The new '06 330xi comes with 225/45R 17" run flats. I don't want them.
That tire by the way, is a 25" outside diameter tire.
I would rather go with something more conventional for the rough NE Ohio
winters - wider sidewall aspect to absorb the rougher roads is a good start,
and even the Bimmer website mentions this warning:
"Due to low-profile tires, please note: wheels, tires and suspension parts
are more susceptible to road hazard and consequential damage. Performance
tires are not recommended for driving in snow and ice."
So, where does that leave us who live in wintry climates half the year?
Thinking along the lines of (don't laugh - I have my reasons :-) ), the
Goodyear Asssurance Triple Tread, which the closest size fitment is the
225/50, but on a 16" rim (they don't make the 225/45 17" in that particular
tire). A 225/50R 16 tire has a 24.9" outside diameter (identical outside
diameter as you get with the 205/55R 16 on the 325xi). So, the difference
in tire dia to the 25" dia with the 225/45R 17" on the 330xi is of no
Question #1 is whether or not a 16" rim will even fit a 330xi (you get 16"
on the 325xi). The difference is in brake rotor diameter between the 325ix
(11.8"), and the 330xi (13.0" front /13.2" rear), so I don't know if I can
even put a 16" on that 330xi.
But still, if the 330xi WILL take a 16" rim, that puts me closer to where I
want to be, and leads to my next...
...Question #2: What to do about the spare for four conventional tires?
Went to BMW and looked at that plastic tub bolted into the bottom of the
trunk on the 330xi. Obviously that won't hold a tire (not even a space
saver), so I am curious if one were to REMOVE that tub, if I'd be looking at
the original tire well. It appears from looking at it, that this tub
occupies a nominally large space underneath, but whether enough to fit a
spare, I don't know. I didn't think to look from underneath the car - that
would have revealed more.
It would seem to me there would be people who might get tired of paying all
that dough for runflats over the years (not to mention their questionably
tougher ride), and want to switch over to conventional tires. Or go with
regular tires to start with. BTW Goodyear does have a runflat (called
RMT's) in the proper 225/45 R17 size, however it is not meant for the snow
at all (shows a 2 out of 10 in snow performance). Might as well be driving
Question #3 goes hand in hand with the spare tire - does the 330xi come with
a jack? I did not see one, but I didn't poke around a whole lot either.
I will understand if my tire question leads to raised eyebrows, but like I
say, I do have my reasons (NE Ohio winters being one of them). The second
reason is that I work for Goodyear and can get the very nice
switch-to-Goodyear tires for free with a new vehicle. And to switch, I'd
much rather switch to something more appropriate to the climate than the
no-sno runflats GY already has, or that come with the vehicle (Conti?
Another option is to go for 225/45 R17 winter tires on steel rims, and swap
them each season (GY has them). Still, there is no runflat winter tire, so
I'm still back to my spare tire & jack issue in that scenario.
Oddly, all the reviews I've read (dozens) do not mention this apparent quirk
in tire offerings. I see it as a bit of a shortcoming for those who just
don't want the runflats. BMW SHOULD have offered them as a "delete option",
or made them an extra option, like the dreaded iDrive w/nav system.
Thanks in advance for any advice and guidance.