The BMW X5 is a mid-sized luxury crossover SUV which has some sporty tendencies. People buy BMWs for their prestige, comfort, design and styling, but also for a bit of sprinted driving. To extract all that the BMW X5 has to offer, you need to pair it up with a good set of proper tires aimed for one thing specifically. The X5 can do many things well, apart from going cross county on gravel roads, and your tire choice allows you to fine tune that experience with a great degree of accuracy. AWD and FWD are available on the X5, which impacts the choice a bit when looking at winter drives. The question is, which tires should I look out for?
Best All-Season Tires for the BMW X5
1.Vredestein Quatrac Pro
Ride Quality: 9 Noise Comfort: 8 Handling: 8 Traction: 8
Living in a wet climate which sees plenty of rain means that you should get a tire which is built for such a task, and the Vredestein Quatrac Pro does the job marvelously. The tire shows an asymmetrical tread pattern designed to push the water towards the outside edge of the vehicle.
Each row of tire blocks looks relatively different. It has many small sipes towards the outside to aid to the tire block flex adding lateral grip during snowy conditions. It also sports bigger blockier sipes on the inside aimed to direct the water towards the outside of the car along with providing a solid contact patch. In the center, you can find a middle ground between the two.
This translates into a tire highly capable in the wet, with the best in its class traction both during handling and during breaking. It, however, suffers a decent amount in hydroplaning. The tire also features fair rolling resistances, a decent price, along with performing adequately in the dry conditions.
Where the tire loses ground is in the snow, fairing moderately in all areas of snow and winter driving. Ice performance is poor. What all this means is that the Vredestein Quatrac Pro is a fantastic tire for regions where it rains for most of the time.
2.Continental CrossContact LX25
Ride Quality: 9 Noise Comfort: 8 Handling: 7 Traction: 9
Continental is a brand with a lot of prestige in tire manufacturing and the CrossContact LX25 helps them to maintain the reputation. The tire has quite a bit of clever engineering sunk into it. The tread pattern is highly symmetrical with a goal of offering good aquaplaning resistance and good traction on warmer days.
The tread depth is generous, giving the tire good tread life and stellar comfort. Rolling resistance numbers are claimed to be on the lower side. All in all, the CrossContact is a good performer as a tire for warmer climates which don’t see a whole lot of rain or snow.
Not all is sunshine and roses. Seeing how the tread pattern lacks a huge deal of small sipes in the tire block, you can expect the tire to not perform fantastically well in the snow. The tire block’s height and lack of support due to missing structural rubber braces also mean that the tire is quite squirmy, from a feedback point of view. Their height, however, show that they should last for a decent amount of time at least.
3.Michelin Premier LTX
Ride Quality: 10 Noise Comfort: 9 Handling: 9 Traction: 7
Probably the tread pattern gurus, Michelin knows a thing or two about what a tread pattern needs and how a small sipe here or lack of a groove there adds to the general feel of the tire. The Premier LTX is such an example, specializing in being a softer tire built for colder climates which see a bit of snow and rain.
The symmetrical contract patch allows the Premier LTX to have good traction in dry conditions, large radial grooves which aid against aquaplaning, along with small zigzag sipes built specifically for colder weather and snow. The compound is on the softer side, giving owners a great deal of comfort without being mushy, but soft enough that it gets shred down in warmer climates.
As such, performance in the hottest of climates is poor, and the wear isn’t fantastic either. Even if the rubber compound is on the softer side, performance in deep snows is lacking. This happens due to a general lack of gripping areas on the contract patch and tire blocks.
Best Touring All-Season Tires for the BMW X5
1.Michelin Crossclimate SUV
Ride Quality: 9 Noise Comfort: 7 Handling: 8 Traction: 10
The Crossclimate SUV is one of the best all-weather tires out there, capable of driving both in the the dry and in the snow in a large variety of conditions. However, the Crossclimate SUV remains an uncontested winner in terms of dry performance and rolling resistance figures.
It features a directional tread pattern, built out of multiple big tire blocks placed in a V-type pattern. This gives the tire good feedback and outstanding performance in the dry conditions due to the large contact patch, regardless of temperatures. These rib-like tire blocks are split by a fine sipe helping it maintain softness in harsh weather, along with helping evacuating water ever so slightly. The V-pattern is also heavily used in winter tires, with the added caveat that it has many blocks which build it, unlike the Crossclimate.
Where the Michelin Crossclimate SUV is lacking is in wet performance. Hydroplaning resistance isn’t anything to write home about, wet handling is lacking, and wet breaking could be improved. Another problem is the price. A tire so capable in all the seasons costs a pretty penny, and the Crossclimate SUV is one of the most expensive tires around.
2.Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3
Ride Quality: 9 Noise Comfort: 9 Handling: 10 Traction: 9
The Scorpion AS Plus 3 is built with longevity in mind, being able to withstand tens of thousands of miles without complaint. You are also getting a very comfortable tire due to their specific rubber compound. This compound is built into an asymmetric tread pattern made to minimize road noise.
Dry performance is fantastic, being a slight derivative of a fully symmetrical tire. Aided by the small modifications gives the AS Plus 3 a wet performance which is nothing short of impressive. Cold performance will be adequate due to the small sipes added to some tread blocks. Knowing this, a light dusting of snow should be manageable. The wear is the best in class and their treadwear rating of 800 proves that, along with their 70,000 miles warranty.
Where the tire starts missing points is due to its poor performance in snowy conditions. Similar to the Michelin, the Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 are also quite expensive.
Best Winter Tires for the BMW X5
1.Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
Ride Quality: 9 Noise Comfort: 8 Handling: 9 Traction: 10
The Japanese engineers over at Bridgestone wanted to develop a tire designed for the Nordic winters, similar to those in Northern Canada or Scandinavia, and succeeded with the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2.
The tread pattern is unique, to say the least. They designed a “micro-texture pattern” into the actual tread pattern. It showcases itself by having lots of tiny edges that grip snow. This turns the Blizzak DM-V2 into a sublime winter tire, both in the snow and in the ice. The symmetrical contact patch also allows the tire to run well in the wet all while providing a predictable behavior out of the tire.
The Blizzak DM-V2’s downfall is the same “micro-texture pattern” that will wear out quite fast if driven directly on pavement, and once that pattern is gone the tire will lose some of its properties. The compound is also pretty soft, so breaking on dry pavement happens with a bit of micro-slippage.
2.Michelin X-Ice SUV
Ride Quality: 8 Noise Comfort: 6 Handling: 9 Traction: 9
A dependable winter tire produced by the French manufacturer. Michelin took their already good winter compounds and slapped on a well-designed tread pattern, producing a potent winter tire with the Michelin X-Ice. There are many small sipes placed carefully which give plenty of traction even if you’re driving on slush, ice, or regular old snow. Not only that, but you also receive a 40,000 miles warranty to boot, which is pretty uncommon for a dedicated winter tire.
As all winter tires go, wet performance is sub-par. Traction during breaking is fine in the wet but driving in the wet is uninspiring and somewhat lackluster. Rolling resistance is also mediocre, but it’s to be expected from a winter tire. All this performance also comes with a price, so the Michelin X-Ice is one of the most expensive winter tires out there.
Best High-Performance Tires for the BMW X5
1.Michelin Pilot Sport PS2
Ride Quality: 7 Noise Comfort: 7 Handling: 10 Traction: 10
The Pilot Sport range from Michelin is renowned in the sports car community due to their stellar performance all-around. The asymmetrical tread pattern is designed with a single goal in mind, and that’s grip. The large grooves allow the water to run through, while the small cuts on the ribs help direct the water to the outside of the tire, providing stellar performance on wet days. Wear is outstanding, some people racking 50,000 miles and more, which for such a soft compound is really rare.
Where the tire doesn’t shine is from a comfort point of view. They are high-performance tires after all. They have quite a harsh ride and they are relatively noisy. Potential buyers are advised. They also perform rather poorly when looking at aquaplaning and driving through puddles at speed.
2.Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric SUV 4x4
Ride Quality: 7 Noise Comfort: 8 Handling: 9 Traction: 10
Goodyear tried to make everyone happy with the Eagle F1 Asymmetric which succeeded massively on regular road cars. They tried a similar recipe in the SUV and Truck market with the Eagle F1 Asymmetric SUV 4x4, with good results overall.
The tread is similar to other high-performance summer tires: A few grooves and thick ribs cut across with big diagonal sipes. This allows the tire to have a fantastic performance in the wet and dry, evacuating water rapidly and providing a large contact patch area. Comfort is higher than average, aquaplaning resistance is high, and it has plenty of road feedback. Overall, a very potent tire.
Where the Eagle F1 Asymmetric doesn’t particularly shine is in the wear department. The SUV variant tends to wear out quite a bit faster because, while the rubber compound remained for the most part the same, the weight is significantly higher.
Best tires for the BMW X5: Buying Guide
If your weather is mild, consider an all-season or an all-weather tire as a BMW X5 owner
The BMW X5 is a very balanced machine, so if you want to pick a tire, try getting a tire according to your climate. All-season and all-weather tires are plentiful, each one behaving just a bit different from another. Knowing this, pick one which seems to be as tailored to your needs as possible. If you find yourself often dreading the rain, try to get a tire focused more on the wet performance and grip. Hotter and drier climates should forget about wet performance entirely; you will drive on dry pavement for the majority of the time. Same logic applies to whatever climate you happen to live in.
Picking an all-season or all-weather tire when your region likes going into extremes, such as -10F or 100F, is foolish. The tire will lose grip, wear down in the blink of the eye, maybe even puncture due to the rubber losing all its properties. If you find that your climate isn’t particularly balanced, steer clear of the all-season tires or all-weather ones. Yes, a pair of all-season or all-weather tires is cheaper than 2 pairs of dedicated summer and winter tires, until you happen to get into a crash.
If you experience harsh winters and summers, then it’s in your best interest to get a winter and summer tire combination for the BMW X5, even if it’s AWD
AWD can be your saving grace, but an AWD car with summer tires performs significantly worse than a FWD car with proper winter tires in the snow. There are plenty of all-season tires which perform really well in the summer, if you can’t find a proper summer tire. There aren’t many all-season tires which can perform the winter tire role, so try to get a winter pair for cold weathers if you find yourself in multiple inches of snow each and every winter. You will thank yourself later when you manage to break just in time to avoid a crash, be it with a car or a pedestrian.
Avoid driving with the summer tire during the winter or when the colder weather comes. Try and get the tires changed as soon as November comes, or even earlier if temperatures decide to drop massively overnight. You will keep the summer tire’s wear to a minimum by doing so.
If you own a BMW X5 M, getting a high-performance tire is a must if you plan on some sprinted driving
High-performance tires have a higher speed rating than regular all-season or all-weather tires, usually anyway. That speed rating is paramount to your safety. Driving at a speed higher than the recommended one will result in severe vibration of the tire which typically leads to the tire’s explosion. We all know that the BMW X5 M is very fast, faster than it should be probably, so avoid an all-season or all-weather tire at all costs if you plan on driving at the car’s limit speed-wise.
If you plan on just driving fast on the highway, you might find an all-season or all-weather tire capable of handling the speed, but if you plan on driving fast across mountain roads with many bends and turns, then I highly recommend picking a high-performance tire. Given the car’s weight, you will start having oversteer issues at high speed on a regular old tire which can, again, be very dangerous.
Bear in mind that most high-performance tires are used solely for the summer season, so get a matching pair of winter tires to be protected in all the seasons.