Choosing a tire for your car can actually be a lot of work, with so many options and price ranges to consider. Will you take the car to a shop and let them handle it, or will you order online first and take your car to a trusted tire installer?
If you live in an area of the country where snow and winter driving are not considerations, the tire selection is even easier. One tire type for the whole year will keep you on the road. For the rest of us, we have two choices: purchase two sets of tires-winter and summer- or sacrifice performance with one set of all-season tires.
Since I drive a rear wheel drive E39 here in Connecticut, snow tires are a necessity. If you drive an x-drive or all wheel drive BMW, you can get probably get away with an all season tire. The difference between a dedicated snow and an all-season is staggering, and I would suggest purchasing a dedicated snow tire to everyone.
For my Winter tire I chose an inexpensive but very well made General Arctic Altimax snow tire in 235/45/17 the stock size for an E39 with the sport package 17” wheels. They have very high ratings and are actually made in Germany. You can order these tires on Amazon here. I’m on my second season with these and expect them to last another two seasons.
The most rewarding part about having a dedicated snow tire is that it allows you to enjoy a high performance Summer tire for the rest of the year. Wet and dry grip performance don’t have to be sacrificed as one would with a generic all-season tire. All-season tires are the equivalent of buying a tool that does a mediocre job of two tasks; wouldn’t you rather have two tools that are excellent their job?
For my Summer tire I chose a Michelin Pilot Super Sport. In past years I have also tried the Continental Extreme Contact DW and Falken Azenis FK453. While the Continental and Falken are slightly more affordable than the Michelin by about $100-$200, they are not great tires and suffer from longevity issues. Both tires have very soft sidewalls and do not have a long life.
The Michelins have a much more stable sidewall and the tread wears more evenly throughout their life. Not to mention, the Super Sports are the top rated tire for wet grip performance in their class. There’s a reason why they’re fitted from the factory on a variety of Porsche, Ferrari and M cars.
Order a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports here.