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      10-02-2009, 06:59 PM   #1
fernande-bmw
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Question Is active steering really worth that much money?

The option costs $1,365-1,550.

Does it really improve the driving experience? I always thought it would take the pleasure out of driving as it takes control over the steering ratio.

Any opinions?
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      10-02-2009, 08:26 PM   #2
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I would pay to NOT have it tbh....

can screw you over in the canyons

but I mean, it's pretty helpful for every day driving and parking though
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      10-02-2009, 08:30 PM   #3
fernande-bmw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persian54 View Post
I would pay to NOT have it tbh....

can screw you over in the canyons

but I mean, it's pretty helpful for every day driving and parking though
What exactly was your problem with it? Please be brutally honest.
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      10-02-2009, 10:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persian54 View Post
I would pay to NOT have it tbh....

can screw you over in the canyons

but I mean, it's pretty helpful for every day driving and parking though
why would AS screw you in the canyons??? :
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      10-02-2009, 11:15 PM   #5
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AS is great. parallel parking in SF is so easy.
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      10-02-2009, 11:46 PM   #6
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i drove cars with both.....active steering feels very loose when spirited driving is craved......my car does not have and the steering feels like iam in control but AS helps
your park.
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      10-03-2009, 12:04 AM   #7
fernande-bmw
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There is something wrong about this. The AS option cannot be just to help you park. There has to be some benefit at higher speeds and twisty roads. Otherwise, what's the benefit?
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      10-03-2009, 12:16 AM   #8
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I wouldn't pay for it, or buy a car that had it.
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      10-03-2009, 12:25 AM   #9
fernande-bmw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterSkiMask View Post
I wouldn't pay for it, or buy a car that had it.
Would you care to explain why, please?

Last edited by fernande-bmw; 10-03-2009 at 01:04 AM.
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      10-03-2009, 12:37 AM   #10
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I've driven 135's on an autocross course with and without AS back to back. It isn't just for parking. They setup a course with tight esses and you could easily see that the AS equipped cars could get around the series of esses with far less wheel rotation than a non-AS equipped car.

Since the A in AS is for active it changes the amount of input you need to apply by the situation you are in. I know some people who love it. I chose to not get it as I liked the feel of the car without it.
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      10-03-2009, 02:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warmtoes View Post
I've driven 135's on an autocross course with and without AS back to back. It isn't just for parking. They setup a course with tight esses and you could easily see that the AS equipped cars could get around the series of esses with far less wheel rotation than a non-AS equipped car.

Since the A in AS is for active it changes the amount of input you need to apply by the situation you are in. I know some people who love it. I chose to not get it as I liked the feel of the car without it.
This is pretty much it

especially this part:
"I liked the feel of the car without it"

Since I came from a Porsche, I'm used to feeling everything 100%
I mean, a BMW isn't a Porsche, but I think you can understand where I'm coming from

AS can screw you in the canyons when you're not used to it; of course, if you get it, and drive only a car with AS, than you're not going to have a problem (probably), but if you switch from an AS car to a non-AS car...it'll feel... 'different' to say the least

AS does help a lot at high speeds

when I drove my friend's dad's 760li up to speeds of 159, the steering was extremely stable, and I was able to change lanes with the slightest of ease, something my 335i cannot compare to.

But, to me, all of these 'assists' take away the fun in driving...
the last thing on MY wish list is 'assisted steering' (as I like to refer to it)

but to each his own

test drive them both as much as you can

but remember this: it's an expensive option now and it'll cost you more in the future (alignments are more pricey and tricky)
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      10-03-2009, 08:27 PM   #12
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Here is an excellent description from the E90 post forums:

Quote:
Just as I see a few others are thinking, while AS does increase boost at parking lot speeds, this is only one feature of AS - it is not the main feature. The main feature of AS is its ability to change the steering ratio, which is very much different than boost. Watch that video someone posted on the first page - it's very good.


Let's see if I can explain it a bit better...

Cars without AS have a fixed steering ratio which is a compromise between what works best on the highway and what works best in a parking lot and the ratio is more geared for highway driving for safety reasons. On the highway when you're doing 70 or 80 you don't want steering that will put you into the next lane with very little movement of the steering wheel. Not only is that dangerous, but it makes it very uncomfortable and tiresome to drive the car because the car would be way too twitchy on the highway and you'd have to constantly be paying strict attention to where you are in your lane. So..., because cars are set up like this for safety on the highway, you end up having to turn the wheel what feels like a million times, hand-over-hand, trying to do a 3 point turn.

With AS, the slower you go the quicker the steering ratio becomes, and vice versa - the faster you go, the slower the steering ratio becomes (a lot of folks don't understand this it has an effect at high speeds too). It really is the best of both worlds. So, with AS, in a parking lot or when doing a 3 point turn, you turn the wheel very little and the car turns A LOT making your car much easier to maneuver, AND you get more boost so you're not struggling to turn the wheel. It doesn't increase the boost so much that the steering feels light as a feather as like in a 1970 Chrysler but enough to take the strain out of turning the wheel. (Anyone who says they don't want more boost in a parking lot is just trying to be macho.) Also, when you're driving around your neighborhood (i.e. ~25 - 30mph) making 90 degree turns is a one hand maneuver (keeping your hand in one spot on the wheel) as well because again, you've got a quicker ratio than you would have in a non-AS car. It's really a great feeling to only have to turn the wheel about 1/2 turn (or perhaps even a bit less) around the neighborhood - almost feels like go-cart steering.

Now, on the highway you want just the opposite - you don't want the car to turn a lot with a small turn of the wheel or you'd find yourself in the next lane before you know it. With AS, the steering ratio gets less aggressive on the highway which in turn (pun intended) makes the car even more comfortable and less twitchy and it makes it easier for you to keep the car going straight ahead and right in the middle of the lane. Also at highway speeds boost is reduced and you get that very tight BMW steering feeling that we all love. In fact, it's at least just as tight on the highway as a non-AS car, and maybe even tighter. And this combination of less boost and less ratio on the highway makes the car easier and more comfortable to control. Even on a track, you don't want the steering to be lightening quick because it would be much harder to control and the track junkies that I know actually prefer AS on the track because of this.

Bottom line is that AS takes absolutely nothing away from the BMW steering feeling and in fact, it makes it noticeably better. And as it is infinitely variable, it always provides the perfect amount of both ratio and boost for the speed you're driving. It's indeed a "best of both worlds" invention and once you get used to it and understand what's it's doing, you'll really appreciate it quite a bit. (And yes, it does take a couple of days to get used to it so you can't go by anyone's conclusions after just a test drive - you really need to give this one some time).

Hope this helped...
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      10-06-2009, 03:28 PM   #13
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^^^ The above pretty much sums it up. My 335 has no active steering, but the 550 does.

From a practical standpoint, I think active steering is great.... The biggest difference would be felt while you are driving in parking lots, making slow speed turns, u-turns, backing out of your driveway, etc.

Above 30-40mph, I don't notice much of a difference at all. For me, the most difference is felt on city streets. I do have friends who seem to have trouble driving straight on the freeway, and I'm sure A/S will get rid of the jerking. With that being said, even if you didn't get active steering, you probably won't feel that you are missing out on something.

Reliability - its just one extra part that can break. You'll need to re-initiate your active steering when the battery dies, and if it were a hard reset, reprogramming needs to be done electronically = $$$$$$$. If you do a lot of spirited/track driving, I wouldn't get active steering. After 50k miles, you'll probably need to get extended warranty to make sure any repairs will be paid for. After 100k miles, I would say good luck
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      10-06-2009, 03:51 PM   #14
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more importantly, does it add weight?
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      10-06-2009, 06:35 PM   #15
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I have active steering on my 1, but not on my 3. Drive both cars often. Personally, I prefer active steering, but wouldn't say anyone "needs" it. The car is so much more fun to drive on an autox course and in the canyons with AS, but that's just my opinion. Steering response is very quick and almost feels go-kart like. And I didn't request AS, it was already on the car that I really wanted. I was impartial towards it at first.
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      10-06-2009, 06:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
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more importantly, does it add weight?
Its so heavy that'll throw the perfect weight balance off ....like when you just had a heavy meal...

if there's any "significant" weight different (like AT vs MT)....i'd guess BMW will publish that info on brochure....
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      10-06-2009, 07:25 PM   #17
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I love it... ESPECIALLY when I drive my father's e90 335i without AS.

Its hard to describe how soft yet brutally accurate it makes the steering feel.
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