E90Post
 


TireRack
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > snow tires vs. xi argument



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      01-08-2006, 05:03 PM   #1
parafrog
Private
 
Drives: 2006 330i BlkSaph
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern Italy

Posts: 99
iTrader: (0)

snow tires vs. xi argument

just thought i'd give some personal insight for those of you still not sure if you should get xi or a good set of snow tires.

i had the same dilemma and opted against getting xi. i bought a 330i and purchased snow tires about 5 weeks ago for the winter season.

the first test was a trip to garmisch-partenkirchen, germany just before Christmas. those of you familiar with germany know how much it can snow there. i was travelling to innsbruck on my way back from garmisch in a freaking snow storm. there is a HUGE hill right before innsbruck. i'm talking 17% grade in places. it was covered with ice and snow. the polizei had closed the road going up the mountain, but i was coming down. it took it slow & easy and i was FINE. DTC lit up a few times on flat stretches, but otherwise was great. a few audi quattros flew past me, but hey, these were locals that drive in these conditions often. i made it to innsbruck and on to salzburg just fine. i just had to adjust my speed a little and be careful.

the second test came yesterday in the dolomiti mountains a few hours north of venice. i've attached a few pics of this trip. about 2-3 inches of hard packed snow with various ice. there was some loose snow as well. the snow tires came through with flying colors. at some of the more open flat stretches i got a little agressive on the brakes to see how the tires would do. very little slide! the car and the tires inspire confidence.

you can see from the second picture that there were some downhill portions as well. overall i am VERY pleased with my decision to go with RWD and snow tires.

unless you live in an area where you are going to be constantly driving in the snow and slop, i don't think you absolutely need awd. i don't always drive in these conditions (maybe 5-8 times a year). when i do the tires work great. most of the roads here are cleared pretty well.

just to be clear, i'm not arguing against awd. it's a great technology and if you're sure you want it, then get it. this info is for those of you on the fence. btw, my snow tires aren't top of the line either (kumho) but i've been very happy with them. i've rambled on enough. wishing you all good luck with your decision and safe driving.

frog
Attached Images
  
parafrog is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 05:11 PM   #2
jcoo085
Lieutenant
 
jcoo085's Avatar
 
Drives: E90 320d
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Stuttgart, Germany

Posts: 463
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2005 320d  [0.00]
Great pics and a nice write up.

IMO, regardless of whether or not you have an AWD car snow tyres (or at the very least a good set of All-Seasons) are still a must. Tyres provide the contact between the car and the ground. If they have no grip then it doesn't matter how many wheels are turning. You're not going anywhere.
__________________

E90 320d - Black Ext/Fluid Grey Int | Steptronic | Business Navigation | PDC | Sunroof | Alarm
Exterior Pictures | Interior Pictures | Video
jcoo085 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 05:16 PM   #3
Guano
New Member
 
Drives: 2006 330xi
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA

Posts: 10
iTrader: (0)

Not that I give a rats ass as to whether anyone else thinks I should get a step vs 6sp, xi vs zhp or whatever, but I disagree as to the logic of getting the xi only in heavy snow prone areas. The occasional snow/ice storm is what catches you off guard and is more difficult to prepare for than the expected whole season of inclement weather. I had a full snow tire/ OEM setup for a M3 and became quite profecient at changing them otu myself, and they did work fine, through ice and all snows.

With job & kids, however, I just don't want to screw with it. The XI handles on par with the e36 M3 and negates my having to bother switching out.
Guano is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 05:25 PM   #4
jcoo085
Lieutenant
 
jcoo085's Avatar
 
Drives: E90 320d
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Stuttgart, Germany

Posts: 463
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2005 320d  [0.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guano
Not that I give a rats ass....
Ummm, ok. I think the OP was commenting on the fact the an E90 with snow tyres can play pretty well in snowy/icy conditions.

And I was merely pointing out that if you get snow wherever you are, then snow tyres are a must even with an xi.

So if you don't give a "rats ass" about a topic, then there's really no need to read the post.
__________________

E90 320d - Black Ext/Fluid Grey Int | Steptronic | Business Navigation | PDC | Sunroof | Alarm
Exterior Pictures | Interior Pictures | Video
jcoo085 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 05:35 PM   #5
parafrog
Private
 
Drives: 2006 330i BlkSaph
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern Italy

Posts: 99
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guano
Not that I give a rats ass as to whether anyone else thinks I should get a step vs 6sp, xi vs zhp or whatever, but I disagree as to the logic of getting the xi only in heavy snow prone areas. The occasional snow/ice storm is what catches you off guard and is more difficult to prepare for than the expected whole season of inclement weather. I had a full snow tire/ OEM setup for a M3 and became quite profecient at changing them otu myself, and they did work fine, through ice and all snows.

With job & kids, however, I just don't want to screw with it. The XI handles on par with the e36 M3 and negates my having to bother switching out.
good point on saving yourself the hassle of switching out tires. i could care less what option you get (xi) or even what type of car you elect to buy/drive, for that matter. i didn't suggest getting the xi only in snow prone areas. what i stated was that it isn't an absolute necessity. i also stated that if you want xi, then go for it. this was for folks that were on the fence. you, obviously, know what you want. i'm glad you enjoy your xi.
parafrog is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 06:24 PM   #6
LEDZEP
Lieutenant General
 
LEDZEP's Avatar
 
Drives: 2009 E70 & 2011 F25
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Area 51

Posts: 12,277
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Great pictures! Thanks for sharing the experience too. We don't get big snow too often, but when we do I'll trust my all seasons and the xi...
__________________


I think it is bad luck to be superstitious
LEDZEP is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 06:48 PM   #7
JVFan
Lieutenant
 
JVFan's Avatar
 
Drives: Very Well
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lloydminster, AB CANADA

Posts: 515
iTrader: (1)

I love Europe and it's attitudes!

I am very pleased with my snow tires and DTC as well! It is the best car I have ever driven in the winter and I think the 50/50 distribution counts a lot. No real need for AWD...I also don't care for how the Xi sits higher....
__________________
2012 328i White Luxury/ Saddle Brown
JVFan is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 07:11 PM   #8
jmatero
Mac Guru
 
Drives: 2011 Mustang GT
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Jose, CA

Posts: 100
iTrader: (0)

I live on the top of a rather steep hill and it never fails... stuck at the bottom are all the lexus/infiniti/BMW RWD's.... Even my neighbor with a somewhat new 325i with 4 snows traded his in for a 325xi because he was stuck on the bottom. There are too many factors and everyone drives on different roads. If it's a long steep grade where you can pick up speed, maybe rwd+snows will do it for you. But if you live in my neck of the woods where the roads are steep and full of curves that force you to slow to a crawl when they're DRY to get around them... you can only imagine what it's like in the snow. In fact, last year, the only cars (not SUV's) that made it up the hill were the Subarus/Audis, 1 bmw 325xi and my other neighbor's Jag x-type.... all with all-seasons I might add. All depends on where you have to drive. If you have curves and you can't get a running start (and in NY, studded snows are illegal) nothing beats AWD.
jmatero is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 07:13 PM   #9
jmatero
Mac Guru
 
Drives: 2011 Mustang GT
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Jose, CA

Posts: 100
iTrader: (0)

I'm also really confused by how may people say they didn't buy the xi because it sits so much "higher" than it's non-xi model. I thought the difference was 2/10th's of an inch, no? How could you spot that difference on a vehicle? 2/10th's of an inch????

Oh and I think the "RWD + SNOWS RULES" crowd should cut us xi'ers a little slack.... not all of us live in houses.... I'm in a condo.... and Many of us don't have the luxury of being able to store 4 wheels/tires so AWD is the way to go.
jmatero is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 07:19 PM   #10
parafrog
Private
 
Drives: 2006 330i BlkSaph
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern Italy

Posts: 99
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatero
I live on the top of a rather steep hill and it never fails... stuck at the bottom are all the lexus/infiniti/BMW RWD's.... Even my neighbor with a somewhat new 325i with 4 snows traded his in for a 325xi because he was stuck on the bottom. There are too many factors and everyone drives on different roads. If it's a long steep grade where you can pick up speed, maybe rwd+snows will do it for you. But if you live in my neck of the woods where the roads are steep and full of curves that force you to slow to a crawl when they're DRY to get around them... you can only imagine what it's like in the snow. In fact, last year, the only cars (not SUV's) that made it up the hill were the Subarus/Audis, 1 bmw 325xi and my other neighbor's Jag x-type.... all with all-seasons I might add. All depends on where you have to drive. If you have curves and you can't get a running start (and in NY, studded snows are illegal) nothing beats AWD.

great point! if had to have gone up any significant slope, the story would have been different. the road was closed to ALL vehicles going up the mountain. as long as it's not super iced over, a gradual slope can be tackled. when it's hard packed with ice, much more difficult.
parafrog is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 07:22 PM   #11
parafrog
Private
 
Drives: 2006 330i BlkSaph
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern Italy

Posts: 99
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatero
I'm also really confused by how may people say they didn't buy the xi because it sits so much "higher" than it's non-xi model. I thought the difference was 2/10th's of an inch, no? How could you spot that difference on a vehicle? 2/10th's of an inch????

Oh and I think the "RWD + SNOWS RULES" crowd should cut us xi'ers a little slack.... not all of us live in houses.... I'm in a condo.... and Many of us don't have the luxury of being able to store 4 wheels/tires so AWD is the way to go.
also agree. too many lines in the sand are drawn in lots of these forums on absurd issues. fantastic machines, all versions of the e90.
parafrog is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 07:24 PM   #12
espo
Captain
 
espo's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 330xi
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sugar Land TX

Posts: 691
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatero
I'm also really confused by how may people say they didn't buy the xi because it sits so much "higher" than it's non-xi model. I thought the difference was 2/10th's of an inch, no? How could you spot that difference on a vehicle? 2/10th's of an inch????
That is the difference between the regular RWD and the xi. If you factor in the SP version of the RWD, then the xi is 0.8" higher which is noticable at the wheels.
__________________
E90 330xi Mystic Blue/Black Leather/Aluminum 6sp Manual ZSP/ZPP/ZCW/CA
F22 M235i Mineral Gray/Red Leather/Aluminum 6sp Manual ZPP/ZTP Delivered????
espo is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 08:05 PM   #13
ZenDriver
Do Not Taunt Zen Driver.
 
ZenDriver's Avatar
 
Drives: 325i w/ MT, ZSP in Graphite
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, OR

Posts: 466
iTrader: (0)

Humm, named Para, N. Italy, driving a diplomatic sales car... You are in the 173?
ZenDriver is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 08:05 PM   #14
StewtheBassman
Major General
 
Drives: 04 X5 3.0, 07 530xiT
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hudson, Quebec

Posts: 6,386
iTrader: (1)

Thanks parafrog..great write up and contribution! I wish I could go over there and explore a bit...I'll have to finish exploring North America first!

Your recommendation is spot-on!


Oh, and my New Year's Resolution is to never get sucked into another RWD vs. xi argument again!!!
__________________

StewtheBassman is offline   Canada
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 08:15 PM   #15
JVFan
Lieutenant
 
JVFan's Avatar
 
Drives: Very Well
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lloydminster, AB CANADA

Posts: 515
iTrader: (1)

I hope the e90 XI is different than the e46 XI 'cause the latter looks way to high...like I paid good money not to have the car look like a Corolla on its wheels....
__________________
2012 328i White Luxury/ Saddle Brown
JVFan is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 08:26 PM   #16
bavarian19
General
 
bavarian19's Avatar
 
Drives: Car
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: VA

Posts: 18,809
iTrader: (23)

Here in VA, I have done more than fine with the small amount of snow and ice we have had so far this winter (I am riding on Performance AS tires). I have been rather dissapointed with our winter being as I plan on going snowboarding a few times this season.

I am glad to hear of a true success story of a properly driven RWD car with snows. Who needs the XI
bavarian19 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 08:27 PM   #17
Juve29
First Lieutenant
 
Juve29's Avatar
 
Drives: 325i titanium silver spk
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Montrťal, Canada

Posts: 324
iTrader: (0)

Where I live it snows from November until April, and believe me it snows. The temperature here in Canada can go down as low as -30 Celsius without taking into account the wind chill factor which could bring it down to almost Ė 40 Celsius. At that temperature everything is frozen. I got a 325i with the sports package. So I had to get snow tires. Iíve had my car for about 1 month and a half now, I can tell I donít regret my choice. The only problem I have is with the height, I find its a little low for winter but then again I got the sport package and put 205/55/16 winter tires I should have probably got 17 inch, but I find that the smaller tires are better in snow. (The car looks kind of funny though)

I think snow tires are a better choice than AWD. BMW are supposed to be rear wheel drive cars and not AWD. Snow tires do a good job and personally I donít think you need AWD. A lot of people say that you can go faster with AWD in snow, but when thereís a lot of snow and ice itís not a really good time to drive fast. Somehow people that drive AWD cars believe that they are invincible. I donít if anybody else notices this, but they seem to drive faster when there a snow storm then in normal conditions. Stopping distance in snow is longer than on dry pavement whether you have AWD or not.

One of the problem with all wheel drive cars is that most people donít equipped their cars with snow tires. At -30 Celsius with four season tires, thereís no grip. The tire freeze and it becomes as hard as rock.

I think that if you adapt your driving style to the road condition snow tire are the better choice, plus a car is always more enjoyable in summer than in winter. Like I said before BMW are rear wheel drive cars not AWD. If you want an AWD car buy an Audi or a Subaru.
Juve29 is offline   Canada
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 08:30 PM   #18
shack
Colonel
 
Drives: 2002 325xiT
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Canada

Posts: 40
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 325xiT  [0.00]
2002 325xiT  [0.00]
You're right you don't need xDrive in NoVa where they close the government, Dulles (right next door to you), and schools for the one or two inches of snow that you do get.

Come to Canada, New England, or Colorado - you'll have a newfound respect for AWD.

Where you stand depends on where you sit...
shack is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 08:35 PM   #19
bavarian19
General
 
bavarian19's Avatar
 
Drives: Car
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: VA

Posts: 18,809
iTrader: (23)

Quote:
Originally Posted by shack
You're right you don't need xDrive in NoVa where they close the government, Dulles (right next door to you), and schools for the one or two inches of snow that you do get.

Come to Canada, New England, or Colorado - you'll have a newfound respect for AWD.

Where you stand depends on where you sit...

I grew up in NY, so I certainly know how to handle myself in snow... Thanks . And yes I have driven RWD cars in those areas without a single problem.
bavarian19 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 09:19 PM   #20
needashower
Private First Class
 
needashower's Avatar
 
Drives: 2003 Saab 9-3 Arc
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chicago

Posts: 104
iTrader: (0)

"Like I said before BMW are rear wheel drive cars not AWD."

We are all entitled to our own opinions. That being said, BMW builds the 3 series, the 5 series, the X3 and X5 as AWD vehicles. Probably used the same drive train engineers to build all their cars. The world is changing.
needashower is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 09:56 PM   #21
jmatero
Mac Guru
 
Drives: 2011 Mustang GT
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Jose, CA

Posts: 100
iTrader: (0)

You've apparently never driven an X-drive 3 or 5 series... particularly the 5 series... You wouldn't know the difference.

also, there is a picture above of two 325xi's... a sedan and wagon. They don't look like corollas to me.

Again, it all depends on where you live and what your ride home is like. I, simply, could not get home with RWD unless I had studded snows (which are illegal in NY).... I know... I had 2 RWD cars before my 325xi.... both with snows.... and with the number of times you have to slow.. on these hills just to navigate sharp turns... to 5mph.. then start up again.. there was no way the tail wouldn't shift all over the place. So for me, PERSONALLY.... AWD was the only choice. Well that or a freakin' SUV (forget it).

To suggest "BMWs are supposed to be RWD" is just NUTZ man, sorry.

Do you think BMW would exist if they didn't produce SUVs? Wagons? 6, 8 and 10 cyl. motors vs. the 4 cyl's from 318i's? What about ABS, Dynamic traction? Stability control? A 325xi drives just like a 325i... not an Audi. If it didn't, we all wouldn't be buying them here in the snow belt. I drove an Audi A4... and a Subaru Legacy... and they don't drive like the BMW xi's.

I invite you to come to White Plains, NY.... the next few inches we get... Climb up Battle Hill. Washington couldn't get up these hills on dry ground... let alone a RWD car on a snow-covered road. Your tune will change very quickly. I, personally got really tired of walking up and down this beast every time it snows.

Ah, then there's the Bronx River parkway.... oh and the Taconic up in Dutchess county.... or best yet... the Merrit in CT.....

We're all part of the same family here... can't we all just be happy we chose BMW's? I mean, I haven't even taken delivery yet and I keep coming by these posts where RWD E90 owners trash X-drive owners and tell them how they should have purchased Audis. I'm starting to feel unwanted and I just got here! LOL

They're both great cars.... they're both BMW's.... I LOVE YOU MAN!!!!!!!
jmatero is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-08-2006, 10:09 PM   #22
bavarian19
General
 
bavarian19's Avatar
 
Drives: Car
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: VA

Posts: 18,809
iTrader: (23)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatero
You've apparently never driven an X-drive 3 or 5 series... particularly the 5 series... You wouldn't know the difference.

also, there is a picture above of two 325xi's... a sedan and wagon. They don't look like corollas to me.

Again, it all depends on where you live and what your ride home is like. I, simply, could not get home with RWD unless I had studded snows (which are illegal in NY).... I know... I had 2 RWD cars before my 325xi.... both with snows.... and with the number of times you have to slow.. on these hills just to navigate sharp turns... to 5mph.. then start up again.. there was no way the tail wouldn't shift all over the place. So for me, PERSONALLY.... AWD was the only choice. Well that or a freakin' SUV (forget it).

To suggest "BMWs are supposed to be RWD" is just NUTZ man, sorry.

Do you think BMW would exist if they didn't produce SUVs? Wagons? 6, 8 and 10 cyl. motors vs. the 4 cyl's from 318i's? What about ABS, Dynamic traction? Stability control? A 325xi drives just like a 325i... not an Audi. If it didn't, we all wouldn't be buying them here in the snow belt. I drove an Audi A4... and a Subaru Legacy... and they don't drive like the BMW xi's.

I invite you to come to White Plains, NY.... the next few inches we get... Climb up Battle Hill. Washington couldn't get up these hills on dry ground... let alone a RWD car on a snow-covered road. Your tune will change very quickly. I, personally got really tired of walking up and down this beast every time it snows.

Ah, then there's the Bronx River parkway.... oh and the Taconic up in Dutchess county.... or best yet... the Merrit in CT.....

We're all part of the same family here... can't we all just be happy we chose BMW's? I mean, I haven't even taken delivery yet and I keep coming by these posts where RWD E90 owners trash X-drive owners and tell them how they should have purchased Audis. I'm starting to feel unwanted and I just got here! LOL


Yikes... Have a couple too many pints of ice cream tonight




I am certailny not trashing x-drive, or suggesting that you go buy an audi. I simply stated the pro's/cons of each:

RWD - much better handling and performance in dry conditions, and decent in snow/ice if properly equipped and manned.

AWD - much better traction in snow and icy conditions, but you do lose some dry weather performance.

For me, I did not want AWD for the 5% of the year or so that I would need to HAVE AWD. For me, there was much more pro's for non-awd than for awd


Remember, due to the x-drive system, the entire suspension is different in BMW AWD cars, not just the drivetrain. X-drive equipped cars have far less suspension travel, and sit much higher than sport equipped RWD's. There is a significant difference in performance between the two. It still handles much better than most other cars... but its not for me
bavarian19 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:45 AM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST