Keep the free 19" Premium Upgrade, or Ask for the 18" Aero wheels?

Joined
Sep 8, 2018
Messages
2
Location
San Anselmo, CA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#1
At the end of August, ordered a model 3 with the Aero wheels because the we couldn't justify the $1500 upgrade given the stated advantages of the 18" (ride, noise, and wear). Granted, I feel the arrow wheels are truly hideous looking, and we were planning on taking the plastic pipe plates off and putting on the nicer lug nuts and hub cover.

We were told it would take 2 to 4 months for "delivery" (which is a misnomer, because we live in the San Francisco Bay area and were told that we have to go to Fremont to pick it up) then, about a week ago we got a call saying that the car was ready for pickup. A few days later we received an email that confirmed in order change that they had changed the wheels from the arrow to the premium. They also included the additional cost, and it took about an hour phone calls to verify that they would not be charging us extra. (It would be nice if they would've simply stated that in an email…)

So while I definitely like the look of the 19 inch premium wheels better, I'm wondering if it will be worth the trade-off in terms of ride, noise, cost of tires, and faster tire wear. Yes, I hear that the 19 inch "perform" better, but what does that really mean in real life? My wife and I are parents, not testosterone-laden 20-year-olds that have a need to lay a patch at every stop sign.

So of course the question, keep the 19 inch wheels try to get the aero wheels? It may be a non-issue as Tesla may not be able to confirm delivery before the end of the year with the aero wheels, which is the only reason we ordered it now, to take advantage of the federal tax credits. But how hard would it be for them to simply swap wheels? I thought that there may be a whole different speedometer/odometer set up for the different size wheels, but read elsewhere that because of the narrower sidewall on the 19", the two tires are actually the same diameter, so that would suggest the speedometer/
odometer are the same.

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions.

Reid
 

Bokonon

Self-identified Teslaholic
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2017
Messages
3,062
Location
Boston
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#3
Our wheel decision literally came down to the last minute too. In the end, I went with the 19s for the following reasons:
  • Aesthetics. I've never really been someone who cares about wheel appearance, but the blue + 19s combo always made my heart sing whenever I saw it.
  • 95%+ of our driving is at city speeds, so the difference in rolling resistance vs. the 18s has little impact on range. At the same time, the combined weight of wheels + tires is about the same as the stock aero setup.
  • Traction/performance. After three years of spinning the low-rolling-resistance tires on my e-Golf under hard acceleration around turns, I didn't want that same experience out of the box on my Model 3. So, if I was removing LRR tires (and therefore much of the range advantage) from the equation either way, Tesla's special-ordered stock Contis were a more convenient option than buying another set of 18" tires and selling the stock MXMs.
  • After driving a Model 3 equipped with 19s, the other differences (ride quality, noise, etc) seemed imperceptibly small to me.
In summary, I wanted to have zero regrets about my chosen configuration... No momentary thoughts of, "I wish I had ordered/not ordered [x]" after the car was sitting in my driveway. So, my advice to you would be to get the wheels that you actually want in your heart of hearts, the ones that you'll still be happy with a year from now, regardless of whether you'd get the 19s for free (YOU LUCKY BUM :)).

If you're secretly doing a happy-dance because you wanted the 19s all along, but didn't want to pay for them, then roll with it! Conversely, if the practical benefits of the 18s outweigh the aesthetics of the 19s in your mind, and will result in a more satisfying ownership experience overall, then ask for aero wheels... Or, better yet, accept the free 19s, buy an 18" wheel-and-tire package that you love, and sell the 19s+contis. You win either way!
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
Messages
2
Location
San Anselmo, CA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#6
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful comments, I really appreciate your time and input.

Given that the 19" look better, we're willing to eat the increased efficiency of the aero wheels, the car is ready for pick up, and we could swap them out easily in the San Francisco Bay Area, and all the comments, it makes sense to keep the 19s, " so I can think about other things and stop spinning my wheels (sorry, I couldn't resist....)

I have a few other question I'll post elsewhere where appropriate, like can I put the 1450 plug outside? or is there a retractor for the cord like gas pumps have for their hoses.

Thanks again and see you around the forum!

Reid
 

Dinozero

Active Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2018
Messages
107
Location
Kentucky
Tesla Owner
Reservation
Country
Country
#7
You made the right choice. It is free money to take them you are increasing your cars value without a cost to you.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
18
Location
Québec
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#8
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.... Change my config 9 times from 19-18-19-18-19-18-19-18... Finally. 19" wheels definitely look better. But, unlike you, I drive 95% highway (35k miles/y). Reason brought me to choose 18" (range difference, especially in winter -20-30 C ), not the heart.

In our part of the continent, winter is not forgiving for good looking wheels.

May end-up buying 19" for next summer... range is better when the temperature is hotter.
 

KarenRei

Top-Contributor
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
1,647
Location
Reykjavík
Country
Country
#9
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.... Change my config 9 times from 19-18-19-18-19-18-19-18... Finally. 19" wheels definitely look better. But, unlike you, I drive 95% highway (35k miles/y). Reason brought me to choose 18" (range difference, especially in winter -20-30 C ), not the heart.

In our part of the continent, winter is not forgiving for good looking wheels.

May end-up buying 19" for next summer... range is better when the temperature is hotter.
The advantage to owning two sets of rims is that you can leave winter tires on your winter rims and summer tires on your summer rims :) Only need to pay to have tires swapped when they wear out rather than twice per year.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
18
Location
Québec
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#11
Juggling with the thought too but sell those brand new 18s?
I'm more on the side of buying another set of 18s, you know the state of our roads...summer or winter.
Effectivement! Our road up North are crap. Plan to keep the current 18" Aero, put Nokian Hakka R3 on them for winter and see next spring to get 19" and new 4 x19" season tires. Will sell only the 18" Michelin MMX tire at that time.

Or ... wait a bit "cause have to do another car rotation for the kiddos. We have 3 Subarus (2x Impreza and 1 Outback) with the new M3 coming Sept. 28th!: the older Outback goes to my step son, my current Impreza goes to my oldest 2 ones in College and the other one stays home. My third one (14) will need her car in 2 years, will move the Impreza to her and buy a new Teslas for my love one.