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Does my wheel selection logic make sense?

avalpert

Member
Oct 7, 2019
44
46
Silver Spring, MD
Hi, I'm finalizing my order for an LR AWD (looking to take delivery the first part of December). I'm waffling on whether to get the 18" or 19" wheels - does my logic here make sense?

1. Appearances isn't an issue for me. I'm not that concerned with ow my car looks (as opposed to performs) in general, I don't think the Aero-caps look all that bad anyway and I think the 18" wheels without the caps look pretty good.

2. In terms of performance, the pros for the 18" seem to be increased range (due to the reduced weight and the aero cap) and reduced possibility of a flat due to the higher profile sidewall (a real concern with the streets around here). Both of those seem largely to be due to the wheel size itself

3. The pros for the 19" performance include potentially better handling, grip and braking distance. Those seem to be less dependent on the wheel size and more on tire selection.

If those are accurate, I can mitigate the 18" deficiencies by getting different tires, which costs less than the 19" wheel upgrade anyway, but I can't mitigate the 19" deficiencies as easily. So my thought is to stick with the 18" and get different tires if I feel the performance isn't there.

Does that make sense?
 

dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,670
7,696
Knoxville, Tennessee
Hi, I'm finalizing my order for an LR AWD (looking to take delivery the first part of December). I'm waffling on whether to get the 18" or 19" wheels - does my logic here make sense?

1. Appearances isn't an issue for me. I'm not that concerned with ow my car looks (as opposed to performs) in general, I don't think the Aero-caps look all that bad anyway and I think the 18" wheels without the caps look pretty good.

2. In terms of performance, the pros for the 18" seem to be increased range (due to the reduced weight and the aero cap) and reduced possibility of a flat due to the higher profile sidewall (a real concern with the streets around here). Both of those seem largely to be due to the wheel size itself

3. The pros for the 19" performance include potentially better handling, grip and braking distance. Those seem to be less dependent on the wheel size and more on tire selection.

If those are accurate, I can mitigate the 18" deficiencies by getting different tires, which costs less than the 19" wheel upgrade anyway, but I can't mitigate the 19" deficiencies as easily. So my thought is to stick with the 18" and get different tires if I feel the performance isn't there.

Does that make sense?

Yes that makes sense overall. Just for clarification acceleration and some handling is better on 18" and the rest of handling is better on 19", it's not a pure win on either wheel size when it comes to handling.

I'd totally go 18" wheels and buy the tires you want.
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,625
2,451
In a galaxy far, far away
Since you are more concern with handling than range, go with the 19" wheels, you get better cornering.
They are also honestly nicer looking, even if that doesn't seems to be important for you.

Note: Since you are on the performance side, try to see if you can get a M3P- instead of the M3 LR AWD.
Ther are numerous hot threads dealing on this topic.

Model 3 'Non-Performance' Performance option, real or not

It’s called a stealth performance, or M3P-.
You can’t order them, they just show up at stores and you can only be matched to one through an advisor.
It’s a long range, AWD with performance unlocked (with track mode), either on 18” wheels, or 19” wheels.
You do not get the upgraded suspension, wheels, brakes, spoiler, or pedals.
Cost is $2K. Currently they are all gone, probably see more showing up
when the next batch of cars starts arriving. There are plenty of threads on them.

M3P- . What is it, how to order it, etc.
 
Last edited:

korkiley

Member
Dec 3, 2013
18
10
South Burlington, VT USA
Hi, I'm finalizing my order for an LR AWD (looking to take delivery the first part of December). I'm waffling on whether to get the 18" or 19" wheels - does my logic here make sense?

1. Appearances isn't an issue for me. I'm not that concerned with ow my car looks (as opposed to performs) in general, I don't think the Aero-caps look all that bad anyway and I think the 18" wheels without the caps look pretty good.

2. In terms of performance, the pros for the 18" seem to be increased range (due to the reduced weight and the aero cap) and reduced possibility of a flat due to the higher profile sidewall (a real concern with the streets around here). Both of those seem largely to be due to the wheel size itself

3. The pros for the 19" performance include potentially better handling, grip and braking distance. Those seem to be less dependent on the wheel size and more on tire selection.

If those are accurate, I can mitigate the 18" deficiencies by getting different tires, which costs less than the 19" wheel upgrade anyway, but I can't mitigate the 19" deficiencies as easily. So my thought is to stick with the 18" and get different tires if I feel the performance isn't there.

Does that make sense?

I've had the model 3 AWD with 18" wheels for 4 months and the handling is great. From what you've said, I think your choice should be clear. The 18" wheels are a clear advantage. I've done a lot of reading lately about the advantages of larger wheels and I can see only disadvantages. Even, whether the 19"s are going to handle better is doubtful in my mind. Even with the 18" wheels the ride can be harsh on rough roads. I do like the look of the spokes on the 19" wheels but I would never buy purely on the basis of looks. When I read about how many times people have damaged 19" and 20" rims I wonder why any one would possibly want them especially considering that you will get less range, worse acceleration, more noise and a harsher ride! There are two factors that affect the ride. The obvious one is the narrow sidewalls but the weight of the wheel has a negative effect too. And when it comes to winter tires, the choices for the larger wheels are fewer and the costs higher. As for those who think that a larger wheel looks better--I don't see it or understand it! I think you'll be very happy if you choose the 18s!
 

avalpert

Member
Oct 7, 2019
44
46
Silver Spring, MD
Since you are more concern with handling than range, go with the 19" wheels, you get better cornering.
They are also honestly nicer looking, even if that doesn't seems to be important for you.

Note: Since you are on the performance side, try to see if you can get a M3P- instead of the M3 LR AWD.
Ther are numerous hot threads dealing on this topic.

Model 3 'Non-Performance' Performance option, real or not

It’s called a stealth performance, or M3P-.
You can’t order them, they just show up at stores and you can only be matched to one through an advisor.
It’s a long range, AWD with performance unlocked (with track mode), either on 18” wheels, or 19” wheels.
You do not get the upgraded suspension, wheels, brakes, spoiler, or pedals.
Cost is $2K. Currently they are all gone, probably see more showing up
when the next batch of cars starts arriving. There are plenty of threads on them.

M3P- . What is it, how to order it, etc.
Yeah, I would definitely buy the M3P- if it were available and have let my advisor know that, but from what I have heard I doubt I'll be able to land one.
 

coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
891
608
Alaska
I've had the model 3 AWD with 18" wheels for 4 months and the handling is great. From what you've said, I think your choice should be clear. The 18" wheels are a clear advantage. I've done a lot of reading lately about the advantages of larger wheels and I can see only disadvantages. Even, whether the 19"s are going to handle better is doubtful in my mind. Even with the 18" wheels the ride can be harsh on rough roads. I do like the look of the spokes on the 19" wheels but I would never buy purely on the basis of looks. When I read about how many times people have damaged 19" and 20" rims I wonder why any one would possibly want them especially considering that you will get less range, worse acceleration, more noise and a harsher ride! There are two factors that affect the ride. The obvious one is the narrow sidewalls but the weight of the wheel has a negative effect too. And when it comes to winter tires, the choices for the larger wheels are fewer and the costs higher. As for those who think that a larger wheel looks better--I don't see it or understand it! I think you'll be very happy if you choose the 18s!
Yep. Only advantage of 19” over 18” is looks (subjectivity). 18” is better in every way.
 
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AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,397
12,641
San Diego
Yeah, I would definitely buy the M3P- if it were available and have let my advisor know that, but from what I have heard I doubt I'll be able to land one.

I would be patient and wait a couple months. I would be moderately surprised if there were not another batch available at some point in the next month or two. Tesla goes through cycles of what market they are building most cars for. P3D Stealth availability has been sporadic since July.

It makes sense for a Tesla to sell as many high margin vehicles as they can, and even that small $2k adder is probably mostly profit.
 
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coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
891
608
Alaska
Except for more revolutions per mile. (18)
Revolutions per mile has nothing to do with rim size, it’s about the tires. The OEM model 3 18” 19” and 20” have essentially the same diameter tire so revolutions per mile is very close to the same, for all it’s a +/- 0.2 inch diffenance in circumference.
 
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avalpert

Member
Oct 7, 2019
44
46
Silver Spring, MD
Revolutions per mile has nothing to do with rim size, it’s about the tires. The OEM model 3 18” 19” and 20” have essentially the same diameter tire so revolutions per mile is very close to the same, for all it’s a +/- 0.2 inch diffenance in circumference.

Yeah, comparing the tire ratings the difference is 3 revolutions per mile, or less than four tenths of a percent.
 

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