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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #26  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:30 AM
jtuds jtuds is offline
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I live in one of the snowiest parts of Ontario and i know a few peopl ehere with RWD 2 series who say it is fine in the snow. You do have to change how you drive though. THe xdrive is not as low as the normal 335i either, so you do lose some aesthetics.

Last edited by jtuds; 11-15-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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  #27  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:31 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinn Lasser View Post
I've had three BMW's all with X drive. We live in the Chicago area and get a fair amount of snow even though the last few years have been milder. We leave the all weather tires on and it hasn't been an issue. For really big snows we drive the Jeep. Easy Peasy.




I lived in the frozen tundra of Northern New England for 14 years. My RWD E93 on snow tires could run rings around an E90 AWD on all seasons. Ultimately, it's all about the rubber. I was far more confident and planted in an E93 RWD on snow tires than I ever was in an E90 AWD on all season tires. Going uphill, braking, it's all in favor of the snow tire setup.

And as an owner of an E90 AWD who rode on the same snow tires as my E93 RWD I can tell you emphatically that while all-wheel-drive is superior to rear-wheel drive, it's only by a factor of 5 to 7% at most. Frankly, I was shocked at how little improvement there was in my all-wheel-drive car compared to my rear wheel drive car, again, both cars on the exact same snow tires, and in the exact same wintry conditions. Driving up my driveway, going up a hill, end of the day in an unplowed parking lot, only a marginal improvement for all-wheel-drive over rear-wheel drive.

I'm in New Jersey now, and just bought a rear-wheel drive F30 for just this reason. I get the great performance nine months out of the year, and for the other three months I bought a set of the same Nokian dedicated snow tires which is all anyone needs.

It's all about the snow tires. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who buy xDrive cars do so because they're too lazy to change into them.

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 11-15-2012 at 10:34 AM.
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  #28  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:32 AM
jatbeni jatbeni is offline
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The comparison is not between AWD and RWD - it is between AWD with All Season rubber - and - RWD with Winter Rubber.

Winter rubber grips better on snow/ice - due to the various technologies engineered into the product.

That is how the second combination is superior...
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  #29  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:33 AM
jtuds jtuds is offline
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Originally Posted by sea6speed View Post
It's a BMW. Get the "i" and buy a Subaru/Audi for snow days.
A used one?
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  #30  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:42 AM
jtuds jtuds is offline
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Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
Another point - if the OP is getting an automatic, I would recommend the XI - not because it is any better, but because it goes with the ethos of convenience (changing tires twice a year can be inconvenient), and when it comes time to resell, it will be easier (since the average buyer is misinformed). On the other hand, if the OP were getting a manual, I would recommend the RWD - with winter rubber (the OP shows the intent to work at his driving, and the slight inconvenience of changing rubber twice a year should be acceptable).
The logic in this paragraph is very presumptuous. A lot more goes into the manual vs automatic decision other than "convenience" vs "intent to work".
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  #31  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:42 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
The comparison is not between AWD and RWD - it is between AWD with All Season rubber - and - RWD with Winter Rubber.

Winter rubber grips better on snow/ice - due to the various technologies engineered into the product.

That is how the second combination is superior...
Exactly.

Even if it's only 5 to 10 days a year, you simply can't believe that XDrive on all-seasons is just as safe as RWD on snow tires.

There is no magic workaround for getting to your tire shop twice a year to change in and out of snow tires. If you live somewhere where there's snow, you have to get snow tires.

BJ
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  #32  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:43 AM
jatbeni jatbeni is offline
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Here is another comparison -

Between the 128i on Winter rubber, and our Range Rover on All Seasons, I prefer driving the 128i on Winter Rubber... this is true for my current environment here in Chicago.

Why? Because Chicago roads are ploughed and ground clearance is not an issue. What is an issue however is that intersections can be icy (therefore I went for the Michelin X-Ice2 and not the Bridgestone Blizzaks), so I am looking for maximum grip in panic stops (say, when a pedestrian starts to cross the road, and I have to stop immediately). So my setup is maximized for conditions that I care about. If I cared about high speed performance for example, I would have gone for the Michelin Alpin, for example...

I could also get winter rubber for the Range Rover, but that would mean a new set of wheels, and taking it to a shop to get them changed (I can change my wheels on the 128 myself).
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  #33  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:48 AM
golovko golovko is offline
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There is no question that drivetrain is irrelevant when your weakest link is your tires. Naturally having the right tires for the road condition will put you ahead. I would say that regardless of RWD/AWD choice you still need snow tires if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow.

Having AWD with snow tires will give you the best results in snow. If you get 5-10 days of snow a year then its really not worth getting AWD if thats your only reasoning. If you drive to a lot of ski trips then that would add weight in favor of AWD/snow tires. Otherwise may as well just stick with RWD.
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  #34  
Old 11-15-2012, 01:00 PM
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Let me ask a somewhat related question.
I got a RWD because, well, I wanted 6MT.
I kind of figured I'd just drive carefully when it snows.

My concern with swapping tires is the logistics of it, and this is true of swapping RFT for regular tires (and then putting the RFT back on at the end of the lease). It's not a matter of being lazy.

So... not having tire balancing stuff and the proper tools in my garage to do this myself...
Say I go to a local tire place, and replace my stock RFT with good winter tires.
The stupid question is: where the hell do I put my RFT? I don't think they are going to fit in the trunk. The transportation of a set of 4 tires is non-trivial regardless of whether it's snow tires, non RFT, etc.

For you guys who change tires all the time, how do you handle this? I am sure I am overcomplicating this, and there's probably an easy answer, but for the life of me, I can't think of a solution that doesn't require renting a U-Haul or something similar.
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  #35  
Old 11-15-2012, 01:03 PM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slythex View Post
Let me ask a somewhat related question.
I got a RWD because, well, I wanted 6MT.
I kind of figured I'd just drive carefully when it snows.

My concern with swapping tires is the logistics of it, and this is true of swapping RFT for regular tires (and then putting the RFT back on at the end of the lease). It's not a matter of being lazy.

So... not having tire balancing stuff and the proper tools in my garage to do this myself...
Say I go to a local tire place, and replace my stock RFT with good winter tires.
The stupid question is: where the hell do I put my RFT? I don't think they are going to fit in the trunk. The transportation of a set of 4 tires is non-trivial regardless of whether it's snow tires, non RFT, etc.

For you guys who change tires all the time, how do you handle this? I am sure I am overcomplicating this, and there's probably an easy answer, but for the life of me, I can't think of a solution that doesn't require renting a U-Haul or something similar.
they'll fit in the back seat easily. just get large contractor garbage bags to put them in
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  #36  
Old 11-15-2012, 01:29 PM
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Quinn Lasser Quinn Lasser is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I lived in the frozen tundra of Northern New England for 14 years. My RWD E93 on snow tires could run rings around an E90 AWD on all seasons. Ultimately, it's all about the rubber. I was far more confident and planted in an E93 RWD on snow tires than I ever was in an E90 AWD on all season tires. Going uphill, braking, it's all in favor of the snow tire setup.

And as an owner of an E90 AWD who rode on the same snow tires as my E93 RWD I can tell you emphatically that while all-wheel-drive is superior to rear-wheel drive, it's only by a factor of 5 to 7% at most. Frankly, I was shocked at how little improvement there was in my all-wheel-drive car compared to my rear wheel drive car, again, both cars on the exact same snow tires, and in the exact same wintry conditions. Driving up my driveway, going up a hill, end of the day in an unplowed parking lot, only a marginal improvement for all-wheel-drive over rear-wheel drive.

I'm in New Jersey now, and just bought a rear-wheel drive F30 for just this reason. I get the great performance nine months out of the year, and for the other three months I bought a set of the same Nokian dedicated snow tires which is all anyone needs.

It's all about the snow tires. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who buy xDrive cars do so because they're too lazy to change into them.

BJ
Thanks for the write up BJ! For my driving, which is essentially suburban/city driving on streets that have been mostly plowed, where the terrain is mostly flat (bummer) and the snow isn't blizzard like, the X drive with all season tires has been ok for me the last seven or so years. If I had to drive through more snow or in an area when the snow plows were infrequent, I'd probably go with the snow tires which we have on the Jeep. I'm definitely new to the forum and new to the technical car talk (which I am definitely liking), but I'm not new to driving a BMW with X Drive.

In terms of the vast majority of BMW users buying X Drive because they are too lazy to have the tires changed, pshaw. When we bought the first BMW the dealer told us with X Drive you don't need snow tires. Now, while that may or may not be true, I think suggesting people who buy it are lazy might not be the whole truth. Having said that, if I find myself in the snowy frozen tundra of New England, look for my 335iX *with* snow tires. Peace.
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  #37  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:01 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
The comparison is not between AWD and RWD - it is between AWD with All Season rubber - and - RWD with Winter Rubber.

Winter rubber grips better on snow/ice - due to the various technologies engineered into the product.

That is how the second combination is superior...
We've already been over this. AWD with snows beats both combinations. Therefore RWD isn't a consideration when safety is your top priority.
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  #38  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:04 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slythex View Post
Let me ask a somewhat related question.
I got a RWD because, well, I wanted 6MT.
I kind of figured I'd just drive carefully when it snows.

My concern with swapping tires is the logistics of it, and this is true of swapping RFT for regular tires (and then putting the RFT back on at the end of the lease). It's not a matter of being lazy.

So... not having tire balancing stuff and the proper tools in my garage to do this myself...
Say I go to a local tire place, and replace my stock RFT with good winter tires.
The stupid question is: where the hell do I put my RFT? I don't think they are going to fit in the trunk. The transportation of a set of 4 tires is non-trivial regardless of whether it's snow tires, non RFT, etc.

For you guys who change tires all the time, how do you handle this? I am sure I am overcomplicating this, and there's probably an easy answer, but for the life of me, I can't think of a solution that doesn't require renting a U-Haul or something similar.
I had a friend who swapped snow and summer tires on his car. Made many of the arguements you see here from the RWD crowd. He said it grew old and ended up buying an AWD car when he bought a new car. Very pleased with the decision.
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  #39  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:08 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
The reason why the snow belt sells so many X-Drives is that over the years, Audi's marketing (and Subaru - in the non-luxury segment) has done a number on the customers and scared them into believing that X-Drive is safer in the winter. Not! I would argue that it is more dangerous - it gives the drivers a false sense of security, and makes them lazy. I would also argue that BMW (and Mercedes) after years of trying to push back, have been forced down this road.

As @Orient330iNYC has asked - how does 4WD make is better when you hit the brakes? How does it help you in panic stops? How does it make it better when you are skidding around a bend (a turn that you took too fast in the mistaken belief that your 4WD added some superhuman capabilities to your driving)? Surely - 4WD with winter rubber could be the best option, but then it is the best PERFORMANCE option. I am pretty sure it would do no better than a RWD under braking.

4WD is a performance option - it helps you take off from a stop light faster for sure, but then it adds weight and alters the driving characteristics (negatively, for some of us). So that is a different debate, quite separate from the intent of the OP.

Another point - if the OP is getting an automatic, I would recommend the XI - not because it is any better, but because it goes with the ethos of convenience (changing tires twice a year can be inconvenient), and when it comes time to resell, it will be easier (since the average buyer is misinformed). On the other hand, if the OP were getting a manual, I would recommend the RWD - with winter rubber (the OP shows the intent to work at his driving, and the slight inconvenience of changing rubber twice a year should be acceptable).
The only reason to buy the RWD is because you prefer it. Most drivers, including those in this forum, lack the ability to drive either car at their limits. Both cars will give the driver a world of fun. Especially within the constraints of public roads.
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  #40  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:15 PM
r0gue r0gue is offline
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Thanks much for the awesome input. I've made my decision.

We do get some heavy snows here, and it does pile up a bit over time. But, I've driven RWD BMWs and for the last 5 years I've used Blizzaks with great success. The only big drawback was the expense of the strip and mount as I did not have an extra set of wheels. This time, I will get the extra set of wheels with winter tires.

I decided on RWD primarily because I am happy with the performance for 10 months a year and I park in a parking garage on the roof, which requires a LOT of tight turns up and down. I think the AWD would wear tires faster.

But the MAJOR reason was that they delete the sport suspension off the AWD cars. So I would be compelled to add the dynamic handling kit. So secondarily to the desires for how the car behaves, I'm figuring $3k for the xi difference with DHP. I can get mounted Blizzaks for half that.

With the difference, I pay for the upgrade from Sport to M-Sport!!!!

So 335i M-Sport, next to choose my options. As we are on a winter theme, I am DEFINITELY getting the cold wx package with the headed steering wheel. That compels leather.. Beyond that -- well, that can be another thread.

Last edited by r0gue; 11-15-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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  #41  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:32 PM
jatbeni jatbeni is offline
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Good choice... IMHO... but then, I have already made my preference clear :-)

Anyhow - after reading your post (and comments about tire wear), I remembered one more reason why I would not get 4WD unless it I lived somewhere hilly, or had to go off-road, and it was absolutely necessary. If you were to have one of your tires go - say, a blowout - and the other tires are somewhat worn out, you have to either (a) replace all tires, or (b) have that one tire shaved down, so that you are evenly balanced, otherwise it can wear your 4WD drive-train, and result in even bigger expenses down the road. And if you are replacing RFT's, this can be a huge expense.

That money is better spent elsewhere (at least for some of us)...
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  #42  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:36 PM
jatbeni jatbeni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slythex View Post
Let me ask a somewhat related question.
I got a RWD because, well, I wanted 6MT.
I kind of figured I'd just drive carefully when it snows.

My concern with swapping tires is the logistics of it, and this is true of swapping RFT for regular tires (and then putting the RFT back on at the end of the lease). It's not a matter of being lazy.

So... not having tire balancing stuff and the proper tools in my garage to do this myself...
Say I go to a local tire place, and replace my stock RFT with good winter tires.
The stupid question is: where the hell do I put my RFT? I don't think they are going to fit in the trunk. The transportation of a set of 4 tires is non-trivial regardless of whether it's snow tires, non RFT, etc.

For you guys who change tires all the time, how do you handle this? I am sure I am overcomplicating this, and there's probably an easy answer, but for the life of me, I can't think of a solution that doesn't require renting a U-Haul or something similar.
I got another set of wheels - and mounted the winter set on those.

I had two options (a) leave the other set at the installer for a fee, and have him change the tires twice a year, or (b) change the sets myself - takes about 2 hours at a leisurely pace.

I went with Option B - I have a small basement, so I could find some space for my tires.
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  #43  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:42 PM
jatbeni jatbeni is offline
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The only reason to buy the RWD is because you prefer it. Most drivers, including those in this forum, lack the ability to drive either car at their limits. Both cars will give the driver a world of fun. Especially within the constraints of public roads.
I am only recommending based on the choices presented...

The safest option (no doubt) would be to get 4WD and the right rubber... but if you want to take this to an extreme, you can get 4WD + Winter Tires on a Volvo? On a 5 series? on a A6? All of those could be safer than what the OP asked for...

However, as always, money is a constraint, and given that the OP is not in Denver, CO - and does not face mountainous roads, that may be unploughed, on a regular basis... my assertion is that having winter tires and RWD is a better tradeoff than All Seasons + 4WD
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  #44  
Old 11-15-2012, 04:42 PM
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There are as many variations in tires as there are opinions on the subject. First, all snow tires are not the same. All all-season tires are not the same. All Summer tires are not the same.

Points that I have not seen in this thread yet:

1) In general, snow tires have worse dry and wet braking capability than all-season tires for the 75-90 days in the Winter that it doesn't snow.
2) In general, RWD cars will need studdable snow tires to have similiar snow traction to an xDrive with performance snow tires when climbing hills.
3) xDrive cars have hill descent control which in my opinion performs miracles in slippery conditions, even with all-season tires.
4) In general, all-season tires offer the best overall performance when compared to snow or Summer tires in the transition seasons.
5) Driving conditions such as plowed vs unplowed, flat vs hilly, ice vs snow, chains or no chains all have different tire solutions.
6) If rotating between Summer and snow tires, one needs to put the snow tires at some time during the transition season, so 30-60 extra days of poorer dry and wet performance. Summer tires are not safe to drive in the freezing temps of the transition seasons.

Personally, I live in a hilly area with unplowed roads in the Winter and I am an enthusiast with 511hp, so xDrive plus Summer tires in April-October, all-seasons in November & March, and performance snow tires December-February meets my needs.

If I was forced to choose RWD & snows vs AWD & decent all-seasons like Conti DWS or Michelin Pilot A/S, I would pick the latter since in my experience that combo has never failed to get me where I need to go and would provide the best overall performance over the course of the year.
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  #45  
Old 11-15-2012, 06:01 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
However, as always, money is a constraint, and given that the OP is not in Denver, CO - and does not face mountainous roads, that may be unploughed, on a regular basis... my assertion is that having winter tires and RWD is a better tradeoff than All Seasons + 4WD
Pennsylvania can get some pretty good snow storms. But there's no reason for a tradeoff. Just buy the AWD and be done with it. The AWD will do 99% of what the RWD will do for most drivers. You act as if buying the AWD is a compromise...it's not.
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  #46  
Old 11-15-2012, 06:06 PM
r0gue r0gue is offline
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
Personally, I live in a hilly area with unplowed roads in the Winter and I am an enthusiast with 511hp, so xDrive plus Summer tires in April-October, all-seasons in November & March, and performance snow tires December-February meets my needs.
Wow... You switch your wheels 6 times a year...?
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  #47  
Old 11-15-2012, 06:12 PM
r0gue r0gue is offline
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Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
You act as if buying the AWD is a compromise...it's not.
If you add a Sport package to a 3 with X-drive at $1500 -- or -- If you add the M-Sport package to a 3 with X-drive at $3200, you DO NOT get the performance tuned suspension that the package denotes. They just keep that. And charge you the same. I guess you still get the M badging... Taking the AWD compromises on the suspension. I'm not saying that compromise can't be worth it for some depending on your needs and desires, but there is a compromise. Also, my brothers MB 4-matic eats tires. Not sure about BMWs though. So that's just a perception/suspicion.

Still, it was close for me. And heck, I haven't pulled any triggers yet. Maybe I'll wishy washy around.
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  #48  
Old 11-15-2012, 06:18 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
Good choice... IMHO... but then, I have already made my preference clear :-)

Anyhow - after reading your post (and comments about tire wear), I remembered one more reason why I would not get 4WD unless it I lived somewhere hilly, or had to go off-road, and it was absolutely necessary. If you were to have one of your tires go - say, a blowout - and the other tires are somewhat worn out, you have to either (a) replace all tires, or (b) have that one tire shaved down, so that you are evenly balanced, otherwise it can wear your 4WD drive-train, and result in even bigger expenses down the road. And if you are replacing RFT's, this can be a huge expense.
If you have to shave down the new tire it's probably a better idea to buy four new tires anyway. There's nothing about the AWD which forces you to buy new tires...it's just a good idea...AWD or RWD.
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  #49  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:00 PM
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Wow... You switch your wheels 6 times a year...?
Although it only adds up to four changes per year for my 550, you are right with six changes per year, since I change the 335d's tires twice per year.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:00 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Mein Auto: 2007 X5 4.8i
Quote:
Originally Posted by r0gue View Post
If you add a Sport package to a 3 with X-drive at $1500 -- or -- If you add the M-Sport package to a 3 with X-drive at $3200, you DO NOT get the performance tuned suspension that the package denotes. They just keep that. And charge you the same. I guess you still get the M badging... Taking the AWD compromises on the suspension. I'm not saying that compromise can't be worth it for some depending on your needs and desires, but there is a compromise. Also, my brothers MB 4-matic eats tires. Not sure about BMWs though. So that's just a perception/suspicion.

Still, it was close for me. And heck, I haven't pulled any triggers yet. Maybe I'll wishy washy around.
Again: For most people there's no loss of performance. One may think they're losing performance but, for the vast majority of drivers, they're not. They don't have the skill to push any of theses vehicles / suspension combinations to their limit. Especially on public roads. If one prefers the feel of one suspension type of another then by all means get it. But that's a preference decision, not a performance one.
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