"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
Friday, May 27, 2016 by KC

Looking to get some tires for autox for my '16 Chevy SS (Sedan). OEM tires are XL rated, and looking at the Extreme Perf tires that are not XL rated (and to DD on too).... one set for both street/autox. Can you forsee any issues with going from XL to SL on a daily driver/autox car?
Friday, May 27, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

KC, You can end up with a reduction in steering response. -- sonny@tirerack.com
Monday, June 20, 2016 by Dev I

I am looking to replace OEM Michellin Lattitude Tour HP with Michellin Premium LTX. OEM tires are 255/55/R18 105H while Premium LTX are 255/55/18 XL 109H. Should it be ok?
Thursday, June 23, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Dev I, The Premier LTX will work perfectly as a replacement for your Latitude Tour HP tires. The 109 load index simply means the tire can carry more weight than the 105. -- sonny@tirerack.com
Tuesday, August 9, 2016 by Mike

I have a 2015 Ram 1500 with stock P goodyear RSA's. When I pull my 35' travel trailer I can feel the stock tires swaying side to side. Would an XL load rated tire work near as well as an E load rated LT tire for reducing that sway?
Friday, August 12, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Mike, Yes, having a tire with more reinforcement will help stabilize when towing or hauling.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 by Kim

I have been agonizing over replacement tires for my 2013 Honda Odyssey touring. I have been unhappy with the Michelin Primacy MXV4s that came with it, the tire always looked underinflated due to the weight of the engine sitting on them. I'm looking at the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus's... and would like your opinion on whether I should go with the 103 load rated one, or the 107 XL instead. Will there be an impact to the comfort of the ride or the noise?
Friday, September 23, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Kim, The 107XL will have more load capacity and lees of a tendency to look underinflated. That being said, it will translate into a slightly stiffer ride. Noise difference would be little to nothing.
Saturday, September 24, 2016 by juliana arriaran

I have a 2007 ford focus and it has SL 195/60-15 tires on it I got a deal on XL 195/65-15 tires, will the the XL 195/65 - 15 fit my car.
Monday, October 31, 2016 by Jancarlo Caballero

In my experience with XL and standard tires can be huge when talking from a performance standpoint , specially if these tires sneak there way into a local autocross or racetrack car manufacturers tend to setup a vehicle with understeer "this is when a vehicle tends to loose traction in the front wheels while cornering and the car reacts in such a way that you turn your steering wheel but the car keeps going forward" these puts a lot of stress in the shoulders if the front tires that can generate incredible amounts of wear due to the tires rolling over, I have found that XL tires do a lot better at controlling this by having a stiffer shoulder and preventing the tire roll .
Saturday, November 19, 2016 by Lorrie

Wondering what the difference is between 245/40/R19 and 245/40/ZR19 XL? My 2010 Nissan Maxima calls for the 245/40/R19; however, there is a phenominal deal on the 245/40/ZR19 XL. Can I use the 245/40/ZR19 XL? If so, what is the differences?
Monday, November 21, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Lorrie, The XL just has a higher load capacity and will be fine to use.
Monday, November 28, 2016 by Basil

I'm looking to replace all four tires on my 2008 Honda Pilot. Ride comfort and low road noise are important to me and I'm afraid they will be affected by putting on an XL tire. I'm looking at the Michelin Defender X*LT A/S (Defender LTX M/S) with load index of 109T and UTQG of 800. Compare that with the vehicle's OEM rating of 104S for Goodyear Integrity with a UTQG of 460, I'm thinking the treadwear will be much better but at the expense of ride quality. Currently I have Bridgestone Dueler Alenza 106H on there and I felt they rode a little stiff and wanted something softer but still have decent UTQG maybe around 700. I don't know what else is out there. The Pirelli Scorpion Verde A/S PLUS was recommended to me by Tire Rack but I read reviews that they get noisy after 10-15K miles so I'm thinking Michelin is the way to go, just not sure about XL vs SL. The Premier LTX was also recommended but come to find out it has a weak starting tread depth of 8.5 - I need at least 11 or 12. LTX M/S2's are good but too pricey I think. I don't know what to do. Please help. Thanks.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Basil, If a quiet, comfortable and long lasting tire is what you are after, I would get the Michelin Premier LTX: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Premier+LTX&partnum=37HR6PRLTX&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&affiliate=GF3
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 by D. Kasey

I have a 2010 Buick Lacrosse CXS and it has 245/40/R19 low profile tires, can I put on 245/40Z/R19 XL tires on?
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 by Donna

I drive a 2007 Ford Explorer Limited. I live on gravel and I am looking for a heavy duty tire that can withstand the sharp rocks. I just put 4 new tires on less than a year ago and have had 7 flat tires due to rock. The last one cut clear through and now tire is only good enough as a spare. What is the best tire to purchase?
Friday, January 13, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Donna, In order to make a proper recommendations, I have some further questions. Please give Sonny a call at 888-428-8355 ext#4789
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 by JB

I'm replacing my 17" wheels with OEM 18" and like Michelin's Pilot Sport AS3+, however it appears the tire is only available in XL for 245/40R18, the recommended size for 18" on my 528i. Ride quality is VERY important to me. Will the XL tire feel stiffer over rough roads?
Thursday, January 19, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

JB, The combination of a shorter sidewall with an extra load performance tire will likely stiffen your ride (depending on the type of tire you are switching from).
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 by Michael Andrews

I have a 2007 Lexus IS250 and I am wandering if use Bridgestone Potenza 225/40/R18 XL in place of standard Bridgestone Potenza 225/40R/18, would the ride change any at all? These tires are going on the front of the car.
Thursday, February 2, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Michael, An XL (Extra Load) tire would provide a marginally stiffer ride.
Friday, February 17, 2017 by Derek Noonburg

The OEM tires on my car were XL, and I'm replacing them with XL tires. The sticker inside the door (which lists them as XL tires) tells me to inflate to 38 psi. Somewhere in the order process, the Tire Rack web site recommended 42 psi for XL tires. What's the correct pressure?

This is with Michelin Pilot Super Sport 225/40/18 tires on a 2009 VW GTI.
Monday, February 20, 2017 by Ralph

Vehicle: 2016 Mercedes B250, oem tire 225/40/18 92 XL RF upgrade wheel/tire package. new tire 225/35/19 88Y XL non runflats. is that ok? can't find that tire with a 92 load rating. is it safe to use?
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Ralph, I do not have a simple yes/no answer since we do not have all of the information on that model. We will need the GAWR located on the driver's door placard to answer your questions. If you can call us at 800-428-8355 with that information we can give you a definite answer.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Derek, The standard tier is the 225/45R17 which needs the 38psi. When you upsize the wheel you need to increase the air pressure to maintain the same load. So you want to run them at 42psi.
Sunday, March 12, 2017 by Mike

Hi, i drive a mini cooper S 2007, the OEM tire dunlop 205/45/17 84 V run flat, i want sumitomo htr zlll 215/45/17 87 Y standard load, some problem with standard load? Recommend a XL tire? Thank you
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Mike, I do not show the 215/45R17 needs to be XL for the 2007 Cooper S. You can call a Tire Specialist at 800-428-8355 to verify your information and place the order if you would like.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by John Chan

I have an Audi A5 with 255/55/R19. Could I safely replace two of the tires with 255/55/R19 XL tires? Would there be any safety concerns? Thanks
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

John, We would not recommend mixing the tires. It is always important to maintain the same tires on all four corners to maintain vehicle stability. It is especially important to maintain the same tires with the sophisticated Quattro system the A5 employs because it might pick up on the different levels of traction and overwork the transmission.
Saturday, May 20, 2017 by Prentice Ethington

I have a 2013 Mercedes E550 4Matic. Wonderful car EXCEPT that it has XL tires. Most expensive car I've ever owner, and WORSE RIDING CAR I'VE EVER OWNED. I feel every seem, every little imperfection in the road. Stiffer sidewalls and much higher tire pressure = tires pass along every little bump. Current tires are original equipment Conti ProContact, but I don't expect replacements to be much better given general characteristics of XL tires.

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