In Reply to: Are 17" wheel alright for winter driving? posted by Richard on January 26, 2000 at 23:56:20:
There are several reasons why 16" wheels and tires are better. First, you want to minimize the contact patch with the ground. A skinnier tire works much better in snow.
Also, if you live in an area where a lot of salt is used along with a lot of freezing and thawing, you get a lot of potholes in the spring. 17" Wheels don't like potholes much.
BUT, as Preston points out, the Pirelli Winter Ice Asimmetrico tires are incredible - just incredible (had them on my 3-series) AND they are not available in the 225 55 16 size you will need for your five series. I have the Winter 210 Asimemetrico in that size and will not buy them again - while 100% better than stock, they do not inspire confidence like the Winter ICE did.