Overview: Pirelli tyres sit at the upper end of the premium price bracket. The brand has strong connections to motorsport, with many of its tyres featuring innovative technologies designed initially for the race track, making them well-suited for performance and luxury vehicles. Our favourite Pirelli car tyre is the P Zero, rated 4.6 stars on Tyre Seeker at the time of writing based on 812 reviews.
“You get what you pay for” is an age-old saying because it’s often true, especially when purchasing tyres. Sure, there are mid-range tyres that offer decent levels of performance, and there are reliable budget tyres, but if you want a next-level driving experience, you’ve got to buy premium. But how to choose the right brand?
WhoCanFixMyCar’s tyre review series is here to help. This guide is about Pirelli, a pioneering premium tyre company founded in 1872 in Milan.
With close connections to motorsport and numerous awards under its belt - from Jaguar Land Rover’s Supplier of Excellence to Tyre Manufacturer of the Year - Pirelli is one of the best global tyre brands with a presence in more than 160 countries. It is known for its innovative approach to production and cutting-edge tyre technology. Italians have a flair for design right down to their tyres!
To help you decide whether Pirelli is the right brand for you, we’ve gathered data from everyday drivers and industry professionals to create this in-depth review, including:
Why Choose Tyres from Pirelli?
Like Continental and Goodyear - two premium rivals - Pirelli is known for creating outstanding performance tyres. However, it takes this to the next level by incorporating cutting-edge motorsport technology in normal car tyres.
For example, in 2022, Pirelli’s Formula 1 tyres went from 13 to 18 inches, which involved more than 10,000 hours of indoor testing. Since 18 inches is closer to the size used by regular drivers, it will allow better transfer of Formula 1 technologies to Pirelli road tyres.
Pirelli participates in over 350 motorcycle and car sporting championships. It became the exclusive Global Tyre Partner of the Formula 1 World Championship in 2011, retaining the contract until 2024. In 2021, the brand was chosen as the sole tyre supplier of the World Rally Championship by the International Automobile Federation, and it is also the official tyre supplier for all classes of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.
In short, Pirelli is the go-to brand for motorsport. If you like speed and precision, this is the brand to choose.
To get to this position, Pirelli has focused relentlessly on research and development, following an “Open Innovation” model. It invests more than 5% of its revenues in R&D, one of the highest levels in the industry, leading to products like the Pirelli Cyber Tyre, which uses internal sensors to provide information that can improve vehicle safety and performance.
The result of these innovations is numerous awards from across the industry. Not only was it named Tire Manufacturer of the Year at the 2018 Tire Technology International Awards, beating Hankook, Goodyear and Apollo Tyres, but it also won Gold in the Sustainability Yearbook 2022.
Design Features of Pirelli Tyres
Design features vary depending on the purpose of the tyre and may include:
Noise cancelling system - a sound absorbing device on the inside circumferentiall wall of the tyre which reduces noise by half.
Seal Inside - new technology that maintains pressure if the tyre is punctured.
High silica content - allows for better traction.
Innovative chamfer design - reduces braking distances.
Flat profile - for better rolling resistance.
Groove cones - designed for self-cleaning and safety.
Optimised contact pressure distribution - delivers improved mileage and safety.
High density sipes - comfort and safety on all road surfaces.
Wide central grooves - enhanced safety in wet conditions and improved water expulsion.
Fin-shaped sipes - reduces the risk of aquaplaning.
What Pirelli Tyres Are Available?
Pirelli has many tyres suitable for different purposes and vehicle categories.
Pirelli Tyres for Cars
P Zero PZ4 - a high-performance sports tyre suitable for cars and SUVs.
P Zero Corsa - ultra-high performance from road to track.
P Zero - sporty performance for all vehicle types.
Powergy - a popular touring tyre for cars and SUVs.
Cinturato P1 - a touring tyre ideal for urban driving.
Cinturato P1 Verde - an urban tyre designed for comfort and improved mileage.
Cinturato P7 - a safe touring tyre with superb performance across the board.
Cinturato P7 C2 - outstanding safety and efficiency come together in this touring tyre.
Cinturato P7 Blue - a long-lasting touring tyre with short braking distances.
Powergy - a smart and safe touring tyre using innovative materials for better performance.
Scorpion - a touring tyre for SUVs and crossovers.
Scorpion Verde - designed for SUVs and crossovers with excellent grip and short wet braking distances.
P Zero Nero - a max performance summer tyre with high resistance to aquaplaning.
Cinturato P1 Verde - an urban tyre with increased mileage and comfort.
P Zero Rosso Asimmetrico - an ultra-high performance tyre for modern sports cars.
P Zero Rosso Direzionale - comfortable and quiet, designed for ultra-high performance.
P Zero PZ4 Elect - ultra-high performance for electric vehicles.
PZERO 4G - a premium tyre that packs a punch, featuring competitive motorsport technologies.
P Zero PZ4 Sport - a dynamic, sporty tyre.
P Zero Corsa Direzionale - an ultra-high performance road tyre.
P Zero Corsa Asimmetrico 2 - designed for outstanding performance.
All Season Tyres
Scorpion All Season SF2 - the perfect year-round tyre for SUVs.
Scorpion Verde All Season - ideal for high-mileage and light off-road use by SUVs.
Scorpion All Terrain Plus - reliable off-road performance no matter the weather.
Scorpion ATR - capable of handling any terrain.
Scorpion Verde All Season SF - designed for use by SUVs and crossovers.
Scorpion Zero All Season - a high-performance SUV tyre used as OE by several major car manufacturers.
Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico - sporty performance on and off road.
Cinturato All Season SF2 - a touring tyre delivering year-round safety.
Cinturato All Season - an urban tyre ideal for shorter journeys.
Cinturato All Season Plus - a touring tyre with excellent year-round performance.
Cinturato P7 All Season - a touring tyre designed for comfort.
P Zero All Season - a highly capable, well-rounded tyre.
P Zero Winter - an ultra-high performance tyre with a sporty look.
Scorpion Winter 2 - a high performance touring tyre with impressive safety and comfort.
Scorpion Winter - designed for SUVs, this tyre allows you to maintain control even in the toughest snowy conditions.
Cinturato Winter 2 - a high-mileage touring tyre.
Cinturato Winter - a capable and safe touring tyre.
Winter SottoZero 3 - designed for high-end, premium vehicles.
Winter Sottozero Serie ii - superb traction for sports and high-end vehicles.
Pirelli Tyres for Vans
Carrier Winter - offers excellent traction and fuel efficiency during the harsh winter months.
Carrier All Season - year-round performance for driving on urban roads.
Carrier - an urban tyre designed for safety.
Best Pirelli Car Tyre
Pirelli P Zero
The P Zero is an outstanding summer tyre, offering superb performance levels for the mass market. Its predecessor, released in 2008, was an Auto Express tyre test winner - the updated version has been revamped, providing excellent fuel economy, low rolling resistance and reliable traction.
At the time of writing, the P Zero has a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 on Tyre Seeker based on 812 reviews, making it one of Pirelli’s most popular tyres. Its highest scores are 90% in the buy again category, 87% for value and 88% for comfort, dry grip and dry braking. In the 2019 AutoBild Summer Tyre Test, it came 8th out of 20 tyres, a position secured by its excellent handling and precise steering capabilities. The sportier version of this tyre, the P Zero PZ4, won AUTA’s Editor’s Choice of the Year 2022 award.
Best Pirelli Performance Tyre
Pirelli Cinturato P7
The Cinturato P7 is an ultra-high-performance summer tyre designed for low fuel consumption, giving you an incredible driving experience while helping you save money. Pirelli designed this tyre with compact central blocks, improving its performance during fast cornering. It offers an appealing combination of high mileage characteristics, low rolling resistance and minimal road noise.
Best Pirelli Winter Tyre
Pirelli SottoZero Winter 3
If you’re looking for a set of winter tyres that can handle reasonably challenging road conditions without sacrificing ride quality, the SottoZero Winter 3 is worth considering. Winter tyres are by no means Pirelli’s strong suit, but this one has received positive reviews from drivers, particularly owing to its ability to maximise the performance of high-end premium vehicles.
On Blackcircles.com, the SottoZero Winter 3 has a rating of 4.6 stars based on 117 reviews. Although its wet performance isn’t as good as rival winter tyres by the likes of Continental and Goodyear, many drivers comment that it holds its own on snowy roads and has low fuel consumption to boot.
Best Pirelli All Season Tyre
Pirelli Cinturato All Season Plus
Designed using a new tread compound for improved performance in all conditions, the Cinturato All Season Plus is a robust tyre capable of handling whatever the seasons throw at it. It is quiet and comfortable, intended for urban driving. It is also more than capable in the snow and has good aquaplaning safety, though its poor performance in the wet means it offers less value for money than some rivals.
On Blackcircles.com, the Cinturato All Season Plus has a rating of 4.6 stars based on 37 reviews. It also has strong scores on Tyre Seeker, earning 96% in the buy again category, 98% for comfort and 90% for dry grip.
Best Pirelli Van Tyre
The Carrier has been designed with safety and longevity in mind. It features a new compound and enhanced profile geometry for improved tread life and lower fuel consumption. Despite Pirelli’s struggle to overcome lacklustre wet weather performance ratings, this tyre is capable in wet and dry conditions, allowing you to drive confidently.
On Blackcircles.com, the Carrier has a rating of 4.4 stars based on 43 reviews. Its scores on Tyre Seeker are also impressive: 90% for value and buy again and 100% for comfort, dry braking and dry grip.
Are Pirelli Tyres Any Good? Full Review
Pirelli’s tyres are packed with motorsport innovations for premium performance from road to track. They have outstanding traction on dry roads but often struggle in wet and wintry conditions. For this reason, we recommend choosing Pirelli tyres if speed, performance and precision are your priorities.
The Scorpion Zero is an excellent choice because it possesses all three of the above qualities. Designed for SUVs, it features intermediate tread blocks for accurate and responsive handling and enhanced cornering abilities, earning 4.7 stars on Tyre Seeker based on 61 reviews. However, wet braking is one of its lowest-scoring categories.
Drivers looking for winter tyres, or those with unmatched performance on wet roads, may be better off choosing Uniroyal, a mid-range brand whose tyres are specifically designed to excel on wet roads. You can read more about the brand in this Uniroyal tyres review guide.
Still, Pirelli offers drivers plenty of choice, with a wide range of versatile summer and all-season tyres. There is the P Zero Corsa, a tyre that can be used on roads and racetracks, and the Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico, which boasts sporty performance on and off the road. It is an excellent brand for drivers who like to switch things up, whether trekking across the rugged countryside or swapping the daily commute for weekend laps.
Other than subpar wet weather performance, the other major drawback of Pirelli tyres is their price tag, which places the brand at the top end of the premium bracket. Tyres by rival brands like Goodyear tend to be cheaper, but they don’t come with all the motorsport innovations.
Pirelli also offers a Tyrelife warranty that applies if you buy two or more 18” and above tyres from a participating Pirelli Performance Centre and requires you to register within four weeks after purchase. It applies to accidental damage sustained within the first year of purchase.
Overall, Pirelli tyres are best suited to high-performance and luxury vehicles. They come with a premium price tag, but you get many innovative features for your money, ensuring you won’t be disappointed when you put your foot down and put them to the test.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s better, Pirelli or Michelin?
Pirelli and Michelin are both premium tyre brands producing some of the best products on the market. Michelin is the cheaper of the two and is best known for its outstanding touring tyres, while Pirelli makes luxury ultra-high-performance tyres. The answer to which is better depends on what you are looking for.
What makes Pirelli tyres so good?
Pirelli’s lengthy motorsport history has allowed it to develop unique ultra-high-performance features for regular car tyres, boosting durability and traction to almost unmatched levels.
How long do Pirelli tyres last?
European statistics suggest you can expect a distance of between 15,000 and 30,000 miles. However, this depends on your driving style and numerous other factors. Generally, car owners should replace their tyres every five to six years or when the tread depth falls below the legal limit of 1.6mm. Learn how to check your tread depth in this guide.
What Tyre Brands Are Similar To Pirelli?
Other premium brands include:
Find the Right Tyres with WhoCanFixMyCar
When you’re paying extra for premium tyres, you want to make sure your money is well spent. Fortunately, WhoCanFixMyCar has a wide range of premium brands to choose from and a network of mobile and garage fitters to help you find tyres that you love.
Not sure Pirelli tyres are right for you? Check out one of our other tyre review guides.
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