M3 MR RWD 18" vs 19" wheels

M3 MR RWD 18" vs 19" wheels

Ordered a MR RWD with 18" wheels. Delivery delayed due to an issue with the car i ordered. So the dealership is trying to match with another one. I might have a chance to change my decision.

I'm torn between 18 vs 19. which one is better for quality of ride - wind noise, stiffness, picking up road imperfections, etc.? are 19s that much better from a performance POV? how about the impact on range?I understand the 19s look great but once you buy, its the driving experience that matters more for me. If I end of keeping the 18", I'll take off the aero wheels out for local commute and slap the wheel cap kit from Tesla.

ODWms | March 11, 2019

My experience is that the looks/performance/handling factors outweigh the (negligible) range factor. YMM literally V.

hfisher3380 | March 11, 2019

I can't really comment on the 19" but I've been happy with my base 18" wheels. I have two sets - one for all-season and one for the Tesla winter tires. While I do prefer the look of the bigger wheels, the deciding factors for me were price and at least theoretically lower risk of flat tires which could be a pain with no spare tire in the trunk. In my experience big rims and lower profile tires result in more flats and a bit of a rougher ride which is a factor here in Canada where the weather creates pothole hazards.

Note that removing the aero caps and installing the wheel cap kit makes the 18" rims look kinda cool and unique vs the ubiquitous look of the silver rims.

mtapes | March 11, 2019

No regrets on getting 19" on LR AWD 3. Happy that I changed from Aero originally ordered.

InParadise | March 11, 2019

I just changed my VIN because it was a 2018 and upgraded to 19”. You will regret it if you are already want it.

95dawg | March 11, 2019

There is practically no chance for "regret" here since this decision can be easily fixed after purchase for relatively low cost.

Go with 18s and if you don't like it, get aftermaket +1 or +2 set. Sell the 18s or use them as winter set with snow tires.

Assume you can sell stock 18s with 75% tires for $500, then you have $2k budget for aftermarket set.

rsingh05 | March 11, 2019

You'll lose ~3% of range without the aero wheels (i.e. 8-10 miles). You'll probably lose another 5-6% with the 19" tires vs the 18" LRR tires. (based on a lot of analysis done here and M3OC forums)

You will gain grip (.93 vs .86 based on the Edmunds test - search youtube), and stopping distances will improve with the 19" - again this is more the tire than the actual wheel size.

If you are ok with the 18" wheels, I'd so get those. If you don't like the tires' performance, you can switch them out for high performance 18" tires later.

InParadise | March 11, 2019

Go with 19”, buy used “18 is a cheaper option. Many will upgrade and sell their 18” cheap.

MyRedM3 | March 11, 2019

Thanks all the recommendations - do these 19's pick up more road noise as they look low prfile?

lordmiller | March 11, 2019

You can't tell any noise difference with the 19s. Get the 19s it makes the car look and handle 10 times better. The aero caps are gross!

Tim2088 | March 11, 2019

Get base 18" then upgrade to Tsportline 20" staggered wheels later. They look amazing and ride/range or the same as I had on my factory 19s.

95dawg | March 11, 2019

"handle 10 times better. "

Not 10x better. See rsignh05's post.

billtphotoman | March 11, 2019

The table shows the impact on range. Roughly 10% at highway speeds going from 18s with aero to 19s. It just depends on your priorities but personally I want every mile of range I can get on the highway out of my LR RWD with 18s + aeros.

dmastro | March 11, 2019

I'm guessing most people won't notice a difference between the two.

rsingh05 | March 11, 2019

@billphotoman.- this is a modified version of a chart I've seen on M3OC. It is NOT correct though e.g., it says the AWD and 3P with 18" wheels and aeros get 325 miles of range at 65mph. Not true - only the LR RWD does that, AWD models are still 310 miles.

FWIW I'd be very happy with these results if they were true (288 miles of range for my 3P with 20" wheels per the chart) but it's not happening!

richmond1508 | March 11, 2019

I’ve posted the exact same question on the TMC forum and got a lot of responses. They were evenly split between the 18’s vs 19’s. 18’s are less expensive and do get better range. 19’s cost more and get as much as 10% less range but help the car to perform better. There is no obvious answer as to which is the better option because they both have their pros and cons.

RomanM333 | May 13, 2019

If anyone would seriously like to sell their 19" wheels, I'd trade you my 18" with tires (less than 1k miles) for your 19's with tires, + I'd add $500 cash. I would also straight up buy your used 19" for $1k (without tires). Message me :)

Syed.Hosain | May 13, 2019

@hfisher3380 "Note that removing the aero caps and installing the wheel cap kit makes the 18" rims look kinda cool and unique vs the ubiquitous look of the silver rims."

Please, could you or somebody post a picture with and without the wheel/lug nut cap kit for the stock Aero 18" wheels? I would love to see what this does to their look!

Thanks much!

Syed.Hosain | May 13, 2019

AFAIK, the stock 18" wheel comes with Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires and the stock 19" wheel comes with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.

The former is an all-season tire (summer and light snow), gets a bit more total miles of use.

The latter is a summer tire (no snow ever!), gets less total mileage, handles better in dry and wet summer.

Just keep in mind that all-season tires are a slight compromise - not as good as snow tires in deeper snow and not as good as summer tires in hot weather.

If you live in conditions where the snow is occasional and light, then all-seasons are an okay choice - summer tires will become hard as rocks at low temperatures (even without snow!) and slide easily.

For driving more months of snow conditions, using a set of wheels with snow tires is safest!

Kahn | May 14, 2019

no true the 19 comes with all seasons they only ones that come with the pilot sport 4s are the 20" on the performance model. i just took the tires off my 19" (continental procontact rx) and sold them and replaced with pilot sport 4s.. I bought with 19" and picked up innexpensive 18" rims for snows

beaver | May 14, 2019

I love my 18” Aeros, I see a LOT of 19 and 20” wheels for sale. Just saying...

Mwoosley71 | May 15, 2019

I’m on 19” aftermarket wheels and I love them. My new wheels aren’t open spoke wheels like the OEM 19”. They are closed face wheels, which has less drag and their weight is about the same as the aero wheels.

PNW_Tesla_Driver | May 15, 2019

I have the 19" and love the look, however, I've been surprised by the road noise. I don't remember what the 18s sounded like when I test drove the M3 so not sure how much of a difference it really is but it's definitely louder than my old car....

Mr. Spacely | May 16, 2019

Here are the 18" with and without aero caps:

jessea120514 | May 17, 2019

Anyone looking to trade their 19"s for some new 18"s plus cash?

ODWms | May 17, 2019

In my opinion, the 19s look better than the 18s, hands down. No comparison, with or without the hubcaps.

FISHEV | May 17, 2019

@Kahn “no true the 19 comes with all seasons they only ones that come with the pilot sport 4s are the 20" on the performance model.”

If the stock tires are different then the difference in handling that people are attributing to the the 19” wheel is likely due to the difference in the two tires and nothing to do with the wheel size.

billtphotoman | May 18, 2019

You will give up about 25 miles of range with the 19s Vs 18s and aeros at highway speeds (see So, with 19s you will be basically where an SR would be with 18s on road trips.

FISHEV | May 18, 2019

@PNW_Tesla_Driver "I have the 19" and love the look, however, I've been surprised by the road noise."

I had same reaction with the 18's so I would not blame the 19" for the road noise. I'm going with the gray spoke wheels with matching center caps and black lug nut covers for now. They look good just that I'm a sucker for shiny objects so I might get some Tsportline 18's chrome wheels going forward.

Only real physical fact is the 18" has a higher aspect, more rubber and air so should provide a better cushion even with Tesla asking for 40 psi on the tires which also contributes to road noise.

If Tesla or one of the Tesla accessory companies makes a full aero wheel in chrome, they'll sell like crazy.

ODWms | May 18, 2019

Gotta say, I have the 20s, and don't see much of a difference in road noise, feel, etc., between them and the 18s.

wmaung | May 20, 2019

Hi, I'm looking for 19" OEM Rims with or without tires(no summer tires) located in NY, NJ.
Please let me know who want to sell. Thanks.