BMW X5 winter tyres & wheels

by chris sanders on 2nd August 2012

BMW X5 winter tyres & wheels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my latest post I’m going to discuss safe winter driving in a BMW X5 and what is required to get the most out of these vehicles during the winter months.

But the X5 is a 4 wheel drive, so why would I need winter tyres?

The X5 may well be 4 wheel drive but without the right rubber the vehicle will not perform the way it should, this is especially true during the winter. Our partner Tyremen sells lots of winter tyres and wheel and tyre packages for X5’s and I think there are a number of reasons for this:

  1. The vehicles are often used for driving to ski areas and the use of winter tyres is either safety critical or mandated by other European countries winter tyre laws.
  2. The X5 is used for school runs all over the country and responsible owners want to ensure that this journey is carried out as safely as possible.
  3. BMW often use much wider wheels and tyres on the rear of these vehicles, this does look very nice, but unfortunately less is more when it comes to winter tyres and the super wide tyres make the vehicles perform poorly in snow, ice and slush.

Luckily the use of winter tyres on the X5 makes them fantastic and capable of handling the most challenging conditions. My advice is going to be general in terms of the exact X5 model as although there was some subtle changes from the E53 to the E70 the tyre and wheel recommendations are essentially the same.

The only exception to this is that some of the older models came on 17” wheels as standard. Generally customers just swap tyres on these, by far the best thing on the market is the 235/65R17 Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme, and personally I’d fit these and leave them on year round! The E70 comes on minimum size of 18” so let’s go into detail for this size.

X5 that have 18” wheels will be using tyre size 255/55R18 and this could be standard or run-flat. If you already have 18” wheels and just want to swap tyres then our partner keeps/will be keeping Vredestein & Hankook in standard and Continental & Dunlop in runflat. The Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme is an incredible winter tyre and by far Tyremen’s best seller for the X5. The will handle the toughest conditions, plus work great year round, they are sensibly priced and offer exceptional mileage. Many owners even move off runflats and use this product for the winter, however if you’re going to do this make sure you carry something like the Continental puncture repair kit and have up to date roadside assistance.

If your vehicle has a larger wheel fitted as standard then it may be worth considering 18” wheels for winter. Tyremen import some alloy wheels from Alutec in Germany which are perfect for the job, they come with a 5 year guarantee, are styled like a BMW wheel and are superb quality. Any of the X5 versions can drop to an 18” wheel and this is definitely the most practical option. Tyremen offer the Alutec Design E with standard and runflat winter as mentioned above and the benefit of using an aftermarket alloy wheel is that the cost is sensible – let’s compare:

BMW original equipment alloy wheels & winter runflats (2011 main dealer promotion) £2000
Alutec Design E with equivalent winter runflat £1375
Alutec Design E with Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme £1070!

The only issues you have in reducing from larger wheels is the appearance of the vehicle. If you have 19” at the moment it could have 255/50 on the front & 285/45R19 on the rear. The 18” package will be more effective as a narrower tyre works better in the winter, but it’s not going to fill the rear wheel arches and some drivers really want to keep the look of the X5 unchanged. Well Vredestein make the Wintrac 4 Xtreme in the split sizes and these are extremely popular as a winter solution and work very well in comparison to summer tyres.

If you have the 20” package fitted at the moment then it will have 275/40 on the front and 315/35 on the rear, although 275/40R20 winter tyres are available the rears are nigh impossible to source and too wide to be effective so you’ll need to come down in size.

If the thought of 18’s is too dramatic then there is a 19” option too. Another BMW styled wheel is available from Tyremen and is the same width front & rear so you use a 255/50R19 all round which is a nice sensible width for winter. If you ask the guys nicely they also have these in split offsets. What this means is that the rear wheels are made in a way that makes them sit further out than the fronts, filling out those rear wheel arches, whilst still allowing the same sized tyre to be used.

Hopefully the information here is helpful, if you need to know anything else don’t hesitate getting in touch with the friendly team at Tyremen 0845 807 808.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff Pearey August 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Would fitting the Alitec alternative invalid the BMW warranty? I like the idea of saving £1000 but would want the comfort that fitting non standard wheels neither invalidates my warrnaty or insurance…

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Which Tyres August 17, 2012 at 8:29 am

The fitting of the correct aftermarket product has no affect on either warranty or insurance, I’ll address each in turn:

Insurance – We have been advised that the British insurance authority now state that changing to winter tyres or smaller winter tyres and wheels is not an issue for insurers and that policy holders do not need to advise insurance companies of such a modification. This is as long as the the spec of the product used is suitable. All of our packages use very similar spec as what would be supplied by main dealers, also all Alutec & Anzio wheels are TUV (German testing authority) approved. This means that they are tested for suitability, safety and strength for use on a particular vehicle – we can provide these certificates so that if you wanted to advise your insurer that you were fitting wheels then you have proof that they are suitable for your vehicle.

Warranty – Fitting aftermarket wheels does not affect your vehicle warranty. I’ve heard this concern before and the only issue that could arise would be if a new wheel was not right for the car and caused a problem to another related part, such as vehicle hub. If the wheel caused the hub problem then you could not claim on the hub problem as it had been caused by the non O.E wheel. However as long as the wheel is right for the car then it will not cause any problem and such an issue would never arise. If something non wheel related went wrong with the car then the fact that you had aftermarket wheels fitted would make no difference whatsoever.

Everything we supply is tested for use on a specific vehicle and will never cause an issue, again the TUV certificate is proof of this! It’s worth remembering that BMW do not make wheels, they just buy parts in from various manufacturers. Alutec are part of Europe’s biggest alloy manufacturing group that will produce OE wheels for BMW, there is no quality difference in what we are supplying, they just don’t come with BMW caps. I hope this answers your question. Phill.

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Jeff Pearey September 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Many thanks for your comprehensive and very helpful reply. I am close to purchasing. Last question – I do a certain amount of “light” off road driving during the winter. Basically farm tracks, the odd grassy field but nothing dramatic. Ideally i’d like an aggressive tyre tread pattern on my X5 (E70) – but I’ve never seen anything remotely like the choice you get when re-shodding a Discovery. Would the vredestein winter tyres cope reasonably well on mud, grit etc – ie would they do a reasonable job and certainly be better than my summer tyres?

Thank you so much

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Which Tyres September 24, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Hi Jeff,

Yes the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme would cope well with light off road, they are the most aggressive that is available in winter as all other products tend to be standard road patterns. Many of our customers use them for the purposes you describe and get on with them very well.

Phill.

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jeff pearey October 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Sorry Phill = last query for you – I note that this Alutec wheel requires 4 new wheel bolts – I’d have assumed the bolts would have been the same as the wheel looks identical to the standard X5 SE wheel? If the bolts aren’t the same I assume I will need a locking wheel kit. Finally as BMW design the x5 (E70)to run on run flats that there aren’t issues with the warranty or handling to fit conventional tyres?

Ric September 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Dear Sir
I have a BMW x5 E70 with a sport package with 20″ alloys, we do a lot of skiing in the winter and I’m planning to drive the car to ski areas in France. I know that I won’t be able to keep the nice look of my wide tires in the winter so I would like to know what is going to be better to get a 18″ or a 19″ rim and weel? I’ve found an amazing deal on 19″ Pirelli scorpion but I’m not sure if the 18″ will performe better in snow conditions! Is the difference really a lot? Thanks for your help
Regards. Ric

Reply

Which Tyres September 10, 2012 at 7:57 am

Hi Ric,
There will actually be no difference in performance between 18″ and 19″ as it really comes down to tyre width and the in these sizes the width is the same. The only benefit in 19″ is the aesthetics of a larger wheel, in 18″ the main advantage is cost as the package is quite a bit cheaper. We do have a 19″ wheel which will keep the nice wide look on the rear that you want to keep! The following wheel we buy in different spec for the front and rear axles, the rears although being the same width will sit much further out and fill the arches much better on the rear: http://www.tyremen.co.uk/product/11969/kd008–bmw—x5-2007-(e70).aspx
It would be interesting to know what deal you have found on the Pirelli, assuming its the Ice & Snow then these are usually rather expensive. If the Vredestein are close in price (£705 for a set of 4) then they are worth a look as they are a far superior SUV winter tyre.

Phill.

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Ric September 11, 2012 at 1:21 am

Hi Phil
Thanks very much for your info. So I suppose that 255 in width is the smallest I can fit and is going to be the best option to drive on snow for the X5. I just want to be safe without breaking my bank account. The deal on the Pirellis is £800+vat+delivery and they also come in different spec from front to rear (front 255/50 R19 & rear 285/45 R19)..what do you think? I have no experience in this field but I don’t want to get stuck up in the mountain with the wrong tires,as last year in Switzerland I saw quiet few suv’s stuck on the side of the road unable to cope with the ammount of snow up there! (I presume they had the wrong tires)
The deal you offer on the Vredestein (£705 for a set of 4) is only for the tires or they come with the rim showed on the link on your reply? Could you tell me which is the model and How this tires are superior for SUV’s? And finally how more economic the 18″ are comparing with the 19″? Sorry to ask you so many questions but I’m trying to understand a bit more about tires!
Thanks once again for all your help
Kind Regards Ric

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Which Tyres September 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

Hello again,

The problem with split sizes in 19″ is that:
1. You will need wheels width different widths – possible but expensive
2. You have a 285 tyre on the rear which is pretty wide so not as effective as a 255!

The benefit of the wheel I suggested is that you get to use the same width wheel and tyre on the front and back, it still looks right because of the set up of the wheel I offer plus uses 255 on the rear too so more effective. The cost of wheels & tyres is £1335 for a set of 4 inc VAT. If you opted for 18″ then the same wheel, again with Vredestein costs £1055.

Vredestein V Pirelli – The Vredestein is the best winter SUV tyre on the market, you would get improved traction on snow/ice, shorter braking distances, more controlled cornering and improved dry performance. Honestly they are the business!

Regards,

Phill.

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Ric September 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

Hi Phill
Could you please tell me the model/name of the Vredestein tires we are talking about? I’ve looked on your wrbsite and there are few different names and model!
Regards.
Ric

Which Tyres September 11, 2012 at 9:31 am
Ric September 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Dear Phil
Would a this tires for a BMW X5 E53 model …the size on the tyres state…..255/55/R18 109V M+S…all 4 wheels have  Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme will work for my BMW X5 E70 model?
Thanks for your help
Regards
Ric

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Ric December 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Hi Phil
I’ve found 4 second hand alutec 18″ Design E :for BMW x5 up to 2006 models and the owner is saying will fit also E70 models… Is this correct?
They saying “”As per Tyreman website
These tyres will fit BMW X5 2007 onwards model as well ”"
What do you think?
Thanks for your help
Ric

Reply

Which Tyres December 14, 2012 at 9:31 am

Hi Ric,

Yes that is correct they will work on a new X5, you would just require a new fitting kit (rings and bolts) which would cost you around £20.

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Simon January 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Hi Phil
My 2009 x5 has 19″ wheels (m sport alloys).
I have been offered some 18″ wheels from a friend (with alloys).
Do I have to change a setting in the car to tell it I am using a different wheel size?
May thanks simon

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Which Tyres January 21, 2013 at 9:15 am

Hi there, As long as the wheels and tyres are the correct spec and size for the vehicle then there should be no further changes required. Phill.

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Mike January 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Hi,
I’ve got an X5 with 20 inch wheels – if I fit 18 or 19 inch winter wheels / tyres as your article suggests, would the speedo still be acurate or would I need to have it reset ?
Thanks
Mike

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Which Tyres January 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm

No change would need to be made to the speedo as the overall tyre size stays the same, it just becomes narrower with a higher sidewall. Just to let you know that many of Tyremen’s X5 products have sold out already so try giving them a call to discuss availability. Cheers

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Russ January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Hi,
I have an X5 E53 4.4 V8 with 285/45/19 at the back and 255/50/19 at the front. Would switching to the Vredestien wintrac extremes in the same sizes as current, on the existing wheels, make a worthwhile improvement? I only cover 3000 miles pa in this car but we get quite a bit of snow where we are (lower Peak District).

Also, given the low annual mileage, could I leave them on year round. If so, what are the pro’s and cons?

Many thanks,
Russ

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Which Tyres January 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Hi there, I think that the Vredestein in the sizes you have would be a great improvement for you. They work incredibly well during the winter but also offer great year round performance. We have many, many customers that use them in this way (including our boss man) and they offer great mileage (generally 30/40k miles) and there are no negatives in the summer as are quiet and good on fuel. Let me know if you need any further info.

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Laura Calder September 24, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Hi there

Looking to fit the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtremes this winter. Current wheels on my X5 are 255/50/19 at the front and 285/45/19 at the rear. Will a straight changeover of tyres in the same size be sufficient for good driving conditions? Not keen to fork out for new wheels too! Do you have any advice on snow chains?

Laura

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Which Tyres September 25, 2013 at 8:34 am

Hi Laura, fitting the Wintrac in your existing size would make a big difference to winter performance. Sure going for smaller wheels is better still, but in comparison to standard summer tyres the Wintrac’s would work really well when the weather gets colder. Cheers, Phill.

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Bea Anderson October 8, 2014 at 10:30 am

Hi Everyone
Been reading all these comments as I need winter tyres on my X5 also.
Currently live in Minnesota USA and we get a ton of snow !
Question : are the vredestein wintec extreme tyres available in the USA??

Reply

Jason Stevens-Read October 8, 2014 at 10:43 am

Hi, good news, according to Vredestein, yes they are available in the USA, follow this link to dealers http://www.vredestein.co.uk/car-tyres/dealers/u-s-a/city/minnesota/

They are great tyres, we sell a lot here in the UK, good luck

Which Tyres?

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Alan October 21, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Hi. For runflats do I really need new rims and tyres or could I get away with swapping summers off and winters on and then the opposite in spring (I have new summer tyres).

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Which Tyres October 22, 2013 at 7:17 am

You may be able to change just the tyres, it depends on your tyre sizes. Do you know what sizes you are running? (may be different front & back). Phill

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Alan October 22, 2013 at 9:19 pm

255/50 r19 front 285/45 r19 back. Is the you can’t change runflats more than once thing b/s? Thanks.

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Which Tyres October 23, 2013 at 7:56 am

Pirelli do make winter runflats in these sizes but they are painfully expensive, you could get a new set of wheels & tyres cheaper. But if you want to stick with your current rims then it is possible.

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Thomas December 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Hi there , I have a E53 X5 4.4 with 285/45/19 at the rear.
I want to fit 255/50/19 winter tyres all round but my rear wheels will then be to wide for the new winter tyres.
Would I need the same size wheels as the fronts (255/50/19) but with a offset wheel set up?
or would it just be a matter of fitting a standard front wheel on the rear??

many thanks

Reply

Which Tyres December 2, 2013 at 11:43 am

Hi there,

You can do either of these things, we have wheels in stock which are the same offset all round. We will also be offering the split offset wheels later this month which will give the impression of filling out the rear arches. If you need any further info on these options feel free to give us a call on 08456 807 808.

Cheers,

Phill

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Brian January 16, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Could you please advise if b m w e70 wheels will fit
New x5 f15
Regards brian

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Which Tyres January 17, 2014 at 9:25 am

Hi Brian, yes they certainly should all the spec on the new vehicle is exactly the same.

Cheers,

Phill.

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Belinda December 5, 2014 at 11:48 am

Hello ,

I am the owner of a 2003 BMW X5 – E53 3.0. I have 255/50 R 19 tyres at the front and 285/45 at the back. I am now considering having all four tyres as 255/50. I live in the Caribbean. What is your opinion?

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Jason Stevens-Read December 10, 2014 at 10:17 am

Hi Charles,

Thanks for the question. Having two different tyre sizes can be a problem with supply, and it may be that in the Caribbean, supply might be an issue.

However, given the great weather and lack of snow! Stick with your current sizes, they are designed to perform at their best in warm weather. Smaller tyres on the rear will affect the way the car performs. We only advise going smaller for winter tyres.

Hope this helps

Jason

Which Tyres?

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phil wilding December 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Hi

I have a 2014 X5 F15 40d M Sport with 20″ wheels. I am looking for the best deal on new rims and winter tyres (mainly the UK snow and muddy field) that will fit this model.

can you please let me know what the options are.

Thanks

Reply

Jason Stevens-Read December 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Hi Phil,

Thanks for getting in touch, you have two options and that is 18″ or 19″ new rims and tyres. Dropping down, we suggest going for the 18″, package comes in under £1k, wheels are BMW styled, so won’t look out of place.

Fitted with Vredestein tyres, very popular in Europe, you should’t have any issues, link here http://www.tyremen.co.uk/winter-wheels/bmw/x5-2013-f15?page=1 with the package you then have the same size all round, giving better grip and handling. Your current tyres are different sizes front and rear.

Your other option is to just buy tyres for the 20″ rims already on, 275/40R20 tyres are around £200 each, the rear 315/35R20 start around £300 but are few and far between. A package means you can, if confident enough, change them yourself every year and save the fee.

Hope this helps

Jason

Which Tyres?

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Hugh Jones November 24, 2015 at 12:14 am

I recently switched to regular tyres from original runflats on my 2008 E70 SD M sport 275 35 20 front and 315 35 20 rear. Can I use one of my 255 55 18 winter wheels as an emergency spare? By my calculations the circumference will be -1.25% compared to the full size tyres as apposed to the BMW OE space saver spare which is 155 90 18 and has a circumference -1.05% compared to the full sized wheels. My car is the seven seat version so spare has to ride in the boot anyway so little advantage in forking out for an OE spare which would also need to be stored in the boot anyway and take up almost the same footprint.

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Alasdair December 31, 2015 at 12:04 am

Hi could you please advise will my bmw cross spoke 177 18″ winter wheels from my e70 2011 X5m 40d fit my new X5M 40d 2014 my dealer said they would not but looking at non genuine web sites i think they might.

Many Thanks

Al

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Tamas May 3, 2016 at 5:45 pm

Hy i have a bmw x5 40d from 2012. I was thinking to buy 255 50 19 summer tyres all round. It is ok? Thank you.

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chris sanders May 6, 2016 at 10:47 am

Hello, This would be if your wheel are the same size front and rear, what size are you currently on?

Chris sanders

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Steve W August 16, 2016 at 10:52 am

Hi. I used to have a 2000 X5, and I use it a lot in the snow. It was brilliant.
Last year I got a M50d. It was terrible in the snow. The garage gave me a spare set of wheels + tyres.
The winter set they gave me are 255/50 R19, whilst the summer set of wheels and tyres are 315/35 R20.
Of course there is a difference between winter set and summer sets in terms of grip, but would I be better off putting winter tyres on the 315/35 R20 wheels….will it give me more grip.
I see complex friction algorithms which I don’t understand

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Ehab November 20, 2016 at 10:31 am

Can I install 255/50R19 on the stock rims?
I have a 13 X5 with the M package.
Thank you

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Which Tyres October 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Hello again,

We supply new bolts with the wheels, you can purchase locks although you may find that you can use the originals. Fitting standard tyres is not a warranty issue, they are much more flexible so you will notice a slightly softer ride.

Regards,

Phill.

Reply

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