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The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:16 AM   #21
jbehr99
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
Posts: 110
My Ride: 2005 330CI Vert ZHP
I have a ZHP convertible and here in Michigan we had some big snow storms this season. I have blizaks on all 4's and this car can get through anything with them on. I have never felt that my safety was in
jeopardy before with these snow tires. They truly do a superb job and make all the different.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:22 AM   #22
SJZach
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Jersey/ Wilmington NC
Posts: 379
My Ride: orient blue 325xi
My 325xi handles very well in the snow on all season tires. When my dad had all season tires on his 325i I know he had a lot more trouble keeping his car strait on the road then me. Can't say how either are with snow tires though
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:42 PM   #23
JohnnyPhoenix
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: South central WI
Posts: 8
My Ride: '05 330Xi 6MT
I have a 330Xi with Michelin PA3's and where I live, anything short of AWD just doesn't cut it. The issue is mostly because we're the last road that gets plowed out after a storm. My Xi can handle at least 10" of snow, but more importantly, ice and hard pack. I also have two outback wagons that I prefer in truly crappy weather, but that's because I know what I *can* get away with in them AND don't have the same emotional attachment. Putting one in the the ditch would be "meh" where the 330 would be "Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!".

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Old 03-15-2013, 05:31 AM   #24
jayb328i
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 813
My Ride: E46 2000 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyPhoenix View Post
I have a 330Xi with Michelin PA3's and where I live, anything short of AWD just doesn't cut it. The issue is mostly because we're the last road that gets plowed out after a storm. My Xi can handle at least 10" of snow, but more importantly, ice and hard pack. I also have two outback wagons that I prefer in truly crappy weather, but that's because I know what I *can* get away with in them AND don't have the same emotional attachment. Putting one in the the ditch would be "meh" where the 330 would be "Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!".

JP
the issue I find with my non xi but has all 4 snow tires is.........with snow of 10 inches the car becomes a snow plow. The E46 just does not clear the snow because it is too low. It does not help that it is lower by 1/2 inch due to modifications.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:35 AM   #25
sgoetz628
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 334
My Ride: 2002 330 CiC
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Originally Posted by jayb328i View Post
the issue I find with my non xi but has all 4 snow tires is.........with snow of 10 inches the car becomes a snow plow. The E46 just does not clear the snow because it is too low. It does not help that it is lower by 1/2 inch due to modifications.
Yep, that's why I have a Ford Escape for the winter. But the OP isn't talking about these kinds of conditions, he's talking about driving on plowed roads. Just no need for him to sacrifice/limit his options to get an xi.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:34 AM   #26
michaelden
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NY
Posts: 2
My Ride: fx35
wow, thanks for all the great responses guys!

looks like xi is looking less and less necessary for winter driving.

Now one more thing, I know I have read about some things in the past however, what is it about the xi that would "make me regret not getting the RWD" for the summer months. I know that the xhp has noticeable driving differences but does a sport 330i really drive that much different than a xi?

I guess now im looking for general 330i v 330xi opinions.... Performance, costs etc.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:39 AM   #27
jayb328i
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 813
My Ride: E46 2000 328i
As far as a performance car--------there is nothing to replace a RWD. Never owned a xi but everything I read is that the cost is higher. I look at BMW's to go well over 200k without any major work. I suspect that is more difficult to achieve with a xi.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:10 AM   #28
fiveightandten
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,202
My Ride: '03 330ci / '98 M3
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Originally Posted by michaelden View Post
wow, thanks for all the great responses guys!

looks like xi is looking less and less necessary for winter driving.

Now one more thing, I know I have read about some things in the past however, what is it about the xi that would "make me regret not getting the RWD" for the summer months. I know that the xhp has noticeable driving differences but does a sport 330i really drive that much different than a xi?

I guess now im looking for general 330i v 330xi opinions.... Performance, costs etc.
To be honest, hopefully without sounding condescending, if you're asking that question, you likely won't notice the difference.

The handling balance of RWD really only comes into play when you're driving the car around some twisty roads at a pretty fast pace, or obviously when you're driving the car hard enough to break traction. When you get used to the way RWD pushes the car forward, you manipulate how the car moves in a different manner than you would with FWD or AWD. The latter drive trains have a completely different feel. These things may be subtle to people who use a car as an appliance to get them from point A to point B. But for people who love to drive, the difference is huge.

I mentioned before, I drove a Subaru WRX for years. Great car, but I missed RWD so much that I sold it and bought my 330ci. The WRX was a wagon, it had more cargo room, it had about 75 more horsepower than my 330 (was much faster), was less needy with maintenance, and was *vastly* better in the snow than my 330 (also much better than an E46 with X-drive). I don't regret the decision one bit. I'm much happier in the RWD car and don't miss the AWD that much the few days a year that it snows.

RWD pros:
-Handling balance and handling feel
-Straight line performance is slightly better
-Drivetrain is more reliable (no front axles to fail)
-Better on gas
-Less weight (contributes to better fuel economy and better performance).

RWD cons:
-Requires more attention and arguably more skill to drive in the snow
-Has less grip when going up hills or moving from a stop in the snow.


AWD Pros:
-Better snow handling, in the sense that it will get going easier from a stop and get up hills easier with less drama.
-Arguably takes less skill and less attention to drive in the snow. Electronics take care of everything. Very little thinking involved.

AWD cons:
-Xi models have high failure rates for the front axles. People have to replace them pretty often. More things to break overall, whereas the RWD platform drivetrain is literally bulletproof.
-Doesn't handle as well as RWD 95% of the time you're driving the car.
-Sucks down more fuel.
-AWD takes away from straight line performance.
-Tires need to be the same at all 4 corners. With RWD, if you have 50% worn and you take a nail near the sidewall, you can just replace the 2 (or maybe even one). With AWD, All the tires have to be the same and have the same relative amount of tread (can't have big differences).


You'll find that X-drive basically only offers benefits in the snow. Even then, the benefits aren't huge, and they do bring some drawbacks the rest of the time you're driving the car. But again, for someone that uses the car as an appliance, the driving feel and performance benefit of RWD is basically a moot point. AWD is a nice safety blanket to have for the snow. But that's literally the only positive about it. It's a matter of personal preference.

Hope that helps.
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