Does anyone have experience with a BMW 5 or 7 series in snow/ice? Any idea how it compares to the Lexus? THANKS.
Driving a rear-wheel drive vehicle in the snow puts one at a decided disadvantage vs. FWD and AWD vehicles, so no matter whether you decide on a Beemer or a Lexus, be sure that it is equipped with Traction Control. As long as both are equipped with Traction Control, they should be equal (translation=decent) in snow, albeit not as good as a FWD or AWD vehicle.
IMHO, BMW RWD vehicles and Lexus RWD vehicles equipped with Traction Control are going to perform alike on a snowy surface.
However, if you are really concerned about safety during winter conditions, I strongly suggest that you get a set of Winter Tires mounted on their own wheels prior to next winter’s storms. I strongly recommend the Michelin X-Ice tire, as it has incredible traction, but does not suffer the very fast tread wear that most winter tires are known for.
I’d also caution to put some weight in the back of the trunk to help get some weight over the rear axle in low traction situations, despite the TC.
No, not the back of the trunk!
Any additional weight should be placed directly over the rear axle. Putting additional weight in the back of the trunk will result in the “pendulum effect” on turns and can lead to spin-outs–even with traction control.
Purchase a set of dedicated winter tires on rims (price out at tirerack.com) and they work pretty well. Not only will you get them moving along fine but have superior stopping and turning ability and control mainly due to the winter tires. You will be frustrated with most all-season on these vehicles. However using winter tires wonder why you never have before.
That being all said get the car you prefer.
I would keep the BMW in the garage on snow days and use a FWD/AWD beater. No RWD car is that great in the snow and you don’t want to be stuck driving a FWD as a real car in dry weather.
It really depends on where you live and the snow totals you get. There are many places that get snow, but a FWD is really NOT needed. But places like NE or Upstate NY FWD does really help during the winter.
Weight in the truck will definitely help getting traction in snow. The only time I’ve ever seen a problem with spin-outs by putting weight in the trunk is because the driver was going way too fast. Keep speeds to reasonable speeds and this does NOT OCCUR.
Mike–I didn’t say to avoid putting extra weight in the trunk.
I said that it should not be placed in the rear of the trunk, but rather, over the rear axle. This is still in the trunk area, but all the way forward, over the axle, rather than all the way in the back of trunk. By placing it over the rear axle, you are less likely to screw up the weight distribution and to screw up the handling.
My bad…I misunderstood…I agree 100% with that.
I guess my wording was not clear. I meant in the back, behind the back seats, which is usually where the rear axle is located with most vehicles. If you thought I meant in the very back of the vehicle, right up against the trunk lid, I’m sorry.