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F07 Gran Turismo (2010 - Current)
The 5 Series Gran Turismo -- now available in the USA as a 535i, 550i and 550i xDrive model.

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  #1  
Old 03-27-2013, 03:50 PM
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ErnestHouse ErnestHouse is offline
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Does xDrive really benefit handling on a 5GT?

"The myth of the all-powerful all-wheel drive" By Mac Demere | Popular Mechanics Fri, Mar 22, 2013 5:06 PM EDT

http://autos.yahoo.com/news/the-myth...210608212.html

Living in Florida and not visiting snowy climates, I don't need xDrive for traction. After reading this article on the myth of all-wheel drive, I'm doubting my own assumptions about it's importance for better handling and wet roads which I do experience. Given the points in the article, I would think that the 5GT Adaptive Steering would make for better handling on an RWD 5GT than xDrive would. I also notice you can't have both AS and xDrive on the 5GT.

As drivers, what do you think?
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2013, 04:41 PM
SimiClyde SimiClyde is offline
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Honestly, my reasoning for getting xDrive on the F07 had everything to do with wanting the 19" wheel upgrades, but with All Season Tires. RWD with the wheel upgrade gets you Sport Tires, which wear more quickly than All Season Tires.

My goal then: 19" wheels, All Season Tires --> xDrive
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2013, 08:09 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Have you ever hit a big puddle on one side of the car? You probably have. Front or rear wheel drive cars I've owned, really jerked one way or the other and, if you weren't a decent driver or aware, it could really ruin your day. All-wheel drive cars I've owned with this didn't twitch and just ran through it. This can happen anywhere it rains. As to really nasty snow or ice conditions, tires are the biggest thing, but all-wheel does make a difference in getting started and keeping going in the direction you want. It certainly doesn't make a difference in stopping. It can help keep you going straight when the roads are slippery, and that can be in the summer after a long dry spell before the rain washes away all of the oil slick (ever seen that, it's like driving on ice). Ran into that more than once in western Texas and SoCal.

Is it worth the extra cost initially and the increased fuel usage all the time? That's a question to debate. But, one avoided accident is probably all it takes to tip the balance. Your money, your choice. It's saved me a few times.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:40 PM
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ErnestHouse ErnestHouse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
...Is it worth the extra cost initially and the increased fuel usage all the time?...
Good point. Unfortunately, one has to decide between Integral Active Steering and xDrive.
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2013, 11:15 PM
MustGoFast MustGoFast is online now
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If I lived in FL i wouldn't touch X-Drive. I much prefer the handling, gas mileage, price, (lack of extra weight) of RWD and have had 3 of them in a row living in WI. Now to be fair they work in the snow w/ snow tires just fine, but x-drive in the snow is a dream and just convenient that I can run 1 tire on 1 rim all year round so I'm considering it on my next car, but we'll see if I actually go through with it.

Not sure if that helps your thinking at all, but I thought I'd share my opinion and experience.
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2013, 12:45 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Nokian makes a decent all-season tire in some RFT sizes that is better then most all-season tires for the winter. They can be hard to find, but are a good tire. I chose to pick up a second set of tires/wheels/sensors for the winter (Michelin PA2 - BMW now lists the newer PA4 as a winter tire choice). When the OEM tires wear out, I may decide to choose a true summer tire verses the all-season.

To be fair, most cars with winter tires can stop and turn well in the winter in nasty conditions...it's the getting started and the ability to claw your way around a corner that make the all-wheel drive better. I wouldn't want a rear-wheel drive car in the snow without winter tires. I just like the extra level of control and stability. I passed a BMW 7-series RWD sedan on the interstate one time. Looking in the mirror, he twitched and spun out, something an all-wheel drive version with good winter tires would have just cruised through without issue. Think of it as insurance...you hope you never need it, but it's there if you do. Compared to some of the other AWD vehicles I've owned, so far, the BMW x-drive is pretty seamless and does not seem to intrude or show artifacts of the extra drivetrain components. NOw, give it more miles, and it may, but so far, no issues at all.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:54 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is offline
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The article has the typical flawed premise that AWD owners must only use all-season tires year-round. As a multiple high horsepower AWD auto owner who rotates Summer and Winter wheels (of the same quality - which is another failed premise: must buy cheap wheels for the Winter) I have no doubt I have superior performance - 24/7/365. If I lived in Florida and had 500hp, I would have AWD. If I had 300hp, then I would get by with RWD with the occasional dry weather tire chirp and more frequent tire spinning in the rain. That said, there's no point going through life spinning your wheels.

If you read the reviews, you will find Adaptive Steering is trashed frequently for making the steering nervous and/or unnatural. I would drive it first, before ordering it.
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Last edited by dunderhi; 03-30-2013 at 12:00 AM.
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2013, 07:22 AM
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Fish23 Fish23 is offline
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I would side with jad and dunderhi on their views about x-drive. My GT was a BMW executive-driven CPO and came with x-drive which most, if not all, GTs in Canada tend to have due to our "lovely" winters. I have the same winter tires as jad and drove in a snowstorm just after Christmas for two hours including one hour on an almost-deserted, four-lane highway and sat in the ploughed but snow-covered left lane at the speed limit and never had any loss-of-control issues - not even close. I tested it often by moving the wheel an inch or so in either direction and always "felt" the road right away. I am sure the few vehicles I passed, all travelling well below the limit of 62 mph, must have thought that an "idiot driver" had passed them but it is a tribute to the GT's handling with x-drive and the winter tires. My wife (admittedly a happy 335xi owner) was with me and she never once asked me to slow down or expressed any reservations with my driving. It was the first time for me to test my GT in adverse conditions and it passed with flying colours and is just another reason I love my GT.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:39 AM
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ErnestHouse ErnestHouse is offline
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Thanks for all the helpful comments. If I had to deal with snow, it wouldn't be a debate but those days are behind me. Nervous twitchy steering with Active Steering? Awesome. Bring it!
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2013, 11:30 PM
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Teemo Panda Teemo Panda is offline
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i would love to get a GT with RWD if only it did not snow here in the north east area :P
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