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The blizzaks, are, paradoxically, quieter than the F1's! I keep the tranny switch on "W" when the Blizzaks are on, since treadlife for winter tires is also less than all season jobbies.
After the comparison, I couldn't wait for the F1's to wear out, which they finally did. When this happened, I switched over to Bridgestone Potenza S-03's. Rain perfomance matches the F1's reasonably well, they are MUCH quieter, and cheaper, to boot. The tread design isn't as sexy, but who really cares? I've done all my tire purchasing for this car from www.tirerack.com and have had good service from them. Most local tire dealers do not stock tires appropriate for the E430 performance, and tirerack gets you tires much faster than special order from any of the normal local sources, I found.
I notice that Goodyear is advertising a new F1 design here in the states. In the photo, the "parabolic" grooves in the tread are much more "streamlined" on the U.S. versions than those that came on the car. Perhaps they're quieter, but who would want to bother doing the experiment!
On an entirely different subject, comparing the E-Class with the BMW 5-series: to me, at least, there really isn't a comparison. I'm a 6-footer and occasionally have more than two passengers of similar size. The 5-series is much smaller inside than the E-Class, to say nothing of the trunk, and the E-Class is designed for the 95th-percentile male adult. The 5-series seems much smaller than the E-Class, which may partially account for it's sporty aura. And, so far as I know, the AWD option is not available on the BMW. Thus, disqualified before considered, at least for me. Just another opinion for the discussion, of course.
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