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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
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  #26  
Old 05-20-2013, 04:52 PM
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BickUW89 BickUW89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kar Don View Post
Don't see the benefit of the hydraulic steering. Feel is the same... lousy.
+1 We have Xdrive in our F10, and after two years of ownership I still think the steering feel sucks badly. Everytime I get in my E60 I feel at "home," and instantly think "now *this* is how it's supposed to feel!"
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Last edited by BickUW89; 05-20-2013 at 08:18 PM.
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  #27  
Old 05-20-2013, 06:41 PM
kthankzbye kthankzbye is offline
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Originally Posted by ImolaRedM View Post
In a RWD car - you loose forward momentum because your drive wheels are no longer in contact with the pavement. Because hydroplaning is caused by the tires not being able to move water out of the way quickly enough the reduction of speed due to loss of momentum will ultimately allow the tires to catch up again. The front wheels still give you directional control. The result would be a wakeup call to slow down.

In a AWD car - depending on the nature of the center differential or (ABS/traction control) you may still maintain forward momentum and directional control. Warning that you're driving too fast for conditions will be dependent on the vehicle.

However, the front wheels are generally clearing out some of the water for the trailing rear wheels but many cars have a front bias for weight giving the front wheels an advantage.

Look, I get the advantages of AWD but hydroplaning is not one of them unless you're talking about wet road traction (such as trying to go up a hill in wet roads with an FWD). Of all the cars I have owned over the last 20 years, my full time AWD Land Rover Discovery II was more prone to hydroplaning than my other AWD (BMW X5, Toyota Sienna) or RWD (BMW E34, E39, E36/7, or E60) cars. The Land Rover has AWD with traction control and is the heaviest of the bunch but also has oversized tires that are not good at quickly clearing water from the road.
Couldn't have said it better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
You are just talking about accelaration while hydroplaing. I am talking about the whole driving experience in heavy rain. If all other factors are the same, there is no question that AWD perform much better in heavy rain.
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
Guess what, if the two rear wheels are hydroplaning and fronts are not, AWD can save your life.

The winter rubber compound turns to marshmallow after 40 degrees F.
You mentioned about how AWD can save you during hydroplaning. You didn't say that in your first post about heavy rain.
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Last edited by kthankzbye; 05-20-2013 at 06:45 PM.
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  #28  
Old 05-20-2013, 07:51 PM
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xDrive: I like being able to mash it hard in 2nd turning right at an intersection (with a green light so no stop), having the back slip out a bit, but I don't have to take my foot off the gas to avoid spinning off the road. It grabs real nice right after the rears slip.

My wife hates this though so it's not for everyone
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  #29  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:46 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kthankzbye View Post

You mentioned about how AWD can save you during hydroplaning. You didn't say that in your first post about heavy rain.
Thats like saying, we talked about driving in the snow but we did not mention driving while it is snowing

Last edited by The X Men; 05-22-2013 at 06:22 AM.
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  #30  
Old 05-22-2013, 03:57 AM
day03tls day03tls is offline
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Its such a controversial subject. If you are worried about going out in the snow get the x-drive. I have the fortunate situation that I get to work from a home office and I have no desire to go out in the snow anyway until the salt trucks clear the streets. We don't get the levels of snow that we used to get. The winters are so mild in Chicago and I thought about it and remember back when I made it through the snow in my 1979 Pontiac Trans Am. ( Smokey and the bandit). My tires were typically bald because I was in my early 20's and had no money...it had a 403 olds engine in it that was enormous....fish tailing was a ball.....A service technician at a dealer in Chicago made a good point, " I have no idea why people pay this extra money for the x-drive" its such an overrated marketing gimmick"

I haven't seen precipitation levels in Chicago that warrant the extra $$....more complexity anyway and a 550i in sport mode off the line without X drive is more fun anyway!
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  #31  
Old 05-22-2013, 12:41 PM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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Originally Posted by day03tls View Post
The winters are so mild in Chicago and I thought about it and remember back when I made it through the snow in my 1979 Pontiac Trans Am. ( Smokey and the bandit).
You are so full of it. Everybody knows the world started on January 1st 2008. It started with Internet, HDTV, iPhone and AWD. There is no such thing as 1979, don't be silly. Besides, you cannot drive on snow without AWD - that's a fact. (Just kidding)



Guys, there was just another thread resuscitated after 3 years on E9x forum about the same exact thing. Buy what you want or what you THINK you need. Just keep in mind that your choice DOES affect other people in this country. This might not be the case in Europe, but it is here. So, if you live in Florida, please reconsider buying an AWD BMW. Just go and buy an Audi Quattro. It's an awesome car. Or AWD Volvo. Or AWD Jag. Just skip BMW dealership. Please? Pretty please?
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  #32  
Old 05-22-2013, 01:13 PM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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if you live in Florida, please reconsider buying an AWD BMW. Just go and buy an Audi Quattro. It's an awesome car. Or AWD Volvo. Or AWD Jag. Just skip BMW dealership. Please? Pretty please?
More evidence that RWD BMW with manual transmission in the snow belt states are becoming extinct like the dinosaurs
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  #33  
Old 05-22-2013, 01:31 PM
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Those who cannot drive in snow with RWD, go get an Xdrive.
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  #34  
Old 05-22-2013, 05:18 PM
Bill Valley Bill Valley is offline
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We have been driving xDrive cars since 03 in Omaha. My wife's old 325xiT got around great in the snow with all seasons. My X5 does very well in the snow with all seasons. I went out in the last big snow we got (8") for a joyride in the X5. I could navigate unplowed residential streets with no problems. The yellow 4x4 symbol only lit up when I was getting on the accelerator up a hill. I think that light represents DSC (traction control) in use. Turn DSC off and if would fishtail, turn it back on and it tracks straight and true. Worth the expense IMHO.
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  #35  
Old 05-22-2013, 06:20 PM
BMW Obsession BMW Obsession is offline
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Don't have time to reply to everyone, but thanks to all for the feedback!

I should have clarified that my main concern is accelerating and getting up hills in slick conditions. I had a RWD Mustang two cars ago, and that thing was a nightmare in the winter. I would get stuck at stoplights and hold up traffic even on small slopes. Also that thing prevented me from getting to work a few times because of one hill I couldn't get up.

Hydroplaning and things of that nature....I've got that handled!

The reason I threw this out to the bimmerfest community was in an attempt to get a consensus either way along these lines....

"Save money, open up your search parameters and don't get xDrive. I have a RWD F10 and that thing is surprisingly, amazingly good in the snow!"
or:
"You must have xDrive in that region!"

Anyway after reading some of the replies I've decided I would be better off with xDrive. It's going to make the car buying process a much tougher one but so be it.

Thanks again!
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  #36  
Old 05-22-2013, 07:18 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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Going up and down hills is my specialty since my road is too steep for the county to plow and my driveway is 200+ feet of curves with a 10-15% grade. (see mig sigpic for a sample) I will also claim to be competent driver who can drive RWD cars in the winter, but prefer XDrive in the snow... rain... and dry. I'll try to stay focused on snow for now.

My 335d was RWD and equipped with Dunlop WinterSport 3D tires. This are performance snows and not studdable snows so they aren't the all out best snow tire, but since it is sunny and dry more days than it snows, I much prefer performance snows. So to climb my road (which is unplowed until I get home and hop on the tractor to plow it) I hit the DTC button and I accelerate as fast as I can to get enough momentum to get up the first hill. As I lose speed I apply light rear wheel slippage get get me over the top. The next set of rollers isn't a problem, but I need to maintain just enough speed to make the turn up my drive without having too much speed to plow right past the driveway. As I am making the climb, I break the rears loose an let the car lightly drift with the rear wheels shifted about a foot off center from the fronts. I like to throw one hand in the air to show off to Mrs D that I got it all under control and that usually earns me an eye roll. In the end I made it up the driveway.

My 550xi was AWD and equipped with Michelin Alpin PA3 performance snows. In the same scenario, I slow down to turn up our road, drive up the hill, the rollers, turn up my driveway, and pull into my garage. No worries.

So in the end I got home either way, but one required much more skill and the other was like driving home any other day.



So where's the value of xDrive?

1) It's going downhill! Hill decent control systems seem to defy physics. I have had cars start sliding sideways out of control and one touch of the button and the car comes under control. So far, I haven't determined a method to control a RWD sliding out of control on downhill curve. Turn into the slide and you going are off the road and into a tree. Turn to stay on the road means you hit the tree backwards. Braking harder doesn't help. Letting off the brakes doesn't help. Hill descent control is the only thing that I have found the works in this situation. When the driveway was slick, the RWD cars stayed in the garage.

2) 24/7/365 traction for high horsepower cars. Ever read a review where a RWD's poor performance at the track was blamed on a cold track? Ever see someone make the same excuse about an AWD? The traction is always there. Just saying.


So, IMHO going with xDrive is a wise decision if you live in hilly terrain and worth the extra effort to find what you want. Have you ever considered European Delivery? You get the exact car you want and you can save enough money to pay for the trip.
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  #37  
Old 05-22-2013, 08:05 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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I think you made the right decision since the only drawback you mentioned is a bit more work to find the right car. In your case AWD makes a lot of sense. If you would have been concerned about weight, complexity with added potential fault sources, loss of purity in steering ( not that there is anything to loose ) and the question would have been if you would be ok with rwd and a good set of snows like a set of Nokian Hakkapeliittas it would be another thing. I wish you good luck in your hunt!

As an anecdote I'm originally from Sweden and I don't think anyone in my extended family has AWD (many fwd though ), it's not that common but everyone puts on snows in winter. AWD is pretty new to the Germans except for Audi but snow has been around for a bit longer

Last edited by solstice; 05-22-2013 at 11:50 PM.
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  #38  
Old 05-22-2013, 09:30 PM
ImolaRedM ImolaRedM is offline
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An alternative to HDC is actually using your gears to slow the car. The trick is to keep the wheels turning and avoid having any one wheel slip. It's not ideal but it works and I also trust it more than HDC alone. I've been using HDC since it first came out on BMW's other brand and I've seen it fail in spectacular ways although HDC has improved over the years. I like HDC but wouldn't bet my life on it. If the vehicle with HDC also has a CDL (Land Rovers) then I use that too and it certainly helps.
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  #39  
Old 05-22-2013, 11:02 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImolaRedM View Post
An alternative to HDC is actually using your gears to slow the car. The trick is to keep the wheels turning and avoid having any one wheel slip. It's not ideal but it works and I also trust it more than HDC alone. I've been using HDC since it first came out on BMW's other brand and I've seen it fail in spectacular ways although HDC has improved over the years. I like HDC but wouldn't bet my life on it. If the vehicle with HDC also has a CDL (Land Rovers) then I use that too and it certainly helps.
I think that is good advice if you are travelling at any significant speed, but I'm talking about losing control at 5mph on a 15% grade on a curve which is first gear territory. Heck, I've had cars start to slide while at a complete stop. Without HDC, at 5mph I may slide off the drive onto the snow covered grass or unfortunately hit a snow bank, but at 10mph if I'm not lucky enough to hit a snow bank, then I'm hitting a tree. My first car with HDC was a 2007 MB GL, so maybe the major kinks were worked out by then.
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  #40  
Old 05-23-2013, 05:26 AM
ImolaRedM ImolaRedM is offline
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Understood and slow speeds is what I was referring to. I have a similar s turn hill to my house but going off the edge means you'll end up in a fence and a call for a recovery vehicle. That fence gets rebuilt every winter. On that hill, even HDC can be too fast and first gear can help especially in a car with a low range transfer case.
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  #41  
Old 05-23-2013, 05:37 AM
pharding pharding is offline
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XDrive is a waste of money and turns a great sports sedan into a slug. I have had rear wheel drive 5 ers in Chicago for the last 12 years with winter tires and the car handles fine in the winter.
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Last edited by pharding; 05-23-2013 at 05:40 AM.
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  #42  
Old 05-23-2013, 06:54 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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This topic of do "I need AWD" comes up every month in here, there are lots of threads on it if one do a search. Its always the same few owners that live in the snow belt states with RWD trying to defend their decision and that number is getting smaller and smaller. My guess is that we will be seeing a lot more expensive cars with AWD in the future. AWD systems are getting lighter and cheaper with almost no handling penalty. Considering the amount of money we spend on silly options on these expensive car, safety features such as AWD is almost a no brainer. If AWD can help with traction off the line with some of these 400+ HP cars, then thats just a added bonus.
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  #43  
Old 05-23-2013, 07:11 AM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is online now
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I live in Denver and have done fine since 2007 with a RWD E60 545 and snow tires. I do also have a Ford Explorer for days when conditions just suck. But really, on days like that I just try to stay in if I can.

I've decided that the AWD thing comes down to how hilly your home area is. If you live in a flat area (as I think the OP does), there may be little advantage to AWD, as long as you use snow tires in the winter.

If you live in a hilly area, though, AWD becomes useful. It's really hard to push a heavy item up a slippery slope, which is what RWD is doing. Physics take over, and snow tires don't really help enough. In this situation, nothing is better than all four wheels driving.
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Last edited by WillInDenver; 05-23-2013 at 07:13 AM.
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  #44  
Old 05-23-2013, 07:37 AM
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jimpal jimpal is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJGreer View Post
. . . If you live in a hilly area, though, AWD becomes useful. It's really hard to push a heavy item up a slippery slope, which is what RWD is doing. Physics take over, and snow tires don't really help enough. In this situation, nothing is better than all four wheels driving.
As we say in Minneapolis, "you betcha!"
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  #45  
Old 06-08-2013, 03:36 PM
Crzy'boutBimmer Crzy'boutBimmer is online now
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Hey OP,

I came back from my ED and during the presentation time, I took particular interest in the 5 safety systems - CBC, ASC, DBC, DSC and DTC. After going through everything, I asked: with all these systems already in place what is the need of x-drive, as CBC, ASC and DBC cover almost 80% of what xdrive does! And my delivery person tried to explain what xdrive does and ended up explaining the cumulative functioning of these 3 systems and a little more. So, in effect, you really don't need x-drive if not for that little function where it distributes power between different axles. Though, it can be at some time the only thing between you and a *bad incident*.

I do think x-drive (power balance across axles) is a nice feature, but paying 2k for it might not make a lot of sense..

I have already done my ED, next time though I may think about not getting x-drive, as I will definitely stick with Summer and Winter tire sets.
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  #46  
Old 06-08-2013, 05:46 PM
pharding pharding is offline
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I am quite happy driving a 5er with winter wheels and tires AND high performance tires for most of the year here in Chicago since 2001. I have never had any concerns in the winter. I just like the feel of a RWD Bimmer.
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  #47  
Old 06-08-2013, 07:16 PM
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jimpal jimpal is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharding View Post
I am quite happy driving a 5er with winter wheels and tires AND high performance tires for most of the year here in Chicago since 2001. I have never had any concerns in the winter. I just like the feel of a RWD Bimmer.
You got it just right. The only right answer to the RWD/AWD argument is what each person prefers for their own driving style and conditions. AWD for me.

Last edited by jimpal; 06-16-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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  #48  
Old 06-15-2013, 06:27 PM
Bbetts123 Bbetts123 is offline
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Just get the AWD and quit analyzing it. You'll get your money back in trade in and if your leasing they car it will residualize. Trust me of your on the fence just go with it. It's so convinent taking off and flooring if from a complete stand still no matter what the conditions are. Plus you get hydronic steering AND the non staggered tires.

Last edited by Bbetts123; 06-15-2013 at 06:30 PM.
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  #49  
Old 06-15-2013, 06:40 PM
Bbetts123 Bbetts123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharding View Post
XDrive is a waste of money and turns a great sports sedan into a slug. I have had rear wheel drive 5 ers in Chicago for the last 12 years with winter tires and the car handles fine in the winter.
Not everyone wants to rock winter tires. Do you think your RWD will have the same residual in 3 years?
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  #50  
Old 06-15-2013, 10:03 PM
schnell525 schnell525 is offline
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I think xdrive is helpful in acceleration in the dry. It's helpful in wet/rainy conditions as well as snow. I would say this depends on your locale. For my trying to drive a 400 hp car w/o awd in my climate is stupid. I run snows--in temps around 45, under moderate acceleration a 550xi will wiggle a bit.

xdrive isn't Quattro, but it's better than 4matic. Sometimes I have to drive in icy/snowy weather in snowbelts where having AWD and being able to move may save your life getting out of the way of some idiot that can't drive in snow. I've run snows with all of my cars for the last 10 years.

If I lived in Florida, given the type of heavy rain that happens, I'd like the extra grip awd gives me. But, I live in the great lakes region where lake effect really nails us. Just 10 miles difference in distance can make the difference from 6" to 3 ft.

It's all up to your personal preference. But for me and my climate AWD is the way to go.
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