Last post on Nov 14, 2010 at 6:56 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Sedan
#1810 of 7013 Re: AWD or RWD [bigpapaluke]
Apr 05, 2005 (6:06 am)
Hey Big Papa,
Gee thanks, I think I blushed. ;--)
Regarding how to set your (potential) BMW up for winter, I know many around here might disagree with me, however, IMHO, unless you live in the Canadian Rockies you don't really have a need for the AWD "xi" option. So, in my opinion, you should go for the RWD "i" model, and then "buy" a little extra "piece of mind" from TireRack.com (or your favorite tire dealer), and for less money than the "xi" option no less. When I said "buy", I meant that you should buy some winter tires, which in many ways will more than offset the capabilities of AWD.
Said another way, all "xi" models are equipped with All-Season tires from the factory. If you take two otherwise identical E90s, one with the "xi" option and OEM tires, and the second with the "i" option and equip it with Winter tires, the results under most circumstances should be the following:
- The AWD car should accelerate through deep snow and on ice a little faster than the RWD car.
- The RWD car should handle better in the snow and on ice
- The RWD car should stop shorter in the snow and on ice
Some folks might be surprised by the above; however, it is actually quite logical. That the AWD car will accelerate faster is really no surprise, however, that the RWD car will turn and stop quicker is due to three things:
1) The RWD car weighs less than the AWD car, which means less mass to lug around.
2) The RWD car has tires that are much better suited to the purpose of winter driving than the OEM All-Season tires.
3) The DSC (Dynamic Skid Control) system is there to keep the car in line if you are a little over zealous with your turns or find yourself stopping with one side of the car in snow and the other on glare ice.
Item #3 sort of answers your last question, yes, my 530i (and every other BMW sold here since the mid to late 1990s) had a traction control system called DSC. Regarding your tire choices; from the factory you effectively have the choice of two types of tires, depending upon which model you order and whether you order the Sport Package in conjunction with the RWD "i" model. In short, the base "i", and all versions of the "xi" get All-Season rubber, while the SP version of the "i" get upgraded three season high performance tires. The problem with All-Season tires is that they are very much a compromise. Their traction capabilities are sorta kinda okay in the summer, and they are also sorta kinda okay in snowy conditions as long as the roads are flat and smooth and there isn't too much snow. The fact is that they will not perform as well in the warmer months as will the performance tires, and they will not perform as well in the colder months as will winter tires, and that difference in performance might just be the extra margin you need to avoid a serious situation if someone else does something that might be called "ill advised."
I live in snowy New Hampshire, we've had nearly 300 inches of snow up here since we move here 2.5 years ago, and trust me, roads around here are anything but straight and flat. So, with that in mind, how am I going to order my E90? Simple, I'm ordering a 330i with the Sport Package, and then I'm ordering a winter wheel/tire package from TireRack well before the first snow flies.
I hope this helps.
#1811 of 7013 Re: AWD or RWD [shipo]
Apr 05, 2005 (6:48 am)
It helps a lot. I too am planning on getting the E90 with the Sport Package, so I will most likely explore the after market winter tires. Since I live in an area that doesn't see a lot of icy / snowy conditions, I thought the XI may be going overboard. But wanted to be sure that I wasn't off my rocker (even though my shrink says I am) . . .
#1812 of 7013 Re: AWD or RWD [shipo]
Apr 05, 2005 (7:35 am)
I've had two 3-series simultaneously (one with AWD and one with RWD). I am not sure if 330i with similar tire setup as 330xi is noticeably better in handling/braking. How fast will you be trying to turn on ice anyway? I've had trouble climbing up icy/wet hills with RWD w/snow tires. I will tell you that AWD with regular all seasons is better than RWD w/snow tires in snow/ice. My suggestion to folks living with a lot of snow/ice is that they should get the AWD and get snow tires for winter. Nothing beats that combination. Having said that, I think most of us really don't need that setup. In fact RWD with all seasons and traction control is good enough to get by in most parts of country, IMO. But as far as extra cost is concerned, an extra set of nice wheel/tire combo should cost almost as much as the AWD option. Feel free to disagree.
#1813 of 7013 Re: AWD or RWD [davidc1]
Apr 05, 2005 (8:17 am)
I have no doubt that an AWD car with winter tires will climb/accelerate significantly better than a RWD car with the same tires. And as I posted before, the AWD car with All-Season rubber will climb/accelerate slightly better than the RWD car with winter tires. The fact is that my street is a seven and a half percent grade and my driveway is a ten percent grade, and my RWD 530i would easily plow its way up both with six to eight inches of snow covering them. Of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention that there are a couple of driveways in our neighborhood that are probably more like a twenty percent grade (at least they sure look that way), and my 530i could not climb them unless they were dry. Then again, each of those families have AWD cars and/or 4WD trucks, and as a rule, they park on the street after a snow since they cannot get up either.
As for cost, well, I paid $1,007 for my set of winter alloy wheels and tires (and I suspect that I'll be able to recover about half of that based upon the prices I'm seeing winter wheel sets go for on eBay), including shipping, I don't know what the "xi" option costs but I'm betting that it is a little more than that.
The flip side to all of this is that if you want the full Sport Package, you cannot have the "xi" anyway, so it's kind of a moot point. In the warmer months, there is absolutely no comparison between an "i" with SP and an "xi". None, zero, zip, nada.
#1814 of 7013 BMW E90 Touring will be here soon!!!
Apr 05, 2005 (8:39 am)
See the site above. The intro of the E90 Touring will be Nov 05. This is earlier than I had expected, in fact 365 days earlier.
For the rare soon-to-be touring buyer like myself--this is FANTASTIC NEWS.
Hopefully by November there will be a xi version. I agree with Shipo about the importance of snow tires. In my case AWD makes sense since I want to keep my car for many years in the future. If you add the cost of snow tires + storage costs(I live in mid-town Toronto and storage space is a scarcity), the extra cost of AWD does not look too bad.
#1815 of 7013 Re: test drive? [m4d_cow]
Apr 05, 2005 (9:50 am)
Theres a Diesel car in the US ? Or your on vacation in Europe somewhere ?
#1816 of 7013 Re: BMW E90 Touring will be here soon!!! [dewey]
Apr 05, 2005 (10:03 am)
Dewey, from another forum.
325XIT begins production 09/05. The (non-awd) will begin in 05/06. No mention of a 330XIT.
#1817 of 7013 Re: AWD or RWD [shipo]
Apr 05, 2005 (10:36 am)
The price difference, at the moment, appears to be roughly $1000 (little less for 325, little more for 330). And you are right about the SP, can't get it in xi. That's why my second 3 had to be RWD.
#1818 of 7013 Going to the 3AA next Monday
Apr 05, 2005 (2:03 pm)
do you guys want me to look at anything in particular; or just tell you about all the pushing and shoving. As you know by now, I will only be allowed to imagine driving it. If I'm really lucky, & shove enough people, I might be able to sit in it. In fact, I am thinking of going to the Dallas Auto Show to see if I can be a further public disrupter. Keep you posted.
#1819 of 7013 Re: Going to the 3AA next Monday [planoml]
Apr 05, 2005 (2:30 pm)
Well, I hope since we have cars on order, A few seconds seat time will be permitted.Seeya at the Ranch