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BMW 3-Series - AWD or RWD?

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Comments

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    AWD on a G does the same thing to the drive as AWD on the 3.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,693
    No one is going to change each other's mind with these kinds of posts.

    Exactly. Which is why this thread should be locked/closed. The following quote from post #246 by Shipo sums things up perfectly:

    "While I love debating this issue and have for a number of years, of late I've found that this discussion has often descended to the point of unintelligible irrelevance, so much so that the debate is now akin to arguing with a head-strong three-year old."

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Why should the thread be locked? You certainly don't have to participate.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,626
    I understand the critiques and preferences to both power trains. The feel is different and I understand how preference to a lighter feel would be better appreciated.

    However, since I logged more time in the xi, my view is that the handling prowess of the same sedan in AWD is not hindered at all vs. a stock i. I am sure the SP/Summer Tires offer much higher handling performance on the i. No question.

    The traction delivery speaks volumes. It's a real great all-climate car. No one can claim the RWD with AS tires grips better. One driver might be better at controlling the RWD in the wet over another but bottom line is traction is at a much higher level in this set up.

    Given all of the above, the extra 50 HP and torque in the blown 335xi should be that much higher in performance. The handling differences are a wash in the E90 without SP.

    Regards,
    OW
  • FWIW,

    I tend to view the AWD issue as being analogous to the automatic transmission. Early automatics had a huge performance penalty, which I can personally attest to from driving my parents '55 Chevy V-8 with a 2 speed Powerglide! Even some of the more recent ATs left a lot to be desired, such as the 4 speed AT in my '98 Accord V-6. But over time, advances in AT technology have narrowed the performance gap such that an AT is a reasonable alternative for some, but not all, BMW buyers. The 6 speed AT in my 535Xi is a pretty decent transmission. I also think market forces require the availability of a good AT for BMW to stay competitive.

    Similar thing for AWD- My expectation is AWD technology will advance over time, and the performance gap between it and RWD on normal road conditions will be narrowed (somewhat? a lot? who knows). I also think the market trend is such that BMW needs to offer AWD to stay competitive in the marketplace.

    Independent of whether people have valid reasons to buy AWD, I think the trend is going to grow over time and a greater percentage of BMWs will be AWD.

    Rather than debating AWD versus RWD, I would be interested in seeing AWD BMWs compared to competitive AWD offerings from other makers - AWD vs AWD. My impression, just from reading, is that if you are going to buy AWD, then a BMW AWD is the best choice for performance driving.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,626
    Well written and accurate.

    Regards,
    OW
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Agreed Bruce, good point.

    My opposition to AWD has nothing to do with the performance advantages or disadvantages vs. RWD. My continuing point is simply that:

    1. Like the Automatic Transmission, AWD saps some of the fun and challenge from a car that is supposed to be a fun and challenging driving experience.

    If a car is utterly and completely predictable by being capable of gripping the road in the same unflappable manner, on all roads, in every condition, regardless of driver skill, and without risk of going even a little sideways once in a while, then what's the point? Where's the fun in that?

    2. AWD is being overmarketed to people who really don't need it.

    Too many shoppers are being fleeced into thinking that AWD will protect their families from certain death because "4 driven wheels are safer than 2." AWD won't help prevent you from understeering into an embankment because you took a slick corner too fast. And when you are heading out of control towards that embankment, it won't help you stop any sooner either.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    It all comes down, eventually, to that little 6 X 6" patch of tire that keeps your car on, or off, the road. Without any grip, 10 wheel drive doesn't matter.

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  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Actually, Audi is working on a 10 wheel drive sport sedan. It can drive upside down, backwards, on teflon-coated pavement, with the driver blindfolded and hands tied behind his back...
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,626
    Agreed...you just get more grip with 4. Specifically in acceleration, linear or lateral. Loose2 you still have 2. Loose all, and nothing matters.

    Regards,
    OW
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    You made that up.

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  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,626
    No, he meant V-10 AWD Audi

    RS6

    image

    Regards,
    OW
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,693
    Too many shoppers are being fleeced into thinking that AWD will protect their families from certain death because "4 driven wheels are safer than 2." AWD won't help prevent you from understeering into an embankment because you took a slick corner too fast. And when you are heading out of control towards that embankment, it won't help you stop any sooner either.

    It's still inconceivable to me that some people have been bamboozled into thinking that AWD is a necessity to be able to drive in the rain. At first I thought those people were joking, but sadly enough they are not. Unbelievable.
    Another thing to remember is that not even Munich considers their AWD models to be the hot ticket. Otherwise you would see AWD M cars as well as an xi Sport Package that contained more than just tires, seats, and a steering wheel.
    People looking for an AWD performance car would be better served considering an EVO X or STi at the low end of the price scale, and a C4 or RS4 at the upper end.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,626
    A 330xi is not a necessity to drive in the rain. Heck, this is the first AWD car I've driven. It sticks like glue in all weather. Not really much fun if you want to sling the tail out. I DO NOT consider this car a hot ticket or even the 335xi with the added grunt.

    It's just a great handling car that stays planted no matter what. This is not a track car or even a part time track car. In fact, as I am on record as agreeing the RWD is more fun and you need more skill when burning up the roads. Your offerings are excellent for the performance minded die hard AWD'ers.

    BTW, some people can't drive in the rain or snow (or in the sun!) no matter what wheel drive.

    Regards,
    OW
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,693
    A 330xi is not a necessity to drive in the rain. Heck, this is the first AWD car I've driven. It sticks like glue in all weather. Not really much fun if you want to sling the tail out. I DO NOT consider this car a hot ticket or even the 335xi with the added grunt.

    I have to admit that there is one AWD BMW that I've seriously considered owning- An E53 X5 4.8is:

    image

    It's too big and way too heavy but for some reason it is just a blast to drive- especially in hooligan mode(kind of like the B7). The thinly disguised Alpina B10 V8 and M Sport suspension completely transform the truck. It was an unmitigated hoot on my gravel driveway/rally stage. If an E30 M3 is a scapel, than the 4.8is is a 375 hp chainsaw...

    BTW, some people can't drive in the rain or snow (or in the sun!) no matter what wheel drive.

    Agreed. What is really scary is that most of them probably think that they are great drivers.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "You made that up."

    But you were tempted. Admit it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    I saw RIGHT through you. :shades:

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  • OW,

    you are one of the more, respected guy on this post, so i ask please, do not underestimate the xi sedan to the i, with a NO QUESTION ending statement.

    my take on ( both with summer tires ) the 2 cars is, there is a QUESTION.

    and that is, what road or track are we talking about?
    is it 0 to 60, 1/4 mi. or at (apg) arizona proving ground?

    as i posted before, TENTHS OF A SECOND difference either way.
  • bruce, well said, cheers.
    lawman,

    i feel ( could be wrong ) that you have not driven an xi?

    i feel that it does not take away, any SAP from the fun or challenge, from a fun & challenging car.
    understand that i do feel that there is a, difference in challenges.
    and as far as your view on families, thinking awd will save themselves from death.
    i feel you underestimate, the knowledge of the american public!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I feel we can agree to disagree.
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