Are BMW’s Good In The Snow?

Are BMW's Good In The Snow

If you live somewhere that sees a lot of winter snowfall, then you’ve got to get a car that can handle these conditions. With that in mind, are BMW’s good in the snow?

There are plenty of BMW’s that can handle wintery conditions a lot better than others. Mainly, you’re looking at the X Series of SUVs and 4x4s. These cars are made to be more robust and come with features that help them drive in harsh conditions. So, they are good in the snow – provided you take the correct precautions before heading out. 

Following on from this, BMW has released four-wheel drive technology to help cars perform better in icy and snowy conditions. This is called BMW xDrive, and it’s currently available across multiple different models. Obviously, all cars in the X Series range come with this, but you can add it to the saloon or estate models like the 5 Series or the 3 Series. It’s even possible to get it on cars in the M Range, like the M8 and M5. You can see if a car is eligible for this add-on when you go to buy it. 

The whole idea of xDrive is that it offers more stability and control in tricky driving conditions. This includes off-roading, slippery roads, and ice/snow. 

Does BMW xDrive Work In The Snow?

Yes, it does. As we previously mentioned, the core principle of this technology is to offer an all-wheel-drive system. By doing this, it gives you more traction control under your tires. There’s more grip for you to take advantage of, which helps to avoid skidding or spinning in snowy conditions. 

A key aspect of the xDrive technology is Dynamic Stability Control. Once more, this keeps your car in a stable position when traversing through ice and snow. This gets combined with the anti-lock brakes to prevent any spinning and to stop you from going out of control if it feels like you’re about to lose traction. 

You will definitely feel a difference if you drive a BMW with xDrive technology, compared to one without it. The way this technology distributes power is essential in staying in control when driving in winter weather conditions. 

Of course, this does come with a bit of a caveat. If the snow is incredibly deep, then you probably won’t see any benefits as it’s just too hard to drive your car through it. Also, you still need to take extra precautions to make your BMW suitable to drive in bad snowy weather. So, xDrive does work in the snow, but there are still other things to consider. 

Is BMW xDrive reliable?

BMW car with xdrive

Most BMW owners will testify that this technology is highly reliable. It’s far more than your typical all-wheel-drive system and has uses that extend beyond driving in snowy conditions. You’re given the absolute best traction control when you use the xDrive system because power is diverted to both the front and rear axels. Not only that, but the amount of torque and power that’s diverted to the axels depends on the driving conditions. 

Usually, with systems like this, there’s a 60:40 split between the back and front axels. With xDrive, the split is determined by the conditions. If a slip on the snow is detected, then 100% of the power will either go to the back or the front to help counter this and keep you stable. 

Overall, this is a system that’s proven to work and can enhance your driving experience even when the roads are clear and dry. It gives drivers more control, which is always going to be a good thing. 

Does 4-Wheel Drive Help On Ice?

Generally speaking, 4-wheel drive can help you when you’re driving in icy conditions. The main benefit is that it helps you get started when there’s ice under your tires. With normal driving systems, you will end up skidding and sliding around because you can’t get enough purchase to really push off. Having four tires in contact and working at the same time will stop instances where you’re stuck in traffic because it’s too icy to move. 

Also, when you have a 4-wheel drive system – like xDrive – then you add extra features to improve the traction control and make it easier for you to steer your car. 

How Do You Winterize a BMW?

Car tires in snow

It goes without saying that xDrive is nowhere near as effective if you don’t winterize your BMW before setting off on a snowy journey. Everyone should do this to stay as safe as possible in these hazardous driving conditions. 

Here are some tips to help you out: 

  • Make sure you have a good set of winter tires on with lots of grip
  • Use snow chains if it’s particularly snowy to give your tires extra purchase and grip
  • Replace the wiper blades with new ones to help remove snow from your windscreen
  • Use antifreeze spray on the windows to prevent frost
  • Change to lighter engine oil to protect it from cold temperatures
  • Ensure the battery is full-charged before any trips
  • Take your car in for a tune-up to ensure the heater is working, and there are no lingering issues

Summary: Are BMW’s good in the snow?

The main point to take from this article is that you can drive a BMW in the snow. However, make sure you take steps to winterize your car, and you will be far safer if your BMW has xDrive technology. Ideally, you will fare much better in one of the X Series BMW’s as well, purely because they’re designed for harsher driving conditions. Granted, BMW’s aren’t as good in the snow as some other cars, but it’s definitely possible to drive your beemer without skidding around or getting involved in accidents. 


I'm Scott, a BMW enthusiast and many time owner of these wonderful machines. I'm here to document my experiences with BMW's over the years and hopefully help people out along the way.

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