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SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy UberDork
2/7/13 10:02 a.m.
Woody wrote: How does the Xi compare to the RWD versions? I've wanted a BMW for a long and the front mounted inline six / RWD combo is the biggest part of the attraction. But it seems most cars around here that show up on the used market are all wheel drive. I never wanted the added weight and presumed lower track day fun of AWD, but I would like an E46 and may have to take what I find. What do the experts think?

Most people say that the xi front suspension geometry is compromised by the CV axles, which hurts the steering feel and makes the car heavier/less nimble.

I've only driven RWD ones, though; and they are joyous.

unevolved
unevolved Dork
2/7/13 11:58 a.m.

This thread is not helping my unreasonable lust for a ZHP sedan.

yamaha
yamaha SuperDork
2/7/13 12:02 p.m.
Woody wrote: How does the Xi compare to the RWD versions? I've wanted a BMW for a long and the front mounted inline six / RWD combo is the biggest part of the attraction. But it seems most cars around here that show up on the used market are all wheel drive. I never wanted the added weight and presumed lower track day fun of AWD, but I would like an E46 and may have to take what I find. What do the experts think?

my friend's dad probably a unicorn of E46's, awd, wagon, manual......he bought my friend's E46 M3 when he moved to germany, and listed the wagon for sale.....it was sold for above his asking price and picked up that night by a dealer from Cincinatti IIRC. He loved the AWD in Indiana, but he loved the M3 more.

dj06482
dj06482 Dork
2/7/13 12:29 p.m.
Woody wrote: How does the Xi compare to the RWD versions? I've wanted a BMW for a long and the front mounted inline six / RWD combo is the biggest part of the attraction. But it seems most cars around here that show up on the used market are all wheel drive. I never wanted the added weight and presumed lower track day fun of AWD, but I would like an E46 and may have to take what I find. What do the experts think?

I haven't driven an Xi to form an opinion, but I have noticed the Xis are cheaper than the equivalent year WRX. There have been a few threads about them on here, and from what I remember, the consensus was that they were decent cars, weren't any less reliable that the RWD version, and weren't awful to drive in anger. Obviously, the added weight of the AWD system doesn't help performance, and I don't think the AWD system itself is anything to write home about from a performance perspective. They also have a slightly higher ride height.

Several Xi owners will likely jump in and provide more meaningful data points.

asterisk
asterisk New Reader
2/7/13 1:12 p.m.
SlickDizzy wrote:
Woody wrote: How does the Xi compare to the RWD versions?
Most people say that the xi front suspension geometry is compromised by the CV axles, which hurts the steering feel and makes the car heavier/less nimble.

I won't disagree with any of that as I haven't driven a RWD model recently and haven't had a chance to drive my Xi wagon in anger but it handles anything on the street just fine. Steering is awesome compared to anything else I've driven and front/rear power balance feels really good in back road driving. It feels a little porky but that could be the wagon/AWD combo.

It probably wouldn't make the best track car because of the mentioned suspension design and there is very little documented on how the AWD system handles power related upgrades.

dyintorace
dyintorace UltraDork
2/7/13 1:24 p.m.
Woody wrote: How does the Xi compare to the RWD versions? I've wanted a BMW for a long and the front mounted inline six / RWD combo is the biggest part of the attraction. But it seems most cars around here that show up on the used market are all wheel drive. I never wanted the added weight and presumed lower track day fun of AWD, but I would like an E46 and may have to take what I find. What do the experts think?

If you're willing to expand your search geographically, there are probably thousands of non-Xi models for sale around the country. I've resigned myself to either the arrive and drive approach or shipping, as it seems that most of the cars I want simply aren't widely available.

For that matter, look at cars for sale in FL. I, for one, would be happy to go inspect one for you, if you find one near me.

fasted58
fasted58 UberDork
2/7/13 1:33 p.m.

count me in the xi following

from hangin' around here it's now on my must own list... one of these days

dj06482
dj06482 Dork
2/7/13 2:10 p.m.

Here are a few older threads I dug up on the e46 Xi BMWs:

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/learn-me-e46-xi-models/33149/page1/
http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/awd-track-car-so-confused/55017/page1/
http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/e46-touring-or-wrx-wagon/26564/page1/
http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/bmw-3-series-questions-need-answers/40290/page1/

dean1484
dean1484 UltraDork
2/7/13 6:44 p.m.

Drove my friends AWD 3 series and it felt like a new SHO. Very numb. However with the AWD was like a "smart" weapon cornering was ready-fire-aim instead of the usual ready-aim-fire it was weird but once I figured it out it was a blast. Very different than a RWD car but very fun. With very little work you are flying through a corner where as with a RWD car you would be working. I think the way to describe it was the AWD was less rewarding than a regular RWD.

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