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Am contemplating getting either a MY2003 325 or 330 all wheel drive. Is the car worth the additional cost and why.
 

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Not really.....

What has been written and said in the past is that BMW's all wheel drive will benefit those who live in climates that all wheel drive will help with winter tracton.

The disadvantage is that the overall feel and driving is effected.

I can only speculate that it's also there to compete against Audi.

Seems that Audi has the all wheel drive set up working better than BMW.

So....unless you really need to have AWD and a BMW, it might make sense.

Don't know how others on the board with the AWD feel and may have a different view.
 

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I'm ambivalent towards the system. The big problem with AWD is that BMW made some huge compromises in the suspension. Not only is the car raised up about 2cm higher, it also has 2cm LESS suspension travel.
I like the way AWD cars move. You can stay on the gas just about anywhere and they hold their line. You lose the tail happy BMW feel, though. I can't yet decide whether or not this is good.

All in all, I'd probably go for RWD is I were to do it again.
 

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Nick325xiT 5spd said:
I'm ambivalent towards the system. The big problem with AWD is that BMW made some huge compromises in the suspension. Not only is the car raised up about 2cm higher, it also has 2cm LESS suspension travel.
I like the way AWD cars move. You can stay on the gas just about anywhere and they hold their line. You lose the tail happy BMW feel, though. I can't yet decide whether or not this is good.

All in all, I'd probably go for RWD is I were to do it again.
My feelings also so far after going through one mild winter. Consider getting it only if you drive in the snow a significant amount of the year. Otherwise RWD with dedicated snow tires and BMW's traction control is fine.
 

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I don't think it's just about the snow...what about driving in the rain, or just wet pavement??? What good is horsepower if you can't put it to the pavement all the time:dunno:
 

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DougDogs said:
I don't think it's just about the snow...what about driving in the rain, or just wet pavement??? What good is horsepower if you can't put it to the pavement all the time:dunno:
My thoughts as well:thumbup:

Although a nice snowy winter would make me feel better about the extra $$;)

I got the AWD / BMW because it has great driving characteristics for an AWD (rear wheeel bias), provides me the AWD for the times when needed and the wagon version gives me the little extra room I need. It will serve as the family, safe, all weather vehicle. It covers all my needs and is fun to drive.
 

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I like my AWD, but I do live on a rather steep hill. So getting up that hill and my long driveway in winter without AWD will be pretty tricky, even with good snow tires.

I don't feel like having to switch between summer and winter tires/wheels twice a year. And I really do like the idea that I don't have to shovel my driveway almost ever now. :thumbup: Although a second set of tires and wheels is about the same amount of $ as the AWD option.

People say that the BMW AWD system is not as good as Audi's. And on paper, it's not nearly as cool or optimal of a design. But from my experience with 5" of snow on a long, steep hill, the BMW system works just great. Our first decent snow really made me a believer in AWD (in general- not BMW specific).

The only down side to getting the BMW AWD system is the compromise on handling in good weather- the tires aren't as wide, the suspension isn't as tight, and the car is raised up 3/4" and yields more to body roll. But for me, the only time I ever have felt like I really wanted the car to handle better has been on an auto-cross course. And I was sliding around pretty good there due to my lack of ability at high performance driving.
:banghead: But on the street, the 325xi handles just great, IMO. :thumbup:
 

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I've not driven an Audi, however, compared to Subaru's AWD system, the BMW's pales in comparison. The biggest difference that I actually feel is the loss of power and vibrating that comes from the ABS/ADB system engaging when I have the power on in turns. Open differentials have NO place on an AWD car.
 

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Nick325xiT 5spd said:
I've not driven an Audi, however, compared to Subaru's AWD system, the BMW's pales in comparison. The biggest difference that I actually feel is the loss of power and vibrating that comes from the ABS/ADB system engaging when I have the power on in turns. Open differentials have NO place on an AWD car.
The front diff on the Scooby is open though, correct?

I would pick RWD...
 

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Over the years I have had the following in my garage:

Explorer 4 wd
Explorer AWD (v8)
Twin Turbo Supra (rwd-320 hp)
65 Corvette
F150 4wd
BMW 325E (rwd- no traction)
Prelude FWD
2002 330xi AWD

The 330xi rocks. Best daily driver I have ever had and I have pushed it to limits no other car I have owned could go to.

I like it a lot!!!!

That being said, all of this has been done in the rain and on dry pavement. I have not had it in the winter yet, nor have I had to drive up my 700ft driveway (in the winter) which goes straight up.

I'll post a report after this winter in the performance.
 

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nate328Ci said:


The front diff on the Scooby is open though, correct?

I would pick RWD...
Interesting, I never realized that, but you're right. Nonetheless, the drivetrain is a LOT better than my xi.
My biggest objection to the xi, however, is that you can't disable ADB-X. I've driven briefly with it disabled the hard way and the car felt significantly better. Unfortunately, the only way to take out ADB is to pull the fuses for the ABS system... And it's just not safe to drive around that way. :(
 

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Nick325xiT 5spd said:


Interesting, I never realized that, but you're right. Nonetheless, the drivetrain is a LOT better than my xi.
My biggest objection to the xi, however, is that you can't disable ADB-X. I've driven briefly with it disabled the hard way and the car felt significantly better. Unfortunately, the only way to take out ADB is to pull the fuses for the ABS system... And it's just not safe to drive around that way. :(
Screw Solo II, try this http://scca.org/amateur/performance_rally/index.html

:p

You have a WRX too? :dunno:
 

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PhilH said:
As the Car & Driver test of AWD vs snow tires pretty much proved, AWD is beneficial mainly in getting traction for going up hills.

C&D AWD versus snow tire test:
http://www.caranddriver.com/xp/Caranddriver/features/1999/May/199905_feature_whatp.xml?keywords=snow

C&D AWD wagon test (325xiT vs A4 vs Passat vs Outback):
http://www.caranddriver.com/xp/Cara...0104_comparisontest_wagons.xml?keywords=325xi
I think that if you are really serious about driving in snow or ice, you would want both AWD and dedicated winter tires (and rims), and that is what I plan to do for my trips to the ski hills this winter (see ad...)
 

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'02-325XiT said:


I think that if you are really serious about driving in snow or ice, you would want both AWD and dedicated winter tires (and rims), and that is what I plan to do for my trips to the ski hills this winter (see ad...)
Whoops - here's the ad
 

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'02-325XiT said:


I think that if you are really serious about driving in snow or ice, you would want both AWD and dedicated winter tires (and rims), and that is what I plan to do for my trips to the ski hills this winter (see ad...)
Hey, BC, I have a question for you. Can I drive up to Whistler in my RWD 330i during the main ski season? I am thinking that the coast road (99) is pretty safe to drive up to the village, but I am not sure. TIA!
 

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twosomeca said:


Hey, BC, I have a question for you. Can I drive up to Whistler in my RWD 330i during the main ski season? I am thinking that the coast road (99) is pretty safe to drive up to the village, but I am not sure. TIA!
I'm probably not the best person to answer your question - I live in the Okanagan Valley about 5 hours East of Vancouver - but I think Hwy 99 to Whistler is kept in pretty good shape because of the volume of traffic, and you don't have major high elevation passes to go through. That said, there's a fair number of problem days with rock slides, etc, but AWD won't help there either!
 

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My now ex-wife has a jag x-type - and it's basically a snow mobile on tires (and sucks on dry roads compared to the 330). Having said that, I never, ever encountered a snow covered street that gave me any problems when the snow tires were installed nor did we ever choose her car over the BMW b/c of weather. In fact, I prefer the rwd with true snow tires over any front wheel drive car (with all seasons) that I have ever driven.

There are only two ways that I can see the awd as a great option - if you are afraid of forgetting to switch to snow tires in time and getting caught (you DON'T want to try snow with the stock 330 tires) or if you live in an area with a lot of hills. Since I live in Chicago, the snow covered hill problem is not something I have any knowledge of.
 

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iiotoko said:
Am contemplating getting either a MY2003 325 or 330 all wheel drive. Is the car worth the additional cost and why.
Having lived in Maryland for 7 years, I am not sure you need AWD. When do you think you would need/desire it?

That said, I love my 330xi. My only complaint is the lack of a real sports suspension option. I plan on installing coilovers, so you do have options....
 
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