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Tire Rack's Tires, Wheels, Brakes & Suspension
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:58 AM
macct macct is offline
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Location: CT
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 77
Mein Auto: BMW X3 3.5i M-Spt, VW GTI
Want to replace my X3 M Sport's LS-2 - narrowed the choices

I will be picking up my X3 M-Sport in about 2 weeks and I am already thinking about changing out the 19" LS-2 runflats. I think the runflats limit the car's capabilities and enjoyment. Comments on the forums have been less than flattering and the TireRack survey shows them as being one of the lowest scoring grand touring tires. I rather replace the tires now and enjoy the car, putting the runflats on when the lease ends.

I narrowed the slection to 3 high performance all season tires. The intent is to improve upon the LS-2 performance, and have a tire that can deal with some wintery conditions.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS - I have these on my GTI. They seem like a nice all around choice. They are softer riding and quieter than Michelins, but seem less performance oriented. They may be a better choice on the X3 than the GTI.

Michelin Pilot Sport AS Plus - I replaced my Mini Clubman's (fun car prior to GTI) runflats with these and they were a dramatic improvement while keeping the Mini's fantastic steering response. The main negative is they were a bit noisy, and not a great winter selection (it didn't matter given its use). I assume they would be better than the LS-2s, but lag behind the DWS for winter conditions. The question is how much of a trade-off?

Bridgestone RE970 AS Pole Position - They are priced between the Continentals and Michelins. They are also the TireRack's top rated high peformance all season tire. My only hesitation with these tires is past history with Bridgestone. Many years back I had Bridgestone's on a Audi S4 and they were problematic, between bubbles and vibration. While it was years ago and summer tires, their warranty service was horrible, especially for virtually new tires. I am also not sure of their winter performance capabilities, but I assume they have to be better than the Michelins.

Any thoughts on these three? Will all of these choices outperform the LS-2? I asked similar questions on the F25 forums, but it seems most owners are sticking with the runflats. My intent would also be to add a mobility kit, and hopefully not a spare tire. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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