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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

We are in still in the midst of deciding on options for a new X5. We are seriously leaning towards a sport activity model. This comes with the 20" Y spoke wheels with performance run flats. Based on reading here, I am a little worried about comfort of ride with these.

How much of an improvement will moving to all season non-run flats help the 20" wheel?

A related question: Would a greater improvement in comfort be seen moving from 20" all season nonRFT to 19" all season nonRFT OR 20" performance RFT to 20" all season nonRFT?
 

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If you have 3rd row seat, RFT is needed . . . . no space to store a spare tire.

Ride comfort question - tough one to answer as I have not tried all the combo you indicate . . . . but my *guess* - the side wall difference should be the dominant factor . . . . i.e 20" to 19" non-RFT should fetch you more ride improvement than 20" RFT vs. non RFT. Again only my guess.

IMO best combo is 19" non RFT (assuming no 3rd row) with adaptive drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your opinion. We won't have a third row.

Yeah...I was going to go with 19"s as they seem seem like a good compromise, but the sport activity comes with 20s, so I kind of feel like I am paying for them anyway. And, I like the way they look as well.

Anybody here move from 20" RFTs to 20" all season. How much improvement did you feel in the ride.

Thanks.
 

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You can get Sports Activity with 19" wheels. I just took delivery of that configuration back in June. The 20" wheels damage easily by most accounts, and that stopped me from getting them. As you will probably agree, the roads around can be pretty crappy (especially in SF), and one pothole could set you back a few grand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can get Sports Activity with 19" wheels. I just took delivery of that configuration back in June. The 20" wheels damage easily by most accounts, and that stopped me from getting them. As you will probably agree, the roads around can be pretty crappy (especially in SF), and one pothole could set you back a few grand.
Thanks for your comments. Yeah...I know you can get the 19". Did you get the 335s...isn't that what they default to if you don't get the 20s? Just my personal taste, but they aren't my favorite wheels. Plus there is something about paying for 20s in the SA package, but not actually getting my moneys worth.

Agree with the roads around here though....pretty bad. I have to memorize where all the bad spots are on my normal commute for my car.

I have thought about getting the 19" 223M after the fact and trying to sell the 20s, but I can't actually find any 223s to look at in person. They come on the 50i m package standard, but everyone upgrades to the 20s with the M package. I wouldn't have to decide on those now anyway I guess.
 

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I do have the 335's. It is all personal taste, but I actually think they look better than the 214's. I like the open design in the Y spoke on the 335, and the 20's just look less interesting to me. The 214's also cost $900 more....plus the cost of bent rims. It is an interesting dilemma! Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I should probably look at the 335 again...you don't see them that much. I like them far away, but for some reason when I saw them up close before I wasn't as excited.

I really wish I could see the 223s in person. I like them, but in some of the few pictures I have seen online, they don't seem open enough and may even make the wheel look a bit smaller.

I may end up getting AD, which might make the whole comfort thing not as big of a deal....don't think my wife wants to spend the extra 3K or so.
 

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Get the 214s and then get 19s with all season tires for the winter. Can find them for reasonable price on Ebay and tires on Tire Rack. Plus, the rubber on the 214s will not last beyond 10k anyway - this way you can squeez more out of them instead of having to purchase a new set of tires. Although I see you are in SF area, so perhaps my NY advice is not applicable to you...
 

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Do keep in mind that "RFT" is a characteristic and NOT A SPECIFIC TIRE.

If anyone posted "my tires were crappy until I switched to another tire" everyone would say "What a useless post without specific brands'

Yet everyone seems to thing just saying "RFT' describes the tire completely.

Michelin latitude ZPs are pretty nice tires...IMO

A
 

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My .02 - we had Dunlop SportMaxx RFT's on our '08 Sport 4.8 with 275/315 combo and the ride quality was absolutely terrible. I equate it to riding on 24" wheels on an X5. They were also very noisy. Hard as rocks and that is at 80 degrees. I could not imagine riding on these when the temps get into the 50's, 40's and even 30's.

Last week we switched to Continental DWS's and I cannot believe the difference in ride quality. The X5 is so much more lively, soaks up bumps in a 'firm but compliant' kind of way (where as before it was cringeworthy), the steering now has a more appropriate weighting to it and the handling has been returned to this SAV. The tramlining on uneven roads has been reduced dramatically, the RFT's would wander all over the place. Not to mention that we'll be able to run them deeper into the winter being an all season. I wouldn't take the RFT's in even an inch of snow.

In my opinion, the RFT's are a completely unacceptable optional tire being put on by BMW (and other car makers for that matter). My advice is at whatever cost, get a proper tire to fully enjoy what the X5 was meant to be - ditch the 3rd row if you have to...yes it is that big of a difference.
 

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Another aspect to consider is the tire wear. Multiple people complained on how fast the tires are going on the 20" staggered setup, you can search for "tire wear" on this forum. It seems counterintuitive, but many people also complained about worse handling with the 20"s. It seems like impact on the ride quality is much less than that on the wear. Mine came with 19" and I am quite happy with both the ride and the wear so far. In the long run 20" is a very expensive proposition: you are likely to need a second set of wheels for winter, plus rim replacements or insurance, plus higher wear, plus *much* more expensive tires for the 20" setup as compared to the 19". What you get for all this dough is a lot of trouble and good looks (yes, it does look darn good with staggered wheels). Almost like dating a supermodel :bigpimp:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the comments....a lot of good stuff to think about.

If I get the 20's I will be putting all season tires on them...either Cont DWSs or Mich Lat Tour HPs. I really don't want to change tires for winter or just to go up to the mountains. The summer tire just isn't worth it to me, plus it will wear out a lot more quickly. If you go with an all season tire, the difference in price is not that much for a staggered 20" setup vs 19". At tirerack for DWSs, it is $1018 vs $844. Not too bad.

I am just wondering how much better a 19" all weather say a DWS, would ride compared to a 20" DWS. I am starting to lean toward just getting the sport activity with the default 20's. Maybe try to convince the dealership to swap an all season for me. Regardless if they do, I could drive it with the 20s and if I don't like the ride, sell the 20s once the tires wear out and get 19s. I am still thinking, but this might be the best solution for me. If we end up getting AD, maybe the ride will be fine with the 20s as well.

How much wheel damage have folks experienced with the 20s? I haven't had any issues with my E46 running 225/40 19s and 255/35 19s. Maybe I have been lucky.
 

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FWIW, mine had 19s. I bought a set of 20" OE 214s with the Bridgestone RFT. Ride a lot firmer, feels every nook and cranny in the road. Strangely,the 20's had less tram lining than the all season Bridgestone RFT 19s on the grooved/cemented 85 in San Jose. Once the 20's hit about 18k mi, the road noise increased dramatically. The outside edges of the fronts were worn to the point of no tread and the inside edges of the rears were down to threads at 19k.

I looked into getting non-RFT conti DWS in 20s, but in the end, I prefer to keep the RFT since I have 3rd row and no way to carry spare. I ended up putting the 19s back on and so much nicer to drive everyday. I removed the fender flares and basically back to stock look, other than having the 19's powder coated black semi-gloss (style 212, looks nice!).

I felt that the price of the 20in tires along with quick wear and super rough ride pushed me to go back to the 19s. Also, we make trips to Tahoe in the winter, so makes more sense to have the smaller (and all season) tires as well that will handle better in snow....Ard's comments and thoughts about rim size helped "seal the deal". It really seems to make no sense from a performance measure to have the larger rim. However, I must admit, the huge tires sure did look very nice.

One other observation, I's say I had a 1-2 mpg drop with the 20's, likely from the increased unsprung weight associated with the larger rims.

So, I'll likely post my 20's along with the flares for sale soon. Just got to clean them up. Anyone in SF Bay area interested, shoot me a PM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
One other observation, I's say I had a 1-2 mpg drop with the 20's, likely from the increased unsprung weight associated with the larger rims.
Wow, really? Is mpg that much worse with 20's compared to 19s? I know it wouldn't be as good due to weight, but 1-2 mpg on 23 mpg is in the 5-10% range, which is a lot.

Have others witnessed this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I ended up putting the 19s back on and so much nicer to drive everyday. I removed the fender flares and basically back to stock look, other than having the 19's powder coated black semi-gloss (style 212, looks nice!).
why did you remove the flares? I think I like the look even without the 20s
 

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why did you remove the flares? I think I like the look even without the 20s
I didn't like the look of the narrower tires with the flared arches. Kind of makes the X look a bit top heavy (which I guess it really is anyhow :)). To me, it looks more proportional with the original arches. If I lived in a place with seasons, and I were to be switching them out every year for a snow set, I'd without a doubt just leave the flared arches on all the time.

Yes, the mileage difference was very noticeable. Increased unsprung weight and huge contact surface (increased friction/drag) all contribute.
 

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I just switched from RFts to non-rft toyo proxes st2. I am never going back to RFTs. My 18s now have studded tires. The ride is so much better.
 
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