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      11-07-2012, 08:19 PM   #1
chrisbreezy
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BMW XI's any good?

First time 4 wheel drive car owner here. Recently purchased an XI and just breaking it in and so far so good. From your experiences how good really is our XI's or Xdrives compared to other makes?? Feel free to share any experiences where you couldn't have done without it.
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      11-07-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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XI is pretty good, you'll enjoy it. Beware of all the MT+RWD purists on here.....
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      11-07-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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Was wondering the same thing. I'm sure people will agree that the Audi Quattro system is superior to the X-drive, but I wonder by how much.
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      11-07-2012, 09:41 PM   #4
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Personally i like the driving dynamics of the BMW and Porsche AWD systems as they retain the driving dynamics of a rwd car with pinpoint steering. I know many feel the Audi system is superior due to the torsen and in inclimate weather, id agree it is. Ive owned an Audi and VW with the quattro in the past but i personally enjoy driving my BMW over Audi as the steering is mute and vague with the quattro. BMW in my opinion has been able to better retain the driving dynamics of a rwd than Audi. The xdrive really gives a tad bit of extra performance during corner exit if your into cornering but thats a given with any awd system.
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      11-08-2012, 07:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AddictedToBavarian View Post
XI is pretty good, you'll enjoy it. Beware of all the MT+RWD purists on here.....

Hi there. MT RWD purist here.


Let me tell you, in the church of RWD purists, today I'm an atheist. My faith in RWD has been shattered, or at least seriously tested. Last night here in The northeast we had a pretty decent snow storm, and I got caught driving home in the thick of the snow fall. I have yet to put my snow tires on, and let me tell you, RWD with all seasons + snow is no fun. I got stuck 5 different times, and i consider myself a pretty decent driver. I seriously considered locking up my car up and leaving it on the side of the road. It was horrendous. Others did just that. Cars were locked up and left like carnage on the sides of the road.


It's no secret that RWD cars stink in slippery conditions, but this was something else. Cars were littered on both sides of the road. Almost exclusively RWD cars. Nice bimmers, infinity, Lexus, ... Only a couple of front wheel drivers. But it got me thinking, is it worth it? Is it worth driving an rear wheel drive car the whole year, and risk getting caught in a ditch on the side of the road, in sub freezing temperatures and icy conditions once or twice a year if driving conditions suddenly turn sour? I think that's they question you should ask yourself. To me, the answer is definitely not. My next car will likely be an xDrive.


Now ... My last bimmer (e46 330xi) was all wheel. Guess what ... it drives just like a BMW. Sure, there is a difference in driving feel. By how much you ask? I would say not enough to matter, if you live anywhere near a snow fall zone. It's just not worth it. Seriously. BMW engineers its xDrive cars with a RWD bias (62% RWD to 38% front wheels if I remember correctly), so it really comes down to personal perception. It feels nothing like a jeep and surely nothing like my wife's Subaru outback or any proper all wheel car. It still drives like a true BMW. As a bonus, you can drive it year round, and will likely not need snow tires (I saw you live in NY). AND what a lot of people will not tell you is that all wheel drive cars enjoy soooooo much more grip on dry and wet roads, it more than makes up for the so-rumored "sporty RWD feel", and will be MUCH quicker to accelerate off the line.


Also, xDrives will become more costly to maintain out of warranty, so something to consider.


I have snow tires, but they were not scheduled to go on for another week. They're sitting in my garage right now, looking all pretty. This storm was forecast to bring anywhere from 1-2 inches of snow, so naturally, people in New England would shrugg that off. Well, we ended up with 10 inches of snow and ice. Will you be prepared?
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      11-08-2012, 07:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atown88 View Post
Was wondering the same thing. I'm sure people will agree that the Audi Quattro system is superior to the X-drive, but I wonder by how much.
BMW uses electronics, AUDI uses mechanical AWD. Mechanical is more expensive to make and it should be better. There are many different Quattro systems btw, all are great snow, some are made for performance. After 06, both Quattro and Xdrive use 40/60 split so both feel more like RWD car.

What's better is up to you to decide. AUDI makes AWD platforms, BMW makes RWD, Xdrive is just an addition to already existing RWD which makes it good because BMW is a well balanced car to begin with

If you are talking about the system itself, Xdrive is the same crap they use in Volvos and VW, but those are FWD cars and they drive like crap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
Personally i like the driving dynamics of the BMW and Porsche AWD systems as they retain the driving dynamics of a rwd car with pinpoint steering. I know many feel the Audi system is superior due to the torsen and in inclimate weather, id agree it is. Ive owned an Audi and VW with the quattro in the past but i personally enjoy driving my BMW over Audi as the steering is mute and vague with the quattro. BMW in my opinion has been able to better retain the driving dynamics of a rwd than Audi. The xdrive really gives a tad bit of extra performance during corner exit if your into cornering but thats a given with any awd system.
VW doesn't have "quattro" and steering is not related to Quattro as well. BMW might feel better in cornering because especialy none performance Audis are very nose heavy....has nothing to do with AWD system.

Last edited by Kolyan2k; 11-08-2012 at 08:02 AM.
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      11-08-2012, 07:57 AM   #7
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It feels nothing like a jeep
I'd imagine so. 4WD and AWD are fairly different when you get into it; the presence of a third differential between the front & rear axles on AWD makes a difference in power delivery.

Quote:
likely not need snow tires [...] all wheel drive cars enjoy soooooo much more grip on dry and wet roads
Careful -- AWD doesn't do a darn thing to help you *STOP* the car. Available traction depends on the tire, not whether the wheel is connected to the engine.
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      11-08-2012, 08:22 AM   #8
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My last car was an 06 330i and that thing sucked in any snow with all seasons and would lose traction on wet roads too. My current car is e92 328xi with all seasons and I drove home in a driving snow storm with a couple inches of snow and slush on the road and didn't lose traction once. In my old e90 I would have needed to change my underwear when and if I got home. I didn't want an AWD BMW but after wrecking my e90 I couldn't find a CPO RWD e92 within 100 miles at the time I was looking. After last night I couldn't be happier having an xi.
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      11-08-2012, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I'd imagine so. 4WD and AWD are fairly different when you get into it; the presence of a third differential between the front & rear axles on AWD makes a difference in power delivery.



Careful -- AWD doesn't do a darn thing to help you *STOP* the car. Available traction depends on the tire, not whether the wheel is connected to the engine.

I stand corrected. You are absolutely correct on that and I agree.
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      11-08-2012, 09:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Careful -- AWD doesn't do a darn thing to help you *STOP* the car. Available traction depends on the tire, not whether the wheel is connected to the engine.
Cant say this enough! Ive driven RWD 500hp Sedans in snow and have had a Touareg in the snow. Theres no substitue for 4x4 or AWD in the snow or terrible weather. Tires can make a huge difference in the cars my STS-V was an example. Great winter tires make it a lot easier, but in turns if you catch some ice/snow the AWD would help pull you along where in RWD your outta luck.

No matter what Intertia and Physics still apply in all situations.
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      11-08-2012, 10:01 AM   #11
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Okay, i'll weigh in... I took my 335i E90 Xdrive to a fast paced event at NJMP Lightning raceway at the end of August this year. It absolutely blew some other cars out of the water - we were all beginners but i was flying by cars left and right that were purely RWD. This is my first AWD car, and it behaves like a RWD car but better on corner exits. I had more confidence than most when it started raining on the track as well. I had complete confidence when it was dry and just slammed the accelerator down to the floor past the apex and it just went exactly where I wanted it to go. My car is stock in terms of suspension/brakes which really surprised me how well you can take a corner at 80mph with your foot to the floor! I've had to turn traction control off only at one level because I didn't want to turn it off entirely. It surely helps to keep the car straight with some approved wheel spin. This has been the best all around car i've ever owned.

It was launched hard brake boosting at the 1/4 tracks as well. I video taped people watching me launch and their jaws dropped... its my family car, my daily driver, my snow plow, my weekend racer. What more can you ask from a car????

Here's a couple vids..









Forward this one to the 7 min. mark... they had an issue on the track and i couldn't stop the camera with my helmet on etc...


Last edited by Slops; 11-08-2012 at 10:11 AM.
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      11-08-2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slopp View Post
Okay, i'll weigh in... I took my 335i E90 Xdrive to a fast paced event at NJMP Lightning raceway at the end of August this year. It absolutely blew some other cars out of the water - we were all beginners but i was flying by cars left and right that were purely RWD. This is my first AWD car, and it behaves like a RWD car but better on corner exits. I had more confidence than most when it started raining on the track as well. I had complete confidence when it was dry and just slammed the accelerator down to the floor past the apex and it just went exactly where I wanted it to go. My car is stock in terms of suspension/brakes which really surprised me how well you can take a corner at 80mph with your foot to the floor! I've had to turn traction control off only at one level because I didn't want to turn it off entirely. It surely helps to keep the car straight with some approved wheel spin. This has been the best all around car i've ever owned.

It was launched hard brake boosting at the 1/4 tracks as well. I video taped people watching me launch and their jaws dropped... its my family car, my daily driver, my snow plow, my weekend racer. What more can you ask from a car????

Here's a couple vids..









Forward this one to the 7 min. mark... they had an issue on the track and i couldn't stop the camera with my helmet on etc...

That idiot at the drag strip called it a... 3....20.....i?
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      11-08-2012, 10:23 AM   #13
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he obviously had no idea what it was ...lol
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      11-08-2012, 10:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
Personally i like the driving dynamics of the BMW and Porsche AWD systems as they retain the driving dynamics of a rwd car with pinpoint steering. I know many feel the Audi system is superior due to the torsen and in inclimate weather, id agree it is. Ive owned an Audi and VW with the quattro in the past but i personally enjoy driving my BMW over Audi as the steering is mute and vague with the quattro. BMW in my opinion has been able to better retain the driving dynamics of a rwd than Audi. The xdrive really gives a tad bit of extra performance during corner exit if your into cornering but thats a given with any awd system.
I think youre mistaken/have it backwards. The Quattro system is 40 front 60 rear in all their cars other than TT I believe. X drive is more of an allwheel drive system that shuffles drive to the wheel that needs it so it performs more like fwd. With Audis new Sport rear differential option you can actually get the car sideways so it really feels like rwd. I'm really surprised that BMW hasnt buffed up their x drive system (lower suspension etc) to compete with Audi and S4.
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      11-08-2012, 10:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slopp View Post
Okay, i'll weigh in... I took my 335i E90 Xdrive to a fast paced event at NJMP Lightning raceway at the end of August this year. It absolutely blew some other cars out of the water - we were all beginners but i was flying by cars left and right that were purely RWD. This is my first AWD car, and it behaves like a RWD car but better on corner exits. I had more confidence than most when it started raining on the track as well. I had complete confidence when it was dry and just slammed the accelerator down to the floor past the apex and it just went exactly where I wanted it to go. My car is stock in terms of suspension/brakes which really surprised me how well you can take a corner at 80mph with your foot to the floor! I've had to turn traction control off only at one level because I didn't want to turn it off entirely. It surely helps to keep the car straight with some approved wheel spin. This has been the best all around car i've ever owned.

It was launched hard brake boosting at the 1/4 tracks as well. I video taped people watching me launch and their jaws dropped... its my family car, my daily driver, my snow plow, my weekend racer. What more can you ask from a car????

Here's a couple vids..









Forward this one to the 7 min. mark... they had an issue on the track and i couldn't stop the camera with my helmet on etc...

AWD will always be easier to drive quickly on a track by beginners because its virtually impossible to spin and you never lose traction. All you do is put your foot down. Great fun.
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      11-08-2012, 10:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335BBS View Post
I think youre mistaken/have it backwards. The Quattro system is 40 front 60 rear in all their cars other than TT I believe. X drive is more of an allwheel drive system that shuffles drive to the wheel that needs it so it performs more like fwd. With Audis new Sport rear differential option you can actually get the car sideways so it really feels like rwd. I'm really surprised that BMW hasnt buffed up their x drive system (lower suspension etc) to compete with Audi and S4.
I think you are mistaken my good sir, please read...

http://www.bmw-xdrive-guide.com/xd_e...ive_technology
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      11-08-2012, 10:40 AM   #17
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AWD will always be easier to drive quickly on a track by beginners because its virtually impossible to spin and you never lose traction. All you do is put your foot down. Great fun.
I guess I got my answer, XI's are great AWD vehicles. Those vids just made me fall in love with my car
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      11-08-2012, 11:00 AM   #18
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Yep, AWD is easier to drive most of the time. Thats why some people like AWD cars.

Earlier Quattros are 50/50 with exception of S and RS which are 40/60, 2006+ are all 40/60, with exception of S and RS which use new systems. X-Drive is 40/60 as well.

X-Drive is similar to Haldex AWD systems (Volvos, VW, TT, A3, etc). Haldex is cheap and easy to bolt-on the existing platform RWD or FWD. Haldex is mostly a weather aid, Quattro is a performance tool. I think Golf R has new generation of Haldex which is better.....I am not sure about this.

Last edited by Kolyan2k; 11-08-2012 at 11:06 AM.
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      11-08-2012, 11:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbreezy View Post
First time 4 wheel drive car owner here. Recently purchased an XI and just breaking it in and so far so good. From your experiences how good really is our XI's or Xdrives compared to other makes?? Feel free to share any experiences where you couldn't have done without it.
i also have an xi and my problem is supspension is expensive and you have to do alot of custom parts to get them low, also they handle really well and iv had no problems with mine so far good luck with yours bud, good to see another xi owner out there
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      11-08-2012, 11:18 AM   #20
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I think you are mistaken my good sir, please read...

http://www.bmw-xdrive-guide.com/xd_e...ive_technology
I stand corrected on the split. I wonder why S4 is never compared to 335 xi?
I was under the impression that Quattro is a performance tool and xdrive is a traction/inclement weather aid? I've been wrong before.
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      11-08-2012, 11:24 AM   #21
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I guess I got my answer, XI's are great AWD vehicles. Those vids just made me fall in love with my car
Yup. You'll love it. Your first day in snow will blow you away.
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      11-08-2012, 11:30 AM   #22
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Hey there. Current driver of '07 335XI. Absolutely love it. And this is coming from a guy in Southern California who sees about 340 sunny days a year. I hardly need X-drive but I bought it because of the corning abilities (a little extra body roll but nothing I can handle by leaning into the turn haha) and because I have a house in Big Bear and another in Tahoe. I got the car so I wouldnt have to put on chains when they are required for snow days in Big Bear. X-drive handles it like a champ! Never had Quattro but did have an Audi so I cant shed light on that. But my car is very reliable and has always performed admirably. Does show its excess weight at high speeds tho
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