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Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans

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Comments

  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    You can also look at the Subaru Legacy, it's a nice car, not up to the level of an A4 or a BMW but it's AWD system is tough to beat.
    That said if you run good snows on a FWD you will be fine 90% of the time. By GOOD snow tires I mean Nokian tires the RSi's or at minimum the WR.
    I have an older Subaru WRX and it has Nokian WR's all around for the winter even with AWD.
    For any of the FWD in snow and ice the RSi is a safer bet for when it's really nasty. These are great tires especially with AWD.
    Here is a link
    http://www.nokiantires.com/en/DEFAULT.ASPX
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    My recommendation is AWD for you if you are not a driving enthusiast and safety is utmost on your list. The extra grip is awesome in the rain/snow/ice. If you said you vacation in Virginia on South, you could opt out of all wheel drive.

    Put another way, if I was in your place, 328xi for me (you may become an enthusiast, although some would say "with training wheels :shades: ). Coupe for 2 sedan for 3 or more! The coupe is a beauty, IMHO.

    My recommended manufacturer is Subaru if you can't swing the bimmer.

    Regards,
    OW
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Safety?

    Ummm, I beg to differ. Virtually everyone on this board would be better served (and have a safer car) by buying a RWD car and a set of winter wheels and tires. To take it one step further, investing in a driving class would make the combination of the car and the driver safer still. With the above in mind, the only significant advantage that an AWD equipped car would have (like for like tires and drivers) when the roads are slippery is accelerating from a dead stop and climbing a steep hill. The RWD car would stop better and in most cases turn better too.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Virtually everyone on this board would be better served (and have a safer car) by buying a RWD car and a set of winter wheels and tires.

    But not as easy to control as an AWD vehicle with winter tires.

    With the above in mind, the only significant advantage that an AWD equipped car would have (like for like tires and drivers) when the roads are slippery is accelerating from a dead stop and climbing a steep hill.

    That is the easiest, most obvious one, and given how well they clear streets in my area, a very important one.

    The RWD car would stop better and in most cases turn better too.

    Stopping is based on the co-efficient of friction. Two cars of the same weight and same tires should stop in roughly the same distance.
    I disagree with the turning thing. The whole idea is if you give a driven wheel too much to do, it transfers the power to another wheel. The Legacy corners much better in the snow than the Accord (which is FWD) or the Volvo (RWD).
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Based on my experience with this AWD 330xi, it is safer in my opinion, than the RWD version. With the same tires, the 335i lit up the traction control several times in the rain taking the exact same turns with the same driver and exact same tires and speed. Yes, the TT's are a difference but traction is lost easier. That is my experience. BTW, it rains in the summer so snows would only help, well, when it snows. At the end of the day, it serves me well.

    Regards,
    OW
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "But not as easy to control as an AWD vehicle with winter tires."

    That is a highly debatable statement. That said, most folks who opt for AWD do so instead of opting for RWD and winter tires. There are plenty of studies that prove that a RWD car shod with winter tires is far more safe than an otherwise identical AWD car shod with All-Season rubber.

    "Stopping is based on the co-efficient of friction. Two cars of the same weight and same tires should stop in roughly the same distance."

    Yes, however, since the AWD variant of every car now on the road that has AWD as an option weighs more, it will not stop as fast, regardless of the conditions. Add the disparity in traction between a RWD car with winter rubber compared to an AWD one with factory tires and the advantage for the RWD car is even more significant.

    "I disagree with the turning thing. The whole idea is if you give a driven wheel too much to do, it transfers the power to another wheel."

    That kind of actually proves my point. In the case of the RWD car, the wheels asked to turn the car are responsible for one thing, turning the car. The wheels that are responsible for motivating the car also have one thing to do, motivate the car.

    "The Legacy corners much better in the snow than the Accord (which is FWD)..."

    No surprise there. Apples to oranges on one hand, and an understeering FWD sled on the other.

    "...or the Volvo (RWD)."

    No surprise there either. Once again you're talking apples to oranges.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "Based on my experience with this AWD 330xi, it is safer in my opinion, than the RWD version. With the same tires, the 335i lit up the traction control several times in the rain taking the exact same turns with the same driver and exact same tires and speed."

    A couple of things:
    1) Sorry, not buying about the "exact same turns with the same driver and exact same tires and speed" comment. Why? First off, if you weren't accelerating then the traction control light would never have lit, so, that means that you were accelerating. Like it or not, I seriously doubt that the vast majority of individuals who regularly drive a 330xi can exactly modulate the throttle pedal of a 335i (SP or not) to deliver exactly the same amount of thrust at any given moment. Said another way, I suspect that the 335i was developing more power on those turns.
    2) Who cares of the traction control light reported that it was engaged anyway? All that means is that the system detected inside rear wheel slip on the aforementioned turns and used the brakes on that one wheel to force the power to transfer to the outside rear wheel. It is simply a different means of transferring the power (one that I am not necessarily a fan of BTW, I much prefer an LSD rear end).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Yes, however, since the AWD variant of every car now on the road that has AWD as an option weighs more, it will not stop as fast, regardless of the conditions.

    Thats because it wasn't deigned in. A Subaru Legacy sedan is 3325# while the Accord EX is 3349#.

    Add the disparity in traction between a RWD car with winter rubber compared to an AWD one with factory tires and the advantage for the RWD car is even more significant.

    If you aren't using the same tires, its not an apples to apples comparison.

    That kind of actually proves my point. In the case of the RWD car, the wheels asked to turn the car are responsible for one thing, turning the car. The wheels that are responsible for motivating the car also have one thing to do, motivate the car.

    But in an AWD car, that powering force is split between more contact patches. If one contact patch is needed to turn, then the power can go to the other, shifted to help the car turn (like the Honda SH or just about any active diff car)

    "...or the Volvo (RWD)."

    No surprise there either. Once again you're talking apples to oranges.

    How so? Both mid-size cars, about the same amount of power, about the same weight, the Volvo had snows, the Subaru didn't at first but got them the same winter.

    Actually, the reason the Volvo got snows is the vehicle was undrivable without them.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Shipo, yes I was accelerating but not excessively and not only did the light illuminate put the car slipped quite a bit as well until the nanny engaged. With the 330xi, you can aggressively accelerate and it seems the front wheels stabilize the car during/through the turn to prevent the loss of traction. Pretty normal spirited turns with 2 different outcomes. Bottom line, to me, the difference in stability is quite apparent, more power or not.

    Said an other way, the more power the more you need to harness that power and I suspect AWD helps to deliver the goods, specifically if all other things remain equal.

    Regards,
    OW
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "Thats because it wasn't deigned in. A Subaru Legacy sedan is 3325# while the Accord EX is 3349#."

    Oh come on, that's just silly. If the Suby had its AWD components removed it would be lighter, being "designed in" is irrelevant.

    "If you aren't using the same tires, its not an apples to apples comparison."

    Agreed, however, the vast majority of folks who opt for AWD do so because they think it is a substitute for buying winter tires, and as such it IS a viable comparison.

    "But in an AWD car, that powering force is split between more contact patches. If one contact patch is needed to turn, then the power can go to the other, shifted to help the car turn (like the Honda SH or just about any active diff car)"

    So what you're saying is that an AWD car will turn itself into a RWD car when turning otherwise the front wheels will lose traction. I say, "Why bother?" and start with a RWD car to begin with.

    "How so? Both mid-size cars, about the same amount of power, about the same weight, the Volvo had snows, the Subaru didn't at first but got them the same winter."

    This is silly too. I mean come on, my 1970 Challenger was about the same size and weight as my 2002 5-Series BMW, had about the same amount of power, both had manual transmissions and both were RWD. That said, they sure as hell didn't drive the same way, on the snow or off.

    The point of this discussion (or at least what my intent was when I first posted) is to suggest that a person would be safer driving winter tire shod RWD variant of say a 3-Series as opposed to the AWD variant with the factory All-Season tires.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    You say, "the car slipped quiet a bit as well until the nanny engaged."

    To be quite honest, that simply doesn't make any sense. The only time I was able to get one of my BMWs to "slip" without disengaging the traction control was when I was decending a steep snow covered hill on a winding road and using second gear to maintain speed instead of the brakes. In that scenario the rear wheels were wanting to turn slower than the car was wanting to go, and when they finally lost traction the back end started coming around and there was nothing the traction control could have done to prevent it. Other than that, even when I tried to get to car to slip, slide or spin with the traction control engaged I couldn't.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • "Thats because it wasn't deigned in. A Subaru Legacy sedan is 3325# while the Accord EX is 3349#."

    Oh come on, that's just silly. If the Suby had its AWD components removed it would be lighter, being "designed in" is irrelevant.

    Its still lighter than the class benchmark in FWD. The weight associated with AWD can't be that big of a penalty.

    "But in an AWD car, that powering force is split between more contact patches. If one contact patch is needed to turn, then the power can go to the other, shifted to help the car turn (like the Honda SH or just about any active diff car)"

    So what you're saying is that an AWD car will turn itself into a RWD car when turning otherwise the front wheels will lose traction. I say, "Why bother?" and start with a RWD car to begin with

    Except then you only have 2 contact patches instead of 4. A limited slip or active differential can push the outside tires though a turn.

    "How so? Both mid-size cars, about the same amount of power, about the same weight, the Volvo had snows, the Subaru didn't at first but got them the same winter."

    This is silly too. I mean come on, my 1970 Challenger was about the same size and weight as my 2002 5-Series BMW, had about the same amount of power, both had manual transmissions and both were RWD. That said, they sure as hell didn't drive the same way, on the snow or off.

    But a midsize sedan and a midsize sedan are in the same category. Its not like I am comparing a Lotus and a VW bug or something.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "Except then you only have 2 contact patches instead of 4. A limited slip or active differential can push the outside tires though a turn."

    A popular misconception of what AWD can and cannot do. No further comment.

    "But a midsize sedan and a midsize sedan are in the same category. Its not like I am comparing a Lotus and a VW bug or something."

    I used those two cars to illustrate a point, a point that suggests that comparing a Subaru to a Volvo was silly and you reject it even though those two cars have more in common from a mechanical perspective than the two you compared. Disingenuous at best. The fact is that unless you're comparing two otherwise identical cars such as A4 FWD vs. A4 Quattro or 328i vs. 328xi or G35 vs. G35x, any comparisons are Apples to Oranges. Like it or don't.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    To be quite honest, that simply doesn't make any sense.

    It makes sense because you can feel the slip, the light comes on and then control returns. It's not huge but you can detect slight loss of traction.

    I didn't imagine it it happened. The car did not loose control put the tires definitely were loose before TC/DSC engaged.

    Regards,
    OW
  • "Except then you only have 2 contact patches instead of 4.

    Subaru AWD Defined

    Because you never know what’s on the road ahead, Subaru engineers developed Subaru All-Wheel Drive, a system that not only is capable of powering all four wheels, but also automatically varies the amount of power sent to each wheel at all speeds.

    A limited slip or active differential can push the outside tires though a turn."

    A popular misconception of what AWD can and cannot do. No further comment.

    Oh, please, allow me to comment:

    "ATTS, during a turn, transfers power (torque and speed) to the outside driven wheel of the car. The effect of the system reduces understeer and pulls the car around the corner. It's an active system that uses dedicated hardware (electronics and clutch packs, etc) to do the transferring. Don't confuse ATTS with a limited slip differential (ATTS is not an LSD), which is a passive device (there are many different designs) that reduces the tendency of the engine power to escape through the wheel with the least resistance (normally the inside wheel during a turn)."
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Sounds like marketing bilge to me.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Have any of you AWD advocates added up what it costs, not just in the obvious up front price premium, and in the lower fuel economy, but also in maintenance and potentially expensive out of warranty repairs? Seriously? Give us the numbers, if you have.

    The advocates here seem to be hell bent on proving SH-AWD, Quatro, Subaru's system etc. are great technological advances. That's debateable, IMO. But what isn't, is the added cost. Acura has a very checkered history with something as relatively simple as an automatic transmission (well documented premature failures on the TL and previous MDX). I would not bet that the SH-AWD system wouldn't have a hiccup or two over the course of the 155k miles I put on my dinosaur 1995 Maxima. As a matter of fact, our neighbor with a 2005 RL has had it back to the dealer twice for "computer control" problems, in one case it was out of commission for two weeks and would have cost $2,500 out of warranty. Another friend had a Mercedes S430 4-matic that, over 100,000 miles he figured it cost him $4,000+ more in maintenance and fuel costs than a RWD would have (and that was with an extended warranty that covered a couple repairs).

    As with transmissions, I can drive a stick, have done so for 25+ years in DC traffic and if I burn a clutch, I know who to blame. The latest SMG and DSG technology may look great on paper when you are reading Road and Track sitting on the toilet. But tell that to a friend of mine who paid $5,500 in repairs on his demonically possessed M3 SMG at under 70,000 miles. In 30+ years of driving high performance cars, he never had to replace a single clutch.

    Having grown up in snow country (120 inches annually) and still having a second home there, I concede that I would want to have a AWD SUV for the really serious stuff. But I wouldn't feel the need to encumber my family sedan with AWD and sure as hell wouldn't put it on a sports car.

    There is a cost benefit tradeoff to consider - and it seems that some AWD advocates are a little light on their cost ledger.
  • So our '07 Honda Accord EX gets just under 32 mpg average with 166 hp 4 cylinder 5 speed manual FWD drivetrain. Our '05 Subaru Legacy gets just over 30 mpg with a 165 hp 4 cylinder 5 speed manual AWD drive train. That means my cost is 1 mpg. Based on 12k miles a year, the Subaru will use an additional 25 gallons of gas @ $3.00 /gallon we will say $75/year additional. The Subaru is also on higher performance tires than the Honda so switching to something like a MXV4 would likely make the fuel economy savings even smaller.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "So our '07 Honda Accord EX gets just under 32 mpg average with 166 hp 4 cylinder 5 speed manual FWD drivetrain. Our '05 Subaru Legacy gets just over 30 mpg with a 165 hp 4 cylinder 5 speed manual AWD drive train. That means my cost is 1 mpg."

    Apples to oranges again. What you don't know is how good your mileage would be if the Subaru didn't have AWD. Comparing it to the Honda and trying to extrapolate what your mileage might be like is completely irrelevant.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • They are two cars in the same segment. They are comparable, in the mid-size sedan forum they are both listed. The Accord doesn't come with AWD and the Subaru doesn't come without it, and yet the Subaru with the same weight and power gets about the same mileage. I think that blows the theory.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    As with transmissions, I can drive a stick, have done so for 25+ years in DC traffic and if I burn a clutch, I know who to blame. The latest SMG and DSG technology may look great on paper when you are reading Road and Track sitting on the toilet. But tell that to a friend of mine who paid $5,500 in repairs on his demonically possessed M3 SMG at under 70,000 miles. In 30+ years of driving high performance cars, he never had to replace a single clutch.

    I was reading in another forum about how a poster had a $7,000 transmission rebuild on a new MINI. The car maybe small but the bills sure aren't!
    Oh and it was an automatic. Make mine a manual. I don't care for automatics, traffic or not.

    AWD is good for the snowbelt states and on cars like Subaru's they are doing exactly what their owners want. My WRX goes blasting through the snow without a problem until it gets too deep. We have a lot of hills so you do need it to even start on a hill, but the other 9 months of the year I'd take a RWD performance sedan like a 1 series BMW.
    Although the AWD's like the the Subaru STi and the EVO's are a lot of fun year round, the cost is into BMW territory.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Being in the same segment doesn't mean squat. The BMW 3-Series is in the same segment as the Infiniti G, and yet while the three series has no problem getting 30 or better mpg on the highway, the G has a difficult time getting 25. You absolutely cannot infer what kind of mileage your Subaru would get sans AWD based upon what your Honda gets.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    With the 330xi, my real-life mpg is 22. I have not within .5 per gallon in 24K miles. I assume it costs me about 2 mpg for the added minivan-weight! So considering 36 months on this lease (which eliminates any repair costs for me), the added cost is $7 per month ($252 over the life of my lease). No problem. Leasing costs more anyway but I do NOT need to worry about breakdowns/costs with the BMW maintenance plan and service which is the best I have experienced to date.

    But I wouldn't feel the need to encumber my family sedan with AWD and sure as hell wouldn't put it on a sports car.

    Porsche put it on a sports car as well as many other exotics as you know. And I also know the answer to the performance debate on C4S and C2S...always have. The added sub-100 lbs. is more than made up out of the corners.

    I do not intend to sway anyone which is better tech 2wd or 4wd. I just tell you my perceptions and experiences. To me , the added weight is not a big deal nor is the added cost. The xi zoom-zooms very well, indeed, thank you very much!

    To each his own. Have a phenomenal day!

    PS: I love when it rains and snows again! :)

    Regards,
    OW
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Porsche put it on a sports car as well as many other exotics as you know. And I also know the answer to the performance debate on C4S and C2S...always have. The added sub-100 lbs. is more than made up out of the corners.

    For someone who doesn't own and has never (I believe) driven a C2S or C4S, I have to say you don't know what the hell you are talking about when it comes to Porsche and you would be best to stop the crap and speculation.

    As is well documented, the GT3 outperforms the considerably more powerful 911 Turbo at Nurburgring. The C2S is actually closer to the Turbo in times than the Turbo is to the GT3. There aren't even any C4S times posted on the tracks website, that I could see. I drove a C4S for a day when I was considering selling my 2005 C2S and ordering a 2006. From FIRST HAND experience, the base 325hp C2 is every bit as quick - and more nimble - than the 355 hp C4S. It's not just the added weight, you have at least a 3-5% +/- loss in drive train efficiency (i.e. actual power to the wheels) when you distribute the power to all 4 wheels. This is easily confirmed on a dyno.

    Don't take my word for it. Call up Porsche of Hunt Valley and ask for the sales manager. He spent 7+ years at the factory as an enngineer, makes a semi-annual trek back to Stuttgart and taught the Porsche performance driving school in his younger days. He certainly won't bad mouth the "4", but he will dispell you any claim that "AWD more than makes up out of the corners" the performance disadvantage compared to the RWD in the 911. And had you listened to the full video that you posted awhile back, you would have heard the same thing from Top Gear.

    Stick with what you know (or at least have half an ounce of credibility in claiming to know). If you are that insecure about your choice to trade off dry performance for all weather security, then make a different choice next time. But ease up on the ridiculous "I know Porsche" claims. You don't.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    OK...I speculate...relax. You know better, I agree. :(

    Regards,
    OW
  • Being in the same segment doesn't mean squat. The BMW 3-Series is in the same segment as the Infiniti G, and yet while the three series has no problem getting 30 or better mpg on the highway, the G has a difficult time getting 25. You absolutely cannot infer what kind of mileage your Subaru would get sans AWD based upon what your Honda gets.

    I wasn't inferring anything, the Honda and the Subie are within 2 mpg. They are comparable enough for me. One has AWD one doesn't they are about the same size, the 2.5l AWD Subie is actually lighter than the 2.4l FWD Accord, the Subie is a wagon body style making it heavier still, and yet there is no penalty.
    The insurance on the Subaru is about equal to that of the Accord (within $10). Neither vehicle has had a repair cost or AWD particular maintenance cost.
    If you want to bicker about how much heavier a car is with some gaff-ed on afterthought marketing ploy AWD system, go for it, but that Legacy is functionally the same as the Accord in almost every aspect, has AWD, and gets about the same mileage.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,999
    Have any of you AWD advocates added up what it costs, not just in the obvious up front price premium, and in the lower fuel economy, but also in maintenance and potentially expensive out of warranty repairs? Seriously? Give us the numbers, if you have.

    I like all powertrain configurations, but I'll chime in on the costs.

    $100.

    That's what it cost me to maintain the AWD on our Honda Pilot. 2 fluid changes. There was no initial extra cost and no extra fuel cost because the vehicle only came with AWD at the time.

    $0.

    That's what it cost on our Subaru Forester. No maintenance involved and, again, no other configuration so no extra costs otherwise.

    this last one is tough .... I'll guesstimate our Pacifica cost us $1k extra for the AWD plus 3 mpg over the past 25k miles. About $1500 total. I do wish we got this one in FWD configuration.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "...and yet there is no penalty."

    Sorry, the facts as you've presented them do not support your conclusion, not even close. For all you know your Subaru would get three, four or even five MPG better if there was hardware for only two driven wheels, and until Subaru produces your exact same car with 2WD all you can do is speculate.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Compared to the class benchmark, the Accord, it gets the same mileage. Relative to its peers in the same class/size/market segment/price range/weight/horsepower/engine size, it gets the same mileage.
    That would be the same as saying you can't compare the 335 to the G37 because the 335 has a turbo.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    This is getting rediculous, nobody said you couldn't compare your two cars. What has been said is that you cannot infer what your loss in fuel economy is on your AWD Subaru by using your Honda as a benchmark, engineering 101.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I think we have a difference in opinion of what is close enough to compare. I am not inferring anything, I am comparing two vehicles that are functionally the same in every category with respect to ownership costs. Both cars were within $500 of each-other when new, even though the Subaru is a wagon (the Legacy sedan would've been cheaper than the Accord sedan by a considerable margin).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At retail, AWD as an option typically costs $1500-1750. At invoice it's less, but let's call it $1500.

    You get some back at resale, though.

    If I use my Forester as an example, I got 35% of its price back after 9 years of ownership. Do the match and that means the AWD cost me roughly $1000.

    Extra maintenance? I changed the rear diff fluid at 60k miles. Cost: $3. Subtotal is now $1003.

    Fuel? You give up 1-2mpg, depending upon your assumptions. I averaged 25.1mpg over 87k miles. Let's say I would have got 26.5mpg. I used about 3466 gallons, vs. 3283 if the same vehicle were FWD and 1.5mpg more efficient. The difference is 183 gallons over 9 years. Fuel costs varied wildly, but let's assume the average price over those 9 years was $2.50 per gallon, that's about $458.

    We're still under $1500 for NINE YEARS of driving. Less than $14 per month TCO for AWD. Well below 50 cents a day, or a tenth of the cost of Starbucks fronzen coffee drink.

    I don't think AWD owners are going to cry about skipping a cup of coffee every 10th day. :blush:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Interestingly, I had these, too. They were offered to me for free, so I tried them out.

    To be honest the AWD with good all seasons was already enough for the DC area, but cost was Zero so why not?

    In snow and ice they were indeed awesome, very impressive.

    BUT....you make a MAJOR trade-off when it's not snowing or raining, i.e. on dry pavement the tires are LOUSY.

    So lousy in fact that I would say they are less safe overall. At least around here, where there isn't snow on the ground most of the time. You give up traction all that time compared to good all seasons. My Forester handled like an off road truck. Ride suffered, handling, braking, everything. Major trade-offs.

    Snow tires make sense if you live in the snow belt, and there is snot on the ground CONSISTENTLY throughout the winter season.

    Here in the Mid-Atlantic you would have to mount, unmount, mount, unmount, mount, unmount, etc. probably 6 times per season to maximize traction overall.

    Not worth it here in the Mid-A region, no way. Vermont? Sure.

    I would not buy snow tires again.

    I would (will in fact) buy AWD again, in fact we'll always have at least one AWD vehicle in our fleet.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    To me, AWD was the best option for all around daily driving.

    This is now becoming a more popular option for almost all manufacturers (of course, US is particularly slow to adopt). It wont go away but will only get better.

    BTW, I agree the cost is minimal if you consider a navigation system currently is a more expensive in some cases. Some might call AWD a waste so I highly respect that opinion.

    I won't even go there regarding the snows. Imagine 2WD w/snows being superior all-around performance to AWD with snows (in the SNOW)! Imagine!

    My experience tells me the AWD on this '06 3-series trumps all handling performance in all the U.S. cars I've driven in the sedan category - ever ANY WHEEL DRIVE. The extra weight might hinder in all-out performance handling characteristics vs. 2WD 330i non-SP to the experts but I find to the contrary, despite the reported trade-offs in weight. With 255 HP, full-throttle starts go directly to forward propulsion with no loss to wheel spin despite agreed reduced PT loss, TC off. The 335xi is reportedly slightly faster than the i so technical loss vs. actual performance is unclear to me.

    Ultimate AWD to me is either the C4S/Turbo from Porsche this side of $200K. I respect all reasonings that Porsche decided to add AWD to their most successful car. It might not do all things to a gnat's a_ _ as good as the 2WD sibling but it's right up there TO ME!

    Regards,
    OW
  • Hey OW, I am poss going to get a 328xi. Not sure yet coupe or sedan. Anyway, you say real life mpg is 22. Are u more of a city driver? Heavy foot? I will be doing mostly long distance highway, and am a pretty level driver. You think I can squeeze out close to 30 mpg? Keith
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    75% HW, 25% around town. Heavier foot than normal but I use cruise on the hwy to save my license!

    I'll estimate you can squeeze out 28 mpg on your hwy mileage. At the end of my highway runs, I typically average 25-26 mpg. The most I got on a strictly highway trip and no city was 28.

    But when you get to the pump, it'll be more like 24-25 if your squeezing!

    Regards,
    OW
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "BUT....you make a MAJOR trade-off when it's not snowing or raining, i.e. on dry pavement the tires are LOUSY."

    Like everything else, "it depends". Not all winter tires are created equal. I've driven some that were absolutely lousy on dry pavement, and I've driven some that were so good on dry pavement that it was difficult to tell the difference between them and a set of good all-season rubber. More often than not these days, winter tires rival or even surpass all-season rubber in dry road characteristics.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    I've never driven Nokians, however I have a fair amount of time on Blizzaks and Michelins. As a general rule (according to my butt-o-meter) the Blizzaks (WS- something, I cannot remember which) are also too squishy for me, however, the Michelin Arctic-Alpins (since replaced by the X-Ice) and X-Ice (apparently now replaced as well) felt pretty good and were all but discernable from all-season rubber.

    As for other winter tire types, I have a little time in a car shod with some flavor of Dunlop winter tires and they felt okay on the winding roads here in New Hampshire as well. Beyond that I would suggest that you go over to the TireRack web site and read the reviews of their various offerings.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Indeed, these were very squirmy Blizzaks, with tones of sipes.

    Still, any gains made for ice and snow are going to have trade-offs in dry performance. It's still a compromise.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    I think that you'd be plesantly surprised of you tried the Michelins. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I bet they would not be as impressive as the Blizzaks on ice, not quite as good as the all-seasons on dry. There is no doubt you compromise on both of those.

    My point remains, though. Snow tires are not practical unless you have regular snow for an entire season.

    Sadly, it only snowed about 3 times here in DC last year, a pretty disappointing amount given I have snow tires mounted for 3 long months! :sick:
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Actually I ran Blizzaks one year and yes they were squirmy but didn't really last due to the dry roads wearing them out. The Nokians are also squishy but last longer and grip better on ice. i bought mine in Manchester, NH. Good tires for snow but it's good when they finally come off in the spring as the car stops a lot longer with those tires, even worse if it's a warm day.
    I haven't tried the Artic Alpins, will check them out. Thanks.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "Money aside, is AWD one of those features that marketers play up to the ignorant masses (like myself in thsi case), but in reality, is useless? "

    By and large, yes. It's a rather expensive option, so manufacturers like to promote it, but it doesn't provide anymore grip for anything except acclerating in poor conditions, which doesn't do a thing to enhance safety. In fact, it's a indirect hazard because it encourages ignorant drivers to go too fast. In NM, it was usually the 4wd/AWD drivers who ended up flipped over next to the highway when a rainstorm hit.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "The Accord doesn't come with AWD and the Subaru doesn't come without it, "


    Legacy is 23 city/30 highway

    Accord 26/34
  • "The Accord doesn't come with AWD and the Subaru doesn't come without it, "


    Legacy is 23 city/30 highway

    Accord 26/34


    And I get 30 and change in the Subie and just shy of 32 in the Accord, for a difference of 1-2 mpg.
  • It just so happens that the BMW dealer that services my M5 has kept track of reported and actual fuel efficiency of customer and employee vehicles.

    According to him, on the previous 3 & 5 series, there was a nominal difference in urban driving. But as you progressed to highway driving, the difference increased. On average, 330xi's averaged 26-27 on the highway, peaking at 28+/-. The 330i's averaged 29-30, peaking at 33-34. After all was said and done, he quotes, with confidence, the fuel efficiency "penalty" for AWD at 5% in the city, 15% on the highway.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Safety is in the hands of the user and AWD gives an edge to enhance safety, IMO. I agree it isn't a big advantage just an advantage. That is from my experience when used in the same responsible driving manner vs RWD/FWD. Not a panacea but a worthwhile option so far in my assessment.

    Since not every AWD system is equal, it depends on the other dynamics/systems of a given vehicle as to the increase in traction in certain conditions. I can only tell you the 330 xi has the best handling traction combination stock from the factory that I have driven. I will look to others to speak for Audi, Subaru and Porsche vehicles with differing AWD systems and applications.

    BTW, there are driver training classes for AWD/4WD to make sure the vehicles so equipped can be optimized for best results.

    And here is some interesting history regarding Porsche...

    The Porsche 959 is a supercar manufactured by Porsche AG from 1986 to 1989, first as a Group B rally car and later as a road going vehicle designed to satisfy FIA homologation regulations requiring that a minimum number of street legal units be built. It is widely regarded as Porsche's first true supercar.

    During its production run, it was hailed as being the most technologically advanced road-going sports car ever built and the harbinger of the future of sports cars; it was the world's first high-performance vehicle to use an all-wheel-drive system, it provided the basis for Porsche's first all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 model and convinced Porsche executives of the system's viability so well that they chose to make all-wheel-drive standard on all versions of the 911 Turbo starting with the 993 variant. During its lifetime, the vehicle had but one only other street legal peer with comparable performance, the Ferrari F40.


    Regards,
    OW
  • "Ultimate AWD to me is either the C4S/Turbo from Porsche this side of $200K. I respect all reasonings that Porsche decided to add AWD to their most successful car. It might not do all things to a gnat's a_ _ as good as the 2WD sibling but it's right up there TO ME!"

    I think you've got this a little back asswards.

    Pushed to extreme limits of forward or lateral acceleration, the 911 AWD system will somewhat help reign in the car from an uncontrolled slide or spin. But, short of those extreme limits, the AWD system numbs the nimbleness of the car and mutes its quickness off the line. That's something you can feel driving the car at 5 or 6, not just at 9+ 10ths.

    On the other hand, if extreme performance is your objective, Porsche's advanced performance driving school will give you far more ability and confidence than an AWD powertrain. As someone else posted (habitat?) the best track times are universally with the RWD, not AWD versions of the 911, topping out with the GT2, that is far ahead of the AWD Turbo. So in the hands of the professional, AWD is not an advantage in most performance driving situations. Extremely short tracks or "rally" events on gravel/dirt being the possible exception.

    In my humble opinion (tainted somewhat by the Porsche fanatics, employees and driving instructors in my family) the argument that the AWD system found in the C4, C4S and Turbo improves dry road performance has absolutely no merit .

    Bottom line - I live in Boston and would not take a C4S over a C2S at the same price. The AWD detracts from the sports car feel and performance and, last time I checked, the 911 is a sports car. If I want to trounce through snow with a Porsche, I'll buy the Cayenne.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    fuel efficiency "penalty" for AWD at 5% in the city, 15% on the highway.

    Sounds about right, and let's keep in mind that's for full-time systems, where both axles are engaged.

    I imagine the penalty for part-time systems is smaller, because many such AWD systems disengage completely above a certain speed, so the only penatly is the extra weight. In those cases, I bet the highway penalty is closer to 5% as well.
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