In Reply to: BMW snow performance and reliability (more...) posted by S. Diggavi on October 04, 1999 at 09:05:15:
Was in a similar position a year ago. (A4q vs. 328i) IMO the major selling point for the A4 was wagon(avant) availability. I wouldn't neccessarily say that AWD is 'safer' in snow--but it does make it easier to drive. Also most everything I read said the A4 was slightly less reliable than the 3er. (primarily CR) I especially think the 1.8T is less reliable than the 2.8. Being that I hope to own this car for years...I wanted the more reliable car. Also, along the safety front the A4 didn't have any head protection airbag. (Don't know if they've added it for MY'00.)
As for driving in NJ snow. I have the a sport package equipped 328i. (read: summer tires) I went through last winter in NJ with these tires. Don't know if you were here--we had a couple of 3" falls. I had no problem driving in them--(better than my FWD Jetta.) I've been considering purchasing snows for the car--or getting P7000SS when the Contis wear out. Unless you live in a fairly rural area of NJ I don't think snows are neccessary. (I drove a Mustang will all seasons for eight years--no traction control.) Most roads get plowed quickly and well. If you get the sport package and have 'summer' tires...then it would make sense to buy snows as a second set. Also, it is advisable to buy a second set of wheels for the snows if you choose to go that route. I'm sure Eddie from Tirerack can offer some advice.