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  #1  
Old 10-05-2009, 10:58 AM
kpytoi9 kpytoi9 is online now
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328i vs 328xi

Hi guys

I am in the process of getting a new BMW and wanted to get some input. I am debating between the 328i and the 328xi. Is there really a huge difference in winter driving between these two models? Would I still have to get winter tires for both of them?
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2009, 11:03 AM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Welcome to a hornet's nest. There is a lot of (sometimes heated) discussion about this issue here. Search!
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2009, 12:44 PM
TheMan510 TheMan510 is offline
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I have an '07 328xi. I have snow tires, haven't tried it without them, but in Central NY the winters are pretty bad so I didn't want to risk it. It all depends on where you live, I would imagine Chicago can get pretty bad.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:00 PM
Gators24 Gators24 is offline
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Get the xi

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpytoi9 View Post
Hi guys

I am in the process of getting a new BMW and wanted to get some input. I am debating between the 328i and the 328xi. Is there really a huge difference in winter driving between these two models? Would I still have to get winter tires for both of them?

If it snows where you live get the xdrive--it is that simple. As mentioned before--some people will swear up and down they drive through crazy amounts of snow with no problem with rear wheel drive and snow tires. I have tried this and failed miserably. The only difference in your decision will be the sports suspension--as the difference in pickup, speed, etc. isn't noticeable.
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2009, 03:09 PM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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With due respect to Gators24, I'd again encourage the above poster to search on the issue. There are wildly varying opinions on this topic and it would be good to get feedback from folk on both sides of the aisle.

I will say that in the year I've been posting here at Bimmerfest, as well as at E90post, I've never seen anybody write "Gee, I really wish I had opted for Xdrive." Likewise, I've never seen an Xdrive owner say "Gee, I really regret getting AWD." Most people here seem happy with their choice one way or the other. So, good to find out why....
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2009, 04:45 PM
Ambartsumian Ambartsumian is offline
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x drive is great. it handles so good in the snow. i have a steep drive way so when it snows i really need the x drive to get up the hill
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2009, 04:51 PM
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IMO:

If you have to shovel your driveway more than twice per winter, get the xi. If not, learn to drive a RWD in light snow and enjoy a much better summer experience
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2009, 04:59 PM
lsedels lsedels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpytoi9 View Post
Hi guys

I am in the process of getting a new BMW and wanted to get some input. I am debating between the 328i and the 328xi. Is there really a huge difference in winter driving between these two models? Would I still have to get winter tires for both of them?
What you've heard is right. It's an emotional issue and each side thinks that they're right.

I've owned two XIs and wouldn't ever consider a non-XI even with snow tires. I've owned front-wheel or all-wheel drives for most of my life. I don't live in upstate NY, but I live just north of NYC, and while I like to avoid driving in the snow, there is nothing like the traction you get with XI (even with regular all-season tires, which is what I have) ... especially going up hills. Also, nothing is going to help you on ice.

There are also some who feel that the XI suspension lowers the car to the ground and sacrifices some of the ride.

What someone else said makes sense. There are many threads on this topic and you should do some searching to get a good sampling of what both sides have to say about it.
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2009, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lsedels View Post
What you've heard is right. It's an emotional issue and each side thinks that they're right.

I've owned two XIs and wouldn't ever consider a non-XI even with snow tires. I've owned front-wheel or all-wheel drives for most of my life. I don't live in upstate NY, but I live just north of NYC, and while I like to avoid driving in the snow, there is nothing like the traction you get with XI (even with regular all-season tires, which is what I have) ... especially going up hills. Also, nothing is going to help you on ice.

There are also some who feel that the XI suspension lowers the car to the ground and sacrifices some of the ride.

What someone else said makes sense. There are many threads on this topic and you should do some searching to get a good sampling of what both sides have to say about it.
The xi is more of a Skyjacker kit for BMWs, imo.
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2009, 05:18 PM
newjack newjack is offline
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I have a 2008 328i and my wife has a 2009 328xi. I'm a bit of an old school rear wheel drive guy and I love my 328i ;-) In June we got my wife a 328xi which I drive quite a bit and having never driven an all wheel drive car before I have to say that I'm very impressed. It's hard to describe the difference in feel except to say it feels "heavier" like there's something pushing the car into the ground without slowing it down! We've only had the car this summer so I'm waiting for the first NY winter to test out it's snow performance.
The bottom line is I think you'll be very happy with either one, so let the weather where you live help determine which one you get.
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2009, 05:25 PM
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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.
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2009, 07:45 PM
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Not intending to hijack this thread, and not trying to sound naive, but after 25 years of driving Hondas with front wheel drive and now back to rwd, does this mean I am finally moving past the slip/slide when starting from a dead stop on slightly rainy/oily streets?

(One of the reasons I'm sure I perfected the start in 2nd gear technique).
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2009, 07:59 PM
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You also have to consider your peace of mind...you might be just fine with RWD, but you might be a lot more at ease knowing you have AWD just in case the situation gets slippery...better safe than sorry!
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:01 PM
bmr12 bmr12 is offline
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I have an xi, and I have to say that I love it in all sorts of less-than-perfect conditions (rain, snow, slush, etc.). It feels extremely stable and has lots of traction at all times, and there's never any hop or slip like w/FWD. With snow tires, the only real issue is ground clearance (and here in CO, that is occasionally an issue). Can't compare it to a straight 328i, but can compare it to a variety of Japanese produced FWD vehicles.
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  #15  
Old 10-06-2009, 12:14 AM
Gators24 Gators24 is offline
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Resale value

Don't forget that you will most likely sell it/trade it in at some point. If most of the people and dealers in your area look for AWD then that could be an issue. This is one of the reasons that I chose the AWD for Denver---as 90% of the dealers inventory consists of xdrive models and that is what most people buy. It may be one factor that could give you a bit of trouble (cost you a bit of money) when you go to get rid of it.
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  #16  
Old 10-06-2009, 12:27 AM
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Re1nkE Re1nkE is offline
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the 328xi is also going to weigh a good bit more which will affect mpgs and performance. i think the stat is about a 2-3 worse mpg. not sure about the performance number, but you can always tell the difference when were talking a couple hundred pounds extra on/in the car.
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  #17  
Old 10-06-2009, 05:23 AM
Gators24 Gators24 is offline
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That weight difference is subjective

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Originally Posted by Re1nkE View Post
the 328xi is also going to weigh a good bit more which will affect mpgs and performance. i think the stat is about a 2-3 worse mpg. not sure about the performance number, but you can always tell the difference when were talking a couple hundred pounds extra on/in the car.
I love the talk about the extra weight of the AWD. I understand that there is weight increase, but how quickly can this become irrelevant. Take for instance a 250 pound male (or female) driving a 328i and a 170-180 pound male driving an xi--there goes some of the weight difference. What about someone that rides solo most of the time, compared with someone that mostly carries a passenger with them. What is the 328i owner decided to buy the moonroof in the 2010 and the xi owner didn't. There is your weight difference cancelled out. I know the same could go with the xi, but that is how quick the couple hundred pounds can be cancelled out when comparing the i to the xi. Many things effect MPG, especially when you're only talking a couple.

Just my two cents....
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  #18  
Old 10-06-2009, 05:53 AM
neapolitan neapolitan is offline
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Drive both and see what you think. I agree with almost all of the comments above. The main difference between xi and RWD is in tracking ability (with throttle the car will always start to point where you tell it to -- front wheels are always steering) and acceleration (flat/incline, whatever) in low traction conditions. These two are enough for me to get the car given where I live (Pittsburgh is an extremely hilly city.)

I can hop up hills in Oakland like there is no snow, while cars next to me are sliding down backward while spinning their snows. Of course, coming *down* those same hills, I am just like everybody else (AWD doesn't help stopping at all) but I do have again better tracking (if all else fails, much easier for me to intentionally steer into a snowbank, etc.)

I have gotten used to AWD, and last time I got in a car wreck was... well... never, after many decades of driving. I think AWD it is a great augmentation to driving in the snow. Can you drive in winter with RWD? Of course. Would RWD make a good rally car? Nope. It is really a personal choice -- I would also take Kilgore's advice and search on these forums and the internet.
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  #19  
Old 10-06-2009, 07:36 AM
jkp1187 jkp1187 is offline
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Quote:
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.

I generally agree with ProfessorCook - I live in snowbelt country, too, and went with RWD anyway. This will be my first RWD winter, so I can't actually comment on experience yet, although I will point out that up until now, FWD only was more than sufficient for my winter driving. (In Pittsburgh lately, we tend to get one solid month of snow and ice, then scattered flurries with limited accumulation for the rest of the winter.)

In AWD's defense, I believe its stance is a little higher than the RWD 3er, and most of the time this may be more of an advantage in driving over highly-packed snow than the actual AWD capability. Depends on the kind of roads you drive on/how regularly they're plowed/etc.
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  #20  
Old 10-06-2009, 08:52 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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I had a 328i and live in the Detroit area which is probably as snowy as Chicagoland. I don't have winter tires and usually don't have major issues with the snow except when starting on an incline. Winter tires would definitely help but I don't see a real need for the xi. To me the slight handling and speed advantages of RWD are worth it.

Thanks, Mike.
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  #21  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:04 AM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gators24 View Post
I love the talk about the extra weight of the AWD. I understand that there is weight increase, but how quickly can this become irrelevant. Take for instance a 250 pound male (or female) driving a 328i and a 170-180 pound male driving an xi--there goes some of the weight difference. What about someone that rides solo most of the time, compared with someone that mostly carries a passenger with them. What is the 328i owner decided to buy the moonroof in the 2010 and the xi owner didn't. There is your weight difference cancelled out. I know the same could go with the xi, but that is how quick the couple hundred pounds can be cancelled out when comparing the i to the xi. Many things effect MPG, especially when you're only talking a couple.

Just my two cents....

Adding extra passengers, more luggage, etc is another way to increase the weight of your car. That doens't mean that lugging around an extra 200 pounds every day is a non-issue. Car manufacturers go to great lengths to avoid adding that kind of weight. Heck, half the mods reported on this board have weight saving as an outcome.

I'm not saying that it is a huge issue. For anything other than MPG, it doens't really matter all that much. Heck, lots of us make purchase choices that involve heavy body styles (E91, vert). In fact, I'll bet that my RWD E91 weighs about as much as a AWD 335i E92. But, if you spec AWD, that is essentially like having a fat passenger with you every single day.

I also find it hard to buy the idea that lossing 2-3 MPG doesn't matter.
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  #22  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:11 AM
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I am sorry to report that this discussion seems to be well reasoned, accurate, and civilized.

If we keep this up with this thread and others, this forum will fold in a pale, polite, whimper.

How about this?

328i ower: "AWD owners are idiots for paying unnecessary money for the privilege of horrible performance. Go buy a Hummer."
xiowner: "RWD owners are narcissistic fools who ignore the obvious benefits in both safety and performance that AWD delivers. May you oversteer into oblivion the next time three snowflakes hit the pavement in front of you."
328i owner: "Jerk."
xiowner: "Fool."
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  #23  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:20 AM
jkp1187 jkp1187 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorCook View Post
I am sorry to report that this discussion seems to be well reasoned, accurate, and civilized.

If we keep this up with this thread and others, this forum will fold in a pale, polite, whimper.

How about this?

328i ower: "AWD owners are idiots for paying unnecessary money for the privilege of horrible performance. Go buy a Hummer."
xiowner: "RWD owners are narcissistic fools who ignore the obvious benefits in both safety and performance that AWD delivers. May you oversteer into oblivion the next time three snowflakes hit the pavement in front of you."
328i owner: "Jerk."
xiowner: "Fool."

I don't mean to inject a reasoned response to your subversively humorous post, but here goes anyway - AWD is good for accelerating in bad conditions, but it's arguable whether that's truly a 'safety' benefit. It isn't inability to accelerate in bad conditions that is the true safety issue, it's stopping in those conditions that is the real problem. And AWD does nothing to help you stop in those conditions.

Thanks. We can resume name-calling.
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  #24  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:29 AM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Originally Posted by jkp1187 View Post
I don't mean to inject a reasoned response to your subversively humorous post, but here goes anyway - AWD is good for accelerating in bad conditions, but it's arguable whether that's truly a 'safety' benefit. It isn't inability to accelerate in bad conditions that is the true safety issue, it's stopping in those conditions that is the real problem. And AWD does nothing to help you stop in those conditions.

Thanks. We can resume name-calling.
Well, inability to accelerate can be a significant issue if you are sliding down a driveway or hill due to lost traction.
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  #25  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:34 AM
lsedels lsedels is offline
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Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
Well, inability to accelerate can be a significant issue if you are sliding down a driveway or hill due to lost traction.
Traction on slippery snowy roads going uphill is also a potential issue. I've never owned RWD, but they also have a reputation for fishtailing. I'd still rather have the AWD. If I lived in the south, I'd get RWD.
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