5 Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3 [2023]

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 08/08/21 •  12 min read

Nope! Tesla Model 3’s regular tires aren’t for snowy roads. I mean they’ll work, but you’ll be at a high risk of skidding and potentially hitting something… or someone!

So getting a pair of winter tires for your Tesla Model 3 definitely makes sense.


Other "bloggers" and "influencers" will push the product that pays the most, not the one that help you the most. We find what has worked best for the Tesla community -- and recommend it. We may get compensated (and that keeps the lights on)... but if we don't, WHO CARES? If every Tesla owner is recommending it, we will too!

This article outlines the five best winter tires for Tesla Model 3. I’ve judged each on various parameters, including quality, durability, and first-hand experiences of Tesla owners like you.

I’ve also discussed each tire’s snow and ice performance metrics so that you have a good idea of how much traction each tire provides. It’ll be helpful for you to pick the best tire according to the environment of your area.

Let’s make sure you and your family stay safe on wet and snowy roads in winter and dive into what to look for in a dedicated winter tire set.

How to Read the Tire Specifications to Get the Perfect Fit

Ever seen a long series of letters and numbers in a tire?

That’s because tires have a naming convention or “code.”

Most tires adhere to an alphanumeric code that looks as follows:

Conventional tire code. Credit to TireRack.

Let’s describe each component and what you should look for — with the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range stock tires as reference:

For the latest stock tire specification, visit tiresize.com. They have the exact tire specs of all Model 3 years and trims laid out.

Though not yet adopted, the US-based NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) proposed a tire rating that includes safety, fuel efficiency, and durability scores.

Wet traction, levels of road noise (in dB), and snow/ice performance may also be displayed in some European standards.

Armed with this knowledge, let’s get into the five most recommended winter tires within the Tesla community!

What Are the Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3?

As a Youtube comment declared:

Ice and snow tires is the cheapest insurance one can buy…

You must make the decision and choose the best winter tires for your electric vehicle.

Here are my five best choices:

  1. Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3 Overall: Nokian R3
  2. Best Winter Tires for Extreme Climates: Bridgestone Bizzak (LM in Europe, WS in America)
  3. Most Durable Tesla Model 3 Winter Tires: Michelin X-ICE Xi3
  4. Most Efficient Winter Tires / Tesla OEM Winter Tires: Pirelli Sottozero 3
  5. Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3 Performance (20″): Michelin Pilot Alpins (PA) 4

Let’s review each in detail.

Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3 Overall: Nokian R3

Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3: Nokian R3 Tires

These tires have been a long-term favorite in the Tesla community since the early Model S days.

They appeal to Tesla owners because of their eco-friendly factories, something extremely rare among tiremakers.

Plus, they craft tires specifically targeted at electric vehicles.

Kyle from Out of Spec Motoring, a very respected YouTube personality and Model 3 owner, mentions these tires as part of his favorite winter setup.

Skip to 3:33 for his thoughts on the Nokian R3 wheels + some winter tips.

According to Kyle, Nokian R3 is “the most aggressive snow tire you can go for while remaining everyday usability.”

That very well summarizes Tesla owners’ thoughts on this set.

If you’re reassured by numbers like I am, Autofil, a third-party magazine, tested this set against popular winter tires (some of which we’ll discuss).

2018 Autofil Test 1
2018 Autofil Test 2
2018 Autofil Test 3
2018 Autofil Test 4
Images inspired by AllTyreTests

You may think the Nokian R3 doesn’t come on top in every category.

But the fact that they rank competitively in most categories proves the all-around good value you get.

According to some Tesla owners, this set gives up some dry traction compared with summer tires, so you’re going to want to remove it as soon as winter ends.

The company showcases its braking advantage in the snow against other brands in a Tesla:

Though I don’t buy these claims at face value, they make a point: These tires are designed for safety.

And from the consensus of the Tesla community, these are quite literally your safest bet.

You can find different sizes on Nokian’s website, along with the dealers that carry their wheels.

Discount Tire carries these wheels most of the time, and this is one of the most recommended tire shops among Tesla owners.

In fact, as of this writing, all 235/45R18 reviews on Discount Tire come from Tesla owners — so you can buy with confidence!


Recommended sizes: 235/45 on 18″ wheels
235/40 on 19″ wheels
235/35 on 20″ wheels

✅ Eco-friendlier operations
✅ Better road noise than OEM tires
✅ Designed with safety as a priority
✅ Long track record within the Tesla community
✅ Among the best when tested against other brands


❌ May give up dry traction
❌ May not be easily accessible in North America

Best Tires for Extreme Climates: Bridgestone Bizzak (LM in Europe, WS in America)

Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3: Bridgestone Bizzak

The closest you live to Santa Claus the North Pole, the more suitable this set of tires becomes.

Built for harsh climates, these sets of tires score an A in ice & snow performance, surpassing many Nokian and Michelin models.

That’s why many Canadians and European customers love it.

Dan from the SDA Dan Cars YouTube channel walks us through his thoughts & impressions on the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005.

Blizzak’s rating walkthrough starts at 0:45. Skip to 3:04 for the tire mounting process. Or jump to 14:08 for his driving impressions.

You can see his configuration: 235/45R18 98V (with an A in snow performance, C in fuel efficiency, and 72dB of road noise).

Compared with the Model 3’s stock tires’ noise and winter performance, Dan claims these tires definitely deliver a smoother, quieter ride.

And although efficiency is rated at a C, he didn’t experience a noticeable difference in winter range.

With built-in rim protection to avoid curb damage and a solid reputation, this Bridgestone set won’t disappoint you even in the coldest climates on Earth.

While the LM005 set is widely available in Europe and Russia, Canadian and US Model 3 owners who drive in icy climates will more easily find Blizzak WS90 in tire shops across North America.

LM models are available in North America, but the LM-32 model is designed for performance, and the LM001 has proven average at best for the Model 3.

Until Bridgestone brings the LM005 to America, we’re left with the WS90 as the best choice.

Blizzak’s WS series is a classic, with 400+ reviews on DiscountTire.

You may want to cross-shop on TireRack, which includes a five-year warranty at a lower price.

Given Bridgestone’s Japanese manufacturing roots, it’s no surprise Tesla owners try many winter tires out, but just like Dan, end up coming back to this brand for their winter tire needs.


Recommended size: 235/45 on 18″ wheels
235/40 on 19″ wheels
235/35 on 20″ wheels

✅ Can withstand the harshest of winters.
✅ Includes rim protection to prevent curb rash (LM)
✅ Quieter than stock tires


❌ LM005 isn’t currently sold in North America
❌ Not the most efficient tires

Most Durable Tesla Model 3 Winter Tires: Michelin X-ICE Xi3

Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3: Michellin X-ICE Xi3

In a Tesla Owners Online forum poll, a curious member asked owners what winter tires offer the best value.

TOO Winter Tires Poll

This set of tires was overwhelmingly rated as the best — and by a long shot.

They’ve been among the best-selling winter tires year after year since the first release in 2012.

And with 5.6 million miles reported within TireRack alone (plus an “Excellent” score on everything but dry performance), it’s hard to argue against their performance.

Sure, more popular doesn’t necessarily mean better.

However, something that genuinely surprised me about these tires is the frequent reviews praising their durability.

A particular user even said he’s used one of these for eight years straight. Talk about a good investment!

With a 6-year / 40,000-mile warranty, the value these winter tires offer is irresistible.

There’s a reason the Canadian YouTube channel CarQuestion mentions these tires first when discussing the top winter tires choices for Teslas:

“Heavy snow, light snow, ice… this is a pretty versatile tire.”

This set of tires is often compared with others on the list because it can withstand the harshest climates.

If you compare the Autofil results, in fact, these performed better than the Nokian R3 in snow and ice braking and better than the Bridgestone WS in wet and ice.

Road noise does seem to be greater when compared with the OEM tires, according to many Model 3 owners though.


Recommended sizes: 235/45 on 18″ wheels
235/40 on 19″ wheels
235/35 on 20″ wheels

✅ Best-selling tire model for years
✅ Tested by thousands of car owners (including Teslas)
✅ 6-year, 40,000-mile warranty (see details)


❌ May not be available in the Model 3’s recommended sizes
❌ May produce more road noise than OEM tires

Most Efficient Tires / Tesla OEM Winter Tires: Pirelli Sottozero 3

Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3: Pirelli Sottozero 3

Tesla sells the Pirelli Sottozero 3 in their winter tire/wheel package for a reason.

It’s said to be one of the most efficient sets of tires.

If you want to lose as little range as possible during winter, this is the set of tires you’ll want to explore first.

To be clear though: you’ll inevitably lose range in winter, but due to different reasons

It’s unfortunate that these tires aren’t sold separately in Tesla’s shop. You’ll have to buy the whole package of wheels and tires. 

But, as a plus, Tesla’s package comes with the appropriate TPMS sensors by default. So if you’re in the market looking for a set of wheels and tires, this might be the exact thing you need.

On the other hand, if you want a different set of wheels or want to save money, buying from Tesla won’t be your best option.

Some owners find $2,000 worth the “Tesla premium,” knowing the same set of tires — and the wheels of your preference — can be bought for much less.

Most owners, however, prefer to get these tires separately for about US$800 — and either stick to their wheels or shop around for better-looking custom wheels.

Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3 Performance (20″): Michelin Pilot Alpins (PA) 4

Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3: Michellin Pilot Alpins (PA) 4

If you are in search of the best winter tires for your Tesla Model 3 Performance, you’re gonna have a hard time.

Finding options that fit 20-inch wheels may be a challenge, but don’t worry, there is a highly recommended option.

Many Model 3 Performance owners have had success with the Michelin Pilot Alpins 4, which were originally designed for the Canadian market Porsche Cayman trim.

Jason from Engineering Explained tried these tires on his Model 3. Here is what he said:

The tire discussion starts at 1:55.

Reassured by TireRack’s data, which suggested Michelin’s PA4 performed better in snow and ice acceleration, braking, and lateral grip than the Pirelli Sottozero 3, he ended up calling TireRack to purchase Michelin’s PA4 at $300 apiece.

You can find many Model 3 Performance owners chiming in with their positive experiences on this thread.

According to some owners, “the Alpins drive about as well as the summer tires on cold, dry and wet roads,” so you’ll have no problem driving aggressively if desired.

Don’t expect to outperform the X-Ice or Blizzak in snow though. One tire can’t be the best at everything.

But if you want efficient 20″ tires for your Model 3 Performance, this is your best bet.

Final Thoughts: Best Winter Tires for Tesla Model 3

Ultimately, I’d recommend Nokian R3 over any winter tire for your Tesla Model 3. It is durable, gives good performance, and won’t affect range… basically everything you’d want in the best Tesla Model 3 winter tire.

But you’d be better off with Bridgestone Bizzak in one scenario: You live in an especially extreme climatic area and need extra traction on snow-covered roads! Then these tires will be the safer option.

In any case, you’ll enjoy slippery-free driving and good snow performance with any of the tires on this list. Just evaluate your needs and get the best winter tire for yourself accordingly.

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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