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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?

pdet | 20 Janvier 2018

I'm having the same dilemma. Looking around other forums, the consensus seems to be that the smaller wheel is a better performance choice, and it cones down to aesthetics. Although, there is also debate if 1 extra inch makes that much of a difference.

What I'd be interested in is the drag performance of the larger 19" wheels relative to the 18" with the aero covers installed.

Dsmtesla | 20 Janvier 2018

My thought on this whole thing is broken up in to a few ideas and ranges. (these are not accurate, just hypathetical and why decisions may be made)

1. Aero wheels on 310 miles range
2. 18" without aero caps - 290 miles
3. 19" wheels - 290 miles

Lets say thats fairly accurate, as it seems close to what people are seeing. Than it comes down to individual preference. Do you want bigger wheels knowing you NEVER have the option of putting the caps on for a road trip?
Why not buy after market 19" with better efficiency? if they exist?
My plan is to buy the 18" aeros and figure out day to day what the efficiency difference is, and maybe take them off (i hate their look).
Its all personal preference....

coolnewworld | 20 Janvier 2018

I haven't seen a car color that pairs with those 18 inch wheels yet. Of course, that's just my eyes and brain talking.

Not spending over $50,000 for a car and "settling" for those fugly aero-abominations.

Take more of my money. Take some of my range. Take whatever you need. Just take those 18"s and keep them far away from me.

thom | 20 Janvier 2018

I don't care - the AERO RIMS ARE HIDEOUS! WTF was he thinking.

Dsmtesla | 20 Janvier 2018

aero rims ARE hideous, although the rims without the caps I think are pretty dang cool. so if you dont like EITHER of those options, than just dont upgrade to 19" and buy another set of rims for less than 1500$ that you do like..

Teslaguy | 20 Janvier 2018

I plan to buy the car with the 19" wheels because they look great. Several owners have commented that they ride pretty firm on uneven roads......so I ordered a set of 18" turbine wheels from Tsportline that are discounted $300.
Then I plan to order a set of Pirelli Cinturato tires that are supposed to offer the best comfort for the size. This gives me two nice looking options to work with.

Dsmtesla | 20 Janvier 2018

do you have the ability to change tires on your own? what would that require at home?

stevenmaifert | 20 Janvier 2018

18" vs.19" - Smoother ride, longer tread wear, less expensive to replace than low profile tires, but don't hold the road as well when driving aggressively.

We got the 18" and removed the aero covers at delivery:https://drive.google.com/open?id=12D0YgBMgazKcM3PY2MHZVAtVH4-d4gPQ My personal opinion is the aero covers don't look all that bad with the red, but the spoke wheel underneath looks so much better.

Dsmtesla | 20 Janvier 2018

i agree with all that steven.. i have no reason to get the 19s. i like the spoke wheel too.. however almost all my miles are highway, so i may have to leave the aeros on :(

barszap | 20 Janvier 2018

Am I the only person on the planet that thinks the aero wheel covers look really cool and futuristic?

Dsmtesla | 20 Janvier 2018

yes, you are 100% the only one haha.but i may be the only one who actually liked the model S aeros

dgstan | 20 Janvier 2018

Based on a little bit of Tire Rack research, 19" replacement tires cost no more than the 18". I don't know about treadwear. The tires are all rated for pretty much the same mileage, whatever that's worth.

The 19" rims look worlds better than the 18" (plastic hubcaps are not an option on a $50,000 car, sorry). If I want to consider the ride - after the last 12 years in a Prius, feeling every pebble in the road, I'm sure even the 19" wheels will feel like a dream come true.

At first, I really liked the bare 18" rims, but now, not so much. If I got them, every time I looked at them I'd know I went cheap. Plus, the only color I like with the bare 18" wheels is the white. Maybe, if I decide to go with that color, I'll go 18". Otherwise, it's factory 19" wheels for me.

prsist | 20 Janvier 2018

We only have two choices. 18" Aero and 19" sport wheels. Why the heck can't we pay for and get 18" sport wheels?? I'd gladly pay the price for 18" sport wheels.

yaheya | 20 Janvier 2018

My brother has a model S with 19 inch wheels. Ride comfort is same as 18 inch. However 21 inch wheels really drops on comfort level. In my opinion aero wheels look hideous although without the wheel cap it is a bit better. Also, range increase in aero ? C’mon it can’t be all about range right ?

So after many sleepless night, I am going with 19 inch.

Dsmtesla | 20 Janvier 2018

Well, they advertise about a 10% range increase with aeros... so if thats accurate youre talking 30 miles. thats pretty significant, especially for someone like me that drives 77mph 30k miles a year. as much as i hate the aeros, i may keep em on

ONI222 | 20 Janvier 2018

@Dsmtesla Testa Time News did a comparison on an after market hub cap like the aero on the leaf and they got more than 10% range. The video is on YouTube and you can easily look it up.

I personally drive all highway miles so I am going with the 18” aero setup 100% of the time. Luckily I find all the options mediocre looking so the 19” offers nothing to me.

ST70 | 20 Janvier 2018

18 inch are great and the aero's actually look good with the white car...

noleaf4me | 20 Janvier 2018

I'm sticking with the 18's

sjohnston81 | 20 Janvier 2018

18" come with low rolling resistance Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires with acoustic tech. I have these tires on my Model S and really like time. Had Conti ProContacts on a BMW before and they are more of a sport tire. If you want a better quieter, more efficient ride go with the 18" setup.

AJPHL | 20 Janvier 2018

@stevenmaifert did they take the aero covers off for you prior to delivery? Very nice color/wheel combo.

sabentz | 20 Janvier 2018

@stevenmalfert did buy the centercap and lug covers prior to delivery or at delivery ? I am thinking about the same set up looks great

stevenmaifert | 20 Janvier 2018

I took the aero covers off at delivery. There are clips on the underside of the aero covers that snap onto the spokes in the wheel. Easy to pull the aero cover off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2hAPdW2Yn0 I purchased the center caps and lug nut covers from the service center at delivery.

warren_tran | 20 Janvier 2018

I drive to the office once a week. 18" wheel look like something belong to a Prius. I will buy it for winter set when the opportunity present but 19" will be the option for me.

Xerogas | 20 Janvier 2018

@barszap you’re not alone; I love the aero wheels, too. And the softer ride of smaller wheels. Better efficiency is a nice bonus.

dgstan | 20 Janvier 2018

Where exactly are we getting this 10% number? All I can find is a third-hand account of what someone claims a "VP at Tesla" said at a Supercharger. This is beyond dubious.

Are there any official numbers from the manufacturer?

https://insideevs.com/model-3-aero-wheels-efficiency-10-claims-tesla-vp-...

johnmann | 20 Janvier 2018

Three cheers for the aero wheels! I think they’re beautiful!

Disclaimer: I also think my Leaf is good looking :-)

tesla | 20 Janvier 2018

One question and one point:

1) The question: has Tesla ever explicitly stated that the 19" car has 290 mile range and the 18" car has 310 mile range? Is the window sticker different? I know it's been mentioned on the forums a number of times, but where's the official statement from Tesla?

2) The point: I have the aero wheels on my Silver Model 3. I will say that a lot of people have specifically commented how good and futuristic they think they look. I do think they would look a lot better if they were silver, and I'm considering dipping them, even though I'm not usually someone who makes 'mods' to cars. (I had also mentioned in my initial comment that one of the reason I wanted them is that if you happen to scratch them, they presumably won't be too expensive to replace. And inevitably, I scratch my rims. I'm sure most of you are more careful!)

Bman2112 | 20 Janvier 2018

I think the aeros look good on the red. They look ok on the black as well. As far as original poster asking about midnight silver........I think the 18" rim behind the aero covers looks best with that color and the aero color matches the midnight silver pretty well too. JMHO. I want blue, but also want 18's Neither the aero nor the 18" rim look all that good with the blue. So I'm going black with 18" and aero's. I plan on getting the aero's professionally painted glossy black to match the paint. I also plan on getting the 18" rims professionally painted to match as well.

Bman2112 | 20 Janvier 2018

I wish Tesla would make the turbine in 18" for say an extra $1,000. I'd go blue with 18" turbines then. And s__t, white interior too. But now I'm asking for what I want, not what Tesla want's for me!

ptcurt | 20 Janvier 2018

I'm thinking of taking the aero wheels, removing the caps, adding the hub and lug nut covers and having the wheels powder coated in a bright aluminum color similar to the sport wheels.

Hadn't really thought about painting the aero covers themselves, but maybe that's another option.

Then again, I may just get the 19 inch wheels.

ST70 | 20 Janvier 2018

@tesla- "I scratch my rims. I'm sure most of you are more careful" - why do you scratch your rims?

ReD eXiLe ms us | 21 Janvier 2018

About 'official statements' from Tesla...

EPA test documents revealed that the 2017 Model 3 Long Range had tested at a 334 mile range per charge. Tesla apparently decided to list it at 310 mile range instead. EPA data shows the 2018 Model 3 with an improved efficiency rating of 130 MPGe (over 2017's 126 MPGe) yet it is still listed as having a combined total range of 310 miles.

Some think Tesla is trying to 'protect' sales of Model S by understating the Model 3 range. Some feel Tesla is simply attempting to temper 'Real World' expectations of range among newcomers to electric drive. Some believe this points to a significant range difference dependent upon the wheels chosen for the car. Some are certain that Tesla is always lying and cannot be trusted no matter what they say.

So, speculation abounds. The truth...? Whatever makes you happy.

Randkthorn | 21 Janvier 2018

Im getting the 19 inch rims because they look good to me and that makes me happy. I’m sure the 18 inch Aeros are a practical choice and look fine. I figure since I can’t really justify my purchase in practical terms, regardless of options, I might as well own it and forego the thin veils practicality and frugality.

KP in NPT | 21 Janvier 2018

Ok I know nothing about tires so maybe this is a dumb question, but:

We have the 19" on our Model S. Is there a reason the 19" Contis can't be switched out for the Michelin 19" tires that are used on the S? Would that take care of issues with ride comfort and durability? Or would one not want to do that, even if you could?

The tires are something I'm really struggling with. I just don't care for the look of the aeros, don't like the gray wheels in general unless they're the slipstreams on the sport tires, want a silver car and think the silver wheels just look so much better. I guess I could get the 18" Tsportsline wheels and keep the 18" tires. Ends up being about the same price after install as the 19"s.

Mozart | 21 Janvier 2018

stevenmaifert...Where did you get the grey center caps? I ordered some from Tesla and they are black

JAD | 21 Janvier 2018

KP, your S should have 245/45/19 tires whereas the 3 has 235/45/19. So the S has slightly wider tires and taller tires, but they are close enough that it would be OK, but not perfect. There would be little gained in switching unless you really prefer Michelin to Contis. Really, tire design and compound has a lot more effect on ride and handling than the size or brand.

Based on statements that the 18" rims are very light, they actually should handle better than the 19" rims with comparable tires. Buy 19" for looks, 18" for everything else.

Sweetride | 21 Janvier 2018

@byrned, Tesla offers both black and grey center caps...one just needs to specify grey if that is what is desired (we got grey).

ReD eXiLe ms us | 21 Janvier 2018

KP in NPT: Yes, there is a reason. The drill pattern for the bolts is different. Yes, each one uses five bolt holes, but they are a different distance apart between the two cars on center.

KP in NPT | 21 Janvier 2018

Ok so, can you use the model 3 19" rims with a different tire that would give the same overall result as the Model S 19" wheel - meaning higher sidewall height for a more durable tire on poor roads and a more comfortable ride?

Shock | 21 Janvier 2018

Everyone here knows the aero wheels are a no-go. If I buy a model 3 I'll be surprised if I even wait until I get home before taking them off. They are embarrassing, I don't care if they give the thing an extra 800% range.

OP is on the money with midnight silver, it's the color no doubt.

You could always buy after market wheels, too, if you want different 19" options. Midnight silver with gunmetal wheels would look awesome I think.

Shock | 21 Janvier 2018

"taking them off", I meant taking the caps off.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 21 Janvier 2018

KP in NPT: OOPS! Oh, you were talking about the tires... I thought you were wondering about switching wheels between the two cars. The biggest thing to keep in mind is the numbers and how they relate to each other. The height of the sidewall is a percentage of the width of the tread. JAD covered this well.

245 × 0.45 = 110.25 mm sidewall
235 × 0.45 = 105.75 mm sidewall

Those numbers would be doubled, then added to the wheel diameter to get the full diameter of the tire. So, the Model S tires would be slightly taller in height, by 9 mm overall. Not much, just shy of 3/8 of an inch, and your ride height might increase by half that, 3/16 of an inch.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 21 Janvier 2018

Shock: When the Model 3 was unveiled on March 31, 2016 I thought all the wheels were nice. I did mistakenly believe they were each of a center cap design, like old knockoffs. Of the three shown, I personally liked the swept flat disc look of the 20" wheels on the matte black car the most. It reminds me of the designs I have seen in automobile magazine sketches and the ones I've drawn myself for around 35 years. I would certainly prefer those actual wheels to the aero caps, no doubt. However, 18" wheels still seem more than overly large enough to my eye. It is unlikely that will change any time soon.

Seeing 20" through 24" wheels, they look like wagon wheels to me, ridiculous on a modern car. I'm not a fan of super huge alloys with a rubber band edge protector and have no idea how or why they became so popular. It is in effect the opposite extreme of what I saw in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s, when so many low-riders drove NVSSIN trucks that were 'lowered' by cutting springs and installing 13" Dayton knockoff wheels on low profile tires. Yeah, they looked stupid too.

At least the 18" aero wheel covers come close to what was observed at the Model 3 Unveil. So they work for me. Some have said they look better in person, and without the covers, the 18" wheels themselves are nice when uncovered. Either way they remind me of the 'mag wheel' design used on HotWheels and Matchbox toy cars. It will be really cool when someone offers actual directional alloy wheels with that sort of swept windmill disc design, though.

b8schris | 21 Janvier 2018

Having just spent another $1,000 on low profile tires for my Volvo. People should also realize that the 19”s will wear faster, not be as smoo of a ride and cost more to replace.

JAD | 21 Janvier 2018

Kp, it is all relative. The 19" model S tires ride well with a 5000 lb car, they will be firmer on a 3800 lb car. It isn't something to worry about and can be adjusted with the tire type, air pressure and other ways. Drive the car awhile, then decide, moving tires from an S probably isn't the best option.

KP in NPT | 21 Janvier 2018

Yes I didn't mean moving tires from an S. I meant using similar model S 19" tires that would fit the 19" model 3 wheels. I know I didn't explain that well.

I'm trying to see if there is a way to get the 19" wheels, which I prefer, but pair them with a tire that will offer the same benefits of the 18" tire - smoother ride and more durable. (and perhaps slightly better in snow?) We are happy with our Model S 19" tires which is why I began with that comparison.

Daryl | 21 Janvier 2018

@Shock: "Everyone here knows the aero wheels are a no-go. ... They are embarrassing"

Not "Everyone"! I kind of like them. I think a lot of people are just conditioned as to what wheels should look like, and these definitely don't fit that mold. I think they look kind of futuristic, like we might have seen on "The Jetsons", or "Blade Runner".

kaffine | 21 Janvier 2018

Dsmtesla : I do have the equipment to change tires at home. Well not sure about doing 18" and 19" rims the smaller sidewall on the tire makes it more difficult to change and my tire changer is manual not powered. I changed tires on 2 cars and decided I will pay to have someone else do it for me. It requires a tire machine and balancer and a way to get the wheels off the car. Well it is much easier with a tire machine anyways I wouldn't do car tires without a machine trying without a machine is more likely to damage the rim and or get injured. Not really worth it for the price of the equipment you are likely never going to save enough to pay for it. If you buy tires online often they will have recommended installers you can use otherwise just take the tires into a local tire shop. If you can find a small shop that isn't a chain you are likely to get better prices for installing tires you supply.

I will get the 18 in rims and likely leave the covers on as I drive around 45k miles a year mostly highway. I also prefer Michelin tires so that is nice that is what they use for the 18".

Bryan.whitton | 21 Janvier 2018

I like the Aero covers as well. Having seen them on pretty much all of the colors I have no problem with them. I'm ordering with aero when I get the chance.

bodenalan | 24 Janvier 2018

I will probably remove the covers, and maybe get the 18" powder coated matt black, I will live with them without covers for a bit to see how I like them.

What make of tire are they fitting? I switched to Goodyear tires that were quieter on my Model S with 19"s

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