Is it worth the premium price of a BMW to get a RWD car?
Does it handle that much better than a Saab, say?
When I was growing up in NE, Saabs were very popular in the snow, but
I've heard that FWD cars just aren't a true "driver's car". Would you
notice the difference only under extreme circumstances? I wonder if
traction control on a RWD car would make it handle almost as well as
FWD in the snow.
Has anyone driven both of them? I've driven a BMW 525 and I didn't
notice that much, but it wasn't extreme driving.
Also is a FWD car with more of a 50/50 balance better than the 60/40
Many questions, I know.
Here's another....what year did BMW stop using a dip-stick in the 3
series? I think I want one with a dipstick!
I'm sure you could fit a Saab with some nice suspension, but in general
I'd rather a rwd BMW.
In snow FWD is better for most drivers to be honest, it's a bit harder
to lose traction. But when you DO lose it in a fwd car I think it's
harder to regain control than with rwd. That said, BMWs benefit HUGELY
from four good snow tyres. I live in the highlands of Scotland and am on
snows for 4-5 months of the year, there's not much I can't get through.
50/50 balance is always a good thing.
When the current e90/92 three came out.
Who needs a life when you've got Unix? :-)
Email: email@example.com, John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland
RWD everytime, never owned a FWD...cant stand em, and i have driven plenty,
even high spec/performance ones...still hate
Love nothing more than pushing a car around a bend and putting the power
Started off with a 9xx cc Talbot Sunbeam, and a 1.6 FSO and still have
fun...then spent many years on 70 and 80 Celicas all with RWD, best of all
was a 77GT race tuned..
I have a 525 e34 salloon, with Eipach? springs, handles like a
dream...trouble its a auto which scares me a little. Had the back out on my
525 e34 touring a few times, thats scary.
Hate FWD cars, would never own one...even turned down motorracing with a
RS2000 escort cos it was FWD.
With me, the dipstick is behind the wheel lol
Handling to a large degree is a function of suspension tuning. An RWD car
with crappy suspension may handle worse than a FWD car with nice suspension.
Other things like weight and weight distribution come to play as well. My
A4 (B5) handled better than my e39, not necessarily because the e39 is a bad
car, but mainly because the e39 is larger and heavier. I don't know which
specific BMW and which specific Saab you're trying to compare.
Get proper AWD if you want the best in snow performance. Of course
appropriate winter tires are still mandatory and probably make the biggest
difference because AWD will only help you get going, but it's the tires that
will help you stop. BMW's DSC system is pretty good at keeping you out of
trouble as well, but it does not defy the laws of physics.
Yes. That is the problem with most FWD cars - they're front-heavy, and that
is to a large extent the result of them being FWD - more of the mechanics
are located up front. Do any of the Saabs have 50/50 balance?
Thanks for great replies. The 9-3 is something like 53/47, which is
pretty good, I'd think.
Don't think it handles quite the same way as a RWD car though.
Interestingly I grew up driving a 76 Corolla RWD, I loved driving in
snow, but it can get tricky at times. Where I live now, it's not
snow, just rain that I'd worry about.
yup how i learnt to drive, along with the mistakes....now not seen any snow
for donkies years, and the odd flake we do get, brings the roads to a
standstill....bah, doesnt happen to me in E Germany in deep snow
I'll weigh in. I currently own 1 BMW (an old '94 325i) and 4 SAABs 2 -
'98 900's and 2- '03 9-3 Sport sedans. I have owned several others of
each brand. SAAB classic 900's, BMW E30's, E34's and a Z3.
I buy the SAABs now because they go like shit in the snow after putting
some real winter tires on them and the are cheap to buy (used). Both
cars are very easy to maintain yourself, which is ironic because they
are among the most expensive to maintain at the stealerships.
The old BMW handles better than any FWD car in the dry. Period. End of
story. RWD rules. Furthermore, learn to drive a RWD car, put some good
winter tires on it and you can drive through (almost) anything.
Old farts like me have an advantage in that we learned to drive RWD cars
in the snow because we didn't have a choice, that is all there was at
PS - for inexperienced drivers (like my adult kids) it is much *easier*
to drive a FWD in the snow with good winter tires.
Why would you need winter tires for heavy rain, unless we're talking about
near-freezing temps? In warmer temps, most summer tires are better in the
rain than anything else. Take Goodyear F1 GSD3 for example.
Since John lives in Scotland, where they have lots of cold rain, that's
probably what he means.
As far as Goodyear F1 GS-D3, I have them on my 330xi, and they're
an ok rain tire in the Seattle mist and light rain, but they don't
drain to be good in torrential rain and standing water. My Michelin
Pilot Alpine winter tires are better.
Interesting. I had the Pilot Alpins on my previous car, and I thought they
were way overpriced for what they offered. And as far as their wet weather
performance, I thought my summer Bridgestone S03 and ContiSportContact2 were
I have the Arctic Alpins as my winter tires for my E36. They are as
good as Blizzaks and do not wear out as quickly. The Blizzaks have the
softer rubber compound only in the first 1/2 of their tread life, then
they become harder.
well from what i have realized RWD is pretty much ultimate, AWD is
heavy and your selection of car becomes very little. From what i have
seen FWD cars tend to have a slower launch as a RWD car from personal
expirence. Hope it helps
As soemone else said, a lot it to do with suspension set-up. If I had
to accurately negotiate a twisty course I'd rather do it in a modern
FWD than a 70's charger. If accuracy wasn't a problem then.....
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