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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #51  
Old 10-07-2009, 03:37 PM
Christos Christos is offline
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Originally Posted by professorcook View Post
i love my 328i and it's been great in plenty of snow. I have a 40 mile commute (40 miles each way) and i travel from ma to nh. I am one of those who like my choice. I think the awd is great, yes. But i also think you only really need it if you are going up hill in snow at slow speeds on a regular basis. Thus, if you have a sloped driveway, if your driveway isn't normally plowed, if you go to ski areas a lot, the awd is the way to go.

Otoh, rwd can work great in winter areas like mine with a good set of snows. The car is lower, lighter, quicker, and can be more fun. It's also a bit less complicated. I don't think the awd system will go bad on you, but it is one more system that can have problems.

I also readily admit that i am in the minority here. The only way i could find rwd with a mt was to order it. So the overwhelming local vote is for awd automatic.

Whatever you choose, i'm sure you'll be very happy with the car. All best wishes.
+1
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  #52  
Old 10-07-2009, 04:03 PM
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VIZSLA VIZSLA is offline
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Get the i and buy a 4wd beater for the few days a year you need it.
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  #53  
Old 10-07-2009, 04:03 PM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neapolitan View Post
Silly accusation. Let's break it down...

Being a MT driver, I appreciate simplicity. This was a huge factor in choosing a MT back in the 1980s when auto trannys were younger -- I remember talking with my father about this, and I have always liked the theoretical lower cost due to the simplicity of manuals.

However, over time this argument becomes weaker -- even though I still drive a MT, I wouldn't really argue that it is more reliable than today's auto transmission. In fact, once autos get extremely reliable the viscous / hydraulic coupler may need less than a clutch plate replacement at 80k.

It's not an angry denial, but honestly, do you think that the failure point will be in an AWD clutch / transmission link / whatever in an old car, having two of them versus four? It's probably pretty low down on overall priorities. The weight issue IMO is more convincing.
You are assuming that the difference in reliability ONLY has to do with the components directly related to the AWD system - and I don't think that is the case. If you look at the data in the Consumer Reports, there is a general pattern of lower reliability in multiple systems.

BTW, let's be clear that we are generally not talking about huge differences in reliability. All things being equal, AWD is more complex and will probably require more upkeep than RWD. The differences may not be large though. If I really needed AWD, this certainly wouldn't give me a moment's pause, in fact.
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  #54  
Old 10-07-2009, 04:16 PM
Oscar Oscar is offline
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I that I would put my thoughts into numbers.

I live near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Our weather is probably similar to Chicago's. I went with a 2009 328i without x-drive. I will be installing winter tires on steel wheels. My reasons for not getting x-drive had nothing to do with saving money. My main reason is that I believe that for 95% of my year round driving, a RWD vehicle is superior to x-drive. I don't mind being slightly inferior to x-drive for 5% of my driving.

I also just bought a mid-sized front wheel drive SUV that I will use for driving up north to ski country. I will be purchasing winters for this vehicle of course.

To borrow a phrase from a post that I read on this very forum earlier this year: People make the mistake of believing the choice is between x-drive or rwd with snows. Instead, they should be always purchasing snows, then choose between x-drive or rwd.

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  #55  
Old 10-07-2009, 04:34 PM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
I that I would put my thoughts into numbers.

I live near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Our weather is probably similar to Chicago's. I went with a 2009 328i without x-drive. I will be installing winter tires on steel wheels. My reasons for not getting x-drive had nothing to do with saving money. My main reason is that I believe that for 95% of my year round driving, a RWD vehicle is superior to x-drive. I don't mind being slightly inferior to x-drive for 5% of my driving.

I also just bought a mid-sized front wheel drive SUV that I will use for driving up north to ski country. I will be purchasing winters for this vehicle of course.

To borrow a phrase from a post that I read on this very forum earlier this year: People make the mistake of believing the choice is between x-drive or rwd with snows. Instead, they should be always purchasing snows, then choose between x-drive or rwd.

Oscar

I couldn't agree more. Well said.
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  #56  
Old 10-07-2009, 04:52 PM
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ProfessorCook ProfessorCook is offline
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I agree too. Not everybody has the wherewithall or the logistical capability to have two sets of wheels, but even good, modern, all season tires fall short.
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  #57  
Old 10-07-2009, 04:57 PM
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VIZSLA VIZSLA is offline
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I agree too. Not everybody has the wherewithall or the logistical capability to have two sets of wheels, but even good, modern, all season tires fall short.
All season tires are like kissing your sister. Safe, dull and just plain wrong.
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  #58  
Old 10-07-2009, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by VIZSLA View Post
All season tires are like kissing your sister. Safe, dull and just plain wrong.
'Guess you never met my sister.
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  #59  
Old 10-07-2009, 06:13 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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  #60  
Old 10-07-2009, 06:24 PM
neapolitan neapolitan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
I that I would put my thoughts into numbers.

[snip]

To borrow a phrase from a post that I read on this very forum earlier this year: People make the mistake of believing the choice is between x-drive or rwd with snows. Instead, they should be always purchasing snows, then choose between x-drive or rwd.

Oscar
I disagree with your simplistic analysis and sweeping generalizations. I used to have an Audi FWD with snows that would religiously go on yearly, and still have family members living in Canada that do exactly as you said.

It's a compromise - if you asked me the same question 20 years ago, I would have been firmly in your camp... it is just what my parents did.... never questioned it. However, I find all seasons very acceptable in both climates, and do not have the annoyance of changing tires on a daily driver. Seriously, the statement "they should always be purchasing snows" is just ludicrous. There are many different climates, driving habits, and driving styles. What works for you is much different than what works for somebody else.

What I think we should focus on is understanding the relative benefits of each. AWD, to me, is a car handling that I have very much gotten used to, and extremely like as I find it more safe, intuitive, and suited to my driving needs. I like being able to give large amounts of power without increasing oversteer / "fishtailing". I like true tracking ability (tracking in the sense of the heading of the car), at the expense of significant understeer if I were to push it in the summer months. I don't track this car, but have driven 911's on the track, which are RWD and well suited for that purpose.

A RWD with snows will handle differently than AWD with all seasons. Put me in the drivers seat of any combination and I'll tell you what the car has within a few turns -- it is not that difficult. I would bet most people would be more adept at steering around a snowy rally course with AWD. YMMV...
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  #61  
Old 10-07-2009, 06:36 PM
neapolitan neapolitan is offline
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deleted
Yeah, I often feel that way too.
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  #62  
Old 10-07-2009, 06:58 PM
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VIZSLA VIZSLA is offline
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'Guess you never met my sister.
She from around here?
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  #63  
Old 10-08-2009, 06:31 AM
lsedels lsedels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neapolitan View Post
Silly accusation. Let's break it down...

Being a MT driver, I appreciate simplicity. This was a huge factor in choosing a MT back in the 1980s when auto trannys were younger -- I remember talking with my father about this, and I have always liked the theoretical lower cost due to the simplicity of manuals.

However, over time this argument becomes weaker -- even though I still drive a MT, I wouldn't really argue that it is more reliable than today's auto transmission. In fact, once autos get extremely reliable the viscous / hydraulic coupler may need less than a clutch plate replacement at 80k.

It's not an angry denial, but honestly, do you think that the failure point will be in an AWD clutch / transmission link / whatever in an old car, having two of them versus four? It's probably pretty low down on overall priorities. The weight issue IMO is more convincing.
I can't remember ever having any failure or maintenance issues with any FWD or AWD car I've ever had, although I have traded in my AWDs with around 50K miles on them. Which, by the way, is another counterpoint to this. Why care whether there will be maintenance issues if you plan to trade-in, re-lease, or sell before those issues might even occur?
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  #64  
Old 12-02-2012, 09:39 AM
chuckie3225 chuckie3225 is offline
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I have been wondering about this. I have an 09 328i x-drive, the deck lid badging states 328i with the x-drive badging on the front fenders. Does this mean that it's a 328xi? or a 328i w/x-drive?
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  #65  
Old 12-02-2012, 10:26 AM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Originally Posted by chuckie3225 View Post
I have been wondering about this. I have an 09 328i x-drive, the deck lid badging states 328i with the x-drive badging on the front fenders. Does this mean that it's a 328xi? or a 328i w/x-drive?
The same thing. Historically BMW had called their AWD cars "xi". xDrive is the continuing evolution of BMW's AWD system and starting in 2009 they decided to feature it more prominently so they dropped the "xi" designation and added the xDrive designation. Something more clearly identifiable, like Audi's Quattro.
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  #66  
Old 12-02-2012, 12:22 PM
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I drive an AWD Auto with the stock all-season Continentals. I don't find it one bit more stable on a snow, than all of the other FWD cars I've had in the past. I nearly crashed the car last winter, going up a hill of all places...ABS and what not...a last ditch evasive maneuver saved the day. So I tend to agree with most posts that winter tires are the way to go. I'm NOT going to order a set, however, for the handful of snowy days that we have. Instead, I've chosen to work at home on those days. Why? Because even with winter tires, there are still plenty of other drivers that don't know how to drive with snow on the ground. At least I drift the car and have a tad of fun here and there, couple with driving in manual mode, extremely slow and in the highest possible gear, to prevent sliding and losing control, again to the extent that the all-season tires allow....
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  #67  
Old 12-02-2012, 12:34 PM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is offline
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Here you go:

Snow tires either way.

If it's flat where you live, you'll be fine with rear wheel drive. If it's hilly where you live, get the xDrive.

Either way, a great car.
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  #68  
Old 12-03-2012, 05:05 PM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Originally Posted by Bemo View Post
I drive an AWD Auto with the stock all-season Continentals. I don't find it one bit more stable on a snow, than all of the other FWD cars I've had in the past. I nearly crashed the car last winter, going up a hill of all places...ABS and what not...a last ditch evasive maneuver saved the day. So I tend to agree with most posts that winter tires are the way to go. I'm NOT going to order a set, however, for the handful of snowy days that we have. Instead, I've chosen to work at home on those days. Why? Because even with winter tires, there are still plenty of other drivers that don't know how to drive with snow on the ground. At least I drift the car and have a tad of fun here and there, couple with driving in manual mode, extremely slow and in the highest possible gear, to prevent sliding and losing control, again to the extent that the all-season tires allow....
Keep in mind that AWD does not help you steer or change direction. It just helps you by getting traction to the road. So, it will help you get up a hill when tires may be slipping - but it will not make
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  #69  
Old 12-03-2012, 09:23 PM
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I have been wondering about this. I have an 09 328i x-drive, the deck lid badging states 328i with the x-drive badging on the front fenders. Does this mean that it's a 328xi? or a 328i w/x-drive?
Yes
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  #70  
Old 01-03-2013, 08:32 PM
chuckie3225 chuckie3225 is offline
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Thanks all
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  #71  
Old 01-03-2013, 08:55 PM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is online now
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Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
Historically BMW had called their AWD cars "xi". xDrive is the continuing evolution of BMW's AWD system and starting in 2009 they decided to feature it more prominently so they dropped the "xi" designation and added the xDrive designation.
This. Both are "correct," though: You'll still find the traditional "xi" on the VIN tag on the driver's door jamb, on a Vehicle Inquiry Report & elsewhere. It seems Teutonic efficiency wins out over branding where internal databases are concerned.
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  #72  
Old 01-04-2013, 02:20 AM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
Keep in mind that AWD does not help you steer or change direction. It just helps you by getting traction to the road. So, it will help you get up a hill when tires may be slipping - but it will not make
No, this is incorrect.

Steering on snow and ice is significantly improved with AWD as opposed to RWD on snow and ice, especially if a skid has already started. In a RWD car, if the front tires are sliding, you can best reestablish wheel rotation and directional control by, to use an old phrase, "steering into the skid" - pointing your front wheels to align with the direction of travel of the center of mass of the car. With AWD, you can reestablish/maintain front wheel rotation by pressing the gas while aiming the wheels where you want to go.

This results in an interesting transition for people who learned to drive in RWD. Entering a snow covered S-curve, such as the one down the street from my house, you need to ease off the gas quite a bit in many situations with RWD. With AWD, a more controlled pass through the turn is often achieved by maintaining smooth speed with a gentle amount of gas.

Now, granted, I may be trying to punch above my weight by discussing snow and ice driving technique with someone from "south of Burbank", but that's been what I've found.
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  #73  
Old 01-04-2013, 06:19 AM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Originally Posted by Zooks527 View Post
...Steering on snow and ice is significantly improved with AWD as opposed to RWD on snow and ice, especially if a skid has already started. In a RWD car, if the front tires are sliding, you can best reestablish wheel rotation and directional control by, to use an old phrase, "steering into the skid" - pointing your front wheels to align with the direction of travel of the center of mass of the car. With AWD, you can reestablish/maintain front wheel rotation by pressing the gas while aiming the wheels where you want to go.
The utility of accelerating out of a skid is extremely limited. I discussed this with a Bondurant driving instructor (granted, they're in Phoenix), and he said that the preferred method is to brake to regain traction, then steer (the same technique as on pavement).

Conversely, if snow tires had been installed, you would probably never have lost traction on the front wheels in the first place.
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  #74  
Old 01-04-2013, 06:51 AM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is offline
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Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
The utility of accelerating out of a skid is extremely limited. I discussed this with a Bondurant driving instructor (granted, they're in Phoenix), and he said that the preferred method is to brake to regain traction, then steer (the same technique as on pavement).

Conversely, if snow tires had been installed, you would probably never have lost traction on the front wheels in the first place.

Well, I found it to be quite useful while I was going west through the curve when the guy coming east got spooked by the snow, hit his brakes, and started skidding over the center into my lane.

More to the point, maintaining appropriate throttle through the turn usually allows you to avoid the skid in the first place. I've run through the curve a few times in quick succession as a comparison test of the methods, and find staying on the gas with AWD is more effective in maintaining the line than coming off the gas in the curve, and certainly more so than applying the brakes.

You also have the option of slowing down before the curve, but this is of little use when you're already in it and find out there's ice and snow pack in the sections that have trees shadowing the pavement.

FWIW, my car runs dedicated snow/ice tires 3 months of the year. They're a tool, not a panacea. Granted, they beat the hide off of all-seasons.
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  #75  
Old 01-04-2013, 10:26 PM
mark_12345 mark_12345 is offline
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Get an Xi and get the benefits of all week drive. Yes it doesn't help you stop but it helps with the go and handling in inclement weather.
The average driver will never extract the full potential of a BMW RWD or AWD car...period.
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