Tire speed rating, is it BS for the average driver?

I own a Camry XLE. For some reason Toyota feels I “need” V rated tires but a regular Camry does not. I do not drive my car like a race driver. I’m too scared to drive faster than 72 on the highway for fear of getting a ticket. I got the XLE because of the leather seats and how easy it is to clean when my dog pukes in the car!!!

The tires I think I’d like to get are “T” rated…Goodyear Assurance Triple Tred.

It seems touring performance tires are not as good in rain and snow and can be more expensive so why in the world should I get them? Of course I have to get the correct size for my car.

It seems many of the discussions here already confirm that getting the “T” rated is fine but I just wanted to confirm that feed back.


It is the government that mandates the ratings. That should explain it.

Most cars don’t need a V rating…but if the car came with a V rated tire and you switched to a T rated tire then you may notice it handling differently. That’s why some tire shops won’t sell you a tire that has a lower rating then what they’re replacing or what the OEM tires were.

You can downgrade in speed ratings typically, however the tire must have the proper load capacity for the vehicle.

The speed rating depends on the potential top speed - your XLE with the V6 could do over 140 mph, not that you ever would. I’ve gone from V to H on my car, no problem, the H rated tires often have identical handling characteristics as the V. Going to T will result in slightly different handling, but nothing unusual. You’ll need to find a shop that’ll do it. Some won’t.

The Triple Treds will be perfectly fine for you.


I have a 4 cylinder


This is an easy question to answer if you simply do a little searching on the internet. Perhaps you did that but wanted additional input here to see what it would bring.

I would add to the comments already posted that if you buy tires with a lesser speed rating than recommended by Toyota and then have a tire failure due to sustained speed over your tires’ rating, you will reduce your chances of getting compensation from the tire company and Toyota if you are hurt or if your car is damaged due to an accident. It is good that Toyota cautioned you adequately. One site said that “T” rated tires are good for a sustained 118 mph.

The handling should be no problem. Personally, and call me thick if you want, I have never noted a significant handling or dry or wet traction difference and typically none among tire brands; have never replaced new car tires with the same brand when they wore out and I have done this many times.

I will have to check what is on there now.

What is the speed rating for the tires you have now? You can drop one or two levels without any problem. I doubt that you have V rate tires now, though. My guess is that the car came from the factory with T rated tires. I have an Accord V6 and it came with H rated tires, but I think that had more to do with the 6 cylinder engine.

The government sets the standards for the ratings, which is a good thing because without standardization the rating system would be meaningless.

It’s the car manufacturer who specifies what tire gets put on the finished product. And for liability reasons if nothing else they have to put on tires that can handle the top speed of the car, just in case some bonehead decides to drive that fast.

The Camry’s top speed is electronically limited at 122 mph, which means U and H rated tires would work, but they can be harder to find than V-rated tires. That’s probably why the car came with V’s. T-rated tires are rated for 118mph which means that theoretically you could exceed the tire’s speed capabilities with that car.

Now, since you know you won’t drive that fast, it’s fine to put T-rated tires on there as long as you follow Andrew’s advice and make sure the load capacity is still good enough.