Tesla Model 3 Winter Tire Recommendations
Image Credits: Tesla

Tesla Model 3 Winter Tire Recommendations

The winter tires mentioned in this article are recommended on Facebook and in Internet forums by Tesla drivers for the Model 3. These are premium tires, as road safety is one of the most important characteristics of a tire.

Recommendations for the other Tesla models can be found here:

Model Y / Model X / Model S 

Attention: These product links are only examples. It is absolutely necessary to check if the tire fits to your vehicle regarding load index and speed index!

Tyre dimensions

The Model 3 has the following standard tire dimensions:

18″ Front/Rear P235/45R18
19″ Front/Rear P235/40R19
20″ Front/Rear P235/35R20

Speed Index

Speed classes:

  • S = up to 180 km/h – 112 mph
  • T = up to 190 km/h – 118 mph
  • H = up to 210 km/h – 130 mph
  • V = up to 240 km/h – 149 mph
  • W = up to 270 km/h – 168 mph
  • Y = up to 300 km/h – 186 mph

In general, winter tires should be fitted, if possible, which are permitted at least up to the technically possible top speed of the car. 

The limit value should generally not be exceeded; if the vehicle is driven too fast, the tread may come loose from the carcass.

Load index

The load index (LI) describes the maximum permissible load for tires. The LI is marked on the tire sidewall with a two-digit number. With a table, the maximum permissible load per tire can be determined. The load capacity of a tire must be at least half the weight can be carried by the axle.

The mounted tires must fit the maximum axle load of the vehicle. 

The above mentioned values for standard tires are taken from the Tesla user manual. For safety reasons, the values of each individual vehicle must be checked, as the axle load can vary depending on the vehicle equipment.

Tyre information

It is best to check which type of tire is currently fitted or ask your tire dealer. The following information can be found on the tire itself:

Tire sizes are made up of a number of different numbers and letters. For example, tire size 185/60 R 14 82 H is made up of the following information:

185The tire section width in millimeters
60The aspect ratio in % (the height of the sidewall divided by the tire’s width)
RDenotes the tire’s construction type – in this case it’s a radial
14Rim diameter in inches
82Load Index
HSpeed Rating

If you want to see your Model 3 with different rims, you will find several photos on this Dutch website.

18″ tires on the Performance Model 3?

The original 18″ wheels from Tesla do not fit on a Model 3 Performance for two reasons

  • On the wheel hub on the Performance model. The rim is missing the recess.
  • The offset is 35 mm on the Performance model and 40 mm on the original 18″ Tesla rims.

Table with tyre ratings for winter tyres Tesla model 3

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Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3 XL PNCS T0

19″

Tesla delivers the “Pirelli SottoZero 3” in the special “T0 PNCS” version as standard winter tire for 19″ Model 3 rims. 

The PIRELLI NOISE CANCELLING SYSTEM (PNCS) reduces rolling noise in the passenger compartment by two to three decibels, or on average by half. Not to be confused with the dB value of the EU label (this corresponds to the exterior noise).

A sound-absorbing PIRELLI sponge reduces the frequency of noise entering the passenger compartment, increasing comfort compared to conventional tires.

Tesla driver’s opinions: Quiet tire, good driving characteristics.

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Nokian WR A4 XL

18″
19″

The “WR A4” of the Finnish manufacturer Nokian is often mentioned in Tesla forums as an insider tip for winter tires. 

Nokian tires are known for their excellent driving characteristics and their exceptionally low noise level.

The special clinch rubber compound nestles flexibly to the contact surface of the rim and gives the bead area a higher durability when transporting heavy loads. This innovation also minimizes the noise level inside the vehicle. By reducing vibrations from the tire body, it prevents them from being transmitted to the rim and further inside the vehicle.

Tesla driver’s opinions: quiet tire! Durable rubber compound. Compared to Nokian Hakkapeliitta, the WR A4 is excellent not only for snow and ice but also for slush.

More information on the Nokian website.


Continental WinterContact TS850P XL

18″
19″

TS850P offers enhanced snow traction through PrecisionPlus technology and S-GRIP tread structure.

Excellent wet and dry handling. An excellent tire for all winter road conditions.

Tesla driver’s opinions: Super all-rounders. Excellent values in all areas, although acoustically not as quiet as the Pirelli and Nokian.

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Continental WinterContact TS860 S XL

20″

Controllable on snow, TS860 S offers superior wet performance and safety on dry roads.

Rated “exemplary” and “highly recommended” in many test reports. The leading British weekly automotive magazine “Auto Express” has named the TS860 as the test winner. The test criteria are excellent performance, quality, safety and attractiveness.

Tesla driver’s opinions: excellent all-rounder for 20-inch rims. Unfortunately, no Silent tire, but Silent is not available in 20 inches anyway (the “S” in the name stands for “sports car”).


Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3 XL

20″

Tesla supplies the Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3 XL as winter tire for the 20-inch rims of the Model 3.

With increased sipe density, it offers improved grip on snowy roads.

The functional rubber compound gives high grip on all winter conditions to this tire.

Unfortunately, the 20-inch size tire is not available in the special version “T0 PNCS” with Pirelli Noise Cancelling System.

Tesla driver’s opinions: Good driving characteristics. Unfortunately not as quiet as the 18 and 19″ SottoZero with PNCS system, but also an excellent winter tire and one of the few for 20″.


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