So I'm getting ready to replace my current summer tires soon, and I've
started shopping for prices. I found a set of All-season V-rated tires,
and interestingly they're one of the cheaper sets that I'm seeing. I'm
not going to mention what brand or model they are, as I'm sure this is
going to degenerate into a war of brands after that, and the original
purpose of the question will disappear. Now my car isn't a WRX or STI or
anything performance-oriented like that, so the V-rating is unnecessary.
However, is there any disadvantage to getting such a tire? Other tires
that I'm also looking at mainly are ranging from a T-rating up to an
H-rating. (Some of the higher priced tires actually have lower speed
I'm looking at pros and cons, and wondering what sort of cons there are?
One thing I noticed is that the lower speed rated tires have a
tread-life warranty, but this V-rated one doesn't. Is that a big deal or
How fast will you drive (sustained)? How much weight will the tires
Are you commutting and can tolerate a shorter term of higher vibration
and a harsher ride? Or will you tour around longer distances or are an
older driver and perhaps with family or regular passengers and want a
smoother and quieter ride?
Speed rating is affected by temperature. Driving fast makes the tires
get hotter but so does living in high heat locales. I haven't found at
what temperature the sustained speed rating is measured but I suspect
driving where the average temperature is 110F (Sahara) results in hotter
tires at 150 mph than would driving where the average temperature is 0F.
"the higher the speed rating, the better the grip and stopping power,
but the lower the tread life."
Read the "HOW MUCH DOES IT MATTER FOR YOUR DRIVING & TREAD LIFE?"
Soft compound tires are great if you feel the need to take right/left
turns at 30 mph. Instead of squealing and skidding, soft compound tires
will growl and grip. Back when I had a blueprinted muscle car, I'd go
through a set in less than a year but then I was nuts back then.
Nowadays I'd rather not spend money on tires more than necessary. I
also don't do oil changes anymore: let someone else do that grunt work.
H: 130 mph
V: 149 mph
Not much difference in speed rating; however, my guess is the H tire
will have a longer tread life (under identical usage to a V tire). You
need to check what is the tread warranty by the tire maker to get an
idea of what to expect for tread life.
The same size Bridgestone tires for my car for two different models,
both all-season, both R rated (no, they're not watching mature-rated
movies), both the same wheel size, width, and aspect ratio have a
difference of 15K miles for tread warranty. The "performance" tire has
a 55K mile tread warranty and $8 more than the "passenger" tire with a
70K mile tread warranty. I suspect the performance tire has a softer
tread compound so it wears faster, grabs better (on dry road), and
transmits more vibration than the passenger tire.
If it was for a commuter car making 20-mile one-way jaunts to work and
not that tight on money (only $8 difference in *initial* price), I might
get the performance tire. When touring where I'm driving for hours or
days, I'd likely notice the harsher ride and more noise. If I was
concerned about total tire costs over 25 years that I own the car, the
$8 initial price difference is trivial and vastly overwhelmed by having
to buy more sets of tires for that car over its lifetime. Assuming 15K
miles per year for my commuting between home and work and miscellaneous
errands (groceries, doctor, etc), a 25-year old car would have 375K
miles on it (which isn't unreasonable for Subarus). For 55K tires, I'd
have to buy 7 sets of tires. For 70K tires, I'd have to by 6 sets.
Only 1 set difference but also add in the shop cost to replace the tires
along with other concurrent services (e.g., balancing, alignment). I
don't think I've ever pushed to the rated tread life of tires so likely
there'd be 2 or maybe 3 sets difference in how many tire sets got bought
for that car for its lifetime, especially since getting performance
tires with more grab means I'm likely "playing" a bit more with the car
(i.e., I'll scrub them off faster because they grab better).
Depends on how much you want to budget for tires during your ownership
of the vehicle. I keep my Subies until repairs are prohibitive,
especially if a new Subie needs repairs for where I need to focus my
funds. I kept my '92 Subaru Legacy for 24 years. Would've kept it
longer (only had 170K miles) except repairs were too costly: needed all
4 calibers, 4 pad sets, 4 rotors, brake lines, brake flush, fuel line
from tank to pump had to be replaced due to rustout (the car sat for
years unused), rubber (hoses) were getting pretty old), tranny shifter
cable was rusted (impossible to shift unless I managed to get it moving
and repeated in a couple weeks), and it had lots of body rustout.
Might've repaired it but the head gasket on my '02 was leaking along
with needing a timing belt kit, coolant flush, new water pump, spark
plugs & wire kit, and thermostat. Once the engine was apart for the
head gasket repair, might as well combine lots of overdue or
soon-to-be-scheduled repairs to eliminate the same repeated disassembly
for later individual repairs. Instead I poured the money into the newer
'02 car (now 16 years old). The 24-year old '92 went bye bye.
Go with V rating if only for added safety.
We live in an era of cutting production
costs and overall deteriorating quality.
I drive my Impreza fairly fast and buy H
rated tires, but only from Michelin (!) as
this company has a good record of quality.
If I were to venture into a lesser manufacturer
I would definetely bump up the rating to V.
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