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Please help! About to configure but I don't know if I should upgrade to the 19" wheels?

I'm a non-owner, and have never even driven a Tesla before. Will you please help me decide by telling me pros and cons of both size wheels so I can make an informed decision? Thanks so much!
Bigger wheels come equipped with lower profile tires, which perform slightly better in hard cornering, but will produce a harsher ride since they have less cushioning effect than standard profile tires.

The experiences of Model S owners with bigger wheels was harsher ride and much shorter tread life, probably because performance tires generally have softer tread rubber to make them grippier.

If you want maximum cornering performance and are willing to sacrifice ride comfort, get the bigger wheels. Otherwise, stay with the standard wheels.
 

Troy

Active Member
Aug 24, 2015
1,997
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The screenshot below shows information that used to be in the Model X design studio. This was the closest Tesla came to telling the truth about the range penalty with larger wheels. However, EPA documents show that the actual reduction was 23%, not 10-15%. Now, they don't even mention 10-15%. More information about S/X is available here.
  • Check out the range numbers here.
  • Custom 20" wheels reduce range by 31%. Details here.
  • The video here shows that aero covers alone make 4.4% difference. This is the difference between 18" with or without aero covers. The difference between 18" and 19" wheels is more than that. The 18" versions provide more range than 19" even without the aero covers. I recommend that you focus on the range table in #1.
  • In terms of performance, I haven't seen any data that suggest the smaller wheels have slower 0-60 times. The S100D with 19" scored 3.8s 0-60 in this video.

pqDtt3E.jpg
 
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Thank you so much! After reading the "Suspension" thread I was more confused than ever. That was very helpful. I'm 52 and at this point in my life I think comfort will win over performance, especially since the way I understand it, the performance of the Model 3 is great as is with the stock tires! :)
Glad to help.

I also forgot to mention that you would pay a hefty price premium for those low-profile performance tires as well. They are also more prone to road hazard damage than the standard tires.
 
The screenshot below shows information that used to be in the Model X design studio. This was the closest Tesla came to telling the truth about the range penalty with larger wheels. However, EPA documents show that the actual reduction was 23%, not 10-15%. Now, they don't even mention 10-15%. More information about S/X is available here.
  • Check out the range numbers here.
  • Custom 20" wheels reduce range by 31%. Details here.
  • The video here shows that aero covers alone make 4.4% difference. This is the difference between 18" with or without aero covers. The difference between 18" and 19" wheels is more than that. The 18" versions provide more range than 19" even without the aero covers. I recommend that you focus on the range table in #1.
  • In terms of performance, I haven't seen any data that suggest the smaller wheels have slower 0-60 times. The S100D with 19" scored 3.8s 0-60 in this video.

pqDtt3E.jpg

Thank you so much Troy! I appreciate your help!
 
So what exactly are the aeros? Just a rim cover? Do they make the road noise quieter?
They reduce drag, and increase the vehicle's range on a single battery charge. Particularly if you're on the freeway going 80. If you're in any doubt, just stick with them: they're cheaper and better than the 19"s. Some people object to the aesthetic look of the aeros, and that's why they're going with the 19"s. If you need the 19"s, then you know it -- so since you aren't sure, go 18" aeros.
 
They reduce drag, and increase the vehicle's range on a single battery charge. Particularly if you're on the freeway going 80. If you're in any doubt, just stick with them: they're cheaper and better than the 19"s. Some people object to the aesthetic look of the aeros, and that's why they're going with the 19"s. If you need the 19"s, then you know it -- so since you aren't sure, go 18" aeros.

Thank you!!!
 
We chose the sport wheels, but that was our personal preference for aesthetic reasons only. If you are unsure and go with the aero wheels, you can always buy similar aftermarket 19” wheels later for not a huge a price difference... at least it’s not something that you can’t change if you want to at a later time. So just go with your gut based on what you think looks better. Even the stock aero wheels will be for sale on eBay when other people opt for aftermarket rims to replace them. It’s fixable either way if you change your mind.
 
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Have you had any issues with your new 3? I'm getting nervous because I keep reading about serious issues with the car, and poor quality throughout. :(
Haha...We all lean toward hearing the negative but I believe you won't hear much from the folks that have no issues because they have nothing to complain about. I did read just like yourself and when we went to delivery center looked for all the issues people were having and we found none with our car. The only negative I have had is the phone app and as of today neither my wife's or my phone will not connect so I was going to call and ask there suggestions. What I have found on this Forum which I love is that some have a tendency to Complain about everything sounding like a bunch of Whiners! The car is Awesome and no its not like there more expensive cars but its a heck of a lot fun to drive!!:)
 
Thank you so much! After reading the "Suspension" thread I was more confused than ever. That was very helpful. I'm 52 and at this point in my life I think comfort will win over performance, especially since the way I understand it, the performance of the Model 3 is great as is with the stock tires! :)
I am getting the standard tires as well as another downside of low profile tires is the tend to blow out sidewalls on pot holes and easier to damage rims. Found out both the hard way and so did my in laws.
 

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