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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > How noticeable are the steering differences between RWD and x-drive?



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      07-29-2022, 09:35 PM   #1
michaelalex3
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How noticeable are the steering differences between RWD and x-drive?

Been seriously considering getting back into an E9x, and I'm trying to decide if I should look into x-drive cars. I've done a lot searching and read a lot of opinions both for and against AWD.

I'd just like to know how noticeable the steering differences are between AWD and RWD. My understanding is that the steering is a little slower (~18:1 vs ~15:1) and that the AWD robs some steering feel. I would really love to hear from someone who has gotten the chance to drive well sorted AWD and RWD E9Xs, how different were they? Preferably cars with some suspension modifications, since I'd definitely being doing some suspension mods if I got an xi.

Any input is greatly appreciated!
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      07-30-2022, 10:34 AM   #2
Cyril Sneer
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I haven't driven a RWD E9x, but I can tell you the slow steering is my single most disliked aspect of my xdrive E91. Living in a wintery area, the AWD is probably worth the compromise, but it makes no sense why BMW would put such a bus-like rack on the xdrive. Who does this benefit? Anyway, /rant.

Best (only?) improvement for xdrive is xdelete. And I don't mean in RWD-only mode, but in a setting that retains AWD but lessens the % of torque sent to the front wheels (like how BMW AWD should be from factory). This keeps the benefit of AWD for the odd snow day but with less torque influence on the steering, and increased steering feel. I leave mine there year round.

Now, even in Canada I would still strongly consider RWD if it was an option. In a less wintery area, it wouldn't even be a contest.
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      07-30-2022, 02:11 PM   #3
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Something else I plan to try is, after I install my coilovers, I'll have a custom alignment done to eliminate or lessen the excessive toe that BMW specs. Hoping this will not only save tires, but also add a touch more liveliness to the initial steering feel. But, I can't speak to this yet.
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      07-31-2022, 03:12 AM   #4
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IT is a bit slower, but i wouldn't say it robs any steering feel. It still has that strong steering feel that the e90 is known for. I personally don't find the power distribution to be an issue. I'm FBO on e30 and have never had traction issues and i haven't used x delete except when i bought the car.
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      07-31-2022, 03:14 AM   #5
flapeo
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I will say though after a year of owning my x drive 335i. If i was to buy a 335 again i probably would go RWD. Even though i bought my car to take snowboarding in the winter a nice set of winter tires will do just fine. X-Drives make modifications like downpipes, turbos etc more difficult. Although when i bought the car i never thought id be upgrading to a larger turbo anyway. You really cant go wrong with RWD or AWD, Both are great in there own aspects
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      07-31-2022, 04:30 PM   #6
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I had an X car for about a week, and in that time didn't notice anything one way or the other, so there's that. Oil pan gasket looks like the biggest pain of ownership.
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      08-08-2022, 09:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelalex3 View Post
Been seriously considering getting back into an E9x, and I'm trying to decide if I should look into x-drive cars. I've done a lot searching and read a lot of opinions both for and against AWD.

I'd just like to know how noticeable the steering differences are between AWD and RWD. My understanding is that the steering is a little slower (~18:1 vs ~15:1) and that the AWD robs some steering feel. I would really love to hear from someone who has gotten the chance to drive well sorted AWD and RWD E9Xs, how different were they? Preferably cars with some suspension modifications, since I'd definitely being doing some suspension mods if I got an xi.

Any input is greatly appreciated!
Iv owned my xi for 5 years + so I will give you my take.
I am lowered in ST coil overs and this is my daily driver in Canada .

Things Iv noticed:
Yes the steering rack is slightly slower but you get use to it. If you're not doing track days our auto cross you will be fine. The slower rack makes cruising nice as you are not always correcting.
Coming from a subi Sti do find the rack slow at times and wish it was faster. That being said the steering feel is still solid and classic bmw.

Jobs like down pipes or oil pan gasket is a bitch. Full sub frame drop to access these parts.

The ride while lowered will be slightly firmer in a xdrive vs awd. There is 200ish pounds of extra weight in the front.

If you live in a winter climate you will want Xdrive. No matter how great your winter tires are, rwd with no limited slip can get away on you quickly (Mustang leaving car meet) lol

I am fbo stage 2+ and it's great having awd for that. I can put down full power in any gear without issue. Rwd cars would just spin in 1st and second.

Any other questions just ask.
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      08-09-2022, 06:34 AM   #8
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Steering rack is slower in the xdrive cars versus rwd. Not by much though. I think the mannerisms of the rwd car is better suited for occasional hooning around and some track time. The xdrive has great composure in any inclement weather or colder conditions.
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