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      03-09-2013, 02:09 PM   #1
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Hi All,

I am getting some differing information about the difference between a 335i XDrive Sportline verses a 335i RWD Sportline.

When you add the Dynamic Handling Package, does it transform the M sport Suspension to an Adaptive M Suspension? Also gives you variable steering. This is what I think happens on a 335i RWD car.

On an Xdrive, do you really get a true sport adaptive suspension? I am confused, is there a real sports pack this time on all wheel drive. I know its a higher ride height, but does the car really handle better with the Dynamic Handling.

Also, I realize the merits of both RWD and XDrive. Living the snowy North East, am I going to miss out on better handling for everyday driving if I DO NOT opt for Xdrive. Many here privately say RWD and all-seasons can get me through a winter. But what about XDrive...

I'd be pairing it with the 6 speed manual... thoughts? I know many have this configuration. Does it work and fulfill the dreams of BMW drivers who want sporty fun?
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      03-10-2013, 06:03 AM   #2
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Update: private message indicates to me an xi does not receive any sport suspension and that only the shock absorbers modulate on an adjusting m suspension. Does anyone know the exact formula that goes into an xi suspension verses a regular rwd ?
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      03-10-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JK479 View Post
Update: private message indicates to me an xi does not receive any sport suspension and that only the shock absorbers modulate on an adjusting m suspension.
This statement is correct. If you order Xdrive, your car would not have sport suspension.

It would also have a 20mm increase in ride height compared to a F30 non-Xdrive with Sport suspension. This is a very noticeable difference in appearance, one of several reasons why I would never order Xdrive for a BMW sedan or coupe. Other reasons being the extra weight over the front axle, increased fuel consumption, increased turning radius, lack of sport suspension, compromised steering feel and the extra cost.

It is a myth, propagated by BMW and their dealers, that Xdrive is required for driving in winter conditions. If you equip your BMW with proper snow tires for winter, you should be fine, providing the snow is not too deep. I have never been stuck in snow while driving a BMW equipped with snow tires. My F30-335i handles incredibly well on snow and ice with Pirelli 240 Sottozero II winter tires.
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      03-10-2013, 12:13 PM   #4
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Lots of bad info here. With the DHP, you DO get sport suspension on X-drive, the adaptive M suspension. And yes, it is higher than the RWD versions (passive M suspension on sport line, or adaptive m suspension on M sport are both the same ride height), but it is by higher by 10 mm not 20. The sport suspensions on RWD cars lower the car by 10mm compared to standard, non sport suspension. X-drive simply does not lower it, sitting a the same height as the standard suspension. But again, with DHP, you DO still have the adaptive M suspension on an x-drive.

Regarding x-drive as a necessity in winter conditions, in your case in snowy New England, "need" is up to you. Assuming equal tires, X-drive is far, far more capable in wet and slippery weather than any RWD vehicle. Whether you need that extra traction and assurance is up to you to decide. But make no mistake, in terms of wet (not just snow but any wet) or snowy conditions, you do sacrifice traction in a RWD vehicle.

I would highly recommend driving both and decide for yourself if the sacrifice in traction outweighs any driving fun you sacrifice vs RWD. Personally, I don't think you give up as much as people like to let on. If you believe what you read, most of the people on here are expert track drivers and feel every difference they read about. I call BS. Most people don't notice (especially in real life driving) because the x-drive still handles damn well and provides a ton of fun.
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      03-10-2013, 01:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
Lots of bad info here. With the DHP, you DO get sport suspension on X-drive, the adaptive M suspension. And yes, it is higher than the RWD versions (passive M suspension on sport line, or adaptive m suspension on M sport are both the same ride height), but it is by higher by 10 mm not 20. The sport suspensions on RWD cars lower the car by 10mm compared to standard, non sport suspension. X-drive simply does not lower it, sitting a the same height as the standard suspension. But again, with DHP, you DO still have the adaptive M suspension on an x-drive.

Regarding x-drive as a necessity in winter conditions, in your case in snowy New England, "need" is up to you. Assuming equal tires, X-drive is far, far more capable in wet and slippery weather than any RWD vehicle. Whether you need that extra traction and assurance is up to you to decide. But make no mistake, in terms of wet (not just snow but any wet) or snowy conditions, you do sacrifice traction in a RWD vehicle.

I would highly recommend driving both and decide for yourself if the sacrifice in traction outweighs any driving fun you sacrifice vs RWD. Personally, I don't think you give up as much as people like to let on. If you believe what you read, most of the people on here are expert track drivers and feel every difference they read about. I call BS. Most people don't notice (especially in real life driving) because the x-drive still handles damn well and provides a ton of fun.
This is INCORRECT - with xdrive selected, you do NOT get the sports suspension - the sport suspension includes lowered springs (10 cm), matched dampers, and possibly beefed links/sways along with proper alignment. The DHP adds electronically controlled dampers - ie you can tune the frequency response (how bumpy stiff if "feels"), but you won't really be changing the high speed handling characteristics (other than slightly reducing roll).

Whether the sports suspension is important/worth it is another debate. Likewise the xdrive option. If you do end up trying to lower the car aftermarket, to properly do it (not throw off alignment/high speed handling) you will have to get adjustable control arms (lower than 1") to fix the camber, and your adaptive shocks might take on additional wear because they are mismatched to the springs.

RWD is certainly capable in the snow with proper snow tires, assuming you are not trying to clear serious drifts or driving up/down extremely steep mountain roads. Of course this can be a pain because you need to store your tires and get a jack/stands to change tires 2 times a year. Not trying to start a flame war, but if you want a performance variant go with 335i m-sport and if you want AWD check out the S4 with quattro.

Last edited by drob23; 03-10-2013 at 02:18 PM.
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      03-10-2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drob23 View Post
This is INCORRECT - with xdrive selected, you do NOT get the sports suspension - the sport suspension includes lowered springs (10 cm), matched dampers, and possibly beefed links/sways along with proper alignment. The DHP adds electronically controlled dampers - ie you can tune the frequency response (how bumpy stiff if "feels"), but you won't really be changing the high speed handling characteristics (other than slightly reducing roll).

Whether the sports suspension is important/worth it is another debate. Likewise the xdrive option. If you do end up trying to lower the car aftermarket, to properly do it (not throw off alignment/high speed handling) you will have to get adjustable control arms (lower than 1") to fix the camber, and your adaptive shocks might take on additional wear because they are mismatched to the springs.

RWD is certainly capable in the snow with proper snow tires, assuming you are trying to clear serious drifts or driving up/down extremely steep mountain roads. Of course this can be a pain because you need to store your tires and get a jack/stands to change tires 2 times a year. Not trying to start a flame war, but if you want a performance variant go with 335i m-sport and if you want AWD check out the S4 with quattro.
As you say, xDrive does not have lowered M Sport Suspension. It has standard suspension but you can order it with Adaptive Suspension which again is not lowered. This is because the car has front and rear driveshafts.

The Audi is a no no for me.
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      03-10-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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I echo similar statements that you should test drive both. I suspect the xDrive wouldn't feel discernibly different except maybe on the track. The main reasons I would be disinclined to go with the xDrive is the decreased fuel economy and the lessened aesthetic appeal of a higher ride height.

If you go with the RWD, I would opt to have dedicated winter wheels/tires. IMO, the increased safety from the grip of true winter tires over all-seasons outweighs the inconvenience of having to change your wheels twice a year. In your climate, it's not a risk I would gamble with.

If changing your wheels is too inconvenient for you, then I would go with the xDrive paired with all-seasons. Or consider the S4. I've owned a 2009 A4 and I have a Q5 (mainly my wife's car). I think Audis are great. But when I was cross shopping cars against the 3-series, I test drove an S4. It was really nice. But, among other things, the 335i was just a lot more fun to drive. However, if I absolutely had to have AWD, it might have been a tougher decision.
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      03-10-2013, 06:46 PM   #8
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Like I said, correctly, you don't get the lowered suspension with x-drive, but if you add DHP gives you the adaptive M suspension, without lowered ride height.
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      03-10-2013, 07:56 PM   #9
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Since you're buying a 335i MT (something I would call an driving enthusiast car), your preferences, in order, should be:

1. RWD with dedicated winter set. This choice will let you enjoy your car year round.
2. AWD with dedicated winter set. This choice will slightly improve winter handling (not safety!) at the significant expense of a) additional purchase and post-warranty repair costs; b) extra weight; c) suboptimal suspension geometry.
3. AWD with all-seasons. This choice will make it possible to get through winter weather, if you can't afford (or don't have logistics for) winter tires.
4. RWD with all-seasons. This choice will force you work from home on most snow days.
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      03-10-2013, 11:12 PM   #10
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Go for the xDrive, you won't be sorry
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      03-10-2013, 11:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ynguldyn View Post
Since you're buying a 335i MT (something I would call an driving enthusiast car), your preferences, in order, should be:

1. RWD with dedicated winter set. This choice will let you enjoy your car year round.
2. AWD with dedicated winter set. This choice will slightly improve winter handling (not safety!) at the significant expense of a) additional purchase and post-warranty repair costs; b) extra weight; c) suboptimal suspension geometry.
3. AWD with all-seasons. This choice will make it possible to get through winter weather, if you can't afford (or don't have logistics for) winter tires.
4. RWD with all-seasons. This choice will force you work from home on most snow days.
Very realistic conclusions ! Well written !
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      03-10-2013, 11:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
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This statement is correct. If you order Xdrive, your car would not have sport suspension.

It would also have a 20mm increase in ride height compared to a F30 non-Xdrive with Sport suspension. This is a very noticeable difference in appearance, one of several reasons why I would never order Xdrive for a BMW sedan or coupe. Other reasons being the extra weight over the front axle, increased fuel consumption, increased turning radius, lack of sport suspension, compromised steering feel and the extra cost.

It is a myth, propagated by BMW and their dealers, that Xdrive is required for driving in winter conditions. If you equip your BMW with proper snow tires for winter, you should be fine, providing the snow is not too deep. I have never been stuck in snow while driving a BMW equipped with snow tires. My F30-335i handles incredibly well on snow and ice with Pirelli 240 Sottozero II winter tires.
True when you live in Vancouver when the most snow you get is never over 5cm. Try living in the east (toronto, Montreal) where often we get over 10cm. We even get days where it was over 40cm.

By the way, winter tires are mandatory here from dec 15 to march 15.
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      03-11-2013, 07:59 AM   #13
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      03-11-2013, 09:24 AM   #14
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I test drove a RWD 6MT M Sport, an xDrive luxury line AT and bought a xDrive with DHP and 6MT. Here's my take on it in real-world driving:

xDrive + DHP in sport/sport+ is much better than xDrive w/o DHP and feels similar to the RWD M Sport suspension. The car corners EXTREMELY flat. The ride in comfort is also better, of course. In bad conditions on equal tires AWD crushes RWD, and anybody saying otherwise probably doesn't know what "bad conditions" actually are. I went right from a RWD car to this one and the difference is hilariously obvious. Of course driving in the snow on bald summer tires is A Bad Idea in RWD or AWD.

I'm not going to say that xDrive + DHP is for everybody, but it's pretty clear that the people bashing this combination never actually drove it.
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      03-11-2013, 09:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ynguldyn View Post
Since you're buying a 335i MT (something I would call an driving enthusiast car), your preferences, in order, should be:

1. RWD with dedicated winter set. This choice will let you enjoy your car year round.
2. AWD with dedicated winter set. This choice will slightly improve winter handling (not safety!) at the significant expense of a) additional purchase and post-warranty repair costs; b) extra weight; c) suboptimal suspension geometry.
3. AWD with all-seasons. This choice will make it possible to get through winter weather, if you can't afford (or don't have logistics for) winter tires.
4. RWD with all-seasons. This choice will force you work from home on most snow days.
Exactly why I went with #1.

And yes, to reiterate, you do NOT get a sport suspension with XDrive, you get the DHP, which is ADAPTIVE, not mechanical/static sport suspension.
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      03-11-2013, 08:04 PM   #16
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[quote=overkill1125;13617271]True when you live in Vancouver when the most snow you get is never over 5cm. Try living in the east (toronto, Montreal) where often we get over 10cm. We even get days where it was over 40cm.
(Quote)

It is true that Vancouver only occasionally gets deep snow (last big dump in 2009), but during this past winter, we only had one snow storm (10-15 cms) which quickly packed down to form thick ice on the roads.

I wish snow tires were mandatory here like in Quebec; you would not believe the number of idiotic drivers here who try to drive with all seasons on wet snow and ice ! All season tires are useless in these conditions.
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      03-12-2013, 01:48 PM   #17
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Exactly why I went with #1.

And yes, to reiterate, you do NOT get a sport suspension with XDrive, you get the DHP, which is ADAPTIVE, not mechanical/static sport suspension.
I did my homework. Rode with a patient sales adviser and we took rwd/xi sportlines out and put them through their paces. The result, I did feel a little of what I would call a shaky quiver over some bumps turning at speed. It wasn't uninspiring, but it wasn't quite as flat as the rwd.

I guess in the end, I will stick with rwd. Thanks for all who contributed. I think both cars are amazing. I'll just heed the warning and order winter tires to put on the car once it gets cold again in the North East. October, right?
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      03-12-2013, 02:57 PM   #18
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I did my homework. Rode with a patient sales adviser and we took rwd/xi sportlines out and put them through their paces. The result, I did feel a little of what I would call a shaky quiver over some bumps turning at speed. It wasn't uninspiring, but it wasn't quite as flat as the rwd.

I guess in the end, I will stick with rwd. Thanks for all who contributed. I think both cars are amazing. I'll just heed the warning and order winter tires to put on the car once it gets cold again in the North East. October, right?
You can go as late as November too...I usually mount them Nov-March, so 5 months of Winter's and 7 months of summers...i can't WAIT to put my summer rubber on though.
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      03-12-2013, 03:57 PM   #19
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You can go as late as November too...I usually mount them Nov-March, so 5 months of Winter's and 7 months of summers...i can't WAIT to put my summer rubber on though.
Do winter tires handle poorly enough you need to switch right out?

Is it just tread and better cold weather handling with a winter tire? If I lease, should I just lease a pair at the same time and add it into my lease?

Just curious... i went 18s... can i simply add a 18 inch winter tire to my sport rims? they are not staggered. This is my plan, if I can.

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      03-12-2013, 04:40 PM   #20
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I have x drive and staggered summer performance tires in NJ. When it's below freezing and snowing, the car can get up and go but you will not be able to stop. Seeing that this is dangerous, the solution is to park the car. This is an obvious disadvantage of this set up. Now the good news, this winter ( looks like the worst is behind us), I have parked my car for exactly 2 days. IMO, it's not worth it to switch to winter tires. Your circumstances may differ.
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      03-12-2013, 05:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Do winter tires handle poorly enough you need to switch right out?

Is it just tread and better cold weather handling with a winter tire? If I lease, should I just lease a pair at the same time and add it into my lease?

Just curious... i went 18s... can i simply add a 18 inch winter tire to my sport rims? they are not staggered. This is my plan, if I can.
the Blizzak LM60's handle admirably for being winter tires, and can take temp's up to 45 degrees. I purchased them and installed them at Town Fair Tire for $1000, and that's 225-45-18 so you'll be fine there.

If leasing, you're still going to run cheaper to buy and use it over 4 years than building it in to the deal (BMW really rapes on those winter packages).
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      03-12-2013, 05:54 PM   #22
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I have x drive and staggered summer performance tires in NJ. When it's below freezing and snowing, the car can get up and go but you will not be able to stop. Seeing that this is dangerous, the solution is to park the car. This is an obvious disadvantage of this set up. Now the good news, this winter ( looks like the worst is behind us), I have parked my car for exactly 2 days. IMO, it's not worth it to switch to winter tires. Your circumstances may differ.
You really shouldn't have summers on because of the temperature alone
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