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-   -   BMW's Choice Of Tires For The X3 (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110841)

pipo 09-08-2005 03:02 PM

BMW's Choice Of Tires For The X3
 
I did a bit of research on the Tire Rack website to learn more about the three different OEM tires that BMW uses for the X3, and discovered some interesting info. Please keep in mind that these obsevations are limited to the specific tire models used as OEM tires, and not to the entire brand. Each of the three tires is in a different performance category, making survey comparisons difficult: the Michelin is a Grand Touring All Season Passenger Tire, the Bridgestone is a Standard Touring All Season Passenger Tire, while the Pirelli is a Highway All Season Light Truck/SUV tire.

1. The Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 is almost universally despised, scoring dead last (15 of 15 in the customer surveys) for Grand Touring All Season Tires. Major concerns included poor wet traction, hydroplaning resistance and snow traction. Slightly higher marks were scored in the other categories surveyed. Most customers said they would probably not buy this tire again. [545 surveys submitted; 11,972,501 miles reported]

Other Michelin tires in the same category ranked 7, 9, 11 and 12 of 15. The category winner was the Bridgestone Turanza LS-Z, and other Bridgestone tires ranked 3 and 5 in this category. The Pirelli P6000 Sport Veloce ranked 10 of 15.

2. The Bridgestone Turanza EL-42 ranked 27 of 29 in the customer surveys for Standard Touring All Season Tires, and received even lower scores than the Michelin Pilot HX MXM4, especially in wet traction, hydroplaning resistance and snow traction. Scary. Most customers said they would definitely not buy this tire again. [386 surveys submitted; 7,716,223 miles reported]

The category winner was the Bridgestone Turanza LS-T, and another Bridgestone tire ranked 17 of 29. Pirelli tires ranked 10 and 12 of 29.

3. The Pirelli Scorpion STR ranked 13 of 62 in the customer surveys for Highway All Season Tires. It generally scored well in the surveys, receiving its lowest marks for Deep Snow Traction and Ice Traction (although these low marks are still appreciably higher than the marks received by the OEM Michelin and Bridgestone tires). Most customers said they would probably buy this tire again. [58 surveys submitted; 648,080 miles reported]

Other Pirelli tires ranked 10 and 19 of 62. The category winner was the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza, and other Bridgestone tires ranked 17, 34, 42, 52, 53, 55 and 57 of 62. Michelin tires ranked 5, 6, 24, 26 and 27 of 62.


***


The bottom line: Don't judge a tire by its brand name.

PS -- I decided to repost this as a new thread, because it was a bit off topic in its original thread.

Ishniknork 09-08-2005 05:44 PM

Hmmm... My '05 X3 came with Dunlop Sport SP 01's. 'Course I did get the Y-spoke wheels, 18x8" front, 18x9"rear, and the sport option. I like them very much. Probably not so great in the snow, it hardly ever snows here and it's gone in days if it does. They do seem to do well in the rain and are great on dry pavement.

saloveku 09-08-2005 09:03 PM

My new X3 just came with the Pirelli's. Looks like it is the best choice for Canadian winters.

SilverX3 09-08-2005 09:41 PM

We all get Michelin in Australia

LAbeemer 02-17-2011 10:57 PM

Michelin ALL THE WAY
 
My wife drives a 2006 X3 and she has 55,000+ miles on her original Michelin - Pilot MXM4 tires. I would say that's proof in the pudding. They even still had 6/32" tread left on them (probably good for another 5-10K miles). Those tires are GREAT. However, we decided to buy 4 new tires today from Costco and went with the Michelin - Primacy MXV4. According to the salesman, these have a 60,000 mile limited warranty. Sounds good to me. IMO: The Pilots were/are amazing tires. However, for $60 less, these NEW Primacy tires will do just fine.

legalfee 02-18-2011 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAbeemer (Post 5856912)
My wife drives a 2006 X3 and she has 55,000+ miles on her original Michelin - Pilot MXM4 tires. I would say that's proof in the pudding. They even still had 6/32" tread left on them (probably good for another 5-10K miles). Those tires are GREAT. However, we decided to buy 4 new tires today from Costco and went with the Michelin - Primacy MXV4. According to the salesman, these have a 60,000 mile limited warranty. Sounds good to me. IMO: The Pilots were/are amazing tires. However, for $60 less, these NEW Primacy tires will do just fine.

I'm with you. I've got almost 75K on the OEM Pilots on my 2004 and I was thinking about the Pilot AS Sport Plus but the tire guy talked me into the Primacy. That's what I'm going to get. I'm almost to the thread wear indicators.

rlgarry 02-23-2011 07:06 AM

Problem with Pirelli Scorpion Replacement Tires
 
I just replaced my tires on my 2007 X3 with the original factory tires (the ones that were on there), the Pirelli Scorpion STR and the new tires are a complete nightmare! They are incredibly bouncy and they thrash you all over the place even on the smallest bump (feels like you are riding on a school bus). I had them rebalanced and still the same. I don't understand how this could be when I just had the same exact tires on there with no problems in the bouncing category. I have had two other people drive in it and they both said that it is very bad and uncomfortable. My old Pirelli's still had plenty of tread left but they had hairline cracks due to dry rot so I had to replace them. I wish I could have those put back on at this point.

The tire place has a good warranty and wants me to try a Toyo Versado LX II and says they are a better tire than the MIchelin and Pirelli. I was going to try the Michelin Pilot but it got horrible reviews. I am really not sure what to do at this point. Do I have them order another set of the Pirelli's? Could it have just been a defect in the one set? Are there other suspension/strut issues going on simultaneously? Seems rather odd though that it would just start as the tires got replaced. Anyone had this problem with the Pirelli's or have any suggestions?

al_macaroni 02-23-2011 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rlgarry (Post 5869726)
I just replaced my tires on my 2007 X3 with the original factory tires (the ones that were on there), the Pirelli Scorpion STR and the new tires are a complete nightmare! They are incredibly bouncy and they thrash you all over the place even on the smallest bump (feels like you are riding on a school bus). I had them rebalanced and still the same. I don't understand how this could be when I just had the same exact tires on there with no problems in the bouncing category. I have had two other people drive in it and they both said that it is very bad and uncomfortable. My old Pirelli's still had plenty of tread left but they had hairline cracks due to dry rot so I had to replace them. I wish I could have those put back on at this point.

The tire place has a good warranty and wants me to try a Toyo Versado LX II and says they are a better tire than the MIchelin and Pirelli. I was going to try the Michelin Pilot but it got horrible reviews. I am really not sure what to do at this point. Do I have them order another set of the Pirelli's? Could it have just been a defect in the one set? Are there other suspension/strut issues going on simultaneously? Seems rather odd though that it would just start as the tires got replaced. Anyone had this problem with the Pirelli's or have any suggestions?

First thing, does the tire pressure in each tire match the vaues printed on the sticker in the driver's door jamb? Over or under inflation may be causing an issue.

I have had similar experiences when putting new tires on other cars. Your new tires will definitely feel different than your old tires. The rubber compound of your old tires has aged and is not as pliable as new rubber. Also, the old tires have less tread which make the tire less pliable. The old tires are going to give you more road feel in corners and over bumps.

Your new tires have more tread and softer rubber which results in a feel of looseness when cornering. That new, deep tread is flexing in the corner. Also, the new rubber is going to feel softer when going over bumps. The old tire is going to provide more road feel than the new.

Some tires also have a break-in period. You may need to drive a few hundred miles before they are fully broken in.

rlgarry 02-23-2011 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by al_macaroni (Post 5870195)
First thing, does the tire pressure in each tire match the vaues printed on the sticker in the driver's door jamb? Over or under inflation may be causing an issue.

I have had similar experiences when putting new tires on other cars. Your new tires will definitely feel different than your old tires. The rubber compound of your old tires has aged and is not as pliable as new rubber. Also, the old tires have less tread which make the tire less pliable. The old tires are going to give you more road feel in corners and over bumps.

Your new tires have more tread and softer rubber which results in a feel of looseness when cornering. That new, deep tread is flexing in the corner. Also, the new rubber is going to feel softer when going over bumps. The old tire is going to provide more road feel than the new.

Some tires also have a break-in period. You may need to drive a few hundred miles before they are fully broken in.

Thank you for the response! Yes, they are inflated properly but I will make sure again tomorrow. I have already driven over 500 miles on them so they should be broken in a little right? They are not even just a little bouncy, they are unbearable bouncy on even the slightest bump. So much so that I am angry every time I drive my car now. Shouldn't the new tires be a better ride than the older ones? The tire place is going to replace them with the Toyo tires tomorrow and see how they work. If not, I might try the Michelin Pilot or the Michelin Primacy. I really loved my old Pirelli Scorpions so that is why I am so upset. They also seem to get the best reviews for the X3. Do you think I got a bad set of tires? Or is there a way to know if I got the right ones? I could have them order another set of the Pirelli's as well to see if there is a difference. I read something about the ones made for BMW say "made in germany" on the side. I read mine today and they look to be made in Australia but I can't be certain.

I am about to lose my mind over these tires. I was so excited to have a new set of tires and have a great ride in my X3 and like everything else with this car, it is now a problem.

Ishniknork 02-23-2011 06:12 PM

rlgarry-

Exactly what pressure did you put in the tires? If you filled them to Max. Pressure you are certainly going to get a harsh ride. The X3 manual has a chart with recommended pressures, front and back, that the tires should be inflated to according to how the vehicle is loaded. Maximum pressure on my Dunlops is 41 lbs. but that is WAY too much for an unladen condition. The manual says 32 front and 35 rear for my staggered/sport tire configuration with 1-2 people on board. I run all of them at 32 psi. and it helps out a lot with the ride and tire wear is very even.

darbyogill 02-23-2011 06:28 PM

Of all of the things that go into car maker choosing a tire, liability is pretty close to the top of the list. After the Ford/Firestone debacle, OEMs are loathe to work with any but the biggest of the big boys. Add in the fact that BMW works with tire manufactures to make sure tires and suspension work together, and that means you won't see Hankooks or Nittos on your BMW anytime soon. Your safety is really their top concern, and in this case it has nothing to do with absolute grip or break away charateristics.

rlgarry 02-23-2011 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ishniknork (Post 5871547)
rlgarry-

Exactly what pressure did you put in the tires? If you filled them to Max. Pressure you are certainly going to get a harsh ride. The X3 manual has a chart with recommended pressures, front and back, that the tires should be inflated to according to how the vehicle is loaded. Maximum pressure on my Dunlops is 41 lbs. but that is WAY too much for an unladen condition. The manual says 32 front and 35 rear for my staggered/sport tire configuration with 1-2 people on board. I run all of them at 32 psi. and it helps out a lot with the ride and tire wear is very even.

That's a very good point. I know that when I brought the car into BMW they checked the tires and said they were overinflated and lowered them. Then I had it rebalanced at the tire place hoping that was the problem so maybe they did reinflate them again not knowing they had been lowered. Most of the time it is just me in the car and maybe some cargo. I will double check the manual and have them adjusted accordingly and see if it helps. Thanks for the tip!

Ishniknork 02-23-2011 11:16 PM

Here's another tip for you: Invest in a Tire Pressure Gauge. I never trust dealers or tire stores to inflate to the correct pressures and as a rule you should check your pressure at least every couple of months. Always check them when the tires are cold.

Good luck, I hope you get this figured out...:thumbup:

bjc23 03-14-2011 07:05 AM

Hi Everyone, so from looking at the Consumer Reports reviews on tires, I'm leaning to getting the Primacy also. Except I noticed everytime I go on to tirerack or costco, it doesn't list that tire as an option. Then on Amazon.com it showed that it is an option but as an "up-step". I googled to get an understanding of "up-step" but wanted to make sure that I don't have to buy anything since the tire falls within the range of what I can put on my 2006 X3. 245/45R18
Hopefully these Michelin tires won't be as bumpy and loud as the OEM Pirelli Scorpion tires. Anyone else have any other tires they recommend?

UncleJ 03-14-2011 08:08 AM

My '06 non sport came with the factory 18" option which I didn't really want but the rest of the car was perfect. The OEM tires were the Scorpions and performed very well although were horrible riding over rough roads. At 48K miles I replaced them with the Michelin Pilot Sport Plus tires (top rated at the time from 'rack) and was very pleased. They performed as well or better than the Scorpions and were much better riding over the nasty bits. Would get them again if I needed tires.:thumbup:

LMC 03-14-2011 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjc23 (Post 5916655)
Hi Everyone, so from looking at the Consumer Reports reviews on tires, I'm leaning to getting the Primacy also. Except I noticed everytime I go on to tirerack or costco, it doesn't list that tire as an option. Then on Amazon.com it showed that it is an option but as an "up-step". I googled to get an understanding of "up-step" but wanted to make sure that I don't have to buy anything since the tire falls within the range of what I can put on my 2006 X3. 245/45R18
Hopefully these Michelin tires won't be as bumpy and loud as the OEM Pirelli Scorpion tires. Anyone else have any other tires they recommend?

Hmmm -- the original equipment 18-inch size for E83 X3s is 235/50R-18. If wider rears are fitted, as on some X3s with sport package, the rears are 255/45R-18.

Your 245/45R-18 is one size smaller than OE. No big deal, but if your priorities include ride comfort, I would recommend staying with the higher profile 235/50. As far as not listing the Primacy as an X3 option, could that be due to lower load rating? You would also want a tire with a load rating equal to or greater than the OE tires.

Evlengr 03-14-2011 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rlgarry (Post 5871115)
Thank you for the response! Yes, they are inflated properly but I will make sure again tomorrow. I have already driven over 500 miles on them so they should be broken in a little right? They are not even just a little bouncy, they are unbearable bouncy on even the slightest bump. So much so that I am angry every time I drive my car now. Shouldn't the new tires be a better ride than the older ones? The tire place is going to replace them with the Toyo tires tomorrow and see how they work. If not, I might try the Michelin Pilot or the Michelin Primacy. I really loved my old Pirelli Scorpions so that is why I am so upset. They also seem to get the best reviews for the X3. Do you think I got a bad set of tires? Or is there a way to know if I got the right ones? I could have them order another set of the Pirelli's as well to see if there is a difference. I read something about the ones made for BMW say "made in germany" on the side. I read mine today and they look to be made in Australia but I can't be certain.

I am about to lose my mind over these tires. I was so excited to have a new set of tires and have a great ride in my X3 and like everything else with this car, it is now a problem.

Michelin Pilot Sports are very nice and not bouncy. I replaced my Pirelli's with them as I have injured my back three times and ride is critical. No problems in any category for handling, bad weather, feel. I like them a lot.

bjc23 05-25-2011 05:32 AM

Tire Update and Endorsement
 
After a lot of research and asking several tire stores, I decided on the Toyo Versado CUV. (btw, every tire store guy laughed at me when I said "Consumer Reports said...." hahahha I figure those tire store guys know best.)
So after initially leaning towards the Michelin Primacy (which I had on my Toyota Avalon) or the Michelin Pilot, I was recommended to get the Toyo Versado CUV.
If you're looking to buy online, I found them at Treadepot.com had them shipped to the dealer and had them put it on for me.

Some of the reasons I was given why to choose this tire is because the Toyo Versado CUV was designed for SUV/LUV/CUV (crossover vehicles), unlike the Primacy or Pilot which is made for sedans and coupes. I've had Toyo tires before on my benz, and they were great tires. So I already knew it's a great brand.

Compared to the Pirelli Scorpion tires OEM I had on my X3, I don't feel every little bump or pot hole when I drive anymore. I can't tell you how much better the ride has been with these new tires. It's like night and day compared to the Pirellis.
So far the ride has been SO MUCH smoother, quieter and they seem to grip better than the Primacy I had on my sedan. Driving in the pouring rain, the tires have been excellent so far. (We've had some flooded roads the past 2 weeks here in NY/NJ.)
My miles per gallon has increased by almost 2 miles already. So the rolling resistance is much better than the original Pirelli tires I had on my X3. Saves gas too.

The mile warranty for Toyo Versado CUV is 50,000. Pricewise, cheaper than the Michelin. Better brand. So it was a win/win/win. The reviews I read in regards to driving in snow were pretty good. So I'll see how it handles the snow when winter time comes.

I highly encourage everyone to check out the Toyo Versado CUV. Toyo have a high reputation and the Versado CUV is a tire made for SUVs and it's a better tire in every facet. I'm extremely happy with the tire. Finally feels like I'm riding a BMW.

legalfee 05-25-2011 06:18 AM

Cool I'm glad the Toyos are working for you. I just can't bring myself to put non Michelins on my SAV. I've got 82K on my Pilots and it's time for new tires. I'm torn between the Pilot AS Sport Plus and the Primacy. The only difference is the Primacys 60K warranty. Snow is not a factor since it rarely snows here.

bjc23 05-25-2011 07:13 AM

If you're not willing to give the Toyos a go, I'd say go with the Primacy. Better ratings overall than the Pilot. I've never had the Pilots, but I've had the Primacy and they were pretty good on my Toyota.

Just curious, but is there a story behind the loyalty to Michelin?

spokelizard 05-25-2011 09:40 AM

Thanks for the suggestion about Toyo CUV. I'll consider them when I'm ready to buy tires. I like that they're specifically designated for SUV/CUV use (like the Pirelli Scorpions, and unlike the Michelins that have been discussed in this post).

Supercourse 05-25-2011 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spokelizard (Post 6089462)
I like that they're specifically designated for SUV/CUV use (like the Pirelli Scorpions, and unlike the Michelins that have been discussed in this post).

The difference between an "SUV tire" and a "passenger tire" has been pondered here before by more than one bimmerfest member.

So now that this 6-year old tire thread has once again been given new life, I'll put in my 2 cents worth.

I can see that a "light truck (LT) tire" should be different than a "car tire".
Higher load capacity (tougher sidewalls) and a chunkier tread pattern to deal with dirt roads, mud, etc.

And an "SUV tire" should possibly be mid-way between those two, at least for owners that use their SUV to haul things off the beaten path.

No disputing the fact than the Pirelli Scorpion STR was developed in collaboration with BMW specifically for the X3.
But it was also used as O.E. on a number of other vehicles, including the some Volvo XC's I believe. Not sure if they are called wagons or SUV's.
(Recogizing that Pirelli have been using the Scorpion name for decades for "off-road" type tires,
and also that there is a Scorpion STR-A model with a tread pattern designed for domestic passenger cars.)

Does the fact that BMW equipped some X3's with "passenger tires" from Dunlop, Bridgestone and Michelin tend to weaken the case for SUV's needing a specific type of tire? Dunno.

So where does this leave us?

In the case of Pirelli Scorpion STR's, they do work well with the X3, and when fairly new perform well in the snow too.
As they age, it is possible that the ride suffers more than many other tires. Don't know for sure.

For the Toyo Versado CUV, I appreciate the design consideration for a particular weight class of vehicle,
and recognition that most of those vehicle owners put ride comfort ahead of high-speed handling.
Sounds like a good choice, especially if the relatively high retail price is because of tire construction and quality rather than marketing/advertising budgets.
Treadwear and performance as the tire ages is something you have to take a chance on with just about any tire.
And it seems to vary depending on what vehicle it is on.
All you can really do when physically looking at tires is note which ones have an unyielding sidewall and which ones have a really soft sidewall. And then go from there.

Lastly, as has been noted here before, some tires such as the Nokian WR G2, have some sizes designated as "SUV" (embossed on the tire) with no apparent difference in the load capacity, tread pattern, speed rating, or anything else.

So it's not easy making a decision on replacements for an X3.

Final thoughts on Michelin ....

Many years ago when it was just another French company, I think you could rely on uniformity in its fairly narrow range of product.
Nowadays as a multi-national, with licensed factories in China ("Warrior",etc.), and a plethora of product lines, it's harder to evaluate.
Quite definitely, Michelin has put out some bad tire models along with some very good ones.
But there is normally a premium price regardless - except at Costco for their specific "X" model.
Having once had an internal breakdown of a Michelin XGT H4, I'm not one of their loyal diehard supporters.
But I don't rule them out at all, with the right tire at the right price.

X3emist 05-25-2011 02:32 PM

My 2 cents worth
 
1- Does Tire Rack sell Mich's, if so wonder what their margin is. Must be less than on other brands because I have never heard of that many M tires with such low tires.

2- I have had Toyo's on my E39 for years and had them on other vehicles before that. They are good tires and I would recommend them in general.

legalfee 05-26-2011 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjc23 (Post 6089117)
If you're not willing to give the Toyos a go, I'd say go with the Primacy. Better ratings overall than the Pilot. I've never had the Pilots, but I've had the Primacy and they were pretty good on my Toyota.

Just curious, but is there a story behind the loyalty to Michelin?

It's just I've used Michelins for over 30 years on all my cars and they've performed great and had great wear. If it ain't broke...

S93D 05-26-2011 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ishniknork (Post 5872210)
Here's another tip for you: Invest in a Tire Pressure Gauge. I never trust dealers or tire stores to inflate to the correct pressures and as a rule you should check your pressure at least every couple of months. Always check them when the tires are cold.

Good luck, I hope you get this figured out...:thumbup:

+1

I watched a reputable tire shop check the tires. The man said he puts 35 psi in them. That's a good figure for most cars but rarely the exact figure recommended (could be 32, 36, etc. depending on the car).

Ever since my usual gas stations stopped having free air, I bought my own compressor for something like $45. Now my pressure is always right. I can check the tires when they are cold, unlike before when some short distance driving was done. Even a bean counter would agree that the compressor will pay for itself in possibly 6-7 years. If you have a 3 car family, it will pay for itself sooner.


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