What are the best 18" Winter Tires for the Model 3?

  • SUPPORT THE SITE AND ENJOY A PREMIUM EXPERIENCE!
    Welcome to Tesla Owners Online, four years young! For a low subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free version of TOO. We now offer yearly memberships! You can subscribe via this direct link:
    https://teslaownersonline.com/account/upgrades

    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL!
    Did you know we have a YouTube channel that's all about Tesla? Lots of Tesla information, fun, vlogs, product reviews, and a weekly Tesla Owners Online Podcast as well!

If you had to buy 18" Winter Tires for your Model 3 which ones would you choose?


  • Total voters
    48
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
18
Location
North Vancouver
Country
Country
#1
I know there have been various threads on the topic of winter tires for the Model 3, but I wanted to do a poll amongst the owners who have or are thinking about buying winter tires for their cars. Specifically the 18" variant because it's the most common (and what I have :p). Please vote and post why you think those tires are the best. Please include your experience with performance, handling, road noise, stopping distance and the lost (or not) of regen with the recent 2019 software updates. I've tried to include the most common winter tires, but if i've missed something please post and I will update the options.
 
Last edited:

Bigriver

Top-Contributor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
738
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Tesla Owner
Model X
Country
Country
#3
I have the Michelin’s and voted for them as “the best” although I’ve never tried any others, so it is somewhat of a biased vote. 😁 I also can’t really provide details on all the thing you specified, other than to say they really worked well for me and with no adverse effects. No notable road noise nor change in efficiency relative to the 18” OEM all season. No regen issues because I have an AWD.
 

Mike

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
2,599
Location
Batawa Ontario
Country
Country
#6
I have the Michelin’s and voted for them as “the best” although I’ve never tried any others, so it is somewhat of a biased vote. 😁 I also can’t really provide details on all the thing you specified, other than to say they really worked well for me and with no adverse effects. No notable road noise nor change in efficiency relative to the 18” OEM all season. No regen issues because I have an AWD.
Everything @Bigriver said, except I have the SottoZero's (I bought the winter package off the shelf from Tesla).

Edit: I'm RWD....
 

MNScott

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
49
Location
Minnesota
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#8
AWD and I'm putting the Nokian R3's on this vehicle. I have 19" rims, dropping down to 18" and buying a cheap set of rims so I have an easy swap-out. My first full winter with my Model 3. It was between the X-Ice3 and Nokian for me. Found a good deal here in MN on the R3's (after a price match, 10% discount for MN Tesla Club, 10% rebate) that made it very price competitive to go with the Nokians. I looked at the set from Tesla and was tempted...but I will save at least $400-$450 going with my setup (given - no Tesla branded 18" rims...but it's winter so I really don't care).

Scott
 

D. J.

Active member
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2016
Messages
39
Location
Boulder County, CO
#9
Super happy with the X-ice that I had installed on 18” Aero wheels that I bought from someone local selling on this forum. Regularly took it up skiing all last winter, dealt great with icy roads and ski area parking lots. And that’s on a RWD MR.
 
Last edited:

Tom Hudson

Active member
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
100
Location
Port Washington, Wisconsin
Country
Country
#10
So Tesla sells 18" wheels with Pirelli Sottozero -- but they don't say whether they're the series 2 or 3 -- anybody know what the better option might be for a RWD Model 3? The Series 3 is a little cheaper for some reason...
 

Dick Blonov

Active member
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
38
Location
Montréal, QC
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#14
Anyone happen to have any links to share to comparisons of these options (e.g. articles, videos, etc)? I need to educate myself on the pros and cons of the various choices. Thanks!
Here's a small write-up. One thing often overlooked is the weight. The difference can be 5 lbs or more between winter tire brands. Something to consider to minimize the winter range loss.

Phil
 

dsgerbc

Active member
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
97
Location
Michigan
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#16
You completely missed studded winter tires, which appear to be legal in BC. I'd definitely run those despite the noise.
 

garsh

Dis Member
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
12,740
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#17
You completely missed studded winter tires, which appear to be legal in BC. I'd definitely run those despite the noise.
You really only want studs if you're mostly driving on icy or completely-snow-packed roads. Studded tires are much worse than modern studless snow tires in all other conditions.

https://www.bridgestonetire.com/tre...ed/snow-tires-studded-tires-vs-studless-tires
"...breakthroughs in winter tire technology have nearly eliminated the need for studs."

https://blog.tirerack.com/blog/lett...nd-its-hot-so-lets-talk-about-something-cool-
"In their day the studded tire offered the best snow and ice traction ... but, that day was in the 80's" - article from 2009

This is an interesting video by Nokian, demonstrating that even among studless winter tires, there are different design tradeoffs to consider.
 

dsgerbc

Active member
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
97
Location
Michigan
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#18
You really only want studs if you're mostly driving on icy or completely-snow-packed roads. Studded tires are much worse than modern studless snow tires in all other conditions.
It largely depends on the climate. Completely snow-packed is one of those. Something like Vancouver, with frequent freezes and non-flat terrain, is a good location to run studded tires.
One can film an ad where a studded tire has about the same braking distance as a non-studded one. Just do a test in like -30F/C, on 'grippy ice.' In temps closer to the freezing point studded tires are massively better.

I think "modern studless snow tires in all other conditions" is a gross overstatement. There are many kinds of non-studded winter tires.
The 'Ice and Snow' kind largely listed in this poll has to use really soft rubber to be able to grip a bit on ice, which makes them terrible on winter asphalt. A decent all-season tire would beat them on a clean winter road, easily. Studded tires will be similar to A/S tires, and again, outgrip those I&S non-studded tires.
 

garsh

Dis Member
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
12,740
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#19
There are many kinds of non-studded winter tires.
Agreed. The video I included above helps demonstrate that.
The 'Ice and Snow' kind largely listed in this poll has to use really soft rubber to be able to grip a bit on ice, which makes them terrible on winter asphalt.
But still much better than any studded tire on asphalt. My only point was that studded tires are now a niche product. They're no longer a good choice when the majority of winter driving is on a finished road surface.
 

Jay79

Top-Contributor
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
596
Location
Michigan
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#20
Michelin X-Ice and never look back. Got me threw a Michigan Winter with excellent performance. Had them on the T Sportline 18's, it was an excellent two pronged approach to the winter. The wheels dropped almost 10 pounds per corner compared to my stock 20's and allowed me to run a taller profile tire. The X-Ice winter tires bit into the snow nicely and shortened my stopping distance so I felt in control at all times.