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      03-28-2013, 06:27 PM   #89
KoenG
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Ooohhh, my mate had his M135i xDrive delivered a couple of weeks ago. He took me for an entertaining ride. Of course, driving the cars I do (520d with reduced power or e39 with 5 step AT), it's easy to be enthousiastic about such a focussed and sharp instrument!

He just had the car for a few hours and was not giving it a lot of poke. But in the first roundabout he accelerated with authority in a manner of which I can savely say that my 520d would engage in an oversteer/overpower drift, the xDrive stayed rock solid and remained totally neutral.

I'll see him next weekend, I'am curious for his experiences after a few weeks. But I'am already pretty certain he has fallen madly in love with his new toy by now, and I'am expecting that the xDrive is adding to his desire to drive it over and over again while inviting to drive even more dynamic than he would in the RWD.

He, maybe he'll let me grab the wheel by now!?
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      03-29-2013, 01:57 AM   #90
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I used to own a 3 Series i and iX. Over the first 100 meters the iX is unbeatable....while the i is spinning its wheels and clawing for traction, the iX is simply gone. On roll-on acceleration its a different story....in the iX you can definitely feel the extra weight and frictional losses and there's a certain sharpness missing from the response.

The iX offers superior traction, but as soon as it comes to braking its pretty much level pegging, so the iX can get you from 0 to speed a lot quicker on slippery surfaces but speed to 0 is the same as an i, so be warned.

The iX has better grip and traction in corners but on a warm, dry road isn't as much fun as an i, which feels more 'up on its toes' in terms of handling. On wet roads, the iX obviously offers higher levels of grip, but the i is no slouch as long as its tyres are good. You need to drive very quickly indeed to exploit the iX's extra handling prowess.

On really slippy surfaces like ice, the iX can be a real handful. Too many beans and all 4 wheels spin up, taking out your steering!

On snowy, hilly roads, the i needs snow chains, while the iX will make do with winter tyres. The iX is almost as bad as the i on snow and ice when left on summer tyres.....the only difference it, you may be going a lot faster in the iX when (not if) you lose it.

So, in summary, if I had to do a lot of driving in winter conditions, for example if I lived in Scandinavia or the Alps, then I'd buy another iX. For most other situations I'd buy the i and fit premium winter tyres and drive a little slower when the roads get cold and slippery.

Last edited by SteveC; 03-29-2013 at 02:17 AM..
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      03-31-2013, 05:26 PM   #91
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I got my M135xi last friday
Oh my god, it is such an awesome car and so well balanced, even with the xdrive! Almost no understeer but if you push it really hard, you can get it to oversteer, on dry, and even without being in sport+!!! Okey, we had like 0degrees C today and i am on summer tires...^_^
I am sooooo glad i went for the xi. Bmw really kept its promise; a 4wd with tendency to oversteer.

And the engine, the exhaust, and the adaptive suspension... Perfect!
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      04-01-2013, 12:47 PM   #92
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Funny that there is never anyone saying: I got X, but I wish I had taken S. (or the other way around)

It's always: I got X and X is amazing... Or I got S and S is fabulous...
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      04-01-2013, 01:53 PM   #93
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They are probably both great.
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      04-01-2013, 04:59 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
They are probably both great.
Right. The M135i is a fabulous car, in either s or x. Its a personal choice to make. I had 2 s-drives before, i know their advantages and disadvantages. So i went for an x-drive this time. It might be "less fun" in terms of drifting/sliding aso, but it simply gets the power better to the road, in any weather conditions. Therefore at least for me as a normal road driver, it's the better car.
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      04-04-2013, 06:06 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoenG View Post
I think some of you deny reality: lots of ooooomph will convert automatically into 4WD transmission lines. All M cars will become AWD eventually.
Having just exchanged my 997 Carrera S for an M135i I couldn't disagree with you more. There's a reason the 2-wheel version of Porsche's 911 outsells it's AWD sister and I don't believe it's just a matter of money; it's simply more fun to drive. Same for M cars in my opinion.

The fact that the rear can step out in a RWD car and needs to be caught is exactly the reward a driver's car should offer. The only problem with tail-happy 911's though is their design is compromised so much this has a nasty habit of biting you in the a$$ when you least expect it, especially if you boot them too hard too soon.

The constant argument that goes on between the wheels in a powerful AWD car about which one has more traction is actually quite annoying after a while.
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      04-05-2013, 03:50 PM   #96
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I'm still torn between choosing the sdrive MT or AT, or the xdrive AT...

I like the MT for spirited driving sessions, I like the AT when commuting in slow rush hour traffic. (which is like... every other day in my case)
And I wonder if the xdrive really is as good (and also fun) as some say in this thread.

My car goes in production later this month, I have a few days left to make up my mind and finalise the config.

BY any chance there wouldn't be any Belgians around here who already have an M135i with AT or xdrive, and want to take me for a spin ?
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      04-05-2013, 04:19 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwelvaar View Post
I'm still torn between choosing the sdrive MT or AT, or the xdrive AT...

I like the MT for spirited driving sessions, I like the AT when commuting in slow rush hour traffic. (which is like... every other day in my case)
And I wonder if the xdrive really is as good (and also fun) as some say in this thread.

My car goes in production later this month, I have a few days left to make up my mind and finalise the config.

BY any chance there wouldn't be any Belgians around here who already have an M135i with AT or xdrive, and want to take me for a spin ?
You can test the MT and AT in Bornem, but I'm sure you already knew that. I did a test in January and in February, and the xDrive was not yet available to test back then. Maybe it is now?
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      04-05-2013, 04:22 PM   #98
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Same dilema

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwelvaar View Post
I'm still torn between choosing the sdrive MT or AT, or the xdrive AT...

I like the MT for spirited driving sessions, I like the AT when commuting in slow rush hour traffic. (which is like... every other day in my case)
And I wonder if the xdrive really is as good (and also fun) as some say in this thread.

My car goes in production later this month, I have a few days left to make up my mind and finalise the config.

BY any chance there wouldn't be any Belgians around here who already have an M135i with AT or xdrive, and want to take me for a spin ?


I faced exactly the same dilemma. I really disliked every AT I've ever owned and really liked the MTs, but the M135i AT kept getting such good reviews.

So now I've got mine and can say without doubt that I'm damned glad I ordered AT. The transmission shifts so quickly and hooks up so directly that its nothing like the previous slush boxes I hated so much. Come into a sharp bend, brake late, double tap the down shift paddle, turn in then get back on the gas to clip the apex....makes spirited driving and fast downshifts possible that you simply couldn't do with an MT....and that from an AT hater.
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      04-06-2013, 12:19 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC View Post
I faced exactly the same dilemma. I really disliked every AT I've ever owned and really liked the MTs, but the M135i AT kept getting such good reviews.

So now I've got mine and can say without doubt that I'm damned glad I ordered AT. The transmission shifts so quickly and hooks up so directly that its nothing like the previous slush boxes I hated so much. Come into a sharp bend, brake late, double tap the down shift paddle, turn in then get back on the gas to clip the apex....makes spirited driving and fast downshifts possible that you simply couldn't do with an MT....and that from an AT hater.
I really don't like automatic transmissions, but it seems like most of my issues with these gearboxes have been removed on these particular transmissions, at least if you order the sport version of it. I think for the driving pattern mentioned here, the best option would be an S-drive automatic.
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      04-06-2013, 09:10 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omgguysomg View Post
You can test the MT and AT in Bornem, but I'm sure you already knew that. I did a test in January and in February, and the xDrive was not yet available to test back then. Maybe it is now?
I called my BMW dealership, and currently there are NO M135i's available for test drives at Bornem. (not sdrive, not xdrive)


I can test a 335i AT, but I'm not sure it has the same steering as a M135i AT.
(335i AT could be hydraulic steering?)
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      04-06-2013, 12:34 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwelvaar View Post
I called my BMW dealership, and currently there are NO M135i's available for test drives at Bornem. (not sdrive, not xdrive)


I can test a 335i AT, but I'm not sure it has the same steering as a M135i AT.
(335i AT could be hydraulic steering?)
The cars are given to the press for testing. I had very limited choice for a test drive date (a few days per month). The cars are also very popular for test drives. I had to wait for the previous driver to test mine, and could just hand over the keys after the test hour to the next driver. I'm sure if you insist with your dealer he will be able to arrange a test (I had to push as well the first time). You can always try calling Bornem directly?

I didn't test the 335i, but tested both a 320d s and xdrive and the steering was completely different. Both 3s had the sport auto, but that was also completely different than the auto in the M135i.
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      04-07-2013, 04:20 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madgambler View Post
Having just exchanged my 997 Carrera S for an M135i I couldn't disagree with you more. There's a reason the 2-wheel version of Porsche's 911 outsells it's AWD sister and I don't believe it's just a matter of money; it's simply more fun to drive. Same for M cars in my opinion.

The fact that the rear can step out in a RWD car and needs to be caught is exactly the reward a driver's car should offer. The only problem with tail-happy 911's though is their design is compromised so much this has a nasty habit of biting you in the a$$ when you least expect it, especially if you boot them too hard too soon.

The constant argument that goes on between the wheels in a powerful AWD car about which one has more traction is actually quite annoying after a while.
I agree that a RWD car makes you feel more in the center of action. It requires a more ripped and awake driver that is constantly ready for the lurking counter lock. But even when you are, the AWD will outgun you on most tracks. At least, when you're not Damon Hill or Micheal Schumacher.

I guess much depends on how you see a car. I assume that more and more, extreme things evaporate: high rpm V10s and V12s are out, socio-economical context no longer allows us to drive drag racers with free exhausts. On top, the places where I can power slide without feeling a complete jackass when somebody sees me doing these childess things are also gone entirely. I felt a studd, now I feel like a serial child killer.

So the egocentric pleasure I can still hold on to is driving an efficient performance car when I'am going with the flow. A car that is effective in converting massive torque to propulsion without drama. And all this, still providing the nice balance of the BMW.The X does this better than the RWD.

But again I agree, those rare occasions when you have the free play ground in front of you ... the RWD is more rewarding. But to me, it's more a dream world you need than reality then.
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      04-07-2013, 05:00 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoenG View Post
I agree that a RWD car makes you feel more in the center of action. It requires a more ripped and awake driver that is constantly ready for the lurking counter lock. But even when you are, the AWD will outgun you on most tracks. At least, when you're not Damon Hill or Micheal Schumacher.
The traction advantage is pretty much only an issue at rather low speed on a dry tarmac track. On most of the track, you can put your foot down without sliding. The extra weight and drivetrain loss will be more of an issue than the missing traction for most drivers, I think.

On ice or a wet and twisty track, the AWD car should have an advantage.

Back in the days when I was driving an E30 318iS, it was pretty evenly matched against the all wheel drive E30 325iX, despite having 34 hp less power.
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      04-08-2013, 02:33 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
The traction advantage is pretty much only an issue at rather low speed on a dry tarmac track. On most of the track, you can put your foot down without sliding. The extra weight and drivetrain loss will be more of an issue than the missing traction for most drivers, I think.

On ice or a wet and twisty track, the AWD car should have an advantage.

Back in the days when I was driving an E30 318iS, it was pretty evenly matched against the all wheel drive E30 325iX, despite having 34 hp less power.
I'am a lesser driver and consequently aim for a rather low entry speed. As soon as I feel I can undercut the apex, I give more throttle to widen the traject. Preferably in a balanced and progressive 4 wheel slide, avoiding understeer.

In case of an AWD I can accelerate already before the apex with more authority, with RWD I have to be cautious not to end up in a powerslide. Although this can be very amusing in second gear, I would wet my pants in 4th gear. So to find the optimal balance while accelerating in the turn, an AWD is more idiot proof and for me... faster.

I agree that skilled drivers, that have experience with the track can go faster in the RWD during dry conditions. You're right concerning inertion and mass.
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      04-08-2013, 02:54 PM   #105
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I agree that powerslides in fourth gear can be scary, but they are not all that likely to happen. If you have decent tires, you have to provoke the car rather brutally to break traction in that gear on dry tarmac.

But I agree that AWD is a good choice if you prefer late apex cornering with low entry speed.
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      04-09-2013, 03:18 PM   #106
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I got a test drive in Bornem (BMW test center Belgium) and I have been driving the sdrive manual, and the sdrive auto. No xdrive available.

The conditions today were somewhat rainy, and wet underground (but not soaked), and the sdrive (still with winter tires) did not have much grip problems, only on cobblestone surface or full throttle launch from standstill.

So here xdrive would clearly have an advantage. But mind you, the speed that you build up so quickly with xdrive, you must also be able to stop it if needed ! (and xdrive does not have better stopping power or tire grip than sdrive !)

But the M135i is a beast. Really... It's easy to whoop out the tail in sport+ mode, and I've gone sideways a few times (where it was 'safe' to do this).
I've also turned DSC completely off on an empty parking lot, and tried for some drifting. I found this more difficult to do with the AT then with the MT.

With the AT transmission, the launch and 0-62 of this car is phenomenal.
No man can shift as fast as this AT transmission.

Then again, on different occasions I felt that the AT transmission was not really doing what I expected it to do, like downshifting and giving an uncomfortable 'bump' after just a little press of the accelerator pedal.

And with 8 speeds to choose from, it is not possible to completely drive the AT transmission with the flippers manually. You simply don't know what gear you are in (when driving hard and not watching the instrument panel) and when you brake hard for a corner, you don't really know how many gears you have to downshift to be in the proper gear to attack the corner.
Maybe one can learn this when spending more time with the car, but after 1h test drive, I certainly didn't manage that part very well.


With the MT, I feel more connected to the car and the driving experience, and you just 'know' what gear you need to shift to when braking before a corner.

I feel that with AT, you need to go fast to enjoy the driving experience. With MT, you don't need to go as fast, and can already enjoy the pleasure of "piloting" this machine yourself without the need for high speed or acceleration.

So now I even have a bigger problem as before...
sdrive with MT, sdrive with AT, xdrive with AT... I just can't decide...
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      04-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #107
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Hwelvaar, what an agony! Deciding between these options!? Well I guess that irrespective your choice, you'll end up with a magnificent ride.

Seen your report, I don't see you're going to incline to the AT with your heart, maybe with your mind. But this car is mainly passion, not ration. My 50 cents advice: Just go for MT sdrive and put the money in some decent winter rims/tires.

In case of this M135i dilemma, I'd follow my heart also. For my 320d and 520d that I consume in a timespan of 3 years, I follow predominantly my brain.
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      04-10-2013, 03:12 AM   #108
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With respect

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwelvaar View Post

And with 8 speeds to choose from, it is not possible to completely drive the AT transmission with the flippers manually. You simply don't know what gear you are in (when driving hard and not watching the instrument panel) and when you brake hard for a corner, you don't really know how many gears you have to downshift to be in the proper gear to attack the corner.
Maybe one can learn this when spending more time with the car, but after 1h test drive, I certainly didn't manage that part very well.


With the MT, I feel more connected to the car and the driving experience, and you just 'know' what gear you need to shift to when braking before a corner.

I feel that with AT, you need to go fast to enjoy the driving experience. With MT, you don't need to go as fast, and can already enjoy the pleasure of "piloting" this machine yourself without the need for high speed or acceleration.

So now I even have a bigger problem as before...
sdrive with MT, sdrive with AT, xdrive with AT... I just can't decide...
I'm an MT fan through and through. No AT I've ever tried before the M135i felt even close to what I wanted. But with the M135i its a completely different ball game.

For slow, relaxed driving just put it in AT and enjoy a beautifully smooth ride, always in the fat part of the torque curve. For back road driving the paddles are wonderful. Because the torque band is so wide and the shifts so rapid, its easy to stay in the powerband. You get instant feedback from any downshift so you feel exactly where you are. You can brake late into bends, double tap the paddles and exit smoothly. Alternatively you can downshift earlier and use engine braking to balance the car. Because the shifts are so rapid and lock-up almost instantaneous, it feels even more responsive than an MT.
For sure its a matter of practice.....when I first got my Z4M, I coasted around several bends in neutral having missed a late downshift. After a couple of weeks, you start to wonder why you ever missed those shifts as you adapt to the box.
Having decided on an AT, I spent the entire 3 month delivery period wondering if I'd made a mistake (did I mention I hate ATs of old?). Needn't have worried, the Sport AT isn't for lazy or uncoordinated drivers....that Sports monike really is reflected in the way this AT drives. It lets you get into a lovely rhythm where you're simply concentrating on the road and making fast, fluid progress
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      04-19-2013, 08:12 AM   #109
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Little update. Got my xDrive yesterday. Noticed it just when I first took the wheel, as the steering felt just a tiny bit different than the sDrive. After doing about 300 kms now, I don't notice it at all.

Haven't applied full throttle coming out of a corner as I'm breaking the car in a bit (try not to go over 4500 and not applying full throttle), but I don't think it will have any negative effects on the handling. It has so much grip that it's almost scary.
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      04-26-2013, 08:58 AM   #110
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First drive in the wet today. The grip is amazing. Hard acceleration in pouring rain and it just goes instantly. My previous car would just spin the wheels in place and take a while to sort it out before moving forward.

You don't get the drama of smoking your (expensive) tires in the dry, but the launch and stability in the wet is more important to me. Very happy with my decision.
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