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Old 07-13-2011, 02:23 PM   #1
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Year Round Driver - DC Area?

I am potentially moving to the DC area in the next few months and wanted to know if it is practical to drive a Boxster year round. I have been considering buying one, but, with the move to DC I am unsure due to the climate (snow). I currently live in FL and would have no problem driving year round here.

How much snow and ice does WMA really get?

Thanks for your feedback?

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Old 07-13-2011, 02:50 PM   #2
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We can get a lot of snow here (2009 60" over 3 weeks) or a little (3" over 2 months).

Depends on where you live, i.e. plowing of side streets. The main arteries get taken care of pretty quickly, but they do use some nasty chemicals as pre-treatments.

Welcome to the area ! We have some active PCA regions ( Potomac, Chesapeake) autocrosses, Summit Point Motorsports Park about 90 minutes away, and some nice driving roads in Northern Virginia and western Maryland.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:37 PM   #3
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The Boxster does well in the snow, but you need some skills.



If you've never driven in the snow, then you have other issues. I'd get a 4WD (audi or BMW or something).







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Old 07-13-2011, 04:39 PM   #4
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Past few years we've gotten some big snowfalls but the years before that we hardly had snow at all. In DC, in the city, black ice is a problem sometimes. Very dangerous. Driving the box in the snow isn't too bad. But you must get winter tires and switch in the fall to those.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:42 PM   #5
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I am originally from the NE where the weather is much worse than the WMA. So I have spent my whole life driving I the snow. I currently have a 328xi from when i was living in the NE and would be trading it. Ironic I know. I have been looking to buy one and now we are moving out of FL.

So I am trying to gauge how practical it really is.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:22 AM   #6
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I like having a 2nd "beater" vehicle for the winter ('89 Toyota PU), if that's an option.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoword
I am originally from the NE where the weather is much worse than the WMA. So I have spent my whole life driving I the snow. I currently have a 328xi from when i was living in the NE and would be trading it. Ironic I know. I have been looking to buy one and now we are moving out of FL.

So I am trying to gauge how practical it really is.



The Boxster is good in the snow with proper tires. It's limited by the clearance height. Other than that, it does much better than you'd expect. My other car is a front wheel drive Honda, the Boxster does better than it.

The Boxster does slide around a little, but it's very balanced so it's predictable and fun. The Boxster climbs snowy hills well.

I drive mine year round in Northern New Jersey (we get more snow and have more and steeper hills).




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Old 07-14-2011, 01:40 PM   #8
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Given your situation and concerns, I'd say look into a model with traction control just to have that added safety net. Any car could still get away from you even when you're being careful, so it couldn't hurt to have it, and you can always turn it off when the weather's nice.

I wouldn't let snow scare you away from buying one and driving it in DC...you're originally from up north, so you know what to expect. One of the deciding factors for you may have to be where you'll be living, as suggested by someone earlier. The car's about 4 inches off the ground so you'll want to be able to clear any residual/poorly plowed/unplowed snow in the street if you don't live on a main drag.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoword
I am originally from the NE where the weather is much worse than the WMA. So I have spent my whole life driving I the snow. I currently have a 328xi from when i was living in the NE and would be trading it. Ironic I know. I have been looking to buy one and now we are moving out of FL.

So I am trying to gauge how practical it really is.
You're accustom to driving an AWD car in the snow. Hopefully with snow tires. IMO, a light AWD car like your BMW (or my WRX) with snow tires is the absolute best vehicle for on-road winter driving. Max traction, max control. A Boxster is manageable in light enough snow with snow tires, but it will never be as easy to handle as your ix. Can you manage a winter car? Do you need to drive every day or can you stay home during those ice storms?
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:00 PM   #10
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I drove mine all year in Baltimore and in Buffalo NY. I didn't have any problems driving in 3-6 inches of snow with my Boxster and I didn't have traction control.

It's all the idiot drivers around you who have no idea how to drive in snow that you have watch out for.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTP
It's all the idiot drivers around you who have no idea how to drive in snow that you have watch out for.
Agreed there, JTP. They'll probably all be too busy gawking at the "crazy guy" who's driving his Porsche in the snow.

snoword, are you going to be living IN DC or the surrounding area? I only ask because if so then it may be worthwhile to ride the metro as often as possible when it comes to commuting.

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