Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II Run Flat Sizes & review

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Winter Sottozero Serie II Run Flat tires are Pirelli’s second generation of Sottozero Performance Winter / Snow run-flat tires developed for the drivers of premium, high performance vehicles facing challenging wintertime road conditions. Winter Sottozero Serie II 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 Serie II Run Flat was developed with the philosophy that winter / snow tires must perform in a variety of unpredictable weather conditions and aren’t just for use in the snowbelt states. Winter Sottozero Serie II Run Flat tires are designed not just as winter / snow tires, but as seasonal tires suitable for the weather and road conditions typically experienced in parts of the U.S. between November and April by providing traction and handling in dry, wet, cold and wintry conditions.

Winter Sottozero Serie II Run Flat tires use a tread compound featuring new polymers and mixing processes that allow them to be ecologically friendlier because they are free of aromatic oils. Pirelli’s Temperature Dynamic Compound technology optimizes the compound for wet and icy surfaces to provide improved traction in winter’s near-freezing and lower temperatures. The tread blocks feature Pirelli’s Interactive Brickwork Siping where the sipes create a brickwork pattern that increases both lateral and longitudinal stability while providing more biting edges to increase snow traction, ride comfort and noise quality. 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 Serie II 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 Winter Sottozero Serie II Run Flat tires in sets of four only.

Due to the traction capabilities of the Winter Sottozero Serie II 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.


  1. We just got the first good snow storm. Took my car for a spin. Those tires are pretty good. Car handles the road with 8 inches of snow perfectly. So far happy with those tires

  2. These are quite simply the worst winter tires I have ever used. I drive a MINI Cooper: a lightweight, FWD car that requires good snow tires, and given them, the car does quite well for itself in New England winters. N.B.: these are not good snow tires.For context, my history with snow tires is mostly Bridgestone Blizzak; from my first economy winter tires to their top-of-the-line winters, on FWD and AWD cars. They’re consistently great. I’ve also tried Dunlops (the less said, the better) and Continentals (pretty good).Most recently I wore out a set of Blizzak LM-30’s on my 2009 MINI Clubman S. They were the finest winter tires I’ve used. The dry grip and stability is ridiculously good; in the wet they let go slowly and gave plenty of warning; they never, ever hydroplaned; they pull well over ice and through light snow. Heavy snow was their one less-than-superb area, so I decided to give another brand a chance.Which brings us to the Pirelli Sottozero. With great reviews on TireRack, and a manufacturer rebate, it seemed like a great choice. (Perhaps that rebate should have alerted me that something was amiss.)Pirelli is headquartered in Milan. Per Wikipedia, Milan averages seven days of snow per year, and less precipitation than most of Europe’s cities. In other words, they don’t get cold, or snow, or even cold winter rains like New England does. And the tires show it.In the wet, they lose grip easily and with little warning; at times I would simply find myself sliding (and thank you, BMW, for donating the stability control system to MINI’s cars). In the dry, they respond promptly enough to steering input, but lack cornering grip and brake poorly. In the snow, they’re just embarassing; I’ve had better performance from cheapie all-seasons.Pros: They are round. They are cheap.Cons: Terrible grip in all conditions.Lesson: Do not trust Italians to design for winter. Pirelli, stick to the race track where you excel. Next winter I’ll get Blizzaks again.

  3. These are the best tires I have ever used. We once drove in a ice storm where the entire road was an ice rink. Cars were in the ditch around us and those on the road were swerving horribly. We eased past them with no problems at all. My wife was not a believer of the tires and xdrive until this moment. On another occasion, I got out of an unplowed driveway when 3 cars were stuck next to me. I cruised out of the parking spot with no issue. We get a lot of snow and ice in Ontario, Canada, and these tires held up amazingly.

  4. These tires were aweful. Noisey, poor snow handling vs. Conti Winters and Michelin Ice3. Tread wear unacceptable. Got two seasons on ice3s they’ll be good for another two seasons. Same with contis.

  5. Bought these in the fall for my Mini Countryman All4. I live in New Hampshire and commute over a small mountain and winding back roads and I wanted something that would be great in the snow. In the past I’ve always just used all-season tires, even on AWD vehicles, but after recently moving way out in the sticks and doubling my commute I decided to spring for snows. I’m glad I did.These tires are great. They just love the deep snow. Even in icy conditions, or the light, but very slippery stuff, they’ll let you know it’s slick, but will hold on to the road. I can’t recommend them enough for bad weather conditions.They are a little loud at high speed. They’re a bit harsh at times, especially over pot holes which are everywhere this time of year. Their dry performance is OK, but you can feel the scrubbing on hard cornering. Then again, they’re snows, so I don’t expect Nascar performance.

  6. I purchased a set of wheels and Pirelli snow tires for my 2016 BMW X4 M 40i after the first winter storm that hit the Portland, Or area before Christmas 2016. As I write this review we’re in the middle of the second winter blitz in mid-January 2017. We have received > 13 inches of snow and ice within a 24-hour period which basically has shut the city down.These tires have been a life saver and worth the money. We live in a cul de sac out street has 15 inches on snow and a ¼ inch base layer of ice. In addition, we have a lot of elevation in the Portland area. The elevation grade in our neighborhood ranges from 8 to 15%.These tires are money, they cut through the snow and ice with ease. I’ve been able to get our and tackle the side streets and major roads without issue. I’ve yet to spin my wheels on climbs out of the neighborhood or deep snow. Temperatures have been 20 and 31 degrees during the day which is cause a slight melt followed by re-freezing. I can attest that the tires perform well in cold temperatures. I’ve also noticed they offer more stability than I was anticipating on ice and packed snow under normal breaking. I have not experienced any slide, wheel spin or loss of control. Under heavy breaking I do experience a slight bit of wheel slip.I’m now a believer in snow tires I’ll just do the wheel swap in the spring and put the winter set up until next November. Good job Pirelli!

  7. Very happy with these tires. They handle reasonably well in the dry cornering is good. They also handle well in the rain and and do not hydroplane easily. We finally had some snow this weekend and they handle very well in the wet messy slop we get for snow here. Would definitely recommend these for someone looking for snow tires.

  8. Most people want to know a snow tire will perform in the deepest snow, but that isn’t how most people spend the majority of their time in the winter. The majority of the time we spend in dry cold, wet cold, and slush or light snow. These tires provide excellent traction in those three common grip conditions. They really are the best all around winter tire, especially if you hate the usual sponge feeling snow tires provide, it’s not accurate to call them snow tires, they’re really all around winter tires. They’re just great for having the most grip possible in light snow and slush. They also excel in freezing rain. And in the dry, they’re like good all seasons. However, if you have a RWD car and need to get up hills in more than two inches of snow, I’d recommend a nobbier tire like General makes. That’s got the best deep snow traction of anything I’ve driven with. Sottozero 3’s are a good choice also if handling is a consideration because the generals do not handle. If you have AWD, these sottozero II’s are a good option for deep snow too. These are a unique tire though, providing a sort of winter focused all season that nobody else does.

  9. For my RWD car these are great winter tires. I swap my summer tires out for these when the temp gets below 40 degrees and they make a HUGE difference. Tires are great in the snow too. I took my car to an empty parking lot last year after we got about 4-5 inches of snow, and they exceeded expectations.

  10. While the winter has been mild with only one snowfall I have had the opportunity to test them in snow and freezing conditions. Simply a great tire – but you get what you pay for with these – run flat snows are not inexpensive. Most shocking was how quite the tire is in normal conditions, far less noise than the OEM run flats. I have not driven them long enough to comment on tread wear. This was one of the only size options available for the car. Handling is very good. Some slight slippage on really icy conditions, but nothing that is major. With traction control and a modest pedal they seemed to pull or push the car through the snow with ease. Backing up is very good with this tire – some snows have an issue in reverse-these do not. I would buy them again-they are impressive beyond expectation for a snow tire.

  11. This was the only available option for the car with staggered set up. Many go with a straight set up front and back but I have had very good results with staggered on BMW’s. These tires were far better than the OEM tires in wet or snowy conditions. Treadwear was well above average and the tires were very quite for a run flat. I actually had a road hazzard deflate one and it got me many miles to safety with no rim damage. Covered by the TR road hazzard protection – my only cost was remounting and balancing the replacment. The tires did very well in wet and snowy conditions – no ice this year but I suspect they would be just as good or better than any other available. While a touch on the expensive side the handling was simply awesome and very crisp even on the very cold AM drives. Well worth it.

  12. I live at 9000′ in the Colorado Rockies. I chose these tires over a straight summer performance tires “just in case” as it is possible to get caught in snow almost any time of year at this altitude. Normally I don’t drive my BMW 135 in snow as I have a couple of 4WD alternatives which are definitely superior in bad weather. I did have several opportunities to try these tires in the snow and I’m not impressed with their snow performance. On the other hand they are excellent in the rain and drive well in the dry. Unfortunately the noise level of these tires is elevated by the extensive siping. Plan on about 15000 miles out of the rears (staggered tire size on the 135, so no rotation). Looks like the fronts may go 20000. Plenty of opportunity here for twisty mountain driving and 80+ MPH speeds. It’s replacement time and I think I’ll go with a straight summer alternative and just keep an eye on the weather. Not many options for this vehicle if you drive year ’round and need an all season tire.

  13. This is the only set of staggered snow tires available for 1 series BMW’s. Now most people would be shocked to use a staggered set up – I have done it 4 times with very good results. These tires are very good. They keep you moving in snow and do very well on ice. If you keep to a normal pace they do very well. All things are a compromise and if you really want to keep your OEM size, along with a good ride, this is a great option.

  14. Unbelievable Tires. Drove them in two snow storms and the rear wheel drive car performed close to an all wheel drive vehicle. Great in the snow, also great on dry and wet road. The difference in the snow compare to the high performance all season tires is unreal. Now I can drive up my steep drive way when snow covered, which was impossible with the all seasons. Definitely a great buy.

  15. I’ve had these Pirellis on my 335xi for a bit over a month now and I’ve out almost 3,500 miles on them since, in a number of conditions. In the last week especially, I’ve experienced just about everything you could throw at these and I’d frankly rate them as bulletproof.This last week I road tripped to VA from CT to see my family (800 mile round trip) with warm temps at times (50s) and cold (10s). I had light snow & slush, dry roads and cold and the tires just get better the folder it gets. I then drove to VT yesterday to go snowboarding (350 miles round trip) and returned in a heavy winter storm (4+ inches of heavy snow). Roads were NOT being plowed in any state (VT, MA, CT) and tires handled great. Lots of confidence going up and down hills, great braking, ABS/TC never kicked in once and never felt any slip. And most of the drive through MA and CT was like driving through Donner Pass in CA when it’s chains only (which I’ve done a few times – lots of packed snow, can’t see lanes, chains or AWD/4WD with snows required) and the 210s were solid. Able to easily do 40-50, visibility & traffic permitting (probably faster but girlfriend didn’t like that).My point of comparison for these is the Continental ContiPro RFTs in OEM size that were the original tires on my vehicle. They rode really hard and were quite loud. The 210s ride a bit softer, and are quieter (for an RFT – not as quiet as non-RFTs). Worlds better in snow handling. Contis were a bit better in dry/warm than 210s, which can feel a bit mushy in corners at speed, but the more miles I get on them, the more its like riding on rails.If you have an AWD car and live where there’s snow, or drive to where there’s snow, step up and get yourself some snows – best decision I ever made.

  16. These tires are mounted on all-wheel drive Audi TT RS and used from late Fall to end of Winter in Wisconsin which had plenty of snow and horrible weather last year. These ties were great in all conditions, especially snow. To some degree it is hard to know where the all wheel drive advantage begins and the tires end – but the combo means tremendous winter handling. This RS version has serious HP for light car and the tire/AWD combo functioned perfectly despite my attempts to overpower them. Only question is how many seasons will they last – I am not using them in the summer at this point.

  17. These tires have amazing grip. I purchased these in the late fall shortly after the first snowfalls this year. The OEM all-season tires would just slide when stopping with any snow cover. These tires stop and accelerated in snow as if it were dry pavement. My only complaint would be some additional road noise on dry pavement, but that is a small price to pay for good winter tires. I purchased the tires and rims together. The total cost for the package was less than my insurance deductible, which I figured would have been used if I kept the OEM tires on for the winter.

  18. I was skeptical about the unusual tread on the tire, but it is a amazing performance tire. It is my second winter and I put like 10000 miles on themIn dry and wet conditions it outperforms the all season high performance Goodyear and in the snow, the car performs like an all wheel drive car, even my car is rear wheel drive. Noise level I not to bad for a run flat tire. My only concern is that a driver following me in the snow may hit me form the back because of the breaking performance.

  19. This is the best winter tire I have ever driven on. The steering responsiveness isn’t quite as good as my summer tires, but I believe that is due to the smaller treadblocks and the nature of the winter rubber compound. I only notice the change in steering responsiveness when switching back to my summer rubber. I use these tires on a RWD car in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs and was able to enjoy many snow days last year. These tires will slip once there are a few inches of unplowed snow on the ground, but even with RWD I never got stuck. Once I needed to get some momentum going to get my car up a snowy parking garage ramp, but these tires even managed that. These tires do get VERY soft above 45 degrees. I have 15K miles on these tires and fully expect them to last another 15K at least.

  20. These are superior tires for New England urban driving; I’ve now been thru lots of cold wet roads; slushy roads; fresh snow (2-3 inches); packed snow; and icy/sleet covered asphalt. In all cold and wet conditions, tires grip superbly. Very stable and secure feeling; good cornering at speed appropriate for conditions. On dry pavement and in warmer weather, they do feel noticeably ‘softer’ than the summer tires (also Pirelli runflats) and you can feel it when cornering, but this is more than compensated by the excellent performance on cold, wet or snowy pavement. I would buy these tires again tomorrow and won’t drive a car in a New England winter ever again without them. I would recommend getting them earlier in the season, so you have a chance to adjust to the different grip and ride – it is apparent.

  21. Did pretty well for a cold Cleveland winter. Not as impressed as I was with my past set of Dunlop’s, but this was the only run flat winter available in my size. Had them mounted on a set of black Rial’s also from TR, balance on tires / wheels great as was delivery and customer service.

  22. Two winters now in the Great Far North, and these Pirelli RunFlats are excellent snow tires in all conditions we have experienced here in Ontario, Canada. Very impressed…seem quieter than oem ‘Summer tires’ (Bridgestone Potenza runflats). Pleasant surprise. Would buy again for sure. Great buying experience/service at Tire Rack (our third time).

  23. This tire handled great last year in the NEPA winter as well as driving up every other weekend to Vermont to go skiing. This tire had surprised me and is well worth the money. Only issues I had with them was it seemed like if I hit a pot hole I would get a bubble.. but with some of the potholes around here maybe it was just them…

  24. Superior product. My second set of these tires – once again proven entirely satisfactory. Tire noise at high speed – nil. Rate of tread wear – incredibly low. Wet road handling and hydroplaning resistance – the reason I use these tires – just great. The only tire I use – year round. Temps I encounter are usually below 70 deg F, since I live on the left coast and travel during the months of January, April and September to the US. I intend to put a third set of these on my car this fall. Recommended.

  25. I purchased the Pirelli Sotto Zero runflat winter tires just in time for the big 2016 blizzard which is currently walloping Maryland (DC Metro area). As the snow accumulated last night, I was able to continuously test them in the varying levels of snow accumulation (just in my immediate neighborhood for safety reasons). Keep in mind my MINI is front wheel drive only and I can say, these tires performed brilliantly. I felt as if I had an AWD car. My stability control almost never flashed and a standing start from the bottom of a steep hill on an snowy/icy road was no problem. As the snow accumulated, I took the car out again in four inches of snow on un-plowed roads. Again, the MINI could perform a standing start at the bottom of a hill and plowed through the snow fairly easily. At this point, I could feel some slippage in the corners but the rear tires quickly regained grip and the small amount of sliding was very controllable as well as predictable. It felt as if the back end always came around nicely as compared to when a car experiences extreme under-steer in snow. The slippage only occurred when I gunned it a bit. If I took the corners nice and slow, there was no sliding at all. After four inches, I felt it best to simply stay off the roads. Before the storm, I was able to get a good feel for how the tires performed in the extreme cold on dry pavement. Again, I was amazed at how well they handle on the dry with almost no noticeable increase in road noise. The car feels very planted and secure with the softer tread obviously reducing the harshness of my performance stock tires. I do not feel I have lost any performance from the MINI and driving remains as fun as ever. Most importantly, the tires give me confidence to drive in snowy conditions, so runs to the ski slopes and through the mountains no longer seem as daunting. I highly recommend these tires.

  26. Very susceptible to damage (blowout) from pot holes. Needed a lot of weight to achieve proper balance on Hunter Road forcemachine. If other brands had run flat winter tires in my size, I would try them.

  27. Second winter season with these tires. These are amazing in light-medium snow on the ground. I have no problem driving in snow packed snow, powder or patches of ice. These tires have seen 70-80mph highways to snowy mountains of VT to icy 0 degree Fahrenheit up in Canada. Cannot complain its performance, stability and predictability in cold and snowy conditions. Tire wear is minimal so far and I expect 2-3 more winters with these.In dry 40-50 degree weather…these tires are a totally different animal. NYC gets occasional 50 degrees days in the winter and these tires have noticeably less grip and stability in this temperature. I don’t feel the mushiness but this may be because it is a run flat and therefore has stiff sidewall. Hitting S line on ramps I can feel all four wheels sliding ever so slightly at speeds that would be more than safe with summer tires.

  28. This is my first winter on these tires. I purchased a wheel and tire (set of 4) package. They are everything you want from winter tires. Snow and ice traction is almost perfect. While we have had a mild winter in the Pittsburgh, PA area, was in snow country a few times and SUVs were getting stuck and I was not. They are a little noisy, but the noise decreases with miles. Wear is great so far – 1/32 only. Would buy again. They are really the only winter run-flat option for my 2015 BMW 435xi convertible.

  29. This is my third winter season with these tires and overall I’m very pleased. Living in a mid-Atlantic state means winters that can range from very mild to the occasional winter storm that can rival northern locations. However throughout the past three winters these tires have performed admirably.

  30. On my second set in a car with 60K+ miles with gobs of power and RWD. Tires allow the car to be usable in winter. It will get me home in almost any weather and can climb my 16 degree inclined driveway unless it it completely iced over. Not so great in deep snow > 2 inches but that is also a result of the tire width required in this car. If is going to snow that much I use a car with more ground clearance anyway. Noise is noticeable compared to summer tires but not bothersome. Compared to my previous Blizzaks LM 32’s these tires are better in the cold dry and wet, but not as good in deeper snow, Noise was about the same.


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