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BMW 335d 2009+

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Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    I think FWD is highly over rated on snow. I had a 1970 & 76 Datsun PU with weight in back plus an extended Dodge Van all RWD that out performed both my 1973 Subaru FWD and my 1978 Honda Accord FWD in deep snow. My 1967 VW Bug outperformed them all in snow by far.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Especially when you go uphill---FWD becomes problematic.

    A heavy RWD car with 4 snow tires and a good driver can be very effective in snow, as long as it isn't too deep of course.

    MODERATOR

  • nopcbsnopcbs Posts: 43
    Let's not get carried away with the FWD bashing here, folks. Everything else being equal, the FWD car WILL do better on snow (by that I mean start moving and then keep going) than a RWD car. (OK, maybe not when you are going up steep hill, but your RWD car is not going to do well in that circumstance, either.)

    The weight of the engine over the drive wheels helps a lot vs. a RWD car. That's why Beetles did well (plus their light weight, overall) in snow. Plus Beetles had skinny tires to keep the pounds per square inch of contact relatively high.

    Where FWD cars have trouble is they tend to have low ground clearance, especially compared to trucks, SUV's, and even many RWD cars. The low ground clearance means they become plows when the snow gets just a little deep.

    The combination of RWD plus traction control plus snow tires just about equals the combination of FWD plus traction cntrol plus decent all-season tires, in my experience. Both are darned good...until the snow gets very deep.

    - Geo
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "The combination of RWD plus traction control plus snow tires just about equals the combination of FWD plus traction cntrol plus decent all-season tires, in my experience."

    I disagree. I think the RWD with dedicated snow tires will beat the FWD with all-season tires every time.

    I also frequently turn traction/stability control off.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I've found that in extreme conditions, a FWD car shod with snow tires and driven backwards up a hill is almost unbeatable by anything shy of an AWD vehicle. :)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    The combination of RWD plus traction control plus snow tires just about equals the combination of FWD plus traction cntrol plus decent all-season tires, in my experience. Both are darned good...until the snow gets very deep.

    Most of my driving in snow included rather steep hills. None had traction control at that time. The 73 Subaru would start bouncing in about 3 inches of snow on the slightest hill. Then pop out of gear. Very frustrating car. The 78 Accord would drift around and very difficult to keep going straight. My partners Saab at the time was very good. So I just wrote it off as poor Japanese engineering. Not to mention the horrible dealers involved.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    The reason there is so much variation in experience with RWD/FWD is because the factor of the driver is such a substantial part of the equation.

    I'd feel fully confident in a 335D in heavy snow conditions and wouldn't hesitate to take it anywhere. But I'd have 4 snows on it.

    MODERATOR

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    Experience does play a big role. I did a lot of off roading prior to moving to Alaska. I was very aware of how easy it is to get stuck even with a 4X4. We also ran 4 studded tires during the 1970s & 80s, all winter long. I did not own a 4WD in Alaska until 1988.

    I did not test drive the 335D when I was trying out the X5 diesel. Just not my cup of tea. I would say from what friends have told me RWD BMWs handle very well on ice which is the most dangerous.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    I would think any engine that gives lots of torque at very low RPMs would be great for snow, as you could lug it around without having to shift too often or rev high to get off the line. Just ease out the clutch at idle and putt off into the snow!

    MODERATOR

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,697
    "Just ease out the clutch at idle and putt off into the snow! "

    This might not be true in the US market's BMW 335 D's case as it currently only comes in 6 speed automatic.

    However on those diesels with 6 speed manuals, that is truly one of the well kept secrets. The TREMENDOUS torque at low rpms, literally make driving a manual effortless and also since one can engage the clutch at almost stall rpms, this cuts down the wear considerably. (It helps of course if one knows this and applies the knowledge accordingly.)
  • Huh? Dropping the clutch at idle, and it won't stall? Don't you mean 1st gear? That is a great tip, but unfortunately BMW is not bring out the 335d with a manual to the US market. They had claimed that the manual transmission can't handle all that torque. I wonder how the manual transmission is handling all that torque over in Europe. Doesn't make sense.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As far as I know, the 335d isn't available anywhere in the world with a manual transmission. Yes, no?

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Actually that's okay. I always felt the best combination for a diesel car was a turbo automatic.

    MODERATOR

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,697
    1st gear yes. Well, obviously he misspoke, So I just connected the dots. :surprise:

    It would appear that BMW in effect "cheaped out". The torque (300 - 405
    # ft ) between the 335 I and the 335D is app 105 # ft MORE, add to that an additional safety factor, and you are probably talking a radical redesign, aka higher cost. Not even the 550I - 5 series V-8 has 405# ft (360 # ft only- only is way oxymoronic in this application)

    So for as many as they anticipated selling, a 6 speed manual option probably makes no economic sense.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    It makes no sense to market this car as a manual transmission in the USA anyway IMO. I think BMW made the right move here.

    MODERATOR

  • nopcbsnopcbs Posts: 43
    You're right, of course. The overwhelming majority of BMW's sold in the US are automatics. BMW was even reluctant to sell their current M cars with a manual option and had to be talked into it by US enthusiasts who wanted it...and some dealers as an image need.

    BMW used to be a very sporting brand in the US, but that was long ago and now they are one of the brands for the affluent who are just buying a sporty image, but don't really like to drive very much...or have a clue how to drive a manual.

    Not all, mind you, but (given the number who want an automatic when they can have a manual) certainly most. BMW knows their market. It's another reason we will not see the 1-Series hatch here...unless they need the EPA numbers. Image.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    As far as I know, the 335d isn't available anywhere in the world with a manual transmission. Yes, no?

    Yes, indeed. ;)

    Regards,
    Jose
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Last week I (again) drove uphill my 335d with Bridgestone Potenza RFT summer tires for a few miles on up to 5 inches of fresh snow.

    To do so, I switched off the traction control (but not the sliding one) as recommended in the BMW manual. To start moving from a full stop, it was enough to put the stick in D mode or M mode and release the brake pedal. Torque was tamed. Too much pressure on the accelerator then or afterwards and the rear end could start to sideslip, though it was easy to control the sliding. With snow tires I don't feel it would be difficult to drive safely a 335d on snow for more long distances — provided enough ground clearance.

    Here is some pics of the car (in a parking lot free of snow above of the snowed road)

    image

    image

    image

    Regards,
    Jose
  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    Great photos -- a haunted treescape. Where were they taken?
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Where were they taken?

    In the parking lot of the entrance to Pont d'Espagne. Pont d'Espagne is a mountain pass (by foot) between France and Spain. It belongs to the Central Pyrenees National Park which extends itself on both sides of the border. Closer villages to Pont d'Espagne are Cauterets in France and Panticosa in Spain.

    You may see more pics of the place in my CarSpace Albums:

    April Snow (2009)

    Central Pyrenees 2007

    Here is some example from there

    image

    image

    Regards,
    Jose
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