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View Full Version : X-Drive on F10 vs X-Drive on E60?


FastMarkA
01-09-2011, 07:56 PM
I'm considering leasing an F10 535i. As to whether I throw "X-Drive" in the model name remains to be seen.

My current ride is an E60 535xi, and while I like many aspects about the car, I think the X-Drive totally detracts from the driving experience. In fact, I totally regret getting it and would have much preferred a 535i and thrown on snows during the winter. But, we all know what they say about hindsight...

Anyway, I've been scanning the F10 forum, and I've noticed this discussion about the different steering systems (mechanical versus electronic?) in the F10 based on the presence/absence of X-Drive. I was shocked to see that some people prefer the handling of the F10 with X-Drive over RWD.

Conversely, if you check out the E60 forum, the general consensus is that X-Drive serves its purpose, but if you want to truly enjoy driving the E60, RWD is the way to go.

I would appreciate your comments on the topic as it relates to the F10. Right now, I'm 95% set on getting the RWD to avoid making the same mistake twice, but I'm wondering if that logic should only apply to the E60 and not F10?

bmwarchitect
01-09-2011, 08:37 PM
I have a 550ix M sport on order. I choose Xdrive over non x as I liked the way the steering and car felt on the road. You'll get different opinions. Have you driven both cars? Also, how the cars are optioned will change their character also - with or without DHP (can option with either car ) or IAS (rear wheel drive only). I did five or six test drives to come to that conclusion. We'll see in the end.

FastMarkA
01-09-2011, 09:39 PM
I've driven both a 535xi and 535i. Unfortunately, they were only 3-4 mile test drives so not enough to make a complete decision.

Obviously, I could feel the 535i's more "squirrely" behavior when I'd step on the pedal. From the few turns I was able to make, the 535i appeared to have a more nimble and direct steering response than the xi.

Neither of the cars had the DHS Package nor IAS.

bmwarchitect
01-10-2011, 04:00 AM
I see you have a manual now; that is only available in a RWD. Suggest some test drives with DHP and with IAS. Those with DHP have reported some noise problems, that will hopefully get resolved, but I prefered the car with this feature on the x as it tightens steering and chasis. More extended test drives, but not to convince you of getting an x, but if you just had the two, it seems short. I had several extended test drives without the CA to get a good sense of the driving charachteristics. In the end, get what drives best to you.

DXK
01-10-2011, 08:59 AM
There was a thread about it here recently.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=509669&page=2

FastMarkA
01-11-2011, 08:01 AM
There was a thread about it here recently.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=509669&page=2

Thanks, DXK.

That thread was helpful, but I'm more looking for comments on handling aspects (weather not being a factor) between the i and xi.

Most people on the E60 board agree that the RWD E60 is a much better handling car than the E60 X-Drive.

In my research on the F10 board, it has been somewhat surprising to find people even "preferring" the X-Drive over RWD.

It's no secret that BMW has been committed to engineering a RWD first, then adding X-Drive (largely for marketing purposes, IMO). Contrast that to Audi, who designs the cars for Quattro, then essentially removes power from two wheels for marketing purposes.

I can have a blast with a 335i and 535i all day. My 535xi, however, is a bit of a snooze because it lacks road connection, nimbleness, and a lot of the other attributes that BMW does well with its RWD models.

DXK
01-11-2011, 08:21 AM
That's been my thinking as well. Not only Audi but Porsche created awd to fix some inherent handling issues with 911. But I have not driven F10 AWD and never even considered it, so I cannot comment based on my experience. One thing I know is the difference in weight between F10 AWD and RWD is less than that in E60, so that's positive. So I guess you need to decide what you'd get if the weather was not in issue and then add this parameter to see how it changes the equation for you.

BruceOmega
01-11-2011, 08:32 AM
One thing I find interesting is in the E60 there was no performance suspension option with AWD.

In the F10 however, AWD is available with what apepars to be the same performance suspension option as RWD. I think this is a first for a BMW sedan.

Bruce

DXK
01-11-2011, 08:41 AM
One thing I find interesting is in the E60 there was no performance suspension option with AWD.

In the F10 however, AWD is available with what apepars to be the same performance suspension option as RWD. I think this is a first for a BMW sedan.

Bruce

That's right. It even includes the sport auto tranny this time. The only difference is you cannot get summer tires with any package on the X and on the e60 you could, strange

FastMarkA
01-11-2011, 08:48 AM
One thing I find interesting is in the E60 there was no performance suspension option with AWD.

In the F10 however, AWD is available with what apepars to be the same performance suspension option as RWD. I think this is a first for a BMW sedan.

Bruce

Agreed. This p*ssed me off to no end when I ordered my E60 X-Drive with the "cosmetic" Sports Package, especially coming from Audi where the sport + Quattro is built into the design. At the time I felt AWD was a must (after only having had AWD vehicles), but now I realize the value of snow tires in bad weather and it makes RWD much more compelling for the 5-6 times a year I might need to drive in snow. That, plus the fact I'm becoming such an old man that when it's snowing of any significance, I typically just leave the car in the garage and hop in cabs. :)

I suppose the only problem with the F10, though, is it seems the DHP is what's causing all of these steering grinding episodes.

FastMarkA
01-11-2011, 08:53 AM
The only difference is you cannot get summer tires with any package on the X and on the e60 you could, strange

LOL, that annoyed me too. In fact, with the X sports package, you could only get summer tires. Would have been nice to choose summer or A/S with the X since it's not exactly a track machine.

EvolutionTheory
01-11-2011, 01:11 PM
xDrive in the F10 is the only way to have hydraulic steering now, which many on these forums have suggested is a much better and more responsive feel than the fly by wire of the RWD version. Furthermore the xDrive of the F10 has been, from what I've read, upgraded even further it seems after March of this year.

New model versions featuring the intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system will join the BMW 5 Series. In addition to the typical traction advantages of all-wheel drive, xDrive***8217;s electronic control system, which redistributes drive power with split-second speed, also provides further improved cornering agility, even on dry roads.

The above isn't too detailed but I know I've read elsewhere the new xDrive is quite improved.

DXK
01-11-2011, 01:24 PM
xDrive in the F10 is the only way to have hydraulic steering now, which many on these forums have suggested is a much better and more responsive feel than the fly by wire of the RWD version. Furthermore the xDrive of the F10 has been, from what I've read, upgraded even further it seems after March of this year.



The above isn't too detailed but I know I've read elsewhere the new xDrive is quite improved.

LOL. It's not Airbus 340. The EP steering and FBW is not the same

EvolutionTheory
01-11-2011, 03:51 PM
LOL. It's not Airbus 340. The EP steering and FBW is not the same

haha, oops poor wording there. :eeps:

FastMarkA
01-12-2011, 12:38 PM
So I went ahead with the X-Drive.

I drove it a few more times, with the sport transmission, and in sport mode it felt good (much better than my E60 X-Drive).

I drove the RWD, and while I think that could be fun, I did notice some extra play (that seems to sync up with what others have reported here).

jsf1993
01-12-2011, 06:32 PM
So I went ahead with the X-Drive.

I drove it a few more times, with the sport transmission, and in sport mode it felt good (much better than my E60 X-Drive).

I drove the RWD, and while I think that could be fun, I did notice some extra play (that seems to sync up with what others have reported here).

Can't imagine you not liking the x-drive. But, I do suspect that while some may prefer the hydraulic steering on the x-drive (at least until one gets used to the electric steering on the non x-drive version), the non x-drive F10 is likely to feel a bit faster as it is lighter in weight and shares the same engine. I am VERY happy with my x-drive and am thrilled that BMW offered the dynamic handling package and other sport "goodies" to those of us who prefer the all wheel drive platform. I would have liked those features on my 2008 535xi.