Should I buy an all-wheel drive BMW 328xi?

I live in the Northeast and am trying to decide between a BMW 325i and a 325xi. Will the rear-wheel drive with snow tires be adequate in the snow, or would you recommend the AWD version?

Fred M., Lenox, Mass.

Using snow tires on all four corners instead of choosing the AWD model should do just fine if you drive responsibly and don’t have too many hills to climb over. AWD is especially useful in hilly areas and back roads. If you traverse that type of terrain with steep inclines, you may want to lean toward AWD. Otherwise, snow tires should do the trick.

According to reviewer David Thomas, “people have driven RWD cars for years and years in bad weather. There is more chance of sliding, even with snow tires, but a good driver with good snow tires should be fine in a 328 (the 325 is no longer being made). However, if you're going with the smaller engine in the 328 versus the 335, the loss of RWD performance isn't as great. Go with the xi for more confident driving in bad weather.”

As David mentioned, the 325 has been put to the wayside in recent years; the 328 takes its place. See the BMW 328’s vehicle summary for more info on the changes.

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on January 7, 2008 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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