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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan F30/F31/F34 and the first first generation 4 Series Coupe F32/F33/F36. Get the latest 3 and 4 series pricing from our ordering and pricing guide sticky thread.

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  #1  
Old 10-21-2013, 04:34 PM
lax854 lax854 is offline
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bmw x drive

can someone tell me how well x drive performs in the snow? i am leasing a 428 with all season tires on it. I currenty have an 2010 audi s4 with all season tires and the car handled great in the snow! can i expect the same from the bmw? how does x drive differ from audi quatro??
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2013, 06:57 PM
Wagons_Rock Wagons_Rock is offline
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I previously owned a A4 Quattro (Torsen) and was a bit skeptical about X drive, because Torsen was supposed to be the gold standard of AWD for passenger vehicles (i.e. no fixed differentials which serious off road cars like Land Rovers etc use). I was stunned how good X drive was with all seasons during the 'snowmageddon' we had in DC a couple of years ago. I decided to wait till traffic had died down a bit (mistake). When I did leave work all main roads were clogged. Using navi I looked for side roads that would take me in direction I needed to go. Absolutely amazing; no problems in about 8" of snow. I did eventually get 'stuck" but this was in a traffic jam when I was forced to go on a main road where everyone else was fishtailing around. As soon as I could get back on unplowed side roads, plain sailing. My ride is a 535 Touring.

Torsen is a mechanical design which directs torque via wheel slippage. X-drive does same thing, but with an extra transmission box under computer control that directs power to front/rear axel. Traction control (i.e. ABS) then handles left/right wheel spin, and brakes slipping wheel. In theory you can move provide that one wheel has traction; computer is calculating this on ms time scale, soX-drive is constantly adjusting in snow.

Last edited by Wagons_Rock; 10-21-2013 at 07:04 PM. Reason: more info to answer OPs questions
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2013, 07:11 PM
PK2348 PK2348 is online now
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i only went through one snow storm in mine. it performed really great IMO, but i am used to rwd cars, this is my first xdrive bmw
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2013, 07:22 PM
seanli seanli is offline
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Generally they do same thing, include a the centel LSD and ESP assistance, the difference is Xdrive use ECU control front and rear wheel power allocation, Quattro is mechanical. Both of them may not work on your tires slip in opposite angles.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2013, 07:31 PM
sure_mac sure_mac is offline
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Following a front drive Infiniti that always struggled to get up my driveway, I drove my BMW xi for 10 Minnesota winters. Not once did I fail to drive right up my driveway.

On the road I was always under control (within the limits of the all season tires anyways). I loved pulling away from a stop light with a 4X4 pickup next to me as my little BMW just blasted away leaving him chugging in the snow to get up to speed.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2013, 08:06 PM
JohnnyO JohnnyO is offline
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After two Audi A4s with Quattro all-wheel drive I moved to a BMW 335xi with all-wheel drive about five years ago. My wife is still driving the Audi (for another few weeks, until I get my new one, and she takes over my current BMW). I believe both the Audi and BMW all-wheel drive systems treat you similarly. The power to all wheels will help greatly where there are a few inches of snow on the road.

John
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2013, 04:36 AM
etsok1 etsok1 is offline
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My previous ride was a 528 xdrive currently in a 328 xdrive both with all season tires. Never had a traction problem with either. Biggest problem is the snowplow effect of the front air dam when the snow gets really deep. I have cruised through a foot of soft power but clearly you have to be careful when going through the heavy or frozen piles left by plows at intersections. Does really well on frozen or hard packed surfaces.
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  #8  
Old 10-22-2013, 06:47 AM
pony_trekker pony_trekker is online now
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Check Youtube for videos. Xdrive performs well. Subaru and Audi may be a pinch better.
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2013, 06:53 AM
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Dr. 328xi Dr. 328xi is offline
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I can't speak from experience (despite the prediction that Chicago is getting some "snow" today...), but when I was trying to decide between my 3-series or another Audi, I came across an article out of Canada comparing the two including a direct comparison of the AWD systems as that's a pretty important component up north.

Quote:
Between their respective AWD systems, the Audi gets the nod. In slippery road conditions, the 328i xDrive will more readily understeer in corners, forcing you to get off the gas. Whereas the A4 Quattro's system applies torque to the front tires seemingly quicker, straightening out the vehicle without forcing the driver to slow down.

Full article: www.straight-six.com
They picked the Audi over the BMW, but overall seemed to feel that both handled well enough. I know that, at least so far, my xDrive with all-weather Pirellis has outhandled my Audi with DWS tires in heavy rain, so I'm sure it will do well in snow as well.
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  #10  
Old 10-22-2013, 09:31 AM
HokieXDriver HokieXDriver is offline
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Isn't "straightening out the vehicle" during a turn the very definition of understeer? I'm not sure I understand their point.
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  #11  
Old 10-22-2013, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
Isn't "straightening out the vehicle" during a turn the very definition of understeer? I'm not sure I understand their point.
I think what they're describing is that point in a slide/skid where the rubber finds something to grab onto and you regain traction. It's poorly worded, but that's how I would interpret it.
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  #12  
Old 10-22-2013, 08:25 PM
xcskier xcskier is offline
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I spend a lot of time on snow in the N Cascades. The most important factor in snow is how good your snow tires are. That being said, my experience with Audis is that they tend to understeer quite a bit, which isn't such a bad thing for a stock road car on snow. My 335 xDrive has this trait, too, but can easily be coaxed into fun power slides with the spin control off.

Bottom line for me is the F30 xDrive with snow tires is as competent in snow as either my Audis or Subie STi. The latter was more fun but was very tiring on a long drive.
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  #13  
Old 10-23-2013, 01:43 AM
lax854 lax854 is offline
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is the 428 always in 4by mode tho? or will it act as a rwd car in regular conditions???
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  #14  
Old 10-23-2013, 02:55 AM
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Dr. 328xi Dr. 328xi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lax854 View Post
is the 428 always in 4by mode tho? or will it act as a rwd car in regular conditions???
It's full time AWD with a ~60:40 rear wheel bias at default, which adjusts as needed if there's loss of traction.


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  #15  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:19 PM
BMW X Series BMW X Series is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. 328xi View Post
It's full time AWD with a ~60:40 rear wheel bias at default, which adjusts as needed if there's loss of traction.


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I'm pretty sure it distributes driver power between the front and rear axles in a 40:60 ratio.
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  #16  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:42 PM
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Dr. 328xi Dr. 328xi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW X Series View Post
I'm pretty sure it distributes driver power between the front and rear axles in a 40:60 ratio.
Yeah, we are saying the same thing, just worded differently. I said 60:40 biased to the rear, meaning 60% to the rear. Sorry for the confusion.


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  #17  
Old 10-23-2013, 09:19 PM
jedbmw jedbmw is offline
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bmw x drive

X-Drive works very well. I had it on my 2007 X3. Was great in the snow and VERY good even in the rain.

Wish I had it on my 328i.


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  #18  
Old 10-24-2013, 03:48 AM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagons_Rock View Post
My ride is a 535 Touring.
Care to explain this? 535 Touring has never been imported into the states, and is not EPA or DOT certified. Only way I can imagine you having one is if you are a diplomat and brought one in from your home country. But then how in the world would you get one serviced, since BMWUSA would never stock the parts?
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  #19  
Old 10-24-2013, 08:41 AM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
Care to explain this? 535 Touring has never been imported into the states, and is not EPA or DOT certified. Only way I can imagine you having one is if you are a diplomat and brought one in from your home country. But then how in the world would you get one serviced, since BMWUSA would never stock the parts?
Previous 5-series "Tourings" were imported, they stopped doing so only with the F1x.
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  #20  
Old 10-24-2013, 09:16 AM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
Previous 5-series "Tourings" were imported, they stopped doing so only with the F1x.
Yes, the E61 was imported,, and except for the sunroof drains, it was a pretty good ride. The poster's comments about trying out his new car in a recent snowstorm made me think he had something more recent. But if it was a CPO E61, that makes sense.

I sure wish BMWUSA had brought in the F11. In M Sport kit, it is about the most beautiful BMW ever made. Instead we got the fuggly-azz 5 GT's that never sold...
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2015 X1 28i xDrive Alpine / Black, xLine, ZCW and Ultimate
2015 X1 35i xDrive Black / Black, ZCW, Ultimate and Xenons

Prior BMW's
2011 535ix MSport
2011 X5 35D
2008 ///M3 Vert
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2007 X5 3.0
2006 X5 3.0
2006 550iA SP
2003 540iA M-Technic

Last edited by quackbury; 10-24-2013 at 09:18 AM.
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  #21  
Old 11-26-2015, 10:07 PM
snowman_tahoe snowman_tahoe is offline
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I have owned 2 A4 QUATTRO'S and drove Audi for 14 years. I have also owned Toyota & Nissan 4x4 trucks and SUvs, driven Jeep too. Bought 428ix gran coupe this year. 2 big snowstorms in & 100% no doubt xdrive out drives all other.

I'm not talking off road, but snow and ice on the highway up to Kirkwood. Pirelli p7. Yes tires matter a ton.

Xdrive out drives QUATTRO no question
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  #22  
Old 11-27-2015, 07:35 AM
samplermike samplermike is offline
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Countdown to yet another RWD with snow tires vs AWD with all-season tires debate...tick tick tick
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  #23  
Old 11-27-2015, 08:38 AM
BobinIl BobinIl is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samplermike View Post
Countdown to yet another RWD with snow tires vs AWD with all-season tires debate...tick tick tick
Followed by a premium vs. regular thread.
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  #24  
Old 11-27-2015, 11:24 AM
pony_trekker pony_trekker is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samplermike View Post
Countdown to yet another RWD with snow tires vs AWD with all-season tires debate...tick tick tick
Depends on whether you are leasing or buying . . .
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  #25  
Old 11-27-2015, 11:38 AM
John MS John MS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman_tahoe View Post
I have owned 2 A4 QUATTRO'S and drove Audi for 14 years. I have also owned Toyota & Nissan 4x4 trucks and SUvs, driven Jeep too. Bought 428ix gran coupe this year. 2 big snowstorms in & 100% no doubt xdrive out drives all other.

I'm not talking off road, but snow and ice on the highway up to Kirkwood. Pirelli p7. Yes tires matter a ton.

Xdrive out drives QUATTRO no question
Another zombie thread back from the dead........
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