I recently received the following question on a BMW tire and wheel forum that I moderate for members of 2013 BMW 3 Series vehicles:
"I was looking at getting a summer 19" set-up, but after some research, it doesn't sound like I'll get much improvement in performance over an 18" set-up with my style of driving. I live in Minnesota, so I will probably only have them on the car for five months. I don't track my car and only do spirited driving occasionally due to having a wife and kid, but would still like an upgrade over the stock 18' all-seasons when I do.
I was looking at the Continental ExtremeContact DW because of the low price being offered through Tire Rack, but would prefer the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Is there a big difference for the extra $200 between these two options for my style of driving? Also, I want a little more aggressive look, while still maintaining the square set-up. I was looking at Enkei Racing Series PF01 (18x8) all the way around. Can I use a 245/35R18 on those for a little fatter, more aggressive look or should I stick with the stock size?"
With his style of driving, I recommended the following:
"Given that you only do occasional spirited driving, you'll likely be happy with the Continental ExtremeContact DW tires. On the new body of the BMW 3 Series (F30), you have a bit more clearance compared to the older E90 3 Series models, so you can use the stock 225/45R18, 245/40R18 or shorter 245/35R18 sizes with no problem. I personally would lean towards 245/40R18 to keep the same overall diameter while slightly increasing the width compared to the stock size."
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Continental ExtremeContact DW
The member emphasized that his vehicle is a family car and implied that he wouldn't mind giving up a little in terms of grip and handling for a lower cost tire. From our testing and customer feedback, the Continental ExtremeContact DW does just that. The Continental ExtremeContact DW has a slightly softer ride, while the Michelin Pilot Super Sport has more dry grip and a faster steering response.
For more information on the differences between these tires, read "Michelin Pilot Super Sport vs. Continental ExtremeContact DW."