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BMW 3-Series - AWD or RWD?

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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The fact is though, you were very well acquainted with the feel of your 330xi before driving the 330i, and as such it felt different. I submit that if you had spent equal time in both cars, your opinion might be different.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,401
    That is true. I might have opted for the 330i feel over the xi considering 28K miles. So the least I can say is that I can glean a great driving experience despite the added weight and the less nimble steering feel.

    But I did the test drive in the RWD 330. The drive out after delivery of my car did not dissapoint.

    Said another way, I do not regret the choice I made because the car is exceptional over the lesser performance of others I have driven. After last Thursday's storm, there is usefulness to the ~$2,000 I spent on the added power patches of the front wheels.

    The 2005 Infinity G coupe just wasn't as refined given it's outstanding handling and power upon my test drive.

    I agree it the xi is not an enthusiast car. I accept that as a given.

    Regards,
    OW
  • I test drove a 328xi auto non-SP last week and was surprisingly disappointed. First thing, I found the 3 kind of sluggish. I had driven a manual 330i in the past and didn't find it sluggish at all. I guess 25 less horse power, plus the x's added weight and the auto made a big difference. Also I drove the 3 right after I test drove a G35x - that might be another reason. I later remembered reading that the "sport" mode makes the 328 a lot more responsive. I'm going to try that when I go for the test drive again.

    The second thing was, quite surprisingly, I felt that the steering wasn't as responsive as I expected either! A long time ago I owned an E36 and I clearly remembered the feel of the steering a lot more responsive and communicative. It was in fact very addictive - every little movement would produce a crisp, accurate response. Didn't find it that way this time! Would it have anything at all do with xi? When I go for the test drive again, I'm going to try the 328i. Do I need to go for a sports package to get that kind of steering response now - would the wider tires make the difference?

    The reason I'm looking at the xi is so that I can reduce the "swap" of the tires to just one, if at all (RFT to GFT). Otherwise I need to swap once for the GFT and once more for snow tires. This is the impression I gathered after going thru various posts here about the RFT issues.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,886
    I agree it the xi is not an enthusiast car. I accept that as a given.

    I wouldn't go that far; what I would say is that the xi is a competent sports sedan, but it's not the purest driving machine in Munich's stable. As redsoxgirl noted, an xi is superior to many RWD cars offered by other marques.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,886
    I test drove a 328xi auto non-SP last week and was surprisingly disappointed. First thing, I found the 3 kind of sluggish. I had driven a manual 330i in the past and didn't find it sluggish at all. I guess 25 less horse power, plus the x's added weight and the auto made a big difference.

    I spent a fair amount of time in both a 328i and a 335i convertible. The stick is a must-have for the 328i. The slushbox in the 335i is more sophisticated AND has much more hp to work with.

    A long time ago I owned an E36 and I clearly remembered the feel of the steering a lot more responsive and communicative. It was in fact very addictive - every little movement would produce a crisp, accurate response.

    Yes, one R&T writer once said that when you drove an E36 it felt like you were holding on to the tie rods. Which is why I've held on to my E36 ever since I bought it new a bit over 12 years ago.

    Didn't find it that way this time! Would it have anything at all do with xi?

    Yes. On top of that, BMW continues to build a bit more isolation -as well as excessive weight- into almost all of their newer cars. Remember, BMW "wearers" don't like to be reminded that they are actually operating a vehicle. In my opinion, the Sport Package suspension on the E90/92 is not much more aggressive than the standard suspension of the E30 and E36.

    Do I need to go for a sports package to get that kind of steering response now - would the wider tires make the difference?

    It will definitely help, but you'll probably have to move up to an M car to get the steering feel you remember so fondly.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • cbanct,

    Thanks for the link. It looks like the aftermarket suspension does what is claimed, although I couldn't tell if he added that to a RWD or AWD car.

    What would be interesting is to start with two 328 cars, one a RWD without sport, and the other an AWD, both with the same wheels and tires, and then add the performance suspension to both and do comparison driving.

    Bruce
  • FWIW,

    I just recently read the press release for the new X6. The info on the twin turbo V8 was drawing a lot of attention, but I also noted they are touting a new capability in the X-drive called Dynamic Performance Control. It sounds like the purpose is to increase performance vice versatility.

    Of relevance to this thread, I will be curious to see if Dynamic Performance Control migrates to the Xi sedans.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,401
    I would be extremely surprised if it does not. It is the next logical step in what I would call advanced chassis management. I assume this will take at least a year to show up in the SUV's/sedans.

    Regards,
    OW
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Hey, that's great news for BMW. They've finally come up with an AWD system that matches the capabilities of GM's 7 year-old VersaTrak system. :surprise:
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Probably more a combination of SH-AWD and Quadra-Drive.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,401
    One driven wheel on a BMW is highly advanced compared to anything from GM. :)

    Regards,
    OW
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    In all seriousness though, it does sound like a great advancement.

    The part I don't understand is the "overrun" part of the description. Something about applying torque even when coasting? Is it designed to prevent lift-throttle oversteer?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,401
    Sounds like you hit it right. In addition, the system is designed for RWD AND AWD.

    I am looking forward to your take and the others on this forum who know the difference between past, current and this new tech. Will it improve performance and chassis dynamics without inhibiting preferred steering feel?

    It sounds good to me but I like this stuff. The current x-drive really impresses me so it reads as an improvement to me. I am interested to hear from everyone.

    Suited for all engines and drive trains.

    The special highlight of this unique development by BMW is that for the first time this system is able to actively distribute drive forces not only in the overrun mode and with the clutch disengaged. As a result, Dynamic Performance Control is suited for both standard and all-wheel drive.


    I'd call it an Intelligent LSD. :surprise:

    Regards,
    OW
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Too intelligent, if you ask me.

    A BMW without lift-throttle oversteer? You might as well buy a Buick.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,886
    A BMW without lift-throttle oversteer? You might as well buy a Buick.

    I wish some BMW buyers WOULD buy Buicks; maybe Munich would once again focus on their core enthusiast audience.
    But I'm sure not holding my breath... :sick:

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,401
    I wish some BMW buyers WOULD buy Buicks; maybe Munich would once again focus on their core enthusiast audience.
    But I'm sure not holding my breath...

    If the X-6 is an example and the premonition of x-drive in the 7 series, it doesn't look good for that wish to come true...ever!

    Regards,
    OW
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,886
    A 2007 X5 to be precise; it's the loaner my dealer gave me while they were changing the ATF and final drive fluids on my wife's X3. The big sled is very comfortable and handles reasonably well, but it sure isn't my cup of tea. More Buick than BMW, in my opinion...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,401
    Let me know what you think after driving the new M. That MIGHT do it for you.

    Regards,
    OW
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,886
    As I noted in the X3 topic, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cost of servicing the AT and TC came to just $207, and I plan to continue servicing the drivetrain at @60K intervals. That said, I was glad to get the X3 back. I found it more enjoyable to drive than the X5.

    Let me know what you think after driving the new M

    I fervently hope BMW doesn't offer an ///M version of any of their trucks. At the 2001 press introduction of the 4.6is, BMW officials said that the ///M badge would be reserved for cars fitted with high performance engines and manual transmissions. May it ever be so...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,401
    No, I meant the new M3. I'd like to see your capsule review after a test drive.

    Regards,
    OW
  • I wish some BMW buyers WOULD buy Buicks; maybe Munich would once again focus on their core enthusiast audience.

    Interesting proposition- BMW could cause something like this to happen by dropping AWD, making the sport suspension standard, and dropping the AT in favor of only a MT or SMG /DSG.

    I wonder what that would do to BMW's business model, and competitiveness in the marketplace.

    If, for example, BMW did drop AWD, then my guess is people who want that would buy an AWD Audi or Infiniti, maybe Lexus, before they would consider a RWD BMW.

    Bruce
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,401
    If, for example, BMW did drop AWD, then my guess is people who want that would buy an AWD Audi or Infiniti, maybe Lexus, before they would consider a RWD BMW.

    Exactly. They are ADDING all wheel drive to more and more models. No worries about that ever happening. ;)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    In this market, they would commit business suicide by not offering AWD. The handwriting is on the wall in this segment. For the upper segments such as the 550 and 750 it an interesting proposition. My guess is all mainstream manufacturers will be offering AWD across their entire product line.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,401
    KDS, agree 100%. The trend will not be the opposite.

    Although a huge problem for others, I see nothing wrong with AWD. I can do wonders with this car and not in the least bothered by the different steering feel. I have no problem with RWD and I have been driving 3,500-3,800 lb. RWD/FWD cars for the last 20 years now but this car is unbelievably better compared to the past premium US brands. Yes, the CTS is finally a contender but I can't look at the thing! I should have tried an E46 a few years back but I never would have opted for the E36 since it was too small for me. My favorite past BMW is the 635i but the 2003 M5 still a beautiful machine to me. So, as you can see, the bloated 3'er fits my weight class!

    Regards,
    OW
  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    I've been away from the forums for a few weeks as I felt I needed a life after dark, which is around 4:15 PM here in the Northeast. Speaking of which, we've had three snowstorms within a week. In all, over 20" of snow.

    We have a '95 318ti RWD (I think you call it an E46?) and a 2007 335 xi (E90?). We had both cars pulled way forward in a 75' driveway to allow for the plow guy. Well, the plow guy hadn't appeared by morning, so we decided to move the cars out of the way. The 318ti was "fronted in" and the 335xi was backed in (like it makes any difference!).

    I shoveled my way to the 335xi door, climbed in and drove out like it was mid-summer. (This was over 10" of unplowed snow.) I have 225 45R17 all-season tires on all corners. It really was no problem. No slippage, no DSC warning.

    Then I tried my wife's 318ti. Even with the "dry" spot where my car was, the RWD 318ti slipped and spun (with Toyo snows at all 4 corners) like a wild-car. I had to rock it and rev it high between R and 2nd to eventually get it out, not without risk to person and property.

    I have been repeatedly amazed by the handling and power on tap of the 335xi. When I put the hammer down, it reminds me of driving my first motorcycle and realizing that I better hang on tight lest the vehicle take offf on it's own.

    As long as I'm in the Northeast, I doubt I'll ever go back to RWD, not when I can get the power, handling and worry-free driving in any conditions.

    Having said that, I'd like to give my wife the 335xi, and get the M3 for myself next year. Maybe they'll deliver the M3 with AWD (GASP!!!!). I would love it, but I'm not sure how AWD would handle 414 hp.

    AWD rocks!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    First off, your 1995 318i is an E36. ;)

    As for your rendition of how hard it was to move your 318i, hmmm, it doesn't even remotely jive with how my winter tire shod RWD 530i was to move up our driveway (and by up I mean up a 9% grade), even with snow up over the doorsills. No spinning of wheel, no fishtailing of the rear of the car, no nuthin. Could it be that your Toyos are a bit worn out?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,401
    Having said that, I'd like to give my wife the 335xi, and get the M3 for myself next year. Maybe they'll deliver the M3 with AWD (GASP!!!!). I would love it, but I'm not sure how AWD would handle 414 hp.

    You are set up perfectly for an M3! You would need to forget about it in the winter and become a 335xi family!

    414 HP is a no-brainer for AWD...check out the Porsche Turbo or the new Nissan GT-R. Loads of HP all buttoned down by AWD traction.

    Perhaps the new 2009 X-6 is the harbinger of that M3 AWD dream...

    Regards,
    OW
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,886
    hmmm, it doesn't even remotely jive with how my winter tire shod RWD 530i was to move up our driveway (and by up I mean up a 9% grade), even with snow up over the doorsills. No spinning of wheel, no fishtailing of the rear of the car, no nuthin.

    That's been my experience as well. My wife had a 1998 318ti that we fitted with Artic Alpins every winter. I used to disable the DSC and drive it in the nasty stuff with no problems whatsoever. Ditto for her 1997 528i. As for my 1995 Club Sport, it never sees ice or snow due to the fact that if some imbecile ran into it I'd wind up doing 20-Life for murder... That said, if all you want to do is geeze out and cruise through the nasty stuff without tapping into your reserve of driving talent, my wife's X3 truck is perfect. The Pirelli P Zero Nero M+S tires I fitted do an excellent job in the dry, wet, and wintry stuff. It even handles well enough that a Mustang GT that tried to keep up with it on a decreasing radius on-ramp came REAL close to kissing the guardrail.
    An early Christmas present from the Bavarian elves... :D
    Speaking of Christmas presents, I just found out that my old M6 is for sale:
    image
    Maybe my wife will think it just followed me home... ;)

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Oh NICE ride. :shades:
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,886
    Oh NICE ride.

    Thanks! It is oh so tempting to bring it home again, but my wife would kill me...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

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