BMW sDrive vs. xDrive: Battle of the BMW Drivelines

2021 BMW X2

BMW sDrive and BMW xDrive are two types of BMW drivelines. BMW sDrive is a BMW two-wheel-drive (2WD) system. BMW xDrive is, on the other hand, an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. While most BMW models come equipped with sDrive rear-wheel-drive (RWD) standard, xDrive is most often available as an option. Some BMW models or trims of certain models, conversely, come standard with BMW xDrive.

Learn more about each BMW driveline now as well as the difference between drivelines vs. drivetrains with BMW Fresno near Madera to figure out which works best for your needs. Then, shop our new BMW inventory online or contact us with additional questions!

What’s the Difference between Drivetrain & Driveline?

A car’s drivetrain is the system that helps make it move. Drivetrains actually include everything from the engine to the wheels. Often, people refer to the driveline as a drivetrain. Technically, this isn’t wrong, because the driveline is part of the drivetrain. But the driveline itself is the part of the drivetrain between the transmission and the wheels — the component that is made up of either 2WD, AWD, or in some vehicles, 4WD parts. BMW xDrive and sDrive are technically part of a BMW’s drivetrain, but they are, more specifically, two distinct driveline types.

How Does BMW sDrive Work?

BMW sDrive is a two-wheel-drive (2WD) driveline. There are two types of 2WD drivelines, front-wheel-drive (FWD), and rear-wheel-drive (RWD). In FWD vehicles, like base BMW X2 models, power is sent from the engine to just the front two wheels. In the vast majority of new BMW 2WD models, though, power is sent to the rear wheels, making such models rear-wheel-drive vehicles. 

How Does BMW xDrive Work?

BMW xDrive is, at its essence, an all-wheel-drive driveline. What sets xDrive all-wheel drive apart from other all-wheel drive systems is how it utilizes intelligent all-wheel drive technology designed and engineered by the brand that is obsessed with performance:

  • It works together with Dynamic Stability Control and monitors road conditions.
  • If the sensors detect slippery surfaces or loss of traction, the electronically controlled system sends power to the wheels or wheel with the most traction.
  • This helps to regain control and maintain responsive handling on Merced roads.

Which Models are Available with BMW xDrive and BMW sDrive?

Here’s what the new BMW lineup offers in terms of standard driveline equipment:

  • Models with Standard sDrive: BMW 7 series, X1, X2, X3, X5, X6, Z4
  • Models with Available xDrive: BMW 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series, X1, X2, X3, X5, X6, 
  • Models with Standard xDrive: X4, X7, i8, M5, M8, X3 M, X4 M, X5 M, X6 M
  • Models with Normal Rear-Wheel Drive: i3, M2, M4

Your Perfect New BMW Awaits at BMW Fresno!

Ready to experience BMW xDrive or BMW sDrive for yourself near Visalia or Madera? Call us at BMW Fresno at (559) 447-6700 to book your next test-drive appointment, then visit our Fresno location for yourself. Meanwhile, check out all our other service tips or manufacturer information page to learn more about other BMW technologies.

More from BMW Fresno

  • 2022 BMW X3 Interior

    The 2022 BMW X3 balances comfort and sportiness perfectly, providing a truly luxurious experience every day in the Madera area. One of the main aspects that contribute to this type of experience is the new BMW X3 interior. From the sleek design to the premium materials and a suite of features at your disposal, this…

  • All New 2022 BMW X3 Overview

    Discerning car shoppers and savvy petrol heads in Merced and beyond have turned to the BMW brand for excitement and design finesse for nearly a century now. In today’s age of the ever-popular SUV, BMW delivers wholeheartedly with the all-new BMW X3. Check out our guide to this modern machine and its features when you…

  • 2022 BMW 3 Series Interior – Comfortable & Sophisticated

    The 2022 BMW 3 Series is here to offer Visalia drivers with an option that’s exciting and sophisticated. The exterior of the new BMW 3 Series features a head-turning design that’s sure to dazzle anyone that lays their eyes on it. Not to mention the driving dynamics of the BMW 3 Series match that of…

Saved Vehicles


You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this link on your favorites:


Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Contact Us

(559) 447-6700

Call Now

7171 N. Palm Ave • Fresno, CA 93650

Get Directions

Today's Hours:

Open Today! Sales: 9am-8pm

Open Today! Service: 7am-5:30pm

Open Today! Parts: 7am-5:30pm

BMW Fresno 36.839998, -119.808335.