335i vs 335 xi : both with snow tires

by Bimmerfest.com Member - Crzy'boutBimmer on January 22, 2013, 1:29 am
Hey guys,

Hate to have to create my own thread for the age-old question since x-Drive was launched.. but have read almost all threads here and f30post, but not getting a clear answer to questions on my mind.. So, please bear with me...

So, I have ordered a 335i M-Sport xDrive sedan.. and even now, I am having second thoughts about xDrive... My order hasn't started being built yet..

I live in Delaware.. doesn't snow much.. 3 yrs back, we had crazy snow.. don't remember about 2011-12 - I think it snowed moderately, but this last year, we had little snow.. I drive an Altima 2.5S right now, and had no problem at all this year.. but being the over-cautious customer, went with the xDrive per conventional wisdom- that says that since I tend to drive faster and more sportier than most drivers, xDrive will do it's part and make me 'safer'. Actually this was what my sister and mom said..

  1. Assuming that I will get a dedicated set of snow tires anyway, should I go for xDrive or not? You can base your inputs on your experience and criteria like MPG, maintenance/service issues (please give examples), handling problems, etc..
  2. People in surrounding areas, do you have xDrive and don't use snow tires? How do you fare?
  3. Have you ever wished you had xDrive when you actually were driving RWD with snow tires? Have you had situations where you stopped but couldn't go? - not for hilly roads.. just snow/slush, etc
  4. What kind of equipment will I need to own to change the wheels (not only tires - I have heard you need to balance the wheels if changing only tires and dealers charge fees for that) for changing into/out of snow tires? I am completely new to DIY on cars.. was cool on old-styled cars when they didn't have computers on cars (think 80's)... but not now..


I know there is this advantage of getting Sports suspension with RWD and lowered ride height... its tempted me before, but I was inclined on the safety aspect - and this was before I had read about the importance of snow tires.. Now, that I know that its up to good snow tires to take care of the braking, turning and handling in snow, and xDrive takes care of starting from a complete stop and uphill/downhill motions, I am wondering if I need xDrive or not...

Just if you may want to know, I don't live in a hilly area, very flat surfaces... this will be my only car. I am not interested in tracking my car or doing 0-60 sprints.. but knowing my nature and driving habits (which is obvious as me going for 335i with DHP.. ), I want to make an informed decision rather than by just going by my gut feeling.. and I want to be as safe as can be without going overboard with counter measures..

Oh, and this is my first bimmer - I have no idea when I read that when buying a bimmer, buy an RWD.. nice, but someone please care to explain? Meanwhile I am going to be searching nearby dealers for xDrive and non-xDrive models of a 335i...

I'm pretty verbose.. oh, well!

TIA!


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92 responses to 335i vs 335 xi : both with snow tires

WJGreer commented:
January 22, 2013, 1:31 am

If you have snow tires either way, it's all about the hills in my opinion. You don't live in a hilly area, so I think you would be fine with a RWD car.
JoeFromPA commented:
January 22, 2013, 2:34 am

I posted this elsewhere recently so forgive if you've read this already:

I thought I wouldn't want an AWD car when I bought my 2001 m5 (a bit over 400hp, RWD, about 3950 pounds in current trim, 6 speed manual). I thought I would just run snows in the winter, no big deal. Everyone talks about how RWD with snows is better than AWD with all-seasons, etc.

What I didn't realize was just how much I was goign to sacrifice 5 months a year by driving a high powered RWD car on snow tires in our quite frequently moderate temperature climate. DSC kicks in all the time, my handling limits are WAY down, braking is inferior, noisier, steering response is dulled... I could go on.

I live in a similar climate to you and 5 months a year my daily driver is notably handicapped in daily driving.

My preference now given my experience will be a high powered AWD car with excellent all-season tires on it. In such a case, I could actually enjoy my car to a much fuller extent 12 months a year, with some sacrifices of AWD, as well as other benefits besides winter traction. If I found I didn't care for driving it in the snow without snow tires - I can put them on and still enjoy a significant acceleration traction advantage.

Bear in mind also that my m5 has an LSD - I get more RWD power-to-the-ground than the open-diffed 335's of today.
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 22, 2013, 8:01 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
I posted this elsewhere recently so forgive if you've read this already:

I thought I wouldn't want an AWD car when I bought my 2001 m5 (a bit over 400hp, RWD, about 3950 pounds in current trim, 6 speed manual). I thought I would just run snows in the winter, no big deal. Everyone talks about how RWD with snows is better than AWD with all-seasons, etc.

What I didn't realize was just how much I was goign to sacrifice 5 months a year by driving a high powered RWD car on snow tires in our quite frequently moderate temperature climate. DSC kicks in all the time, my handling limits are WAY down, braking is inferior, noisier, steering response is dulled... I could go on.

I live in a similar climate to you and 5 months a year my daily driver is notably handicapped in daily driving.

My preference now given my experience will be a high powered AWD car with excellent all-season tires on it. In such a case, I could actually enjoy my car to a much fuller extent 12 months a year, with some sacrifices of AWD, as well as other benefits besides winter traction. If I found I didn't care for driving it in the snow without snow tires - I can put them on and still enjoy a significant acceleration traction advantage.

Bear in mind also that my m5 has an LSD - I get more RWD power-to-the-ground than the open-diffed 335's of today.
Actually I hadn't read this already. Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts here. It's these experiences that are least on the board. Lots of theory though. How much of a difference would you think a 335 rwd would make to your situation? I think all rwds with traction control might behave the same way.. your thoughts?
rgk330i commented:
January 22, 2013, 8:03 am

I live in northern VA, in a climate basically the same as yours. I've been driving my 2001 330i (rwd) with Dunlop Winter Sport M2 tires with absolutely no problem, in fact I think they're overkill around here. While they're noisy, these tires handle surprisingly well. When the F30 arrives, I think I'll just use all-season M+S tires for the winter instead of true winter tires.

Personally I think awd is seriously overrated, but them again I drove a 68 Mustang in Buffalo for years so maybe I'm a little more used to snow than some.

Sent from my GT-P7510 using Bimmer App
JoeFromPA commented:
January 22, 2013, 9:00 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
Actually I hadn't read this already. Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts here. It's these experiences that are least on the board. Lots of theory though. How much of a difference would you think a 335 rwd would make to your situation? I think all rwds with traction control might behave the same way.. your thoughts?
The 335's torque comes on earlier but not as "hard" due to a very slightly slower throttle response. However, it's also lighter weight and has an open diff.

I have looked at new 335s and for me and wanting an easy lifestyle and great driving experience 12 months, I'd go with an xi.
floydarogers commented:
January 22, 2013, 11:39 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
Have you ever wished you had xDrive when you actually were driving RWD with snow tires? Have you had situations where you stopped but couldn't go? - not for hilly roads.. just snow/slush, etc

What kind of equipment will I need to own to change the wheels (not only tires - I have heard you need to balance the wheels if changing only tires and dealers charge fees for that) for changing into/out of snow tires? I am completely new to DIY on cars.. was cool on old-styled cars when they didn't have computers on cars (think 80's)... but not now..
My son may comment, but he only has been stuck once in snow (really packed 31 degree stuff you almost couldn't walk on), due to bozo drivers w/o snows spinning out on a curvy hill going into the neighborhood and blocking the road, so he had to stop; maybe could have made it if un-obstructed.

I came from an E46 330xi (with all-seasons and then snows) that was un-stoppable: going up the steep-plowed-2-weeks-ago-road (optional road for me), we stopped and then started up again after chatting out the window to the guys walking up because their Subie with all-seasons couldn't make it. My current E90 335d with snows probably wouldn't get me up there, but it's fine for almost everything else. The price I pay (with snows) is DSC going on under full-throttle shifts into 3rd on dry pavement.

The only real caveat to the 'xi cars is the ground clearance. Here's one thing to remember: AWD (4WD etc) only gets you stuck further in/up bad roads.
Sounds to me as if RWD with snows will be fine for you. BTW, I don't agree with those persons putting forth the rationale: "I don't like the weight/poorer handling of AWD, I want max performance of RWD." It's mostly bull****; no-one uses "max performance" on a day-to-day basis, and AWD has it's own plusses on the performance side that IMHO balance the equation.

As for changing wheel-sets (I think that's what you meant), all you need is a 17mm lug wrench and jack - and maybe a torque wrench if you don't want to tighten the lugs "by feel". Make sure the snow-tire set have TPMS monitors if you don't want the light on the dash.
kpgray commented:
January 22, 2013, 12:28 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
I live in Delaware.. doesn't snow much.. 3 yrs back, we had crazy snow.. don't remember about 2011-12 - I think it snowed moderately, but this last year, we had little snow.. I drive an Altima 2.5S right now, and had no problem at all this year.. but being the over-cautious customer, went with the xDrive per conventional wisdom- that says that since I tend to drive faster and more sportier than most drivers, xDrive will do it's part and make me 'safer'. Actually this was what my sister and mom said..
......
Oh, and this is my first bimmer - I have no idea when I read that when buying a bimmer, buy an RWD.. nice, but someone please care to explain? Meanwhile I am going to be searching nearby dealers for xDrive and non-xDrive models of a 335i...
The xDrive:
1. $2K adder
2. M sport package contains the DHP which lowers suspension 10 MM (1/2") under stock, AWD raises the height 10 MM (1/2") over stock so you will be 20 MM higher vs the DHP RWD, the argument would be you lose ground clearance for winter driving OR you lower the center of gravity for improved handling and the look of the wheels tucked up in the wheel well is much nicer!
3. Mileage automatic RWD 23/33 AWD TBD (I would guess 2-4% less? maybe 1 MPG)
4. AWD adds 155 lbs all on front end and changes the wieght distribution RWD 51.5/48.5% Front/Rear, AWD 52.6/47.4% Front/Rear
5. From a safety standpoint the AWD does not change how fast you brake, only how fast you accelerate! Why is it more expensive to insure 4-wheel drive trucks if they are safer?

If you had no trouble with the Altima, the nearly 50/50 weight distribution handles the snow pretty good. I drive an AWD because in Michigan we get quite a bit of snow and I drive 20K miles a year, but I do not think Delaware gets the regular snow falls we get in the midwest or the Michigan lake effect snow (had 1" today and flurries over the next two days).
krash commented:
January 22, 2013, 12:51 pm

I live in PA just north of you. I went with RWD. Im not getting snow tires either. All seasons suffice for me.

I vividly remember all that snow we got a couple years back. We had a 20" snow storm in Dec, and then a couple more 20"+ snow storms in Jan. I think we got them within the same week so the snow really piled up.

But honestly, you might not want to base anything on what I say, because i always have the option of taking our SUV when it's really bad out.
BruceOmega commented:
January 22, 2013, 4:12 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
..... AWD has it's own plusses on the performance side .....
FWIW-

When I was deciding on RWD vs AWD, I took into account my planned use of the car- driving on public roads, not planning to track the car, and not planning to do mods.

I chose AWD for 24/7/365 versatility, not just for snow.

Some aspects that helped sway my decision were-

* Reports on forums like this from early owners of xDrive Sportline / MSport F30s, equipped with DHS, saying there was little if any difference in driving feel on public roads compared to RWD. The F30 is the first 3 series sedan where you can get an optional suspension with AWD.

* AWD adds the ability to shift power between front and back in addition to having DSC. With this, it is more difficult to drift or slide an AWD car around a corner. My driving is on public roads, including weekend excursions on narrow twisty mountain roads with limited sight lines, and I wanted to minimize the chance of drifting / sliding.

* You don't need a staggered wheel setup. As I understand, everything else being equal, a staggered setup increases understeer.

I ordered Performance Summer Tires so that I got the increased top speed limiter. I since replaced the 225/45-18 OEM summer tires with 245/40-18 Potenza 960AS Run Flat Tires. Gives me wider, slightly lower profile tires at all four corners.

Bruce
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 22, 2013, 4:19 pm

Bruce, don't want to start a new topic.. but just wondering what is the difference that you feel between the summer and run flats? Are the RFT's all season tires?
BruceOmega commented:
January 22, 2013, 4:37 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
Bruce, don't want to start a new topic.. but just wondering what is the difference that you feel between the summer and run flats? Are the RFT's all season tires?
The OEM tires were Goodyear Efficient Grip Y speed rated RFTs. Tirerack categorizes them as Grand Touring Summer. The replacements are Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT W speed rated which Tirerack categorizes as Ultra High Performance All Season. Reason I switched is I did not want to drive on summer tires during the winter, AWD notwithstanding.

The Potenzas have a slightly firmer feel, although ride is not harsh even in Sport mode.

Bruce
Ken335i commented:
January 22, 2013, 6:11 pm

Like someone already said above, AWD helps getting you to go forward (until you get stuck!). It really doesn't make you any safer cornering or stopping. Where I live, AWD could be an issue when avoiding having to put chains on, but we have an SUV for those times going up to the mountians. On the East Coast, I could rationalize the AWD system for winter driving. Go for it!
sunny5280 commented:
January 22, 2013, 6:50 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
Assuming that I will get a dedicated set of snow tires anyway, should I go for xDrive or not? You can base your inputs on your experience and criteria like MPG, maintenance/service issues (please give examples), handling problems, etc..
I had similar concerns about these things when I bought my first AWD vehicle (a Subaru). I've found them to be non-issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
People in surrounding areas, do you have xDrive and don't use snow tires? How do you fare?
I can't comment as I'm not in the surrounding area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
Have you ever wished you had xDrive when you actually were driving RWD with snow tires? Have you had situations where you stopped but couldn't go? - not for hilly roads.. just snow/slush, etc
When I had my 1999 328i I didn't think much about having RWD with snows (I live in Colorado). However after I bought my first AWD vehicle (the afore mentioned Subaru) I was amazed at the difference. And yes, there were plenty of times when I attempted to start from a stop on level ground in snow and the traction control would kick in. Made pulling out across traffic a nerve wracking experience. My Subaru handled the same conditions much better. While I didn't wish for AWD when I had RWD I definitely have observed its advantages now that I have it.

Normally I would say go with the AWD over RWD unless you have specific reasons not to. It does seem in your case you do have a reason to go with RWD as you're planning to track the car (I assume you're going to go with the sport package). Given this and the light snow conditions you've described RWD with snow tires should be fine for you.
1985mb commented:
January 22, 2013, 7:53 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjgreer View Post
if you have snow tires either way, it's all about the hills in my opinion. You don't live in a hilly area, so i think you would be fine with a rwd car.
+1
KLC commented:
January 22, 2013, 8:16 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
I posted this elsewhere recently so forgive if you've read this already:

I thought I wouldn't want an AWD car when I bought my 2001 m5 (a bit over 400hp, RWD, about 3950 pounds in current trim, 6 speed manual). I thought I would just run snows in the winter, no big deal. Everyone talks about how RWD with snows is better than AWD with all-seasons, etc.

What I didn't realize was just how much I was goign to sacrifice 5 months a year by driving a high powered RWD car on snow tires in our quite frequently moderate temperature climate. DSC kicks in all the time, my handling limits are WAY down, braking is inferior, noisier, steering response is dulled... I could go on.

I live in a similar climate to you and 5 months a year my daily driver is notably handicapped in daily driving.

My preference now given my experience will be a high powered AWD car with excellent all-season tires on it. In such a case, I could actually enjoy my car to a much fuller extent 12 months a year, with some sacrifices of AWD, as well as other benefits besides winter traction. If I found I didn't care for driving it in the snow without snow tires - I can put them on and still enjoy a significant acceleration traction advantage.

Bear in mind also that my m5 has an LSD - I get more RWD power-to-the-ground than the open-diffed 335's of today.

I have no idea how you're suffering in your car for 5 months out of the year in PA of all places. Seems pretty hyperbolic to me.

Anyway, OP, I'd recommend RWD unless you live in a VERY hilly area. The car was designed to be RWD, it will handle better and be more fun to drive for the 95% of the time when the roads aren't covered in snow.

As far as changing tires -- here's what you do. Buy a decent set of wheels and winter tires. Put winter tires on your stock rims and your summer tires on the new wheels you buy. The first time they are put on you will have to have them balanced. After that, buy a cheap floor jack and a torque wrench (can get a decent jack for ~75 and a decent wrench for ~30). Then when it's time to swap tires, don't pay someone to do it, just jack the car up and put the other set of tires on yourself. It will take you 10 minutes. You'll spread the wear and tear over 2 sets of tires and the money you spent on a decent jack and torque wrench will payoff for the rest of your life.

When buying winter tires, make sure you spend the coin to get a GOOD winter tire (see tirerack). There's a half dozen people I work with who all run winter tires on 328i's and 335's in the winter and they have 0 complaints.
KLC commented:
January 22, 2013, 8:20 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpgray View Post
The xDrive:
1. $2K adder
2. M sport package contains the DHP which lowers suspension 10 MM (1/2") under stock, AWD raises the height 10 MM (1/2") over stock so you will be 20 MM higher vs the DHP RWD, the argument would be you lose ground clearance for winter driving OR you lower the center of gravity for improved handling and the look of the wheels tucked up in the wheel well is much nicer!
3. Mileage automatic RWD 23/33 AWD TBD (I would guess 2-4% less? maybe 1 MPG)
4. AWD adds 155 lbs all on front end and changes the wieght distribution RWD 51.5/48.5% Front/Rear, AWD 52.6/47.4% Front/Rear
5. From a safety standpoint the AWD does not change how fast you brake, only how fast you accelerate! Why is it more expensive to insure 4-wheel drive trucks if they are safer?

If you had no trouble with the Altima, the nearly 50/50 weight distribution handles the snow pretty good. I drive an AWD because in Michigan we get quite a bit of snow and I drive 20K miles a year, but I do not think Delaware gets the regular snow falls we get in the midwest or the Michigan lake effect snow (had 1" today and flurries over the next two days).
That pretty much sums up most of the downside of AWD. In addition if you plan on tracking the car, RWD is preferable.
sunny5280 commented:
January 22, 2013, 8:33 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLC View Post
Anyway, OP, I'd recommend RWD unless you live in a VERY hilly area. The car was designed to be RWD, it will handle better and be more fun to drive for the 95% of the time when the roads aren't covered in snow.
I have to disagree with this when it comes to the vast majority of drivers. The AWD car is a blast to drive and is more than capable for the majority of drivers out there. I've owned both and have never wanted for RWD since buying the AWD version.
JoeFromPA commented:
January 22, 2013, 8:35 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLC View Post
I have no idea how you're suffering in your car for 5 months out of the year in PA of all places. Seems pretty hyperbolic to me.
Because I'm running snows from Nov to March when we get 15-50 degree days all over the place, most of the time nice and dry, and my 235/45/17 snow tires lose a tremendous amount of steering feel, braking, and dry traction?

Because my straight line stability on the highway and high speed stability are reduced?

Because DSC kicks in ALL THE FREAKING TIME?

Seriously - at 3000 rpms in 5th gear if i floor it DSC kicks in. That is prime-time highway speed and I often go WOT....

So yes, because it's RWD on snows, I am suffering an inferior driving experience.
KLC commented:
January 22, 2013, 10:55 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
Because I'm running snows from Nov to March when we get 15-50 degree days all over the place, most of the time nice and dry, and my 235/45/17 snow tires lose a tremendous amount of steering feel, braking, and dry traction?

Because my straight line stability on the highway and high speed stability are reduced?

Because DSC kicks in ALL THE FREAKING TIME?

Seriously - at 3000 rpms in 5th gear if i floor it DSC kicks in. That is prime-time highway speed and I often go WOT....

So yes, because it's RWD on snows, I am suffering an inferior driving experience.
What tires are you using? How does the weight of winter wheels compare to summer ones? What summer tires do you run?
JoeFromPA commented:
January 23, 2013, 6:03 am

Winter setup: Rial Salerno 17x8 wheels (bit lighter than my OEM wheels with summer tires) running newish continental contiextreme wintercontact's, a pretty good SNOW tire.

Summer setup: 18x8 front, 18x9 rear OEM style 65s shod in almost new sumitomo HTR III Z fronts and michelin pilot super sports rear.

...

I really am not sure who your questions have a bearing on what I'm saying, but there ya go
pony_trekker commented:
January 23, 2013, 7:35 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
Because I'm running snows from Nov to March when we get 15-50 degree days all over the place, most of the time nice and dry, and my 235/45/17 snow tires lose a tremendous amount of steering feel, braking, and dry traction?

Because my straight line stability on the highway and high speed stability are reduced?

Because DSC kicks in ALL THE FREAKING TIME?

Seriously - at 3000 rpms in 5th gear if i floor it DSC kicks in. That is prime-time highway speed and I often go WOT....

So yes, because it's RWD on snows, I am suffering an inferior driving experience.
Ahhh, one of the "benefits" of AWD. I haven't ever had the DSC kick in unless i purposely fishtailed on slush or ice.
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 23, 2013, 3:48 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
I had similar concerns about these things when I bought my first AWD vehicle (a Subaru). I've found them to be non-issues.


I can't comment as I'm not in the surrounding area.


When I had my 1999 328i I didn't think much about having RWD with snows (I live in Colorado). However after I bought my first AWD vehicle (the afore mentioned Subaru) I was amazed at the difference. And yes, there were plenty of times when I attempted to start from a stop on level ground in snow and the traction control would kick in. Made pulling out across traffic a nerve wracking experience. My Subaru handled the same conditions much better. While I didn't wish for AWD when I had RWD I definitely have observed its advantages now that I have it.

Normally I would say go with the AWD over RWD unless you have specific reasons not to. It does seem in your case you do have a reason to go with RWD as you're planning to track the car (I assume you're going to go with the sport package). Given this and the light snow conditions you've described RWD with snow tires should be fine for you.
Thanks for your response, but I said I am not interested in tracking the car. I do have the msport package.
jfox335i commented:
January 23, 2013, 3:58 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
I live in PA just north of you. I went with RWD. Im not getting snow tires either. All seasons suffice for me.

I vividly remember all that snow we got a couple years back. We had a 20" snow storm in Dec, and then a couple more 20"+ snow storms in Jan. I think we got them within the same week so the snow really piled up.

But honestly, you might not want to base anything on what I say, because i always have the option of taking our SUV when it's really bad out.

Same here. I live in bucks county, went with RWD/Summer tires. Dry/Rain, Car is great. Any kind of snow/slush/ice/etc...,it sucks as expected. This winter, i've only had 2 days so far, where it was unpleasant/unsafe to drive. Both times i parked the car, and just didn't drive those days. If I lived in a climate that consistently had this kind of weather, i'd opt for AWD, or probably would have bought an SUV (which i hate), or just stuck with Subaru's. But in this area, Mid-atlantic/Delaware Valley, we have a temperate climate, so we don't get a whole lot of snow/ice on the average. If out of 365 days a year, my car is useless 5-10 of them, I'll take those odds.

I'm of the mindset BMWs, esp. 335s, are better as a RWD. Really, go with what you like. If the extra 2K in price is something you're ok with, and the extra weight, lack of a sport suspension isn't a problem for you, then the Xdrive should be fine.. However, I don't think it's a necessity to have in our area.
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 23, 2013, 4:04 pm

I have read a lot of times that the DSC kicks in - what happens when it kicks in? How does it reduce the driving feel, comfort of the car? Pardon me , but this is my first bimmer.. need help to understand. Thanks!
ProRail commented:
January 23, 2013, 5:32 pm

Responding to the last current post: When your tires start slipping, DSC cuts power to the point where they can once again gain traction. There are limits, of course, but on my 1999 528 it has often made the difference between when I can get up my driveway and when my neighbor cannot.
sunny5280 commented:
January 23, 2013, 6:57 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
Thanks for your response, but I said I am not interested in tracking the car. I do have the msport package.
Whoops...somehow I read that you were interested in tracking your car. Sorry about that.

If you remove that from the equation then the benefit of the RWD car becomes almost moot. If you don't get a lot of inclement weather then I would steer you toward the RWD car anyway. While the weight, increased fuel consumption, and complexity of the AWD are basically non-issues they're still present so why deal with them for a small amount of inclement weather. Otherwise I recommend the AWD.
sunny5280 commented:
January 23, 2013, 6:59 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProRail View Post
Responding to the last current post: When your tires start slipping, DSC cuts power to the point where they can once again gain traction. There are limits, of course, but on my 1999 528 it has often made the difference between when I can get up my driveway and when my neighbor cannot.
I had the opposite experience. My parents have a steep driveway that gets covered with snow. DSC actually worked against me by cutting power thus impeding my forward momentum. Disabling DSC allowed me to power through the trouble spot.
sunny5280 commented:
January 23, 2013, 7:06 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
I have read a lot of times that the DSC kicks in - what happens when it kicks in? How does it reduce the driving feel, comfort of the car? Pardon me , but this is my first bimmer.. need help to understand. Thanks!
IMO the difference between the two comes down to the sport suspension. You can get it with the RWD but not with the AWD. Outside of that one thing the other items listed are essentially non-issues.
JoeFromPA commented:
January 23, 2013, 9:22 pm

RWD is lighter, cheaper, more fuel economical, puts down more power to the wheels, improves steering feel, is easier/less to maintain or break, and has sportier suspension options from the factory.

On paper, RWD with snow tires for winter time is the better pick. Also tends to enable more fun swinging the tail out and such.

On paper.

I just traded in one nicely powered 5mt AWD sedan and that car was more enjoyable to drive in the winter on all-seasons in 98% of days when the roads are dry. This is in PA, where "winter" means lots of rain, 50 degree days, and good stretches without snow on the roads.
BMW220i commented:
January 23, 2013, 11:05 pm

The most capable car will be one with good snow tires AND AWD. Collisions happen when the laws of physics result in an uncontrolled car. With snow, cars get closer to their limits. A few exceed them and crash.

You never know what will happen with you. Some people decide against AWD and snow tires because of wanting to save money, lack of knowledge, etc. It is not foolhardy to not buy X-drive but buying it will result in better winter capability. True, there are not blizzards every winter in Delaware but they do happen.

As far as changing to snow tires, I recommend mounting them on separate wheels (so you'll have 8 tires and 8 wheels). Then it's like changing a flat tire, just put them on, no balancing needed every year. It also saves wear and tear on the tires. To make things easy, you might get a jack that you pump ($20 on sale in auto parts stores) and even a breaker bar (long socket wrench). If you want to get even fancier, get some disposable gloves, wheel hanger (Bavarian Auto and ebay have them), torque wrench, and piece of wood for the jack.
Reedo302 commented:
January 24, 2013, 3:42 am

Here's the thing- is the extra cost of the AWD worth it to you? If you are wanting sport suspension, you need the DHP with the xDrive in order to achieve that since xDrives don't come with sport suspension. If you want your xDrive to have similar suspension capability and feel to a RWD Sport Line or M Sport, you need to spend an additional $3000, since the RWD sport and M sport models have sport suspension without needing the DHP option. For a 60 month car loan, that's an extra $50 a month for the xDrive.
OR, if you don't care about sport suspension, it's only $2000 more than RWD.

The reason why I mention this is because it's an important factor to consider. Realistically, how many days out of the year is AWD absolutely necessary for dealing with snow? Are you buying xDrive just for those days? Or do you want xDrive for the all-around ability in all conditions just for peace of mind?

Here's my take on it- we have 3 or 4 days per year where it is REALLY bad with snow. I live in a metropolitan area in Minnesota with good road clearing efforts and very few hills. In the past 5 years, there has only been 1 day where I could not drive my RWD Ford outside, due simply to the 36" of snow that came down. So to me, I sort of realized that I was looking at xDrive simply for 4 days it was needed. So, should I buy a car for 4 days a year, or should I buy a car for 361 days a year and make do with the other 4 using snow tires?
Money is an issue for me, so to me it is a $3000 decision that bears consideration. To others, maybe not so much.
Chris90 commented:
January 24, 2013, 3:59 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgk330i View Post
I live in northern VA, in a climate basically the same as yours. I've been driving my 2001 330i (rwd) with Dunlop Winter Sport M2 tires with absolutely no problem, in fact I think they're overkill around here. While they're noisy, these tires handle surprisingly well. When the F30 arrives, I think I'll just use all-season M+S tires for the winter instead of true winter tires.

Personally I think awd is seriously overrated, but them again I drove a 68 Mustang in Buffalo for years so maybe I'm a little more used to snow than some.

Sent from my GT-P7510 using Bimmer App
The Dunlop M2 isn't a real snow tire - I had those on my 330i for several years, they are no better in snow than the best all season tire, plus I ran them all year around for two years trying to burn them up so I could buy better snows, and they hung around.

I'd probably ditch snow tires in VA too, it hardly snows in Boston anymore, I imagine DC area has even less.

To the OP, absolutely get RWD, AWD is just a waste if you don't live up north.
Chris90 commented:
January 24, 2013, 4:02 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW220i View Post
The most capable car will be one with good snow tires AND AWD. Collisions happen when the laws of physics result in an uncontrolled car. With snow, cars get closer to their limits. A few exceed them and crash.

You never know what will happen with you. Some people decide against AWD and snow tires because of wanting to save money, lack of knowledge, etc.
I'd be willing to bet money that there are more accidents from overconfident AWD owners on all seasons, than RWD owners on snow tires who crash cause they didn't have AWD.

Our WRX was very much that kind of car - the crazy good acceleration on snow deceived you into thinking the car would be good when turning (w/out throttle) and stopping.
sunny5280 commented:
January 24, 2013, 8:41 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
I'd be willing to bet money that there are more accidents from overconfident AWD owners on all seasons, than RWD owners on snow tires who crash
I'll take you up on this bet. Let's see your data.
floydarogers commented:
January 24, 2013, 10:26 am

Well, we've reached the re-hash of old threads. I'm out.
BMW220i commented:
January 24, 2013, 11:49 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
I'd be willing to bet money that there are more accidents from overconfident AWD owners on all seasons, than RWD owners on snow tires who crash cause they didn't have AWD.

.
I'd be willing to bet that there are fewer accidents from smart AWD drivers with snow tires. I can see why some people do not want AWD all year so they don't buy it. However, the safest situation is reduce driving during bad weather (or even cold weather where there's a little snow) and to have AWD and good snow tires. If you only have RWD with good snow tires, you are not driving a death trap, though.
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 24, 2013, 12:44 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reedo302 View Post
Here's the thing- is the extra cost of the AWD worth it to you? If you are wanting sport suspension, you need the DHP with the xDrive in order to achieve that since xDrives don't come with sport suspension. If you want your xDrive to have similar suspension capability and feel to a RWD Sport Line or M Sport, you need to spend an additional $3000, since the RWD sport and M sport models have sport suspension without needing the DHP option. For a 60 month car loan, that's an extra $50 a month for the xDrive.
OR, if you don't care about sport suspension, it's only $2000 more than RWD.

The reason why I mention this is because it's an important factor to consider. Realistically, how many days out of the year is AWD absolutely necessary for dealing with snow? Are you buying xDrive just for those days? Or do you want xDrive for the all-around ability in all conditions just for peace of mind?

Here's my take on it- we have 3 or 4 days per year where it is REALLY bad with snow. I live in a metropolitan area in Minnesota with good road clearing efforts and very few hills. In the past 5 years, there has only been 1 day where I could not drive my RWD Ford outside, due simply to the 36" of snow that came down. So to me, I sort of realized that I was looking at xDrive simply for 4 days it was needed. So, should I buy a car for 4 days a year, or should I buy a car for 361 days a year and make do with the other 4 using snow tires?
Money is an issue for me, so to me it is a $3000 decision that bears consideration. To others, maybe not so much.
I already have the DHP.. Right now I don't mind the extra 2k when I am already putting down 50k for the car..
Just trying to make up my mind if I need xdrive or not. .. This thread is going very good. .. I do a lot of fun driving to other places. .. and i am going to be keeping the car for long. ... so all the input is very important.
sunny5280 commented:
January 24, 2013, 4:09 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
I already have the DHP.. Right now I don't mind the extra 2k when I am already putting down 50k for the car..
Just trying to make up my mind if I need xdrive or not. .. This thread is going very good. .. I do a lot of fun driving to other places. .. and i am going to be keeping the car for long. ... so all the input is very important.
My general rule of thumb is this: For people living within inclement weather areas AWD unless there's a specific reason not to. For people living outside inclement weather areas RWD unless there's a specific reason not to. Since I don't know the weather in Delaware it's hard for me to say one way or the other. From what has been described it sounds as if Delaware doesn't get a lot of snow so that would tip my recommendation towards the RWD car.
DerekS commented:
January 24, 2013, 7:32 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
I have read a lot of times that the DSC kicks in - what happens when it kicks in? How does it reduce the driving feel, comfort of the car? Pardon me , but this is my first bimmer.. need help to understand. Thanks!
I went with a RWD M Sport for several reasons that have have been previously mentioned (lower ride height, sport suspension, better fuel economy, better weight distribution, less costly by $2K) and two other reasons not mentioned in this thread, better steering feel and tighter turning circle.

Since my car has the factory installed M Sport brakes ($350 option in Canada), I was very limited in the choice of 18" winter wheels that would fit over the larger callipers and rotors. So, I went with Modern line alloys + Pireill 240 Sottozero II snow tires (recommended both by BMWNA and BMW Canada for the F30).

My car handles very well with these tires, both in dry and wet conditions, and it handles incredibly well in snow and on ice. If you have the right tires, IMO, you don't need Xdrive unless you live in a snow belt area with lots of steep hills. I have driven RWD BMWs for almost 30 years and I have never been stuck in snow.

When the DSC kicks in, it momentarily reduces power to the rear wheels; it does not reduce driving comfort or feel. For driving in deep snow, I would turn off the DSC and drive in Comfort mode.
Chris90 commented:
January 24, 2013, 8:09 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW220i View Post
I'd be willing to bet that there are fewer accidents from smart AWD drivers with snow tires. I can see why some people do not want AWD all year so they don't buy it. However, the safest situation is reduce driving during bad weather (or even cold weather where there's a little snow) and to have AWD and good snow tires. If you only have RWD with good snow tires, you are not driving a death trap, though.
If you're on AWD and you still bought snow tires, you're smart by definition.

I was talking about AWD cars with all seasons.
chrisk03 commented:
January 24, 2013, 8:17 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
Hey guys,

Hate to have to create my own thread for the age-old question since x-Drive was launched.. but have read almost all threads here and f30post, but not getting a clear answer to questions on my mind.. So, please bear with me...

So, I have ordered a 335i M-Sport xDrive sedan.. and even now, I am having second thoughts about xDrive... My order hasn't started being built yet..

I live in Delaware.. doesn't snow much.. 3 yrs back, we had crazy snow.. don't remember about 2011-12 - I think it snowed moderately, but this last year, we had little snow.. I drive an Altima 2.5S right now, and had no problem at all this year.. but being the over-cautious customer, went with the xDrive per conventional wisdom- that says that since I tend to drive faster and more sportier than most drivers, xDrive will do it's part and make me 'safer'. Actually this was what my sister and mom said..

  1. Assuming that I will get a dedicated set of snow tires anyway, should I go for xDrive or not? You can base your inputs on your experience and criteria like MPG, maintenance/service issues (please give examples), handling problems, etc..
  2. People in surrounding areas, do you have xDrive and don't use snow tires? How do you fare?
  3. Have you ever wished you had xDrive when you actually were driving RWD with snow tires? Have you had situations where you stopped but couldn't go? - not for hilly roads.. just snow/slush, etc
  4. What kind of equipment will I need to own to change the wheels (not only tires - I have heard you need to balance the wheels if changing only tires and dealers charge fees for that) for changing into/out of snow tires? I am completely new to DIY on cars.. was cool on old-styled cars when they didn't have computers on cars (think 80's)... but not now..


I know there is this advantage of getting Sports suspension with RWD and lowered ride height... its tempted me before, but I was inclined on the safety aspect - and this was before I had read about the importance of snow tires.. Now, that I know that its up to good snow tires to take care of the braking, turning and handling in snow, and xDrive takes care of starting from a complete stop and uphill/downhill motions, I am wondering if I need xDrive or not...

Just if you may want to know, I don't live in a hilly area, very flat surfaces... this will be my only car. I am not interested in tracking my car or doing 0-60 sprints.. but knowing my nature and driving habits (which is obvious as me going for 335i with DHP.. ), I want to make an informed decision rather than by just going by my gut feeling.. and I want to be as safe as can be without going overboard with counter measures..

Oh, and this is my first bimmer - I have no idea when I read that when buying a bimmer, buy an RWD.. nice, but someone please care to explain? Meanwhile I am going to be searching nearby dealers for xDrive and non-xDrive models of a 335i...

I'm pretty verbose.. oh, well!

TIA!
Fellow Delawarian here...so here's my thoughts.

1. Assuming you are getting dedicated snow wheels/tires, go RWD. As you said, it doesn't snow much here and a few years ago when it snowed like crazy, DE was under a snow emergency and you weren't supposed to drive anyway. My car sat in the garage and I worked from home. I can't necessarily give you any comparisons because I've never owned an AWD drive vehicle for many of the reasons others have mentioned...weight, gas, etc.

2. Don't have Xdrive and don't have snow tires....plus tires are high perf summer's. I will get into my specific situation below.

3. Never wished for AWD nor even considered when buying my 335. Ok, I thought about for about 5 seconds and . I did take the 335 out one day after I first got and there was snow/ice in my neighborhood...didn't go very well, but made it up our small incline out of the neighborhood as there were some dry/packed snow (no ice) areas. Slush should be fine. Again, I have the HP summer tires. They SUCK in snow/ice and that should be obvious.

4. As far as equipment, I would recommend a separate set of snow wheels/tires and not use your existing rims with snow tires. That would entail expensive, yearly trips to the tire shop. If you have dedicated snow wheels/tires, you may just have to get balanced every once and awhile. Putting on/off is about a 30 minute job in your driveway, assuming you have jack, jack stands, torque wrench. Happy to help/discuss this with you anytime.

Ok, so to get back to my specific situation, I also have a front drive commuter car that I use if it snows...again, which is not much. I've thought about selling and just getting a set of snow wheels/tires, but the better half likes having a third car.

Now before everyone jumps all over me because I have a commuter car (I understand why), my former colleague that I carpooled with for about 3 years had both a 330i RWD and 750i RWD that was used year round, including in the winter with dedicated snow wheels/tires. I drove the car multiple times and found no issues with the drive other than the tires being noisy, but that will happen with cold, RFT snow tires. Also, as you mentioned, it really doesn't snow that much, and the route we marched usually got more snow than in DE. My point, never ran into issues with snow/slush.

As for the DSC, I agree with someone else that said if you do encounter an elevation, it is probably better to turn it off completely in the snow. The electronics will kick in way too much and actually hinder your ability to move through snow/ice/slush, in my experience with other vehicles I've owned with a DSC type system.

Bottom line, I'd go with the RWD and dedicated snow wheels/tires if it were me. Good luck and jealous of you doing ED...I should have done that.
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 24, 2013, 8:30 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk03 View Post
Fellow Delawarian here...so here's my thoughts.

1. Assuming you are getting dedicated snow wheels/tires, go RWD. As you said, it doesn't snow much here and a few years ago when it snowed like crazy, DE was under a snow emergency and you weren't supposed to drive anyway. My car sat in the garage and I worked from home. I can't necessarily give you any comparisons because I've never owned an AWD drive vehicle for many of the reasons others have mentioned...weight, gas, etc.

2. Don't have Xdrive and don't have snow tires....plus tires are high perf summer's. I will get into my specific situation below.

3. Never wished for AWD nor even considered when buying my 335. Ok, I thought about for about 5 seconds and . I did take the 335 out one day after I first got and there was snow/ice in my neighborhood...didn't go very well, but made it up our small incline out of the neighborhood as there were some dry/packed snow (no ice) areas. Slush should be fine. Again, I have the HP summer tires. They SUCK in snow/ice and that should be obvious.

4. As far as equipment, I would recommend a separate set of snow wheels/tires and not use your existing rims with snow tires. That would entail expensive, yearly trips to the tire shop. If you have dedicated snow wheels/tires, you may just have to get balanced every once and awhile. Putting on/off is about a 30 minute job in your driveway, assuming you have jack, jack stands, torque wrench. Happy to help/discuss this with you anytime.

Ok, so to get back to my specific situation, I also have a front drive commuter car that I use if it snows...again, which is not much. I've thought about selling and just getting a set of snow wheels/tires, but the better half likes having a third car.

Now before everyone jumps all over me because I have a commuter car (I understand why), my former colleague that I carpooled with for about 3 years had both a 330i RWD and 750i RWD that was used year round, including in the winter with dedicated snow wheels/tires. I drove the car multiple times and found no issues with the drive other than the tires being noisy, but that will happen with cold, RFT snow tires. Also, as you mentioned, it really doesn't snow that much, and the route we marched (to Princeton) usually got more snow than in DE. My point, never ran into issues with snow/slush. The 330 was a 6 speed and the 750 was an auto...fyi.

As for the DSC, I agree with someone else that said if you do encounter an elevation, it is probably better to turn it off completely in the snow. The electronics will kick in way too much and actually hinder your ability to move through snow/ice/slush, in my experience with other vehicles I've owned with a DSC type system.

Bottom line, I'd go with the RWD and dedicated snow wheels/tires if it were me. Good luck and jealous of you doing ED...I should have done that.
Thanks buddy!
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 24, 2013, 9:22 pm

Thanks everyone, for responding here and bringing out the pros and cons of rwd vs xDrive, esp. with reference to the weather in and around Delaware, and adding your personal experiences as well. Helped me rethink my decision - I am going to ask my CA to change my order to RWD, he said my car is going into production in a few days... so he will ask BMW ED about it.. I hope everything goes well...

I have few questions about the tires, I don't want to hijack this thread for that, so I will create a new thread.

Thanks again!

Rohit
kpgray commented:
January 24, 2013, 9:33 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
I already have the DHP.. Right now I don't mind the extra 2k when I am already putting down 50k for the car..
Just trying to make up my mind if I need xdrive or not. .. This thread is going very good. .. I do a lot of fun driving to other places. .. and i am going to be keeping the car for long. ... so all the input is very important.
If that is the case, then the question becomes what are you personally looking for in the vehicle? Do you only drive in Delaware? Do you get up north in the winter, drive the PA mountains? Do you like spirited driving? Do you enjoy cornering hard on the winding roads? If $2K is not a problem, 2-4% less MPG is no big deal and you do not push the limits of the car, if you want the traction for those half dozen or so snowy days a year and a couple winter weekend drive/s to the Poconos Mountains, then the xDrive is fabulous!

You can read all day long about the advantages of winter tires on RWD and the winter tires are good but IMHO they do not replace AWD (everyone seems to have an opinion on this). Soooooo now ask yourself...do I want the more spirited car for the 9 months with a few rough days over the other 3 months, or do I want the car that can track through with the best of 4-wheelers for three months a year but give up some handling characteristics that the car is capable of.

Again, I bought the AWD because I drive through at least 2 dozen days a year with snow, Had trace snows two mornings this week and 2-3 more inches tomarrow, I drive 75 miles per day with additional drives in northern Michigan. I do not drive hard, therefore AWD makes sense.
Chris90 commented:
January 24, 2013, 10:47 pm

Good point, if I was into skiing I'd get AWD. Or better yet, put the $2k toward an LSD.
impreza276 commented:
January 25, 2013, 4:13 pm

Short answer is you will be more than fine in Delaware with RWD and snow tires. With snows you will have better traction than all those fwd cars with all seasons that are already getting by just fine.

In the situations where snow gets too tough for your car, like the snow storms of 2010, you wouldn't want to be out and about in an xDrive either.
sunny5280 commented:
January 25, 2013, 4:28 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by impreza276 View Post
Short answer is you will be more than fine in Delaware with RWD and snow tires. With snows you will have better traction than all those fwd cars with all seasons that are already getting by just fine.
The reference isn't FWD cars. The reference is AWD cars.
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 26, 2013, 9:06 am

Funny, you don't recall a thing during the week, but come weekend, all the fun stuff starts coming by themselves...
I recall doing a little fishtailing in a 2013 Camaro of a friend, off from a start... actually I was merging into light traffic coming out of a shopping complex... didn't expect that at all... but when it came, it felt like I was playing NFSMW, and I got the car straightened... (I don't consider myself a highly skilled driver - but I could maneuver a fwd with near bald tires in the 2010 snowstorms.. so I'm good)
My friends, both the owner and a co-passenger, freaked out like anything, but the effect was for such a less time, I don't remember if I liked it or not...
Now, I can add that I am just that kind of driver, who likes to - sometimes - pedal the metal...like they say... - I want to feel the torque push me into my seats... that fast 0-whatever speed pickup...that excites me about my car... i know I am going to do that with my bimmer...

So, does xDrive help with anything like that? When I took test-drives, I think I was behaving from a good boy to a li'l naughty boy... not an out-'n-out bad boy... I had my sister with me, so I was more concerned about her safety... so, I haven't driven any bimmer like the way I drove the camaro the other day..

your thoughts?
sunny5280 commented:
January 26, 2013, 10:48 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
Funny, you don't recall a thing during the week, but come weekend, all the fun stuff starts coming by themselves...
I recall doing a little fishtailing in a 2013 Camaro of a friend, off from a start... actually I was merging into light traffic coming out of a shopping complex... didn't expect that at all... but when it came, it felt like I was playing NFSMW, and I got the car straightened... (I don't consider myself a highly skilled driver - but I could maneuver a fwd with near bald tires in the 2010 snowstorms.. so I'm good)
My friends, both the owner and a co-passenger, freaked out like anything, but the effect was for such a less time, I don't remember if I liked it or not...
Now, I can add that I am just that kind of driver, who likes to - sometimes - pedal the metal...like they say... - I want to feel the torque push me into my seats... that fast 0-whatever speed pickup...that excites me about my car... i know I am going to do that with my bimmer...

So, does xDrive help with anything like that? When I took test-drives, I think I was behaving from a good boy to a li'l naughty boy... not an out-'n-out bad boy... I had my sister with me, so I was more concerned about her safety... so, I haven't driven any bimmer like the way I drove the camaro the other day..

your thoughts?
If you're looking to regularly kick the rear end out then you definitely want RWD. If you like hard accelleration then AWD is probably your better bet. AWD cars have slightly better 0-60 times than the RWD as there is more grip to get the car going. However given most people's driving skill it's unlikely you'll be able to tell the difference. Where AWD might help with your accelleration is coming out of corners. Given more driving wheels you should be able to pull out of the corner harder without worry of oversteer or the DSC kicking in. While a highly skilled driver can make the RWD car move through the corners faster the vast majority do not possess the necessary skill to do so.

IMO, for the vast majority of drivers, the RWD and AWD cars give the same feel if you don't opt for the sport suspension (not sure if you're aware of not but the AWD car has a rear bias in its power delivery thus making it feel like a RWD car). Thus all the negatives for the AWD (higher weight, higher power train losses, weight distribution, etc) are inconsequential for all but the most experienced drivers.

In the end you can't go wrong with either car. I used to own a RWD BMW and now I buy AWD given I live in an inclement weather area. While the Denver metro area doesn't see large amounts of snow for long periods of time it's nice to have when it does. Or when I make a trip to the mountains. While RWD seems to be fine for your needs it sounds as if you're still leaning towards the AWD model. If that's the case I say go for it...you will not be disappointed.
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 26, 2013, 11:01 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
If you're looking to regularly kick the rear end out then you definitely want RWD. If you like hard accelleration then AWD is probably your better bet. AWD cars have slightly better 0-60 times than the RWD as there is more grip to get the car going. However given most people's driving skill it's unlikely you'll be able to tell the difference. Where AWD might help with your accelleration is coming out of corners. Given more driving wheels you should be able to pull out of the corner harder without worry of oversteer or the DSC kicking in. While a highly skilled driver can make the RWD car move through the corners faster the vast majority do not possess the necessary skill to do so.

IMO, for the vast majority of drivers, the RWD and AWD cars give the same feel if you don't opt for the sport suspension (not sure if you're aware of not but the AWD car has a rear bias in its power delivery thus making it feel like a RWD car). Thus all the negatives for the AWD (higher weight, higher power train losses, weight distribution, etc) are inconsequential for all but the most experienced drivers.

In the end you can't go wrong with either car. I used to own a RWD BMW and now I buy AWD given I live in an inclement weather area. While the Denver metro area doesn't see large amounts of snow for long periods of time it's nice to have when it does. Or when I make a trip to the mountains. While RWD seems to be fine for your needs it sounds as if you're still leaning towards the AWD model. If that's the case I say go for it...you will not be disappointed.
The only reason I am constantly comparing against X drive is that thats the only car I have test driven.
Planning to test drive rwd today. . Lil snow on the ground..
kpgray commented:
January 26, 2013, 11:16 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
.........So, does xDrive help with anything like that? When I took test-drives, I think I was behaving from a good boy to a li'l naughty boy... not an out-'n-out bad boy... I had my sister with me, so I was more concerned about her safety... so, I haven't driven any bimmer like the way I drove the camaro the other day..

your thoughts?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
.......... While RWD seems to be fine for your needs it sounds as if you're still leaning towards the AWD model. If that's the case I say go for it...you will not be disappointed.
You did not specify which Camaro (V6, V8, SS), was it a manual, etc.

The traction control will prevent a moment of the rear fishtailing unless you go into Sport + mode or turn of the DTC. Although I have AWD, I am not sure if Sport + mode disables the front wheels or not (maybe I will try on the next snowfall). I am sure someone else could answer that question. If it did disable the FWD portion of the AWD, then you could have the best of both worlds. Sunny5280 is correct as the AWD 335 is 0.2 tenths faster from 0-60 times due to the initial launch from a stop (4 wheel traction instead of 2 wheels), but after you get rolling a little, the RWD would outperform due to weight (AWD is 155 lbs heavier) and friction (extra drive components for the front drive). The AWD is very good and you would not be disappointed!
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 26, 2013, 11:22 am

It was Camaro V6.. arnd 320hp..
Elk commented:
January 26, 2013, 11:50 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
I recall doing a little fishtailing in a 2013 Camaro of a friend, off from a start... actually I was merging into light traffic coming out of a shopping complex... didn't expect that at all... but when it came, it felt like I was playing NFSMW, and I got the car straightened...
Of course you did; the Camaro has excellent stability control, standard, making good drivers out of average.

GM has perfecting this system for many years and has it down. On its more performance oriented cars, the system allows a bit of nonsense before kicking in depending on the aggressiveness of driver input, speed, etc. Corvettes have had this for many years.

As to the point, xDrive does not allow steering with the throttle. Additionally, it will understeer if given too much power with stability control off.
sunny5280 commented:
January 26, 2013, 12:19 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpgray View Post
You did not specify which Camaro (V6, V8, SS), was it a manual, etc.

The traction control will prevent a moment of the rear fishtailing unless you go into Sport + mode or turn of the DTC. Although I have AWD, I am not sure if Sport + mode disables the front wheels or not (maybe I will try on the next snowfall). I am sure someone else could answer that question. If it did disable the FWD portion of the AWD, then you could have the best of both worlds. Sunny5280 is correct as the AWD 335 is 0.2 tenths faster from 0-60 times due to the initial launch from a stop (4 wheel traction instead of 2 wheels), but after you get rolling a little, the RWD would outperform due to weight (AWD is 155 lbs heavier) and friction (extra drive components for the front drive). The AWD is very good and you would not be disappointed!
AWD is always AWD...the front wheels are always powered (unless the AWD system transfers all power to the rear wheels for the specific conditions). It does not act like a four wheel drive system where the front wheels can be disengaged.
sunny5280 commented:
January 26, 2013, 12:23 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
The only reason I am constantly comparing against X drive is that thats the only car I have test driven.
Planning to test drive rwd today. . Lil snow on the ground..
Let us know what you think. Yours is a difficult case as it's not as clear cut one way or the other.
golovko commented:
January 26, 2013, 1:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgk330i View Post
I live in northern VA, in a climate basically the same as yours. I've been driving my 2001 330i (rwd) with Dunlop Winter Sport M2 tires with absolutely no problem, in fact I think they're overkill around here. While they're noisy, these tires handle surprisingly well. When the F30 arrives, I think I'll just use all-season M+S tires for the winter instead of true winter tires.

Personally I think awd is seriously overrated, but them again I drove a 68 Mustang in Buffalo for years so maybe I'm a little more used to snow than some.

Sent from my GT-P7510 using Bimmer App
I just moved to the DC metro area from NC. I have summer tires currently on my 335i so I was looking at one of two options:

1) Replace my summer tires with All Seasons indefinitely and save $$$ on paying for storage to store the 2nd set of tires
2) Get a set of snow tires which will be in storage when not in use.

Which would you recommend for the area climate? I've seen snow/ice more times in my couple of weeks in DC then almost an entire winter in NC.
pony_trekker commented:
January 26, 2013, 2:00 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by golovko View Post
I just moved to the DC metro area from NC. I have summer tires currently on my 335i so I was looking at one of two options:

1) Replace my summer tires with All Seasons indefinitely and save $$$ on paying for storage to store the 2nd set of tires
2) Get a set of snow tires which will be in storage when not in use.

Which would you recommend for the area climate? I've seen snow/ice more times in my couple of weeks in DC then almost an entire winter in NC.
Snows. Instead of settling for mediocrity you would be getting the best of both worlds.
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 27, 2013, 2:06 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by golovko View Post
I just moved to the DC metro area from NC. I have summer tires currently on my 335i so I was looking at one of two options:

1) Replace my summer tires with All Seasons indefinitely and save $$$ on paying for storage to store the 2nd set of tires
2) Get a set of snow tires which will be in storage when not in use.

Which would you recommend for the area climate? I've seen snow/ice more times in my couple of weeks in DC then almost an entire winter in NC.
Getting the response I am seeing and feeling inclined myself, I would suggest summer tires for all seasons except winters and snow tires for winter == good performance and handling all year around...
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 27, 2013, 2:10 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
Let us know what you think. Yours is a difficult case as it's not as clear cut one way or the other.
I am feeling more and more convinced every minute that I want to have rwd... will have a set of snows to swap in winters...
sunny5280 commented:
January 27, 2013, 9:02 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
I am feeling more and more convinced every minute that I want to have rwd... will have a set of snows to swap in winters...
This changes my recommendation. If you feel it's necessary to have a set of winter tires then I would recommend AWD over RWD.
Chris90 commented:
January 27, 2013, 9:04 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
Getting the response I am seeing and feeling inclined myself, I would suggest summer tires for all seasons except winters and snow tires for winter == good performance and handling all year around...
In Delaware I'd get performance snows (like Dunlop M3) rather than hardcore snows (Blizzak or Nokian Happa). Hardcore snows are very rumbly and don't handle well.
KLC commented:
January 27, 2013, 9:46 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
This changes my recommendation. If you feel it's necessary to have a set of winter tires then I would recommend AWD over RWD.
That makes zero sense.

If he wants RWD, then he should keep a dedicated summer and winter tire. If he wants AWD, he may be able to get away will all seasons, but he would have compromised performance year round versus having dedicated summer and winter tires. I fail to see how wanting dedicated tires would change your recommendation to AWD.
KLC commented:
January 27, 2013, 9:48 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
In Delaware I'd get performance snows (like Dunlop M3) rather than hardcore snows (Blizzak or Nokian Happa). Hardcore snows are very rumbly and don't handle well.
I would agree with this. When shopping for snows, get the more performance leaning tires. They'll give you 85% of the snow handling that hardcore snow tires will give you, but will perform much better on dry and wet winter roads. The rubber stays soft at cold temperatures. The hardcore snows may feel a bit mushy on dry roads in the winter.
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 27, 2013, 10:21 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLC View Post
I would agree with this. When shopping for snows, get the more performance leaning tires. They'll give you 85% of the snow handling that hardcore snow tires will give you, but will perform much better on dry and wet winter roads. The rubber stays soft at cold temperatures. The hardcore snows may feel a bit mushy on dry roads in the winter.
Agree..
3284me commented:
January 27, 2013, 11:17 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLC View Post
That makes zero sense.

If he wants RWD, then he should keep a dedicated summer and winter tire. If he wants AWD, he may be able to get away will all seasons, but he would have compromised performance year round versus having dedicated summer and winter tires. I fail to see how wanting dedicated tires would change your recommendation to AWD.
Maybe because in real world driving no one can feel the difference between all seasons and summer performance tires so its easier to get AWD and forget about it
sunny5280 commented:
January 27, 2013, 12:13 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3284me View Post
Maybe because in real world driving no one can feel the difference between all seasons and summer performance tires so its easier to get AWD and forget about it
This pretty much sums it up.
KLC commented:
January 27, 2013, 12:21 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
This pretty much sums it up.
If you don't notice the difference then more power to you.
sunny5280 commented:
January 27, 2013, 12:55 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLC View Post
That makes zero sense.

If he wants RWD, then he should keep a dedicated summer and winter tire. If he wants AWD, he may be able to get away will all seasons, but he would have compromised performance year round versus having dedicated summer and winter tires. I fail to see how wanting dedicated tires would change your recommendation to AWD.
The reason I initially recommended RWD was the impression Delaware does not receive enough snow to warrant AWD and/or dedicated snow tires. Given this RWD would be fine. Now that he's indicated he could benefit from snow tires that changes my impression of the amount of snow Delaware receives and given this new information AWD is my new recommendation. It goes back to my general rule of thumb which I wrote in post #39 of this thread.
sunny5280 commented:
January 27, 2013, 1:09 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLC View Post
If you don't notice the difference then more power to you.
It's not a matter of noticing the difference or not. It's a matter of how does the OP plan to drive the car? Does he plan to use it as a daily driver with occasional spirited driving? Does he plan to use it as a daily driver and then take it out on the twisties every weekend? Will it be a secondary car that he takes out to drive through the twisties, kicking the rear end free as the urge arises? Is he going to track the car (we already know he has no intention of doing this)? What are his driving skills? Does he possess the skill necessary to push the tires to their limits thus requiring a use specific tire?

What 3284me and I are saying is the majority of drivers plan to use the vehicle as a daily driver with maybe an occassional stint of spirited driving. Occasionaly being defined as not enough to make a difference between RWD versus AWD, dedicated performance tires versus all seasons, sport suspension versus non-sport suspension, etc. It is also my opinion the vast majority of drivers do not possess the skills necessary to push the vehicles to their limits. I suspect the OP, and the vast majority of people who ask about RWD versus AWD fall into this category.

This is my general rule of thumb.
angler commented:
January 27, 2013, 1:25 pm

I live in Vermont with AWD. The is the only reason I have it is I live on a dirt road that goes up a 11% grade for close to a mile before I get to my house. If that was not the case I would have bought a RW car. There are plenty of cars in New England that have RW drive cars with 4 snows for the winter and do just fine. Buy the RW car and move on with life for all the reasons stated in the other posts. Just my 2 cents...
S93D commented:
January 27, 2013, 3:16 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
The reason I initially recommended RWD was the impression Delaware does not receive enough snow to warrant AWD and/or dedicated snow tires.
Delaware does warrant snow tires. The ICBC, a car insurance company in British Columbia, where the weather is balmy in Vancouver, writes "all season tires are not designed to excel in any one condition; they are a compromise for all conditions. They are adequate at best in wet, dry and snowy conditions."

I lived in Philadelphia before. The weather is enough for snow tires. I had studded tires, which is overkill. Studded tires are actually worse in cold, dry weather.
S93D commented:
January 27, 2013, 3:18 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
In Delaware I'd get performance snows (like Dunlop M3) rather than hardcore snows (Blizzak or Nokian Happa). Hardcore snows are very rumbly and don't handle well.
The new Michelin X-Ice Xi3 aren't bad at all. Much better than the rumbly Bridgestone Blizzak WS50 and better than the WS60.
sunny5280 commented:
January 27, 2013, 3:23 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by S93D View Post
Delaware does warrant snow tires.
You'll need to take this up with the OP as he's the one who stated he's going to obtain winter tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S93D View Post
The ICBC, a car insurance company in British Columbia, where the weather is balmy in Vancouver, writes "all season tires are not designed to excel in any one condition; they are a compromise for all conditions. They are adequate at best in wet, dry and snowy conditions."
Why do people on this forum feel others are unaware of this?
Elk commented:
January 27, 2013, 8:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3284me View Post
Maybe because in real world driving no one can feel the difference between all seasons and summer performance tires . . .
Seriously? You are unable to tell the difference?

I can readily tell the difference between such tires within a block of normal non-aggressive driving. I would expect most to notice the difference merely commuting within a day or two at most.

(The difference between dedicated snows and high performance are easily detectible upon backing out of the garage after making the swap - dedicated snows feel like marshmallows.)
STS42 commented:
January 28, 2013, 11:18 am

2005 330 with the Mpackage in Boston. I have a seperate set of snows mounted on BMW steel wheels. I used to do the cheap alloy wheels at tire rack but the steels are more forgiving of the potholes. I've never had a problem in the winter and would not opt for the AWD option. I also go with a minus 1 size all around and this helps as well, the tries do't float as much on the snow. I use high performance summer tires between April and December. Also, it takes less than 45 minutes to change the tires twice a year, I take longer than others perhaps because I wire brush each hub mating surface and brush on anti-seize.
pony_trekker commented:
February 2, 2013, 7:54 pm

Posted this elsewhere. I'm currently in Quebec. While the ratio of AWD cars to non AWD cars is similar to states I'd say 90%of the cars here have winter tires versus maybe 1% in the states.
BMW220i commented:
February 2, 2013, 8:35 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by pony_trekker View Post
Posted this elsewhere. I'm currently in Quebec. While the ratio of AWD cars to non AWD cars is similar to states I'd say 90%of the cars here have winter tires versus maybe 1% in the states.
I thought snow tires are required in Quebec.

The Seattle area doesn't get much snow but about 10% of the cars have them, not 1%. Some cars even have studded tires, which you can hear as they drive on glass , I mean, drive.
Reedo302 commented:
February 3, 2013, 12:39 am

Here in Minnesota, I'd say it's 1%. We have had snow for the past two days, and it's been constant cars in the ditch. Every single one had all seasons or summers. Not a single one in the ditch with snows. At least in my jurisdiction.
It just amazes me how people do not grasp the reasoning for snow tires. It should be common knowledge up here in the Great White North, but it's definitely not. I have had people tell me that it's a waste of money. Right...
imtjm commented:
February 3, 2013, 1:03 am

Northern Virginia:
a. 335D with all-season, couldn't even get up a small hill and barely along on flat roads when it snowed and got hard packed and slick, and had terrible traction everywhere else. Bought snow chains and worked awesome but isn't a solution for all winter. Bought winter tires and haven't looked back. Although I still carry the snow chains just in case, since VA law says you can be ticketed if you do not have snow chains on and block an intersection.
b. 328xi with all-season, works well in my area, but haven't had to push it much in deeper snow or worse conditions since it has only snowed lightly. May end up getting winter tires if we run into problems.
imtjm commented:
February 3, 2013, 1:05 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reedo302 View Post
Here in Minnesota, I'd say it's 1%. We have had snow for the past two days, and it's been constant cars in the ditch. Every single one had all seasons or summers. Not a single one in the ditch with snows. At least in my jurisdiction.
It just amazes me how people do not grasp the reasoning for snow tires. It should be common knowledge up here in the Great White North, but it's definitely not. I have had people tell me that it's a waste of money. Right...
you would think, but I grew up in Minnesota (when we had serious snow, unlike these days in MN) with all-seasons and FWD. I don't think my family ever had snow tires, but that probably wasn't the safest thing in the world, but FWDs did get us through everything.
boltjaM3s commented:
February 3, 2013, 1:47 am

No matter where someone lives, if you get snow you need snow tires. And if you skip snow tires and stay with all seasons, XDrive isn't going to help you. Here's the pecking order:

1. Snow tires + XDrive
2. Snow tires + RWD (10% less traction than snow tires + XDrive)
3. All seasons + XDrive (50% less traction than snow tires)
4. All seasons + RWD (60% less traction than snow tires)

XDrive is a salesman's tool to get people to spend more money with BMW and less money with their local tire dealer. There is no shortcut to safety. No one likes going to the tire shop 2x a year to swap the rubber. Too bad. Deal with it. No AWD technology allows you to get away with skipping snow tires.

The good news? Once on snow tires, the 3 Series is a beast in the white stuff, one of the safest cars I've ever driven and I've been in some very nasty snow/ice storms and blizzards up in New England for 14 years before moving back down here to NJ.

BJ
2easypilot commented:
February 3, 2013, 10:50 am

I have a 550 XDrive with no snows and have not had an issue here in Michigan. About 10 inches on the lawn right now. Snows would be awesome but no problems so far.
BMW220i commented:
February 3, 2013, 1:06 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
There is no shortcut to safety. No one likes going to the tire shop 2x a year to swap the rubber. Too bad. Deal with it. No AWD technology allows you to get away with skipping snow tires.

The good news? Once on snow tires, the 3 Series is a beast in the white stuff, one of the safest cars I've ever driven and I've been in some very nasty snow/ice storms and blizzards up in New England for 14 years before moving back down here to NJ.

BJ
Way too many people depend on all seasons year round. I can see people in Little Rock, AR or Charlotte, NC survive on all seasons even though I'd pick summer tires and either snow tires or all seasons for the winter there.

I learned how nice a jack is. One can change wheel/tire combinations themselves. A jack is so much easier than the scissors jack that comes with the car. I bought one when I saw it on sale for $14.99 5 years ago. The jack is probably too cheap to do weekly mechanical work but it's fine to use 2-3 times a year. I've seen it sell for $19.99 recently at Autozone on sale.
pony_trekker commented:
February 3, 2013, 8:39 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by pony_trekker View Post
Posted this elsewhere. I'm currently in Quebec. While the ratio of AWD cars to non AWD cars is similar to states I'd say 90%of the cars here have winter tires versus maybe 1% in the states.
Is law since 2008 but historically 90% (wow I am good) of Quebec drivers used winter tires.

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011...re-of-success/
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
February 3, 2013, 8:48 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
No matter where someone lives, if you get snow you need snow tires. And if you skip snow tires and stay with all seasons, XDrive isn't going to help you. Here's the pecking order:

1. Snow tires + XDrive
2. Snow tires + RWD (10% less traction than snow tires + XDrive)
3. All seasons + XDrive (50% less traction than snow tires)
4. All seasons + RWD (60% less traction than snow tires)

XDrive is a salesman's tool to get people to spend more money with BMW and less money with their local tire dealer. There is no shortcut to safety. No one likes going to the tire shop 2x a year to swap the rubber. Too bad. Deal with it. No AWD technology allows you to get away with skipping snow tires.

The good news? Once on snow tires, the 3 Series is a beast in the white stuff, one of the safest cars I've ever driven and I've been in some very nasty snow/ice storms and blizzards up in New England for 14 years before moving back down here to NJ.

BJ
Or maybe BMW is offering xDrive for people who had to make do with 2 above, to now be able to get to 1 above. It might have nothing to do with not buying snow tires at all...
Because xDrive or RWD, snow tires make your snow season safer.. if you have one..


Me - I am still reading around... getting to know what I am buying in as much detail as possible.. trying to look at both sides of the coin and see which side suits me.. this is the biggest purchase I have done till date.. yup, I'm young..
brian5 commented:
February 3, 2013, 9:03 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
No matter where someone lives, if you get snow you need snow tires. And if you skip snow tires and stay with all seasons, XDrive isn't going to help you. Here's the pecking order:

1. Snow tires + XDrive
2. Snow tires + RWD (10% less traction than snow tires + XDrive)
3. All seasons + XDrive (50% less traction than snow tires)
4. All seasons + RWD (60% less traction than snow tires)

<>
Those are interesting numbers. Are those just your opinion or they based on some research study/evaluation? I'm not saying that they look off except #2; I would think it's greater than 10% less. I drove a 328i through two winters with snow tires and I needed 150 pounds of sand bags in the trunk to get decent traction on snow days.

I'd be interested to see what you/research would say for
5. Summer tires + XDrive (I know this one is bad even on an X5!)
6. Summer tires + RWD (And this will be even worse)
boltjaM3s commented:
February 3, 2013, 9:37 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crzy'boutBimmer View Post
Or maybe BMW is offering xDrive for people who had to make do with 2 above, to now be able to get to 1 above. It might have nothing to do with not buying snow tires at all...
Because xDrive or RWD, snow tires make your snow season safer.. if you have one..


Me - I am still reading around... getting to know what I am buying in as much detail as possible.. trying to look at both sides of the coin and see which side suits me.. this is the biggest purchase I have done till date.. yup, I'm young..
Unfortunately, though XDrive is best for #2 people to move to #1 people, too many #4 people use it as a way to avoid the hassle of putting snow tires on.

I appreciate that you're young, but here's some good news: A set of snow tires is cheaper than XDrive. So you can save some money and be much more safe in the process. Don't risk your life because sitting at a tire store is boring. Bring an iPad.

BJ
boltjaM3s commented:
February 3, 2013, 9:47 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian5 View Post
Those are interesting numbers. Are those just your opinion or they based on some research study/evaluation? I'm not saying that they look off except #2; I would think it's greater than 10% less. I drove a 328i through two winters with snow tires and I needed 150 pounds of sand bags in the trunk to get decent traction on snow days.

I'd be interested to see what you/research would say for
5. Summer tires + XDrive (I know this one is bad even on an X5!)
6. Summer tires + RWD (And this will be even worse)
That's just my opinion but it's significant as it's based on driving on all 4 configurations with the same all-season tires and same winter tires between my E93 RWD and my E90 AWD in the snowy tundra's of New Hampshire for 14 years. Steep hills, sharp bends, a foot of fluffy stuff, an inch of ice, you get the idea.

XDrive vs. RWD: The difference between my E93 RWD and E90 AWD on identical snow tires (literally, the same tires because they fit both cars) in my very-good and unbiased opinion was only 10%. AWD was 10% better from a cornering standpoint and an acceleration standpoint, equal on a braking standpoint. I was stunned at how little it meant to me, wished I'd stuck with RWD so I could get the performance bump in the 9 non-snow months.

All-Seasons vs. Snow Tires: The difference here is substantial. The AWD again only was 10% better than RWD, but that's not the story. The story is that all-seasons provide at least 50% less traction, maybe more. Instead of confidently taking corners at a responsible clip, you feel the need to slow way down just to make it through. The rear slides, and stopping distance is much, much longer.

There is simply no replacement for snow tires. You can talk about it all day long, you can rationalize it all you want. For the best traction, get XDrive + Snow Tires for that 10% bump. But if you can only afford either XDrive or snow tires (they cost about the same thing) you MUST get snow tires. It's extra work. It can save your life.

BJ
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
February 4, 2013, 4:32 pm

Agree with the fact that all seasons are not a replacement for snows.
All seasons are a compromise in any season.

And I am a DIY guy.. wud take a jack and take care of things myself.
Per the numbers, I think you were lucky even in the bad snow you saw - as you fared only 10% less than awd.
I have been meeting many ppl who had rwd and they'd all rate 2 as being at least 25-30% less than 1 in a bad slick snow or ice.

I read a mention of power bump...there is no power diff between rwd and xdrive - unless you're talking about upgrades and after-market installs.
That's the only downside which might seriously affect awd buyers.. and the slightly more number of parts..
brian335 commented:
February 4, 2013, 9:04 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian5 View Post
Those are interesting numbers. Are those just your opinion or they based on some research study/evaluation? I'm not saying that they look off except #2; I would think it's greater than 10% less. I drove a 328i through two winters with snow tires and I needed 150 pounds of sand bags in the trunk to get decent traction on snow days.

I'd be interested to see what you/research would say for
5. Summer tires + XDrive (I know this one is bad even on an X5!)
6. Summer tires + RWD (And this will be even worse)
I have a very firm following for X drive and snows. Nothing else for winter. I live in Ottawa, so we get a serious winter. While you can 'get by' with AS and RWD if you stay on main roads and the city, you are still at such a compromise. I'm getting a temporary reminder right now with a new 335Xi and A/S tires. Day and night worse than my E90 330Xi with brand new snows. I was really quite shocked. This is temporary because when I picked up the new car in January I intended on trading in the 330. It had brand new snows that were destined for the new one. At the last minute I decided to keep the old car and so the tire plan got derailed. I ordered the new one with A/S so I could get the square 18" set up with the plan on getting rid of the AS immediately and go with serious snows + high perf summers. You can't beat that combo, and its much kinder on the OEM rims.
floydarogers commented:
February 4, 2013, 10:23 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian5 View Post
Those are interesting numbers. Are those just your opinion or they based on some research study/evaluation?
Go to Car & Driver's website and search for the article they did on tire comparisons (summer, HP all-season, HP snow, snow). It was a couple years ago. I believe I posted a link in the E90 forum, but I'm not going to do so again here.
Rover commented:
February 5, 2013, 9:56 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by STS42 View Post
2005 330 with the Mpackage in Boston. I have a seperate set of snows mounted on BMW steel wheels. I used to do the cheap alloy wheels at tire rack but the steels are more forgiving of the potholes. I've never had a problem in the winter and would not opt for the AWD option. I also go with a minus 1 size all around and this helps as well, the tries do't float as much on the snow. I use high performance summer tires between April and December. Also, it takes less than 45 minutes to change the tires twice a year, I take longer than others perhaps because I wire brush each hub mating surface and brush on anti-seize.
Bingo...live in Colorado. Ski regularly. Have used snows (separate wheels) on two RWD Beemers for 12 years...and have seen no need for AWD. But AWD with snows would give you 'some' added advantage....and might be the best combo, if you haven't driven much in snow/ice.