The Pirelli Scorpion series has always been the brand’s most representative model for SUVs and crossovers. While Scorpion Active is the more famous sibling, automobile enthusiasts also have rave feedback for Scorpion AS Plus 3 – a tire that reportedly checks most criteria boxes in year-round traction across dry, wet, and even snow conditions.
Scroll for further details in our inclusive review.
In this article:
Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 Specifications & Features
|Tire Type||Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season|
|Tire Size||17″ – 22″|
|Weight||24.0 LBS – 53.0 LBS|
|Load Range||SL – XL|
|Speed Rating||– H: up to 130 mph|
– V: up to 149 mph
Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 is developed for SUVs, pickup trucks, and crossovers that seek comfortable, smooth rides, increased noise comfort, and long tread life.
- The tread compounds utilize functionalized polymers to generate high traction levels.
- Asymmetric tread patterns, aided by limited voice space, promote maximum road contact to increase grip and wear characteristics.
- Large shoulder blocks (sequence-tuned) reduce tread noise and improve dry manners.
- Optimized mold profiles distribute pressure for enhanced wet performances and even wear.
- Well-placed channels and grooves combine to sidestep hydroplaning.
- Various 3D and full-depth sipes retain traction in slippery/inclement conditions.
- Horizontal and vertical sipes provide extra biting edges.
- Deep and zigzag inboard sipes provide help on snow/ice.
- Double-ply polyester casings and two steel belts (reinforced by polyamide plies) ensure higher-speed stability and robustness.
Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 Review & Performance Test Results
1. Dry Performance: 9.2/10
Dry Traction: 9.3/10
Scorpion AS Plus 3 left very little room for complaints here. Its composure through dry roads was even a tad better than the famous sibling WeatherActive, exhibiting impressive footings right from the start with little to no stutters. The grooves and sipes took less than five seconds to settle in the road, coupled with the well-established contact points to breeze the car in even rolls and powerful strikes at 45 MPH.
Accelerations and decelerations carried on just as delightfully and could not choke the car out of its momentum despite our intentionally abrupt inputs. We were also very pleased with the way AS Plus 3 remained tightly gummed onto the ground when we engaged hard brakings midway, sending us into a nice, conclusive thud at the end of the roads without major plummeting.
Needless to say, transitions from regular streets to highways hardly deterred this all-season tire. With even better and more stable tire-road connections (thanks to the aggressive sidewalls), our Honda weaved gracefully through lane merge points like it belonged, even managing some low-radius leans at tighter curve entries. Furthermore, judging by the notable absence of tire drags despite our combined weight (five members), you should be able to add cargo weight up to 800 lbs at a time.
Rugged mountain passes and canyon roads might send AS Plus 3 slightly fumbling, especially when we tried to tackle steep ascents beyond 55 MPH. Fortunately, those stutters mostly occurred in the first part of the rides and grew delightfully tamer the longer we rode. Airing down the tire a little also helped on thick gravel dirt.
Corner Stability: 9.2/10
Scorpion AS Plus 3 bonded well with corners, delivering almost the same confidence as on dry roads – minus a few panics after sudden accelerations.
The stable ribs and large shoulder blocks did a spectacular job keeping our car within straight lines. And once the corner entries were safely handled using downshifts, it carried our vehicle down to the last exit points with so much confidence that we were encouraged to rev slightly 2-3 MPH higher midway.
For twistier paths on canyon roads and mountain passes, AS Plus 3 admittedly needed some refinements to settle beginner’s worries. But you do not have to look out for danger; over-reactions were generally well-controlled, getting much more subdued when the critical zone was over.
Steering Response: 9.2/10
Once again, AS Plus 3 surpassed expectations. Not only did it handle basic drivings with impressive aggression, but even unexpected turns, abrupt speed changes, and sudden lurks at roadblocks were tackled professionally. Steering inputs were quick, punctual, and extremely sharp, with a striking balance between tire flex and stability rarely seen in other tires of the same pricing range. We managed to deliver extreme push-pulls around tight corners, while still retaining good margin contact to change our veerings on time when necessary.
Better yet, you will unlikely spot any major steering difference between low- and high-speed ratings. Sure, a few edges might be stripped off at higher driving rates, but they were neither noticeable nor intrusive; after getting used to the tire’s general reactions, we hardly paid attention to those brief response delays anymore.
2. Wet Performance: 9/10
Wet Traction: 9/10
Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 was a brilliant force on wet surfaces; you will only be able to notice the slight falterings around corners after very long driving. Otherwise, it retained almost the exact same confidence as on our dry tests, even getting surprisingly much more stable when all passengers and cargo were removed. The thuds after road contact felt so clearly present it was as if the water did not exist linger there in the first place.
Steep slopes and wet bridges – the notable nightmare for most touring tires – bonded instantly with Scorpion AS Plus 3. After a few initial shudders that mostly stemmed from the sudden texture transitions rather than the water itself, the tire composed itself in an instant, easily carrying us deep into the ride at 40-60 MPH. Even around tight corners, we did not have to implement any extra steering force.
Hydroplaning Resistance: 9/10
AS Plus 3 controlled hydroplaning issues really well thanks to the combined power of well-placed channels and grooves, resulting in immediate water dispersion that left no room for unwanted intrusion. As such, our car rarely slipped on the water whether at low or high speeds. Aided by the impressive composure against cold water temperature, the tire rarely fell flat in deep stagnant water like other tires we have tested.
Better yet, you will not encounter many hydroplaning troubles with cargo beyond 500 lbs. Sure, the contact patch might cave in slightly at some points, but it was not enough to invite water deep into the sipes. 4-5 passengers at a time are also welcome.
3. Winter/Snow Performance: 8.1/10
Light Snow Traction: 8.6/10
For a non-snow tire, there was hardly anything to be disappointed here. Scorpion AS Plus 3 maintained momentum really well on paved roads at regular driving rates and only shuddered a little around deep twists and highway curves. The tire also delivered good braking distances and seemed unfazed at midway changes during cold weather, further boosted by snow chains on all four. All in all, it is a good replacement winter tire for moderate traveling distances.
Deep Snow Traction: 8/10
Though the significant traction deduction compared to light snow tests was very tangible, Scorpion AS Plus 3 managed to play in our favor during basic driving situations thanks to the various 3D/full-depth sipes. Cornering attempts were not as breezy as with other terrains but far from downright dangerous, so you can still attempt moderate to wide-angle approaches without putting your car at risk.
Like with our light-snow test, the tire also witnessed a significant increase when bound by snow chains. Given favorable weather and slightly grippier surfaces, we could even handle steep angles and canyon roads with relatively the same confidence on dry roads.
Ice Traction: 7.8/10
Spirited leans and abrupt changes were quite risky on ice terrains. But if you prefer casual, slow rides over other priorities, then AS Plus 3 still did a decent job. 40 to 45 MPH was totally within reach, and wide corners proved to be very easy to handle when we alternated strategically between gear shifts and light braking. You can reduce passengers to 1-2 adults (and cargo below 200 lbs) to further boost the tire’s stability.
4. Comfort: 9/10
Ride Quality: 9.1/10
AS Plus 3 was among the smoothest touring tires we ever tested; even large, notable road bumps only resulted in faint protests that were not at all intrusive (unless you have high demands in this regard). High-speed maneuvers were also unlikely to result in jostles and vibrations, only shaking slightly on graded surfaces when we towed more than 500 lbs.
Noise control was also very satisfying – barely audible during casual rides and only slightly louder when we traveled through wet roads and snow. The noises also tended to get quieter after longer usage (instead of worsening like a few Pirelli models), hence the pleasant lack of protests after the seventh day of our test.
5. Treadwear and Durability: 8.9/10
The tire composed itself well across most terrains, handled temperature extremes excellently, and did not seem to suffer from any major caving when we accidentally trampled over sharp debris and small nails. This should translate very well into longer usage for you, further optimized by the brand’s generous 70,000-mile/6-year warranty.
Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 Pros & Cons
Excellent dry and wet traction
Confident steering and cornering
Few hydroplaning risks
Good snow performance; decent ice traction
Very quiet and comfortable rides
Struggling slightly with cornering attempts on rough patches
Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 Competitors & Alternatives
- Pirelli Scorpion is excellent and consistent across all terrains, even on snow. We would still love a bit of refinement around wet corners, however.
- Michelin CrossClimate2 delivered refined and responsive steering, but it could not help some over-reactions and tread growls during spirited rides.
- Vredestein Quatrac Pro handled impact well. However, the tread noises might get borderline annoying for some people.
There was hardly any significant flaw in our Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 tire review. Confident on dry roads, reliable through wet weather conditions, and handling snow with surprising stability despite being a non-winter tire, it deserves to be titled one of Pirelli’s best SUV/crossover tires to date – alongside its reputed WeatherActive sibling.
|Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3|
President & Automotive Expert at COR Wheels
Robert Herrera has been with COR Wheels for 17 years and has a great passion for the automotive industry. During his time at COR Wheels, he has driven and test-driven a variety of vehicles.