Of course, there is drawbacks with a size that by todays standards is as odd as 155/70R19. I just think that the tyres of todays cars are unnecessarily wide and low profile if it’s only seen from a practical standpoint. The Ferrari Testarossa, old but still a competent sports car, used 225/50R16 up front (though to be fair 255/50 in the rear), and that’s the same dimension that the 4-cyl N/A Mercedes C180 station wagon I once had was using. You can’t really say that it is justified then, by safety, practicality or anything else, to run the same dimension on a 125 hp family wagon that was enough for a 390 hp supercar 10-15 years earlier, it’s really not needed.
Looks is one thing, the belt line is so much higher on cars of today, for safety reasons as mentioned earlier. The 16 inch wheels that would have been impressive in the 80s almost looked small on that car, with all of the sheetmetal between the top of the wheel and the rear side glass. You have to make big wheels, and most people think that rims are more beautiful than tyres, so they make an even bigger rim (to be fair, to be able to fit bigger brakes too), lower profile tyres, and to get the right proportions, wider tyres too. The BMW i3 is bit of an oddball, people will accept that things are looking a bit weird, buyers of more regular cars don’t want to drive around on “some silly bicycle tyres”.
With that said, narrow tyres (to a limit) have many advantages for everyday use, like lower rolling resistance, better aerodynamics, lower purchase prize, lighter steering (though hardly an issue today with all cars having power steering), lower risk of hydroplaning and often lower noise levels too. Not the same grip on dry asphalt, however the question is how often that’s needed for the average driver in an average car…
But I guess that all of us here is gearheads and because of that we want cars to be sexy too. And that’s of course easier to succeed with when using some fat lo-profile rubber instead of skinny ones on small steel wheels.