H vs T speed rating for tire replacement



I have a 4+ year old Subaru with high miles but that I will continue to drive for a few more years. It needs new tires, and currently has H rated touring tires. I no longer have a long highway commute, and was considering replacing my worn out H rated tires with a slightly cheaper T rated tire. Is this a good idea? How much difference in handling / performance might I expect during normal around town driving and occasional highway use?


As you probably already know, T tires are rated up to 118 mph and H tires are good to 130 mph. There’s really not that much difference, is there? We might wonder why your car currently has the H tires but that’s immaterial. Maybe Subaru Corp. has a sweetheart deal with the tire manufacture.

Since it does not seem likely that you will exceed 118 mph in the library parking lot, I recommend saving a few bucks and going with the T tires. Handling & performance? You’d never notice a difference.

More information from TireRack over here:


H rated tires have stronger construction than T rated tires. The concern may not be speed although a Subaru can exceed 118 MPH hence those tires however it may be load rating of the tires. Lessor speed rated tires must be able to handle the listed load of your vehicle properly. Confirm this, a good tire shop will.

With the prior comment of not noticing the difference I highly disagree in all cases.


Not only is the “T” rating good for 118 mph, it’s good for CONTINUOUS use at 118 mph. The OP’s Subaru would be lucky to make it to 118, much less maintain that speed for hours at a time.

A “T” rated tire is more than sufficient for almost any normal passenger car in the USA.

In the “old days” we got excited about tires with an “S” rating, which will withstand extended use up to 112 mph. Now everyone thinks they need tires rated to 140-150 mph to make it safely to the mall. How times have changed!


The load range of a tire is completely separate from its speed rating, as is a tire’s wear rating and temperature range. All of these things should be taken into consideration when purchasing tires. Speed rating is just ONE variable, and certainly not the most important in most cases.


Interestingly enough on wear rating IMHO its completely worthless. My Subaru OEM Bridgestone RE92’s (215/45ZR17) have a treadwear rating of 160AA. The tires are about 3/4 worn at 40k miles. The Bridgestone G009 which are rated 50k have a treadwear rating of 460AA. Maybe its minimum?


Thanks so much for the input and comments. I understand speed rating is only one factor, and will also make sure the other relevant ratings/specs are compatible with the car.


www.carbibles.com has a great primer on tires. I recommend a visit.

Personally, I agree with those that say a T rated tire is more than sufficient on a Subie. But visit the site for a good understanding.


Speed Ratings do vary for important reasons. Braking, cornering and performance are all great factors in decision making of new tires. Automotive designers put the ratings on the vehicle for a multitude of safety reasons. Please follow the vehicle sticker found on the door tire placard on most vehicles. Some place the sticker in the glove box or on the fuel door. A great article I’ve found explains this in depth.


If you drive on curvy roads you’ll notice the difference between H and T. For little $$ I’ll always go for the H.

EDIT - OOPS…I fell for the antique thread…


Am I seeing very old threads suddenly popping up again? Is there a software glitch?


@cdaquila Someone reviving a 9 year old thread with a link to a tire company has to be SPAM.


@cdaquila Hi Carolyn, how about for the next upgrade that any post older than 6 months with the last comment requires your authorization to be re opened?