Tag Archives: Vredestein

Land Rover Freelander, the best of the small SUV’s?

Freelander2-Snow-FooterWEB

In the last of our Land Rover vehicle posts, with our partner, Tyremen, we’re going to look at the baby of the family, the Freelander.

As with other posts, it’s full of Land Rover heritage, and the 4WD is second to none on a vehicle like this. So why does it need winter tyres?

A 4WD vehicle is great, lots of grip, go anywhere attitude and is perfect to keep your family safe. But, as some of you will already know, put it in a field with lots of mud or on a country winter road, and it will slide around on those summer tyres.

Why? The rubber compound on summer tyres isn’t flexible enough in colder weather, quite to opposite, it turns harder and won’t give as much grip, affects traction and acceleration and can seriously affect handling, more so if you’re towing a large trailer.

Winter tyres are designed with a more flexible rubber compound that moves and grips at 7C and below. Sipes in the tread patterns give great traction on snow, slush and icy roads and water is pushed out with the ability to clear a bucket full of water in a matter of seconds, reducing the risk of aquaplaning.

The Freelander comes in wheel sizes from 16″ to 20″, so there is a lot of winter tyres out there for most wheels. The 16″, 17″ and 18″ are perfect for a straight swap for tyres only and with a set of four starting around £520 it’s not an expensive option.

If you’re running on 19″ and 20″ wheels, this then becomes a little more difficult. Winter tyres are not made in as large quantities and can be difficult to come by, and starting at over £1000 for a set of four in the 20″ size, it starts to become a lot more expensive. Coupled with the £80 per time to have them changed over twice a year, then you’re into serious money.

So what are the options for the larger sizes? Most will opt for a wheel and tyre package and drop down an inch or two. We are firm believers in 19″ dropping to 17″ and 20″ to 18″ wheels for the simple reason that the less tread you put on the road, the better the qualities of the tyre.

Grip Graphite

Big, wide summer tyres struggle in the winter, they can’t cope with the cold. So unless you have big mud tyres fitted, then you should seriously look at winter tyres.

The packages come fitted with either the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme or the Quatrac 3 SUV tyres which are very popular in Europe and great tyres!

Have you fitted winter tyres to your Freelander? What are your thoughts on winter tyres for 4X4 and SUV’s? Let us know below.

Want more help or advice? Call the friendly team at Tyremen on 08456 807808

Do you have a comment or review? Let us know below!

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

 

 

Range Rover, Big, 4WD, Luxury, Winter Tyres?

Range Rover Snow

 

The Range Rover, the vehicle that started the luxury 4WD market. With our partner, Tyremen, we discuss just why it needs winter tyres.

New to the market in 1970, it was the first luxury off-roader and has led the way ever since, the car all the others want to be like.

Comes with the superb Land Rover 4X4 system, so why are we even talking about winter tyres? Surely, it can go anywhere, anytime and just laughs at other 4X4’s?

Well, in the old days, yes, it came with big chunky off road tyres, perfect for that shooting trip, or taking a couple of hay bales into fields. But now, well, it’s more refined, more day to day usable, more, dare we say, Chelsea tractor? But we love it, it’s what a luxury 4X4 should be!

So this is why we are talking about winter tyres, low profile summer tyres just don’t do a Range Rover any justice in winter conditions.

With original wheels sizes between 19″ and 22″ these huge tyres are great in the warmer months, but, they struggle to be flexible and give enough grip when it gets cold. So what are the options?

You can change the existing summer tyres for winters, have them fitted to the very nice Range Rover wheels and store the summer tyres. There are a couple if issues with this, as the wheels come in several sizes, there are tyres for the smaller wheels, but when you hit the 20″ and upwards, they become very difficult to get hold of, and in some cases, non-existent. If you have 22″ wheels, then you may as well forget tyres in that size, few available and prices start around £400 each.

The reason for this is that the tyre companies have realised that narrower tyres makes for a better winter performance, so they look to winter packages and drop down to 19″ wheels and tyres.

So what real difference will winter tyres make, we don’t exactly get covered in snow for weeks at a time?

Winter tyres are not just for snow, they perform so much better in colder weather, under 7C, because the rubber compound is flexible in the cold, the tread patterns, like the Vredestein below, and the sipes within the tread grip the road and improve steering, handling and shorten stopping distances compared to summer tyres.

After all, at two and a half tonnes, it takes some grip to keep it going where you point it.

Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S

Winter tyres are designed to remove water, slush and snow from the tread quickly, and the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme  S do just that, and when fitted to the classic looking Zito Blazer 5 spoke wheel, sets the Range Rover off perfectly.

19" Blazer

So, for safety, when you have that most precious of cargo’s on board, your family, it seems to be the only way forward.

If you want more information, talk to the guys at Tyremen on 08456 807808 and see what they can do for you.

Packages start at a shade over £1100 and other wheels can be sourced, it certainly makes it worth while thinking about for winter driving safety.

Have you fitted winter tyres to your Range Rover before? Leave a comment for others and give us your thoughts, did they work? Was it worth it?

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

The Evoque from Range Rover, Winter Driving, Winter Tyres

Range Rover Evoque

Another of our vehicle specific posts, this time, with our partner Tyremen, the Range Rover Evoque and a look at winter tyre packages.

launched in September 2011, this car has proved to be a massive hit and rivals the BMW X5 and the Audi Q5, and frankly, could well be the best of the three given it’s Land Rover heritage.

With a wide range of wheel sizes from 17″ to 20″ so we’ll start with 17″ and 18″.

Coming on standard summer tyres, with a reasonable profile,  they perform great in warm, dry sunny days (when we get them). Normally, we would always recommend dropping down an inch or two, but with these, they are already a good size just to fit winter tyres straight to your current wheels.

The 225/65R17 Wintrac 4 Xtreme winter tyre by Vredestein starts at a reasonable £140 per corner delivered. The 235/60R18 a shade over £120 per corner delivered.

The tyre has great properities, a directional tread pattern which is ideal for clearing snow, slush, and more importantly, water for when that thaw comes.

The design specific sipes in the tread, grip the road with the assuredness of a summer tyre giving a positive feel for steering and handling, essential in winter conditions, even on icy roads.

The rubber compound is a lot more flexible in colder weather, further increasing the grip on a heavy car.

vredestein-wintrac-4-xtreme

 

Now we’ll take a look at the options for 19″ and 20″ wheels.

There are two options in this size, you can buy winter tyres to fit to your current wheels, as with the 17″ and 18″ or you can drop down to an 18″ winter wheels and tyres package.

Winter tyres in the 19″ size are readily available during the winter months, and prices start at £140 per tyre delivered. It has the same superb properties as above and will make your winter driving a lot safer.

The biggest issue now falls to the 20″ wheel size. Winter tyres are not available in great numbers. Everyone, including the tyre manufactures, seem to have realised that dropping down sizes is the best way forward.

Why is that the case? Well, the basic rule for winter is, put the least amount of tread on the road as possible.  This enables the car to maintain grip by cutting through winter conditions, rather like we used to see Morris Minors do many years ago.

So what’s the recommendations?

If your Evoque has 17″ or 18″ wheels, opt for tyres only, it will probably cost you around £50 to £60 twice a year to have them swapped over, but worth it to keep your family safe and know that you won’t get stuck!

In the 19″ and 20″ size, drop down to an 18″ package. These start around the £1000 area and are complete with the Alutec Grip or Poison wheels and Vredestein tyres.

The wheel is TUV approved, meaning that the insurance companies don’t have an issue, and a five year paint guarantee and suit the car. It also has the benefit that if you are unlucky enough to clip a kerb, then you haven’t damaged a £500 Evoque wheel!

In all sizes, winter tyres will make the Evoque perform so much better and when coupled with Land Rover’s superb 4X4 system, you’d never know the difference!

Thanks for reading, if you have a view point or have winter tyres on your Evoque, leave a review below, we’ll answer any questions and comments.

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

 

The Range Rover Sport, Just Not In Winter, Or Is It?

Range Rover Sport

In this post Winter Tyre Reviews are going to look at the superb Range Rover Sport and with our Partner, Tyremen, look at what’s great for winter driving.

So what do we know, well, as with any Land Rover, the off road capabilities are second to none, when fitted with the right tyres. These days, they come fitted with low profile road tyres, which doesn’t make the Sport the best in snow, slush or icy conditions.

As standard the Sport comes with either 275/40R20 or 285/35R22 wheels and tyres, great for holding the road in warmer conditions, but for winter, those wide tyres struggle to hold the road.

So what is the way forward? Well, as any tyre expert will tell you, dropping down a size or two and fitting winter tyres will vastly enhance the performance of the Sport.

The rubber compound of summer tyres becomes harder and less flexible at temperatures below 7C and makes the car lose grip and handling, after all, it is a heavy car.

So what is the benefit of fitting winter tyres?

Firstly, moving from a 275 or 285 tyre profile to a 255 enables less tyre tread on the road, like that on the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme which makes it easy to cut through the winter weather.

The design of the tread pattern makes the evacuation of snow, slush and water very quick keeping contact with the road and reducing the risk of aquaplaning.

A small rim size, such as the 19″ Blazer below, enables a taller tyre height giving a softer ride and the room for a flexible tread to maintain grip and handling. With the taller tyre, the smaller rim does not look out of place.

19" Blazer

But what if you would rather just get winter tyres rather than a package? Well, good news and bad news.

If you have the 20″ wheels then tyres are available, just not in great quantities. Prices start at around £200 per tyre and manufactures are limited.

Now the bad news, if you have 22″ wheels, then the chances of getting tyres is pretty much non-existent. If you can get some, a budget tyre starts at around £220, but as budget suggests, not great for winter.

The premium brands, such as Pirelli, start at £330 and you can pay anything up to £450 per tyre.

So what about the 19″ wheel and tyre package? If budget tyres are coming in at £880 a set, then surely its double? No, a package from Tyremen is around £1150. Why? As its a smaller wheel and tyre, therefore produced in greater numbers, costs are kept down.

For us, it’s no contest, a winter package, protect your 20″ or 22″ OE wheels and a little scrape on the winters won’t be the end of the world.

Want more info? Call Tyremen on 08456 807808

Already have a set? Leave a review below or let us know what you have done for winter and we’ll share with all our readers.

Thanks

Jason

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Winter Tyres for Vans and Motorhomes

Van in Snow

 

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews we’re going to look at what’s available to keep your light commercial vehicle and motorhome safe on the roads this winter.

With our partner Tyremen, we have found the top five winter tyres to review for small vans, larger vans and motorhomes.

So we will start with the Vredestein Snowtrac Rein which is used on small vans such as the Nemo or Blipper.

Vredestein Snowtrac Rein

So what’s it like? A great little tyre ideally suited to small light vans when weight is an issue.

It’s directional tread pattern is ideally suited to the quick clearance of snow, slush and water during the cold, damp months. The tread blocks allow superb bite into winter surfaces for excellent acceleration and keeps the tread free of snow.

Giving increased grip and handling it gives the assurance of summer tyres during the warmer days. Braking is improved over standard tyres further increasing the safety of the driver and cargo!

With a fuel rating of E, a wet grip of C and noise level at 70db, (explained here) it’s the perfect choice for winter.

The perfect all rounder.

We rate at 9/10

Next on our list is the Hankook RW06

Hankook RW06

 

 

The Hankook RW06 is a mid-range, affordable winter tyre, specifically designed for a multitude of light commercial vehicles.

A robust wide tread pattern gives maximum contact area with the road, vastly improving handling, traction and braking in snowy, icy and wet conditions.

Manufactured with multiple sipes in the tread blocks, safe winter driving is assured.

This tyre does not have studs within the tread pattern and relies solely on the rubber compound and tread design, which we feel, works very well.

Fuel rating is F – G, Wet Grip E and Noise 73db.

We rate 9/10

Next on our list, the Bridgestone W800

W800

 

To give this tyre it’s full name, the Bridgestone Blizzak W800, a formidable looking tyre with some great properties.

It comes in rim sizes 14″ to 16″ and is a non-directional tread pattern. Again, this is a tyre for the commercial market and has proved popular with drivers and fleet owners.

A zig-zag sipe pattern within the tread blocks ensures great grip on acceleration, assured braking and all round handling properties.

A durable and comfortable drive, helps maintain stability of the vehicle keeping driver and cargo safe.

However, it rates badly for fuel usage, which a lot of winter tyres do, but this is the worst ratings.

So, Fuel F to G, Wet Grip B to E (only one tyre rates E the rest are B or C) and Noise 72db to 74db.

Therefore, we rate 7/10

We are now going to look at multifunctional winter tyres for commercial vehicles and motorhomes.

The Vredestein Comtrac Winter

Comtrac Winter

 

Vredestein are huge in Europe, and given that winters there can be far worse then in the UK, winter tyres are very popular.

Surprisingly, a lot of people on the continent love to go away in their motorhomes during the winter. Ski resorts are very popular and winter tyres are a legal requirement, which is why we have these.

A solid directional tread pattern with zig-zag sipes gives superb grip in all winter conditions and clears snow, slush and water quickly and effectively.

Stopping distances are reduced compared to summer tyres and acceleration is assured and responsive.

With a rubber compound designed to perform in colder conditions, this is the perfect multi-vehicle tyre for both commercial and motorhome.

With Fuel ratings between E and F, Wet Grip of E and Noise at 71db it is probably one of the best available.

We rate 9/10

Last on our list is the Continental Vanco Winter 2

Vanco Winter 2

 

Continental are a very popular premium brand, as you may have noticed from all the TV adverts during football games, and why not, do you get what you pay for?

Well, yes and no. They make great tyres but are sometimes a little expensive.

However, as one of the original suppliers of winter van tyres, they have led the way and this is why.

A superb tread pattern with directional sipes gives an assured performance in colder conditions.

Grip is constant and the tyre moves slush, snow and water from the tread quickly to ensure traction and braking is effective.

It is a genuine winter tyre and its ratings are, Fuel E, Wet Grip C and Noise 73db.

Due to it’s cost, we rate 8/10

For more information on tyre ratings, click here.

For more information, or to check the suitability for your vehicle, take a look at our partner, Tyremen’s website here, or call 08456 807808

Have you used winter van tyres? Please leave a comment or ask a question below, we always respond!

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

BMW 1 Series, Do You Need Winter Tyres and Wheels?

BMW 1 Series

The BMW 1 Series. It’s been with us for a few years now, long enough to have a facelift! So with our partner Tyremen, let’s look at the winter wheel and tyre options for the baby of the BMW range.

So we will start with the older models and work our way up to the 2012 onwards facelift models.

We love the 1 series but we also understand how they can be a challenge to manoeuvre during the winter months! They are so problematic because for one, they are rear wheel drive, but also they are just so light. If you have owned one these during the last couple of winters and have not invested in some winter tyres then you really should. They make an unusable car 100% better and safer.

But which winter tyres should you fit to your 1 series?

We would personally suggest a 16″ wheel and tyre package. Tyremen offer steel wheels or a nice little alloy wheel that is fitted with a 205/55R16 winter tyre, prices start from a little over £700 a set. If you feel that steel wheels is the way to go, then sets start at £518 for a post 2012 model and £585 for earlier cars. Alloy wheels and steel wheels are both stock and ready to go for winter 2014/15.

Many 1 series owners opt for non-runflat tyre as many of the latest 1-Series no longer have these fitted as standard. A lot of 1 Series do not come with a spare wheel as standard so BMW provide a puncture repair kit which will get you home if your tyre becomes punctured. If your car is on run-flats then we can provide such a kit – Continental comfort kit.

If you want to go for winter runflat tyres then we can offer these and our partner Tyremen will stock Bridgestone, Continental, Hankook, Vredestein & Yokohama for the 2014/15 season.

Tyremen also offer alloy wheels in 17″ which can be customised with a number of tyre options, the full range of Continental, Vredestein & Yokohama and are available for 2014/15 in the runflat option.

Any of the winter wheel & tyre packages offer great convenience as there are no tyres to swap around each season and if you are keeping the vehicle for a few years then it will prove to be a cost effective way of setting up your car for winter driving.

If you are looking to just change the tyres then Tyremen have various offerings depending on your budget.

Starting with the small sizes, many of the base models use 195/55R16, in this size the Hankook W310 i-cept is looking like a great option. Hankook are a well respected manufacturer that make original equipment tyres for Audi, Ford & Mini. The Vredestein Snowtrac 3 is also a great product and consistently one of our best sellers.

In 16″ you may find that your vehicle is on 205/55R16 runflats, as above some Continental TS850 P winter are available and the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme’s are a fantastic option and available. However we know of many 1 Series owners that have opted for the Vredestein Snowtrac 3 in a non-runflat and again order the repair kits and they work really well. Vredestein are a great winter tyre manufacturer and the Snowtrac 3 is a multi award winning product.

And finally what if your 1 Series came on 17″ as standard?, if it did it’s also likely that it came with runflats. The best option here if you don’t want to reduce the wheel size is go like for like. Continental make the TS810 S in 205/50R17 and in 225/45R17. You will need to check your tyre size on both the front and rear before purchasing as some use 205/50R17 on both axles while others have the larger size on the rear.

So 2012 has brought about the new 1-series F20, so what implications does this have to our advice above? Well actually very little. The F20 still use 16″ as standard on many of the vehicles with size 205/55R16. We are no longer seeing the 195/55 being used so Tyremen’s winter packages use a 205 in order to emulate the BMW winter packages. A new steel wheel has been produced which is specifically for the new 1 series and although the spec is slightly different there isn’t much in it. The alloys that are recommended for the older vehicles are still fine for the F20.

If you have bought a new vehicle and have a winter package from an older 1-series then it will still be fine to use. Even if your old winters are 195/55R16 I wouldn’t be too concerned about using these on an F20. The 195 tyre is less than 2% smaller than the 205 and well within the vehicles tolerance.

Versions on 17″ still have the 225/45R17 so nothing has changed here. The new sport versions fitted with 18″ use a rather unusual sized tyre on the rear so you should really consider a 17″ package for winter.

BMW 1 Series Wheel

New for the 2014/15 winter season Tyremen are rather excited to be able to offer genuine BMW alloy wheels for their winter wheel & tyre packages. These are perfect for winter, they are what we call ‘take off wheels’. Essentially we deal with a European BMW importer, who regularly upgrade their vehicles onto larger, flasher wheels. This leaves a surplus of smaller wheels which are as new, they have just done factory mileage. The wheels are 16″ and suitable for both old & new 1 series with the exception of 123d & 135i which have larger brakes and require a 17″ wheel. The wheels are genuine BMW, they are not supplied with caps but should take your originals.

These also have the benefit of having great residual value, if you come to move away from BMW then you would have no issues selling these on.

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch, speak to the experts at Tyremen on 08456 807808.

Have you used winter tyres on the 1 series? Leave your experiences below to help others.

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Winter Options for the BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series Snow

Welcome to the Winter Tyre Reviews vehicle specific winter tyre advice, and take a look at what must be the best selling rear wheel drive vehicle in the UK – the 3 Series BMW.

Being rear wheel drive the 3-series can pose a challenge during the winter months, in fact we receive many calls from customers across the UK that can’t even get out of their drive when there is snow on the ground. The good news is that winter tyres will make a massive difference to performance and totally transform these vehicles. Better still is that (most) 3 Series are on pretty standard tyre sizes and winter tyres and wheel set ups are available at sensible prices.

Lets start with the smallest sizes that they can come on: 205/60R16.

If you have this as standard fit then it could be on runflat or standard tyres; standard – our vote would have to be the Vredestein Snowtrac 3. Consistently top placed in European winter tyre tests. Especially when the tests look at traction in snow this tyre generally comes out top. If on runflat then availability can be difficult for these, however Goodyear & Dunlop both produce quality tyres that may be available if you get in early enough. Also the Continental TS830 topped many of the winter tyre tests and is available now at Tyremen.

This tyre size is also what many 3-series owners drop down onto during the winter when 17″ and 18″ are fitted as standard. The reason for this is that the narrowness of a 16″ wheel really helps improve traction during winter, also the tyre costs are much more sensible. Most 3 series can reduce to 16″ wheels, although there are some exceptions:

3 Series coupe 2006 onwards – has to be 17″ upwards

3 Series cabrio 2007 onwards – 17″ and above

Other 3-series (E92/E93) – 16″ are only suitable for 90-140kW versions

3 series wheel

If you want to check any of this data for your model, or are unsure which kW version you have, then you are welcome to try the Tyremen team who will be able to advise accordingly.

Assuming that you want to go down this route then 16″ wheel packages are available in steel or alloy. Steel wheels offer great value for money, whilst the alloys are more aesthetically pleasing. Wheel and tyre sets start at just over £600 and offer OE quality at discount prices.

Moving up to 17″ – generally BMW use 225/45R17 on both axles. On the very odd sports models they have a wider, and a very unusual size fitted to the rear. If this is the case then direct replacement could be tricky, We’d advise getting in touch with a tyre expert in order to check availability. However with regular 225/45’s you have a few options.  Topping most of the tyre tests in recent years was the Continental TS830 P, which is available as a regular winter tyre and winter runflat. When moving away from runflats then there is a host of quality winter tyres available. Our partner site, Tyremen’s most popular winter tyre in this size was the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme. There is very little review info out there in regard to this tyre but from personal experience they are fantastic. However availability of these in the UK can be really problematic as this tyre is very popular in mainland Europe. At this moment in time stocks are coming into the UK but will be limited. As a more cost effective option the Hankook W300 is well worth a look, it has a modern asymmetric pattern which is not overly aggressive and particularly suited to UK conditions.

This size is also what would be used if your 3-series came on 18″ wheels and you wanted to reduce wheel size for winter. Tyremen offer an Alutec alloy wheel which is great quality and perfect for winter use. Wheels are TUV approved for use on 3-Series and come with a 5 year guarantee on the paint finish.

18″ – Personally if your vehicle come on 18″ wheels then we would seriously consider either a 16″ or 17″ package. Failing that then you would probably need 225/40R18 for the front and 255/35R18 for the rear. In 2010 the Hankook W300 Icebear was very popular as a good quality tyre at sensible money. If these are unavailable then offerings by the premium manufacturers become silly money really and you would probably find smaller wheels and tyres for less money than split sized 18″ winter tyres.

Some new BMW’s do have 19″ wheel options, if you went for this then we’re sure that your 3-series looks lovely, but we wouldn’t expect it to go far in the winter! Tyres in the 19″ sizes are essentially impossible to source so wheels and tyres are going to be needed. However saying that we know the boys & girls at Tyremen love a good challenge so feel free to get in touch and see if they can source anything for you.

So now for the BMW newer 3 series, the F30, from 2012 onwards.

So the new 3 series, does any of the above advice change for these? Well yes and no!

In terms of wheels the spec is very similar, we can offer the same range of wheels that are suitable for the earlier models. The only difference is the tyre sizes used, BMW have opted for a higher profile tyre on the F30. They are now fitted with the following as standard:

205/60R16
225/50R17
225/45R18

Our partner Tyremen has set up new wheel & tyre packages for the F30 that have the correct tyre sizes and offer both standard and run-flat tyres depending on your need.

It appears that in terms of reducing wheel size the 316, 318 & 320 will take a 16″ wheel, whilst 325 versions and above will require a 17″ package. If your new 3 series has 18″ as standard then winter tyres are available in these sizes (even if 255/40 on the rear) and they could be swapped onto your existing wheels. If your vehicle has 19″ on then BMW have opted for a very unusual tyre size on the front and you will struggle to find a suitable winter tyre, you’ll need to look at a smaller package.

If you have a wheel and tyre package from an older model then really you would need the tyres changing before fitting to the new vehicle otherwise the speedo will become inaccurate. Our advice would always be where possible to sell your existing winter package along with any vehicle sale and start again on the new car.

If you need any further info don’t hesitate to ask the team at Tyremen.

Tel: 08456 807808

Have you had winter tyres fitted to your 3 series? let us know how they performed and help other 3 series owners with your advice! Leave a comment on the blog page or ask a question, we’ll get back to you.

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

BMW 5 Series, Winter Tyre Review

BMW 5 Series Snow

We are looking ahead to winter and this vehicle specific blog post takes an in-depth look at winter driving in a BMW 5-series.

As with most BMW’s the rear wheel drive nature of this vehicle makes it a challenge to control during the winter months. However fitting the right winter tyre, or wheel and tyre combination can transform this vehicle which is why our partner, Tyremen, has the 5 series packages as one of their best-selling winter solutions. Click here to see what’s on offer.

Our recommendations for safe winter driving varies depending on the age of the vehicle. We’ll start with the E60/E61 models (2003-2009).  Base models generally come on tyre size 225/55R16 and by simply changing from summer to winter tyres in this size you will vastly improve the vehicles winter performance. The best 2 winter tyres in this size are either the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S or the Continental TS830 P.

Some of the 520 & 525’s may come on 17″ wheels as standard, usually with 225/50R17 tyres. With these vehicles you have a choice of going for winter tyres only, or you could also drop down to 16″ wheels & tyres if you prefer. Generally one of the main advantages of reducing wheel size is that you benefit from a narrower tyre which improves winter performance. Since both 16″ & 17″ wheels would be fitted with a tyre with section width of 225 then there is no real advantage here. 16″ wheels and tyres would be cheaper than 17″ packages so there is a saving to be had of around £270 on a set of equivalent products.

Larger engine versions such as 530 & 535 can be fitted with 17″, 18″ and in some case 19″. If fitted with 17″ then you can’t reduce wheel size any further because of the size of the brakes on these vehicles. Something to note is that BMW may also use the tyre size 245/45R17, this is the same overall size as 225/50R17. If fitting winter tyres to 17″ rims then we’d recommend using the 225 size, even if 245’s are fitted at the moment. The narrowness of the 225 really does help when it comes to driving in harsher conditions, even improves fuel economy!

Vehicles fitted with 18” could have 245/40R18 on both the front and rear, this would give the options of going for just tyres or a 17” package. In 245/40R18 again either the Wintrac Xtreme or the TS830 P would be the ones to go for. Some vehicles have a larger wheel on the rear with 275/35R18’s, if this is the case then the rear is too wide to really be effective. Sourcing a winter tyre in this size would be especially difficult and it would be better to consider a 17” package really. This is also the case with 19” wheels, the rears are far too wide to work in the winter. A 17” would have no problem fitting and would be much more effective. The vehicle would take on a different look, but we’re talking about winter driving so you need to consider practicality.

Just a note about run-flats, Tyremen offer 17” winter runflats which are suitable for 5-series by Dunlop. Many customers that own vehicles fitted with run-flats move away from them for winter which helps to keep the cost down. If you want to do this then consider buying a repair kit in case of a puncture and make sure your road side assistance is up to date.

Moving onto the new 5-series F10/F11 2010 onwards, things are slightly different here. The new models no longer come on 16” as standard, base models are fitted with 17” and rim sizes go all the way up to 20”. The wheel spec is a different too, so unfortunately if you move from an old model to a new one then you may well need a new winter set up, as always our advice would be to try and sell any winter tyres or wheels along with the vehicle sale.

If you vehicle came on 17” wheels then you can opt for just tyres or wheels and tyres, tyre size is slightly bigger now; 225/55R17 which can be run-flat or standard. Or partner keeps Vredestein, Goodyear, Dunlop & Continental in standard winter and Dunlop runflats , all of which are great cold weather tyres. Tyremen also offer a 17” wheel and tyre package for new 5-series which are very popular indeed. Steel wheels are not made for the F10/F11 so you need to look at alloys and Tyremen import the Alutec Design-E which is a perfect fit and takes the original bolts.

This package is suitable for all new 5 series, even if fitted with larger wheels than this as standard, this package is one of Tyremen’s best sellers. The same wheel is also available in 18” so drivers that want the keep the look of the larger wheel can get this from this option. The only issue with the 18” package is that you need a 245/45R18 tyre which is a rather expensive size and does make the package about £250 more than the 17″ option. Also the 17” package will be more effective because of the narrower tyre that is used!

We’ll just finish off by discussing the 5 series GT (Gran Turismo), if you are lucky enough to own one of these vehicles then a specific 18” wheel & tyre package is available. This uses the same 18” wheel used on the regular 5 series but with a different tyre size (245/50R18). Tyremen offer Continental winter for use on these packages which can be purchased in standard or runflat version.

We hope this is of use, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with our partner, Tyremen who have many years of winter wheel and tyre experience. Ring 0845 807 808 for more info.

Have you ran a 5 Series on winter tyres? Would you like to leave a comment for other 5 Series owners? Please do so below, your thoughts are just as helpful as ours.

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S Winter Tyre

Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews we are going to bring you information on the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S winter tyre.

The tyre was launched in June 2013 and was received well in all sectors of the tyre industry. But the big test came during the winter months, how would it perform and would drivers use it as opposed to the Snowtrac 3, which was rumored to be the tyre making way?

Well, the popular Snowtrac 3 is still with us, but the Wintrac Xtreme S is being produced in more sizes by Vredestein since its release, now it comes in wheel sizes 16″ to 22″ the range will fit most vehicles on the road. Click here for a full list of tyres and sizes.

As with any Vredestein tyre, quality and reliability are second to none. Price has been competitive with the Continental.

But what does it do?

Well, the tyre has a directional tread pattern, meaning it clears snow and slush much more effectively than a summer tyre would in winter conditions, giving increased grip, handling and shorter stopping distances, essential in winter conditions!

All in all, we highly recommend this tyre as do our partner Tyremen, check out their winter tyre packages, or call the friendly team on 08456 807808

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

BMW X6, Winter Tyres and Wheel Packages, Should you Invest?

BMW X6 Snow

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews and with the expert advice from our official partner, Tyremen, we aim to give you the best advice on tyres and wheel and tyre packages for your car. In this blog, we are discussing the top end of the BMW ‘X’ range, the BMW X6.

A fantastic car with superb 4WD capability, there aren’t many cars that give this level of equipment and safety, designed to perform in the most testing of conditions.

So now you’re wondering why you would even need to think about winter equipment, after we’ve given a huge thumbs up for this car? Well, as with most things, it isn’t quite that straight forward.

As with all the BMW ‘X’ range, the standard tyres are summer, these are brilliant during the warmer weather but do not perform great in conditions below 7 degrees. The compound in the rubber becomes harder and does not give the flexibility to grip the road on snow, slush and ice and reduces handling and increasing stopping distances.

This changes the feel of the vehicle and given the size and weight, coming in at over 2 tonnes, the momentum of the car will keep it pointing the way it is going and be slow to turn. This is without doubt an impressive car, as you would expect from BMW, and it deserves to have the best winter equipment to maintain the very highest safety standards you expect from a luxury 4WD BMW.

Do you use your BMW X6 for that special winter trip into the ski resorts? Why not, it’s the perfect car for this trip. There are of course certain rules and legal requirements for winter tyres in Europe, and these should always be your first consideration.

In reality, you use your BMW X6 as the family car and carry around the most valuable items, your family, so why compromise? We are going to look at wheel sizes 19″, 20″ and 21″ with the exception of the 20″ on the BMW X6 M50D model, call the team at Tyremen as this is a unique car with unique requirements.

So lets look at the options, as we said, three wheel sizes, four tyre sizes and a lot of choice. Most BMW X6 models have a larger wheels fitted to the rear, usually you will find 225/50R19 to the front and 285/45R19 to the rear as a standard fit. This is normal for BMW to do this as it gives the  BMW X6 a fantastic rear view, impressive? Yes, but not suited to winter driving as they have a large tyre print on the road surface. For winter driving, we always recommend a narrower, smaller tyre print on the road to give better grip, more responsive steering, improved handling and stopping distances.

So what do we recommend? As with with recent blogs, we have two options available. The first and the recommended option is to have a wheel and tyres package, click here for the latest packages. Whilst this retains the same size front tyre, it reduces the rear tyre width enhancing the grip and giving better stability. The package by Tyremen comes in at a respectable £1170. The wheel used is a BMW X6 specific KD008 by CT Wheels, the wheel is of a similar design to the BMW wheel and takes the original bolts. The rear wheel has an off-set hub bringing it further out so as not to spoil the fantastic lines of the BMW X6, below is a picture from a Tyremen customer with rear off-set wheels on an BMW X5.

X5 With Offset Rear Wheels

The KD008 is fitted with the 255/50R19 Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme, a great tyre giving outstanding winter performance, handling, grip and returns superb mileage. As we have discussed earlier, the narrower the tyre print, the better the performance of the BMW X6 in winter conditions.

The second option is to purchase a set of winter tyres to have fitted to your existing wheels. As the BMW X6 has two different wheel sizes for front and rear, you will need two different tyres. For the front, you will need the 255/50R19 and we recommend the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme and the 285/45R19 for the rear, also a Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme. However, this is not a cheap option as they will cost around £820 for the set. You will then have to have the tyres changed twice a year at around £120 each time. As both sets of tyres should last three seasons, dependant on mileage, you are looking at a cost of over £1500. We know that you don’t buy a BMW X6 and run it for a year, its a car that you are going to keep for several years, and this makes having the second set of wheels and tyres the perfect option. Our partner, Tyremen, are able to offer a huge range of winter wheels and tyre packages or tyres only to have fitted to your current wheels.

We hope this blog has given you enough information to make the right choice for your BMW X6, and that it will help keep you safe during the winter season. If you need any further help or advice, give the friendly team at Tyremen a call.

Tel: 08456 807808