"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.
Thursday, August 10, 2017 by Betty

Imy 2012 Tiguan has only 31,000Km.on it.The back tires are starting to scallop.They are Pirelli 255/40r19.I do not want to replace them with the same.Can I replace them with 255/40r19xl
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 by Kevin

I have a 2004 Mercedes CL 55 AMG with staggered front/rear rims upgraded to 19" from the factory 18". The door tag reads FRONT: 245/45/18 100Y XL & 245/45/18 96H M+S, REAR: 265/40/18 101Y XL. I now have 19" staggered rims and I plan on running Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+, FRONT: 255/35/19 96 XL REAR: 275/35/19 96Y . Does the larger Rim size off-set the tire load weight requirements.
Monday, October 16, 2017 by Drew

2013 chevy tahoe LTZ replacing Bridstone Alenza P275/55R20. All city and highway, NO off roading or pulling trailers. Looking for a tire to last, in all weather conditions. Would an XL last longer for city and highway? Any recommendations? Thank you
Monday, October 23, 2017 by Peggy

i am looking to replace my Pirelli 245/40R18 93H on my Audi A4 with the Michelin Pilot AS 3+ 245/40R18XL 97Y tire. Do you see any issues?
Sunday, October 29, 2017 by Nicholas

Are Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Winter Radial Tire - 185/65R15/XL 92T okay on a 2009 Honda Fit Base model? Need super winter grip and handling to help with NY state mountain roads.
Sunday, October 29, 2017 by Les Hewitt

Hello, are Michelin x ice winter tires suitable for my 2008 infiniti G37S. (225 50 18XL) or is it better to have regular 18's instead of the extra load capacity? If you think the XL's are OK will this produce any more road noise when driving? Thanks and I really appreciate your service to the sometimes confusing auto industry!
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 by Sharon

I'm trying to figure out of the Michelin Xice Xi3's in XL would be ok to put on hubby's 2015 Mazda 3?? Or would he be better with a standard Blizzak tire? (He does mainly highway driving)
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


That size is a little taller than we could guarantee would fit on your Honda. The stock size I show would be 175/65R15 and would be better for deeper snow being a narrower tire: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=X-Ice+Xi3&partnum=765TR5XI3XL&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&affiliate=GU9
Monday, November 6, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


The 225/50R18 is a good size on your car with 18 inch wheels, and the Xi3 is a great winter tire. There are quite a few tires in the XL or (extra load) tires in that size and they are perfectly fine on any car, they just carry a little more load than a standard tire. Winter tires do produce a little more noise on some surfaces, the Xi3 is about the quietest of the winter tires: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=X-Ice+Xi3&partnum=25HR8XI3XL&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&affiliate=GU9
Monday, November 6, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


You could use either tire, the XL (or Extra Load) are perfectly fine on any car, they just carry a little more load than a standard tire.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 by Ed

I have a 2017 GTI and it comes with 18-inch wheels with XL tires. For Winter, I want to down size to 17-inch. Is it ok for me to get SL tires for the 17-inch or stick with XL tires? Thanks.
Sunday, November 26, 2017 by Robin Brenske

Can I use XL on my 2004 Vibe FW drive ? I'm moving to AZ from MI and will be pulling a trailer .
Sunday, November 26, 2017 by Bill

I am considering a Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 245/40R18 for my 2007 Lexus SC430, in part due to it's 45k mi warranty. It would be replacing a Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP. Should I expect a harsher ride, going to a XL A/S from a SL ZP?

Monday, November 27, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Robin, sure! That will give you a little over 100 extra pounds of load carrying capacity per corner in the 205/55-16.
Monday, November 27, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Bill, that is a tough question to answer. The ZP tires are a run-flat tire that is stiffer already and the XL has a higher load capacity and is not a run-flat. We’ve not tested that so we don’t want to say for sure. If looking for an opinion though it would be that the XL won’t be as harsh as the run-flat.
Saturday, December 16, 2017 by Aaron

I have a 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander GT with OE Toyo A24's in 225/55/18. I was looking to put on some Geolandar G015's and while they do make it in the cars original size, I was thinking of upsizing to the 235/60/18 XL. Do you think they would fit without issue if I've installed a 1.5" lift via strut spacers? I'd still prefer a bit of space between my fender and the top of the tire in the end. Thanks
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Aaron: You would need to check with the lift company to learn what size they recommend once the lift is added.
Tuesday, January 2, 2018 by Rene

I have a 1988 Chevy Van G20 camper. The weight is almost 5900 pounds. When I bought the vehicle, it came with P235 70 15 but the OEM is P225 75 15. So, I changed the tires due to wear to BF Goodrich Radial TA P225 75 15. The drive is very sloppy and soft. So, should I buy a Michelin Defender P235 75 15XL or should I go with C-ply tire like a LT235 75 15? I do highway driving only.
Thursday, January 4, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Rene: We do not have information on the camper, so you would need to check the GAWR (gross axle weight requirement) front and rear to confirm the load rating for the vehicle (usually shown on the driver's side door jamb). The P235/75R15 would be the highest-rated truck tread tire and recommended if standard load tire is sufficient. If you go to LT tires, they carry more weight, but ride a bit firmer.
Monday, January 15, 2018 by Johny

I have a 2009 Audi Q7 4.2 Presige equipped with 275/45R20 tires. Are XL tires needed?
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Johny, Audi recommends XL tires for handling with some of their vehicles and tire sizes. In this size, most of the tire options are going to be extra load and they are recommended. Generally speaking, if the Gross Axle Weight Requirement (GAWR) of the vehicle is lower than the max load of the tires technically it is safe at 36 psi in standard load tires. Although you may have trouble getting them installed depending on shop policies and you would need to watch the tire pressure.

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