

Louis, What kind of vehicle is this on and what size are you currently using?
Monday, August 24, 2015 by Robert

I am considering a new set of 4 Michelin LTX -MS2 108T XL RWL tires for my 1999 Ford E-150 conversion van (5.4L engine).

Is this a true EXTRA LOAD tire; and, do I need to see "Extra Load", XL", or "Reinforced" stamped into the sidewall to validate that it is a true EXTRA LOAD tire?
Thank you.
Friday, August 28, 2015 by Tire Rack Team

Robert, Assuming you are look at the size 235/75/15, the LTX M/S 2 is an XL tire and would be very appropriate for this van. -- marshall@tirerack.com
Thursday, January 21, 2016 by Todd

I am buying a 2016 Mercedes GL that has xl tires. I live in a place where I really need 10 ply tires due to sharp rocks. Is there a way to know how to "fit" a 10 ply size to my vehicle even if I have to change the rim size?
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Todd, Hello, it is unlikely there will be a 10 ply tire available to fit your Mercedes, but we are glad to check. Is this a GL350, GL450, GL550 or GL63?
Thursday, March 24, 2016 by JP

I am looking to replace my contiprocontact ssr run flat's that are xl that came on my 2012 535xi with perilli cinturato run flats that are sl.
Can I do this?
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

JP, Assuming you are using size 245/45-18, it will have enough load capacity for the 525i Base Model. -- sonny@tirerack.com
Thursday, March 31, 2016 by martin

good day all, just quick question. I have a 99 ram 1500 v6, w/lift gate on the back I using regular tires on it. but I noticed on the side door that the required tires are 225 75r 16 xl or x1; what is the difference between regular and the xl or x1?? is time to get new ones and try to do the correct way.
please advise, thank you very much. n have a great day. martin
Thursday, March 31, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Martin, The difference is going to be load capacity. The XL tires will have a higher load capacity than a standard load tire. With the extra weight of a lift gate (assuming electric lift), we would recommend using an XL tire if possible. -- sonny@tirerack.com
Thursday, April 21, 2016 by Taylor

Quick question. Could you tell me if the tires i have ordered are XL rated? i believe they are because of the sidewall designation but the order does not specify 'XL' like most do.

The sizes are 225/40/18 92Y and 245/35/18 92Y in a Michelin Pilot Super Sport. I am lead to believe that the 88Y are the standard while 92Y are the XL, i just wanted to clarify this.

Thursday, April 21, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Taylor, The sizes are 225/40R18 92Y and 245/35R18 92Y in a Michelin Pilot Super Sport. I am lead to believe that the 88Y are the standard while 92Y are the XL, I just wanted to clarify this. 92 would indicate Extra Load in your sizes. -- sonny@tirerack.com
Thursday, May 5, 2016 by ryan

i have a 2014 accord 235 40 19 tires with a load rating y. Is it ok if i replace the y rating tires with xl? same size?
Friday, May 6, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Ryan, The Y designation would be the speed rating. That being said, going with an XL tire in this size is just fine. -- sonny@tirerack.com

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