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Old 02-18-2006, 04:46 PM   #1
M3ti Compact
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Got the new 325i! Active Steering review

Well...newest addition to the family is a Titanium Silver 325i- sport package, 6 speed manual, sunroof and active steering.

The only doubts we had for this car was wheter to get the active steering option or not. I'm the kind of person who (used) to take the "It should be just Car and Driver" view- I don't like computers, don't like traction control etc...so when the rep said Active Steering is a computer controlled $1,500 system that varies your steering ratio with speed- I was reluctant.

But it was my parents car- and BMW played it as a safety feature, and since I won't be the primary driver of this car (my mom would), they decided to override my suggestion of "you don't need it" and get it. Even though there was no active steering models availble to test drive.

So, my first experience with active steering was when we took delivery of the new car. Pulling out of the parking lot, I noticed that it was extremely easy to get out of the spot because I didn't have to make that much steering input. On the road, the first corner I took was a highway onramp. As I entered the corner and eased the wheel into the turn- the car responded- and I was hooked! Instead of having to make a huge turn with the wheel, all that was needed was a slight movement: more steering with less input- your getting more for less! At this point, I knew I would like this system. You get greater feel, and you can steer the car much much faster than with regular steering. This is great for drifting, or if your just lazy...

On the highway- the system settled down- and turned into a normal steering ratio car- you couldn't tell if it had active steering at highway speeds at all- so it's not one of those "sneeze proof" systems in which you can sneeze, jerk the wheel and still stay in the lane.

From this day, I was a forever changed man- new technology is truely better than the old days of just "Car and Driver". While I still don't like traction control and computers, give me all the active steering you have!

My verdict on active steering:
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Old 02-18-2006, 05:15 PM   #2
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Honestly, having tested the ACTIVE steering on both the 325 and 330 i gotta say, i'm not a fan at all! I'm sure once you get used to it, the driver can enjoy it.... but its too akward a feeling for me!


When i hit the highway onramp i was and regular highway driving it was fine, but when you have to change your speed (make a sharp right turn and keeping your foot on the gas, hehehe) it became very akward. So i'd be very iffy to try drifting a car with active steering and calling it easier, cause BMW's speed is calculated in the actuall differential isn't it? So if your drifting (tires spining faster than the speed of the car) the active steering would be all out of whack.... no?
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Old 02-18-2006, 06:43 PM   #3
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well...havn't tried drifting yet in it (wait till the car is depreciated), but I would expect it to act somewhat transparent in the way that the driver is too concerned with countersteering and feeling what the car is doing as not to notice exactly how much steering input is actually being put in.

It's like variable power steering- which we got in the E36's...you won't notice it working unless you paid attention.
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Old 02-18-2006, 10:44 PM   #4
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lol...I just drove the 318ti again a moment ago...lol...what a difference! I was making a turn, turned the wheel and flipping NOTHING happened! I had to put in almost 2x more steering...got to used to the E90 too fast...
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Old 02-19-2006, 03:47 AM   #5
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Nows the time to try drifting it..... its still on warrenty!
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:23 PM   #6
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Can active steering be turned off? i may be in the same boat soon (parents-> active steering)
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proprone
Can active steering be turned off? i may be in the same boat soon (parents-> active steering)
from what I know you can't...but hey, give it a shot, I didn't like the idea at first and was totally ready to hate the system because my parents declined my suggestion, but after the first corner, I looked like this guy -->
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldo
Nows the time to try drifting it..... its still on warrenty!
lol...it says right in the MANUAL that there's a black box on board that records unnamed vehicle parameters for warrenty and law enforcement purposes!

My guess that speed, rpms, and G FORCE will be among those parameters
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:59 AM   #9
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Hahahaha.... that doesn't mean anything. Theres no way to prove it.... blame it on faulty electronics!
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:10 PM   #10
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I damaged power steering pumps on two seperate occasions trying to do 'ahem donuts' with the new 330i with active steering..

it's a hinderance if you want to have "fun" =p
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:44 PM   #11
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congrats! loving the e90s
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:30 AM   #12
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Good you got a bmw. Lex is nice but bmw is unique.
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