The Logbook

Tesla Model 3 - 19" Replacement Tires

This is a companion article to the popular Model 3 Compatible Tire Size Guide. If you have spent any amount of time on Tesla internet communities, you will see a steady flow of questions on the best tires to buy for the Model 3. These suggestions are often thrown out without explanation, justification, or detail. Furthermore, these answers are often targeted at the 18" Aero wheels or 20" Performance wheels. This guide seeks to provide more detail and background to aide in your decision making. There are only four points where your Tesla touches the ground, make sure those tires are good ones!

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Model 3 19" Stock Wheels and Tires

Before we talk about replacement options it is helpful to discuss what came from the factory. The stock tire size for the 19" Tesla Model 3 Sport Wheel is 235/40R19. They came wrapped from the factory in either Continental ProContact RX or Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 tires.

The Continental ProContact RX is a T1 "Tesla-approved" All-Season tire with a 96W load index and XL load range. It features ContiSilent noise reduction technology and has an inner foam lining. The Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 is an Ultra-High Performance Summer tire with a 96W load index and XL load range. It similarly features Hankook's Kontrol technology and also has a foam inner lining.

To date, there have been 2 OEM 19" wheel options for the Tesla Model 3. They are both called the "Sport" Wheel and feature an asymmetric split 5-spoke design. The V1 Sport wheel was also known as the "Stiletto" wheel. Differences between the V1 and V2 are a sharper spoke cut on the V2 that run in parallel to the wheel edge and a cut out in the wheel face for the valve stem. The V1 Sport valve stem allowance is a conventional circular design. Tesla Model 3 19" Sport wheels are 5x114.3 19x8.5" with a +40 offset. They are a $1,500 option at the time of ordering your Model 3 Standard Range or Long Range.

Tesla Model 3 - Sport "Stiletto" Wheel V1 - 19x8.5" +40 ­čôŞ: Tesla. Tesla Model 3 - Sport "Stiletto" Wheel V1 - 19x8.5" +40

The V1 was offered from the initial production of the Model 3 until September 2020. The V2 is the standard Sport wheel option since October 2020.

Tesla Model 3 - Sport Wheel V2 - 19x8.5" +40 ­čôŞ: Tesla. Tesla Model 3 - Sport Wheel V2 - 19x8.5" +40

Replacement Tire Considerations

For the following recommendations it helps to know what tires fit on the Model 3. See the Tesla Model 3 Compatible Tire Size reference. Many vehicle owners are afraid of straying away from the exact tire that came with their car from the factory, especially when they carry a "Tesla-approved" designation. You do not have to replace your tires with the same tire that came with the car or with an OE T0, T1, or T2 designation. OEM tires are often marked up over comparable tires precisely because people will avoid any research and simply buy the same tire. There are often more affordable tires that have better wear or performance characteristics for your use than the stock tire.

If you do opt for the original tire model, it is important to note some subtle differences. The Tesla T1 foam-lined version of the Continental ProContact RX costs $318.90 a tire, while the non T1 ProContact RX is $247.59. The T1 Tesla version features foam lining and a higher load index but a lower treadwear rating, indicating the 400tw Tesla-spec tire is not expected to last as long as the standard 500tw ProContact RX. The T1 Tesla Continental ProContact RX features XL construction with reinforced sidewall shoulders while the standard tire does not. The XL Load Range is important for heavy vehicles like the Model 3. Be sure you are buying the correct tire.

"Tesla-approved" T0, T1, and T2 tires are a marketing designation indicating that reduced road noise and optimized handling, ride, and range are within Tesla's standards and that the tire manufacturer has spent money to design a tire specifcally made for Tesla or at least tested by Tesla. A good tire from a reputable company will have already done its own testing beyond that of receiving a Tesla OE designation. Again, you are not required to replace tires with "Tesla-approved" replacements. Ensure that the load index of the replacement tire exceeds that of the OEM tire's 96W XL. That equates to a 2,840kg or 6,261lbs load index for all four tires combined. In the past much emphasis has been put on meeting and exceeding the OEM 18" Michelin tire's 98 (3,000kg / 6,614lbs) load index and XL load range. The Tesla Model 3 Owner's Manual at one point also insisted on replacing tires on your Model 3 with a XL load range. That entry in the online Owner's Manual has since been removed with the introduction of the Hankook Kinergy GT tire as the OEM 18" tire. Fun facts, the stock Model 3 Performance tire carries an even lower 92 (2,520kg / 5555lbs) load index and the new 18" standard is a 94. The factory 19" 96 load index should be more than sufficient.

The Tesla-spec Continental ProContact RX and Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 both come with a foam inner liner to reduce road noise. While ideal in theory, hundreds of thousands of tires lacking a foam inner liner have been replaced on Tesla's without complaint. They are a nice to have, but not absolutely necessary. Many Tesla owners have also reported tire shops refusing to patch tires with the foam inner liner. You may want to opt for foam lined tires if you are particularly sensitive to road noise, however I personally suggest skipping the foam.

Unlike other all-wheel drive vehicles, it is not necessary to replace all four tires at the same time on a Dual Motor Tesla Model 3. It is, however, recommended that you replace tires in pairs. The exception to the rule is if you get a flat on a brand new tire. If that tire is within 1.5mm tread depth of new you will not create issues with the wheel speed sensors by replacing it with a brand new tire. Place the new tires on the rear axle.

Most will opt for the factory 235/40R19 tire which is a good fit for the the OEM 8.5" wide wheels. Those interested in hyper-miling or extreme efficiency may want to move to a 225/40R19 and those interested in a little bit more grip on the stock wheel might opt for a 245/40R19. Take caution if opting for a narrower 225 as many of the tires in this size will have far lower load index ratings than the OEM tire. As a general rule, a narrower section width tire is going to be more efficient and increase range while a wider tire will do the opposite. The wider section width tire not only has more rolling resistance, but depending on the tire may also be a bit heavier. While the real life impact may not be much, it is something to keep in mind if you are trying to squeeze out every last mile of range. That being said, many have gone to wider tires not just for more wheel protection, but for more grip on spirited drives. The choice in width is ultimately efficiency vs. traction and cornering performance.

Replacement Tire Recommendations and Cost

All Season Daily Use

Tesla All Season Tires ­čôŞ: Marcel Strau├č

The optional 19" Model 3 Sport wheels came equipped from Tesla with Grand Touring All-Season Continentals or Ultra-High Performance Summer Hankooks. These are two very different categories. Grand Touring All-Season tires are meant to provide good tread life and a comfortable ride. You will not be winning any F1 races with these tires, but you should expect long life and decent performance in inclement weather. Included in this list are the Continental PureContact LS, Michelin CrossClimate┬▓, and Vredestein Quatrac Pro. A good compromise between the two is the Ultra High Performance All-Season category. This offers a good balance of year round performance grip with the ability to handle light snow. Tires recommended in this category are the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus, Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4, and Vredestein HyperTrac All Season. The current Tesla OEM tires are included in the chart for price comparison purposes, not as recommendations.

Size Tire Service Description Price/Tire
235/40R19 Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus 96W XL $226.99
235/40R19 Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 96Y XL $261.99
235/40R19 Continental PureContact LS 96W XL $231.99
235/40R19 Michelin CrossClimate┬▓ 96V XL $262.99
235/40R19 Vredestein Quatrac Pro 96Y XL $200.22
235/40R19 Vredestein HyperTrac All Season 96Y XL $198.78
235/40R19 Continental ProContact RX - Tesla T1 96W XL $318.90
235/40R19 Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 96W XL $266.99

Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus

The Continental DWS series is a personal favorite of mine. I have bought at least four sets over the years for the family SUVs and I love seeing the DWS that is molded in to the tread fade away to indicate sufficient tread depth for Snow, Wet, or only Dry conditions. The DWS is available in the OEM 19" tire size with a 96 Load Index making it a perfect replacement for those that are concerned about matching the original OEM tire load. We have been through blizzards when new and the DWS handle light snow with ease while being a great performer on local backroads. The DWS 06's amazing price point is also a Plus. Pun completely intended.

Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4

Over the years, Michelin has established a reputation for rating the best restaurants in the world and making the best tires in the world. If you need any more proof of their reputation, their tire prices command a slight premium over their competitors which many are more than willing to pay. The Michelin Pilot Sport AS4 is a perennial best seller that receives glowing reviews year after year. It was specifically designed as a performance tire that can handle itself in light snow. The AS4 feature large reinforced shoulder blocks that help hold lateral grip. Those same shoulder blocks feature sipes which bite in to the pavement for wet and winter traction. With a 540 treadwear, Michelin also expects these to last at least one and a half times as long as the acclaimed Michelin Pilot Sport 4S but not quite as long as the CrossClimate┬▓ which we will discuss later.

Continental PureContact LS

If you are looking for a longer wearing alternative to the DWS 06 Plus (700tw vs 560tw) or the OEM ProContact RX (700tw vs 400tw), the Continental PureContact LS is the ticket. In 235/40R19 it features a 96 load index to match the T1 Tesla and at nearly $100 cheaper a tire, it is truly difficult to recommend the OEM Continental option. Reviewers note that ride comfort and low road noise is a stand out feature for the PureContact. It is truly an enigma that owners repeatedly purchase the ProContact RX for their Tesla.

Michelin CrossClimate┬▓

The CrossClimate┬▓ is Michelin's long-wearing Severe Snow Service rated tire. It is easily recognizable by its aggressive tread pattern designed to increase handling and traction in inclement weather. The thorn in the CrossClimate┬▓'s tread design is the raging hum it makes when being thrown in to a corner hard. This is not a performance tire by any stretch of the imagination. If you are an average every day driver who wants a tire that will take their Model 3 through all seasons, the CrossClimate┬▓ comes highly recommended by many Tesla owners.

Vredestein HyperTrac All Season and Quatrac Pro

While not (yet) a household name in America, Dutch tire manufacturer Vredestein has been in the business of making rubber for over a century. Their tires have been an open secret amongst European performance car enthusiasts on this side of the pond. The Vredestein Quatrac Pro is Severe Snow Service Rated and its budget pricing make it a best seller when it comes time to replace originally equipped tires. So much so that you will likely find this tire on backorder. The Vredestein HyperTrac All Season is designed to be a higher grip tire than the Quatrac Pro though meant only to be used in lighter snow. The HyperTrac is also designed to last longer than the Quatrac. At just around $200 a tire, they might convince you to give them a spin on price alone.

Performance Oriented

Tesla Model 3 Sport Wheels ­čôŞ: Josh Teder

There are only four points on your car that make contact with the road and they play the most significant factor in the handling and traction capabilites of your car. The Non-Performance Tesla Model 3 still packs some serious performance punch, yet it comes with tires that are easily overcome with the platform's capabilities. The optional 19" Sport wheels came with Ultra High Performance Summer tires but did not venture in to the Max Performance Summer category which is a step above in grip than the OEM Hankooks. The expectation when running a Max Performance Summer tire is that you live in a region with pleasant weather year round, or that you will switch to a dedicate set of winter tires when the fluffy stuff starts to accumulate. What you give up in longevity and the ability to run in inclement weather from an All Season tire, you gain in a responsive and fun tire to drive on. Please note that these tires will exhibit more road noise than a daily use all season tire. The current Tesla OEM tires are included again in the chart for price comparison purposes only.

Size Tire Service Description Price/Tire
235/40ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (96Y) XL $324.99
235/40ZR19 Contintental ExtremeContact Sport 96Y XL $281.99
245/40ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (98Y) XL $296.99
245/40ZR19 Contintental ExtremeContact Sport 98Y XL $265.99
235/40R19 Continental ProContact RX - Tesla T1 96W XL $318.90
235/40R19 Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 96W XL $266.99

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (PS4S) is such a celebrated enthusiasts tire that it is chosen by a majority of the entries in the week long One Lap of America event where cars shuttle from track event to track event across the country. It was also once the OEM tire on the Model 3 Performance. While the PS4S comes in the factory 235/40R19, I would suggest a move up to the 245/40ZR19. It is a great fit on the stock wheel and offers more handling and traction abilities in the 245 at an ever so slight expense in range. The 245 is somehow cheaper to boot. The 235 PS4S linked here is the NA0 Porsche-approved spec, which for some reason is less expensive than the tire without the Porsche-approved designation. Go figure. Dry traction, wet traction, comfort, and relatively minimal road noise. The PS4S truly does it all. I would caution that there are some surfaces that make the PS4S hum, specifically ribbed concrete bridges. If you have a majority asphalt commute, you are all in the clear.

Contintental ExtremeContact Sport

A more affordable alternative to the PS4S, the Continental ExtremeContact Sport (Conti ECS) is a summer only performance compound. Like all Continental tires, you can expect a quiet and smooth ride from this premium tire brand. Many Porsche and BMW owners are repeat buyers of the ExtremeContact Sport and applaud their relatively long life. The Conti ECS is slightly behind the PS4S in all out grip, but fairs better in resisting hydroplaining than the Michelin in the wet. With the world the way it is, you may find the Michelin PS4S out of stock and the Continental is more than a worthy alternative. The 245 section width ECS is also the least expensive tire on our recommended Performance Oriented tire list if you needed any more persuading.

Track and Autocross Use

Tesla Track and Autocross Tires ­čôŞ: Trevor Ryan

If for whatever reason you are using your stock wheels as a track set... hey, email me. Emotive offers a wide selection of wider 19" wheel options that easily fit under the factory fenders. These wider wheels will optimize grip and performance for the track in addition to opening access to a much wider selection of performance tires. This track use section assumes you have not upgraded to a wider wheel or you have to keep your stock wheel width for autocross classing purposes.

I recommend moving to a 245 section width on the stock wheel based on tire selection alone. While the Yokohama ADVAN A052 is a wonderfully sticky tire, it is the only tire on the list available in the factory size. It is also frequently on backorder in the 235 section width. 245/40R19, 255/35R19, and 255/40R19 sizes are all within 3% of the OEM tire diameter. The 255 section width is honestly better suited to a wider wheel than the OEM 8.5". The extra section width may still benefit autocrossers so they are included in the table below. As with previous recommendation tables, the current Tesla OEM tires are included in the chart for price comparison purposes only.

Size Tire Service Description Price/Tire
235/40ZR19 Yokohama ADVAN A052 (96Y) XL $264.18
245/40R19 Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS 98W XL $248.87
245/40ZR19 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 98Y XL $293.99
255/35R19 Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS 96W XL $299.56
255/35ZR19 Yokohama ADVAN A052 (96Y) XL $319.66
255/40ZR19 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 100Y XL $298.99
235/40R19 Continental ProContact RX - Tesla T1 96W XL $318.90
235/40R19 Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 96W XL $266.99

Here is the cold hard truth. This is a comically small list when compared to the 18" OEM Model 3 stock wheel tire selection. The list expands healthily when you move to a wider wheel that can accomodate a 265 or 275 section width tire. All is not lost though as the list above is a fairly sharp list. The Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS is one of the most widely anticipated Super 200TW tires of the year and the expectation is that it knocks the Yokohama ADVAN A052 off the throne, or at least out lasts it while staying sticky. The Project Emotiv3 shop car dons the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 which has proven itself as a perfectly capable street and track dual purpose tire.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS

The Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R was once the mega autocross tire before the Yokohama ADVAN A052 came along. Its long awaited successor, the RE-71RS, has already been available overseas and is finally making its way to U.S. shores. If the RE-71R was fast, the RE-71RS is faster. Bridgestone claims the 71RS will improve lap times at Tsukuba by half a second over the 71R. No small feat for a track that laps around the 1 minute mark. Oh, and it is supposed to last longer than the original 71R to boot.

Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3

The Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 (SC3) was originaly developed for the Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE and Camaro ZL1, a heavy, high horsepower vehicle just like the Model 3. OEM development typically means a higher level of testing, quality, and longevity. This is General Motor's brand on the line. The Emotive shop car runs the SC3 as a track tire and for dropping off packages at FedEx or UPS. The Goodyear's consistency lap after lap is key to improving your driving, but please note that in smaller section widths (255 and below) a deeper mold is used which gives it slightly more tread life but less support in the outer shoulder blocks. All the more reason to upgrade to a wider wheel. Wink wink, in case you have not picked up on my other pushes.

Yokohama ADVAN A052

The Yokohama ADVAN A052 is a motorsports compound used in Global Time Attack and the only tire on the list that comes in the stock 235/40R19 size. As it turns out, this is also a great race tire for light rain. Its tread grooves make for excellent evacuation of water and hydroplaning resistance if you are not wading in deep puddles. Oddly enough, they are also quieter than many high performance 200 treadwear tires for driving around town. The A052 is widely known as the king of street tires, but they are designed for quite a bit of camber and wheel width so it is hard to recommend the 235. This tire does not love heat so use it for autocross or that one flyer of a Time Attack lap at full state of charge. One of the challenges is actually finding this tire in stock as they tend to be backordered as they are stocked in low quantities.

Mounting and Balancing

For more than two decades, I have given Tire Rack and my local tire installers a whole lot of money. At the age of 16, I was swapping out perfectly meaty tires for high-performance replacements. As a former autocrosser and current amateur racecar driver, I burn through at least 5 times more tires than the average consumer. Tire Rack's prices can often beat what I can get here at the shop and their comprehensive network of reviewed recommended installers ensure you have a local expert you can rely on. On top of that, you can drop ship to the shop so you don't have to dirty your white interior or futz with the back seats. In the meantime, happy motoring!

About the Author

Steven Chen

Chief Engineering Officer at Emotive Engineering. Addicted to cars. Send hate mail to steven@emotive.engineering.