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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm seriously looking at getting the 2005 330Ci. This will be a daily driver so, how does this car do in the snow with conventional all season tires? I really want opinions of people who drive this car year round. I could get blizzaks, but they would wear out in a month or two here in Denver. I don't really want the Xi, only because I'm not fond of 4 doors.
 

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The 330Ci is great in the snow with four snow tires. You will get up every hill a four wheel drive vehicle will, it just may take a little longer. I frequent the snow belt between Erie and Buffalo and pass SUV's all the time. The difference is you need to know how to drive in snow, most people don't or think they do if they own an SUV. The traction control takes away a lot of the guess work and fun but that is nice sometimes (and you can turn it off).
 

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Reality check time. The ground clearance of a 330 is much less than a typical SUV. Irrespective of traction control or snow tires, a 330 will begin to "plow" snow and get stuck well before an SUV. It will then get stuck. Not to say tht a good set of snows on a traction control equipped RWD will not do well in winter snow. You will, but not as good as an SUV. I have both and in the really deep stuff, the SUV will still make it through while the car will not.
 

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I have had my CI in the deep snow of Cleveland for the last three years, and could not rave about it more. The snow tires go on the OEM wheels in the fall, around Septmber/october, and came off this week. Between the ASC and DSC in this car it is next to impossible to push the tail out, and I have gotten up hills (with care and prayer) that I would not have been able to get up in my old veedub.

I DID get stuck once, doing what I should not have. I was pulling into my driveway with about 6 inches on it, and got stuck in fluffy stuff. But other than that, I was certainly more comfortable in this car, rain or snow, fast or slow, than any FWD car...

BUY IT.... BUY IT... BUY IT
 

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I drove FWD for years with A/S in snow and my RDW 330i + Blizzak LM-25 handles better on the snow with its snow tires than the FWD with A/S did and also better on the dry with its snow tires than the FW with A/S did.

I felt the same apprehension as you did prior to buying my first RWD car in decades but it turned out to be unfounded apprehension. I drove up the side of Mt. Baker, WA in snow on twisty road with switchbacks and had no problems.

Honestly, with decent snows, your traction control will hardly ever come on, and with the LM-25's you'll only lose about 10-15% handling vs summer tires on the dry.
 

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I drive my 02 325Ci year round but I do change up my tires. I run Blizzacs in the winter nad have found that they don't wear too bad. The biggest enemy of Blizzacs is the heat. Bare roads and cool temps don't seem to bother them much. I had them on from Oct through the end of April and this was the second winter......lots of wear left. I appreciate the velcro like traction that these tires have in the snow.....Conti's almost killed me with an early snow dump just before I changed.
 

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Bonezilla said:
I'm seriously looking at getting the 2005 330Ci. This will be a daily driver so, how does this car do in the snow with conventional all season tires? I really want opinions of people who drive this car year round. I could get blizzaks, but they would wear out in a month or two here in Denver. I don't really want the Xi, only because I'm not fond of 4 doors.
There are harder-wearing snow tires than blizzaks. I believe there's a Dunlop option on Tirerack that is supposed to give much higher mileage. I use Pilot Alpins, which are an M&S rated tire but are much closer to an all-season radial in terms of handling, but with more snow & ice grip and a much longer life than the Blizzaks.

With the DSC on, the Alpins work fine and can be run from December to, er, about now. They also have all-season level handling in the dry. However, I have to say that if it wasn't for the mileage issues, I would go for a more dedicated snow tire. I would echo the comment that DSC really works as long as you aren't trying something dumb, like running Advans (or any other summer tire) in a snowstorm. It's tendency to cut the throttle abruptly can be a pain in a light summer rain, but in snow it makes sense, and will generally let you have as much power as you have grip - at least that's my experience.

Because you're getting a 330, you will not be able to use steel wheels due to front brake rotor sizing (unless you can find 17" steelies), which means you will have to buy some sort of alloy wheel if you want any sort of dedicated snow tire. I got a very nice set of 17x7s for $109 per wheel, but it's still an "investment".

Note that the contisports that will probably come on your car are generally loathed, so if you decide to go the all-season route, I would suggest at least taking those off and/or selling them on e-bay and getting decent replacements.
 

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Another Pilot Alpin guy here. I realize that Denver has slightly different winter issues than Chicago does, but as long as you stay out of the deep, unplowed stuff you'd be okay with a set of similar tires. I'd stay away from "real" all-season (read: no-season) tires though.

I just got done with my second winter on this set of tires (ca. 9000 miles), and they honestly look like they haven't worn much at all. I should get at least two, maybe three more years out of 'em. Makes the summer tires last longer, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all of the info. Denver has really weird winter weather. Two weeks ago we had 22 inches of snow and the following day the roads were dry. That's typical. I've heard the Blizzaks are great in snow, but in Denver I'm afraid they would wear out very qucikly. I drive mostly freeway to work, so I'm not overly concerned. Getting out of my side streets when we get a big one is a different story. Anyway, thank you very much for putting me to ease with buying this car. I know it's not going to be as good as an SUV, but it couldn't be any worse than my RSX with the fat 18's I've got on it. Worst case, if it snow's that much, I'm going to stay home anyway.
 

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Same experience as others. I drive in Cleveland, and don't even use snow tires. As long as your all seasons are in good shape, and you don't live at 12,000 feet in Colorado, you will be fine. The car handles much better than my previous FWD 1996 VW Golf GL.
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Tom
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Bonezilla said:
Thanks for all of the info. Denver has really weird winter weather. Two weeks ago we had 22 inches of snow and the following day the roads were dry. That's typical. I've heard the Blizzaks are great in snow, but in Denver I'm afraid they would wear out very qucikly. I drive mostly freeway to work, so I'm not overly concerned. Getting out of my side streets when we get a big one is a different story. Anyway, thank you very much for putting me to ease with buying this car. I know it's not going to be as good as an SUV, but it couldn't be any worse than my RSX with the fat 18's I've got on it. Worst case, if it snow's that much, I'm going to stay home anyway.
Why are you worried that the winter tires would wear out too quickly?
 

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tuden1 said:
I drive in Cleveland, and don't even use snow tires.
:wow: :eek: :wow: you must be west of the city... did I read correctly you are on all seasons? Because these performance tires are like roller blades in the snow....

:dunno:
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Tom
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You don't need snows.. I had all seasons on this past winter without any problems. I was passing SUVs on the highway, changing lanes, etc in the snow with ease. I am not a reckless driver; I just know the limits of my car I guess. Just be careful driving around in the parking lot. When you make tight turns, the car will slide even if you're going under 15mph.
 

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I was looking at a set of Pirelli P-Zero Nero M+S tires on tirerack.com that seemed to be well rated, moderately priced and had a high treadwear index for the "ultra high performance all season" category. Those might well suit you if you don't want to invest in a spare set of wheels.

If you get regular big dumps in the winter, something like a longer-wearing dedicated snow (Dunlop wintersport?) on dedicated wheels might be safer/more convenient. To be honest, the biggest pain is if you have to use street parking during a storm. Snows get you out of those plowed-in spaces with minimum digging.

Bonezilla said:
Thanks for all of the info. Denver has really weird winter weather. Two weeks ago we had 22 inches of snow and the following day the roads were dry. That's typical. I've heard the Blizzaks are great in snow, but in Denver I'm afraid they would wear out very qucikly. I drive mostly freeway to work, so I'm not overly concerned. Getting out of my side streets when we get a big one is a different story. Anyway, thank you very much for putting me to ease with buying this car. I know it's not going to be as good as an SUV, but it couldn't be any worse than my RSX with the fat 18's I've got on it. Worst case, if it snow's that much, I'm going to stay home anyway.
 

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Bonezilla said:
Thanks for all of the info. Denver has really weird winter weather. Two weeks ago we had 22 inches of snow and the following day the roads were dry. That's typical. I've heard the Blizzaks are great in snow, but in Denver I'm afraid they would wear out very qucikly. I drive mostly freeway to work, so I'm not overly concerned. Getting out of my side streets when we get a big one is a different story. Anyway, thank you very much for putting me to ease with buying this car. I know it's not going to be as good as an SUV, but it couldn't be any worse than my RSX with the fat 18's I've got on it. Worst case, if it snow's that much, I'm going to stay home anyway.
Well I did 5,500 miles on my Blizzak LM-25's in Seattle's warm winter and they didn't wear much and handled beautifully in the snow. The WS-50's might wear too quickly, but the LM-25's should be fine.
 

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xemo said:
The 330Ci is great in the snow with four snow tires. You will get up every hill a four wheel drive vehicle will, it just may take a little longer. I frequent the snow belt between Erie and Buffalo and pass SUV's all the time. The difference is you need to know how to drive in snow, most people don't or think they do if they own an SUV. The traction control takes away a lot of the guess work and fun but that is nice sometimes (and you can turn it off).
I use Dunlap WinterSports and thay good in the snow, long wearing and decent on dry pavement. Tirerack should have a good package. It should take you approx. 40min. to swap out your tires each season.
 

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That's what I was thinking of. There are a few comments on tirerack claiming
they last a very long time. I think there was someone saying they had 3 seasons out of them on a 740i.

xemo said:
I use Dunlap WinterSports and thay good in the snow, long wearing and decent on dry pavement. Tirerack should have a good package. It should take you approx. 40min. to swap out your tires each season.
 
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