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Winter Tires - Michelin X-Ice Xi3 vs. Nokian Hakka R2

This thread died out last fall: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/21694-Winter-Tire-Options/page6 and wasn't in the main forum. There have also been a few other threads. Opening a new one, please feel free to combine, reassign, or redirect if I missed an appropriate thread.

While only late July, time to start thinking about Winter Tires for my P85. I've been doing a fair bit of reading and was hoping for some input from the community specifically on differences/experiences with the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 vs. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 for 245/45/19. I'm in Wisconsin, where we have big dumps of heavy wet snow, followed by decent periods of fairly dry (heavily salted) roads.

The Nokian's appear to get superior reviews for their winter handling and are a 'clear' winner for lots of snow driving, but the Michelin's get very high reviews for snow driving and seem to be a bit better at the dry pavement and performance when you aren't slogging through the snow.

TireRack will not have the Michelins until at least September and expect them to be $253 per. TiresByWeb has the Nokians now at $304. At $200 total difference in price, price is not a factor in this decision on a $100+k car. I'm more interested in performance, rolling resistance, and tire wear.

Why start in July? Because the wheels will come from one place, the tires from another, TPMS from Tesla and then all to a local mechanic for mounting and balancing. I'd rather get this all out of the way now so I can just swap my wheels/tires when ready and not be part of the craziness come fall to get this looked after.

Another thread, but no direct comparison: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/22102-Michelin-X-ICE-Xi3-LRR-Tires
It's funny to see this thread, as I've been doing the same research on the same two tires you reference!! Though it is only July, the Nokian was sold out last year, and I also would like to get this done and get it out of the way before everybody else scrambles to get it done at the first snowfall. I live in NJ and definitely get less snowfall than Wisconsin, so I will probably get the Michelin as I've read that it has better dry winter weather handling than the Nokian. I think in severe snow climate areas, I think the Nokian would be better. Either one will be vastly superior than the Michelin a/s tires that came with the car. I only got my car a couple of months ago and would love feedback from owners who have gone thru a winter season and which tires they used.


(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
The tire stores placed their orders during the last couple of months, so whatever they ordered is what will be shipped to them this fall. When the size is not a popular size it's best to get your order in as soon as possible because there won't be any tires available when the snow starts falling.

In previous cars I've found that the Nokian rolling resistance is better than the Michelin.
I have the michelin ICE X, had them all last winter. We get some snow in NH.

I had to drive to the airport in one of the worst storms all year, to fly out of all things. I passed one other vehicle crazy enough to be out in that mess, as the plows couldn't keep up. The vehicle was an H2 and passing it was awesome.

That being said, road noise is less than the OEM 21" Conti's and dry handing feels a little better in dry conditions. I put 25k on the odometer last year and much of that was in the winter. I'm confident I can make at least two more winters with them.

Going from the 21s to the 19s negated most of the range reduction due to cold weather.

Hope that helps.
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I drove the Xi2 last winter on OEM 19" (same wheel that my all seasons are on). I regularly drove in winter storms with all sorts of road conditions ... wet, slushy and fresh snow up to 4". This included required Saturday drives to the ski hill and airport drives to make flights. Solid footing in every condition I experienced. I only drove in serious icing conditions once, in TN, and they handled it well (but it was only a 4 mile drive).

Can't tell you the exact hit I took on range since the temp dropped quite a bit also. They are a bit squirmy during warm ups but not unusually so. I drove them 1,000 miles each way to TN and they performed well on the road trip. Noise increase was low. Some people swear by the R2s, I didn't regret my choice at all.
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I drove my first winter in the Goodyear All Season 19 inch tires. I did not enjoy it to say the least. For my second winter, I got the Xi3 tires and it made a world of a difference. Chicago had one of the worst winters on record and we experienced a lot of snow and slush around where I live and commute. I can't say the Model S was as good as my wife's Subaru AWD, but it was pretty darn good and I felt completely safe in it. I also was able to navigate in deep fresh snow (as long as it cleared the car).




'When the music is on...you gotta dance' (Go Elon)
Apr 23, 2013
Which is better for Indiana winters? Have family there with the Soto II tires right now. They have some snow and ice on occasion but mostly dry winters with. Temps down into teens at times.

I had the Sotozeros 21" last winter and was very happy with them. Got them from Tire Rack as part of a package with the TM compatible TPMS and Aero wheels. I have not driven on the Michelins or Nokians so I can not give you a comparison.


Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
Toronto, ON
The Xi3s performed well all winter - snow or not. Very infrequent TC alarms and very good braking in cold Temps.

Ditto the Nokian Hakka R2's. Interestingly, I had a loaner last January with whatever the Tesla winter tires are and got stuck in my own driveway. Had to raise the suspension and dig my way out. No problem at all in the same conditions with my own car and the Hakkas. Most of the time, I do a 90 mile round trip commute that's mostly freeway and the Hakkas performed perfectly.
I have the haaka R7's which are studded and other than the LOUD noise which I didn't love I did love the performance of the tyre in the snow and ice last winter. Put about 10,000 miles on them last winter and they'll be good for this winter as well. We noticed bit of mileage loss with the haakas vs the all weather however when just on a road trip there wasn't really any difference it was more when actually traveling through the deep snows that it would impact it. And really not enough to write home about. Normally I get mile for mile driving and that's with a 2100' elevation gain to get to my house from the main road. In the winter with snow I may use an extra 10 miles off the battery per trip.
Ditto the Nokian Hakka R2's. Interestingly, I had a loaner last January with whatever the Tesla winter tires are and got stuck in my own driveway. Had to raise the suspension and dig my way out. No problem at all in the same conditions with my own car and the Hakkas. Most of the time, I do a 90 mile round trip commute that's mostly freeway and the Hakkas performed perfectly.
One of the 'complaints' I have heard about the R2's is that they are "squishy" and not very good on dry pavement and at speeds. Did you experience any of that? The R2's are what I am leaning towards (partly overall top winter reviews, partly current availability) but what is stopping me from pulling the trigger is this supposed less than stellar dry pavement performance that the Michelin seems better at.
I did some calling around today. Found a local reputable tire shop that carries both, although all of the warehouses are out of stock and won't be back in stock until about the first week of September. The current (unavailable) price was $1030 (incl tax) for 4 of the Michelin Ice Xi3 and $1089 for the Nokian Hakka R2. He strongly recommended the Michelins as he stated that they found the Nokians to be a difficult tire to work with and to balance correctly. He also thought the Nokians were a bit "sloppy" which would be consistent with some of the other reviews I have seen on dry pavement driving.

Feel free to continue the thread, but the information provided so far and what I have found leads me to a conclusion that for Wisconsin winters with lots of dry, salted pavement, interspersed with dumps of heavy wet snow, the Michelins are my choice my a slim margin.

BTW, here are some of the reviews I referenced in the original post.
Xi3 review: http://tires.about.com/od/Tire_Reviews/fr/Review-Michelin-X-Ice-Xi3_2.htm
Nokian Review: http://tires.about.com/od/Tire_Reviews/fr/Nokian-Hakkapeliitta-R.htm

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