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      05-17-2015, 12:54 AM   #1
itrocks4u
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For those who made the switch from RWD to Xdrive...

Hi

I've read up whole lot on RWD and Xdrive and various suspensions. I would like some input from those who made the switch from RWD to xdrive with adaptive suspension. What was your reasoning and do you regret it or happy with it? Do you feel big difference between the suspensions or is the adaptive comparable enough?
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      05-17-2015, 07:44 AM   #2
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Good post!

My 2008 e90 335i was xDrive and I moved back to RWD, and it is night and day! The RWD gives away more feedback, better handling and an sport feeling that I did not had on the e90

Im curious about this post as well.
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      05-17-2015, 07:47 PM   #3
itrocks4u
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So far it seems like no one went from rwd to xdrive based on responses versus views lol
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      05-17-2015, 08:18 PM   #4
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I had 2 E90s both RWD. Have an Xdrive F30. It's hard to focus on just the drivetrain differences being that the vehicle generations are also different leading to a change in the driving experience.

The E90s were much more lively (i.e. nimble). This was a good thing. Easy to slide out the rear. Winter traction was terrible, but I partially blame that on shitty tires I have. It was nice to be able to run staggered tires.

The F30 (stock) was worse to be honest. It felt floaty, but not lively. The wheel gap was atrocious as well and definitely made it look like a camry not a sleek german sedan. It did feel stable though. It was comfy, which is not what I wanted from this car.
After my suspension, the car felt a lot more planted and direct. It doesn't feel as lively as the E90, more of a point and shoot kind of car. The xdrive + great tires gives me a lot of confidence to take corners at a high rate without oversteering. Even then, if I take tight corners and sharp turns, because of my increased power over stock, I can make it oversteer a little bit with TCS/DSC off. Also, the more power a car has, it is useful to have AWD so you can drive faster off the line.

I think my next car, I will go back to RWD. With some mods, Xdrive works alright though.

Those are my quick thoughts
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      05-17-2015, 08:39 PM   #5
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Had AWD on the first car and the next 3 were/are RWD. The AWD felt heavier and it was also noisier when coasting. Having had RWD vehicles (non-BMW) before the E90 I knew I'd never get AWD again. When I need AWD (snow), my wife has her SUV.
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      05-17-2015, 10:01 PM   #6
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I went from an E39 (rwd obviously) to an xDrive F30. Now it's not an apples to apples comparison because of the different models but there are some differences.

The steering in the E39 would return to center much better than on the F30. But now that I think about it, it could be due to the EPS vs hydraulic steering. Overall, the differences are not something you will feel in your daily drive, more on the track.

I can still kick out the tail with the xDrive and DSC off and that's all I really care about frankly. In winter on snow, 4 wheel drifts are much better controlled than RWD if you want to have fun
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      05-17-2015, 10:16 PM   #7
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I reluctantly made the switch from RWD (3 BMWs in over 16 years) to my 1st AWD (335 M-Sport xDrive 6MT Variable Sport Steering+Adaptive M Susp.+M Sport Brakes+19" 403M). The deal on this car was too good to pass. A few things I miss about RWD:
- The feeling of being pushed into a corner rather than feeling a slight pull.
- Lower ride height.

Things I do not miss about RWD:
- The tire wear lol

Things I hate about xDrive:
- Bigger turning radius (U-turns are more of a pain).
- slightly higher ride height even with M-sport (nitpicking here though)
- What seems to be a bit more body roll, but the M adaptive suspension does hold its own in sports mode and can compensate to some level.
- Some slight torque steer on occasions (e.g power out of a sharp turn or u-turn)

Things I like about xDrive:
- Definitely a lot easier to drive in winter. I never complained about RWD with snow tires, but xDrive with snow tires is great. I really appreciated it on a trip to Jay Peak in VT during a blizzard, passing other cars stuck going uphill.
- I am pleasantly surprised with the RWD bias of xDrive, you can still get the tail out and get a partial RWD feeling. Still lots of fun in the snow.
- Traction on acceleration is great, and I believe I mentioned saving rubber lol.
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      05-18-2015, 08:27 AM   #8
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You really can't get any valid feedback unless it's someone who moved from RWD to AWD within the same chassis. There are so many differences between the various chassis (and model configurations for that matter) that any comparisons will be meaningless...
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      05-18-2015, 08:22 PM   #9
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My first BMW was the 128i, with snow tires it was great in light snow with a good set of snow tires.

My second BMW was the x3, although it was great in the snow it wasn't much fun to drive.

I've had my 2015 328i xdrive for two days now. Already it feels much more like my 1er did. It feels very planted in the situations I've felt to date. It seems to handle well, but I haven't really had time to play with it yet.
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      05-20-2015, 02:52 PM   #10
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I had an E53 X5, which was obviously xDrive, then a RWD E60 545, and currently an F10 535 xDrive.

Of the three, the F10 is by far the least interesting to drive. xDrive isn't the only factor contributing there, the car is also larger, heavier and has a longer wheelbase than the other two. But like almost all xDrive BMW sedans, it does have the standard suspension components, and DHP cannot entirely make up for the softness of the setup.

I drove a couple xDrive 4 series cars at the Un4gettable event last summer. They may have felt a little higher strung [better] than the F10, but the best car for me that day was the RWD 428 Gran Coupe with the 704 suspension, which felt much more like a BMW should.

xDrive seems to suck the BMW out of a BMW sedan. I will avoid xDrive sedans in the future, though I would still buy an X5. If you are a sedan driver for whom xDrive and driving engagement share equal priority, I definitely recommend cross-shopping other brands at this point in time.
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      05-20-2015, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itrocks4u View Post
Hi

I've read up whole lot on RWD and Xdrive and various suspensions. I would like some input from those who made the switch from RWD to xdrive with adaptive suspension. What was your reasoning and do you regret it or happy with it? Do you feel big difference between the suspensions or is the adaptive comparable enough?
I would imagine the majority of those who made the switch from RWD to AWD did so because they were planning on driving in environments where they would be traction limited.

Not many make the switch from RWD to AWD for better dry performance, unless your life revolves around 0-60 times.
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      05-20-2015, 03:52 PM   #12
itrocks4u
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
I would imagine the majority of those who made the switch from RWD to AWD did so because they were planning on driving in environments where they would be traction limited.

Not many make the switch from RWD to AWD for better dry performance, unless your life revolves around 0-60 times.
Agreed, I guess what I was trying to gauge is if anyone made the switch but is still happy with the xdrive with DHP in terms of the handling. It doesn't seem like that's the case.
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      05-20-2015, 09:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itrocks4u
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
I would imagine the majority of those who made the switch from RWD to AWD did so because they were planning on driving in environments where they would be traction limited.

Not many make the switch from RWD to AWD for better dry performance, unless your life revolves around 0-60 times.
Agreed, I guess what I was trying to gauge is if anyone made the switch but is still happy with the xdrive with DHP in terms of the handling. It doesn't seem like that's the case.
In my view, an xDrive BMW with DHP is about 80% as "sporty" - nebulous term, I realize - as the equivalent RWD car with the M-Sport suspension.

That's fine for most people, and optimal for many, since that same DHP car can also play it relaxed. Me, I'd rather a sport sedan be a sport sedan so the compromise doesn't amount to a benefit.
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      05-20-2015, 09:22 PM   #14
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My wife has a rwd f30 335 with passive sport suspension and when we got loaner f30 328 awd (luxury line, no dhp) she couldn't tell much of a difference.

I noticed the wheel gap and body roll but that was to be expected in a non dhp awd car (to be clear i would absolutely not buy a base suspension awd f30...)

I think it is pretty subtle for street driving and getting dhp is a good idea, as is making sure the wheel gap won't bug you too much
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      05-20-2015, 09:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliCO View Post
In my view, an xDrive BMW with DHP is about 80% as "sporty" - nebulous term, I realize - as the equivalent RWD car with the M-Sport suspension...
I would put it in the 90%-95% range; closer to 95. The fact of the matter is that only on a racetrack can you explore that difference; daily driving it's simply not noticeable.
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      05-20-2015, 09:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itrocks4u
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
I would imagine the majority of those who made the switch from RWD to AWD did so because they were planning on driving in environments where they would be traction limited.

Not many make the switch from RWD to AWD for better dry performance, unless your life revolves around 0-60 times.
Agreed, I guess what I was trying to gauge is if anyone made the switch but is still happy with the xdrive with DHP in terms of the handling. It doesn't seem like that's the case.
There is no getting around the fact that RWD feels more sporty. That said, if it's your dd and you need to get to work no matter what the weather, xdrive is a good compromise.
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      05-20-2015, 10:28 PM   #17
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I wish I could go back to rwd, but I need awd. What I miss more is stick. Should have never gone auto, even though the ZF box is very good.
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      05-20-2015, 10:38 PM   #18
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I had a 135 with snow tires. It did okay for unkept NYC streets in the winter. I then got a F10 550 RWD that came with all seasons and it was horrible. That made me get the F30 xDrive. I'd prefer RWD but I need to get to work. I do have the DHP but I feel it's too soft. I'm going to start with the shockware upgrade then see if I need to take it further.
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      05-20-2015, 11:13 PM   #19
itrocks4u
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliCO View Post
In my view, an xDrive BMW with DHP is about 80% as "sporty" - nebulous term, I realize - as the equivalent RWD car with the M-Sport suspension.

That's fine for most people, and optimal for many, since that same DHP car can also play it relaxed. Me, I'd rather a sport sedan be a sport sedan so the compromise doesn't amount to a benefit.
Why did you end up changing? I see you had 545i before?

Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
I would put it in the 90%-95% range; closer to 95. The fact of the matter is that only on a racetrack can you explore that difference; daily driving it's simply not noticeable.
95%? Really?
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      05-20-2015, 11:18 PM   #20
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Had an E90 325xi, then a M235i RWD (DHP), now a 428GC Xdrive (no DHP)

M235i vs 428GCx: in Comfort mode they feel almost the same as far as comfort and normal turning goes, but if you really push it hard then RWD over 4WD in handling. The 1st noticeable difference is that the 428 have RFTs where as the M235 had PSS tires. In sports mode the M235i wins, I believe if I put PSS tires on the 428...it will handling very well as the car has a wide track.

E90 325xi vs 428GCx....Handling and comfort: Hands down the 4 series win as it's got a wider track and also the ELSD is less intrusive on the 4 series

but overall the 4x is on the soft side if you're use to the old school bmws
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      05-21-2015, 12:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itrocks4u View Post
95%? Really?
Really: http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...-bimmer-page-4
As I said, you'd have to be on a racetrack, and even then if it were a tight course the xDrive might win. Remember, the 335d, even lacking HP (but with torque) basically tied a 335i around a race course. It's not the power, but how it's applied, and all three are within whiskers of each other.

Besides, a better driver in a 335i xDrive is likely to beat a ham-fisted guy in a 335i. There's always a faster car/driver combination out there.
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      05-21-2015, 01:35 AM   #22
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It's hard to focus on just the drivetrain differences being that the vehicle generations are also different leading to a change in the driving experience.
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