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Lying, drunken cheat
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4,326 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A few nights ago I drove my girlfriend's X5 and my 323 side by side. Her X5 has the sport package with sport steering wheel and large 18's with (I'm guessing by appearance, it was too dark at the time to read the sidewalls) 245 mm wide tires. Possibly even wider than that. My car is basically stock and is currently riding on the skinny ContiSport 205's that I use during the school year because of the 400 mile commute (and bad roads/gravel parking lots around campus) between home and school that I tend to make every 6 weeks or so, depending on the occasion.

My car has the "old" pre-2001 E36 style steering.

Having grown used to my car with the 205's and alternating between it and my mom's Lexus and brother's Acura, I'd begun to feel it felt pretty stiff. That is, until I drove the gf's X5...which was considerably stiffer. I liked the feel a lot more (and she hates it...but she's a girl, what do you expect?). As far as I know, the difference should be explainable by differences in tire size. Or does it have to do with the size and weight of the X5 vs. the 323? While road feedback and response is the same, it requires less physical effort to turn my wheel. I'm ordering some 18's and 235's soon and am wondering if my car's steering will more closely match the X5 after this upgrade.
 

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1.888.JLEVISW
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29,390 Posts
Well with bigger rims u will feel a significant change in stiffness/road feel. U will "hear" the road more and feel more of the bumps because u have less between you and the road. I bet the X5 has a bit stiffer suspension setup with the SP thus accounting for the rougher ride. The 18's shoudn't change that much because with an X5, there is still a lot of tire on the 18 inch rim...but I may be mistaken...hopefully that helps...and yes you will be amazed at the increased handling ur car has with newer, wider tires...I suggest SO3s...great tires!
 

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Lying, drunken cheat
Joined
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4,326 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Cool, good to know. I'm looking forward to the upgrade.
 
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