Which Run-Flat Winter / Snow Tire Should I Choose?

If you're the owner of a 2007-2012 BMW 3 Series, then odds are you probably do not have a spare tire. Therefore, you may be considering run-flat winter / snow tires to help you in case you experience a tire blowout during the winter months. Besides providing great wintertime traction, run-flat tires are designed for the colder months to maintain temporary vehicle mobility even after air loss.

For the 2012-2013 winter season, the following 225/45R17 run-flat options are my top choices based on customer feedback and my experience with moderating several BMW internet forums:

Before deciding on one of these three options for your BMW, consider the differences between them.

  • The Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 ZP gives up a bit of deep snow traction compared to the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT and Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D DSST RunOnFlat. If you're in an area where you frequently drive on loose, unpacked snow, you'd want to consider either the Bridgestone or Dunlop option.
  • Do you live in an area that receives a light amount of snow and are willing to give up some snow capability for better dry road handling? Then take a look at the Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 ZP.
  • For more moderate to heavy snow areas, I would lean towards the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT or Dunlop Winter Sport 3D DSST RunOnFlat. I would expect the Blizzak LM-25 RFT to perform slightly better on snow and ice than the Dunlop. Otherwise, these two run-flat winter / snow tires are very comparable to one another.

Still having trouble deciding which tire is right for your vehicle? Our Winter Tire Decision Guide can help.



Thursday, November 1, 2012 by Elaine

I am looking at run flat winter tire for my BMW X1
225-50-R17 i think. With wheels package. Can you recommend and do you have the BMW logo ?
Thursday, November 1, 2012 by Gary


We have many wheels that fit the X1 and accept BMW center caps. Two of the more popular choices have been the Rial Salerno and Sport Edition A7. You can view the complete list at the winter section of our site using the link in the blog.
Sunday, December 2, 2012 by Paul

I have a 2008 BMW 335iConvertible with sport package and high performance tires. No longer have an extra car for wi Ted and plan to put winter tires on the car this year. Do I need to downsize the wheels? Live in NJ and in deep snow I can use my wife's SUV. What is the best tire - thinking about the Michelin Alpine?
Monday, December 3, 2012 by Gary


You can either use 17" with 225/45R17 or 18" with 225/40R18. The Pilot Alpin PA3 ZP would be an excellent choice for a winter tire in New Jersey.
Monday, December 10, 2012 by Jennifer Freezer

I have 2012 335i sport line, I am looking for an 18" all weather tire as my current tires, continental contact sport are not able to get me up my drive way. I live in Colorado, need run flats as female driver and do not change tires, any idea? thanks
Monday, December 10, 2012 by Gary


In the 225/45R18 size for run flat all season tires, I would recommend the Continental Pro Contact SSR.
Thursday, October 15, 2015 by walter

I'm looking for run flat winter/snow tires for my bmw x1 xdrive28i 18 inch wheels. The oem tire size is 225/45-18. I also have a set of wheels and tires that I bought from Tire Rack for my bmw335 2 years back that I no longer own. The tire size for the winter is 225/45-17. I'm wondering if those would fit my x1. The tires are in a great shape, i used them for 2 seasons. If those won't work, I was considering Pirelli winter sottozero serie 2 either the 210 or 240 in 225/45-18 but not sure which one will be better for my x1. Thanks, Walter
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 by Gary


225/45R17 is shorter in height and load capacity than recommended. We will have no Pirelli winter tires available this season in 225/45R18. You can find them in 235/45R18 which will fit, or choose another winter tire in 225/45R18 such as the Michelin Xice Xi3.

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