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      05-03-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
JackSpadesSI
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Which New 335i?

Hello!

My Dad owned a 1997 M3 Sedan when I was younger so Iíve loved the BMW brand for quite a while. I currently drive a 2004 Dodge (Neon) SRT-4. The time has come though, for me to upgrade to a more mature ride Ė but I donít want to give up performance.

After lots of window shopping and some test driving, Iíve decided on the BMW 335i Sedan (to maintain some practicality of the vehicle). This is near the top of my budget so Iíll have to minimize the extra equipment I select. Iím torn on several options:

I live in Michigan so snow is an issue and this car will be my daily driver. Iíve never owned a RWD car before, so I wonder if the xDrive AWD is a requirement. Yet, I donít want to sacrifice performance in the summer and I know the AWD adds weight and has slightly worse front/rear balance.

Also, Iíve heard both good and bad about the old N54 engine. It seems to have problems with the HPFP, but Iíve heard that it was a dramatically underrated engine capable of far more than the 300hp advertised at stock. The new 2011ís have the N55, which Iíve heard is more accurately listed at 300hp (so actually a drop in performance). The issue here is it seems that Iím too late to the game to find a new 2010 on the lot exactly as I want one configured.

Thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!
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      07-01-2010, 11:18 AM   #2
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I'm also looking to buy and am wondering if the xdrive is a requirement in cold weather climates. Would a 328i or 335i be OK with just RWD (all season tires of course) or do you need the AWD for snow? Can anyone give any advice?
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      07-01-2010, 11:25 AM   #3
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If you care about handling performance, get RWD and put on snow tires in the winter. You can't get sport suspension on AWD even if you ordered the package.
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      07-01-2010, 11:49 AM   #4
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RWD vs X-Drive: there are endless (heated) debates on this forum about which is better.

In my humble opinion, it's always a trade-off. I don't believe that a AWD Bimmer is not a true Bimmer, or that an 335xi is superior to its RWD brother in every way (yes, it can be as polarized as that). Depends on what you value more.

I live in Canada, albeit in the southern part. I valued having the sports suspension and better handling than the increased competency of the xi in AWD situations. I rarely encounter difficult snow conditions and I have snow tires for sure.

I had a 335xi over a couple of the worst days of winter we've had in the last few years (great timing). It really impressed me! I wanted the ultimate BMW driving dynamics since I was already shelling out $60K for the car (it costs more in Canada), but I think the 335xi is also a high-performing, excellent choice that is more practical in difficult winter conditions.

If my husband brings home a 335xi tomorrow, I'd think, "Great, best of both worlds".
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      07-01-2010, 12:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawgone View Post
I'm also looking to buy and am wondering if the xdrive is a requirement in cold weather climates. Would a 328i or 335i be OK with just RWD (all season tires of course) or do you need the AWD for snow? Can anyone give any advice?
You need snow tires regardless. An AWD without snows won't cut in cold weather climates IMO.

There is a recent Car and Driver test that shows that, by far, the most important factor in winter driving safety is the tires, not AWD vs RWD.
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      07-01-2010, 12:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice Julie. BTW, your car is beautiful. Same colors I've been leaning towards.
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      07-01-2010, 01:06 PM   #7
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I don't believe the N55 is less powerful than the N54, though rumor is that it is harder to tune.
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      07-01-2010, 01:12 PM   #8
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Snow tires is a must as has been pointed out. This is a much significant improvement over AWD alone. If you don't want to sacrifice summer handling as you say then RWD with snow tires & Sports Package is the way to go. AWD won't improve braking at all and very little if any during cornering. You will have more traction and acceleration with AWD but as long as you don't push it in the RWD beyond the tire's grip you'll be fine.
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      07-01-2010, 01:42 PM   #9
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AWD

After owning 3 Subaru's WRX/STI in a row, I couldn't imagine living here in the NW where we get fair amount of snow and not have Awd. It is way less stressful and nice piece of mind you can stop on a hill and have the Awd traction to continue no problem.

One thing that shocked me, after owning a few prior Turbo cars is the amount of lowend TQ! Like Zero turbo lag, the 335 Just Goes!!! I am loving the car, perfect balance of Luxury and Power !!!

Good luck shopping!

Mark

** The Xi are much more rare/difficult to find at least here in NW, you see many pages or 335i , but few Xi** I just found my 08' w/ 27k mi a few weeks ago and luckily had the Dinan stage 1 ecu already done, I am Loving the car!
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      07-01-2010, 02:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRacerX View Post
After owning 3 Subaru's WRX/STI in a row, I couldn't imagine living here in the NW where we get fair amount of snow and not have Awd. It is way less stressful and nice piece of mind you can stop on a hill and have the Awd traction to continue no problem.

One thing that shocked me, after owning a few prior Turbo cars is the amount of lowend TQ! Like Zero turbo lag, the 335 Just Goes!!! I am loving the car, perfect balance of Luxury and Power !!!

Good luck shopping!

Mark

** The Xi are much more rare/difficult to find at least here in NW, you see many pages or 335i , but few Xi** I just found my 08' w/ 27k mi a few weeks ago and luckily had the Dinan stage 1 ecu already done, I am Loving the car!
After reading everyone's replies I'm seriously leaning towards the AWD. The extra expense of snow tires and then storing them seems like too much. And really I'm pretty good driving in the snow, except when you get to a steep hill and your tires just spin. I think the AWD should help that.

As for finding a 335i w/ xDrive, you're right, it is hard. Heck, it's hard to even find a 335i coupe or sedan here. Seems like all they have in stock at the two places I've gone are the convertibles.
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      07-01-2010, 02:59 PM   #11
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Get the RWD and get a winter tire/wheel package. I have had three RWD BMWs over the last 8 years and I never had a problem in the ice/snow with the correct rubber (I live in New England and the winters can get pretty nasty). I drove both the RWD and the xdrive cars when I was purchasing and IMO you give up too much performance with the xdrive for the couple months that you need it. I hate to say it but the xdrive felt like a rental compared to the RWD. And does the xdrive still have that awkward ride height? They always look funny to me because they sit so high off the ground. You can save the extra coin you would pay for the xdrive to get a decent winter wheel/tire set.

BTW I drove the last couple winters on all seasons with no problems (although I don't recommend it).
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      07-01-2010, 03:08 PM   #12
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I went from a Srt-4 to a 335i, make the move man!
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      07-01-2010, 03:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McLoven View Post
Get the RWD and get a winter tire/wheel package. I have had three RWD BMWs over the last 8 years and I never had a problem in the ice/snow with the correct rubber (I live in New England and the winters can get pretty nasty). I drove both the RWD and the xdrive cars when I was purchasing and IMO you give up too much performance with the xdrive for the couple months that you need it. I hate to say it but the xdrive felt like a rental compared to the RWD. And does the xdrive still have that awkward ride height? They always look funny to me because they sit so high off the ground. You can save the extra coin you would pay for the xdrive to get a decent winter wheel/tire set.

BTW I drove the last couple winters on all seasons with no problems (although I don't recommend it).
Hmm, yeah, you get worse winters than us here in Cincinnati. I just remember the last snow we had I got to a medium incline and there on the side of the road was a new 7 series, a 5 series and a Nissan Z. Of course, they may have all had performance tires...couldn't really tell. So do you just put the winter's on around late October and take them off in March?
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      07-01-2010, 03:13 PM   #14
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[quote=lawgone;7593781]After reading everyone's replies I'm seriously leaning towards the AWD. The extra expense of snow tires and then storing them seems like too much. And really I'm pretty good driving in the snow, except when you get to a steep hill and your tires just spin. QUOTE]


yeah but most people here said that even with AWD you should get snows... I can attest to this since this was the first winter with my 328xi. I got away with the all season runcraps because they were new. I think I'll be investing in a set of blizzaks for winter '10!!! Just be careful about overconfidence in snowy conditions. I grew up in the boston area and lack of friction and momentum of a 3800 lb car are beyond the capabilities of 99% of drivers...
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      07-01-2010, 03:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawgone View Post
Hmm, yeah, you get worse winters than us here in Cincinnati. I just remember the last snow we had I got to a medium incline and there on the side of the road was a new 7 series, a 5 series and a Nissan Z. Of course, they may have all had performance tires...couldn't really tell. So do you just put the winter's on around late October and take them off in March?
I usually put them on in late October/early November and take them off in April. Just get a good floor jack. I do it myself. Its a PITA but its so worth it.

This past February, I was coming home one night from Boston in an ice storm and there were numerous cars/SUVs stranded on the side of the highway. I was really nervous, but I was careful and it took me a while, but I made it home. And that was with the all seasons (again, not recommended).
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      07-01-2010, 03:59 PM   #16
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Strongly recommend RWD with winter and summer tires. A BMW on all seasons is a horrible compromise, IMO. Tires are a critical aspect of performance.

There are few things better in life than a rwd BMW in power oversteer. A 335is is a phenomenal car and would be my choice. Get one EuroDelivery with few options to keep it within budget. Or a plain 335 with ZSP if you need to spend less. I grew up driving and rallying rwd BMWs in Michigan winters and never regretted not having AWD.
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      07-01-2010, 04:17 PM   #17
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Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. I ran the all-seasons in the winter and have performance tires for the summer (Eagle F1's). Stressdoc is correct, do not run all-seasons in the summer.

I also never once regretted not having an AWD in the winter. And to prove it, I currently have an M3 on order that will be my daily driver.
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      07-01-2010, 06:48 PM   #18
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[quote=sickem;7593965]
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawgone View Post
After reading everyone's replies I'm seriously leaning towards the AWD. The extra expense of snow tires and then storing them seems like too much. And really I'm pretty good driving in the snow, except when you get to a steep hill and your tires just spin. QUOTE]


yeah but most people here said that even with AWD you should get snows... I can attest to this since this was the first winter with my 328xi. I got away with the all season runcraps because they were new. I think I'll be investing in a set of blizzaks for winter '10!!! Just be careful about overconfidence in snowy conditions. I grew up in the boston area and lack of friction and momentum of a 3800 lb car are beyond the capabilities of 99% of drivers...
I had posted that before some more of the response...which I do appreciate. Did a little more research and found this video which really shows the difference...and they used all 328i's, so now I'm leaning back towards getting the winter tires.
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      07-01-2010, 07:29 PM   #19
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I have a 330xi (MY 2006) and a 335i, and like driving the cars in adverse conditions. It goes without saying that both cars ride in winter on snow tires. So far, I have not encountered snow that the cars could not handle, but there is no doubt that each of them requires different driver's input. People often compare how the AWD and RWD perform. IMO, the two methods of propulsion are hard to compare - their driving dynamics are quite different, both in the winter and summer. In deep snow, the 330xi drives better simply because it has has more suitable underbody clearance. The OP is inclined to get a 335i, and in his shoes I would make the same decision - the 335i, with good snow tires, will do anything, and the RWD is more fun to use, rain or shine.
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