Mercedes E Class winter tyres & wheels

by chris sanders on 9th August 2012

In this post I’ll look at ways in which you can ensure safe winter driving when behind the wheel of a Mercedes E-Class. A firm favourite for business drivers these vehicles are rear wheel drive which makes them a struggle to get moving in some of the harsher winter conditions that can be encountered in the UK. Luckily the use of winter tyres and in some cases winter wheel and tyre packages can vastly improve their winter capability and safety. Our partner, Tyremen supplies many winter solutions for these vehicles, they are such a big seller due to the fact that business drivers often rely on their vehicles in order to work and an investment in winter tyres is a small price to pay in keeping mobile.

My previous post looked at winter recommendations for the C-Class, luckily the E-Class is more straightforward, mainly due to Mercedes choice of tyre sizes. My advice is for both the W203 & W204, although there is a subtle difference is wheel spec the tyre sizes used are generally the same.

Starting with many of the base models, they tend to be on 16” wheels and tyre size 225/55R16 on both axels. When it comes to winter performance the tyres that work the best are the narrowest, this 16” set up is as narrow as you can on an E-Class and is the safest winter option. The cheapest solution is to just swap your summer tyres onto winters and Tyremen have various brands available including Hankook, Uniroyal & the Continental TS830 P which won 3 well respected tyre tests in 2011. However Tyremen’s favourite and most in demand tyre is the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme which offers superb winter performance and unbelievable mileage. The hard wearing nature of this tyre is particularly advantageous on a heavy vehicle such as the E-Class that has a tendency to eat up tyres on the rear axle.

Another popular option is fitting a 16” wheel and tyre set, Tyremen import a great quality wheel from Alutec in Germany called the Design-B. This alloy is designed especially for Mercedes, it looks a lot like an original equipment wheel (without being a direct copy!), takes the original bolts and in some cases the centre caps too. It’s perfect for winter and even comes with a 5 year guarantee, the cost of a set of these is £350 inc vat. They can be supplied with or without tyres, complete sets come fitted and balanced and ready to be swapped over. If you plan on keeping your car then investing in a wheel set can represent good value, especially when you factor in tyre swapping costs of around £120 per year.

The 16” wheel package is so popular that many owners of vehicles that have a larger wheel fitted as standard drop down to this size for winter. If for example your E-Class is on 17” then a 16” package will be more effective due to using a narrower tyre, but also cheaper than the 17” direct replacement. Many of the E-Class can be dropped onto a smaller wheel, the main exceptions to this are the E350 and any vehicle which has sports brakes – by way of a sports pack, AMG pack and the like. If you are unsure then have a look at the current front wheels and see how much room there is between the inside of the wheel and the brake calliper. If you are still unsure then you could give Mercedes parts a call, quote your vehicle reg and ask for a price on 16” wheels. Their response will indicate whether such a reduction in wheel size is possible on your particular vehicle.

If it turns out that your vehicle does have larger brakes and needs a bigger wheel then luckily the Design-B is also produced in 17”. This sized rim is suitable for all E-Class including the sports models and the powerful E350. This wheel needs to be fitted with a 245/45R17 tyre, again the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme is a great option. Tyremen also stock the Continental TS810 S in a Mercedes approved fitment, which means that the tyre manufacturer has done some work with Mercedes to ensure that the product is just right for their cars. If your vehicle already has 17” wheels fitted then either of these products can be fitted to your rims and you will benefit from improved winter performance and reduced braking distances.

If your vehicle has 18” wheels currently then there are a couple of scenarios. The vehicle could be running the same size (245/40R18) all round, if that’s the case then you could swap onto winter tyres of this size. This is no wider than the 17” option so winter tyres in this size will be equally effective, the tyres are more expensive in this size however – you should expect to pay around £200 a corner for a good quality tyre. Again if you are planning on keeping the vehicle a while you may benefit from a second set of wheels and I’d take a look at the 17” package. There would be no real advantage in sticking with 18” apart from appearance, but a wheel and tyre set in this size would be costly.

Some E-Class when fitted with 18” have a wider tyre on the rear (265/35R18), if this is the case then Vredestein & Continental are available in these sizes. However they are very wide and as mentioned earlier it’s a case of the narrower the better for winter tyres so the vehicle would benefit from a 17” wheel set which would allow you to reduce tyre width and improve winter performance.

The advice above is very similar for the new E-Class Cabriolet 2009> and the Coupe, except these vehicles wont take a 16″ wheel, you need to look at the 17″ packages. They also use a slightly different tyres size of 235/45R17, but similar options in terms of tyre brands are available.

I hope the information here helps, if you would like to know anything else then don’t hesitate in getting in touch with the friendly team at Tyremen on 0845 807 808.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim October 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm


I have a 2012 Mercedes E Class 220 CDI SE Executive reg. no. R100JBC. I have 245 45 17W tyres fitted.

According to the paperwork the model number is ’212′.

I want to put on winter tyres and one solution is to buy a set of suitable alloys and fit them with winter tyres.

I believe that I can fit either 17s or 16s.

What do you have that will fit/can recommend?

Can you provide info and a cost delivered to Ellon (AB41 9WL)?

/ Jim


Which Tyres October 30, 2012 at 9:12 am

Hi there,

We have a wheel which is available in 17″ or 16″ which would both be suitable as long as the vehicle doesn’t have large sports brakes! Please see the following link where you can select both sizes and add tyres to get an overall price. We would fit the tyres to the wheels and at the moment we are offering free delivery. If you wanted one of our partner garages to swap the over then this is an additional £40 and we have garages in Dyce or Peterhead. If you need further info don’t hesitate to give us a call on 08456 807 808.–mercedes—e-class-2009-(w212).aspx


Jamie November 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

We have an E 250, CD1, garage quoted £1,500 for 18′ alloys with Pirelli winter tyres. Husband says why not steel. I’ve read your piece. Would 17′ fit. I believe we have sporty brakes (I’m not a petrol head, you can tell!)


Which Tyres November 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Hi there,

If you have sport brakes then you would not be able to fit steel wheels as they are only made in 16″. You can however drop down 1 size to 17″ and we offer wheels in this size would work perfectly. Let me know if you need any further info.



rogers March 20, 2013 at 12:04 pm

hi there

Can i fit 18inch 255 45 tyres on all 4 wheels on my e class.2010 model.

regards and thnx



Which Tyres March 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I wouldn’t recommend it! They would physically fit, but it’s not a size that the vehicle is set up to run on.



DAVID March 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I have the new style E350CDI AMG Sport on order – the wheels are 18″ 5 twin spoke alloy with 245/40 front tyres and 265/35 rear tyres. What would you recommend for winter tyres and wheels and what is the cost.



Which Tyres March 25, 2013 at 9:24 am

Hi there,

I’d suggest a 17″ package, you wouldn’t be able to go any smaller tan this due to the size of the brakes but 17″ would work fine. You would then use a 225/45r17 tyre all the way round. Tyremen offer a perfect wheel that goes straight on, uses original bolts and caps and has a 5 year guarantee:–mercedes—e-class-2009-(w212).aspx


Ronnie November 24, 2013 at 10:54 am

Hi guys, need some help regarding winters on my 13plate E220 CdiI AMG sport please. My summers are 235/35 ZR19 on front 255/30 ZR19 rear. First time I’ve needed to change & would appreciate some advice. Cheers, Ronnie


Which Tyres November 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Hi Ronnie, You would find 19: winter to source, very expansive and not overly effective. Personally I’d suggest looking at 17″ wheels and tyres for winter, we have a new Merc styled wheel that comes in that size and would work great:–mercedes—e-class-2009-(w212)


Simon January 4, 2014 at 9:16 am

Hi guys, I have an E350 Coupe (AMGEN Sport) currently with 235/40 R18 on the front and 255/35 R18 on the rear, can you advise the best combination for winter tyres? I want to run narrower tyres for the winter to help improve the grip.
Thanks for your help,


Which Tyres January 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Hi Simon,

As a winter combination I’d drop down to 17″ and use a 235/45R17 tyre, we have the following Alutec wheel which is approved for your on your Coupe:–mercedes—e-class-coupe-2009-(w207)

Let me know if you need any further info.




Simon January 10, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Hi Phil,
Would you be able to supply the Alutec Blizzard or Burnside in the 17″ rim size?
What would be your recommendation be between the Hankook and the Vredestein winter tyres on any of the above wheels?



Which Tyres January 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Hi Simon,

The Blizzard & Burnside would probably be available, but the options on our site are better options in that they are perfectly suited to a E Class and take the original bolts and caps. The others would need a fitting kit (spigott rings, new bolts) and would not take the original caps. Both of the tyres you mention are great products, the Vredestein would offer slightly better longevity but both will do a great job.



Tony Gray January 20, 2015 at 8:47 am

Morning guys,
I need some help regarding winters Tyres and Alloys on my 12 plate E250 CDI BLue Eff sport please. My summers are 245/40/R18 /97Y on front 265/35/R18 /97Y rear. First time I’ve needed to change & would appreciate some advice, I,m not to sure on the type of brakes sorry.




Jason Stevens-Read January 21, 2015 at 8:54 am

Hi Tony, sorry for the delay, and thanks for asking.

There are no issues with wheels and tyres for your car. The brakes will not affect this choice. You need to drop to 17″ wheels with 245/45R17 99V tyres all round. This will not affect the rolling radius or the speedo as they fit to the same size, but just give a narrower tread on the road. This is the best way for winter.

Tyremen have a Merc style wheel which is very popular. I have attached the link here–mercedes—e-class-2009-(w212) and you are looking at around £977 for the set delivered to you.

You can speak to Chris on 08456 807808 and he will advise you on any other options.



Which Tyres?


Mike garrity August 1, 2015 at 8:10 pm

Hi I would appreciate some advice. I have a eclass coupe 350 with 235/40/R18 tyres on the front and 255/35/R18. On the rear. These give a very firm ride can I change them to a tyre that’s got greater comfort. It’s a AMG type. Which would you advice for maximum comfort thank you


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