Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 Run Flat Sizes & review

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Winter Sottozero 3 Run Flat tires are Pirelli’s third generation of Sottozero (Italian for below zero) Performance Winter / Snow run-flat tires developed for the drivers of premium, high performance vehicles facing challenging wintertime road conditions as they drive their cars year-round. Winter Sottozero 3 Run Flat tires feature Pirelli’s Self-Supporting Run Flat Technology that enhances safety and convenience by providing temporary extended mobility in the event a puncture allows complete loss of air pressure. Pirelli’s Self-Supporting Run Flat Technology allows tires to literally “run flat” for up to 50 miles at 50 mph (80 km at 80 km/h) unless otherwise specified by the vehicle manufacturer for Original Equipment tires.

The Winter Sottozero 3 Run Flat was developed with the philosophy that winter / snow tires must perform in a variety of unpredictable weather conditions. Designed to provide traction and handling in cool, cold, dry, wet and wintry conditions, Winter Sottozero 3 Run Flat tires are designed not just as snow tires, but as seasonal tires suitable for the cold weather and freezing road conditions.

Winter Sottozero 3 Run Flat tires use an innovative compound with specialized polymers that improve the tread rubber compound’s mechanical, thermal and dynamic properties. The compound is molded into a directional pattern that features an enlarged contact patch comprised of arrow-shaped center blocks and more rounded shoulders to expel water and slush. High-density 3D sipe technology improves braking performance and snow-to-snow traction.

The tire’s internal structure includes twin steel belts reinforced by spirally wrapped polyamide that enhances thermal stability and makes the tires less sensitive to changes in road and air temperatures. Pirelli’s extended mobility solution is made possible by their MIRS computer-controlled robotized manufacturing system, a production process that assures consistency in the application of the additional sidewall reinforcements that provide the self-supporting run-flat capability.

Winter Sottozero 3 Run Flat winter / snow tires meet the industry’s severe snow service requirements and are branded with the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol.

Install Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 Run Flat tires in sets of four only.

Due to the traction capabilities of the Sottozero 3 Run Flat tires, Pirelli recommends using them only in sets of four to provide the best handling characteristics and tire performance.

Though they cannot be labeled as run-flat tires, tires branded with MOExtended or MOE on their sidewalls offer run-flat-like characteristics by delivering limited temporary extended mobility after a puncture results in complete loss of air pressure. Because MOExtended or MOE tires do not have the same speed and distance endurance of conventional run-flat tires, they should not be substituted in any situation where a conventional run-flat tire is required. To confirm what your vehicle needs, check our Original Equipment tire listing for your year, make and model or see your vehicle owner’s manual.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Great tire for wet and snow conditions, these tires will perform when you need them. I live close to Lake Michigan we often get lake effect snow, and I have to say that it doesn’t matter if its 1/2 inch of snow or 8 inches of snow these tires have not disappointed me. Great traction no matter the condition.

  2. These are the best winter tires for the Miata with automatic trans. Excellent in the snow and ice. You can feel how tacky the tires are. I’ve tried the Blizzacks which were useless in the snow. I live in north NJ and we get plenty of snow, these tires do the job. I definitely recommend them.

  3. I wanted a winter tire that would hold up well on the majority of cold and dry days too. This performance tire does exactly that.

  4. I’m glad most people had a good experience with these tires, but 5 out of 6 that were sent to me were out of round, unbalanceable, with really high roadforce numbers which caused vibrations that took a long time and many trips (4x and counting) to the tire shop to figure out.You could clearly see the belts going up and down radially on the balancer.At slow speeds they felt overall good for a performance winter tire, but the quality here at least in my experience is really bad. Asked to send them back.

  5. I have run another major manufacturers winter tires on my Honda S2000 and a previous 370Z (almost 2 decades). There simply is no comparison. Firstly, if no one had told me, I’d never know these were run-flats. Secondly, these tires feel as though they handle as well as the stock summer tires that came with the car. I’m truly serious here. These handle so much better than any previous winter tire I’ve used, that I almost look forward to driving these again next winter. I have very good tread depth left and based the wear this year, I see no reason why I couldn’t get 5 or 6 seasons out of these.

  6. More sporting than the OEM Conti Pro Contacts (touring/ All Seasons) that were the OEM tire on the TourX, but Pirelli’s are some what noisier and rougher ride with greater rolling resistance. (Not terrible ) These are good performance snow tires, not ultimate snow/ice grip tires, but way better than all seasons in snow, slush, and ice. Steering response and dry/wet grip are very good. I like they are speed rated. I hope they wear well.I got them at a great price, Buick does not have a spare, so run flat feature is nice to have.

  7. A good performing winter tire, but in the three seasons that I used them, I had three tires develop large sidewall bubbles. And its not like I drive through a lot of rough roads and pot holes. And of course, each time it was towards the end of winter when replacements are no longer in stock. Definitely a pain…. I would not recommend these tires at all.

  8. First year ownership had no snow or ice to test them in. Road noice very low, smooth tire, would keep on all year round except no point to wearing them down in summer.

  9. Excellent all round performance. Where I live we get cold temperatures and occasional light snow, with the odd heavy snowfall thrown in, so I bias my selection of winter tires to dry pavement. I must admit I was very pleasantly surprised by these tires. They truly feel like summer tires on dry pavement, and are way ahead of my old Blizzak OEM runflats for noise, comfort and handling in the snow.

  10. In Massachusetts the 9 feet of snow this winter set a record. These tires got me through when others were in trouble, including climbing icy hills. The steering responsiveness was better than with these winter tires than it was with the all-season Pirelli P-7’s that came on the car. Consumer Reports regards these tires as inferior to the Michelin Xice Xi3’s that we put on my wife’s Tiguan on ice and snow but superior on wet and dry surfaces. If there is a difference between these two brands, it was not significant enough for me to notice. My car was never in trouble with the Pirellis on ice or snow and her car was never in trouble on wet or dry surfaces. I bought the Pirellis for my car because they came as run-flats. I can recommend them most highly.

  11. I purchased these winter tires last year and drove on them for an entire year, through the cold of winter and the heat of summer here in New England. They performed outstandingly in that service… no issues whatsoever with their performance on any level until they wore out. I just ordered a replacement set of the same. My driving is mostly highway and I drive fast and hard. Typically 20k miles per year.My car being a spirited diesel it chews through tires… breaking free with any tire I have put on this car is as simple of pushing the go pedal down far enough. This is the best tire to date that I have put on it and with 120k on the car that represents at least 5 sets I have put on it since I bought it with 20k on it, many of those costing significantly more than these. I recommend this tire highly.Chuck

  12. Overall, I am pleased with these. This is my second type of performance tire on my 335, the first being Dunlop WinterSport 3D (non-runflat). Compared to the WinterSports, snow and ice traction is improved. I also feel that dry and wet traction is superior to the WinterSports as well. Feedback/steering responsiveness is slightly better than the WinterSports, but that is most likely due to the stiffer sidewall construction on the Sottozeros since they are the Run Flat versions. On the negative side, the ride is stiffer due to the run flat nature of the tire and road noise is noticeable louder (but not terrible) than the WinterSports. When these wear out I think I’ll try the non-runflat version of this tire as it has been really good as a performance Winter tire here in NJ. I’ve got more confidence when the weather turns bad with these and wear seems to be very good so far (about 5,000 miles and maybe 1/32″ of treadwear).

  13. Put these on as I have the summer only tires on my vetted powered Camaro which in cold, water, and snow are just plain dangerous. After running these one winter I left the summer tires in the basement as these out do those summers 10 to 1 in street driving.

  14. I’m not sure that I could bring myself to give a full 10 for a tire, but this is about as close as one can get. This set has transformed our BMW (all wheel drive) from “good” in the Minnesota winter snow and ice to “awesome”. It now feels like the car is its own limit, meaning that in a ten inch snowstorm the tires would keep going but the car just doesn’t have the clearance to allow them to work. Whether highway or city roads, cold and wet or actual snow, even mixed black ice conditions the tire just keeps performing. And yes if you’re pushing at 8/10ths on a dry road, e.g. doing full (ahem) 60mph on a 45mph indicated corner on the highway the steering feel gets a little squishy but that’s to be expected. With some winter tires I couldn’t wait to get them off as soon as the weather hit a consistent 40+ degrees but this one is not nearly as much of a detriment so it gives a little more leeway to leave it on longer which is perfect for Minnesota spring which usually throws in some April and even May snow. These are easily our new go-to snow tires for our BMW.

  15. Our first snow storm here in Denver Metro area and I went out this morning looking for some fun. Unfortunately, the tires work so well in the snow (2-4 inches) that I couldn’t purposely spin out/ doughnut. I tested it around non-plowed street corners, intersections and they stuck like glue. There is some ice/slick snow in-between snow and pavement. I was really trying to get some slip and spin with no luck. I guess I’ll leave it like this, don’t get this tires if you’re trying to spin out – they are just too —- good at doing their job.

  16. 12,500 miles in one season. These tires have been incredibly durable, long-lasting and perform great. At the end of last season I noticed a screw in one of my tires unfortunately. Not sure how long it had been there since it still had pressure. No big deal.. Now just today while driving 70 mph on the interstate the cars Tire Pressure Monitor told me I had a flat and sure enough. The valve stem came loose and leaked out all the air. Luckily their was a tire shop on the next exit. I’d driven on the flat for about 3 miles at highway speed. No problem. When I got there they were able to just tighten the valve stem and fill the tire. Their was no tire damage at all.Run flats really are worth it in my opinion. And these tires lasted too. On one set (the front) I have over 20k miles. The rear set lasted about 12-13k miles. Since my car is rear wheel drive and has more torque than your dads diesel truck. I’m happy those numbers. The performance of these tires is what makes them so well rounded. The traction in snow is great and they handle winter conditions with ease. Even on dry surfaces these snow tires will give you lots of confidence on the road.

  17. Immediate need for snow tires when these tires arrived. These tires were the perfect solution. This front wheel drive car just isn’t built for snow, especially packed smooth snow, without good snow tires. The car will constantly fail to move at all, the traction control system is the worst for accelerating from stop. Any slip and it will completely gut itself of all power and stop all momentum. Shut traction off and you just spin if you can’t dig to the surface. Running on stock 18 rims, so previous cheaper snow tires easily ripped small sidewalls on small potholes or even Ice ridge. But now, these Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3 runflat tires are tough and have given me newfound snow confidence in this car. These tires have already proven to hold a line through thick slush on highway, cut through powder snow, grab on packed down road snow. It holds a corner and feels safe on fresh snow with ice underneath. Ebrake snow drift seems near impossible now. It has snowed heavily and even frozen rain at times since I put them on nearly 500 miles ago. It’s not hiding in the driveway anymore. I got the car to spin the fronts once on quick take off on wet road, otherwise they feel like glue. The only time I noticed unintentional slip was trying to reverse up an incline on Ice covered parking lot. Turned it around and it went up forward with no issue at all. Maybe the Directional pattern matters to reverse on ice. Highly recommend where runflat strong sidewall winters are needed. Highly recommend for Hyundai Veloster. (225 40R on size 18 stock wheels) . The one day I had all dry road driving they seemed to work as well as any Summer tires I’ve tried on this car. Just solid. No additional noise noticed. Most importantly, no more constant traction control kicking in on this urban go cart. I have not tested them on mountainous roads at all, but steep city snow covered roads were climbed that I normally would have avoided or struggled with before.

  18. Have wanted to try these Sottozero 3’s for a few seasons and finally did. Very happy with the performance and ride, not really noisy for a run flat tire. I plan to run them all year.

  19. If it snows where you live, do not buy these tires! I’ve had a lot of different snow tires over the years, on all kinds of vehicles. These are the absolute worst. They are worse than all season tires. At temperatures between 20 and 35, on snow or ice, they may as well be ice skates. Of course, at least ice skates have edges. The X drive on my BMW attempts to transfer the power and can never get them to properly hook up. Maddening! In hindsight, I should have known better than to buy Pirellis. I used to run them (Phantoms) on one of my motorcyles. They were perfect on dry roads, super sticky in fact. But, if someone spit on the road, there I was, sideways. These tires are very reminiscent of the Phantoms in that regard. In conclusion, if it snows where you live, do NOT buy these tires!

  20. Hard to say much about them since we got no snow this winter. In general, they handle very well in the dry and in the rain when it is cold. They are comfortable and fairly quiet. Steering response is good. Only put 2500 miles on them before swapping back to summers so cannot say anything about tread life.

  21. After a winter season with them I can say that this version is way ahead of the early model. Snow traction was significantly better as was resistance to hydroplaning at freeway speeds. Made the car much more stable than it had ever been, from OE All Season tires the 1st winter, thru 3 winters with an older version of this tire. Made it feel more like a quattro I had previously, than a 4matic.

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