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Old 02-27-2020, 10:35 AM
Stans Stans is offline
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x5 S vs. X5X Drive

Live in warm climate. Deciding whether to get all wheel or rear wheel drive. Can anyone tell me, besides traction, whether one is better for driving and comfort, etc. thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:50 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is online now
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It is my opinion that xDrive is better, though it has no bearing on comfort. My first road trip on getting mine was to US-129 Tail of the Dragon where I feel that the X5 did as well as I could ask - and I had fun.
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Old 02-27-2020, 12:28 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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$2k in purchase costs, 200+ pounds of extra weight, ~2 MPG penalty, and huge potential repair bills somewhere around 100k miles (front drive shafts, transfer case).

We bought an xDrive only because we're eventually moving to where it snows and we'll be living on the top of a steep hill.

In two years, I've used xDrive once, for about 100 feet. There was a construction dumpster blocking the road on the back entrance to our neighborhood. My girly-man neighbor in his FWD Honda SUV was dutifully waiting some somebody to move the dumpster. But, being an xDrive manly-man, I went off the road into the grass covered sand, and drove around both my girly-man neighbor and the dumpster. Arrr, arrr, arrr....
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Old 02-27-2020, 02:23 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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You likely drive in rain wetted roads...maybe a lot. Having all four wheels capable of providing traction helps there. WHat about sand on the road if you're closer to the ocean or a beach? Well, parts of dry areas can see that, too.

It does cost more to buy, but if it helped prevent one accident, it would have been cheap insurance. It doesn't make you stop any faster, but gives you better control on almost any surface.
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Old 02-27-2020, 02:31 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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The best way to regain control is let up with your right foot. AWD will make you faster on a wet race track. But, wet race tracks and wet public roads are totally different situations.

That grass covered sand I went through was a half-block from the beach. I've lived here for 25 years, and that was the first time I've needed or benefitted from AWD. Even then, the main benefit was demonstrating my manly man-ness to my girly-man neighbor.

When we move to the top of that snowy hill, I'll buy a winter tire and wheel set-up, so I can stop and turn in the snow, as well as going in the snow.
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Old 02-27-2020, 03:40 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is online now
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I chaired - race chairman - a first national points race in the US once upon a time. I abandoned the race - a technical term - rather than race on a wet race track.

That said, later on my first road trip to Tail of the Dragon, mentioned above, included a flooded highway between Blowing Rock and Boone, NC, where the xDrive shown.
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(The Works of George Santayana p. 65)

Eschew eristical argumentation. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it.
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Old 02-27-2020, 05:47 PM
TheTurtleBoy TheTurtleBoy is offline
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AWD doesn't effect handling in the rain it is for traction during acceleration. The biggest problem about driving in the rain is hydroplaning and there is nothing about AWD that will counteract that since it is a function of the tires and road surface. Some argue it is actually more dangerous since people think it will help them in situations it is not designed to.
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Old 02-27-2020, 08:01 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Each wheel's traction will be different. Having it available on all four wheels can help you keep the vehicle pointed where you want. Certainly, the big thing is quality tires, and speed can be a major factor, but at the same speeds, give me an all-wheel drive vehicle. Way back when, rear wheel drive was about the only thing you could get, and my first vehicles had that. A step up, in some ways, was a front-wheel drive vehicle for some funky weather, but only a couple, and most all of the rest have been all-wheel drive. But, I have lived in snow country, and live up a steep hill. Always got up, but have slipped on the way down, so tires are a big thing. The dynamics of a rear wheel drive can be more fun, but most people aren't drifting their vehicles around corners which is much easier to do on a rear wheel drive versus all-wheel drive vehicles.

SO, ultimately, it's entirely up to you. My preference would be all-wheel drive, but then, my needs are likely different. Take trips outside of your nice warm climate?
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:07 AM
guyinacar guyinacar is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stans View Post
Live in warm climate.
Where, exactly? People are flopping around a bit trying to answer your question because there are a lot of warm climates, with rather different traction needs. If your "warm climate" is Tampa, FL then I'd think you'll be just fine with RWD, good tires, and a light foot. The sDrive variant is built for such places. Now, if your "warm climate" is Accra, Ghana then I'd probably have a different answer.

BTW, one other advantage of 2WD is that you don't have to be quite as attuned to wheel sizes. It really doesn't matter (to the non-existent transfer case, at least) if you have 4/32nd on one front wheel and 12/32nds on the other. The knock-on effect is that you'll rarely find yourself absolutely required to replace all four corners at once, unless you choose to buy new tires x4.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:22 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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With regular tire rotation having to buy four tires at times is the norm. At the previous tire rotation (end of the 4th rotation stint), the average tread depth on each of my Cobalt's tires were within 0.2/32". By the end of the 5th stint, my 535i's tire were all within 0.4/32". (I've had some alignment problems with the 535i.) After two stints, the X3's tread depths are all within 0.25/32".

The performance of tires degrades with time and miles (due to reduction in tread depth and hardening of the rubber on the tread). When you're really pushing the limits of your tires, having old tires at one end and new tires at the other car cause problems: massive oversteer or massive understeer.

Last edited by Autoputzer; 02-28-2020 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:11 AM
Sonny184 Sonny184 is offline
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I would submit that the resale value on the AWD will be higher by more than $2,000 compared to a RWD. Most people are looking for AWD in SUV's these days. In Florida, not so much.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:12 AM
guyinacar guyinacar is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
With regular tire rotation having to buy four tires at times is the norm.
Right. But in the off chance you completely hose a tire at 7/32 (it's happened to me twice), you don't have to buy four new ones or shave one down to match. You have options. For example, you can put two shiny new tires in the rear, take a nice matching pair from the "old" ones and put them in the front, and then set the 3rd good tire aside for the next time it happens. Now you're out $1000 instead of $2000, you have good rubber in the back (prevents oversteer), and you have a spare. You're probably good for another 30,000 miles.

I'm just saying sDrive is a little more forgiving of road hazards than with xDrive.

Last edited by guyinacar; 02-28-2020 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:49 PM
Tim-Bim Tim-Bim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny184 View Post
I would submit that the resale value on the AWD will be higher by more than $2,000 compared to a RWD. Most people are looking for AWD in SUV's these days. In Florida, not so much.
The purchase price is also higher.
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Old 02-28-2020, 05:00 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyinacar View Post
Right. But in the off chance you completely hose a tire at 7/32 (it's happened to me twice), you don't have to buy four new ones or shave one down to match. You have options. For example, you can put two shiny new tires in the rear, take a nice matching pair from the "old" ones and put them in the front, and then set the 3rd good tire aside for the next time it happens. Now you're out $1000 instead of $2000, you have good rubber in the back (prevents oversteer), and you have a spare. You're probably good for another 30,000 miles.

I'm just saying sDrive is a little more forgiving of road hazards than with xDrive.
I've "hosed" two tires in about 1M miles of driving. The first time was at ~40k miles and ~3 3/4" of tread remaining. I just changed out all four tires. The second time was at ~21k miles with 5 3/4" of tread remaining. It was covered by Tire Rack's two year road hazard warranty. So, I got a free tire, but I paid them $35 to shave it down to match the other three. These were Michelin PSS's. High-performance tires wear much faster when new. So, I got the new tire shaved down to the other tire on the axle plus 1/32" The new tire's tread depth quickly caught up with the old tire on the axle.

Hydroplaning is bad. But, symmetric hydroplaning is not as bad as asymmetric hydroplaning. So, that was $35 well spent.

Actually, I had a gash in a sidewall. But, the set of tires had 55k miles and were down to about 3/32" of tread left. So, I replaced that whole set, too.

If the tires have less than 25% of their life remaining when on needs replacing, it's cheaper in the long run to replace all four instead of having one new tire shaved.

Last edited by Autoputzer; 02-28-2020 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:01 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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In my case, I tend to age out tires before I wear them out.

All-wheel drive has its advantages and disadvantages. Only you can decide which works best for you. In my case, where I live, all-wheel drive has more advantages than disadvantages.
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