6 best tires for BMW x5 run flat [2023]

You just noticed that your BMW X5 has a tire with low tread, which means it needs new tires. So, before you buy, what are the best run flat tires for a BMW X5?

best tires for BMW x5

The best run flat tires for a BMW X5 are listed below, with some explanation as to why we like them.  

  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP
  • Pirelli P Zero RFT
  • Continental CrossContact LX SSR
  • Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 ZP
  • Bridgestone Alenza Sport A/S RFT
  • Bridgestone Blizzak (winter/snow tire)

The BMW X5 has been one of the most popular mid-sized SUVs to grace the American roadway. The excellent ride, plush interiors, dynamic safety components, and precise German engineering have helped cement it as a symbol of luxury and affluence in the minds of the American consumer. Unfortunately, luxury has its price.

As any fashionista knows, the proper shoes can make or break a look, and the same principle applies to the X5. With the advent of run-flat technologies, finding the right shoes for your SUV is more crucial than ever. This article will discuss the best run-flat tires for the X5 to help your SUV look and perform its best as it struts down the road. 

What is a Run-Flat Tire?

If you have ever driven over a nail or screw and had it puncture your tire, you know how inconvenient it is to have a tire go flat. There is no worse sound for a driver to hear than the the thump, thump, thump of rolling down the road on a bad tire. To combat this catastrophe, engineers got their heads together to see if they could create a tire strong enough to keep going, even when there was no air inflating it. 

A run-flat tire is a tire built with strong enough sidewalls to keep the integrity of the tire intact regardless of whether air is inside the tire. The reinforced sidewalls are designed to support the rim, even if a puncture occurs and all the air escapes. Since the weight of a vehicle can be substantial (we’re talking tons here), you can sense how complex and radical the idea was when it first came out. 

As the projects developed, the notion was floated that to be truly effective, the RFT (run-flat tire) would need to be capable of riding for several miles (some dealers pushed for 50 miles). 

In the mid-1980s, run-flat tires began to appear in luxury automobiles. In 1989, Bridgestone put RFTs on a Porsche, and soon afterward, BMW decided that it liked the concept and put these types of tires onto the Z4 and 5 Series before placing them onto every one of the models. 

The instant effects were almost immediate as more and more automakers chose to lose the spare tire and substitute RFTs. The lighter weight (a spare tire is one of the heaviest things on a new car) led to increased fuel economy, cargo space, and passenger volume. Unfortunately, it also created a hailstorm in that angry owners were calling dealers demanding to know who had gone.

How Do I Know If A Tire is Run Flat?

All BMW X5s are equipped with run-flat tires, as the manufacturer has led the initiative to use them. If you are unsure if a tire is a run-flat while shopping online, most manufacturers will add SSR or RFT after the tire’s name to designate the specific tire as a run-flat tire. You should also see this designation on the side wall of the tire. 

Do I Have To Use Run-Flat Tires on my BMW X5?

The easy answer is that you do not have to replace your RFT with run-flat tires if you don’t want to. However, you should know that besides the obvious problem of being stranded on the side of some dark highway with no help, you will be adding a spare. Most X5s are no longer equipped with adequate spare storage space; if you get one, you might have to find a different spot for your groceries. 

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Run flat tires have gotten a bad rap over the years due to the increased weight (the loss of a spare tends to balance this out), poor ride quality, and the lack of effective treadwear. Owners complained that the RFT wore more quickly and that most companies that used them were trying to get into consumers’ pockets faster. 

However, there is no question that RFTs have saved lives, improved driver’s confidence, and made the lives of affluent Americans much more manageable. 

What are the Best Run Flat Tires for the BMW X5?

The first thing you realize when shopping for new tires is how many options are available. It seems as if every tire manufacturer on the planet seems to be pushing for a chance to get its sticky fingers into your pocketbook. There is so much hype it is impossible to know what brands to trust, and the last thing you want to do is pick the wrong shoes to go with the outfit. 

Michelin Lattitude Tour HP ZP

As anyone who drives a luxury vehicle will tell you, Michelin makes the gold standard of tires. The French multinational has been producing tires for years with a passion as if Rembrandt were painting a priceless masterpiece for the Louvre.

Their tires excel in almost every area, but like any masterpiece, they cost a fortune to own. The trouble is that Michelin knows it makes a great product, and it will demand that you pay the price to slip a set of them onto your X5. 

Michelin uses this tire as OE (Original Equipment) tires for many SUV models, and it is easy to understand why. The Lattitude Tour is designed to run for up to 50 miles @ 50 mph without any air if punctured. Michelin has led the way in providing great run-flat confidence to drivers, but they have also succeeded in building a tire that can last well past the 30k mile warranty. 

Michelin uses one of the more complicated formulas in its compound (adding over 200 different components, chemicals, and polymers) to produce a tire with excellent treadwear, traction, and .braking ability. T

he denser tread helps during run-flat situations, provides a better grip on dry and wet pavements, improves handling during turns, and maintains as much surface contact on the pavement as possible. The twin belt interior is reinforced with polyester and nylon cords to soften the ride, which tends to be the primary complaint of run-flat tires. 

The tire tread has crisscrossing grooves that push moisture away from the center contact points. The deeper channels on the edges leading to the side walls keep the tire from hydroplaning and improve handling responsiveness on rain-soaked or lightly snowed roadways. 

Michelin offers a 30k mile warranty, which includes three years of superb roadside assistance, battery start, flat tire change or a tow should the car need it, and a 60-day satisfaction money-back guarantee. 

Michelin is the largest tire manufacturer in the world, with tire sales of around $27.84 billion worldwide. They operate 117 facilities in 26 countries and employ over 124,000 workers.

Recently, Michelin has launched a sustainability program by introducing tires that require less carbon to produce and attempting to find more ways to recycle and reuse tires to limit their environmental impact. They have joined many other manufacturers in committing to making a completely 100% sustainable tire before 2050. 

 Pros:

  • Great run-flat protection
  • Strong in dry traction even at high speeds
  • Denser compound increases tread life
  • Excellent at preventing hydroplaning
  • Roadside assistance complimentary

Cons:

  • Some complaints on ride comfort

Price:

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website.

See TODAY’S PRICE on TireRack.com.

best tires for BMW x5

Pirelli P Zero RFT

Pirelli draws on its rich racing experience to formulate what has to be one of the best Max Performance Summer tires on the market. The tire has graced the likes of Mercedes and BMW as OE tires over the past year or two, and there is a reason for that placement.

A manufacturer primarily selects a specific brand of stock tire because they know the tires provide the best ride and safety for multiple driving conditions. (In other words, they attempt to satisfy as many owners as possible by choosing an all-purpose tire that can provide traction, handling, comfort, and all the other boxes that need to be checked. 

Pirelli uses a unique high silica content in their rubber compound that performs well in warmer climates. Unfortunately, these Max Performance Summer Tires are not for you if you live in a colder climate, as the compound tends to crack under freezing temperatures. While the tire has excellent dry and wet traction ability, it is simply not built for use in places where snow and ice are frequent visitors. 

The tread pattern comprises three narrow bands that wrap around the tire, with directional siping feathering away from the center contact points. Water is channeled along three larger ruts and a smaller one forcing moisture toward the rear.

This effect helps keep the tire gripped to the ground, even under stress or challenging road conditions. The tire’s configuration helps avoid hydroplaning, which is a plus in case one of your tires begins to lose cohesion, and your ESC light snaps on.

Pirelli uses a softer compound than Michelin, which also helps with steering and cornering ability. The edges of the tread and side walls are reinforced to help with the run-flat scenarios and allow the tires to run for additional mileage. (While you may not get 50 additional miles as Michelin proclaims, you can still get to a service center close by)

The company has been working toward sustainability with several technological advancements to help clean up its carbon footprint. Integrated into the company business model, Pirelli is figuring out what recycled materials it can use by experimenting with various polymers and natural oils to reduce its dependence on petroleum and other harmful components that can end up polluting our environment. 

Pirelli is a multinational tire manufacturer currently rated as the sixth largest in the world. They generate around 5.8 billion dollars in revenue, operate out of 19 manufacturing sites in 13 separate countries and employ around 35,000 workers. 

The primary drawback to the Pirellis is that they are so dang expensive. (They are even more than Michelins). So, if you are made of cash, buy a set of them. You will be highly pleased. 

 Pros:

  • Great balanced Max Performance Summer Tire
  • Softer compound means smoother ride
  • Reinforced side wall
  • Excellent at preventing hydroplaning
  • Roadside assistance complementary for first year
  • Formula 1 experience influences the build of the tire.

Cons:

  • Expensive tire

Price:

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website

See TODAY’S PRICE on TireRack.com.

Continental CrossContact LX Sport SSR

This all-season touring tire is specifically designed for use on many SUVs and crossover vehicles. Mercedes has used it as part of their package, and many review sites recommend using them on comparable BMW models like the X5. The tire combines a smooth ride, excellent traction on dry and wet surfaces, and run-flat reinforced sidewalls to make for what many feel is an excellent tire. 

The issue with many run-flat tires is that the manufacturer has to decide whether to sacrifice roadworthiness and comfort for hardening up the side walls to allow the driver to make it safely to the service station. The SSR incorporates the standard run-flat technology, allowing drivers to run for up to 50 miles at a speed of 50 mph (we don’t recommend that, of course).

Yet, despite the large blocks of tread on the side and thicker side walls, the ride and comfort of the tires are surprisingly supple. (At least as supple as a run-flat can be). It is clear that the Japanese want to strike a healthy balance between cushion and safety; amazingly enough, they have done just that. 

The increased silica compound makes for the tread that tends to grab the pavement rather than just roll over it. It also ensures that the tire works in all weather conditions, including ice or snow, by helping the center contact point stay firmly planted on the pavement. 

The tread is a bit asymmetrical, with cuts and grooves channeling water from beneath the tire’s footprint, keeping hydroplaning to a minimum which is very important when your X5 is used for hauling kids to soccer meets, dance recitals, and little league. 

The CrossContact is a tire that can save some money at the pump (which is a good thing) due to the high price of gasoline being what it is. A lower rolling resistance to the tire aids in the ease with which it rolls, and if an engine works less, it burns less, too. 

Continental offers a six-year warranty with a free replacement under the initial 2/32nds. And three years of free flat changing should you need it. 

Continental has joined other competitors to develop a sustainable tire with 100% recycled materials by 2050. The company has been experimenting with recycled plastic and dandelion oils to increase the tire’s sustainability. While more progress needs to be made, it is a joy to see more and more tire manufacturers begin recognizing the viability of environmentally friendly policies. 

Continental has joined other competitors to develop a sustainable tire with 100% recycled materials by 2050. The company has been experimenting with recycled plastic and dandelion oils to increase the tire’s sustainability. While more progress needs to be made, it is a joy to see more and more tire manufacturers begin recognizing the viability of environmentally friendly policies. 

Continental is a German multinational that boasts that it is the third-largest tire manufacturer in the global market. The company generates about 12.37 billion dollars in revenue each year. They employ over 232,000 workers and operate in 12 countries with 13 different manufacturing plants. 

Pros:

  • Great All-season tire.
  • Low rolling resistance improves mileage.
  • Reinforced side wall
  • Excellent at preventing hydroplaning
  • Six-year warranty.

Cons:

  • Moderately Expensive tire

Price:

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website. 

See TODAY’S PRICE on TireRack.com.

Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 ZP

If you are looking for a premier all-season tire with excellent grip and solid cornering that will get you where you need to go even with a lead foot (yes, we are looking at you), this Pilot Sport is the tire for you.

The Pilot is the top-rated Michelin tire, with a 79 score on Consumer Reports. It is the most recommended tire by consumer reviews on many tire sites, including TireRack.com, with a 95% ownership approval rating. If you add that Michelin has the distinction of winning JD Power awards for customer satisfaction nineteen years in a row, you can see why folks like this tire.

The tire tread makes solid surface contact, which produces excellent traction for all road surfaces. Deep channels are characteristic of Michelin tread patterns and have been fashioned to pull moisture away from the center, feathering droplets to the rear and side of the wheel. This tread mold keeps the tire from hydroplaning, gives excellent traction on drier road surfaces, and improves handling and responsiveness. 

Michelin has always had a reputation for building s stiff tires, and the Pilot Sport lives up to this mantra. The rubber compound helps with traction and treadwear, but it also bonds the rubber polymers, making the ride harder. You exacerbate the problem when you add reinforced side walls so that the tire qualifies as a run-flat, you exacerbate the problem. Despite being a firmer tire, most owners felt that the ride was comfortable and quiet enough to earn high marks still. 

Michelin offers a 30k mile warranty, which includes three years of superb roadside assistance, battery start, flat tire change or a tow should the car need it, and a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. 

Michelin is the king as far as tire sales go, with around $27.84 billion worldwide. 

Pros:

  • Best reviewed tire with strong online recommendations
  • Strong in dry traction even at high speeds
  • Wet traction is adequate
  • Excellent at preventing hydroplaning
  • Roadside assistance complimentary

Cons:

  • Some complaints on ride comfort

Price:

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website.

See TODAY’S PRICE on Amazon.

Bridgestone Alenza Sport A/S RFT

Until recently, Bridgestone stood on the top of the hill of tire manufacturers, but it was dethroned by Michelin a couple of years ago. Despite losing its top ranking, it doesn’t mean that Bridgestone stopped making quality tires. One of the best run-flat tires is the Alenza Sport All-Season, and if Alenza sounds familiar, it should be – Bridgestone supplied the Alenza 001 as OE tires for years. 

Bridgestone enjoyed great success in the past couple of decades, leading the run-flat charge when BMW decided to outfit every car they made with run-flat tires. As BMW discovered quickly, the lack of a spare tire helped create better fuel economy and increased interior space, but many customers hated the tires due to the stiff and terrible ride.

Bridgestone has been working ever since to develop a tire that wouldn’t shake your teeth loose as you drove down the road. To make matters worse, BMW and Bridgestone had an education problem, trying to explain to upset owners why the cars stopped carrying spare tires. 

The Alenza Sport is an all-season touring tire made for luxury SUVs, driven by owners who expect a tire company to produce a comfortable, well-riding tire. If you are particular about the cushiness of your posterior, then you should try the Alenza Sport A/S tires. 

This tire has an excellent ability to drive through any kind of weather conditions. The circumferential channels keep the car from hydroplaning by forcing moisture toward the rear. Small biting edges along the tread edges are flexible enough to bite into the pavement forcing the SUV forward. The reimagined side walls are strong enough to carry the car’s weight when the driver accidentally runs over a piece of debris. The tire is designed to make 50 miles. 

The center tread offers good resistance when braking distances become essential. The tires will hold their ground as braking occurs and immediately be responsive should the driver need to take defensive action. These safety commitments are one reason Bridgestone has done so well in the tire market.

Yet, the ride of this tire is surprisingly comfortable. The treads absorb the road’s imperfections, keeping the driver and passengers secure and stable. While the ride is not nearly as stiff as you might expect, it is almost too soft for my liking. There is virtually no road noise (which I can’t say for the Michelins despite their claim of Noise Canceling Technologies).

The warranty for the Alenza Sport is also another reason we like this tire. Bridgestone warranties the tires for five years, down to 2/32nds, and tries to replace them for free during the first three years. The only thing that might have made it better would be adding roadside assistance (Michelin does just that). 

Bridgestone continues to work at sustainability through various initiatives and committing themselves to improve the lives of the communities they manufacture near. They have also made serious commitments to reducing Co2 gas from their manufacturing facilities, so it is clear that they are attacking the issues on multiple fronts.

Pros:

  • Great All-season tire.
  • Reinforced side wall for run-flat
  • Excellent traction
  • Free replacement for first three years

Cons:

  • Ride is almost too soft
  • No roadside assistance

Price:

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website.

See TODAY’S PRICE on TireRack.com.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 RFT(performance winter/snow)

Bridgestone strikes again with a capable winter/snow tire. This tire has a thick rubber  compound geared to provide extra grip for freezing road conditions. The tire has a 75 rating from the CR (Consumer Reports) test facility and is on their recommended list. 

The tread is carefully cut with a directional pattern that shears through slush-filled roads. Snow tires usually don’t perform well in corners, but these tires handle well. The tread excels in ice-braking, and the grooves on the edges have enough bite to help prevent hydroplaning. 

Although there are no ratings from NHTSA. (Consumer Reports found no faults in the tire). Online reviews from owners have expressed concerns regarding durability and tread life, a typical complaint on almost any winter/snow performance tire. 

The Blizzak has a warranty on workmanship and will replace them in the first 2/32nds, but there is no warranty for treadwear and roadside assistance offered. (Basically, if you buy the tires and use them, they are yours). 

Bridgestone has made some significant advances concerning building a more eco-friendly tire. They have committed to close the circle between the initial manufacture of the tire and recycling any materials possible. Considering that most used tires end up in American landfills, these efforts are advantageous to see. 

Bridgestone is currently the second largest manufacturer of tires in the world, with over 29 billion dollars in sales yearly. (They were number one for many years before Michelin surpassed them during the pandemic). They are a Japanese multinational with over 130 plants and R/D facilities and sell its products in more than 150 countries worldwide. 

Pros:

  • Great winter/snow tire
  • Reinforced side wall for run flat
  • Excellent traction in slush and ice

Cons:

  • No tread warranty
  • No roadside assistance

Price:

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website.

See TODAY’S PRICE on TireRack.com.

Key Takeaways

  • The best tires for an X5 are Michelin, Pirelli, and Bridgestone.
  • BMW has many different-sized tires, so double-check your tire size before ordering.
  • RFTs are designed to run up to 50 miles at 50 mph.

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