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Not a Bimmer driver anymo
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I bought my 335xi in April living in Philly, but moved to Phoenix before the first snow, thinking I'd never need the x-drive system.

Well, on my way home from Vegas, we drove through a nasty snow storm. It started as "wintery mix" but quickly turned into 3 or 4 inches of snow! Of course we took our time, but not once did the XDrive system let us down. I maintained traction even up a 5% grade (watching pickups spin their tires and truckers putting chains on their rigs). And there was one point where I needed to get into the left lane because a truck was merging -- well the left lane wasn't being traveled much so it was a thicker accumulation, but the Bimmer was able to change lanes and maintain forward motion in the snow.

Anyway, I was coming from Audi Quattro and was glad to see that the Xdrive was just as competent, even though that could be one of the only times I ever use it. At least it's rear-biased in good weather, unlike the Audi!!
 

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cool post. Yeah it's definitely rear biased... I can kick the rear out in a turn even in dry and wet - in my old subarus I could not kick the tail out at all
 

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cool post. Yeah it's definitely rear biased... I can kick the rear out in a turn even in dry and wet - in my old subarus I could not kick the tail out at all
Well, the 300hp probably makes a difference too in being able to kick out the tail:D Good post above though, and is one of the reasons I'd consider having AWD even if I lived in a good weather state.
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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The thing I like about xDrive that differentiates it from other AWD systems is that it's rear-biased when not needed and lots of fun. The quick responsve and flexibility are also key. After getting used to xDrive, go back to a traditional AWD system. The ones that are front-drive until it detects slippage, then shifts 50% to the rear wheels. They are slow to react, aren't as flexible, and just a dog when you want to hustle.

My X3 with winter tires is a hoot to drive in the winter. Drove thru PA last month during a heavy snowfall (PennDOT is slightly less useful than using a dustpan when it comes to road clearing) in horrible conditions, but the system along with a dose of common sense had no trouble overtaking others at 80km/h (50mph).

And then when you're alone (or with a courageous friend), you can go into the nearest parking lot and drift sideways for 50 metres along the length of the parking lot. With winter tires, the utmost in control. Actually it was funny how DSC was feebly trying and failing to reduce the oversteer my first time.
 

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Wow, good post - glad to hear it comes in handy for those in the West coast when most people laugh at us for having AWD cars!
I just put on my Winter set of Continental Extreme Contact non RFT tires and it drives like a dream - the way a BMW should drive!
I can't tell I have the AWD capability because it still feels like a RWD car. With these winter snow tires, I think they will be a good match!
I will be taking them out onto a local ski slopes this weekend when we get snow and report back!
 

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Insert T I T L E here
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More thoughts on DSC...

Actually it was funny how DSC was feebly trying and failing to reduce the oversteer my first time.
I always find DSC creepy in its ability to counteract the oversteer. To me it almost feels as though somebody attached a bungee cord to the back bumper which is constantly trying to straighten you out -- I think it is due to the fact that DSC will provide inputs that you could never do as a driver... for instance, braking a single wheel or dropping torque/power to a slipping wheel.

I initially thought I would hate the computer intervention and that it would change the expectation of what the car should do, being somewhat of an automotive purist, but I am a total convert... Most of the inputs are pretty predictable and non-sudden, so instead of suddenly kicking out the rear when you power through a curve, it will snap on and make the turn similar to a video game, where you retain a sense that steering will simply change your angle instead of spinning you out.

I like the fact that I can just push the button and drive a "normal" feeling car again. To be honest, I leave it on essentially all the time though, although I still find it disconcerting the way it saps power and creates a weird feeling during even minor slippage, like driving over slippery railroad tracks or plowing through a 6 inch snowdrift.

Do you guys turn it off for regular driving, or just leave the thing on?
 
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