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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > XI vs I



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      03-01-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
SlowAsHell
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XI vs I

You think the xi is that much better than the i in regards to road handling around turns, curves, etc. I've always driven fwd or awd suvs but never really a rwd car so I can't really compare the 2. The only rwd car I drove on the regular was my gfs cadillac cts, but I didn't whip that turns too hard.
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      03-01-2012, 11:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowAsHell View Post
You think the xi is that much better than the i in regards to road handling around turns, curves, etc. I've always driven fwd or awd suvs but never really a rwd car so I can't really compare the 2. The only rwd car I drove on the regular was my gfs cadillac cts, but I didn't whip that turns too hard.
This is an article worth reading. 2wd or 4wd.

http://www.rallycars.com/Cars/4wd_turbo_cars.html
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      03-02-2012, 12:14 AM   #3
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I got an XI for snow and for drag launches and coming off slow corners when the power has been greatly increased. I'm surprised at how well the RWD cars do and how good the traction control system is. So far if I had it to do over I'd still go XI, but now I can see why there are plenty of people who don't want AWD. It does pretty well without it.
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      03-02-2012, 02:06 PM   #4
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Having owned both a 2004 STI and now a 2008 e90 XI.. My opinion:

XI = Functionality, with performance a secondary benefit
STI = Performance, with functionality a secondary benefit

The STI was so darn fun to drive, and was immensely controlled and confident when pushing limits. The XI is much more vague and I'm just not comfortable going to those extremes, it just feels unpredictable..
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      03-02-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfrink24 View Post
Having owned both a 2004 STI and now a 2008 e90 XI.. My opinion:

XI = Functionality, with performance a secondary benefit
STI = Performance, with functionality a secondary benefit

The STI was so darn fun to drive, and was immensely controlled and confident when pushing limits. The XI is much more vague and I'm just not comfortable going to those extremes, it just feels unpredictable..
Both are AWD...

OP was asking about 328/335xi vs. 328/335i
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      03-02-2012, 03:15 PM   #6
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I think it's really geographic. If I lived in SoCal, I'd be in a RWD car. IF you have any snow/ice in your area, I'd get AWD.

From a raw performance standpoing, it really depends on how you'll be exercising that performance. RallyX, drag, AutoX etc. all have different requirements for weight, cornering, power and suspension. Like anything, there's a better tool for some jobs than others.
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      03-02-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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Stock for stock, the i will handle better and do most of the performance aspects better besides launches.

Install a tune and I feel the speed benefit goes more to the xi. With more power, the xi can handle it much better vs the i being rwd. Unless you're going over 35mph then the extra weight and drag of the xi hurts.

Now move to handling, and the i with sport suspension will kill the xi stock. Now toss some good coilovers on both the i and xi and there will be a much bigger benefit for the xi since it's initial settings are so soft. Being I've never driven a lowered i, I can't say which one is better after coils.

Overall, if you don't plan on modding and want to stay stock and don't need awd, I'd say get the i. But if you plan on modding all out like I am, I think the xi might be the better platform. All the i guys will give me sh%t for saying that though.
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      03-02-2012, 07:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pits200
Stock for stock, the i will handle better and do most of the performance aspects better besides launches.

Install a tune and I feel the speed benefit goes more to the xi. With more power, the xi can handle it much better vs the i being rwd. Unless you're going over 35mph then the extra weight and drag of the xi hurts.

Now move to handling, and the i with sport suspension will kill the xi stock. Now toss some good coilovers on both the i and xi and there will be a much bigger benefit for the xi since it's initial settings are so soft. Being I've never driven a lowered i, I can't say which one is better after coils.

Overall, if you don't plan on modding and want to stay stock and don't need awd, I'd say get the i. But if you plan on modding all out like I am, I think the xi might be the better platform. All the i guys will give me sh%t for saying that though.
I'm already lowered on kw v1s and I feel the handling has improved over stock. My friend has an e46 m3 (and granted, it is an m3) he can keep up with me around corners and turns where I wouldn't think he would be able to
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      03-06-2012, 06:21 PM   #9
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335xi FTW (in Oregon at least)
I had a 06 STi... for me personally, I love Turbo'd cars that are AWD. My next ride will be a GTR like a 08 or a 09... thats my preference tho. RWD is poop in the rain, and scary, I had a 350Z that was a blast in the summer, but I swear it felt like I owned a motorcycle, the RWD Z was a sunny day kind of car.
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      03-19-2012, 08:14 AM   #10
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I had an "I", I now have an "XI". I would not get another "XI". To me the handling and steering and the entire driving Dynamics was far superior in the "I". "XI" is a nice car but its not the Ultimate driving machine. The "I" was the ultimate driving machine.
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      03-19-2012, 09:06 AM   #11
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I just drove a 2009 335i loaner and I was not that impressed, granted being a loaner and pretty much beat up (only 22k miles). I have installed Coils on my X drive and its fun as hell to drive. When I had procede installed the car was fast and it felt like it was on tracks... I think I ll do X drive again.
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      03-19-2012, 02:58 PM   #12
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My friends always talked about how much better their "i"s handled than an xi, but I suspect they were comparing an i with the sport package to an xi without. When I got my xi with the sport package and 162 18s, they admitted it wasn't that different. And they admitted it was nice coming off the corners with full boost. Not saying I converted them, just that the difference isn't that big.
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      03-19-2012, 04:08 PM   #13
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It's worth noting that with upgraded suspension, you can have the precision of the i, and the AWD of the xi.
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      03-22-2012, 06:32 PM   #14
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      03-25-2012, 10:03 PM   #15
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I test drove a RWD e90 335i with sport suspension today. After a very short easy test drive I really really liked how the i felt compared to the xi. My xi doesn't have the sport suspension which obviously makes a difference. Like someone said before, the i takes the cake stock for stock any day.

I liked the car I drove so much that I put a deposit down on it and will probably pick it up mid-week. I look forward to putting coilovers on the xi this summer to see how it does with a better suspension... But I really like the i more than I had ever anticipated. The initial impression ... without being able to compare apples to apples yet given close-to-max power on sorry suspension in the xi vs stock power on sport suspension in the i... is get an i unless the weather really is that bad. When I lived in SLC I loved mobbing through mountains and snow in an xi and doing better than lots of the lifted bro trucks... but here in Phoenix I suspect that I'll grow quite fond of the i...
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      03-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #16
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I think you'll be quite happy with RWD in Phoenix, especially if you don't drag race. But yet again, you're comparing i with sport to xi without. Everybody knows that anything with the sport package will feel much different from anything without. I'm just not sure why the whole world seems to associate xi with no sport package. Is xi with sport that rare?
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      03-26-2012, 09:54 AM   #17
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If memory serves, the XI with sport package doesn't get any suspension.

Just fast bumpers / steering wheel / wheel tire pkg type stuff.
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      03-26-2012, 10:37 AM   #18
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I don't think that's correct. I have the xi sport with 162s from the factory and it's stiff, low, and turns really well. My friend with an equivalent 'i' sport said the only major difference he could detect was that the steering didn't feel quite the same.
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      03-26-2012, 10:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Morris View Post
I don't think that's correct. I have the xi sport with 162s from the factory and it's stiff, low, and turns really well. My friend with an equivalent 'i' sport said the only major difference he could detect was that the steering didn't feel quite the same.
Xi sport has no suspension upgrades over non-sport xi. This has been discussed to death here.
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      03-26-2012, 06:12 PM   #20
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I see lots of talk, such as this thread:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101480

...but I'm still not seeing much agreement or hard info. I can believe the guy that said the XI sport is stiffer but not lower. Can you define "upgrades" for me? I'm pretty confident at least something is different between the XI sport and the XI non-sport, but I'm curious what you're saying the i has that the xi doesn't besides maybe ride height.
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      03-26-2012, 06:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Morris View Post
I see lots of talk, such as this thread:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101480

...but I'm still not seeing much agreement or hard info. I can believe the guy that said the XI sport is stiffer but not lower. Can you define "upgrades" for me? I'm pretty confident at least something is different between the XI sport and the XI non-sport, but I'm curious what you're saying the i has that the xi doesn't besides maybe ride height.
Look up parts fiche on realoem.com for 335i sedan, coupe, and 335xi. Compare part numbers and notice there is no sport package shock elements for the Xi. There is just an Xi suspension, it is not the same as 335i sedan non-sport.

Basically there are 3 suspensions on a e90/e92 335:

335i sedan non-sport
335i sedan sport
335i coupe (same as 335 sport)
335xi (coupe and sedan)

All sport packages include sport seats and some trim. Only on the 335i sedan does the package also include the lower suspension and stiffer struts/shocks of the coupe. All non xi 335i coupes have the same suspension. You could get larger diameter wheels/tires separately. You could special order a non sport susp on a coupe.

This is true for sure up through MY 2009. BMW makes it very hard to figure this out, but it is clear looking at parts fiches on realoem.com.

the xi suspension is higher in ride height than either non-xi sport or non sport, and has different tuning parameters. Xi front struts do not fit non-xi, but all rear shocks are interchangeable as well as all springs. That does not mean they are the same.

edit: bottom line is there is only one xi suspension, there is no sport version of it. That is not to say it is the same as a non-sport 335i susp, or that it is not "sportier", it is just different.

Last edited by ajsalida; 03-26-2012 at 06:30 PM.
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      03-26-2012, 06:40 PM   #22
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AJ is right, there is no difference between the sport and non-sport on the xi, simple as that.

Perhaps some people have the upgraded 18s which have lower profile tires and will give you a slightly stiffer feel but it has nothing to do with the suspension.
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