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      08-11-2011, 09:20 AM   #1
GerryL
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Active Steering

I am about to pull the trigger on a factory 135i order and am curious on people's thoughts on active steering. I am quite sure of my other decisions on other options but have not found much info in searching on this one. Any thoughts other than the obvious that it adds more complexity to maintain down the road?
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      08-11-2011, 09:26 AM   #2
shodanusmc
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We got every option but that. It is not needed.
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      08-11-2011, 09:34 AM   #3
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I have it on my '07 E91, purchased as a CPO last year. For me, it seems to be the answer to a question no one has asked and I'd advise you to test drive both versions before ordering it.

Overall, Active Steering gives me more of a "luxury" and less of a "sporting" feel to the steering. In my '07 the power boost is also too much, but this may be simply an idiosyncracy for my particular year and/or model.

AS might be worth it if the standard servotronic feels too heavy and would make the car a chore to drive in city traffic, especially with a lot of parallel parking - although I can't really imagine this on any modern BMW. Or perhaps if the driver is physically impaired and has difficulty with the standard steering.

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      08-11-2011, 09:54 AM   #4
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Avoid Active Steering at all costs, i still don't get why BMW invented this when they have been known for engineering great steering for decades.
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      08-11-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
GerryL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
I have it on my '07 E91, purchased as a CPO last year. For me, it seems to be the answer to a question no one has asked and I'd advise you to test drive both versions before ordering it.

Overall, Active Steering gives me more of a "luxury" and less of a "sporting" feel to the steering. In my '07 the power boost is also too much, but this may be simply an idiosyncracy for my particular year and/or model.

AS might be worth it if the standard servotronic feels too heavy and would make the car a chore to drive in city traffic, especially with a lot of parallel parking - although I can't really imagine this on any modern BMW. Or perhaps if the driver is physically impaired and has difficulty with the standard steering.

Tom
Thank you for tying that together. I had heard pieces of those thoughts from various sources but had not seen it described as well. I wondered why it was not a very popular option but your explanation helps put that together.
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      08-11-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
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I had active steering on an '07 335i and hated it. It's probably the biggest reason I no longer have that car. The standard steering on the 135i puts the AS to shame.
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      08-11-2011, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim335i View Post
I had active steering on an '07 335i and hated it. It's probably the biggest reason I no longer have that car. The standard steering on the 135i puts the AS to shame.
Gerry, thanks for your kind words. Seems like AS isn't too popular here - although I suspect that 7 series drivers might like it.

Tim, I also have a ZSP 128i (with standard steering) as well as the AS equipped '07 328i wagon. Did you find your 335i had too much power steering boost with the AS?

I also notice that when I switch from one car to the other, at low speeds the Active Steering 328i feels like it's oversteering but the 128i feels like it's now understeering - all due to the variable ratio which greatly quickens the AS front wheel response to the same steering wheel input.

Tom
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      08-11-2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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My salesman advised me against AS - he said it was one more piece of tech that further disconnected you from the road. He has spent a lot of time in many new Bimmers with and without it, on the track and street.

Steering is so critical to the "feel" of any car, that I took his word for it.
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      08-11-2011, 06:29 PM   #9
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Love the active steering in my parent's F01, but its really unnecessary and a bit of a detriment to the 135. My sister has an Audi S5 with Drive Select, which includes an "active steering"component and it makes the car feels so robotic and disconnected.
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      08-11-2011, 07:24 PM   #10
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I'll chime in as I recently purchased a 135 w/ Active Steering. This is an option I was looking for, only due to the fact my wife periodically drives the car and she has a bad wrist.
When I first drove a 135 w/out AS, I was suprised at how heavy the steering felt. Not that this is bad, it just seemed heavy since I have owned so many Audis with over boosted steering. So the AS seemed like a great compromise for me (as I was used to the "light" steering feel) and my wife with her sensitive wrist.
Put about 4K miles on the car so far and I actually like it..alot. But then again,I prefer a lighter steering feel.
Best off to drive both back to back under a lot of diffrent driving conditions (city, hwy, parking lots etc..)
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      08-11-2011, 08:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
Gerry, thanks for your kind words. Seems like AS isn't too popular here - although I suspect that 7 series drivers might like it.

Tim, I also have a ZSP 128i (with standard steering) as well as the AS equipped '07 328i wagon. Did you find your 335i had too much power steering boost with the AS?

I also notice that when I switch from one car to the other, at low speeds the Active Steering 328i feels like it's oversteering but the 128i feels like it's now understeering - all due to the variable ratio which greatly quickens the AS front wheel response to the same steering wheel input.

Tom
The Active Steering seemed WAY overboosted to me. It was especially bad at low speeds -- but that is by design. I just think they went a bit too far with the AS assist. I was immediately comfortable with the 135i when I went from the AS equipped 335i.
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      08-12-2011, 05:20 AM   #12
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I cant believe BMW has Active Steering, it seems something suited to a large and non drivers car, its definitely not a drivers feature.

I think of it like mouse acceleration on your mouse, gamers turn it off, and I cant stand using it on other peoples computers.

AS is the same principle. Its not intuitive, and it kills precision.

Here is an explanation on it (skipping the mechanical engineering crash course): youtube.com/watch?v=yfvbJMLG7hk&t=1m34s
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      08-12-2011, 04:50 PM   #13
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I did a lot of research on AS before ordering my ED 135i. What I found, almost universally, is that most people who hated it had never actually driven it, and people who owned it said they'd never have another car without it. I pulled the trigger and ordered it, despite the fact that I couldn't find a single one to test drive anywhere.

What do I think of it? I like it. Would I miss it if I didn't have it? Maybe - maybe not. But maybe - I did drive a 3 series recently without it, and I thought the handling was sluggish. I have no regrets that I ordered it. Love the way the car handles.

Flame on.
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      08-12-2011, 06:15 PM   #14
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If Active Steering is good for handling BMW would put it in the 1M, or implemented similar functionality in 1M's steering system. But they did not.
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      08-12-2011, 10:39 PM   #15
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have had AS for 3 years and 60k miles... love it.

my car is a daily driver.... and AS makes driving the car a pleasure
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      08-13-2011, 09:45 AM   #16
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I avoided active steering for the same reason that I got a manual transmission, because I wanted the more connected, raw-feel of a driving machine. My daily driver is '11 VW GTI - Its steering is not that light compared to most cars but when its friday and I hop into my 135- man its so nice that the wheel has a heavy sporty feel to it!
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      08-13-2011, 10:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felixcat View Post
If Active Steering is good for handling BMW would put it in the 1M, or implemented similar functionality in 1M's steering system. But they did not.
I'm not sure about that assertion as BMW's only roadster, the Z4, has had electricly boosted steering for nearly a decade. This numb steering almost totally eliminates the road feedback for which BMWs are supposed to be famous. And it's coming on some newer models as well.

As the varied posts to this thread indicate, Active Steering does not really affect the handling. Instead, it greatly changes the interface between driver and steering - what most of us describe as "feel".

Some like it, some don't and it is further complicated by BMW's decision to accompany it with an increase in power steering boost.

Tom
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      08-14-2011, 08:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinmagic View Post
I did a lot of research on AS before ordering my ED 135i. What I found, almost universally, is that most people who hated it had never actually driven it, and people who owned it said they'd never have another car without it. I pulled the trigger and ordered it, despite the fact that I couldn't find a single one to test drive anywhere.

What do I think of it? I like it. Would I miss it if I didn't have it? Maybe - maybe not. But maybe - I did drive a 3 series recently without it, and I thought the handling was sluggish. I have no regrets that I ordered it. Love the way the car handles.

Flame on.
I agree with this. I think a lot of you are mistaking the feeling of active steering to that of the awful oem sport suspension. AS with an aftermarket suspension provides a totally different experience...

OP, your going to need to test the steering options for yourself instead of letting another forum member decide for you or sway you in one direction or the other...
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      08-14-2011, 01:27 PM   #19
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I've always felt the steering to be 'off' on our 135. I was thinking that maybe it had some super soft linkages I could swap out for something more precise.

I was just recently was told by the alignment shop that it has active steering. I looked on the window sticker and it isn't mentioned anywhere. Is that odd?

I have not driven a non-AS car but pretty sure I would not have gotten it intentionally...although we got a good deal on the car so I would have lived with it even if I had known - it is the wife's car anyway. But a fresh order with me checking the boxes - no thanks.
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      08-14-2011, 01:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ag02m5 View Post
I've always felt the steering to be 'off' on our 135. I was thinking that maybe it had some super soft linkages I could swap out for something more precise.

I was just recently was told by the alignment shop that it has active steering. I looked on the window sticker and it isn't mentioned anywhere. Is that odd?

I have not driven a non-AS car but pretty sure I would not have gotten it intentionally...although we got a good deal on the car so I would have lived with it even if I had known - it is the wife's car anyway. But a fresh order with me checking the boxes - no thanks.
Look at the p/s reservoir bottle, if the top is completely black then its a AS equipped bmw, if it has a green ring around the top then its not...
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      08-25-2011, 12:06 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felixcat View Post
If Active Steering is good for handling BMW would put it in the 1M, or implemented similar functionality in 1M's steering system. But they did not.
agree
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      08-25-2011, 07:18 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soolae View Post
agree
What people fail to acknowledge is that we all buy cars for different reasons. Maybe the AS isn't optimal for sports-oriented performance handling. (I don't really know.) But some of us bought the car for day-to-day driving, with a sports-oriented bent. For us, the AS offers convenience and handling aspects we're seeking.

So, AS may be great for some people's purposes, and not for other's. Can we agree on that?

And as for why it's not on the 1M - who knows? Maybe they didn't have room. Maybe they wanted to keep the weight down. Maybe they just wanted to keep costs down. So, unless you have a direct quote from the chief engineer saying "we didn't put AS on the 1M because we didn't like the handling it provided", it's all conjecture. Just saying.
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