BMW X3 Build - Tire & Wheel Size Recommendation

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I’m looking to possibly lease a BMW xDrive30i which I will have custom built, so I have the option of selecting the tire/rim size, but not sure which to go with. I currently lease an S4, and have 18” run flats on them. I’ve gone through several tires due to bubbles or multiple patches on the same tire. Audi doesn’t put a 2nd patch on the same tire. I have tire and wheel coverage so idc as it’s covered. I am located in Long Island, NY, so the roads suck!!

My options for the BMW are:

  • 18” run flats
  • 19” run flats
  • 19” non run flats

Which to go with on the build? To get tire and wheel coverage again from BMW? AAA? A third party? Something else?

Btw, does anyone know if I get the non run flats do they give a spare?

19 non run flats and I’m pretty sure it forces the build to come with a spare in that case.


Yes this is the correct response.


note you cannot patch a run flat for a second time. at that point, its structural integrity is compromised.

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Anything without run flats


So the rougher ride with more cabin noise of the the larger 19s outweigh the 18s because they’re run flats, which tend to have a stiffer ride? Because basically it comes down to the cons of a smaller run flat tire vs the cons of a larger tire but non run flat.

It goes far beyond the ride characteristics of the run flats. Much higher replacement costs, reduced lifespan, etc


How about if you have the tire and wheel coverage? For example on my Audi it paid for itself because I’ve went through so many tires due to all the potholes in New York

IMO, yes, it does.

I’ve driven all these X3 permutations (as loaners) over the years and had the M40i with the 19 run-flats.

If you consider replacement costs and ride quality, nothing beats traditional tires. Not to mention, there is so much more choice. For the 19 RFTs, there are exactly two All Seasons models. Pirelli and Bridgestone

However, I have been in a situation where I’ve gotten flats where I couldn’t pull over. That’s where the RFTs are great.

Yeah, I made my money back on the M40i with the wheel/tire coverage also, but it did have runflats.

I’d rather keep that money in a savings account and just pay out of pocket. If you bend a wheel, you can find replacements online for cheap and non-RFTs aren’t going to cost you $350/piece.

Just thinking out loud. May be worth not getting the tire and wheel coverage. Instead go with the 18s rft. Swap them out for non rft, and when it’s time to return the lease throw the rft back on. I’m sure BMW is going to want tires with 4/32 threads or something similar.

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I’ve seen BestUsedTires patch a RFT two or even three times. Not preferable albeit the patches are professionally inspected and they worked perfectly fine.

Yeah that’s a good idea. You have to have OEM tires at the end of the lease (star on the sidewall)

Might be the route to go. Thanks. But if not then the 19 non run flats are the other options. Forget run flats I guess. Regardless of 18s or 19s

I haven’t ever seen anything to support that. Has to be comparable to oem tires (type, rating, etc) but not actual oem spec.

They checked my tires for the star at my lease-end inspection

No, you don’t.

If they came with RFT, you have to return with RFT of the same size and spec.

That may be a quick and easy way for them to verify your tires are acceptable, but it certainly isn’t required.

Run flats might only last 20k miles, they might need replacement way before turn in, so getting run flat and then buy used tires might not be an option.

Go with non run-flats, if your build has to have run flats, buy 4 non-RFT and swap them once you get the car. I have 4 RFT sitting in my garage right now and I am happy BMW bring back some non-RFT options.

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The non rft are the 19s tho. Not 18s. And you have the separate issues with 18s vs 19s. But a few mentioned above the cons of the rfts outweigh the cons of the 19s.