BMW X1 tyres
When BMW launched the X1 in 2009, it did so with the claim that it was pioneering a new market sector, the baby SUV Crossover. The car is certainly taller than the 1 Series, with a higher driving position, but is actually based on the chassis and underpinnings of the old 3 Series estate. The car is definitely smaller than the fully-fledged SUV alternatives, though. BMW has certainly done something right: the X1 is popular as an ‘entry level’ BMW and if it did define a class, then its influence is certainly seen in the VW Tiguan, Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q3.
Some X1 models feature full-time four-wheel-drive whilst others, labelled sDrive, feature the rear-wheel-drive almost synonymous with BMW. Like any other BMW, it handles well, has class-leading build quality and can offer excellent economy. However, of most relevance in this instance is the issue of run-flat tyres, a safety feature which the manufacturer has championed.
Across all of BMW’s range, run-flat tyres are a standard fitting, except in the case of high-performance ‘M’-models. The one exception to this is the X1, on which some 18d and 20d SE models have regular, rather than fun-flat, tyres fitted, often to 17-inch wheels. Therefore the most important thing to bear in mind when buying replacement tyres for an X1 is whether it is fitted with regular or run-flat tyres.
Run-flat tyres can be identified by a marking on the sidewall, although the exact coding varies between different manufacturers. Continental tyres are marked SSR (Self-Supporting Runflat); Michelins will say ZP (Zero Pressure) on them; Pirelli tyres are coded RSC (Runflat System Component) or RFT (Run FlaT); Bridgestone tyres will be stamped RFT (Run Flat Technology); Dunlops will be labelled RSC (as above), ROF (Run On Flat) or DSST (Dunlop Self-Supporting Technology); Goodyear’s range is identified by RSC (as above), ROF (as above) or EMT (Extended Mobility Technology); Kumho tyres will bear the letters XRP (eXtended Runflat Performance) and Yokohama tyres will show ZPS (Zero Pressure System).
Needless to say, etyres will fully support any industry campaign for European standardisation of these markings. Only Civil Servants and Infantry regiments have quite so many three –letter acronyms…
BMW works with many leading tyre manufacturers to produce specific BMW-approved versions of popular tyres. These can be identified by a star mark on the tyre’s sidewall.
Among the tyres fitted to the X1 in BMW’s factories, Pirelli’s Cinturato and P Zero have proved etyres’ best-selling ranges. The Cinturato is designed as an all-round premium tyre, balancing good levels of wet and dry grip with economy, comfort and durability. In contrast, P Zero tyres are aimed at high-performance cars, meaning that they are more suited to the sportier versions of the X1.
BMW also fits Bridgestone Dueler tyres as original equipment to many four-wheel-drive versions of the X1. These are another option to consider, offering comfort, economy and durability. If replacing them, though, make sure you choose the run-flat H/P Sport, the versions of this tyre built for 100% on-road use. (Many other Dueler types are available, most of them more suited to army trucks, gamekeepers or monster trucks rather than the X1.)
Two other popular choices are Goodyear’s EfficientGrip tyres and Continental’s SportContact range, both of which offer excellent durability and high levels of grip on both wet and dry roads.