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18" vs 19" wheels

18" vs 19" wheels

My final configuration decision is which wheel size to get. Going with midnight silver. Aesthetically--a purely subjective consideration, I know--I like the darker 18" wheel rims, especially with the aero caps off. But that's obviously not the only consideration. Thoughts, especially regarding performance and ride?

mikes | September 25, 2018

I got the aero wheels on my blue M3. They look great. When I was configuring my M3 a 20 year old kid happened to see that I was looking at the 19" wheels and he said:"Man you're not seriously thinking about those grandpa wheels, those black ones (referring to the Aero wheel) look much cooler!" Well, I'm not grandpa yet, decided to save the extra money and got aero wheels. Have gotten many compliments on those wheels! Also driving 40 miles at about 80MPH on the Interstate everyday the aero wheels make a difference in range. Also if you don't like the aero look just pull the caps of and there is a nice wheel behind it.

M3NOICE | September 25, 2018

I will add my 5 cents here.

I have both, the 18" and 19", on two cars. Keeping both at 42PSI cold. The 19" wheels "feel" steadier on freeway. The 18" wheels "feel" jumpy at times. It can also be the tires.
If i were to choose again I would choose 19 over the 18.

john.schreiber8 | October 14, 2018

Just got my model 3 with aero wheels
Took off the plastic hubcaps ASAP
Wheel underneath a nice dark color
Bought Tesla center cap and black bolt covers on line and it looks great!

forum11 | October 31, 2018

Setting aside discussions of aesthetics and efficiency, I want to know how the factory 18” and 19” wheel/tire sets change the ride and handling performance of the M3 LR D. There is the Edmunds article from back in May which is scathing of the 18s compared to the 19s. Reportedly they hobble an otherwise excellent performance machine. A lot of people speculated that Tesla did all the M3 suspension tuning on the 19s and that the 18s were just an efficiency and cost afterthought. But of course that was then and things can change quickly in Tesla time with assorted adjustments. Do the 18s still pale in comparison to 19s when it comes to handling? Many people seem to say the 18s are fine and then you find a stray comment, like the one above from Bullet, that have back to back experience and feel the 18s are subpar – Feeling “jumpy” on the freeway is a big no no in my book! Beyond that, I personally will accept a little more noise and slightly firmer ride if the handling (acceleration, braking, cornering, etc.) is markedly better. If the suspension is done right a ride can be firm without being jarring. Interestingly, the Edmunds article suggests the 19s are quieter than the 18s. I do however like the idea of more sidewall *if* everything else is nearly equal. Obviously the change in the tire design can have a lot to do with it, but again, there is conflicting information and seemingly no objective consensus on a given attribute. Maybe I’m missing some key thread or review? If just going on the Edmunds article and comments like Bullet's I'd stay far away from the 18s.

Obviously all of this would be moot with aftermarket wheels and/or tires, and I'm fairly confident I could find just the right combination of 18" rims and rubber to meet my expectations, but we're staying focused on what actually comes with the car.

9114s | November 16, 2018

Here is my config. Long Range All-Wheel Drive
Pearl White Paint, 19’’ Sport Wheels, Black and White Premium Interior,Enhanced Autopilot
For me the 18 wheels do not look good, and my wife said "cheap". The 19 inch are beautiful. Having 9KW solar on my roof means that charging is free so loosing 5% to10% range for better look and superior handling is easy choice.
I will switch the OEM Continental Procontact RX - 235/40R19 96W XL soon with summer tires MICHELIN®PILOT® SPORT 4 S 235/40ZR19/XL (96Y) ASY BSW (MSPN 05800) so the car hardware will also improve with time :).

TAC | November 16, 2018

The only one who is thinking and grinding their mind over their wheels is you. Nobody cares. I dont get the fuss train on these thats all.

Patrick | November 17, 2018

All I can share is our great experience with dual motors and the 19” sport wheels, especially after reducing tire pressure to 38 psi. It’s a REALLY nice quiet ride with absolutely unbelievable handling. 110% satisfied.

ODWms | November 17, 2018

I’d actually be fine with *less* sidewall, personally. If the car would allow, and there’s availability, when my tires need replacement, I’d be fine with a 235/30 or even 235/25 setup on my 20s. I did a similar replacement on my SLK (staggered 19s), and it seems to make the handling even ‘tighter.’

h2ev | November 17, 2018

My response went poof as it logged me out when I posted my comment. Why does this keep happening?

My thoughts on staying with the aeros.

-comfort/efficiency/cost. In my hybrid SUV I lost 10% MPG going from stock low rolling resistance tires to non-LRR. I'm surprised by the supple ride quality even with the tires at 42PSI. Very nice. I believe Tesla's quote on efficiency is 18s vs 19s tires, and not the aeros with and without covers. I do not believe the covers will make a difference. Longer lasting an cheaper tires, as well being $1500 cheaper, there are just way more pros for me to stay with the aeros.

-styling. Totally subjective and I'm split 50/50 on aeros with covers off and the 19s. I don't hate the way the aero covers look but do prefer without them on. Put the center/lug nut caps on as soon as I got home. Aeros with covers off match beautifully with my MSM dual motor non-P. My absolute favorite is Performance+ with the 20s on the regular silver, but cannot justify the extra $15k.

Love this combo:
https://insideevs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/model-3-1-1.jpg

billtphotoman | November 17, 2018

Taste in wheels is subjective but I guess I am in the not a fan of the current trend of ever bigger wheels and lower profile tires. Definitely would vote for the 18s but and if 17s were offered I would be voting for those.

ODWms | November 17, 2018

@h2ev, that’s my car setup exactly. But the finish on it looks like a “stealth” wrap (matte finish). I don’t usually go for matte on cars (trucks and keeps look nice), but I admit I could get with that.

forum11 | April 24, 2019

A post-purchase, personal experience update to my pre-purchase comment in October: The 18" Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires do indeed feel jumpy on straight line freeway travel as someone else warned. They also feel a bit sloppy on more aggressive lower speed maneuvers. I've had the opportunity to drive a few other M3 LR D with the factory 18" rims that have simply changed their tires out for other 18" all-weather options. They have greatly improved the ride and handling of the car! It's a shame Tesla puts such junk tires on the 18" rims.

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