Active Steering and Sports Package [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: Active Steering and Sports Package

05-11-2007, 09:26 AM

In the 2005 5 series, Active Steering was part of the Sports Package.

However, as I look at the 2007 and 2008 specs, Active Steering is a separate option and not included in the SPorts Package.

What happened?

Did BMW do this to get more money?

Also, what is the feedback on active steering especially when combined with the Sports Package. Must have, nice to have or controversial like iDrive.

Thanks in advance,

05-11-2007, 09:46 AM
I love AS and the sport package--both must haves IMHO. When I get a loaner car without AS, I really miss it.

AS was part of the sport package when I bought my '05, but I believe it was unbundled the next MY (there wasn't consistent praise for AS...).

05-11-2007, 02:25 PM
I have the sports package and NO active steering. I move around the parking lot and freeway just fine. Glad I saved my money.

05-11-2007, 02:52 PM
Both my dealer and friend who has a 550i with AS are not huge fans of it.

05-11-2007, 03:04 PM
Sports package is a must have. I think that goes without saying.

AS is nice, especially in low speed situations. I have it on my 2005 and I've driven '06 models without it. I personally think AS is superior to the standard setup. That being said, I think its probably worth about $300. Its better than the standard steering; but not that much better.

If you plan to lease, then you should try AS. Its probably worth the additional monthly cost. If you plan to buy, I can't say its worth the money.

05-11-2007, 03:19 PM
Everyone has there own opinions on the active steering. I almost didn't buy the 5 series, because the only 5 series with sport package i could test drive had the active steering. I hated it. I was coming from a 3 series, and i was used to this tight heavy steering. During the test drive, the steering was loose with less road feel, than i was used to. I took a chance, and i love my 5 series with the tighter & heavier steering. The reason Bmw took out the active steering from the sport package, is alot of people including the enthusiast magazines complained about it. I think it is a good idea, to have it as a seperate option, for those who appreciate what it hase to offer.

05-11-2007, 04:48 PM
My brother has an 04 545i Sport with Active Steering and it's nice and smooth which I like.

I have an 08 550i Sport without it and the steering is nice and heavy and tight and this is my preference. Makes the car feel more solid and like a tank. I have been used to this type of steering with my previous NON Active Steering BMW vehicles.

Again it's a preference, but the concept of Active Steering is cool.

05-11-2007, 06:17 PM
Again it's a preference, but the concept of Active Steering is cool.

I agree it is a good concept, but the implementation is not so hot. I found the AS 07 550i i drove to be slightly wander-y and didn't have a good on-center feeling.

The standard steering is light but responsive and has a great feel to it. Surpassed my expectations!!

05-11-2007, 06:51 PM
The only thing that deters me away from the sport package are the performance tires.

BMW even has a legal disclaimer posted on their website about them.

Due to low-profile tires, please note: wheels, tires and suspension parts are more susceptible to road hazard and consequential damages. Performance tires not recommended for driving in ice and snow. Spare is a space-saver wheel and tire.

There is raging debate about this in the e90 subforums as well.

I live in the SE PA. We get a lot of bad weather in the winter. I really don't want to deal with having to a buy a set of snow tires + rims in order to drive in the winter. First of all there is the cost factor (which isn't that big I suppose), but then there are more practical issues. e.g, My garage is already filled with stuff. It isn't as if I have room for them. Finally, with my busy, hectic schedule, I barely have time to wipe my rims clean let alone have to deal with changing all 4 tires twice a year. I really don't want to deal with all that.

If I lived in AZ or FL, I'd definitely get the sport package, but unfortunately, I live in PA.

Why can't they offer All Season tires with the Sport Package?

Of course, if you get the 535xi, you do get All Season tires with the Sport Package, but I am not totally sold on AWD either. I have a RWD car now with All Season tires and sort of like that combination. I never had any issues in the snow or anything...

05-11-2007, 06:55 PM
I love AS and the sport package--both must haves IMHO. When I get a loaner car without AS, I really miss it.

I'm with stream on this. But everyone is different, and you need to drive both and decide what's right for you.

On a road course set up by BMW, I got to drive an E90 with AS. With just quick flicks of the wrist I was able to zip through a slalom they had set up. The car drove effortlessly through a 90 degree chicane , while the competition vehicles they provided (g35 and A3) plowed off the track. It always feels tight, centered and balanced.

With my own car, driving through switchbacks in the Swiss Alps was shear joy. I trust BMW, and think this is another example of their leading technology.

05-11-2007, 08:20 PM
I had the rare opportunity of driving a 650 with AS 2k km through Europe last summer. I was not impressed with the AS, so I ordered my own 650 without it. With 5k mi on my 650 now, I can definitely say that I prefer the car without AS.

Do a search on AS for a discussion of technical/handling reasons to avoid it. Practical issues include some reliability problems, the need to have aligments done at the dealer (that situation may improve with time), and, of course, the added cost. Needless to say, the 535 I'll be picking up in Munich on 22 June will not have AS, but will have the sports package, a must IMO.

Others, especially those who have to negotiate parking lots and tight quarters every day, will disagree. I respect all opinions.

05-12-2007, 09:16 AM
To AS or not to AS is a heated discussion on many forums. Many opinions are not a reflection of the current implementation. Some report that no AS means a tighter steering. Some report twitchyness at high speed.

AS has evolved since its early implementation. With AS you cannot tell if the car has it or not at speeds above 30mph. While in city traffic and when making 90 degree turns you know when AS is not there because you have to "hand over hand" to complete the turn. This is more so when parking.

AS does not make the steering "not tight". It adjusts the ratio of steering wheel turn to wheel turn at lower speeds.

05-12-2007, 09:36 AM
AS does not make the steering "not tight". It adjusts the ratio of steering wheel turn to wheel turn at lower speeds.

And, therein lies the rub. Speed-dependant steering ratio is not a perscription for consistent handling on low-speed hair-pin turns. I experience that type of driving on canyon roads every day, but others rarely deal with it. Agreed that "tightness" is not the issue.

05-12-2007, 09:53 AM
There is also a safety benefit of AS--it's integrated with DSC--see quote below from BMWUSA website--there's also a vid there comparing AS to non-AS:

Active Steering also enhances driver control in less than ideal driving conditions such as roads with patches of ice and snow. Active Steering helps to stabilize the vehicle more quickly and precisely than would a car without the technology. Even small deviations from the desired motion are adjusted to enhance stability.

I've also noticed in loaner cars without AS that the car seems less stable on highways, especially with cross winds.
More AS info here:

And here--it talks more about safety benefits in the "medium speed" section:

As other have said, anybody considering whether to get AS should drive cars with and without so they can decide for themselves.