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      01-24-2011, 12:41 AM   #1
fishskis
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How Different Is The Ride with 19" wheels?

I know this is probably one of those questions with no easy answer, but I thought I'd give it a try.

I am ordering an E93. I was planning on getting the 18" wheels in order to get a better (less hard?) ride. I prefer the looks of the 19s (though I don't think the 18s are horrible). Incidentally, I am getting EDC, the car is a daily driver, and I live in Los Angeles. I currently drive a 650 vert with Sport Package on 19" run-flats. (Also, I am only interested in the OEM choices.)

So, I understand the choice is between ride quality and looks....But can anyone quantify the difference in ride better? Is there a huge difference in the way the car rides/ drives? What are the specific differences? Is it just a slightly rougher ride on bad city streets, or is there a difference on the highway too?

Also, will the 19" tires and wheels be much more susceptible to damage; will I get more flat tires and damaged wheels with the 19s? The initial additional cost for the 19s is not an issue, but if there is a significant difference in ongoing costs, that might be an issue.

Thanks for the help.
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      01-24-2011, 01:02 AM   #2
Echo M3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishskis View Post
I know this is probably one of those questions with no easy answer, but I thought I'd give it a try.

I am ordering an E93. I was planning on getting the 18" wheels in order to get a better (less hard?) ride. I prefer the looks of the 19s (though I don't think the 18s are horrible). Incidentally, I am getting EDC, the car is a daily driver, and I live in Los Angeles. I currently drive a 650 vert with Sport Package on 19" run-flats. (Also, I am only interested in the OEM choices.)

So, I understand the choice is between ride quality and looks....But can anyone quantify the difference in ride better? Is there a huge difference in the way the car rides/ drives? What are the specific differences? Is it just a slightly rougher ride on bad city streets, or is there a difference on the highway too?

Also, will the 19" tires and wheels be much more susceptible to damage; will I get more flat tires and damaged wheels with the 19s? The initial additional cost for the 19s is not an issue, but if there is a significant difference in ongoing costs, that might be an issue.

Thanks for the help.
I hate to say it, but you need to test drive a 19", if you are concerned about comfort. The 19" wheels definitely will give you a rougher ride, but if you've survived w/ 19" runflats, the 19" wheels on the M3 will be far more comfortable. I would say that on decent roads, the ride is perfectly fine. But on poor, city roads (like NYC), the ride is quite rough - you're going to be feeling all the imperfections in the road, all the time. I personally think that 19" wheels in LA should not be a problem, from my personal experience with the roads out west.

The 19" (220M) wheels are forged, so they are actually stronger than the 18"wheels. I have tracked my car (including hitting curbs at 80+ mph) and I've driven them on NYC pothole-infested roads for more than a year and a half, with no issues. And believe me, if you live in NY, you're bound to hit a pothole every now and then - it's just not possible to avoid.I even had a tire deflate on I-90, and had to drive a half mile to find a safe spot to pull over - and my rim was perfectly fine afterwards (dealer inspected it for me). The flat tire had nothing to do with the rim - I hit a sharp object in the middle lane while driving at 60-65 mph. The rims are surprisingly strong, so that shouldn't be a concern IMO.

My recommendation - go for them if you're not dealing with 3rd-world city roads, and you're not getting aftermarket rims. They look fantastic. Only downsides are more expensive/limited tires for 19" wheels and difficulty in fixing them (the finish makes it hard to get a curbed 19" wheel refurbished, according to people on this forum).

Last edited by Echo M3; 01-24-2011 at 01:09 AM.
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      01-24-2011, 03:02 AM   #3
Roby84m
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I have 19" ZCP wheels for summer and OEM 18"for winters. I realized that 19"s are more susceptible to the curbs as soon as you touch one because the rim is too exposed since the tire is stretched and doesn't cover the rim so you will have to deal with fixing them all the time or you will be extra careful when you parallel park.Trust me I experienced it. 18's are fine in that case because the tires protect your rim well. I've hit some curbs but no damage on my rims since they are not as exposed as the zcp but hey i am talking about the zcp 19s not the regular 220s that could be a different story. Actually I wish i could complain to BMW about this issue because i was thinking about it today and it really bothered me somehow anyway as for the ride quality they are more or less the same. 18s could be a lil bit more comfy since you have more rubber underneath. Unfortunately have bumpy roads here so I know how it feels.
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      01-24-2011, 09:57 AM   #4
double_j
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I don't have any quantifiable results (e.g., skidpad, etc.) but can say that 18's provide a noticeable benefit to ride quality in everyday driving. That said, things aren't bad with the 19's. The difference is mostly felt on less than perfect city streets, etc. No difference in ride quality at all on a smooth highway. I never really thought of this before I felt it, but the 18's are also slightly easier to drive with 6MT in heavy traffic since they get rolling with less effort.

Things are close enough where it's OK to make the call based on looks.
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