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      01-07-2013, 10:27 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
The weight diff. between AWD and RWD is less than 300 pounds, fuel consumption is the same in the city and 1 MPG diff on the highway. 0-60 MPH is 0.1 sec diff and the cost of the AWD is about the same as snow tires, rims and TPMS.

Small price to pay for the additional safety AWD provides.
Absolutely...LOL. And those "prices" are the only ones you "pay."

People who sing the praises of the RWD feel over xDrive are either spending more time on Internet forums than the road, or haven't done a reasonable comparison on the F30s. F30 xDrives give you 99% of what the RWD gives in feel.

The only reason to favor RWD these days is sticker price, period.
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      01-07-2013, 12:08 PM   #68
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Absolutely...LOL. And those "prices" are the only ones you "pay."

People who sing the praises of the RWD feel over xDrive are either spending more time on Internet forums than the road, or haven't done a reasonable comparison on the F30s. F30 xDrives give you 99% of what the RWD gives in feel.

The only reason to favor RWD these days is sticker price, period.
For anyone who believes that, I have just six numbers:

3410, 49.4%/50.6%, 3595, 51.3%/48.7%
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      01-07-2013, 12:12 PM   #69
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Absolutely...LOL. And those "prices" are the only ones you "pay."

People who sing the praises of the RWD feel over xDrive are either spending more time on Internet forums than the road, or haven't done a reasonable comparison on the F30s. F30 xDrives give you 99% of what the RWD gives in feel.

The only reason to favor RWD these days is sticker price, period.
Really?

So the additional weight, drivetrain power loss, higher ride height, lower fuel economy, combined with the fact that in 95% of normal driving conditions the front wheels are doing nothing but sapping energy?

I test drove all 4 variations of the F30 (328i/xi, 335i/xi) and driving them back to back I could immediately notice the power robbery and extra weight of the x-Drive. It's the same difference you notice when driving with a car full of people. Perhaps I spend more time on the internet...but it doesn't make sense to me to bear the extra burden unless you are a person who NEEDS to drive in a blizzard (and we live on the same Island - so if you pass me in a blizzard you can make your point then). Here on LI most of the roads are plowed any time they get past a few inches. I've lived here for 30 years and have never owned a AWD car, nor have I ever been stuck in the snow - and I average 20-25k per year with a 30 mile commute in all kinds of bad weather. To further my point, my wife rear ended someone last year in her AWD SUV because she was on the standard all season tires and couldn't stop in time.

For what it's worth the only reason I went with RWD is the sh*t eating grin of pushing the ass end out in a corner. Otherwise I would've just gotten another FWD car.
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      01-07-2013, 12:42 PM   #70
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Really?

So the additional weight, drivetrain power loss, higher ride height, lower fuel economy, combined with the fact that in 95% of normal driving conditions the front wheels are doing nothing but sapping energy?

I test drove all 4 variations of the F30 (328i/xi, 335i/xi) and driving them back to back I could immediately notice the power robbery and extra weight of the x-Drive. It's the same difference you notice when driving with a car full of people.
For the 2013 328i and 328ix, from the BMW official page, the xDrive is 0.2" higher - 0.4%, not much at all.

The xDrive is 235 lbs heavier - but a load of people in my family weighs a lot more that that, I would account for 75% of it. More relevant is that the xDrive is FASTER, not slower - 5.7s to 60, rather than 5.8s to 60. Maybe you have the power robbery backwards?

I'm just curious, my xDrive is not here yet, but it is difficult to get a clear story here.

Maybe BMW knows the most - "That means under normal conditions, drive forces are spread out with a rear-wheel bias. But the moment the system senses excessive wheel slip, it subtly shifts torque to meet the changing conditions, offering maximum available traction and superior handling on all surfaces."
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      01-07-2013, 12:52 PM   #71
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How's Toronto for getting the streets ploughed? Are you downtown?
Yeah, Toronto usually gets the streets cleaned up pretty quickly ... tough luck for me I moved out of the city two weeks before the snow and where i am they just get to it when they'll get to it.
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      01-07-2013, 01:08 PM   #72
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I live in a place where it snows. I have RWD. Does it suck? Yes, a bit but having snow tires helps a lot. Just get snow tires if you don't have an AWD 3 series.
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      01-07-2013, 01:24 PM   #73
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The xDrive is 235 lbs heavier - but a load of people in my family weighs a lot more that that, I would account for 75% of it. More relevant is that the xDrive is FASTER, not slower - 5.7s to 60, rather than 5.8s to 60. Maybe you have the power robbery backwards?
[/b]
1 - 0-60 times are very subjective. It's much easier to launch an AWD car, but case in point Car and Driver got 4.7 seconds out of a 335i.



2 - AWD draws more drivetrain loss than RWD, this isn't novel to BMW or any other car manufacturer. The same engine is in both cars, the AWD drivetrain needs to turn more gears, more shafts, which result in more parasitic loss due to physics, which means less power to the road. You may be able to get a better jump off the line with AWD, but over a distance the RWD car is faster, and the power delivery is apparent if you actually drive them back to back.

At the end of the day you're probably getting around 10% less power out of the X-drive, so by the time you've left first gear and the car has hooked up traction, the car is slower.

The next response I'm sure is going to be "I never drive my car fast so I don't care" which is fine - but trying to make the point that AWD is faster and cheaper is silly. The only justification you need is "I drive a lot in the deep snow and want this for my own piece of mind"
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      01-07-2013, 01:58 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Cyberdemon View Post
1 - ... case in point Car and Driver got 4.7 seconds out of a 335i.

2 - ... trying to make the point that AWD is faster and cheaper is silly. The only justification you need is "I drive a lot in the deep snow and want this for my own piece of mind"
I'm not sure what the 335i has to with a 328i/328ix comparison, and I didn't say "cheaper".

Yes, I'm not a teenager anymore, and not aiming to race at Indy, but aim for a responsive, good-looking, sure-footed, comfortable car with the latest gimmicks and very good gas mileage, and so far the 328ix looks like the best thing out there.

I'd guess if you have a 335i, you're looking for something else - much faster, a little less traction in bad weather, and worse gas mileage.
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      01-07-2013, 02:14 PM   #75
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I'm not sure what the 335i has to with a 328i/328ix comparison, and I didn't say "cheaper".

Yes, I'm not a teenager anymore, and not aiming to race at Indy, but aim for a responsive, good-looking, sure-footed, comfortable car with the latest gimmicks and very good gas mileage, and so far the 328ix looks like the best thing out there.

I'd guess if you have a 335i, you're looking for something else - much faster, a little less traction in bad weather, and worse gas mileage.
The discussion was about RWD/AWD - so it doesn't matter if its a 328 or 335i the drivetrain/power loss etc is the same.

My point was never that AWD is a bad thing, but there has been a slew of misinformation in this thread that deny basic handling principles/math/physics.
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      01-07-2013, 02:36 PM   #76
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From the BMW site:
Time to 60 - 335i 5.1s, 335ix - 4.7s - the advantage of the xDrive is much larger for the 335, so I am not sure why you're bringing up the 335.

The lesson I'm getting from this is that four-wheel drive is faster until one is going pretty darn fast, and should have better traction and handling in a range of conditions.

The slightly less optimal weight distribution may be a downside, the car is 5mm higher, and the extra gears cost ever so slightly in gas mileage.

While I have little enthusiast driving knowledge, I do have a doctorate from Caltech, so I know some physics.
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      01-07-2013, 04:41 PM   #77
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...While I have little enthusiast driving knowledge, I do have a doctorate from Caltech, so I know some physics.
Whoa! You have a PhD! 'Scuse me for askin', Doc. But do you put your pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us? Or has that doctorate learned you how to levitate your bod so you can put 'em on two legs at once?

See, us'n car jocks here like talkin' 'bout cars and hearin' them upinions from other posters and decidin' iffn those folks is smart or dummer'n then stumps based on just what they say, not their effin' degreez.
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      01-07-2013, 04:48 PM   #78
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From the BMW site:
Time to 60 - 335i 5.1s, 335ix - 4.7s - the advantage of the xDrive is much larger for the 335, so I am not sure why you're bringing up the 335.

The lesson I'm getting from this is that four-wheel drive is faster until one is going pretty darn fast, and should have better traction and handling in a range of conditions.

The slightly less optimal weight distribution may be a downside, the car is 5mm higher, and the extra gears cost ever so slightly in gas mileage.

While I have little enthusiast driving knowledge, I do have a doctorate from Caltech, so I know some physics.
Then let me explain this way:

Forget what BMW says - I've already shown why BMW's 0-60 can be wildly inaccurate, and are primarily for marketing purposes (so that the dealer can claim the car is .1 second faster than the Audi, as well as helping to justify the extra performance and security that the $1800 X drive premium gets you).

Now that we've left the world of marketing spin all we're left with is the physics.

Acceleration comes down to the mass of the car, the power of the engine, and the ability to deliver that power to the ground through the tires.

We already know that the mass of a RWD car is lower. The power of the engine (regardless of what model) is equal, so the only difference left is the traction.

Traction comes from the tires ability to create friction (which is a function of many variables including tire compound, tire/surface temperature, tire pressure) and the drive wheels.

We know the RWD car will deliver more power to the wheels due to the lower parasitic loss of the drivetrain. And we know that the AWD vehicle will be able to better distribute the power to the ground via all 4 wheels.

At the end of the day that means the only time the X drive vehicle is faster is when the RWD driver is turning the tires to smoke.

In the real world that generally means:
-From any type of a roll, the RWD car is faster
-If the RWD car is on summer tires and the AWD car is still on all seasons, the RWD car is faster.
-From a standstill, the AWD car will launch faster until the RWD car hooks up (which is also a function of driver skill, traction control - which is exactly why BMW's posted #'s are virtually meaningless other than for marketing)
-In general driving (merging into traffic,passing on the highway) the RWD car will be faster and more responsive.
-In dry weather the RWD car will always handle better. Less weight, better weight distribution, more power. Same reason virtually every race car on earth is RWD until you get to rally racing, and even many rally cars which are purely driven on dirt are still RWD.

AWD is great when it's snowing and you're travelling up-hill from a standstill. But even in the rain I've pushed this car to the limits wanting to break traction on the snow tires and the RWD still has more grip than I want. That included driving home in the Noreaster we had right after Hurricane Sandy, and the car was still extremely well planted even in 3" of snow and with my summer tires still on the car.

I also won't get into the fuel economy issue because that's too variable - but if you have a car that weighs more, you're going to spend more fuel lugging it around. The EPA numbers are useless - the 328i and 335i both have the same exact EPA numbers with the automatic, which I'm sure any of the fuel economy conversations on here will disprove pretty quickly.

RWD is subject to a lot of myths and marketing hype to push more expensive AWD vehicles. In reality, the vast majority of people "need" AWD almost as often as an SUV owners "Need" to drive off road.

//Lowly bachelors from Virginia Tech.
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      01-07-2013, 05:08 PM   #79
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Cyberdemon,

That makes good sense. Yobyot, just trying to stay clear of some of the murky and counterintuitive explanations I saw above.

I suspect the issues on abrupt cornering are more complex, and I do expect sometimes better performance with xDrive on the very steep hills near my house, especially with wet leaves, snow, and ice. Seattle occasionally gets shut down by sheets of ice, and some skiing is likely in the picture.

Another complication is that friction diminishes gradually, well before traction is lost (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...43164808000847, not sure this link will work), so spreading the power across all the tires might be more beneficial than one might think from watching when clouds of smoked tires start to be visible.

It seems a little ironic, if I'm reading you right, that my milquetoasty driving has less use for the xDrive, while, if there's a benefit from your having the 1000 hp of an M Sport 335i, much more than my 328ix, it may well be when the "tires are turning to smoke", and the xDrive could be useful.

Last edited by JohnVidale; 01-07-2013 at 05:25 PM.
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      01-07-2013, 05:26 PM   #80
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It seems a little ironic, if I'm reading you right, that my milquetoasty driving has less use for the xDrive, while, if there's a benefit from your having the 1000 hp of an M Sport 335i, it may well be when the "tires are turning to smoke", and the xDrive could be useful.
The difference is turning the tires to smoke is not only surprisingly difficult on these cars, but very easy to modulate, even with traction control switched off. You know when you've lost traction and it's very easy to push the car and keep on the power. The 3 is not tremendously powerful in either stock form and on 255 series summer tires have a large amount of grip...my Corvette by comparison was 500 lbs lighter, had 525hp and would quickly destroy the standard 275 rubber.

AWD is simply more predictable...oversteer terrifies some people. Otherwise it's the most fun you can have with 4 wheels.
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      01-07-2013, 05:42 PM   #81
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Very good, thanks for clearing a lot up. As usual neither of us will probably change our minds.

Predictable is good for me, and the last thing I need is my daughter and wife going overboard with oversteering, which they might do.
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      01-07-2013, 05:55 PM   #82
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Very good, thanks for clearing a lot up. As usual neither of us will probably change our minds.

Predictable is good for me, and the last thing I need is my daughter and wife going overboard with oversteering, which they might do.
Was never about changing minds - opinions are fine to have.

AWD is safe, neutral, predictable and good piece of mind. Those are feelings based on opinion.

The rest of my comments are simply based on facts on what AWD is and isn't based on the conditions at hand.
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      01-07-2013, 07:47 PM   #83
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RWD is subject to a lot of myths and marketing hype to push more expensive AWD vehicles. In reality, the vast majority of people "need" AWD almost as often as an SUV owners "Need" to drive off road.

//Lowly bachelors from Virginia Tech.
YES, well put !!!

For each Xdrive sold, BMW's profit increases by well over $1000 per car ! It's no wonder that they and their dealers PUSH Xdrive and try their best to convince folks that they NEED Xdrive.

BMW has done an outstanding job marketing Xdrive, so much so that almost 90% of 3 Series ordered in Vancouver are now specified with the Xdrive option.
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      01-07-2013, 08:22 PM   #84
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Last week a snow storm hit us here, and the roads were not salted or plowed at 5 am. I ended up getting stuck trying to make a right on a very small hill. I had no grip and was stuck there for 30 mins until i wiggled my way out.

I have practically new 18" Pirelli Sottozero non-runflats and I'm still having problems. I am missing my x-drive on my e90 now, or better yet, should have waited for x-drive for the f30 =(

Any suggestions on what i should be doing to increase traction/grip in the winter? Any RWD pointers in winter?

I have heard that if i load my trunk with over 100+ lbs of junk, it would increase traction.

Thnks!
I will give you my experience before I jump into the AWD vs RWD diversion. I have felt an improvement after putting several large heavy bags of ice melting salts into the trunk. Try that. Also, sometimes you will be able to get into a parking spot, but not be able to get out, you can shovel a little, and put some of the salt on the ground to melt the ice, and create a rough surface to get some traction on. Rocking back and forth to get out, or little bursts of gas sometimes achieve the momentum needed. Sometimes as you do achieve some forward or reverse progress, depending where you want to go, what I've made work is pressing the brake to hold your position when you start slidng back down instead of sliding back down, and then starting again from there where you held the brake.

I've been driving probably 20 years and always used dedicated winters, it's a non issue. You can't/shouldn't even bring it up as a factor. Get/need winter tires, on RWD/AWD/4x4. It redicoulous to compare RWD with winters vs AWD and All Seasons and say RWD with winters is better that AWD with all seasons. My new ultra light space shuttle material tenis raquette strung up with wool sewing thread is also worse that my old wooden tenis raquette. C'mon. Why do people even compare that. If it snows where you live, and stays at freezing and colder all the time in winter, you need winter tires. On snow/ice safely slowing down and stopping is the most critical. You need ice and snow tires. Put it into perspective. I'm sorry, but snow driving experienced in Maryland, Virginia, Vancouver, is not Montreal, Winnipeg, Burlington, Champlain.

And RWD on allseason or snows, is not even a contender to AWD and 4x4 in getting up and moving. It is the slowing and stopping, that will be compromised without winter tires on any drive type. I won't give up my AWD or 4x4 for just my RWD BMW. Too much hassle I don't want to put up with. I want to just get into my truck, engage 4x4 and drive off. RWD BMW, great summer, spring, fall car. Get out of 1971. Who drives RWD sports cars or convertibles in real winter anyway. But a BMW, oh yeah for sure, get in, lets go for an arctic expedition, these things are great leave you arctic Hilux behind.....
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      01-07-2013, 11:07 PM   #85
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And RWD on allseason or snows, is not even a contender to AWD and 4x4 in getting up and moving. It is the slowing and stopping, that will be compromised without winter tires on any drive type. I won't give up my AWD or 4x4 for just my RWD BMW. Too much hassle I don't want to put up with. I want to just get into my truck, engage 4x4 and drive off. RWD BMW, great summer, spring, fall car. Get out of 1971. Who drives RWD sports cars or convertibles in real winter anyway. But a BMW, oh yeah for sure, get in, lets go for an arctic expedition, these things are great leave you arctic Hilux behind.....
Why don't we all just go and buy ourselves Nissan GT-Rs?
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      01-08-2013, 02:39 PM   #86
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For each Xdrive sold, BMW's profit increases by well over $1000 per car ! It's no wonder that they and their dealers PUSH Xdrive and try their best to convince folks that they NEED Xdrive.

BMW has done an outstanding job marketing Xdrive, so much so that almost 90% of 3 Series ordered in Vancouver are now specified with the Xdrive option.
LOL, thats a good one, you can say the same about every option on the F30, it increase BMW's profit margin. In fact, lets take it one step further, your BMW itself is a profit generator, you can buy a much cheaper car and it will still get you around, instead, you choose to pay extra for the roundel. I guess the BMW marketing department fool you too
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      01-08-2013, 02:57 PM   #87
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There's a lot more to go wrong on xDrive cars. For example, on the E46, the front control arms were notorious for wearing out far more quickly than on the RWD cars, and they cost much more to replace as well. You'll pay a performance and fuel economy penalty, of course, no matter what bench racers try to tell you.

It's the buyer's decision as to whether the many tradeoffs are worth it. I don't think AWD belongs on a sports car (it's an opinion -- please, can we leave the Ur-Quattro and GTR out of this), but for a big sedan, well, it's not like you're getting mad RWD performance anyway.

I've got my eye on the F31, and the xDrive is a selling point because I never want to put on chains in the mountains. If it weren't for ski trips, I'd never even consider getting xDrive.
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      01-08-2013, 04:22 PM   #88
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For what it's worth the only reason I went with RWD is the sh*t eating grin of pushing the ass end out in a corner.
Yeah, got it...good visual too.

Not a fan of a lot of oversteering, especially when technology allows grip in slippery conditions. We're not disagreeing per se, we just think differently about driving.

Good luck to you.
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