When I first bought my Bim, people told me to be prepared for how poorly they handled in the snow...especially after driving a 4WD truck for the past 11 years.
So...Thanksgiving we got the first 2 inches of the white stuff of the season. I'd been sick, so I didn't get a chance to go out and test the proclaimed traction problems until the next day.
Friday, I hopped in the 323, and headed out of the driveway to run some errands. The traction control kicked in a few times coming out of the driveway (slight incline) and going down the road in places where the snow had turned to ice and was just generally in poor shape anyway.
I mentioned to my wife "Heck, this isn't anywhere near as bad as everyone has been saying it'd be".
While we were out running errands, a fresh dusting fell, covering what was already on the ground.
So, coming home, I start to take a right hand turn (at maybe 5 MPH) into the driveway...and to my surprise, the 323 continues going straight...right for the embankment and several large boulders that are in said ditch.
With the steering wheel hard over, and a look of absolute shock on my face, the car ever so slowly starts to slide to the right
(thankfully) avoiding the embankment and the rocks...and drifts right across my pristine (and meticulously manicured) front lawn, leaving a nice 15' long trench, the width of my turned tire.
I have to give my wife credit, as she didn't scream or create a fuss. Although, after we got the car backed into the garage (which was no small feat either thanks to a lot of sliding around). But...she did make several (in fact she's still getting som mileage out of it) cracks about my being a former police officer and finshing at the top of my class in EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operation Course)...and that I had a look of complete shock on my face while we were sliding.
In all my years of driving, I've never once felt as though a car I was driving was out of control...however...this one time, comes damn close.
So, 2 lessons learned:
1. Studded snow tires will be going on ASAP.
2. Next BMW will be the 325xi...with all wheel drive.