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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-25-2014, 10:40 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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RWD vs AWD

So recently we have had some bad weather here (NY) and I don't know I mean I have RWD and my car was covered in snow and I mean covered but still manage to get out without a struggle. I didn't even bother shoveling the car out just took traction control completely off and I was on my way. Is there any BIG difference between the two?
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2014, 11:31 PM
dtd dtd is offline
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Had a 530xi. Did not like the 4x4 part. Didn't have Blizzaks. But have Blizzaks on the new i! Course have 4x4 trucks with BF GOODRICH TA KOs. REAL gripage. I really think a car that's meant to go fast has to be an "i". Had an xi. Couldn't see it. Especially when just on a newly covered snowy on ramp just made all wheels scramble for gripage and couldn't find any as it slide down the on ramp? :-(

Last edited by dtd; 01-25-2014 at 11:33 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2014, 02:55 AM
Mac Hadley Mac Hadley is offline
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If it is your only vehicle, I would go with XI. Mine does fine in snow.
My 328I is worthless in any kind of snow.
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2014, 03:01 AM
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MasterYoda MasterYoda is offline
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2014, 08:03 AM
andymax andymax is offline
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This is a classic case of doing what is best for YOU...not passing an overall judgement on the worthiness of AWD, or any other feature for that matter. For me, the XI is required. I drive all through the upper midwest and through all sorts of weather, almost always 200+ miles from home. I really love the idea that this car (with Continental DWS tires) will go damn near anywhere...I have yet to come close to being stuck. This year in particular I've run into some seriously crappy and dangerous situations on the highways and have never lost confidence. Having done this for years and with lots of different cars/trucks/SUV's I can say with certainty my XI is necessary for me.

Your results may vary.
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2014, 08:08 AM
Dov_e90 Dov_e90 is offline
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Hate driving my m3 sedan in the snow it hurts me to watch it under piles of snow also in ny! Thinking about getting a cheap winter beater rather awd or fwd can't deal with drifting everywhere I go!


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  #7  
Old 01-26-2014, 08:44 AM
njlou njlou is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dov_e90 View Post
Hate driving my m3 sedan in the snow it hurts me to watch it under piles of snow also in ny! Thinking about getting a cheap winter beater rather awd or fwd can't deal with drifting everywhere I go!


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Not to mention big time salt!!!
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2014, 12:58 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtd View Post
Had a 530xi. Did not like the 4x4 part. Didn't have Blizzaks. But have Blizzaks on the new i! Course have 4x4 trucks with BF GOODRICH TA KOs. REAL gripage. I really think a car that's meant to go fast has to be an "i". Had an xi. Couldn't see it. Especially when just on a newly covered snowy on ramp just made all wheels scramble for gripage and couldn't find any as it slide down the on ramp? :-(
Perhaps the down side to an " I " is if it's going down or up on ramps or hills. My commute doesn't involve either. I guess it comes down to tires at the end of the day. That must of been scary sliding down a ramp with no control.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2014, 01:01 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Hadley View Post
If it is your only vehicle, I would go with XI. Mine does fine in snow.
My 328I is worthless in any kind of snow.

Worhtless? It's that bad? I have a 335i and have all season tires and I'm impressed on how she performs.
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2014, 01:01 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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Winter tires!!!!!!


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Amen
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2014, 01:06 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andymax View Post
This is a classic case of doing what is best for YOU...not passing an overall judgement on the worthiness of AWD, or any other feature for that matter. For me, the XI is required. I drive all through the upper midwest and through all sorts of weather, almost always 200+ miles from home. I really love the idea that this car (with Continental DWS tires) will go damn near anywhere...I have yet to come close to being stuck. This year in particular I've run into some seriously crappy and dangerous situations on the highways and have never lost confidence. Having done this for years and with lots of different cars/trucks/SUV's I can say with certainty my XI is necessary for me.

Your results may vary.

Oh wow that's a hell of a commute. Funny thing is that I have had DWS and they're amazing in the snow that's what made me wonder what is the real big difference between the two but has you mention and I agree it's what suitable for you. In your situation you are right XI is definitely worth having. As for me I drive around locally so I guess XI would just be a plus.
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2014, 01:08 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dov_e90 View Post
Hate driving my m3 sedan in the snow it hurts me to watch it under piles of snow also in ny! Thinking about getting a cheap winter beater rather awd or fwd can't deal with drifting everywhere I go!


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Yeah I'm in NY too but man that must be a hell of time just hearing that V8 lol
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2014, 01:10 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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Originally Posted by njlou View Post
Not to mention big time salt!!!

Oh yeah, that's the worst. I feel as if I was dragging something.
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2014, 01:34 PM
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Sumfuncomet Sumfuncomet is offline
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I drive my xi down roads and up driveways that have not been plowed or had any other traffic on them, no problem. I have dedicated 17" snows on beater wheels for the winter. If you try pulling out of an incline driveway with a snow pack and all season tires....good luck! I live in Maine and we arent pussies who stay home when it snows! If I want to go out I do! The number one selling AWD car in the state is Subaru, they are beloved cars up here.
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  #15  
Old 01-26-2014, 01:40 PM
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My 550 stays parked in heavy snow for at least 2 days.


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  #16  
Old 01-26-2014, 05:20 PM
baro1220 baro1220 is offline
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I got 530i with dedicated 17'' snow tires I swear its like a tank. Btw I live in Ohio the snow capital
And have no problems at all. The key with rear wheel drive is snow tires.

Or Turn of the traction control off and have with it. :-)
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  #17  
Old 01-26-2014, 06:22 PM
n8s 330xi n8s 330xi is offline
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I've had a 330xi, 540i and now 550i. I live in Utah and go to Wyoming a lot (family lives there). Growing up in Wy, I tend to like driving in bad weather. I loved my 330xi. BMW did such a good job making it so you had good traction without sacrificing the RWD sensation and cornering. That being said, I enjoy my 5's more than my 3, despite the fact that the 3 cornered better.
As for stability, BMW's traction control is incredibly good in my opinion. I bought my 550 after having an awd Infiniti g37xS and honestly, I feel safer in a storm in my rwd BMW than my awd Infiniti. The traction control is just that good. Add to that my Blizzaks, and I don't miss awd at all, even in a Wyoming blizzard.
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2014, 07:00 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumfuncomet View Post
I drive my xi down roads and up driveways that have not been plowed or had any other traffic on them, no problem. I have dedicated 17" snows on beater wheels for the winter. If you try pulling out of an incline driveway with a snow pack and all season tires....good luck! I live in Maine and we arent pussies who stay home when it snows! If I want to go out I do! The number one selling AWD car in the state is Subaru, they are beloved cars up here.

LOL that is too funny. Yeah I don't care much for snow but what made my ask was that I was covered in snow literally and took traction control completely off and I was able to get the car out I mean I burnt out a bit and you can hear this loud exhaust but hey why not lol but yeah I can see why Subaru is the top seller. AWD do come in handy in my situations but good thing I don't deal with hills or anything.
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  #19  
Old 01-26-2014, 07:00 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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Originally Posted by jeanrvictor View Post
My 550 stays parked in heavy snow for at least 2 days.


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Take that baby out! Lol
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  #20  
Old 01-26-2014, 07:03 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baro1220 View Post
I got 530i with dedicated 17'' snow tires I swear its like a tank. Btw I live in Ohio the snow capital
And have no problems at all. The key with rear wheel drive is snow tires.

Or Turn of the traction control off and have with it. :-)


Yeah snow tires are important just amazes me how RWD handles but I can see a AWD make it a whole lot easier. Taking traction completely off is scary in snow lol
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  #21  
Old 01-26-2014, 07:10 PM
e92coupe e92coupe is offline
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Originally Posted by n8s 330xi View Post
I've had a 330xi, 540i and now 550i. I live in Utah and go to Wyoming a lot (family lives there). Growing up in Wy, I tend to like driving in bad weather. I loved my 330xi. BMW did such a good job making it so you had good traction without sacrificing the RWD sensation and cornering. That being said, I enjoy my 5's more than my 3, despite the fact that the 3 cornered better.
As for stability, BMW's traction control is incredibly good in my opinion. I bought my 550 after having an awd Infiniti g37xS and honestly, I feel safer in a storm in my rwd BMW than my awd Infiniti. The traction control is just that good. Add to that my Blizzaks, and I don't miss awd at all, even in a Wyoming blizzard.

It's funny that you say that I had a G37s (coupe and rwd) and I feel a whole lot safer in my current car (335i) than Infinitis. I mean there are awesome cars but nothing like a BMW. And your are absolutely right their traction control is near perfect. If you want to have some fun just press it once and your able to without losing control but if you really wanna go all out take it completely off. What amazes me is that if you take it completely off and you just so happen to lose control of the car and that quick second you press that button it likes whips the car back into place. Great feature they did with it.
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  #22  
Old 01-26-2014, 07:55 PM
BMWFAN275 BMWFAN275 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanrvictor View Post
My 550 stays parked in heavy snow for at least 2 days.


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I wait until the roads clear before venturing out in the 535i. When I bought it, I was well aware this was not going to be a car used in snow. I've gotten caught a few times in an inch or two of snow, and it goes. You have to remember to turn the tracion control off completely. The new Michelin all seasons work well, but the steepest hills will stop the car.

For most of the year though, I get to enjoy an honest RWD BMW with sport package. Well worth the sacrifice to leave it in the garage for a few days every now and then.
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  #23  
Old 01-28-2014, 05:31 AM
filstan filstan is offline
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I have a 2008 535xi wagon as well as a 2010 550i. Both cars have good snow tires for winter. Wagon does quite well on hills while the 550i is challenged on icy or packed snow steep inclines unless you get a high enough speed up. When in doubt I always take out the xdrive wagon. No cars deal with black ice. That is on the driver to recognize. Chains would be the last thing to consider depending on where you are driving. Chains are the best insurance policy for traction in bad winter conditions.
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  #24  
Old 01-28-2014, 05:53 AM
CRUECK CRUECK is offline
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I have a 2010 535i xDrive and wish that I would have went with the RWD. It handles well in snow, but after driving it for a few months I fell in love and am now hesitant to subjecting it to salt here in Boston. Typically when its bad out I just take my wifes Xterra anyway. With that being said if I could do it over I would have put the premium on the sports suspension instead of AWD. Either way you can't go wrong E60 is a great platform and I plan on keeping this car for a long time!

Last edited by CRUECK; 01-28-2014 at 06:08 AM.
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  #25  
Old 01-28-2014, 07:06 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e92coupe View Post
So recently we have had some bad weather here (NY) and I don't know I mean I have RWD and my car was covered in snow and I mean covered but still manage to get out without a struggle. I didn't even bother shoveling the car out just took traction control completely off and I was on my way. Is there any BIG difference between the two?
Hard to quantify the diff, in theory anywhere you slice it (same condition of temp, snow depth, suspension, weight of the car etc), yes AWD will win compare to RWD in the snow. 2x area of contact considering 2-axles vs 1-axle is active at all times.
You'll see the superiority of AWD in the slick condition, up/down the hills not in the flat.

At the end no substitute for winter tires, they are design to stay rubbery at very lower temp with silica embedded in the rubebr to cut/dig into ice. I am a firm beliver in them regardless which type of cars you drive.
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