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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 09-27-2011, 06:02 PM
Jen13070 Jen13070 is offline
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xDrive Question

My new 535i goes into production soon. The dealer called asking me if there is anything at all that I wanted to change on my order... and I'm contemplating changing it to an xDrive for an additional $2,300. Hubby thinks that it's safer for me to have since it's quite slick out here in south Florida with the rain. Dealer said that it's the best all wheel drive out there... but tires will wear down quicker and the mpg decreases a bit. Is it worth it to make this change? Thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2011, 06:13 PM
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jc_///m3 jc_///m3 is offline
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I've always found rear-wheel drive BMWs to have exceptionally good traction in the rain. I do have an xi, which I chose primarily for safer driving in snow/ice conditions. I have not had any issues with tire wear, and my MPG performance on the xi has been as advertised (19/29). If you plan to do some winter driving up north, you may wish for the capability when you need it most.
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2011, 06:24 PM
mdk888 mdk888 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jen13070 View Post
My new 535i goes into production soon. The dealer called asking me if there is anything at all that I wanted to change on my order... and I'm contemplating changing it to an xDrive for an additional $2,300. Hubby thinks that it's safer for me to have since it's quite slick out here in south Florida with the rain. Dealer said that it's the best all wheel drive out there... but tires will wear down quicker and the mpg decreases a bit. Is it worth it to make this change? Thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!
If you were in a area where there is snowfall, I'd say a def yes. But being that you are in Fl, I see in your profile you have a 335i. If that is a rwd and you've never had problems in the rain, then there is your answer. But if its just for added piece of mind, just pull the trigger. Just be aware the xdrive version at least for 2011 come with the GY LS2 tires that have many threads with complaints about bubbling when hitting potholes. Not sure what the MY 2012 comes with. Hope that helps.
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2011, 07:33 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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I think your dealer is wrong about tire wear being greater on an awd. In fact, there may be an argument to the contrary when distributing propulsion to more than 2 wheels. As to gas mileage taking a small hit due to the extra hardware - true but small.

Although I am not going to defend the Goodyear ROF tire, if you are not getting a sport package with 19" wheels, you will likely not have a bubble issue. Far and away, most problems reported here were not with the standard 18". ...and you need potholes to complete the curse. No potholes - little likelihood of problems.

A possible benefit is also that the x has hydraulic power steering where the non-x has electric steering (this is as of the 2011 and you should verify that this is still true). There has been much discussion over the electric version being "numb" with a vague center feel. There was also some 2011 electric steering pulling to the right that was to varying degrees resolved through software.

So in my opinion, if you do not mind your highway mileage going from 30 to 29 (you will not see these numbers driving around town anyway), then you have little to lose and possibly something to gain in addition to traction, by going with the x.

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Last edited by Quacker; 09-27-2011 at 07:41 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2011, 07:52 PM
fplanner2000 fplanner2000 is offline
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It would seem $2300. is a small price to pay for peace of mind. In addition, you get the benefit of the hydraulic power steering, as mentioned above. Seems to be an easy decision - the tire wear is a non-issue and the mileage issue pretty flimsy, IMO. I've discovered that my x seems a lot more stable cornering than the non-x versions - extra benefit.
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  #6  
Old 09-27-2011, 08:04 PM
Jen13070 Jen13070 is offline
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Thanks, everyone... I'm going for the AWD for my car. I do have the sport package... so I will be taking out the insurance on the tires and the rims. I have been doing my fair share of reading regarding the "bubble" and I do have concerns about that for obvious reasons. Thanks again for your input... and $2,300 is definitely worth the peace of mind, I do have to say. I'll post pics once the car arrives. Very excited indeed!
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2011, 08:06 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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Glad to help Jen!

Good luck and welcome to the family!

Q
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2011, 08:14 PM
PsychDoc1 PsychDoc1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen13070 View Post
Thanks, everyone... I'm going for the AWD for my car. I do have the sport package... so I will be taking out the insurance on the tires and the rims. I have been doing my fair share of reading regarding the "bubble" and I do have concerns about that for obvious reasons. Thanks again for your input... and $2,300 is definitely worth the peace of mind, I do have to say. I'll post pics once the car arrives. Very excited indeed!
Sounds like a good decision. One thought however. As almost every bubble/LS2 issue has been on the 19" rims, you could order the sport package but ask the dealer to swap out the 19" rims for the standard 18" rims with the slightly higher profile tires. Most of the 18" rims seem to be coming over with Continental run-flat tires. That's what mine came with and I have 1700 miles and no bubbles. And being here in NYC you know I've hit a few potholes.
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  #9  
Old 09-27-2011, 08:23 PM
Jen13070 Jen13070 is offline
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Thanks for that suggestion. I'll speak with him about it tomorrow... I'm wondering if this bubble situation is going to happen with the 2012 MY. I was really hoping that this issue would be fixed... but one just never knows. I hit a really bad pothole with my 335i a few years ago, and both the tire and rim had to be replaced... utterly destroyed. Couldn't believe my eyes. I just don't want to take any chances this time around. The roads are NOT peachy keen down here in So. FL. either. I'll call the dealer tomorrow. Thanks again for the suggestion. It's much appreciated.
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  #10  
Old 09-27-2011, 08:54 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen13070 View Post
My new 535i goes into production soon. The dealer called asking me if there is anything at all that I wanted to change on my order... and I'm contemplating changing it to an xDrive for an additional $2,300. Hubby thinks that it's safer for me to have since it's quite slick out here in south Florida with the rain. Dealer said that it's the best all wheel drive out there... but tires will wear down quicker and the mpg decreases a bit. Is it worth it to make this change? Thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!
I live in the same metro as you and think this is unnecessary. The biggest thing that will make a difference in the rain is good wet weather tires. The Michelin Pilot Super Sports are prodigious in the rain. The rain traction limit on my current car with these tires is so high you can barely tell its wet. I can floor the accelerator with 345hp in the rain and have very little traction issues.

Its a matter of taste, but personally I would go for the rwd and the tighter turning radius. Which is what I am doing.
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  #11  
Old 09-27-2011, 09:04 PM
Jen13070 Jen13070 is offline
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Thanks for that suggestion, too. It's definitely something to consider.
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2011, 10:19 PM
joseyu joseyu is offline
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If it's just rain you have to deal with once in a while and not snow, then AWD is not really necessary. Just think how many times in a year would you be driving in a situation where AWD will make a slight difference? I would suggest that you save the $2300 and only get better tires if it becomes a problem. You will get better gas mileage from less weight and driveline loss.
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  #13  
Old 09-28-2011, 05:55 AM
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On the other hand, consider the additional resale value of the x-drive.
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2011, 08:08 AM
radarguy radarguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen13070 View Post
Thanks, everyone... I'm going for the AWD for my car. I do have the sport package... so I will be taking out the insurance on the tires and the rims. I have been doing my fair share of reading regarding the "bubble" and I do have concerns about that for obvious reasons. Thanks again for your input... and $2,300 is definitely worth the peace of mind, I do have to say. I'll post pics once the car arrives. Very excited indeed!
I have seen nothing to indicate that the tire problem has been solved. As far as I know, the 19" GY LS2s are still the only ones available for a 535/550 X-drive with the sport package and I can say from personal experience that the ones manufactured in July 2011 haven't changed from the earlier ones.

I find that the X-drive is really stable and secure in the rain. No question that if you push it, you can feel the difference compared to the RWD. However, the RWD is much more than adequate in this regard because of the electronic stability control. Not only did I experience these two different vehicles during test drives in the rain, but I also experienced stability control at the BMW performance center on a wet track at highway speeds. IMHO, the minor performance increase in rain (unless you really intend to push the car to the limit) is far outweighed by the aggravation that you will experience because of the failure prone GY LS2s. Snow is a different story.

If you intend to drive the car in snow territory, the summer tires that come with sport RWD are just not suitable in cold weather let alone snow.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:59 AM
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you are adding, cost,weight and complexity with potentially more maintenance requirements for something that's going to give you marginal to no safety benefits. If you don't see snow on a regular basis, you don't need it. AWD, isn't going to help you stop better in the rain, and that's the most important part. Tires do that.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:41 AM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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On the other hand, consider the additional resale value of the x-drive.
Which you pay for on the front end.

S-Drive is excellent in the rain, but it has the benefit of agility. Tighter turning radius, lighter. if you have Integral Active Steering (RWD only) the car will have the agility of a 3 series.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:27 PM
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GunsBMW GunsBMW is offline
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
you are adding, cost,weight and complexity with potentially more maintenance requirements for something that's going to give you marginal to no safety benefits. If you don't see snow on a regular basis, you don't need it. AWD, isn't going to help you stop better in the rain, and that's the most important part. Tires do that.
I agree with this guy. I live in the south too and I think AWD is not needed. I had superb tires on my E60( Toyo proxies) and I was doing 90 plus in the rain just to test the tires (I know very dangerous) the traction was excellent damn near perfect even at that speed. So if you want to spend the money just get better tires. I spent 1500 for a set of 19s with wider in the rear 275/30 I think.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:59 PM
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Specifically these tires.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....20After%209/10

Read the reviews. Nothing comes close in terms of customer feedback, tire rack testing, or survey scores. I run these tires right now, an whenever we have heavy rain, I run downstairs to fire up the V8. It's so awesome driving on these in the rain.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
Specifically these tires.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....20After%209/10

Read the reviews. Nothing comes close in terms of customer feedback, tire rack testing, or survey scores. I run these tires right now, an whenever we have heavy rain, I run downstairs to fire up the V8. It's so awesome driving on these in the rain.
For those who don't know these are the evolution of the Michelin PS2's that have an almost cult-like following by the enthusiast crowd. The biggest complaint is that the tires wore out too quickly and that they are expensive. The PSS specifically addresses the tire wear problem (we'll have to see about that) while staying the same price as the PS2's.

Last winter we got punished with record rainfall in LA. See how these tires on an M3 held up...
2009 BMW M3: Unflappable
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
For those who don't know these are the evolution of the Michelin PS2's that have an almost cult-like following by the enthusiast crowd. The biggest complaint is that the tires wore out too quickly and that they are expensive. The PSS specifically addresses the tire wear problem (we'll have to see about that) while staying the same price as the PS2's.

Last winter we got punished with record rainfall in LA. See how these tires on an M3 held up...
2009 BMW M3: Unflappable
That article sums it up nicely.

In addition to providing additional tread life the PSS has step change increase in both dry and wet grip over the PS2. I replaced my PS2s with 6/10 and 7/10 thread left to upgrade to the PSS, so I'm comparing prime tires against new tires.
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