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BMW 3-Series - AWD or RWD?



  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,636
    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.

    I never just cruise through the nasty stuff. The 330xi puts the X3 in the Mustang's place.

    BTW, that is a sweet car for sure...too bad you didn't hold onto it. I had my eye on the 635i back then.

  • shipo,

    Just curious if part of the difference is due to the 530i being a larger, heavier car than the 318i?

    I used to have a ''73 Alfa Spyder as my daily driver, and I could successfully navigate roads with light snow, provided there was little traffic to interfere with my momentum. For one period, my Alfa had been damaged in an accident and I had a medium sized Ford sedan as a loaner (but still huge in comparison). It was remarkably better in the snow than the Alfa, which I attributed to greater weight and higher ground clearance.

  • jrw52jrw52 Posts: 2
    Hi Shipo,

    I have been following your posts with interest over the last several years and very much respect your knowledge / experience.

    I live in Central Illinois, 2 hours drive south of Chicago, where there can be a fairly strong winter, depending on the year.

    My first BMW was a 2004 330i non-sport steptronic that I bought in 2003. In 2006, I bought a 2007 530xi steptronic, both with all season tires (which slipped and slided in the winter from time to time).

    After recently test driving a manual transmission 335i, I am now considering to move back to a 3 series with a manual transmission and sport package.

    My options under consideration are manual transmission with either:

    1) 335i with sport and summer performance tires, and purchase a set of winter tires
    2) 335i with xdrive with sport and summer performance tires, and purchase a set of winter tires.

    I have read in various forums that BMW may have improved the 335i with xdrive suspension in 2009, and there are certainly more proponents of AWD now than 2 years ago.

    I humbly submit that I am not a skilled BMW driver, but I have caught the "enthusiasm bug" of driving a 335i with manual transmission, and want to fully experience the passion of what I appear to have been missing over the last 6 years.

    So my question to you is: are you still a strong proponent of a 335i SP, with a second set of tires for the winter? Or have you warmed up to the 335i with xdrive, as BMW has perhaps "tinkered" with the suspension, etc. over the last couple of years?


  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hey JRW, nope, haven't warmed up to the 335xi yet and am not likely to unless I move up into the mountains. FWIW, I lived in Chicago for over 12 years and an quite familiar with Illinois weather, and I've got to say, at its worst, Illinois weather is not as severe as the 7 New Hampshire winters I've experienced, even at their mildest.

    Long story short, I guess I just enjoy RWD too much to give it up just because of a little snow. ;)

    Best regards,
  • jrw52jrw52 Posts: 2
    Shipo, thanks I had a feeling that would be your response!

    If anyone else is still monitoring this thread who has experience with the 2009 335i with x drive, I'd be interested in hearing your perspective.

    I have heard that BMW may have improved somewhat the suspension on the 335i with x drive for the 2009 model year in response to feedback from enthusiasts.


  • I'll disagree on this. I've had and awd Infiniti FX45 with performance tires which did very well in the snow. I did skid on snowy turns when I wasn't too careful and maybe the breaking wasn't optimum, but I had no problems getting out of a foot of snow from a parallel parked spot.

    On a second note, I now have 650i with sports package (performance tires) and even though I tried to not drive it in the snow, I managed just fine (driving very cautiously of course) on a few occasions that I had to drive it in the snow. Of course I wouldn't drive it in the snow at all if I lived in a terrain with more hills.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Given how bad my 5-Series (with Sport Package) was in the snow the thought running through my head while I was reading your last paragraph was, "Clearly he doesn't live where it's hilly"; and then I read your last sentence. :)

    In my case, even with practically brand new Michelin Pilot Sports on my 5er I couldn't make it up my driveway with a quarter of an inch of snow on the surface. A set of Michelin X-Ice tires (and new wheels) later and my car was all but unstoppable in up to about eight inches of snow.
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