Pirelli tires earned an overall score of 4.0 out of 5.0 in our most recent tire study.
The company makes some of the best high-performance tires on the market.
Due to the cost of Pirelli tires, drivers on a budget may want to consider cheaper alternatives.
In Our Opinion:
Pirelli tires are beloved by high-speed enthusiasts and luxury car owners. The company produces exceptional performance tires, as well as a few notable winter tire models. Our team likes Pirelli’s commitment to fuel efficiency and sustainability. However, Pirelli tires are not the best option for drivers on a budget.
Good winter tires
Strong industry reputation
Excellent performance tires
Eco-friendly and fuel-efficient technology
Tires may wear quickly
Some reported issues with wet handling
Pirelli tires are made for speed, comfort, and expert handling. The company is trusted by some of the world’s premier car brands and motorsports professionals. We wanted to see if they make a good choice for more general use.
In this review, we’ll discuss Pirelli tires in depth, including the company’s quality, popular models, costs, customer feedback, and more. We’ll also go over which kinds of drivers should consider some of the other best tire brands in the industry.
Established in 1872, Pirelli is an Italian tire manufacturer best known for its high-performance models. Pirelli tires are used by some of the biggest luxury names in the industry: Maserati, Lamborghini, Audi, BMW, and Porsche, to name a few. The company has also been the sole supplier of Formula 1 tires since 2010, making it a staple of the motorsports world.
The company is based in Milan, Italy but also has North American headquarters in Rome, Georgia. Pirelli is now the seventh-largest tire manufacturer in the world.
Pirelli makes tires for cars, light trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and bicycles. They’re not our first choice for your daily commuter, but they’re an excellent option for sports vehicles, as Pirelli tires are synonymous with performance. The company’s models are made for speed, excellent handling, and grip in wet and dry conditions. Pirelli has also made considerable efforts toward sustainability, like sourcing plant-based materials and synthetic rubbers.
Cost of Pirelli Tires
On average, most Pirelli tires are well above $100 apiece. This is on the expensive side but is on par with the cost of Michelin and Goodyear tires. Many drivers don’t mind paying more for Pirelli tires because they’re highly specialized and often made for premium car brands.
Below, we’ve outlined the average cost of a few Pirelli tires.
Passenger tire brands, Pirelli included, report their tire ratings based on an evaluation system created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This system is called Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG), and it grades tires – except specialized tires – based on their treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance.
Here’s an explanation of the UTQG grading system:
This grade estimates the longevity of your tires. To calculate treadwear, tires are measured against a control tire given a rating of 100. If a tire has a 500 treadwear rating, that means it lasted five times longer than the control. Most passenger tires have between a 300 and 500 treadwear rating, according to data from SaferCar.gov.
This grade measures how well your tires “grip” a wet road. Traction grades are given on a scale of AA, A, B, or C. Good day-to-day passenger tires typically receive an A rating.
This grade evaluates a tire’s heat resistance on a scale of A, B, or C. Tires need to withstand different temperatures based on their specialization. Performance tires, for example, usually move at much higher speeds than all-season tires, and in turn, require higher temperature ratings.
It’s important to note that the NHTSA does not oversee UTQG tests. Tire testing and reporting are performed by manufacturers themselves or independent analysts hired by manufacturers.
Pirelli Tires UTQG Scores
Below, we’ve listed several top-rated Pirelli tire models and their treadwear, traction, and temperature ratings using data from SaferCar.gov.
If you want to know more about a Pirelli tire you already own, you can check the tire’s sidewall for the UTQG grade.
Most Popular Pirelli Tire Models
Pirelli produces both original equipment (OE) and replacement models, and supplies tires for many prestigious car manufacturers. The most popular Pirelli tires are performance-focused. While the company does offer a few decent winter and all-terrain models, Pirelli tires are best on open roads or around the track.
Using customer data from Tire Rack, we outlined some of the most popular Pirelli tires below. These models are well-regarded in the industry and have received largely positive reviews.
Pirelli makes a lot of high-quality car tires. But if it’s not the right tire for your car, where you live, and the way you drive, it doesn’t matter how good the tire is – it won’t offer the performance and safety you need. Learning what to look for in a tire is an important part of finding the best one for you.
Pirelli Tires Factors To Consider
There are several factors that determine a tire’s ideal use. Understanding the differences and how they impact performance can help you find the right tire for your vehicle. These factors include:
Tread pattern: Most tires have one of the following types of tread patterns: diagonal, symmetrical, asymmetrical, or a combined pattern.
Weather rating: While many tires are rated for all-weather performance, some are designed for more specific weather conditions. Some winter tires, for example, have studs that help maintain traction on icy surfaces.
Tire build: The three main ways in which tires are constructed are radial, bias-ply, and bias-belted. Bias-built tires tend to be more affordable, while radial tires are typically more durable overall.
Tire life: Manufacturers typically list the expected tread life of their tires in terms of miles.
Noise rating: Some tires are designed to be quieter on the road. The difference between these and noisier ones for people inside the cabin can be substantial.
Speed rating: Tires also come with a maximum safe speed. This is an important aspect to consider for people who drive sports cars and like to go fast.
How To Read Pirelli Tire Sizes
Pirelli and other tire companies use a standard format for listing the dimensions of a tire. This can be difficult to decipher until you understand what each number and letter in the sequence represents.
To break down the meaning of each element, we’ll use the common tire size of P225/65R17 as an example.
P: The first letter indicates the type of vehicle the tire is intended to be used on. The “P” in our example tire stands for passenger, indicating that the tire is meant for a personal car.
225: The first number in the sequence describes the width of the tire in millimeters. Therefore, you can tell our example tire is 225 millimeters wide.
65: The second number in the sequence provides the ratio of the tire’s height to its width as a percentage. Since this number is 65 in our example, it means that the height is 65% of its width.
R: The second letter in the sequence denotes how the tire is constructed. In this case, the “R” means the tire has radial construction.
17: The last number in the series describes the wheel diameter that the tire fits in inches. Our example tire, then, is made to fit 17-inch rims.
Pirelli Tire Warranties
Pirelli offers one of the longest tire warranties in the industry – a 90,000-mile treadwear warranty for the P4 Four Seasons Plus. However, most of its treadwear warranties are average. Since the manufacturer specializes in high-performance tires, this comes as no surprise.
Here are a few examples of Pirelli tires’ treadwear warranties for replacement models:
Pirelli’s limited warranty covers repairs of any defective materials or workmanship after the first year of purchase or before the tire wears to 2/32 of an inch of the original tread.
Pirelli Customer Reviews
Customer reviews can give you a better look at how Pirelli tires perform on the road and how the tires drive in different scenarios. Pirelli received top marks in the 2020 J.D. Power Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction StudySM for passenger tires. Out of 1,000 possible points, Pirelli scored 788, making it the frontrunner in the study.
We detailed both positive and negative customer experiences below to give you a well-rounded idea of Pirelli’s pros and cons.
Positive Customer Reviews
“[In] October 2016, the factory tires were replaced with Pirelli Cinturato P7s, and [I] immediately wondered why I waited so long to replace the old tires. Highway tire noise went to almost zero, [and] handling dry, wet, or [in] snow was a definite improvement. Fuel mileage [also] picked up about 0.5 mpg.”
– via Tire Rack
“[The Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow] are by far the best tires I’ve ever driven on in the winter. Five inches of ice and snow to three feet of snow… these tires did very well. Very comfortable tires, they do not wear fast, and they are quiet.”
– via Tire Rack
Negative Customer Tires
“If you are driving in any significant amount of rain, [the Scorpion Verde All Seasons] are terrible. Traction is horrible. There really is not much of a tread pattern to them. Driving in heavy rain recently, I had to slow down to 55 mph on the highway.”
– via Tire Rack
“[Pirelli P6000] OEMs are horrible. Tire noise is so loud that you think you are driving a monster truck vs. an Audi A6 4.2… Someone at Audi must have gotten a payoff from the OEM to use up these tires. I [cannot] see any engineer in his right mind putting these tires on this car.”
– via Tire Rack
Pirelli Tires: Conclusion
Pirelli is a sound choice for performance tires if you’re comfortable paying a little more. Customers are often impressed with their dry handling and low noise on the road. The manufacturer also produces quality models for the eco-conscious driver.
However, Pirelli tires are comparatively expensive and regularly cost upwards of $100 per tire. While cheaper brands of tires may not quite measure up to Pirelli quality standards, there are plenty of options that are perfectly suitable for the average driver.
Pirelli Tires: Recommended Competitors
Michelin and Cooper are two of our top-rated tire manufacturers. Both are well-regarded in the industry and have received many positive customer reviews. In our 2021 tires review, we named Michelin tires the Best Overall and Cooper tires the Most Affordable.
Michelin: Best Tires Overall
Michelin produces excellent tire options across all categories, including all-season tires, summer tires, and all-terrain tires. Michelin models may have a higher price tag, but their high-quality rubber and design make them a worthwhile investment.
Drivers shopping for affordable tires that don’t compromise on quality should look to Cooper. A relatively new tire manufacturer, Cooper makes replacement models starting as low as $84 per tire. The tire manufacturer offers long-lasting treadwear warranties up to 80,000 miles, placing it in leagues with the industry’s more mature players.
Pirelli is a strong choice for performance models and even a few winter models. However, the company’s tires are highly specialized and won’t be the right choice for every driver.
Is Pirelli better than Michelin?
We rated Pirelli lower than Michelin in our 2021 best tires review, but Pirelli makes great options for luxury passenger cars. Which tire is right for you will depend on what you’re looking for.
Who are Pirelli tires made by?
ChemChina makes Pirelli tires. The company took a controlling interest in Pirelli in 2021.
How long do Pirelli tires last?
The longest Pirelli tread life warranty is 90,000 miles, but most of its models last between 50,000 and 65,000 miles.
Are Pirelli tires made in China?
Many Pirelli tires are made in Shandong, China. The company has maintained its reputation for quality since moving much of its production to China.
Is Pirelli a premium brand?
Pirelli is a premium tire brand. It is considered one of the premier tire brands for high-performance applications and is the preferred brand of motorsports professionals worldwide.
Our research team is committed to providing the most accurate, thorough, and unbiased information possible to help people make informed decisions about the tires they purchase. We use a standardized set of criteria to ensure the consistency and comparability of our reviews.
Industry Reputation: To assess the overall reliability of each company, we looked at industry ratings from organizations like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and more, along with the company’s longevity and other factors.
Tire Variety: Our team considered the full range of each manufacturer’s tire lineup, giving higher scores to companies that offered larger and more diverse selections.
Affordability: Costs are an important consideration when buying tires. We evaluated the price range of each company’s products to determine its affordability relative to competitors.
Customer Satisfaction: Our researchers scoured the internet for reviews from customers to assess how satisfied people are with their brand experience. We considered review scores as well as looked for consistent patterns of complaints or praise.