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I've heard the 19" wheels ride "nicer" than 20's....and that 20's look better, etc. Question is, are the 20's only an option with summer/performance tires? I live in a wet climate (pacific nw)....and wont have 2 sets of tires. So would the 20's be miserable?

Second question...whats the lifespan of the 20's if you drive normally (not aggressively)?
 

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The 540i is a great car, you won't be disappointed.

Tires / oil / brakes are like politics. So many entrenched opinions. Will dissect your post and try to respond without bias, I'm sure others will join in.

I've heard the 19" wheels ride "nicer" than 20's....and that 20's look better, etc.
Yep, with everything else being equal, same same car with the same tire type on 19's will have a more compliant ride. That is due to the additional sidewall that absorbs more than the metal on the wheel. Looks are 100% subjective, but yeah, larger wheels that are not insanely sized do have a certain appeal from aesthetics perspective. The 20 inch wheels look nice IMO. The 19's are not bad either.

Question is, are the 20's only an option with summer/performance tires?
Go to tire rack and you will find that there are all season options for the 20 inchers. The Conti DWS is a fantastic value and is available for the 20's. If the question is what will the CPO car come with, that will vary by car. Ask before you buy.

I live in a wet climate (pacific nw)....and wont have 2 sets of tires.
If there is no snow where you live a good all season will be fine. That Conti DWS that I mentioned has done well for me as a replacement tire for dry, wet, and even light snow although there is no question that a dedicated winter tire will be a safer choice for snow.

So would the 20's be miserable?

In what respect? Winter weather? Ride? Cost to replace with a quality tire? Bent rims?
Tire itself will be more important in winter than wheel size.
Ride already tackled further up.
Cost to replace will be higher but all in all negligible between 19's and 20's
Bent rims and tire damage would be my main concern if you have anything but smooth roads.

Second question...whats the lifespan of the 20's if you drive normally (not aggressively)?
Probably not very different from the 19's and again it will depend on the tire itself. On a Michelin Pilot Sport 4S you'll be lucky to get 25k miles. On a Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ or a Conti DWS you should easily get over 30k, assuming no destruction due to impact or puncture.
 
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