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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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  • While technically, at this moment in time, there are a few ultra high performance cars that are not AWD, I suspect I should say "generally speaking" or the "spirit" of what I was saying pertaining to AWD high performance vehicles is up for little argument.

    Perhaps the absolute pinnacle is RWD at the quantities and price points such cars as a GT2 suggest.

    Although the prices of some of the lesser Porsches that are both HP and AWD are still quite high, I understand that your point is that my statement was not literally or technically correct but I remain steadfast that more and more cars that are selected as "daily" drivers even at these price points are both very high performance and AWD.

    AWD is making huge sales inroads (both in dollars and in sheer numbers, units sold, that is) and remains one of the fastest growing segments -- now that it is no longer "just trucks" that offer these systems.

    BMW of America and its customers are the beneficiaries of this trend.

    Moreover, "performance" is improved with AWD in the mind of most consumers (who rarely if ever actually take their cars to tracks or enter them in any kind of competitions, etc.)

    The popularity will only improve the breed of Sport oriented Premium / Luxury cars. We've already seen this effect in the entire segment edmunds calls LPS cars -- of course it is already making its way both downstream AND upstream.

    The addition of two more driven wheels, I suspect and predict, will become ubiquitous and it will be seen to be a convenience, luxury, performance and safety "content" item. AWD is the the "power steering" of this decade.

    Only a few will not offer this feature seems to be the way this is heading.

    The addition of AWD to BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Acura, Lexus, Infiniti, Cadillac and Chrysler (not to mention Jaguar and Mazda) is just the beginning.

    Although I wouldn't go so far in the very near future to predict the majority of BMW's 5 will be xdrive, I do think "it could happen."

    Of course, as usual, most of this is just my opinion, I could very well be wrong, just not uncertain. :shades:
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    In addition to the white stuff, I like AWD in rain, particularly in hydroplaning situations and accelerating on wet winding roads. If they market it accordingly they might pick up some warm-weather sales but I don't think they will be significant. On dry roads the only advantage I see is in exiting high-speed corners. I think there could be some benefits in straight-line acceleration, but the dynamics there are very convoluted. Actually, the dynamics are convoluted everywhere when considering there are differences in AWD systems.

    Just as a matter of discussion, comparable 911s with and without AWD are very close in straight-line acceleration, an approximate .1 sec edge going to the RWD version. Weight advantage is considered the difference.

    One thing that seems elusive is assimilating the difference in systems. I think it is very difficult to compare them. You really have to drive them in all conditions which is virtually impossible, and consider the tires to boot.
  • FYI - Check out the latest issue of Bimmer, for articles on the AWD 530xi, etc....
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Well, I can tell you that having had both the "xi" (330xi) and now the "i" (545i with SP) that the 545i with snows is just about as good as the 330xi was with all-season tires. That's in real-world experience. Now, I don't know if I'm a better driver in the snow than most based on growing up in the northeast, and going to college in Vermont, but I was shocked at how good the 545i with snows handled the white stuff. I can barely get it so slip at all. I haven't had any problems in thr rain with either performance tires or snows on the 545. I used to be a Saab driver because I though FWD was much better in the snow, but then went to AWD. Wanting better performance and a bigger car I took a chance switching to RWD (I wanted to stay with BMW). I was actually really nervous that come winter I would regret the decision. Happily, I didn't at all. I wouldn't say I'm committed to RWD, but I will say that with snows and with an experienced snow driver it would be hard to say the 330xi offered even a noticeable difference in the snow.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    You covered the acceleration issue in your post, however, there is the braking issue as well. The 330xi with the All-Season rubber is most likely incapable of stopping as well as your 545i with winter rubber when in the slippery stuff.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    True, I did forget to mention that. I definitely agree though. Wow, in glancing over my previous post I'm surprised you could read it with all of the typing errors! Anyway, another thing I forgot to mention was that BMW has always been reluctant to enter the AWD market, and is going into it now somewhat kicking and screaming. I'm sure cost and mechanical complexity have a lot to do with it, but also they simply seem committed to the performance characteristics of RWD cars. This is probably why they offer more limited options like AWD without a true sports package. I think they feel that AWD with SP is a somewhat paradoxical thing to want!
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    Get the 550 and put some serious snows on it.

    I drove today in a Boston area snow storm that was not big (roughly 6+") but it started as slush. So underfoot it was very slippery. Subarus and SUVs were skidding around corners at every intersection. This year I just bought Dunlop Winter Sport M3s for my '03 530 non-SP. I have to say that they were VERY good given the circumstances. I never felt once like I was losing control. In fact at one point after coming across a cars stalled and slipping trying to go up a hill, I did a U-turn just before them without a problem.

    If you have a job that requires a lot of travel with your car then maybe the 530xi makes sense. Otherwise get the 550. If you want a little better ice/slush performance get the Blizzaks.
  • Someone must know, but it seems to me that Winter Tires are "mandatory" in Germany and cars have stickers on their rear bumpers indicating the "winter" speed they are rated for.

    Further the driver has a smaller version of the sticker inside the car, I presume to remind the driver, "I'm OK at 100kph."

    Now I will really test my memory: I was in northern Austria driving an Audi A4 quattro with 4 winter tires with studs -- the sticker said 80kph -- which is about 50 mph. The area was very well plowed but still had plenty of snow covering the highways and secondary roads.

    80kph seemed fine.

    Other cars had lower and higher kph stickers.

    Maybe this is Austrian, not German -- or maybe it is an agreement between Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

    Try getting most Americans to switch to winter tires -- can you say protest?

    I am not a proponent of government telling us what to do -- but this may be like airbags, seatbelts and other such things that actually do help the common good and probably would lower both insruance and medical costs.

    I use all season tires on a quattro -- but Cincinnati has so little snow and what snow we have rarely sticks around long.

    Don't go by me, then.

    And I resubmit the question: does BMW offer a sport package on any xdrive offerings other than the X3? Anywhere?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,395
    BMW does offer a true Sport Package on the X5s (Seats, Wheels, Steering Wheel, Suspension...) with the exception that the said upgraded wheels come shod with all season tires (instead of summer performance tires).

    You both make excellent points. I happen to agree with shipo 100% about RWDs superior attributes.

    Mark - a lot of what you say makes sense. Manufacturers have to offer AWD and it is a great money maker for them. I know someone who was on a waiting list for a new S Class Mercedes. The dealer called him up the day it was realeased and asked if he wanted it. He specified he wanted AWD (so did every other person on thew list), so they've got a few new S550s that aren't sold sitting on their lot.

    I think cost is a major factor as well. BMW charges you a $2200 premium for the X-drive on a 530xi. They charge and additional $2300 for the Sport Package on a 530i. That's almost 5 grand in options before you start adding other goodies. There might not be a market for it. People feel they MUST HAVE AWD for the few days a year it snows around here. They look at me like I have 4 heads when I tell them I put Snow tires on my car.

    AWD is good for BMWs bottom line though. The more profit they make off AWD 3s, 5s, & SUVs gives them more money to cater towards the enthusiast market with M cars, the 550i 6 speed, performance packages, and maybe bringing the 1 series to our shores :shades:

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • I found this at another 5 series chat site - check it out for 2007 MY 5 series production and changes....(I guess the dealer here was telling the truth after all!!)....

    http://forums.e60.net/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=18507
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I have to wonder if that will be available as a retrofit on current 5's, 6's, and 7's.

    That'd be a great safety feature for driving in fog at night as well.

    -Paul
  • I have a sport X3 and I love it (my wife's car, actually.)

    I was wondering about the sedan Bimmers, the 3 and 5 in X-drive guise -- anywhere in the world does BMW sell these with what we know and love (on the RWD versions) as a sport package?
  • Mikeroch,

    I hesitantly got the HUD on my 2006 530xi because I thought it would be a little-used gizmo feature, but I am VERY glad I got it. I use it all the time, especially with the Navigation system. Even when I am not using Navi it is very useful to have speed, alerts, and cruise control info displayed right in front of you. It works extremely well -- bright enough in all lighting -- and is definitely a very good safety feature. I find that I almost never look down at the dashboard anymore.

    Needless to say, I highly recommend getting it.
  • Other than engine size are there any significant differences? My GF, with my encouragement, is widening her search from the Lexus GS. Of course I want her to get the 530 (or 550!), but she may want to save 4 grand for the 525....grr....women! or at least my woman!
  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    I haven't compared the standard equipment v. options on the 525/530, but in the past BMW has typically made some features "standard" on the more expensive model that were options on the less expensive one. You might want to check what features you had in mind for a 525 to see if they are standard on the 530, perhaps "narrowing" that $4k gap.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,623
    Xenons, for instance... standard on the 530i..

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  • The 18" optional run flat sport pkg tires are said by BMW to be "not recommended for winter driving".

    We are looking at a 530xi and would like the sport pkg, but don't really want to have to swap tires each spring and fall.....Since the car is AWD, would it be possible to drive in winter (snow, etc...) on the sport pkg tires??

    Any comments, experiences, advice....is appreciated (as usual).

    Thanks.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,623
    I don't think you get summer tires on the Xi models, even with the Sport Package.. They still come with all-seasons..

    It is only the RWD models that come with summer tires..

    Unless something has changed recently...

    regards,
    kyfdx
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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,623
    Does the 530Xi Sport Package even include 18" wheels? I thought that was only on the RWD model.. I think the 530Xi Sport Package is just seats and steering wheel?

    regards,
    kyfdx
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  • In Canada, the sport package for the 530xi does include 18" wheels and performance tires. (Our options, packages, etc. are different than in the US - I have looked at your BMW web site previously and noted this).

    Thanks.
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