I have a 2007 Volvo XC70, with 215/60R17, V-rated tires, the original equipment. It appears that the Pirelli tires on the car are the only ones made in that size and speed rating. What is the downside of dropping from a “V” speed rating to an “H” speed rating on a new set of tires (this will open up a range of possibilities for me)? Will this cause issues with handling of the car?
I did just that with my ES300 11 years ago. It came with V, went to H. H and V of a given tire often have same/similar tread design, so handling is unaffected, and H is rated plenty high for sustained top speed.
There is no downside. You’ll save money. H rated tires can safely be driven at a continuous speed of 130 mph. I don’t think you have to worry about that.
I went from V rated to H rated tires on my car several years ago with no problems whatsoever.
As a general rule, the lower the speed rating, the less the grip and handling.
So you should expect some drop in the cornering crispness (the lag between the time you turn the steering wheel and when the vehicle reacts), as well as longer emergency stopping distance and some loss of ultimate cornering power.
You can also bump up in speed ratings. Going higher will not compromise the car’s handling. Many tire dealers will not put a lower speed rating on than the car came with.
Yes as long as they can handle load of car and tire installer is kosher with it(many are not for legal reasons).
Handling will degrade on this type of car only slightly. A poor V-rated tire will handle worse than a decent H-rated anyway.