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View Poll Results: Is your M steering wheel perfect?
Yes 27 71.05%
No 11 28.95%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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      09-19-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
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G'day from down under

After picking up my 1M almost two months ago I've had a couple of gripes with the leather quality on the seats (I posted a few pics on the Aussie forums) and also a couple of bumps behind the steering wheel, but have come to terms with it since being repeatedly told that it's a "natural material" and will therefore never be perfect by BMW. I was told that I should buy a Rolls Royce if I wanted anything with better quality (Please keep in mind I paid over $100,000k USD for this car though). Being a fairly busy guy, I let it go.

I've now done 1000kms in the car, and these bumps on the steering wheel are driving me insane . They're right behind the right spoke of the steering wheel, exactly where I have my third and fourth finger (because I drive properly ) so I'm constantly touching them and so constantly reminded of them. I would have thought that BMW could at least get the steering wheel right. It really detracts from the car, especially on mundane drives to work where there's nothing to distract me from it. I considered just replacing the steering wheel, but that'll cost me at least $1000.

Is there any case I can put towards BMW Australia? Is there anything wrong with your M steering wheel?
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      09-19-2012, 08:31 AM   #2
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G'day from down under

After picking up my 1M almost two months ago I've had a couple of gripes with the leather quality on the seats (I posted a few pics on the Aussie forums) and also a couple of bumps behind the steering wheel, but have come to terms with it since being repeatedly told that it's a "natural material" and will therefore never be perfect by BMW. I was told that I should buy a Rolls Royce if I wanted anything with better quality (Please keep in mind I paid over $100,000k USD for this car though). Being a fairly busy guy, I let it go.

I've now done 1000kms in the car, and these bumps on the steering wheel are driving me insane . They're right behind the right spoke of the steering wheel, exactly where I have my third and fourth finger (because I drive properly ) so I'm constantly touching them and so constantly reminded of them. I would have thought that BMW could at least get the steering wheel right. It really detracts from the car, especially on mundane drives to work where there's nothing to distract me from it. I considered just replacing the steering wheel, but that'll cost me at least $1000.

Is there any case I can put towards BMW Australia? Is there anything wrong with your M steering wheel?
The BMW Performance wheel with blue stripe costs 1k there!!!

While I wish BMW had gone with a "sportier" style wheel (flat bottom, alcantara matching the cars trim etc.) it is a really sweet wheel. I have since purchased a BMWPerf (non powered) wheel because well.... Its sweeter
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      09-19-2012, 08:37 AM   #3
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Compared to other 1M's, my steering wheel looks a bit too worn at 9 and 3 grips and seems to have shrunk a bit. My 135i wheel was better. Not enough of a case to take to BMW & will just replace with the alcantara version ($600) in a few months. Seems to just be luck of the draw as to leather quality....also some of us more particular about these things than others
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      09-19-2012, 05:32 PM   #4
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I got my car with 1 of the blue stitching hanging off. Would they replace or repair? and If they replace... wonder if they'd let me replace with the performance wheel with blue strip... haha I've heard they're the same cost.
Anyone know about this?
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      09-19-2012, 05:36 PM   #5
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I have a M3 wheel on my 135i. I love it. The leather BMW uses is a bit hard(& rough) to the feel/touch. I used some "leatherique" oil to treat the leather bits on the steering wheel. That really softened up the leather and gave it a "nice" feel to it. I really recommend you guys to buy a bottle of "leatherique" oil - its about $30 but worth it. The leather feels so much nicer now.
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      09-19-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
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I vote yes, but is it "perfect"? Maybe not, but it is a damn good wheel though. I thought the wheel on my Z4M Coupe was the best though.
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      09-19-2012, 06:16 PM   #7
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BMW replaced quite a number of loose stitching items on my 318i out of warranty but that was almost 7 years ago. Their policy might have changed. Show us some pictures on your seat.

The build quality of the 1M is like other 1ers. I do find the 5er are the 3er are built to a higher quality standard. Whilst the X3 was a bit worse and x5 on par.
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      09-19-2012, 06:39 PM   #8
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the "boss" always nags me for wasting too much on my cars but even she said the money spent on the square bottomed suede m sport wheel was money well spent.
i think its the best mod ive ever done on any car,
even if it does ad .1% on to the amount the car owes you-its well worth it.
M sport wheel tranforms the driving experience especially on the boring low speed drives to work..
just my 2pence worth
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      09-19-2012, 06:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DooBs View Post
I got my car with 1 of the blue stitching hanging off. Would they replace or repair? and If they replace... wonder if they'd let me replace with the performance wheel with blue strip... haha I've heard they're the same cost.
Anyone know about this?
They will replace it under warranty if they are nice, I had the stitching on both my steering wheel start to come off on both my steering wheel and my driver's seat on the top right where the lift handle is.
Both were "good will" repaired. Wear and tear items are not covered under a normal warranty but most SAs are nice so just be nice and request it. Don't demand it, I can't stress this enough. I am my SA's favorite client simply because I don't demand anything but he has goodwill repaired multiple items that I would normally be SOL for.
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      09-20-2012, 03:34 AM   #10
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I have the optional suede flat bottomed wheel and I love it!!! Feels great and at first I was like "flat bottomed wheel are such a gimmick" but I actually like it now because it's not very much so you can still let the wheel turn by itself while leaving your hand on its and because of it you actually can feel where the wheel is at even without looking. Would definitely recommend the upgrade.
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      09-20-2012, 05:22 AM   #11
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Thanks for the feedback fellas, much appreciated

Ian, I'd say I'm definitely one of the more/most particular owners haha.

The alcantara/flat bottomed wheel sounds tempting though!
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      09-20-2012, 06:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Convert View Post

The alcantara/flat bottomed wheel sounds tempting though!
True, but have a look at one in person first... They look different to the photos. Not sure how well it would wear over the years.

IMO talk to the dealer and try get a replacement. Got photos of the wheel?
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      09-20-2012, 06:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian///M View Post
True, but have a look at one in person first... They look different to the photos. Not sure how well it would wear over the years.

IMO talk to the dealer and try get a replacement. Got photos of the wheel?
Well its kind of a given that soft to the touch alcantara is not going to have the same wear characteristics as regular leather. Just saying
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      09-20-2012, 07:30 AM   #14
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As Metak correctly pointed out, the question should have been phrased differently, because "perfect" is indeed quite a stretch. IMHO "Living up to expectations of an ///M car" or "///M worthy" would have been a better wording, or, more generally, "fit for purpose".

Anyway, I do not dislike it, so I voted "perfect". Smooth transition when coming over from an M3.

In general, the thickness of ///M steering wheels has been hackled by some journalists. Though, Chris Harris considers it a requirement for an ///M car, but doesn't want it to be overdone. Check the video below about his expectations before getting behind the wheel of a 1M test mule in late 2010: 01:26-01:31 and 03:06-03:14: "[An ///M car should have] A different steering wheel, but not too thick please, because it got a bit crazy over the last few years."

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      09-20-2012, 07:42 AM   #15
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Further to my previous post: Evo journalist Henry Catchpole regrets BMW M's choice for continuing to use "the chunky steering wheel".

Check 01:54-02:01 in the video below:
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      09-20-2012, 03:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
Further to my previous post: Evo journalist Henry Catchpole regrets BMW M's choice for continuing to use "the chunky steering wheel".
I agree somewhat. I always liked my 1M's wheel, but the Performance stripe wheel is Slightly smaller and really is a perfect fit! Made me realize how damn large the stock wheel was.
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      09-20-2012, 08:38 PM   #17
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So far (5K miles) I love my wheel and my seats. Only better I've had was 997 GT3. My only complaint about interior is the hard plastic dash and slapdash alteration between hard plastic and the nice alcantara. Very tight build so far.
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      09-27-2012, 06:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian///M View Post
True, but have a look at one in person first... They look different to the photos. Not sure how well it would wear over the years.

IMO talk to the dealer and try get a replacement. Got photos of the wheel?
I'm in talks with the dealer now, BMW aus will have a look at it. I've taken a few pics but unfortunately it really doesn't come show It really has to be touched to be noticed.

That Chris Harris video reminds me... what happened to our M3 seats and illuminated gear knob??? That said, I've grown quite fond of the stock ones

I think our interiors are much nicer than the M3's too, I had a sit in one yesterday and thought it was a bit... boringggggggggggggg

I'll admit that "Perfect" probably isn't the best description, perhaps I should've put "Up to your expectation quality-wise for the money you paid". As a driving wheel I think it's great, it feels purposeful and really feels like a car that takes skill to drive (I'm a bit delusional ). Sometimes I feel like I'm pulling at the seams when holding the car in the bends though. I suppose I just felt that after all the cars I've had the pleasure of driving, I've never had anything like this before and it's just a bit disappointing that it has on such a special car.

Last edited by Convert; 09-27-2012 at 06:22 AM.
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      09-27-2012, 07:16 AM   #19
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Just add the performance wheel Electronic
like we did its much thicker and such a joy
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      09-27-2012, 08:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Convert View Post
I'm in talks with the dealer now, BMW aus will have a look at it. I've taken a few pics but unfortunately it really doesn't come show It really has to be touched to be noticed.

That Chris Harris video reminds me... what happened to our M3 seats and illuminated gear knob??? That said, I've grown quite fond of the stock ones

I think our interiors are much nicer than the M3's too, I had a sit in one yesterday and thought it was a bit... boringggggggggggggg

I'll admit that "Perfect" probably isn't the best description, perhaps I should've put "Up to your expectation quality-wise for the money you paid". As a driving wheel I think it's great, it feels purposeful and really feels like a car that takes skill to drive (I'm a bit delusional ). Sometimes I feel like I'm pulling at the seams when holding the car in the bends though. I suppose I just felt that after all the cars I've had the pleasure of driving, I've never had anything like this before and it's just a bit disappointing that it has on such a special car.
The seats do not look as great or special as most of us would like to see in the 1M, that is a fact. However, I find them close to perfect in the way that they deliver comfort and support, especially if you stick with the manual instead of power/memory seats (3 cm. less head room, quite heavier and adds no extra positioning, unnecessary cables and something else to go wrong in time, plus they cost). In fact, I feel like other than the "looks" I prefer them to E9X M3 seats, cause they are less bulky and very probably much lighter while providing the same kind of support. There was an interview back in the days of 1M's launch, that an M engineer or executive had replied to a question of why not selecting M3 seats to 1M, and he was saying that standard sport seats are considered to be more comfortable and fitting the 1M better by the M division. That says enough.

On the other hand, if we could have some seats a la Z3 M seats, in bi-color scheme plus half-alcantara half-leather, then yes I would feel more special about the interior of our cars.

I don't mind a bit that the gear box is not illuminated since I know where to put my gear lever without looking at it! Plus would it come in VO? I even found it juvenile these details in former M cars, like the lights showing you if you are at the green or yellow or red zone of revs or the shift knob. I am glad that 1M was considered more grown up than that. It is the focused and pure M, remember? We are supposed to drive it first and foremost.
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      09-27-2012, 08:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
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The seats do not look as great or special as most of us would like to see in the 1M, that is a fact. However, I find them close to perfect in the way that they deliver comfort and support, especially if you stick with the manual instead of power/memory seats (3 cm. less head room, quite heavier and adds no extra positioning, unnecessary cables and something else to go wrong in time, plus they cost). In fact, I feel like other than the "looks" I prefer them to E9X M3 seats, cause they are less bulky and very probably much lighter while providing the same kind of support. There was an interview back in the days of 1M's launch, that an M engineer or executive had replied to a question of why not selecting M3 seats to 1M, and he was saying that standard sport seats are considered to be more comfortable and fitting the 1M better by the M division. That says enough.

On the other hand, if we could have some seats a la Z3 M seats, in bi-color scheme plus half-alcantara half-leather, then yes I would feel more special about the interior of our cars.

I don't mind a bit that the gear box is not illuminated since I know where to put my gear lever without looking at it! Plus would it come in VO? I even found it juvenile these details in former M cars, like the lights showing you if you are at the green or yellow or red zone of revs or the shift knob. I am glad that 1M was considered more grown up than that. It is the focused and pure M, remember? We are supposed to drive it first and foremost.
In Australia our 1Ms came standard with the electric seats, I think I read in another thread that they could be lowered even further after some minor adjustments? I can appreciate the weight benefits, but I found that the manual ratchet adjustment for the back angle to be a bit disappointing in the 135i sans electric seats. It would've been nicer if BMW had fitted it with a wheel instead to provide essentially infinite adjustments.

I didn't know about the M division's comments about the seats, but that'll be one to keep in the armory should an M3 driver bad mouth my car in any way haha I found that the extra "bits" on the M3 seat didn't give me much extra support around the thighs and shoulders, PLUS I found the side bolsters didn't inflate to the same extent as those in the 1M, i.e. not hugging enough!

I suppose that I would've liked some thing extra to differentiate the seats between the 1M and the standard 1 series, although the orange stitching does help quite a bit. (I'm not feeling the 2 tone Z3M seats though)

You're right about the gear knob though, it'd just add wank-factor (but I'd still think it'd be awesome if they did it haha). The reflection it gives from the ambient lighting makes it looks pretty cool at night (when I have time to admire it).

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It is the focused and pure M, remember? We are supposed to drive it first and foremost.
Can't argue with that
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      09-27-2012, 09:02 AM   #22
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I'm pretty finicky as well and I've got one annoying bump on my 1M's wheel. It's up at 12 O'Clock though, so doesn't bother me too much. I will be very interested to see how the leather wears - mine is 7.5 months and 10500kms old and I've got the slightest change in the feel of the leather in the areas of the wheel that I hold on to most. I think it's all going to be about good maintainence of the interior to keep it all pretty!
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