Tag Archives: Winter driving

Jaguar XF, a True British Classic

Jaguar XF

 

In recent years Jaguar cars have gone from laughing stock, to stock in trade. Sold worldwide and now with the reliability it so richly deserves.

With multiple performance models and even an all wheel drive version, there isn’t much wrong with this car. As such, it has a variety of wheel and tyre sizes, making the right choice of winter tyre a big task.

Well, the team at Winter Tyre Reviews have been looking at what you can get to keep those powerful rear wheels stuck firmly to the road.

From 17″ to 20″ and most likely bigger to come, there are so many combinations, with large rear tyres and smaller fronts, some models the same all round and everything in between.

So how has your XF performed during the winter months? Some owners have reported that it’s actually fine, whilst others have found it to be somewhat lively at the rear and winter driving near on impossible.

So what can you do and why should you do it?

There are two options open to you, and those are change your summer tyres for winters on the Jaguar wheels or opt for a winter wheels and tyres package.

If you decide to go for just tyres then in the 17″ and 18″ size, there are plenty of options and with fitting, it’s around £800 a set. A great option and you just rotate the tyres.

However, if you are running 19″ and 20″, then things start to become a little more difficult. There are limited supplies of tyres in these sizes and the manufactures now realise that changing wheels and tyres for a smaller size is the best way forward.

The reason for this is that having a narrower tyre in contact with the road makes for more grip, better steering and handling is improved. With the larger summer tyres, particularly those on the rear wheels, they struggle to maintain stability in ice, snow, slush and the wet conditions of winter.

If you can source tyres, then prices start at £1100 for 19″ and £1200 for 20″

Low profile summer tyres are great for dry warm days and they make the car feel as though its on rails, but in the winter, not so good.

The tread patterns on winter tyre are slightly wider making the evacuation of snow and water quick. In seven seconds, a winter tyre will disperse a bucket full which means the chances of aquaplaning a reduced.

The sipes cut into the tread can be up to a thousand or more against an average of 120 on summer tyres, further increasing grip and ensuring that progress is made under acceleration.

So what are the options? Well, if you run 19″ and 20″ then for winter you should ideally drop down to 17″ and 18″ respectively. This will put 235/55R17 and 245/45R18 tyres all round and for 17″ it is around £950 and 18″ £1200 a set.

But you also want a wheel that looks good, after all, you’re not going to put a steel wheel on just for winter, sets come with three options, and we think this one below from Alutec suit the XF perfectly.

Grip Graphite

 

If you would like any further information, then contact the guys at Tyremen on 08456 807808.

Have you already had winter tyres on your XF? Please leave a comment telling us which tyres you’ve used and how they performed or just leave a question.

Thanks for reading

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

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

 

 

The BMW 2 Series, Coupe, Convertible and Active Tourer

BMW 2 Series

UPDATED JULY 2015

Since the post was written, the availability of wheels and tyres has come into the tyre world. Not a lot of difference between the the 1 and the 2 Series.

There is an OE (original equipment) BMW wheel in 16″ or for those who just must have something a bit bigger, the X10 from Uniwheel. A great looking, sporty wheel that’s easy to keep clean during wet winter months.

Coming with a recommendation of Continental or Hankook winter tyres, this will keep your 2 Series firmly on the road for winter, whatever the weather.

The BMW 2 Series, new for 2014 and comes in Coupe, Convertible and Touring versions.

So this is a new model for 2014 from BMW, but is it? Well, yes and no. It’s based on the 1 series and as BMW have been doing so lately, they have moved some of their models under a specific model number, hence this little beauty.

As it’s so new, this will be its first winter, so what about winter tyres? Well, that’s where the good news starts, as it’s based on the 1 series there are lots of options out there.

Usually based on the tyre size 205/55R16, this fits in perfectly with the 1 series winter tyre options. So your new BMW can perform safely this winter without the worry.

Our partner, Tyremen, haven’t got the details up on their website yet, it’s that new, but can advise you on the best packages for your car.

If you have a comment, leave it on the blog below and we’ll come back to you or alternatively, speak to the friendly team at Tyremen on 08456 807808

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Review Team

Audi A4 Winter Tyres, Are They A Great Investment?

Audi A4 Snow

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews, we asked the question, are winter tyres worth buying for the Audi A4? Simple answer, yes, yes, yes! But why do we think so? Well, we’re going to look at the options with our partner Tyremen.

The Audi A4 has been a fantastic car for over 20 years, starting life as the Audi 80 to its present models. All versions of this car, whether its cabriolet, saloon or estate version, the avant look great, drive with assuredness and have fantastic build quality.

But when the temperature drops then owners are increasingly looking for a winter wheel and tyre solution in order to keep their A4 moving safely. Luckily with an Audi, making such an investment will really pay off as an A4 fitted with winter tyres will be an incredibly safe vehicle come the cold weather. Unlike its German counterparts such as BMW & Mercedes the Audi is either front or all-wheel drive, so while your neighbours rear wheels are spinning away on his 3 series you will be confidently pulling away from the drive whatever the weather. Maybe you can be neighbourly and smugly offer him a ride to work?

Front wheel drive vehicles work really well in the winter when fitted with a cold weather tyre, and if you’re lucky enough to have an A4 Quattro system then when combined with winter tyres then you will literally be able to get anywhere even when there is thick snow on the ground. One of our team has an A4 and fitted it with Vredestein Wintrac tyres, and whilst his wife’s Mercedes stayed in the garage, the A4 performed as though it was summer.

So what’s the difference between summer and winter tyres? The difference is the make up of the rubber compounds, Summer tyres are flexible and have lots of grip in the warmer weather, however, when the temperature  drops below 7 degrees, they become harder and don’t grip the road as well, the handling becomes less responsive and stopping distances increase!

Winter tyres are designed to flex in colder conditions and as such, give increased grip, traction, handling and give much shorter braking distances over summer tyres.

So if you’re considering a winter driving solution for your A4 then what should you go for?

There are two options open to you, you can get a set of winter tyres and have them rotated twice a year with your summer tyres.  With the 16″ standard wheel, for a set of mid-range tyres prices are around £350 and for the 17″ £530. You then have to factor in the cost of around £120 per year to have them swapped.

The second option is a set of wheels to fit your winter tyres onto has a few benefits. First is price again, even though you have the additional cost of the wheels initially you have dramatically reduced fitting costs. Your Audi winter wheels should come with the tyres fitted (they certainly are when we supply them) therefore they will just need bolting onto the vehicle. This can be done yourself, at any garage at a minimal cost, or as part of the package price when bought though our partner Tyremen. The wheels don’t have to be that expensive either, a cheap set of steel winter wheels starts at around £230, so the alternate £120 a year tyre swapping cost makes the wheel option look like pretty good value for money.

Also fitting a wheel & tyre package allows you to (generally) fit a smaller wheel and a narrower tyre. This really helps when it comes to winter traction as it’s a case of the narrower the better for winter tyres. Those super large and wide alloys put on by Audi may look great for the summer but act like big snow boards in the snow, whereas a narrow tyre will dig into the snow much more effectively and improve winter traction. Smaller winter tyres are cheaper too so you would probably find that for the price of say 18” winter tyres you could get a set of 16” wheels & tyres. Essentially smaller wheels & tyres are cheaper and more effective, this is certainly the most practical and convenient option for winter.

When reducing wheel size you are trying to re-create what Audi offer on the base model A4’s and quite often this is using a 16” wheel & tyre. There are certain models that such a reduction is not possible though, examples of this would be S4, 2.7 & 3.0 engines and versions with over 170bhp. On these a larger brake is fitted which a 16” wheel would catch on so you would need to go for a 17” package.

Audi OE Wheel

In 16” you have the most options wheel wise, you can go for steel, aftermarket alloys and even ‘take off’ genuine Audi alloys. The genuine Audi A4 winter alloys are perfect for winter; they have just done factory mileage and are a fraction of the price of those from Audi. However there is nothing wrong with any of these options it purely comes down to cosmetics. If your A4 is listed above and will not take a 16” wheel then in 17” you are going to have to look at alloys as steel are not made in anything over 16”.

Which winter tyres to choose?

The answer to this could be a number of blog posts in its own right, however here are a few of my thoughts and opinions:
Budget winter tyres – AVOID, I don’t see the point in them! If you’re trying to make your vehicle safer for the winter then these just don’t cut the mustard.
Mid-range – Uniroyal are totally decent, they come out of the same factory as Continental and perform really well in their own right. Hankook also make a good winter product that will serve you well.
The best winter tyres – there are a few really good tyres on the market but current test winning tyres Continental winter TS850 or TS830P are great products. Our retail company, Tyremen are still really big fans of Vredestein winter tyres, the Snowtrac 3 offers about the best pure snow performance and the Wintrac Xtreme is a great all-round winter tyre that offers incredible longevity.

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can or call the friendly team at Tyremen, 08456 807808

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

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

BMW X5 Winter Tyres and Wheels 2007 Models Onwards

BMW-X5-Snow-Pic

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews, we are going to discuss wheels and tyres for the BMW X5 from 2007 onwards to get the most out of your X5 during the winter months. Click here for the range.

You may be asking why you would need winter equipment on a 4 wheel drive, and its a great question to ask. The X5 is a fantastic car but comes with summer tyres and wider rear wheels as standard. They make the car look great from a rear view and are great during the warm weather but don’t perform to the best in colder conditions. We think there is a number of reasons for this:

  1. This type of vehicle is often used to drive to ski resorts, and in most of these countries, the use of winter tyres is an essential safety requirement or required by law in certain regions.
  2. The X5 is a vehicle that is very popular for school runs and day to day ferrying of your most valuable cargo, your family, so you want to ensure that your journey is as safe as it can possibly be.
  3. BMW very often use much wider wheels  and tyres on the rear. They look great, but provide too much road coverage and then perform poorly in ice, slush and snow.

So, with our Winter Tyre Experts, Tyremen, we are going to look at the best wheel and tyre options available on the market to give your X5 the best winter performance and safety that you expect from BMW cars.

Winter tyres on the X5 gives them improved handling in some of the most challenging winter conditions. The following advice is general and can be easily used for most makes of 4 wheel drive, but is geared towards the BMW X5 and there are some subtle changes dependant on year and model.

From 2007 onwards, the BMW X5 start at 18″ wheels as standard, our partner, Tyremen, will shortly be stocking Vredestein, Bridgestone and Yokohama in standard tyres and Continental in runflat. By far the best seller for Tyremen is the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme and is a fantastic winter tyre that can handle some quite tough conditions.

The Vredestein can be used all year round, it is sensibly priced and returns impressive mileage . We have seen many owners move away from the runflat option for this tyre, however, if you are going to do this, make sure you invest in a puncture repair kit, Continental offer three different options, and ensure that you road side assistance is up to date.

For the X5 that is fitted with wheels 19″ these vehicles can easily drop down to the 18″ wheel. Tyremen import some alloy wheels from Alutec based in Germany which are ideal for the X5 and, as you would expect from a German company, engineered well. They come with a 5 year guarantee, are styled like a BMW wheel so it won’t look out of place. Tyremen offer the Alutec Design E, fitted with either a standard or runflat winter tyre.

The only issue you will have with reducing wheel size is the appearance of the X5. For the 19″ wheel, you will most likely have 255/50R19 to the front and 285/45R19 to the rear. By replacing with the 18″ package, you will have a narrower tyre placement which is much more effective in winter. However, it won’t fill the rear wheel arches and you don’t want the look of your X5 to change, so we recommend the 18″ ‘staggered offset’ wheels to the rear. They fill the arches out well and you’d never know they were slightly smaller wheels.

So, now we’ve looked at 18″ wheels, your car has the 19″ or 20″ option on them. Worried that the 18″ option, even with the staggered offset, will be too small? Not a problem, there is a 19″ wheel, again with offset for the rear. This again, is another BMW styled wheel which will give you the same width front and rear. You can then use the 255/50R19 tyre which is a sensible size for winter. These can come with ‘split offsets’ which means the rear wheels are made in such a way that they sit further out than the fronts.

Has your X5 the 20″ wheel option? Then most likely you will have 275/40R20 (available in a winter tyre) to the front and 315/35R20 to the rear, the rears are next to impossible to find as a winter tyre, so you will need to come down to the 19″ option.

This will fill out the rear arches so you would never know you had a narrower wheel fitted. Below is an image from a Tyremen customer, showing how well the narrower smaller wheels fit and maintain the integrity of the X5 look.

rsz_photo_1-BMW-with-off-set

Hopefully, we’ve given you enough information to make an informed choice for the winter wheels/wheels and tyres option. If you want to know anything else, why not get in touch with the friendly team at Tyremen.

Call: 08456 807808

Thanks, the Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Audi Q7 Winter Tyres and Wheels

1259083736_audi_q7_winter

Welcome to the Winter Tyre Reviews blog for the Audi Q7 winter wheels and tyres.

As the winter season approaches, now is the right time to discuss your Q7 for safe winter driving.

You may well be asking why would you need winter equipment on a 4 wheel drive vehicle, surely it’s designed for this type of weather?

Even though the Q7 is a 4 wheel drive vehicle, it comes with summer tyres as standard. Whilst these are great during the warmer weather, they aren’t designed to perform to the best of their ability at temperatures below 7 degrees. There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. The Q7 is a popular vehicle for the winter sports run to the ski resorts, and in most of these countries, the use of winter tyres is essential requirement for the vehicle’s safety or required by law in certain regions in Europe.
  2. Audi often fit wide wheels and tyres to their vehicles. These look great and give the Q7 fantastic handling and stability with good road coverage in the summer months, but aren’t suited to snow, slush and ice, this is when a narrower tyre placement gives better grip and handling.
  3. And of course, Q7 owners use their vehicles to transport the most valuable cargo anyone has, your family. You know that you want the school run to be as safe as possible in the winter conditions.

So, with the help of our Winter Tyre Experts, Tyremen, we are going to discuss the best wheel and tyre options available on the market to enable your Q7 to perform to the standard and safety you expect from Audi.

Putting winter tyres on the Q7 gives improved handling and grip in some of the most challenging winter conditions. This advice can be generally used for other 4 wheel drive vehicles but is geared for the Audi Q7 and there are some subtle differences dependant on the model.

According to our customers, although the 4WD gets the Q7 moving, and moving well, when it comes to braking and turning in the snow, both of which are pretty important, the Q7 struggles. We believe that there is probably two reasons for this;

  1. The Q7 is a heavy vehicle and the momentum forces the vehicle in the direction it is pointing
  2. The Q7 has wide tyres, these are great for summer, but in the winter a smaller tyre coverage on the road surface provides better performance in snow, slush and ice.

So what exactly do we advise? Well, the Q7 comes in four wheel sizes from 18″ to 21″ and that is a huge variation, however, so we will start with the 18″.

The 18″ wheels usually come with either 255/55R18 or 235/60R18 tyre fitted. In this case, these are the narrowest and smallest tyres used on the Q7 so you can simply opt to change tyres for a winter set. These make a huge difference to the Q7’s performance when temperatures drop below 7 degrees. The current best seller is the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme, a great priced tyre that offers exceptional mileage, superb winter performance and this tyre can be left on the Q7 all year round without any significant drawbacks.

Because of the really positive feedback we have had from Q7 owners on the 18″ winter option, and as many of the Q7’s fitted with the larger wheels will comfortably take the 18″, they have opted to come down in size for the benefits of winter driving. Remember, the reason for this is the smaller the tyre print on the ground, the better the performance.

If your Q7 is fitted with 19″ or above, then we recommend that you invest in a winter wheel and tyre package. Our partner Tyremen imports a wheel called the Grip made by the German company Alutec. As you would expect from a German company, the quality of the wheel is exceptional and engineered to fit the Q7 so well, that the original bolts fit and they come with a five year guarantee with TUV approval. The wheel is designed to compliment the original wheel and maintain the stylish look of the Q7 and is probably the best aftermarket version available.

When fitted with the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme as we discussed earlier, the package comes to under £1200. This is by far the best option if you are thinking of keeping the Q7 for a few years and depending on how many miles you drive, both sets from new should be good for at least two seasons.

With the 19″ wheel, for some reason this seems to be an odd size and there is a lack of winter tyres. When available, the cost of the 265/50R19 starts at £250 each plus fitting. With the cost of having them fitted on and off your current wheels at around £120 per year, we feel it would be better to invest in the 18″ winter wheel and tyre package.

Now comes the downside to owning a Q7, but only if you opted for the exceptional looking 21″ wheels. They look amazing on the vehicle and really stand out from the crowd. But! The standard 295/35R21 tyre price starts at just over £230 without fitting and the winter version in this size, made by Yokohama, at a cost of £300 delivered and limited supply, that’s £1200 plus fitting for the vehicle, makes that 18″ winter package more attractive. Due to this cost and the improved safety features for the 18″ package, then this it what we recommend.

We hope that you find this blog useful and will enable you to make an informed choice for your winter wheels and tyres options. If you require any more information, why not contact the friendly team at Tyremen.

Call 08456 807808

Thanks for reading, the Winter Tyre Reviews Team