Winter tires - speed rating & downsizing
A couple of questions for the forum. I have an 07 Camry LE. I am buying winter tires for her. I am considering a set of General Altimax Arctics. These fit my budget and are highly rated across multiple sources, including Consumer Reports and several others.
For tires, the OEM/Camry owners manual specs are 215 60 R16 94 V - i.e., 16 inch with load rating of 94 and speed rating of V.
Question 1 - I am having a difficult time finding WINTER tires that have a speed rating of V. In fact, many of the winters (including the aforementioned Altimax) seem to be rated a Q, with an odd one here or there rated an S or T. I know that a Q is rated for 160 km/hr and that I will not even come close to driving that fast, let alone for any length of time! But does a higher rating (in this case an S or T) mean the tire is "higher quality" and will last longer?
Also will the lower Q rating mean performance problems or drawbacks of any kind for my "V-rated" Camry?
Question 2 - I have heard that the concept of putting on a smaller tire for winter (in my case 15 inchers instead of 16s) is somewhat an outdated concept and debatable benefits. Any experience to share?
Question 3 - I assume it is ok to put on a tire with a higher load rating (in my case a 95 vs. the OEM rated 94)
Apologies if these are newbie questions but my first winter!