Originally Posted by TerryBM3
This is comforting news, but I don't know if I can jump on board fully. My buddy put winters on his e90 M3 in VT and I can tell you that hills (up or down) and frozen over areas were difficult to weather. Fresh powdered areas were a bit easier, but again the hills got to the car. Our other mutual friend with an e90 335i Xdrive with winters was a completely different story. Now that thing can eat up some serious winter weather.
Yes, hills are one area where a RWD vehicle, even with snows, will tend to be at a significant disadvantage to an AWD or even FWD vehicle. An M3 with snows will make it through just fine in many winter conditions, but areas that get deeper snow or are fairly hilly would tend to push you toward another car (at least when needing to drive through those conditions). I don't think issues with "frozen over areas" have much to do with the car, though, that's more a function of tires. Ice is difficult for any non-studded tire, regardless of number of drive wheels.
As mentioned previously in the thread, I had a 335xi, and so far I haven't noticed that much difference in my typical winter conditions with similar snow tires (fairly flat, <=4" snow, performance winters). I'd mainly give the edge to the AWD car in starting off and taking full turns (i.e. 90 degree). I would certainly also expect the AWD car to be better on hills, but most of the Chicagoland area is pretty flat.