Originally Posted by delt31
Also - as far as the 335ix, someone mentioned that even with that car you need snow tires and can't ride with the stock ones in the winter even though it's xdrive? If that's the case, that's another expense I should tack onto the 335 b/c I thought that would only be a M3 thing.
Even with AWD, I'd go for an extra set of wheels with dedicated snow tires. AWD plus all-season tires is not going to be fun. AWD only helps when you need to get moving. Snow tires help you grip the road in all situations. I'm looking at Blizzaks right now. If I went with the M3, I'd probably go with a more aggressive winter tire (e.g., WS-60) over a "performance winter" (e.g., LM-25).
Overall Pittsburgh winters aren't that bad compared to some other places that get a lot of snow. It's only when the city drops the ball (cough, Snowmageddon, cough), that things get bad. Most of the time in winter, I'm driving on dry salted roads with big piles of snow on the sidewalks.
With RWD Bimmers, I'd also suggest adding some weight in the back to give the drive wheels more friction. BMW's 50/50 car balancing is not helpful in this case. A couple 50 lbs sandbags in the trunk work well.
I don't spend that much time in the southern burbs (Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair), so I don't know what the winter driving around there is like. Sorry.