As most people know, every car has a certain number of expendable parts that need to be replaced eventually. While the period varies and some may last for a while, others need to be replaced more often. Regardless of whether we’re talking about headlight bulbs or head gaskets, to ensure that your car runs smoothly, you’ll need to replace them, and there’s no going around that.
A common misconception when it comes to electric cars is that no maintenance is required. That is true, but only to a point. Since an electric car has no internal combustion engine, regular maintenance like spark plugs, oil change, etc., is unnecessary. With that said, there are other parts that can be found on an electric car and one with an internal combustion engine. Take tires, for example. Regardless of the type of car you drive, there will come a time when you’ll need to replace them, depending on how many miles you’ve driven or how old the tires are.
Tesla has been a leader in the electric market, despite not being on the market nearly as long as some other brands in the industry. With a handful of products, it holds records for the most sold EVs, which says a lot about it as a brand. Things started with the Roadster over a decade ago and ended with the Model Y, which was announced in 2019. Even though the Model Y is the latest car from Tesla, today’s topic won’t cover it. There is a decent number of Model Ys on the road, but the car is still relatively new, so most owners aren’t in need of tire replacements. Since that’s the case, I’ll be covering its predecessor, the Model 3.
Being the most sold EV for 3 years in a row says a lot about the Model 3. No matter if you’ve owned it for a few years and are in need of a new set of tires or want to replace them with a different type, this is the right list for you.
The car comes with the Michelin Primacy MXM4, an all-season grand touring tire, which isn’t a bad option. It’s not the longest-lasting tire on the market, but with excellent performance throughout the year, quiet and comfortable experience, there aren’t too many things to dislike about it.
So, if you feel like the Primacy MXM4 is a good enough tire for you and satisfies your needs, then it’s a tire that I can recommend. On the other hand, if you want more performance or try other tires, keep reading. To cover a broader range of applications, I’ll talk about tires from different categories, which should help you make the best choice for you.
One thing to note is that you may not see the common options here. The reason for this is that the Model 3 has a bit specific tire size, and along with the speed and load index, it limits the options a bit. All tires that you’ll see on this list can be found in the factory size that Tesla recommends. I won’t be mentioning models where you’d need to change the size.
Top 10 Best Tires for Tesla Model 3
#1. Bridgestone DriveGuard
My first pick for this list comes from the Japanese brand Bridgestone, the DriveGuard. It’s an all-season grand touring tire that focuses more on refinement.
The DriveGuard is a run-flat tire, meaning that you can drive it up to 50 miles at speeds up to 50 mph. For the all-season part, Bridgestone utilized a rubber compound enriched with silica to make it pliable in the winter. To remedy the harshness that run-flat tires are prone to, the tire is designed with NanoPro-Tech Sidewall technology, tasked with keeping the sidewall softer to provide a more comfortable driving experience.
In dry conditions, the DriveGuard is an excellent performer. There is plenty of traction, so your Model 3 can put the power down. The cornering grip is also very good, meaning you can rely on the tire. While there are differences, it’s very similar to the Primacy MXM4. Don’t expect the most dynamic tire on the market in terms of handling.
Wet is where the DriveGuard shines and manages to provide excellent traction. With this also come very short braking distances, followed by superb aquaplaning resistance thanks to the grooves and sipes.
As an all-season tire, the DriveGuard is usable in winter conditions, but not in all of them. In shallow and unpacked snow, the tire is acceptably well and can provide usable performance. Going for harsher conditions than those and the tire will struggle a lot.
Refinement is what the DriveGuard does best. The tire delivers very high comfort levels, despite being a run-flat option. It can easily smooth out bumps and road imperfections while eliminating the vibrations. Noise is another area where the tire shows excellent results. Even though it’s not as quiet as the Turanza QuietTrack, it’s very close, making it an excellent option for an EV, where tire roar is noticeable.
When compared with the Primacy MXM4, the DriveGuard is a tire that should be a bit longer-lasting. With a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, you get 5,000 miles longer one when compared with the Michelin model.
- Slightly longer treadwear warranty
- Superb performance in wet conditions
- Among the quietest tire in the category
- The handling is average
- Snow performance isn’t as good as the Primacy MXM4
#2. Continental ProContact RX
Next up in the line of grand touring tires is the Continental ProContact RX. This all-season tire is designed to offer an outstanding balance between luxurious driving and some sporty-like characteristics.
Like the previous option, the ProContact RX is a run-flat tire, meaning that you can drive it even without any pressure. Continental utilized its popular all-season rubber compound, meaning that you’ll get excellent performance in summer and winter. The tread pattern and the shoulder grooves are designed to help the tire with water evacuation as well as traction in snowy conditions.
Both in dry and wet conditions, the ProContact RX is an excellent tire. Even when you accelerate aggressively, there is more than enough traction to eliminate wheel spin. In the corners, the tire exhibits high levels of grip, putting it slightly above the Primacy MXM4, which isn’t too common for a grand touring tire.
Heavy rain also won’t be a problem, as the ProContact RX does an excellent job at water evacuation. It means that the stability won’t be affected by the speed or depth of the water, up to a point, of course. Then there are the braking distances, which are among the shortest in the category, which is no surprise for a Continental tire.
When it comes to handling, it’s not a UHP tire but seems to be a bit more dynamically inclined when compared with the Primacy MXM4. It’s a bit more responsive, and you’ll get more feedback from the road.
The ProContact RX is a decently usable tire on snow, but not one that you can rely too much on. You can drive it in lighter conditions, and as long as you don’t push it too much, you should be fine. Overall, the winter performance is very similar to the Bridgestone model.
The refinement on the ProContact RX is good enough, but you may run into some slight problems. Comfort isn’t a problem, and the tire dan delivers a plush ride, easily eliminating you from bumps on the road or vibrations. The noise is something that may be a slight issue. It’s perfectly fine at slower speeds, even for an EV like the Model 3, but will start to produce a bit of roar when you get on the highway.
The warranty is the weakest point, and the Continental falls shorter even when compared with the Primacy MXM4. The ProContact RX comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is 10,000 miles less than the Bridgestone option.
- Sporty-like handling
- Very high levels of grip and traction for a grand touring tire
- Among the shortest braking distances in the wet
- It can get a bit noisy at higher speeds
- Less warranty than the Primacy MXM4
#3. Vredestein Quatrac Pro
Going for a bit cheaper option doesn’t necessarily mean that you are losing a lot of performance. There are some excellent tires from mid-range brands that seem to offer performance very close to the premium options. One such option is the Vredestein Quatrac Pro. This affordable all-season grand touring tire combines luxurious comfort and high levels of performance and handling based on the manufacturer’s claims.
The asymmetric tread pattern is made out of a compound with a higher concentration of resin and silica, resulting in a tire that can be used in wet and winter conditions. Vredestein paid attention to the handling, producing a tire with shoulder ribs to provide improved handling characteristics backed by the stiffer blocks.
In reality, the Quatrac Pro is a tire that delivers on the manufacturer’s promises in most areas. You will have plenty of grip and traction in dry and wet conditions, which, combined with the handling, makes for a tire that can put a smile on your face. Surprisingly, the tire manages to stick to the road better in wet conditions when compared with dry roads, which can be compared with some of the premium options.
Handling is the tire’s strongest point, resulting in excellent responsiveness paired with a surprisingly good amount of feedback. With that said, it does have some drawbacks. The braking distances on dry roads are safe and good but are not as short as some of the other tires on this list. Then there is the aquaplaning resistance, which is above average but not as good as the Primacy MXM4.
Winter performance is as you’d expect. The Quatrac Pro is usable in lighter conditions where it delivers surprisingly high levels of traction, but the lateral grip isn’t as impressive. Combine that with the handling, and you have a tire that you won’t be able to push it too much on snow-covered roads.
Despite the sporty characteristics, Vredestein managed to make a well-refined tire. The Quatrac Pro is a very comfortable tire to drive on, managing to suppress most of the bumps on the road. Noise is also surprisingly low, and even though it’s not on the same level as the premium options when you look at it overall, you have a tire that comes very close.
Finally, we have the warranty, which is a big plus for the tire. The Quatrac Pro comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is as much as the DriveGuard.
- 50,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Marvelous performance in wet conditions
- Comfortable and quiet
- Braking distances on dry roads aren’t the shortest
- Aquaplaning resistance is average in its class
#4. Hankook Kinergy 4S2
As a direct competitor to the Vredestein tire, I just mentioned is the Hankook Kinergy 4S2. Like all of the tires so far, it’s an all-season grand touring tire that Hankook designed to provide safe and stable handling with performance that can be delivered at lower temperatures.
The rubber compound with high levels of silica comes as standard in this category, so the Kinergy 4S2 is no different. One slightly different thing is the tread pattern. Hankook went with a V-shaped design with stiffer blocks and serrated edges, resulting in a tire that should have excellent water evacuation properties, traction, and handling characteristics.
In some aspects, the Kinergy 4S2 is a tire that performs very close to the Quatrac Pro. Handling in dry conditions is very close, and I honestly couldn’t decide which one is better. One area where the Hankook tire performs much better is the braking distances, which are shorter.
With that said, in wet conditions, the Kinergy 4S2 is a tire that won’t outperform the previous one. It still delivers plenty of grip and traction combined with superb handling, but not as good as the Vredestein model. With that said, the aquaplaning resistance is excellent, thanks to the tread design. The tire will remain stable even at highway speeds without getting twitchy.
Like the previous tire, the Kinergy 4S2 is a good tire for snow driving, as long as you’re aware of its limitations. You have a decent amount of grip and traction, followed by relatively short braking distances, combined with a tire that is easy to control. Despite that, it’s not a tire that should be pushed hard in these conditions.
Noise and comfort levels are pretty good for a mid-range grand touring tire. The vibrations are muted very well, and the tire glides over road unevenness very well. You also have touring-like noise levels, and despite not being the quietest tire on the market, the Kinergy 4S2 is acceptably quiet, even on the Model 3.
The best part of the Kinergy 4S2 is the warranty. Hankook offers the tire with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, making it the longest one out of all grand touring tires for your Tesla Model 3.
- The longest treadwear warranty
- Excellent aquaplaning resistance
- Very good handling
- Average snow performance
- Grip and traction on wet roads aren’t the best in class
#5. Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
You probably noticed a trend with the tires I’ve mentioned so far – the lack of performance in winter conditions. To avoid that, there is an option for winter tires on your Tesla Model 3, and the first one I’ll talk about is the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.
Pirelli designed the Sottozero 3 with a special rubber compound molded into a unique-ish tread pattern. The design features two circumferential grooves down the middle and lateral grooves around the shoulders. In combination with the arrow-style central rib and increased sipe density, these are made to provide superior performance in any winter condition.
On dry roads, the Sottozero 3 is a superb tire. There is more than enough traction to avoid slip, and the tire will be able to grip to the roads in the corners. If you push it too much, it will let go, but that will be progressive, and you’ll notice it when it happens.
If you don’t look at the aquaplaning resistance, the Sottozero 3 is an absolute king in wet performance. You will have a tire with one of the highest levels of grip and traction in this category, if not the best. As for the aquaplaning resistance, even though it’s excellent, there are some more stable tires in heavy rain conditions.
As a winter tire, the Sottozero 3 won’t leave you wanting for more. The tire will have traction in shallow and deep snow, whether it’s packed or unpacked. With that said, you’ll get a tire that is very usable in ice, and combined with the short braking distances, it proves to be among the safest winter tires.
Since the Sottozero 3 is a winter tire, noise isn’t as low, so don’t expect wonders. Pirelli its noise-canceling system and managed to make it acceptably quiet. Comfort levels, on the other hand, are superb, meaning that it will provide a soft and luxurious ride even over rougher surfaces.
The warranty or the lack thereof is the weakest point, as Pirelli doesn’t offer any treadwear warranty for the Sottozero 3. You only have the uniformity guarantee to rely on.
- Not the quietest tire
- Longevity isn’t on par with some of its rivals
#6. Continental WinterContact TS 860 S
Coming as a replacement of the WinterContact TS 850 S and a competitor of the Sottozero 3, the WinterContact TS 860 S is another excellent choice for your Tesla Model 3. It’s a performance-oriented studless winter tire that is sold as part of the premium options.
Continental utilized its Cool Chili technology to design the rubber compound and went with an asymmetric design. This, along with the sipes, is responsible for grip and traction, as well as water evacuation. The Flexible Polymer Matric and the 3D structure of the grooves ensure that the WinterContact TS 860 S can provide high levels of traction in snowy conditions.
The performance in dry conditions is excellent, more than enough for what an average driver would need. There is loads of grip and traction, meaning that even if you push it, the WinterContact TS 860 S will stick to the road without any problems. Handling is also excellent, and, in these conditions, the tire is among the best there is.
Wet performance is a bit of a let-down, considering that Continental tires are known for excellent performance in these conditions. The WinterContact TS 860 S is still a good performer, comparable with the best in its class, but it lacks a bit. Despite the high levels of grip and traction, some of its competitors can offer a bit more. Then there’s the aquaplaning resistance, which is not the tire’s strongest side.
Premium winter tires are closely matched in snow conditions, and the WinterContact TS 860 S is near the top. The tread design combined with the compound enables the tire to remain soft in colder conditions and bite into snow, delivering excellent traction levels. It handles very well, and you will get high grip levels and some short braking distances.
Since winter tires are softer, it means that the WinterContact TS 860 S offers a very comfortable driving experience. Even though it’s a bit on the performance side of things, the ride quality is excellent. Noise is another area that Continental managed to improve the tire, and you will be getting a very quiet tire, perfect for an EV like the Model 3.
As for the warranty, things are identical to the previous tire. Continental doesn’t offer any treadwear warranty with the WinterContact TS 860 S.
- Very low noise levels
- Excellent snow capabilities
- Short braking distances and excellent handling in dry conditions
- Wet traction is average
- Aquaplaning resistance isn’t as good as the class-leading models
#7. Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 N-Spec
As part of the Pilot Alpin family, Michelin offers us the Pilot Alpin PA4 N-Spec, a performance-oriented winter tire primarily designed for Porsche owners. The tire is a combination of eco-friendly methods and materials that aid in performance without sacrificing the rolling resistance.
The full-silica rubber compound featuring sunflower oil Helio Compound+ is molded into a directional design, both of which are designed to improve performance in snow conditions. The number of grooves and Stabiligrip 3D sipe technology is what enables to the tire to have improved traction and better handling characteristics.
The Pilot Alpin PA4 N-Spec delivers very good performance in dry conditions. There is plenty of grip and traction, followed by marvelous handling, putting it near the top. In many situations, the tire is closely matched with the WinterContact TS 860 S. One area it doesn’t perform as well is the braking distances. Despite being short and safe, they are not as short as the leaders in this category.
Where the Continental model falls short, the Michelin one shines. In wet conditions, the Pilot Alpin PA4 N-Spec is an excellent performer. The tire offers excellent handling characteristics, which, paired with the high levels of traction and short braking distances, resulting in a very safe tire. The aquaplaning resistance isn’t the best, but it’s better than the previous model.
Snow performance is another area where the Pilot Alpin PA4 N-Spec delivers good results. It’s not the absolute best in class but is well above average. The tire can grip very well, meaning that you can even push it a little and remain safe. It doesn’t handle as well as some of the other winter tires, so you’ll need to be a bit more careful. On a positive note, the braking distances are short.
The Pilot Alpin PA4 N-Spec has a split personality in the refinement department. On one side, you have a very comfortable tire, capable of absorbing vibrations and smoothing out bumps with ease. On the other, you have a proper winter tire – noisy, which may be a problem for some Model 3 owners.
Surprisingly, the Pilot Alpin PA4 N-Spec does come with a warranty. Michelin offers the tire with a 30,000-mile treadwear warranty, unlike some of the other options on this list.
- Excellent wet performance
- Short braking distances in wet and snow conditions
- Snow handling isn’t the best
- Noise levels are on the higher end of the scale
#8. Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4
Not all Model 3 owners are after a tire with long life and comfortable ride, some want performance about of it, which is where the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 comes into play. Michelin designed the tire to be an all-season UHP one, with some substantial improvements over the previous model.
Michelin designed the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 with its Helio Technology to give the tire its performance at lower temperatures. It enriches the compound with sunflower oil, enabling it to remain softer in winter. The Extreme Silica Compound is part of the rubber that will help the tire with traction on wet roads. The tire features an asymmetric tread design with reinforced shoulder blocks which help improve the tire’s stability and handling.
As far as UHP tires go, you’ll hardly find any that will outperform the Pilot Sport All-Season 4. The tire delivers superb levels of grip and traction, far more than what you’d need on your Model 3. This is also one of the best handling tires in this category, offering very responsive inputs with plenty of feedback. On top of that, you have one of the shortest braking distances in its class.
The superior performance continues in wet conditions as well. Michelin fine-tuned the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 to deliver high levels of grip and traction. The tire is planted and will enable your Model 3 to put the power down. In the corners, you can push it quite hard before it starts to let go.
Even though the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 isn’t a winter tire, it can deal with snow decently. There is a usable amount of grip and traction, meaning that as long as you’re aware of its capabilities, you should be fine. Thanks to the handling characteristics, the tire remains controllable even at the limit.
Refinement isn’t a UHP tire’s strongest side, so the same can be said about the Pilot Sport All-Season. The comfort levels aren’t even close to what a touring tire can offer, and you should expect a harsher ride. Noise also isn’t the tire’s forte, something you’ll notice a bit more in an EV like the Tesla Model 3.
When it comes to warranties, Michelin isn’t known for offering the longest ones. The Pilot Sport All-Season 4 comes with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is a bit less than what its premium competitors provide.
- Among the highest levels of grip and traction in its class
- Dynamic handling
- Usable in snow conditions
- Slightly less treadwear warranty
- Not the most refined tire in the premium segment
#9. Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus
In the all-season UHP segment, the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus is positioned as a direct competitor as the previous tire. DWS stands for dry, wet, and snow, meaning that Continental aimed at producing a tire capable of tackling all weather conditions.
Continental’s all-season rubber compound is molded into an asymmetric tread pattern with the help of the company’s SPORTPLUS+ technology. The macro blocks and chamfered edges work in combination to deliver excellent handling characteristics and shortened braking distances. There are also the 3D sipes that help with traction and work with the circumferential grooves to help with aquaplaning resistance.
On dry roads, the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus delivers excellent performance. You can rely on the grip and traction that the tire delivers, and with the short braking distances, you’ll have an excellent UHP tire. With that said, at the limit, in some situations, the tire will fall slightly behind its competitors, something that probably most people won’t notice.
Handling is another side of the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus that deserves high praises. It is very responsive and will change direction instantly once you turn the steering wheel. Unfortunately, the feedback isn’t something that will thrill many enthusiasts as it may seem a bit numb at times.
Continental is known for making tires with excellent performance in wet conditions, and the same goes for the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus. The tire is marvelous in these conditions and will offer very high levels of grip. Push it into a corner, and it won’t even blink an eye. During acceleration, the slip is minimal, meaning you have a lot of traction to play with. With short braking distances and superb aquaplaning resistance, this is also a very safe tire for wet roads.
In the winter, the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus is usable and, in some cases, good. In light snow, the tire can deliver a decent amount of traction, and combined with the handling, you can play around with it. On the negative side, don’t expect any usable performance in ice.
Comfort and noise levels are decent, considering it’s a UHP tire. The ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus is not the harshest tire on the market and will eliminate some of the vibrations from the cabin. On the noise side of things, it’s not comparable to a Turanza QuietTrack, but it’s acceptable.
On the warranty side of things, the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus is slightly ahead of the previous tire. With a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, you get 5,000 miles longer warranty when compared with the Michelin competitor.
- One of the best UHP tires for wet conditions
- Acceptably comfortable and quiet
- Very responsive
- Not a lot of feedback
- In some situations, dry performance may drop slightly behind some of its competitors
#10. Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+
Coming as a replacement for the existing Potenza RE980AS, the plus version is the last tire I’ll be mentioning on this list. According to Bridgestone, the newer version should offer some improvements to a tire that was already an excellent performer.
Bridgestone went on the wheel reinventing path and developed a new rubber compound explicitly aimed at improving performance in snowy conditions. The chamfered lateral slots are designed to increase the contact patch and shorten the braking distances in dry conditions. There are also high-density 3D sipes designed to help the Potenza RE980AS+ with its biting force in less than ideal conditions.
The Potenza RE980AS+ is a very good performer when it comes to driving on dry roads. The levels of grip and traction are pretty high and come very close to the Pilot Sport All-Season 4. You can push a lot and still make it out of a corner without the tire letting go. The same goes for the traction, which is more than enough to avoid slip during hard acceleration. The most noticeable difference is the braking distances, despite being perfectly safe, are slightly longer than the Michelin and Continental options I mentioned.
As for the handling, there aren’t too many things to complain about. The Potenza RE980AS+ is very responsive, on the same level as the Michelin option, making it a dynamically inclined tire. With that, you’ll also have loads of feedback from the steering wheel.
In wet conditions, the Potenza RE980AS+ is an excellent tire, there’s no question about it, but it’s not as good as the Continental one. For driving in normal conditions on a public road, it will be more than enough. The levels of traction and grip will enable you to push it and have some fun, and combined with the handling, the tire will remain very controllable. The differences become more noticeable at the limit, mainly in the braking distances, which are a bit longer than the competitors.
Snow performance is as good as most of the tires in this class. You can use it in lighter conditions, and the Potenza RE980AS+ can offer a decent amount of traction and grip. The braking distances are also on par with the rest of the premium UHP all-season tires.
The refinement of the Potenza RE980AS+ is something that goes in its favor. The comfort and noise levels are more or less similar to the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus, meaning that you’ll get a decently comfortable tire that won’t be as noisy as the Michelin one.
The warranty seems to be a positive thing, and with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, the Potenza RE980AS+ looks like a good option. Be that as it may, in some cases, the tire wear prematurely, something that I hope Bridgestone finds a way to improve in the future.
- Well refined
- Very good handling
- Excellent performance in dry conditions
- Braking distances in wet conditions are a bit longer
- Longevity may be an issue