So I live in New england. Winter is just around the bend and I'm
thinking about buying my first BMW. For years, I've had front-wheel
drive cars and 4-wheel drive pickups/SUV's. I just love the new
3-series cars and MUST have one.
I've tested both the 325i and the 325xi... the all-wheel drive model is
noticably less responsive than the 325i. I guess all the extra
mechanics are just power robbing and that takes some of the fun out of
Here's my question on all you die-hards: Will the rear-drive 325i hold
its own in the winter or would I end up with a $40K mistake on my
Thanks in advance.
So what setup will work better in the snow:
1. 330i with good snow tires (like Blizzaks) on all four wheels or
2. 330xi with good all-season tires (like the Kumhos Ecsta Asx) on all
IMO, the 330i will be better. It will stop better. It will corner better.
It won't accelerate as well, but should still get up almost anything
you would likely encounter. The 3/4" lower ground clearance will
make little noticeable difference.
FloydR 330xi, about 1 month from putting on my Pilot Alpines.
You always have to compromise something for performance, that's just the way
it is. Your going to be the only one that can make this choice. You most
certainly will not get the traction in the winter from the rear wheel drive
that your going to get from all wheel, and just the opposite in the summer.
How many months of snow you have? Front wheel and all wheel always perform
better in the snow, but no reason the three wouldn't perform as well as any
other rear wheel drive. BTW, you do realize there are different tires? On
the forums I've seen people get the rear wheel drive auto's, but use
different rims and tires in the winter.
Traction is the name of the game. All cars wearing similar tires have
essentially the same traction. The big difference is on low-friction
surfaces, where slight weight differences highlight the difference between
different cars (and their tires).
By far the biggest factors to driving on snow/ice are: 1) tires, and 2)
the driver. And the order might be driver 1st in most cases. Training can
make a poor or average driver better on snow. But the easiest (and
cheapest) course is to put real snow tires on your car. A RWD car
with snow tires will run circles around a FWD car with all-seasons.
And note the "circles": snow tires enhance braking and cornering
on snow/ice, in addition to acceleration, so you're much safer than
on all-seasons (or summer/performance tires.)
FloydR (330xi that runs Michelin Pilot Alpines during winter.)
front wheel drive is never better in the snow, it's never better period.
you're living under an old delusion brought on by huge american made crap
with huge cast iron heaps stuck on the front end, too much horse power
and no weight on the back end.
Heh heh, I'd have to agree with all except the too much HP bit. Too many
cc's for the amount of HP delivered would be more accurate. As Jeremy
Clarkson says, German engineers can get as much HP from a toaster as
American engineers can get from a 7 litre v8! ;-)
Dave, you are usually so on with your input and you're correct about
traction from a standing start
but the comment was better handling and that's never correct with front
wheel drive. Understeer on slippery roads is even worse then in normal
driving conditions, and once those front wheels loose traction, nothing
works. I'll take rear wheel drive to control both ends any day.
you done get much snow or minus 25 celcius day in London, eh Dave.
I live in Minnesota and have had a 330 or 323i since 1999. I currently have
the the new E90 and of course winter is not here yet but I am not worrying.
I have used the standard tires each year and have had no real problems.
The traction control system really works. Of course if there were 6 or more
inches of snow, I probably woundn't venture out unless I had to. FWIW. ron
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