As a moderator for some BMW forums, I receive many questions about these vehicles. Recently, I got the following e-mail from a BMW owner:
I have read many of your posts regarding the topic of winter tire recommendations. I am currently looking to get a winter/snow tire for my 2009 BMW 335i w/sport package. I plan on getting four 225/45R17 tires. However, I am unsure what type of tire and brand I should buy for my area. Currently, I live in Kansas City, but I travel to Chicago about two to three times during the winter. Also, I might be moving to Chicago. I am looking for a tire that is dependable when it's the worst outside, but it's a hard decision because of the two different areas. I am currently looking at the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 and Michelin X-Ice Xi3. What is your opinion/recommendation?
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Since I get the opportunity to test tires at Tire Rack, I get to see what tires can do on the street, as well as in winter conditions. With many different models of winter / snow tires to test, we really get to see how each tire performs in different environments. With that in mind, here is what I recommended to the customer:
Thanks for your inquiry. Between the two, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 has better dry grip and faster steering response for the days when there isn't snow on the roads. Bridgestone's Blizzak WS70 offers slightly better snow traction, but does not feel as stable on dry days or at highway speeds. Most drivers in your situation would lean towards the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 as the difference in snow/ice traction between the two is very small compared to the more noticeable difference in fair weather handling.
You can learn about my experience with the Michelin X-Ice line of winter /snow tires by reading "My Story on Winter Tires."