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View Full Version : 530 xi t: the case for smaller wheels and non-sport


wagonman
02-24-2007, 05:20 PM
yes, i know what i about to say is not very popular but after a visit to my dealer (kuni bmw) in portland, oregon i am convinced NOT getting sports package and larger wheels was the right call. i asked my service manager if larger wheels made the car handle better. (i have standard 17s with non runflats). he said no, in fact they make it handle worse. they make the more "squirrly" and you catch every rut and gulley in the road. they are also much more suceptible to damage. ha! i felt vindicated. also, we know about run flats. they SUCK!
i also understand that the suspension in the wagon that is standard is slightly stiffer than the corresponding suspension in the sedan.

Ugly Bear
02-24-2007, 05:38 PM
I 530xi sport package does not come with 18" wheels - it is a separate option. I ordered 18" wheels because it is only $600 option, for all 4 wheels. I can always dump RFTs and get normal tires. 18" look better in my opinion.

wagonman
02-24-2007, 05:57 PM
thinks they look better (bigger wheels) but according to my service manager they drive worse!

Ugly Bear
02-24-2007, 06:02 PM
First, you should not be trusting some random service manager. I am sure you can find car to try, try 530 with sport, there are plenty of them at any dealership. Second, why not buy non-RFT, put them on and sell RFTs on eBay?

chrischeung
02-24-2007, 07:14 PM
Also larger wheels weigh more, which means more undesireable unsprung mass - so the handling benefit of larger wheels is offset by this.

I'm getting 17s on my new car, and have 18s on my current car - no regrets either way.

wagonman
02-24-2007, 07:34 PM
First, you should not be trusting some random service manager. I am sure you can find car to try, try 530 with sport, there are plenty of them at any dealership. Second, why not buy non-RFT, put them on and sell RFTs on eBay?

the service manager is very good and i have a lot of experience with him. the better question is why would i trust a message board with people whom i dont know or have never met? bigger wheels it seems to me are mostly about a macho "mine is bigger than yours" issue. i have yet to hear anyone make a convincing case that they do anything positive whatsoever to the driving characteristics. and, why would i want to mess around with slling RFTs on e-bay? i would rather get non run flats from the get go. i DO like the philosophy behind run-flats and maybe in the future i would get a new car with them. but, there are so many mixed reviews on the (noise, rough riding etc) that why should i bother now?

Nick325xiT 5spd
02-24-2007, 07:49 PM
OK, you have to break it down into separate categories:

With bigger wheels and tires, your car will be more susceptible to road imperfections. This falls into the category of ride quality.

The bigger wheels and tires will make the car handle better by offering more grip and sharper response. The very things that make the ride worse. Your service manager has managed to both be right and be incredibly stupid at the same time.

Which balance you prefer is up to you. I literally can not stand a non-sport E60 - the ride is actually nauseating. And by that, I mean that I had to pull over and let my stomach settle when I test drove one. If you like it, be happy with your choice, but at least try not to sound stupid.

Nick325xiT 5spd
02-24-2007, 07:51 PM
the service manager is very good and i have a lot of experience with him. the better question is why would i trust a message board with people whom i dont know or have never met? bigger wheels it seems to me are mostly about a macho "mine is bigger than yours" issue. i have yet to hear anyone make a convincing case that they do anything positive whatsoever to the driving characteristics. and, why would i want to mess around with slling RFTs on e-bay? i would rather get non run flats from the get go. i DO like the philosophy behind run-flats and maybe in the future i would get a new car with them. but, there are so many mixed reviews on the (noise, rough riding etc) that why should i bother now?
Since when did the E60 ever come with anything but runflats? (Excepting the M5, of course.)

Ugly Bear
02-24-2007, 08:26 PM
the service manager is very good and i have a lot of experience with him. the better question is why would i trust a message board with people whom i dont know or have never met?

Hm, then why do you ask? :dunno: You seem to be made up your mind on 17" anyway. And I didn't suggest you trust this board, I suggested that you try driving 17" and 18" and decide yourself. After all, you will be driving the car :)

Bigger rims do help handling since lower sidewalls are stiffer.

wagonman
02-24-2007, 10:48 PM
OK, you have to break it down into separate categories:

With bigger wheels and tires, your car will be more susceptible to road imperfections. This falls into the category of ride quality.

The bigger wheels and tires will make the car handle better by offering more grip and sharper response. The very things that make the ride worse. Your service manager has managed to both be right and be incredibly stupid at the same time.

Which balance you prefer is up to you. I literally can not stand a non-sport E60 - the ride is actually nauseating. And by that, I mean that I had to pull over and let my stomach settle when I test drove one. If you like it, be happy with your choice, but at least try not to sound stupid.

thanks for your answer. unlike many on this board i am not an aspiring race car driver. nor am i trying to impress blondes with big hair. nor am i trying to outdo the geek next to me at trafiic lift or create something to talk about at so. cal bimmerfest meets. i like bmws because the styling is great, the build quality is high and the fit and finish are also high quality. i appreciate the engineering and driving feel. i will happily sacrifice handling precsion for a smooth ride. and no, i dont want my car catching every rut in the road. if that makes me stupid, it also makes you an :asshole:

simplemind
02-24-2007, 10:51 PM
Even the 530 Xi SP comes with 17" non-R F's.
Like stated above, you have a separate option for 18 R F's.

Ugly Bear
02-25-2007, 04:50 PM
thanks for your answer. unlike many on this board i am not an aspiring race car driver. nor am i trying to impress blondes with big hair. nor am i trying to outdo the geek next to me at trafiic lift or create something to talk about at so. cal bimmerfest meets. i like bmws because the styling is great, the build quality is high and the fit and finish are also high quality. i appreciate the engineering and driving feel. i will happily sacrifice handling precsion for a smooth ride. and no, i dont want my car catching every rut in the road. if that makes me stupid, it also makes you an :asshole:

How nice. Why did you even post here? You posted t get what? Opinions? You've got some and told every person who disagreed with you (like, everyone) that they were a***oles and supposedly ordered bigger wheels to compensate for their small d***ks. Is that right? So who is really an a***ole?

wagonman
02-25-2007, 10:41 PM
:stupid: i am not calling everyone who disagrees with me an :asshole: i am only calling nick325xit one. i am sick of these boards being dominated by sport package lovin, mine is faster than yours, modification happy, power game players. it is absolutely silly. yea, bmws are meant to be enjoyed and i understand the whole speed game but it gets to be a bit much frankly.

sayemthree
02-25-2007, 11:52 PM
The bigger wheels and tires will make the car handle better by offering more grip and sharper response. The very things that make the ride worse. Your service manager has managed to both be right and be incredibly stupid at the same time.


Nick is right - ride quality (the things your service manager mentions) and handling are two different things. It may ride like cr@p with 18's but grip like H3ll. that said the 530ixt sports pack is REALLY watered down. all you get are comfort seats and black out trim. the suspension is the same. and you can option for the 18 inch wheels. what we really need is a real sports tuned suspension. and a RWD only option would be nice too.

stevepow
02-26-2007, 09:47 AM
:stupid: i am not calling everyone who disagrees with me an :asshole: i am only calling nick325xit one. i am sick of these boards being dominated by sport package lovin, mine is faster than yours, modification happy, power game players. it is absolutely silly. yea, bmws are meant to be enjoyed and i understand the whole speed game but it gets to be a bit much frankly.

I think it is the way you state it - as if you have a chip on your shoulder or feel somehow disenfranchised because not everyone shares your enthusiam for a more sedate wagon version of the e60.

"I like smaller wheels/tires because...ride, etc, etc..." would work better than trying to make it sound like those whose don't like them have made a poor choice:

they make the more "squirrly" and you catch every rut and gulley in the road. they are also much more suceptible to damage. ha! i felt vindicated. also, we know about run flats. they SUCK!

That's just bait to stir something up, right? Consider these two options:
----------
I really like the e60 sedan; it suits my needs well for a sporty, yet practical car.

or

I feel vindicated getting a sedan - the wagons are under powered and look ridiculous - except maybe for a hot soccer mom car.
----------
See the difference? One is non-confrontational and the other sounds like I have a bone to pick or need some action :yikes: or both.


If you like your choices, be happy, but you don't have to put down the choices of others at the same time.

Otherwise, I have to agree with the other posters that either you heard what you wanted to hear or your tech was giving you a really dumbed down version of the trade offs of ride comfort versus handling.

shabbaman
02-26-2007, 01:53 PM
Since when did the E60 ever come with anything but runflats? (Excepting the M5, of course.)


I can't answer when they came with anything but RFT's but one of the primary reason that I didn't get the 18's with my xiT is because the standard tire package is a non-runflat.





Because I live in the Northeast, in the tri-state area, upgrading to the 18" package also means that I would want to get snow tires and I should be more concerned about bent rims (and the higher cost involved in fixing/replacing it).

Since I'm leasing the wagon for 24 months, the cost involved to me, to support a performance tire package is expensive enough to supercede the benefit of the larger tires.




i am sick of these boards being dominated by sport package lovin, mine is faster than yours, modification happy, power game players. it is absolutely silly. yea, bmws are meant to be enjoyed and i understand the whole speed game but it gets to be a bit much frankly.

You're kidding, right??? Saying this here is the equivalent of pulling a Michael Richards in the middle of Harlem.

jcatral14
02-26-2007, 07:07 PM
: popcorn:
Oh, for the record, for me the one non-negotiable item I have to have in my car is the sport package :bigpimp:

ademitt
02-27-2007, 07:32 AM
It's important to remember that the touring sport package does not get a sport suspension. It is the same suspension as in the non sport version. Ride, handling and comfort will only be affected by the choice of tires and wheels.

Having said that, I am on the sport side of the ledger. Yes, the handling is better with the 18's but the trade off is the "trammeling" (sp?) that has been referred to by others when the car follows ruts in the road. No problem, I was aware of that when I made my decision as my E36's years ago were very prone to this problem on rough roads.

I have a set of 17 inch OEM style 138's with RFT snows for winter. There is a definite change in the feel of the car with less responsive handling give the 17 inch wheel size (and arguably the winter tire tread pattern and composition). That's not a big sacrifice for 5 months of the year when safety and traction are of greater conern. What I don't like is the flatspotting of the tires after the car has been parked in cold temperatures.

There are tradeoffs with both options. The key is to be well informed at the time of purchase and buy the type of vehicle that suits your needs best.

FWIW, my opinion is that the E60/61 looks better with larger wheels.

xiTdriver
03-04-2007, 06:33 PM
This is a weird thread, with bad facts. Bigger wheels/tires do not necessarily mean better handling. There is an optimal width/aspect-ratio/suspension/weight/horsepower/etc combination. For the 530xiT, I don't know whether the 18s or 17s will handle better. But it may be the case that the 17s, with lower weight, will handle better at the limits. And, as noted, he 17s generally handle better at lower speeds (and and in less sharp turns) because they do not tend to track imperfections in the road. In any event, the difference at the limits is likely to be miniscule and unlikely noticed by most drivers -- race car drivers might notice the difference, but I probably wouldn't, not even at the track. At the end of the day, in my view, it comes down to whether you prefer the looks of the 18s and whether you think it is worth the extra money. For me, I kept the 17s. I think they look quite good.

By the way, for those or you who claim to be able to tell the difference, you might try a blind test at the dealer. Drive two 530xiT's -- one with 18s and one with 17s -- but make sure you don't look before you drive them. Then see if you can tell difference, and if so, whether you can tell which is which.

Finally, as someone noted, what we are talking about here is just tire size, not whether the sport suspension should be ordered -- the 530xiT cannot be ordered with a sports suspension. (The sports package on the 530xiT 2007 does not have the sports suspension).

Just my 2 cents.

jbeene
03-05-2007, 05:43 PM
What a thread...I feel compelled to add my 2 cents even though objectivity seems to have been lost in the post.

I have the same car as Ademmit with the same snow tire set up and agree with his post.

I've had several BMW's all with the various sport packages. All were AWD except a 330i zhp which had staggered 18's. It was by far the best handling but did have a rough ride and did tramline at the slightest hint of a rut. It was a much more sedate car when the matched wheels and 17 inch snow tires went on. It didn't handle as well though.

The same goes for the 530xiT. Perception of handling is really all we are talking about because unless you are on the track an opportunity to test your car at the limit is unlikely in day to day driving. I can't wait for the snow to stop for the year so I can put the 18's back on.

Different people look for different things in their cars, most people on this site are enthusiasts who chose a BMW because of how it drives. I suspect there are few people here who chose to post because they bought a BMW for its perception by others. The "perception" crowd typically buys non sport packaged automatics. The enthusiasts usually do not.

Maybe you'd be better off in an A6 Avant?

royz86
03-06-2007, 01:04 AM
just get the sports without wheel upgrade

ademitt
03-06-2007, 07:14 AM
just get the sports without wheel upgrade

Not possible in Canada and most likely the States as well.

SteVTEC
03-06-2007, 08:56 AM
Different people look for different things in their cars, most people on this site are enthusiasts who chose a BMW because of how it drives. I suspect there are few people here who chose to post because they bought a BMW for its perception by others. The "perception" crowd typically buys non sport packaged automatics. The enthusiasts usually do not.Everybody seems to have their own definition of "enthusiast" too. I'm an enthusiast and plan to buy a non sport package automatic 5er. I'll save the manual and crisper handling sport package for the Z4 or 3er convertible down the road. This is not a car I intend to rip around corners with, and plus I have winters, snow, and crappy road surfaces to deal with. I'm an auto enthusiast who appreciates exceptionally well designed and engineered vehicles, which I feel the E60 is, more so than any other sedan in its class. If I ordered one without a manual or the sport package does that suddenly mean I'm not an enthusiast or am buying the car for perception? I don't think so. You did add "typically" and "usually" qualifiers though, so maybe I'm an oddball. :)

AF
03-06-2007, 09:15 AM
If your driving in snow, then going with the 18's would then require you get a second set of wheels for winter use since the 18's come with summer tires ...

It sucks that in order to get the 18's you can't get all season tires on the xi ...

shabbaman
03-06-2007, 10:41 PM
If your driving in snow, then going with the 18's would then require you get a second set of wheels for winter use since the 18's come with summer tires ...

It sucks that in order to get the 18's you can't get all season tires on the xi ...

And with the 18's, you're also transitioning to the RFT's.


I've been told that 18's and the L.I.E. don't play nice together.

SC400
03-07-2007, 10:34 AM
And with the 18's, you're also transitioning to the RFT's.


I've been told that 18's and the L.I.E. don't play nice together.

Pardon my ignorance but what are "the L.I.E."? Thanks.

HWF
03-07-2007, 11:25 AM
Everybody seems to have their own definition of "enthusiast" too. I'm an enthusiast and plan to buy a non sport package automatic 5er. I'll save the manual and crisper handling sport package for the Z4 or 3er convertible down the road. This is not a car I intend to rip around corners with, and plus I have winters, snow, and crappy road surfaces to deal with. I'm an auto enthusiast who appreciates exceptionally well designed and engineered vehicles, which I feel the E60 is, more so than any other sedan in its class. If I ordered one without a manual or the sport package does that suddenly mean I'm not an enthusiast or am buying the car for perception? I don't think so. You did add "typically" and "usually" qualifiers though, so maybe I'm an oddball. :)

Thanks for your post. :thumbup: I agree with you 100%, and as you can see from my "signature", I will soon be taking delivery (ED) of a 530xi. I don't think driving a 4 wheel drive car makes me less of an enthusiast, whatever that means. I did not order the sport package simply because the xi foregoes much of the sport's advantage. Ordering the sport would have provided mostly cosmetic enhancements.

Doid23
03-07-2007, 03:49 PM
Pardon my ignorance but what are "the L.I.E."? Thanks.

LIE = Long Island Expressway, main highway running from Manhattan out to Eastern Long Island.

SSbear44
03-07-2007, 03:50 PM
It is the LIE and the rest of the destroyed NYC area roads that is causeing me to get the tire and wheel insurance. I have busted 16 and 17" rims, I can only imagine what one good pothole strike will do to an 18"

shabbaman
03-07-2007, 10:26 PM
It is the LIE and the rest of the destroyed NYC area roads that is causeing me to get the tire and wheel insurance. I have busted 16 and 17" rims, I can only imagine what one good pothole strike will do to an 18"

I was driving one night on the Belt Parkway to the safety and sanctity of New Jersey, doing about 45 - 50 mph when I hit a pothole so deep that not only did my rim flatten out on one side but within a mile my tire was completely out of air (no more than a minute or so). That was on 17's.

shabbaman
03-07-2007, 10:36 PM
Thanks for your post. :thumbup: I agree with you 100%, and as you can see from my "signature", I will soon be taking delivery (ED) of a 530xi. I don't think driving a 4 wheel drive car makes me less of an enthusiast, whatever that means. I did not order the sport package simply because the xi foregoes much of the sport's advantage. Ordering the sport would have provided mostly cosmetic enhancements.

While the ZSP on the xi's is superficial, I love the comfort seats and sport steering wheel, they are very nice and worth the money, in my opinion, regardless of what the package is called.

I believe that a true ZSP is a special BMW (although not nearly as special as the ///M cars) that is more capable than its' non-sport counterparts and I do wish that the folks over at BMW would have come up with a better package name for the xi's.

It's a little cheesy, like putting an ///M badge on a 530i

Ugly Bear
03-08-2007, 03:56 PM
Thanks for your post. :thumbup: Ordering the sport would have provided mostly cosmetic enhancements.

Sport package on xi only includes sport steering wheels and comfort seats. xi does not come with sport suspension or 18" wheels. 18" wheels is a separate option and sport suspension is not available on xi. Difference in price between sport package and comfor seats alone (and you DO want comfort seats) is very small, so it is simpler to get sport package.

I ordered 18" wheels simply because it is a very cheap upgrade - $600 for 4 wheels is nothing when each OEM wheel typically cost $450. If I don't like them I am sure I can sell or exchange them to 17" ones.

Nick325xiT 5spd
03-08-2007, 04:12 PM
thanks for your answer. unlike many on this board i am not an aspiring race car driver. nor am i trying to impress blondes with big hair. nor am i trying to outdo the geek next to me at trafiic lift or create something to talk about at so. cal bimmerfest meets. i like bmws because the styling is great, the build quality is high and the fit and finish are also high quality. i appreciate the engineering and driving feel. i will happily sacrifice handling precsion for a smooth ride. and no, i dont want my car catching every rut in the road. if that makes me stupid, it also makes you an :asshole:
No, you idiot, you don't get it. I have no problem with you preferring the non-sport ride, just so long as I don't have to sit in your car. The only problem that I have with you and your service manager is that you two can't seem to get the language right.

Too funny. :)

jacksonhunter31
03-08-2007, 04:33 PM
Hey guys..calling people names for disagreeing about something as esoteric is wheel/tire size and handling is a little over the top...

ademitt
03-08-2007, 05:04 PM
Sport package on xi only includes sport steering wheels and comfort seats. xi does not come with sport suspension or 18" wheels. 18" wheels is a separate option and sport suspension is not available on xi. Difference in price between sport package and comfor seats alone (and you DO want comfort seats) is very small, so it is simpler to get sport package.

I ordered 18" wheels simply because it is a very cheap upgrade - $600 for 4 wheels is nothing when each OEM wheel typically cost $450. If I don't like them I am sure I can sell or exchange them to 17" ones.

Interesting, in Canada, the standard wheel on an xi is a 17" style 138. When you get the sport package, you get 18" 123's as part of the package.

No separate option for wheel change from 17 to 18 without purchase of the sport package for us up north.