Originally Posted by Cyberdemon
You're missing the fact that the driving dynamics are also quite a bit different in the X drive cars. AWD is great for safety, but the reality is for many people 360 days of the year they won't drive the car in snow, so for the 5 days they might have to is it worth those tradeoffs?
Also - you can't say an Xdrive car pays for itself based on the cost of the tires. An AWD car with all seasons will be most price efficient, but won't handle as good as an RWD car with summer tires in the summer and dedicated winters - especially if you push your car towards the limits (which if you bought the 3 to be a sports sedan and not a luxury sedan, probably happens fairly oftne).
It all depends on your driving habits...Audi made a pretty successful business out of selling AWD cars. I just care that the car is safe enough to get me home in bad weather, the wife has a truck for blizzards (no AWD is going to get you over the fact that the car only has a few real inches of ground clearance)
I bet you a spark plug that 90% of the 3 series owners have never push their car to the limit. I echo others in saying that, unless you are on a close track, you will not notice the performance difference between a AWD and RWD.
AWD is not just for snow, it can help power a car thru a turn, it can help with traction in heavy rain and driving over large puddles. If you loss traction for whatever reason, it can recover faster than a RWD car.
Where I am, it snows a lot more than 5 days a years. I guess if I live in an area where it only snow 5 days a year, I would not need a AWD car.
In the Northeast, there is almost no RWD stock around, its actually cheaper to buy a AWD car off the lot than to order one from Germany. If one consider the cost of snow tires, rims, TPMS and labor, the AWD is actually a couple of thousand cheaper than the RWD