E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum

The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
Use this forum to discuss anything in relation to wheels to tires to offsets.
Sponsored by The Tire Rack

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-13-2013, 10:51 AM   #1
michaelden
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NY
Posts: 2
My Ride: fx35
SNOW! 330i w/ good snow tires vs xi??...Opinions and experience

Ok so definitely looking to purchase a 330 in the near future.
I am wondering how much of a difference there will be from a 330i with some expensive snow tires vs having the xdrive when driving in snowy conditions? My wife will be using the car sometimes so she wants the xdrive model but it seems much easier to find what we want in terms of packages in a rwd model. Also no chance of getting a zhp if its going to be the xi.

Any experience with this would be appreciated. Live in the NE and get a few storms a year. Just looking for safe driving in light snow after plowing, not looking to be able to drive thru 5 inches of snow very often....
michaelden is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 03-13-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
E46Moonlight
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bronx, NY
Posts: 2,595
My Ride: 2000 323i
Rwd, good snow tires and a good driver. done deal
E46Moonlight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 10:54 AM   #3
SeanC
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 4,042
My Ride: 330i
Even in NW PA where I live, a 330i with some good snow tires is good enough. You will regret not getting a RWD 330 at least 9 out of 12 months of the year.
__________________

Sapphire Black MetallicNatural BrownSilver Cube e46 330i ZHP/6MT - Sold
HellrotDove Grey e36 ///M3 - RIP
Alpine WhiteTanSand High Gloss e46 330i SlickTop/5MT
SeanC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 11:00 AM   #4
BrRich330
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Woodstock
Posts: 77
My Ride: 03 330Ci
I currently live in the Northest corner of CT and i have a 03 330Ci 5sp manual and for the winter i run a set of bizzak snow with all 4 tires studded and i have had zero issues with getting around in deep or heavy snow. SeanC is right you will regret not having the RWD in the summer months. If you are a good winter time driver and with a set of studded snow tires you will be fine.
__________________

BIMMER FOR LIFE!!
BrRich330 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
sgoetz628
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 334
My Ride: 2002 330 CiC
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrRich330 View Post
I currently live in the Northest corner of CT and i have a 03 330Ci 5sp manual and for the winter i run a set of bizzak snow with all 4 tires studded and i have had zero issues with getting around in deep or heavy snow. SeanC is right you will regret not having the RWD in the summer months. If you are a good winter time driver and with a set of studded snow tires you will be fine.

I live at the other end of the state, so usually better conditions, but San Diego it ain't. Have pretty much what BrRich has, but no studs, as icy roads are usually not a problem.

Especially if you're only looking to go out after the plow, absolutely no need for awd, unless there are some very steep hills which you must navigate.

For my first six years I drove year-round with Blizzaks and never could not go.
__________________
I love my car as much today as the day I bought it
sgoetz628 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #6
JimC-NH
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: NH
Posts: 107
My Ride: 2004 330Ci Vert
330 convertible in New Hampshire
No problems with snow tires.
Go for it!

Jim
JimC-NH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #7
trj
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,925
My Ride: 325Ci
I drive RWD coupe with continental conti pro SSR all seasons here in Colorado. Never been stuck because of the tires.
If the snow is above the side skirts, even the XIs wont get you out of the snow.

Its a preference. If I were to buy a 3 series for my fiancÚ, I'd look for an xi too(in fact I am still looking for one that is not abused).
Not that she is a bad driver, but its an envelope of security for me.

Tires with good tread and taking it slow in the corners with make RWD as good as AWDs. If one drives like a moron, even AWD will get stuck.

If you want a ZHP get one and buy a winter beater for those nasty more than 6" snow days.
__________________
trj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 11:21 AM   #8
Mouf
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 231
My Ride: 2004 ZHP Sedan
I had an 01 330xi with Conti snows and couldn't get the thing stuck. The 2 winters I had it though we never got a huge amount if snow though (never more then 6" at a time).

I now have a ZHP with brand new Blizzaks and other then snow deeper then 7" and coming from a complete stop or so I don't have an issue.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Bimmer App
Mouf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 11:23 AM   #9
GSherbs
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 400
My Ride: 2002 330 xi
xi driver here...

myself, I wouldn't drive anything other than 4-wheel drive where it snows. that goes triple if my wife is driving it.

Is RWD more fun? I suppose that depends on how often you are taking it to the limits of adhesion and what you are doing with it while there... I enjoy driving the xi every single day - no regrets here at all and I've tracked the car a few times.
GSherbs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 11:44 AM   #10
Mouf
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 231
My Ride: 2004 ZHP Sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSherbs View Post
xi driver here...

myself, I wouldn't drive anything other than 4-wheel drive where it snows. that goes triple if my wife is driving it.

Is RWD more fun? I suppose that depends on how often you are taking it to the limits of adhesion and what you are doing with it while there... I enjoy driving the xi every single day - no regrets here at all and I've tracked the car a few times.

My only beef with the XI I had was it was pre facelift and you couldn't find parts as well as a facelift. OR a SSK or exhaust for the most part.
Mouf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #11
Surrept
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Maumee, OH
Posts: 633
My Ride: 2002 330ci
Doesn't hurt to throw a couple 60lb sand bags in the trunk over top each of the wheels. But yeah when I had blizzaks on my 330ci I was gettin in and out of 1foot+ snow without any trouble.
Surrept is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 12:35 PM   #12
lcoleman
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: the barnyard
Posts: 2,458
My Ride: '79 Massey Ferguson
XIs suck. Just my $.02. A RWD model with snows will run circles around an XI with all-seasons in all but the absolute worst conditions.
__________________
lcoleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 01:47 PM   #13
GSherbs
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 400
My Ride: 2002 330 xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by lcoleman View Post
XIs suck. Just my $.02. A RWD model with snows will run circles around an XI with all-seasons in all but the absolute worst conditions.

Similarly shoed and otherwise equipped, a 330i will outperform 330xi in dry conditions. But, the margin isn't what I'd call "running circles".

In poor conditions (i.e. just about anything wet), the xi will outperform the RWD. The margin being greater and greater as the conditions get worse and worse. Been there, seen it, done it.

I'm not entirely convinced that RWD with snows would outperform AWD with all-seasons in any case. I've never taken snows to the track but I'd imagine they'd perform pretty poorly.
GSherbs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 12:49 PM   #14
Redryan98
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 242
My Ride: 07 Legacy GT 5MT
You'll be just fine with RWD and a good set of snow tires. Mine's gotten me through the last three winters no problem. Your only real problem will be ground clearance.

Oh course, an Xi with snow tires will give you even more traction in the white stuff so if your top priority is snow traction an Xi + snows is your best bet. However, given the extra weight, reduced economy and more parts to service, I'd just stick with a RWD model. Minimal snow traction trade for the benefits of RWD.
Redryan98 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 02:12 PM   #15
lcoleman
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: the barnyard
Posts: 2,458
My Ride: '79 Massey Ferguson
...ok, I'm not sure we're on the same page. My meaning is that good tires are much more important than having AWD. An XI isn't exactly a Jeep, anyway.
__________________
lcoleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 02:19 PM   #16
congeewong
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 49
My Ride: 330xi
I own a 330xi in Toronto Canada. Other than a few big snow storms, RWD with some good snows will be more than enough. You won't get stuck in the snow with an xi but you pay the price during the other 3 seasons. Not worth the sacrifice IMO.

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Bimmer App
congeewong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 02:57 PM   #17
fiveightandten
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,202
My Ride: '03 330ci / '98 M3
I had a WRX for my daily driver. I ran blizzaks on it. The car was a damned animal in the snow. It would claw through snow as deep as the height of the hood. But E46 X-drive, like many other AWD systems, sounds better than it is. I went through this...getting rid of a snow beast, I went to a 330ci. I get around just fine in the snow with snow tires on the car.

If it's for your wife, forget about RWD handling and focus on the fact that E46 X-drive cars chew axles up regularly, use more gas, and weigh more. Weigh those attributes against what you find desirable about the RWD car. X-drive will get the car going from a stop better than RWD. X-drive will get the car up hills easier and with less drama. X-drive doesn't require any real driving skill or any real thought going into what you're doing. You just put the gas pedal down and steer the car. The electronics sort everything out for you.

RWD may require that you disable part or all of the DSC system to get it through certain conditions. If you turn the traction off on an open diff RWD car, you have to know what you're doing to some degree. It's not rocket science, and i'm sure you can teach her. My girlfriend now drives an 04 WRX. No traction, no electronics. I took her out in a big open parking lot. Within an hour she was drifting circles around light poles. It's not hard to learn car control.

The E46 330i will do just fine in the snow. I wouldn't throw her out there in it with all seasons and let her sink or swim. But put some good snow tires on it and let her throw it around in controlled conditions for a few hours, and she'll be just fine. DSC works brilliantly. It really does. I'm no race car driver. But i've been to my fair share of driving events and I know how to control a car. I know how to drive, and I leave DSC on nearly all the time. It actually saved my ass just this morning when I hit a patch of black ice on the highway doing 75. The car stepped out and slide out of line. It was too early in the morning for me to have a good chance of saving it without a lot of drama. DSC stepped in and righted the car very quickly.

I drive in the snow with the traction part disabled and the braking intervention on. At low speeds (or when I want to have some fun), I leave it off all the way. The car is perfectly capable. But even if you leave the electronics on, you can get around most of the time, and truth be told, the electronics are impeccable at keeping the car in line. When you're driving on a crowned road and the back end starts to slide and follow the crown without DSC, you can keep it on and it will use the braking intervention along with the diff's response to keep the back end in check. Don't sell the RWD car short because it only has 2 drive wheels.
__________________
-Nick
fiveightandten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 03:28 PM   #18
JJR4884
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 18,204
My Ride: BMW
IBKubica

Are you trying to compare RWD with snows to AWD with no snows?

If you want RWD, you will be fine if you get a good snow tire. I have Blizzacks, and I have made it up plenty of steep hills, I've made it down without locking up the brakes, and I have had a fair share of good "saves" with turns. With that being said, braking in the snow will be better with snow tires, and same with turning (until you start comparing the AWD advantage of being able to power out of a spin and straighten out better than a RWD car would if it started going sideways)

Bottom line, you should always be careful while driving in the snow. You will not get stuck in a parking spot, you will not get stranded on a hill, and you will be able to safely brake hard/swerve out of the way in case of an emergency, at least safer than if you were with all seasons.
JJR4884 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 04:08 PM   #19
jayb328i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 823
My Ride: E46 2000 328i
You say your wife will be driving the car "sometimes". Take her out of the equation---do not allow her to drive that car in the snow. Now what do You want. I have snows on all tires and drive carefully, but I know how to drive in snow. My wife drives her 4 wheel Forester in snow.
jayb328i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 05:24 PM   #20
Danoff
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 475
My Ride: '04 330i ZSP
The main benefit that I can see with the xi is actually the ride height. With snow tires on the car, getting going shouldn't be much of a problem (sandbags in the back if it is). I drove around in some pretty serious snow and ice this last winter with my blizzaks and only had one problem with my non-Xi - ride height.

My car is just too low (stock) for some of the snow we got and I didn't want to risk plowing an iceball with my front lip. Concern for my front fender was my biggest limiting factor. That being said, my family has a second vehicle with AWD and snow tires, so I'm not as concerned about conditions that prevent me from using the E46.
Danoff is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
330i, 330i vs 330xi, 330xi, i vs xi, snow tires

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use