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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. They’re well-known in the automotive industry, but are they the right tires for you?
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 other brands.
After researching the tire industry, our review team compiled a list of the best tires and brands currently available. To start comparing prices from a variety of highly rated brands, including Pirelli, visit TireRack.com.
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 is based in Milan but also has North American headquarters in Rome, Georgia. It’s 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.
Pirelli Tires Industry Ratings
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:
Treadwear: 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.
Traction: 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.
Temperature: 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.
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.
Pirelli’s Most Popular 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.
While Pirelli offers one of the longest tire warranties in the industry – a 90,000-mile treadwear warranty for the P4 Four Seasons Plus – 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-inch of the original tread.
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.
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
Our Final Thoughts on Pirelli Tires
Pirelli is a sound choice for performance tires. 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 expensive and regularly cost upwards of $100 per tire. If you’re on a budget or want a tire better suited for the daily commute, consider other brands.
Top Recommendations for Tires
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.