225/45 R17 91W for e46 330Ci: which all-seasons suck the least?

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Sep 26, 2014
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Good evening, forum.

The wife has bought a new toy, which I picked up yesterday.

20221008_170646.jpg


20221008_170709.jpg


2004 330Ci. (This is the convertible that was briefly mentioned in my Alfa thread. I had considered buying this as a daily, but I just could not bear the thought of forcing a beautiful, rust-free car through salt and slush. After I bought the Alfa, the wife innocently asked "why can't we have both?").

Car has Z4 dome bearings which lower the front 1cm, to compensate for the extra weight of the LPG tank in the trunk. This makes it sit level and removes the "permanent uphill". Front camber is set to max (within BMW tolerances). Else, the suspension is stock.
The car is sitting on the prvious owners "winter storage" wheels (we didn't like the "real" wheels, at least not at that price...), which means the tyres are very old Dunlop Wintersport somethings. Despite being old and run-flats, they drive surprisingly ok-ish, but they will have to go.
Which leads us to the question with which to replace these.

The car is NOT intended to be driven in winter conditions. There is, however, a small chance that it might - in case both the Alfa and the Saab NG break down at the same time, something will have to get me to work.
Also, there is a slightly higher chance that we might get caught in a change of weather - in the Alps and in the foothills, spring and autumn weather changes can be quick and violent and you can experience three seasons within half an hour. I'd rather not experience snow on a mountain road while on summer tyres.
A couple of years ago, I was in a similar situation (i.e: the exact same use case) with a 1984 900 sedan, which I had put on Vredestein Quatrac 3. This worked reasonably well. However, the 900 was non-powered by a small n/a engine, most of whose 118hp were lost in the torque converter of it's 3-speed slushbox. Also, being a n/a sedan in basically US-spec, that car lacked stabilizers, had very soft suspension and the steering charateristics of a motor boat (displacement type). It was not sporty at all. The Q3 had a reputation as a more summer-oriented all-season, and while it's grip levels were average at best, they provided nice feedback and were surprisingly responsive to steering input. (I later "finished them off" on my 900 turbo, so I was able to get some experience with these on a slightly sportier setup).

So here I am: still undecided whether I go with summer tyres or again go to all-seasons. The e46 is much more powerful and much more sporty (even though it clearly is NOT a sports car) that that old Saab Sedan. I'd like to have some sort of safety net, some "will get me home though white stuff if absolutely need be", but no real winter capabilites, and I do not want to loose to much grip, responsiveness and feedback on dry and wet roads, either. So if I go the all-season-route this must be one of the more summer-oriented. Also, as this car's top speed is 247km/h, "V" will not suffice, but I'll need W or Y. (We visit orthern Italy frequently, and if you want to drive winter tyres or all-seaons outside of the winter months, Italy requires the tyres to have the same speed rating as summers. The usual speed rating excemption for winter tyres does not apply in summer.) From some quick research, this narrows it down to three models:

a) Michelin Cross Climate 2
b) Dunlop Sport All-Season
c) Vredestein Quatrac Pro

The latter two seem to have asymmetric thread pattern, while the Michelin has the typical "tractor" V-pattern of a winter tyre (minus the sipes). I have heard that the e36 does not like V-patterned summer tyres - is this only hearsay, or does this hold true? And if so, does the Michelin CC still work on the e46?
Does someone have experience with any of these tyres on an e46?

Thanks a lot for your input!
 
Last edited:
Joined
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549
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Pennsylvania
I can only speak of the Michelin CC2 which I can say is very good in light snow but that tire is not very sporty and would kill everything you enjoy about the BMW's handling. Very good tire for a minivan.
 
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It might be heresy but if you can find them in Europe, these are very good tires. I have a set right now and they perform extremely well. In the US they are really affordable.

Nankang Tire-logo

NANKANG TIRE NS-25 A/S UHP

1665267143236.png
 
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Parts Unknown
Good evening, forum.

The wife has bought a new toy, which I picked up yesterday.

View attachment 120212

View attachment 120213

2004 330Ci. (This is the convertible that was briefly mentioned in my Alfa thread. I had considered buying this as a daily, but I just could not bear the thought of forcing a beautiful, rust-free car through salt and slush. After I bought the Alfa, the wife innocently asked "why can't we have both?").

Car has Z4 dome bearings which lower the front 1cm, to compensate for the extra weight of the LPG tank in the trunk. This makes it sit level and removes the "permanent uphill". Front camber is set to max (within BMW tolerances). Else, the suspension is stock.
The car is sitting on the prvious owners "winter storage" wheels (we didn't like the "real" wheels, at least not at that price...), which means the tyres are very old Dunlop Wintersport somethings. Despite being old and run-flats, they drive surprisingly ok-ish, but they will have to go.
Which leads us to the question with which to replace these.

The car is NOT intended to be driven in winter conditions. There is, however, a small chance that it might - in case both the Alfa and the Saab NG break down at the same time, something will have to get me to work.
Also, there is a slightly higher chance that we might get caught in a change of weather - in the Alps and in the foothills, spring and autumn weather changes can be quick and violent and you can experience three seasons within half an hour. I'd rather not experience snow on a mountain road while on summer tyres.
A couple of years ago, I was in a similar situation (i.e: the exact same use case) with a 1984 900 sedan, which I had put on Vredestein Quatrac 3. This worked reasonably well. However, the 900 was non-powered by a small n/a engine, most of whose 118hp were lost in the torque converter of it's 3-speed slushbox. Also, being a n/a sedan in basically US-spec, that car lacked stabilizers, had very soft suspension and the steering charateristics of a motor boat (displacement type). It was not sporty at all. The Q3 had a reputation as a more summer-oriented all-season, and while it's grip levels were average at best, they provided nice feedback and were surprisingly responsive to steering input. (I later "finished them off" on my 900 turbo, so I was able to get some experience with these on a slightly sportier setup).

So here I am: still undecided whether I go with summer tyres or again go to all-seasons. The e46 is much more powerful and much more sporty (even though it clearly is NOT a sports car) that that old Saab Sedan. I'd like to have some sort of safety net, some "will get me home though white stuff if absolutely need be", but no real winter capabilites, and I do not want to loose to much grip, responsiveness and feedback on dry and wet roads, either. So if I go the all-season-route this must be one of the more summer-oriented. Also, as this car's top speed is 247km/h, "V" will not suffice, but I'll need W or Y. (We visit orthern Italy frequently, and if you want to drive winter tyres or all-seaons outside of the winter months, Italy requires the tyres to have the same speed rating as summers. The usual speed rating excemption for winter tyres does not apply in summer.) From some quick research, this narrows it down to three models:

a) Michelin Cross Climate 2
b) Dunlop Sport All-Season
c) Vredestein Quatrac Pro

The latter two seem to have asymmetric thread pattern, while the Michelin has the typical "tractor" V-pattern of a winter tyre (minus the sipes). I have heard that the e36 does not like V-patterned summer tyres - is this only hearsay, or does this hold true? And if so, does the Michelin CC still work on the e46?
Does someone have experience with any of these tyres on an e46?

Thanks a lot for your input!
The Tyres Review Youtube channel does generally like the CC2. But there are some contenders to the throne.

 

turboseize

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Joined
Sep 26, 2014
Messages
383
Location
Germany
The Tyres Review Youtube channel does generally like the CC2. But there are some contenders to the throne.
Thanks a lot!

So according to the video it seems that the CC2 has given up to much of the original CC's summer capabilities in exchange for snow performance.
That video brought the Bridgestone Weather Control A005 and the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 onto my radar.
 
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Messages
14,357
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The Dunlop isn't sold here, so we have no experience with it. However, I do like Dunlop tires and would seriously consider them if we did get them.

Michelin is very popular on here. They market their 3-peak all-season as a summer tire with snow capability, so it may very well be what you're looking for, if you're willing to spend the extra money on them.

Vredestein is also well-liked here, and they were the first to come out with a 3-peak all-season tire.

You have a lot of choices from this site. Dunlop has a $20 rebate, too. That is probably the one I'd buy.
 
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6,613
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Agree with above. I really like the CC2 and drive mine with gusto. They don’t have as much lateral grip, but you still have to push it a bit to approach it. Their wet traction is great. Wife’s car? Easily a great choice. We have 2 sets and I enjoy them on a RWD because the have a nice controlled oversteer under throttle.

add to the mix, continental DWS06 plus. These are highly regarded on premium vehicles. A bit softer sidewall, but sticky rubber and absorb road imperfections well.

Also add to the mix, the Bridgestone potenza RE980 AS. They are a stiffer sidewalled tire, pretty quiet with excellent traction. They use a softer compound that holds well in the cold and wet, but does wear faster.
 

turboseize

Thread starter
Joined
Sep 26, 2014
Messages
383
Location
Germany
The Dunlop isn't sold here, so we have no experience with it. However, I do like Dunlop tires and would seriously consider them if we did get them.

Michelin is very popular on here. They market their 3-peak all-season as a summer tire with snow capability, so it may very well be what you're looking for, if you're willing to spend the extra money on them.

Vredestein is also well-liked here, and they were the first to come out with a 3-peak all-season tire.

You have a lot of choices from this site. Dunlop has a $20 rebate, too. That is probably the one I'd buy.
The Michelin CC2 is said to have given up much of it's summer bias. Apparently it now is a great tyre in snow as well. So as an all-season it seems to have improved and become much more well-rounded, but for my intended use case that's a bad thing. The original CC's characteristics as a "summer tyre with (limited) winter capabilities", as they were marketed, would have been ideal.
The Vredestein Q Pro seems to be phenomenal in the wet (not that good at aquaplaning, though), but looses in the dry. So not ideal for a convertible, either. (The Q3 was the other way around: very nice in the dry, with very responsive steering and feedback, but lacked wet grip. It wasn't terrible in the wet, but dry was it's forte).
I have yet to find test results for the Dunlop, especially a direct comparison agains the CC2 and the Vredestein.

Price/value: That is not much of a concern in this case. This tyre size is really affordable - even the Michelin is only a hair over 110€, while other reputable brands stay in the 90-105€ range. A cheap chinese tyre is still 65€. I am not playing games to save 200€ on a five-figure car. (I would not play games with tyres anyways. I've had enough cars were the tyres were worth more than the car. Trying to save money on tyres, brakes, suspension parts is not worth it imho.)
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Messages
14,357
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The Michelin CC2 is said to have given up much of it's summer bias. Apparently it now is a great tyre in snow as well. So as an all-season it seems to have improved and become much more well-rounded, but for my intended use case that's a bad thing. The original CC's characteristics as a "summer tyre with (limited) winter capabilities", as they were marketed, would have been ideal.
The Vredestein Q Pro seems to be phenomenal in the wet (not that good at aquaplaning, though), but looses in the dry. So not ideal for a convertible, either. (The Q3 was the other way around: very nice in the dry, with very responsive steering and feedback, but lacked wet grip. It wasn't terrible in the wet, but dry was it's forte).
I have yet to find test results for the Dunlop, especially a direct comparison agains the CC2 and the Vredestein.

Price/value: That is not much of a concern in this case. This tyre size is really affordable - even the Michelin is only a hair over 110€, while other reputable brands stay in the 90-105€ range. A cheap chinese tyre is still 65€. I am not playing games to save 200€ on a five-figure car. (I would not play games with tyres anyways. I've had enough cars were the tyres were worth more than the car. Trying to save money on tyres, brakes, suspension parts is not worth it imho.)

You might like Pirelli for your intended usage. The SF2 seems like a summer-biased all-season like the original CC.

Conti's European tire lines are good, too. You will probably be happen with the AllSeasonContact.


[American all-season Pilot AS4] Looks exactly like what I need, but not available in Europe.

You could always buy them online from the US and import them, as long as you don't actually use them during the months when winter tires are required :sneaky:

This seller will ship to Germany, if you really are interested in them :unsure:
 
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central europe
Good evening, forum.

The wife has bought a new toy, which I picked up yesterday.

View attachment 120212

View attachment 120213

2004 330Ci. (This is the convertible that was briefly mentioned in my Alfa thread. I had considered buying this as a daily, but I just could not bear the thought of forcing a beautiful, rust-free car through salt and slush. After I bought the Alfa, the wife innocently asked "why can't we have both?").

Car has Z4 dome bearings which lower the front 1cm, to compensate for the extra weight of the LPG tank in the trunk. This makes it sit level and removes the "permanent uphill". Front camber is set to max (within BMW tolerances). Else, the suspension is stock.
The car is sitting on the prvious owners "winter storage" wheels (we didn't like the "real" wheels, at least not at that price...), which means the tyres are very old Dunlop Wintersport somethings. Despite being old and run-flats, they drive surprisingly ok-ish, but they will have to go.
Which leads us to the question with which to replace these.

The car is NOT intended to be driven in winter conditions. There is, however, a small chance that it might - in case both the Alfa and the Saab NG break down at the same time, something will have to get me to work.
Also, there is a slightly higher chance that we might get caught in a change of weather - in the Alps and in the foothills, spring and autumn weather changes can be quick and violent and you can experience three seasons within half an hour. I'd rather not experience snow on a mountain road while on summer tyres.
A couple of years ago, I was in a similar situation (i.e: the exact same use case) with a 1984 900 sedan, which I had put on Vredestein Quatrac 3. This worked reasonably well. However, the 900 was non-powered by a small n/a engine, most of whose 118hp were lost in the torque converter of it's 3-speed slushbox. Also, being a n/a sedan in basically US-spec, that car lacked stabilizers, had very soft suspension and the steering charateristics of a motor boat (displacement type). It was not sporty at all. The Q3 had a reputation as a more summer-oriented all-season, and while it's grip levels were average at best, they provided nice feedback and were surprisingly responsive to steering input. (I later "finished them off" on my 900 turbo, so I was able to get some experience with these on a slightly sportier setup).

So here I am: still undecided whether I go with summer tyres or again go to all-seasons. The e46 is much more powerful and much more sporty (even though it clearly is NOT a sports car) that that old Saab Sedan. I'd like to have some sort of safety net, some "will get me home though white stuff if absolutely need be", but no real winter capabilites, and I do not want to loose to much grip, responsiveness and feedback on dry and wet roads, either. So if I go the all-season-route this must be one of the more summer-oriented. Also, as this car's top speed is 247km/h, "V" will not suffice, but I'll need W or Y. (We visit orthern Italy frequently, and if you want to drive winter tyres or all-seaons outside of the winter months, Italy requires the tyres to have the same speed rating as summers. The usual speed rating excemption for winter tyres does not apply in summer.) From some quick research, this narrows it down to three models:

a) Michelin Cross Climate 2
b) Dunlop Sport All-Season
c) Vredestein Quatrac Pro

The latter two seem to have asymmetric thread pattern, while the Michelin has the typical "tractor" V-pattern of a winter tyre (minus the sipes). I have heard that the e36 does not like V-patterned summer tyres - is this only hearsay, or does this hold true? And if so, does the Michelin CC still work on the e46?
Does someone have experience with any of these tyres on an e46?

Thanks a lot for your input!
a/
 
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down in the park
I skipped CC2 last year as I suspectd they gave up dry/wet performance for snow performance. Seems I was right. I had the original CC, it had enough snow performance for my needs, but still lacking wet grip. I don't actually run these tyres all year, just in fall/winter/spring so when a very cheap set of continental TS860 fell in my lap I went with those. Otherwise the Hankook are now on my shortlist.
 
Joined
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I skipped CC2 last year as I suspectd they gave up dry/wet performance for snow performance. Seems I was right. I had the original CC, it had enough snow performance for my needs, but still lacking wet grip. I don't actually run these tyres all year, just in fall/winter/spring so when a very cheap set of continental TS860 fell in my lap I went with those. Otherwise the Hankook are now on my shortlist.

a lot of people on here don't like Hankook :cautious:

@slacktide_bitog shipping and import duty/customs are runing this idea. (Time to get those free-trade talks going again.)

In that case, your best choices are probably Pirelli and Conti
 
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I don't like hankook much either, but if you're in europe and want a summer biased tyre with acceptable snow performance the field is really thin. The latest Hankook offerings seems to be much better though, wet grip was always terrible with the older gens.
 
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open range
I can only speak of the Michelin CC2 which I can say is very good in light snow but that tire is not very sporty and would kill everything you enjoy about the BMW's handling. Very good tire for a minivan.

You're overexaggerating. I'm under the expression the OP's wife
won't speed or corner to the limits. The CC2 still remains a great
option. I'll try the CC2 withou a qualm when my CC+ are due. I
run them during winter season only however.
I'd listen to Jonathan from Tire Reviews. In case just ask him on
Tire Reviews.



Not sure if anyone in Europe will thank you later since PS AS4
aren't available in Europe and OP said he's based in Germany.
I notice some appreciate your suggestion regardless it doesn't
help the OP at all.
.
 

TCL

Joined
Nov 13, 2020
Messages
300
You're overexaggerating. I'm under the expression the OP's wife
won't speed or corner to the limits. The CC2 still remains a great
option. I'll try the CC2 withou a qualm when my CC+ are due. I
run them during winter season only however.
I'd listen to Jonathan from Tire Reviews. In case just ask him on
Tire Reviews.




Not sure if anyone in Europe will thank you later since PS AS4
aren't available in Europe and OP said he's based in Germany.
I notice some appreciate your suggestion regardless it doesn't
help the OP at all.
.
Oh well. Germany's loss.
 
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