You might wonder if BMWs are as good in snow as they are well known for off-road and rough terrain, or what makes it “The Ultimate Machine,” as they call it.
In short, the answer is yes. BMWs are good in snow. Most BMWs are good in snow and under all weather. However, other factors besides the mechanics enhance the performance of a BMW on snow. Below I shall discuss some of these factors.
Factors Affecting BMW performance in the Snow
A good effective set of tires is a vital feature for a good performance on snow. BMWs are known as super performers, but even with the excellent performance with the wrong set of tires, the performance on snow will be dismal.
While driving on snow, you need to maintain traction to keep the vehicle in control. BMWs are powerful; combined with a good set of tires, they are excellent in the snow.
The rubber compounds that make up the winter tires are pliable and remain soft, enabling them to firmly grip the ground, unlike the summer tires, which stiffen when the temperatures drop.
Another advantage of the winter tires is that they have zigzag grooves and deeper treads, enhancing the grip and traction on the ground. Winter tires are an advancement on the snow tires.
However, while the snow tires had deeper tire treads, they did not have the advantage of the modern rubber compounds and were less efficient on snow. All-weather tires are also a good option on ice, but winter tires have the upper hand because they are specialized for such cold conditions.
Unfortunately, the all-weather tires are not suitable for extremely cold conditions like the winter tires.
BMWs come with different drive systems, including the rear-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive, and front-wheel-drive systems. The tires receiving power require more weight to optimize performance.
The extra weight from the engine increases the performance of the front-wheel drive vehicles, which is not the case in rear-wheel drive vehicles .
Historically most BMW had rear-wheel drive systems, but BMW is gradually and continually manufacturing more front-wheel-drive models.
If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, you can modify it to fit the purpose by adding weight to the trunk. BMW also calls the all-wheel-drive system(AWD) the xDrive system.
XDrive is the best system since it provides power to all four tires, which means more traction.
The modern BMWs come with the Eco Pro driving mode and the Sport and Comfort mode. Eco Pro is particularly installed for winter driving. Eco Pro limits torque delivery during induction in turbocharged BMWs.
This induction breaks traction easily but is quickly restored by Eco Pro. Eco Pro also enables efficient fuel use by changing how the 8-speed automatic transmission shifts.
The Driving Skills Driving on snow requires a special set of driving skills, unlike normal paved roads. These skills are mostly acquired over time through experience. An experienced driver is better suited to maneuver a vehicle not modified for cold weather.
In addition, you must know how to adjust and maintain control of the vehicle in snow. You can only acquire these driving skills through practice. It would help if you had confidence when driving on snow, but it is important to note that you can never be over-prepared for driving on ice.
Snow accumulates and restricts the movement of the vehicle. Therefore, a vehicle with more clearance will be more effective on snow than a vehicle that is low to the ground.
If you live in an area that experiences snow, consider going for a vehicle with more clearance.
For example, BMW has options like the BMW X3 and X5 series. You may also modify your existing BMW by installing a lift kit to have more clearance.
Which BMW does better in Snow
BMWs are good performers in various weather or terrain conditions, including snow. Besides the SUVs being excellent in snow, the BMW sedans are also better performers compared to other sedans in their class.
However, the best BMW for snow is the BMW X3 xDrive series, followed by the X5 xDrive series. They both come with the xDrive system, an advanced all-wheel-drive system that provides better traction.
They also have a heavy-duty anti-locking brake system. When the vehicle starts to break and lose traction, this system automatically combines with the xDrive system to regain traction. The X3 and X5 BMWs have great clearance, therefore, have minimal risk of getting stuck in the snow.