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sambb
10-09-2010, 03:46 PM
I have owned a few 5s (540i, 530xi) and a 335i. I am strongly considering the f10, but after a few test drives in it, and its competition (mercedes, infiniti, audi), i am downright shocked at how un-BMW the steering is... I drove a 535i and the 550, and I am really a little turned off, almost lexus-like in its steering. At speed, the competitors are better, but that is an opinion.
Nevertheless....
I am sure that BMW does r&D and has done the market research, and this is where they want to go. I have no problem with that, but for the "enthusiast", does anyone think it will be changed back, rather than pander to the masses?

I understand that BMW has to market the car to a wide variety of tastes, and there are probably fewer enthusiasts than there are others who like the numb and dead feel, but is there any recourse for us... It is a tough issue to look at, because maybe the enthusiast is a different target than the masses, and a company probably needs to market to the masses.

jimefam
10-09-2010, 03:51 PM
This exact thread has been posted about 30 times most with the same title just use the search button.

markl53
10-09-2010, 03:59 PM
A quick test drive may give you an impression of "too easy" effort at lower speeds. At speed, 50+ or so, it tightens up and effort is good, IMO. I've had my 535i for 3 weeks and the steering feels very natural now. And, I haven't experienced any on-center "vagueness" as some have reported. I owned an '05 330i and '08 335i previously.

abmwc
10-09-2010, 04:23 PM
A quick test drive may give you an impression of "too easy" effort at lower speeds. At speed, 50+ or so, it tightens up and effort is good, IMO. I've had my 535i for 3 weeks and the steering feels very natural now. And, I haven't experienced any on-center "vagueness" as some have reported. I owned an '05 330i and '08 335i previously.

So do you think it compares favorably with the 335i? Did you have the sport package?

Thanks,
abmwc

tadtaggert
10-09-2010, 04:37 PM
So do you think it compares favorably with the 335i? Did you have the sport package?

I had an 07 335i with the sport package, and the steering in it was definitely stiffer, or more resistance when turning it. Feedback as different between the two cars, but after getting to know the F10 as good or better feedback.

No doubt they feel different tho.

abmwc
10-09-2010, 04:44 PM
I had an 07 335i with the sport package, and the steering in it was definitely stiffer, or more resistance when turning it. Feedback as different between the two cars, but after getting to know the F10 as good or better feedback.

No doubt they feel different tho.

Thanks for the feedback (he, he). I really love the steering on my 335i, my wife even likes it (and she is used to driving the Volvo). Thinking about the 535i or 550i now, but I am a bit concerned I will miss the 335i, especially the steering/responsiveness. I guess a test drive should help.

Thanks,
abmwc

enigma
10-09-2010, 05:06 PM
Another pointless thread. The same usual suspects will chime in with the same anti- or pro-F10 comments.

tadtaggert
10-09-2010, 05:21 PM
Another pointless thread. The same usual suspects will chime in with the same anti- or pro-F10 comments.

And the same pointless trolls :)

solstice
10-09-2010, 05:24 PM
If you don't like the steering feel now you will not like it later. Your description is how it feels and continous to feel for drivers like myself that think it lacks in feedback and resistance.
Will bmw fix it? Who knows, but if the new A6 will dominate the F10 in handling and fun to drive factor my guess is that the chances will go up considerably.

sambb
10-09-2010, 05:25 PM
I dont think the thread is worthless. There are several congratulatory and negative threads in forums. Several car enthusiast magazines have commented on the steering, and no doubt when the car is driven this IS an issue to SOME (not all) people. Clearly, BMW is going for a different feel, more mainstream perhaps like a toyota or honda or other kind of vehicle aimed at a broader demographic. I think this undoubtedly makes business sense, and after all, BMW is a business. But maybe those of us desiring a more of a sports sedan are going to be sacrificed as BMW moves to a more mainstream feel.

The question is, whether or not there will be adjustments for the minority of us who are enthusiasts. Additionally, if BMW reads these boards, it would be nice for them to get regular feedback.

Thanks for the opinions. And yes, the 335i is great steering, but i dont expect a 5 series to be a 3 series. Nevertheless, the steering and feel of my older 5s was subjectively superior and at the "enthusiast" target. I hope BMW will remember us, maybe it will be be just for the M5, while the others are more of a generic steering product.

1HOT BMR
10-09-2010, 05:51 PM
I have owned a few 5s (540i, 530xi) and a 335i. I am strongly considering the f10, but after a few test drives in it, and its competition (mercedes, infiniti, audi), i am downright shocked at how un-BMW the steering is... I drove a 535i and the 550, and I am really a little turned off, almost lexus-like in its steering. At speed, the competitors are better, but that is an opinion.
Nevertheless....
I am sure that BMW does r&D and has done the market research, and this is where they want to go. I have no problem with that, but for the "enthusiast", does anyone think it will be changed back, rather than pander to the masses?

I understand that BMW has to market the car to a wide variety of tastes, and there are probably fewer enthusiasts than there are others who like the numb and dead feel, but is there any recourse for us... It is a tough issue to look at, because maybe the enthusiast is a different target than the masses, and a company probably needs to market to the masses.

It will never be fixed - guaranteed! Just go and buy a car that has the steering feel you like and forget these new BMWs with "un-BMW" steering. I'm a member of "the masses" who happens to like the new "numb and dead" steering and that is why I'm buying my first BMW ever. In the end we all end up buying what we like so I'm sure you will do the same. :D

solstice
10-09-2010, 06:08 PM
I don't think you can gurantee that it will not be improved but I agree with 1HOTBMR. Don't count on it when you buy. I would likely have ended with a V6 Panamera or maybe an X6 if I could do it allover.

sambb
10-09-2010, 06:49 PM
I don't think you can gurantee that it will not be improved but I agree with 1HOTBMR. Don't count on it when you buy. I would likely have ended with a V6 Panamera or maybe an X6 if I could do it allover.

very interesting opinions, and thanks.
I think it is really a personal preference, but I am sure this 5 series will sell very well, but i guess fundamentally it is less "sports" and more "sedan". It creates a dilemma for the enthusiast.

I wonder if there are statistics on repeat owners - i.e. people who have had sports oriented 5s in the past, and if they re****, and what their opinions are. Forums like this can help with that discourse.

richschneid
10-09-2010, 07:02 PM
Before I would make up my mind I would try to test drive a car with the combination of integral active steering and dynamic handling package. The steering effort with the DHP can be set by the driver to a higher level of steering effort. And it may even be more programmable with the IAS. IAS should certainly improve the handling and maneuverability, but I have never driven it so I can't say how it affects the "feel" and "feedback". I did have active steering on my 650i. It had two settings, sport and normal. The difference was dramatic. I alway drove it in sport because the "feel" was more BMW like. The RWD F10s are available with IAS and it's not that expensive. I would give it a try before making any decision, if you can find one to test drive. Make sure the car has DHP and put it into "sport" mode when you drive it. Find out if the IAS has any additional programmability beyond putting the car into DHP sport mode.

pharding
10-09-2010, 07:33 PM
Actually I agree with Rich on this one. The F10 steers better in Sport Mode in a F10 with DHP and IAS. The F10 steers 98% as good as my 2008 550i E60 with the M-sport package when it is at 50+ as abmwc pointed out. However I believe that BMW will implement a software upgrade, much like they with the E60. I am sure that the steering will be improved beyond the software fix, but when?

sambb
10-09-2010, 08:46 PM
Before I would make up my mind I would try to test drive a car with the combination of integral active steering and dynamic handling package. The steering effort with the DHP can be set by the driver to a higher level of steering effort. And it may even be more programmable with the IAS. IAS should certainly improve the handling and maneuverability, but I have never driven it so I can't say how it affects the "feel" and "feedback". I did have active steering on my 650i. It had two settings, sport and normal. The difference was dramatic. I alway drove it in sport because the "feel" was more BMW like. The RWD F10s are available with IAS and it's not that expensive. I would give it a try before making any decision, if you can find one to test drive. Make sure the car has DHP and put it into "sport" mode when you drive it. Find out if the IAS has any additional programmability beyond putting the car into DHP sport mode.

very interesting indeed

Nedmundo
10-09-2010, 08:53 PM
I'd bet BMW will change the steering feel. When the current generation 3 Series was introduced, it had light steering that got poor reviews in Car & Driver, etc., and it was addressed for the next model year. At a minimum, they might provide different feel with the Sport Package. BMW isn't alone in getting criticized for numbness in its electrically assisted steering. I've read similar comments about this in Audis, and Acura's TSX and TL have been hammered for it, especially the TSX. Acura revised the TSX's steering response/feel for 2010, and I bought one. It's still somewhat numb, but has a good linear response and decent weight, so overall it's not too bad. If Acura responds to criticism about this, I'd expect the same from BMW.

I'd really like to know exactly why electrically assisted steering seems prone to poor feel/feedback, so much so that even BMW and Audi have issues with it.

sambb
10-09-2010, 09:12 PM
I hope they do change... from car and driver:
Spooky Steering

Unfortunately, the 528i also shares with the rest of the 5-series its new electric power steering. While weighty, the setup feels artificial and provides zero feedback. Its imperturbable tracking and smooth feel will likely endear it to more laid-back buyers, but we consider this a frightening departure from what made BMW great. Fishing in the mainstream may be profitable, but it nets the kind of buyers who painted Toyota as an unapologetic killing machine.

solstice
10-09-2010, 09:14 PM
very interesting indeed

Be absolutely sure to test it first. IAS is reported more than once to reduce the communictive aspect of the steering. Both rich and pharding compares the F10s steering with IAS equipped cars. I had a none IAS E60 and I can tell you that for me the difference is astronimical in favour of the E60 or pretty much any other car I owned.

1HOT BMR
10-09-2010, 09:28 PM
I ordered my car with IAS after driving both. I liked the regular steering fine but I liked it more with IAS. The difference is noticeable and much to my liking - the turning radius is just amazing for such a big car - but I'm coming from a car with the worst turning radius of any car ever - the 2005 - 200X Acura RL. I'm not sure if IAS makes it more BMW like, but I suspect not since I never really liked the steering of most BMWs until I drove the F10.

quackbury
10-09-2010, 09:31 PM
I am also interested in driving the x-drive models to see how their hydraulic steering compares to the electric steering on the RWD F10's. Historically I have always preferred a RWD sedan, as I enjoy using the throttle to steer / rotate the rear end. But from comments others have made (even Rich), I suspect the hydraulic steering may tip the balance in favor of a x-Drive model when our 2008 X5 comes off lease next summer. I am really hoping I like it, as I'd rather stay with BMW than go back to Audi or Mercedes.

enigma
10-09-2010, 10:24 PM
I dont think the thread is worthless. There are several congratulatory and negative threads in forums.

[snip]

The question is, whether or not there will be adjustments for the minority of us who are enthusiasts. Additionally, if BMW reads these boards, it would be nice for them to get regular feedback.


And my point was that this topic has been discussed to death already in case it wasn't clear the first time around. I would love to hear what additional value this thread brings besides rehashing the same points over and over.

:google:Search is your friend:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=481248

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485066

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=478645

markl53
10-09-2010, 11:04 PM
So do you think it compares favorably with the 335i? Did you have the sport package?

Thanks,
abmwc

I did not have the sport pack in my 335i. The steering in the 535i is definitely "different", especially at low speed. However, I find I like it. At highway speeds, it is more taut, and for me, good on-center feel. Yes, on the highway I think very similar to my 335i. However, the F10 is a totally different car from the 3 series, it isn't just a larger version of a 3. Even though the suspension in my non-DHP set up feels taut and doesn't wallow, it rides MUCH quieter and smoother than my non-sport 335i. Once I got used to the physically larger size, and now having driven it for a few weeks, I have to say it doesn't feel "big" or heavy when driving. There are several areas of highway construction where I drive to work every day where you have to curve around some work areas at 60 mph or higher. My 535i handles these as nimbly as my 335i, without lean or sloppiness. All in all, I think BMW did a great job with the 5.

sambb
10-10-2010, 06:04 AM
can someone offer a comparison of the xi steering and the base i steering, and i steering with the option$?
After reading all the 5 series reviews, esp. from car and driver (who love BMWs), it would be nice to get some comparo opinions from enthusiasts who desire a sports sedan. I am more on the car and driver "side" of what i like to drive, rather than on the "lexus" side, so it would be interesting to see some comparisons.
I have a call into my CA to see if we can do a comparo. He sold me my other 5s and told me upfront that things are pretty different with this model. However, I am encouraged that BMW has changed the steering before.. i forgot about that! It is nice to know that they do acknowledge that mistakes can happen, that is a lot more than most other car companies! Nevertheless, i suppose these are the vagaries of first year models... at least the auto mags have prepared us.

pharding
10-10-2010, 07:13 AM
And my point was that this topic has been discussed to death already in case it wasn't clear the first time around. I would love to hear what additional value this thread brings besides rehashing the same points over and over.

:google:Search is your friend:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=481248

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485066

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=478645
This topic is a big deal and if BMW Enthusiasts want to to continue to talk about here so be it. If someone doesn't want to participate for whatever reason so be it.

ccbbrb
10-10-2010, 08:07 AM
Can someone explain the difference between Electic steering and hydrolic steering? Does the x-drive have hydrolic and the rear-wheel have electric? Do the complaints on the steering feel extend to hydrolic steering too, or is it just a problem with electric? Will a sport model with DHP be better steering feel-wise?

melor
10-10-2010, 08:14 AM
This topic is a big deal and if BMW Enthusiasts want to to continue to talk about here so be it. If someone doesn't want to participate for whatever reason so be it.

I have to agree with this comment. If a thread was only allowed to be created once for any given subject, this board would crawl to a halt. There are some threads I won't open for lack of continued interest, but this is not one of them.

Paul

Stealth.Pilot
10-10-2010, 08:49 AM
I liked the steering and it did feel BMW like to me at higher speeds, but not at lower speeds. And I'm fine with that.

One thing I didn't get a chance to check though - does the assist vary depending on the dynamic mode? I.e. is it stiffer in sport mode than in comfort mode? If implemented like at Lexus there should be a dramatic difference between sport mode and comfort mode in the steering feel.

pharding
10-10-2010, 09:32 AM
Sport mode steering is firmer than normal which is firmer than comfort.

quackbury
10-10-2010, 09:34 AM
And my point was that this topic has been discussed to death already in case it wasn't clear the first time around. I would love to hear what additional value this thread brings besides rehashing the same points over and over.



Easy enough to unsubscribe from it then. I haven't, because I find it interesting to see the way the steering is polarizing folks - similar to the multiple threads on iDrive and Bangle's flame surfacing when the E60 was introduced. There were many who felt that those two "blasphemous" changes would be the ruination of BMW. Obviously they weren't and I doubt the F10's steering (love it or hate it) will kill of the company either.

And I do learn useful things here - for example, I would not have realized that the x-Drive F10's have hydraulic steering, vs. the RWD F10's with electric steering. (Just like the 6 cylinder E39's had rack and pinion, while the 545 / 550 had worm and gear).

While I find many threads useless ("Which color should I get?" "DCT vs. 6MT?") this one continues to interest me. When it doesn't, I will unsubscribe.

richschneid
10-10-2010, 09:56 AM
Sport mode steering is firmer than normal which is firmer than comfort.

Are you sure there are three steering modes or just two? One for comfort and normal and one for sport and sport plus. I'm need to drive my car more so see if I can tell a difference.

tadtaggert
10-10-2010, 10:57 AM
Are you sure there are three steering modes or just two? One for comfort and normal and one for sport and sport plus. I'm need to drive my car more so see if I can tell a difference.

Just two, Comfort only adjusts the dampening.

Needsdecaf
10-10-2010, 01:03 PM
And I do learn useful things here - for example, I would not have realized that the x-Drive F10's have hydraulic steering, vs. the RWD F10's with electric steering. .

Is this true? I had not heard that before.

Needsdecaf
10-10-2010, 01:12 PM
Can someone explain the difference between Electic steering and hydrolic steering? Does the x-drive have hydrolic and the rear-wheel have electric? Do the complaints on the steering feel extend to hydrolic steering too, or is it just a problem with electric? Will a sport model with DHP be better steering feel-wise?

Hydraulic power steering uses a hydraulic rams to act upon the rack.

Electric power steering uses an electric motor on the rack or the column.

The problem is that depending on the way the system is set up, there can be several things that are problematic. First, there can be more components between you and the rack, dampening out the minor movements you feel the road providing. Second, the method of assist can feel artificial as it is a different type than you're used to if you're used to hydraulic systems.

The benefit of electric systems is efficiency. It takes a decent chunk of engine power to run the hydraulic pump. There are hybrid systems called electro-hydraulic where the pump that powers the assist is electrically driven, not mechanically driven. This is somewhat more efficient, but still has a lot of parts and consumes a bunch of juice.

On the plus side, with a pure electric system, it's a lot easier to "tune" the feel of the system via computers, rather than by changing components, to it is a lot more likely to say BMW could do something about it. And that it would be able to be retroactively applied. But that's just whistling in the dark.

sambb
10-10-2010, 01:40 PM
Does the hydraulic system offer the sports feel, while the std electric offer the more dull watered down feel that car and driver speaks of? Has anyone noticed a difference in back to back driving?

solstice
10-10-2010, 03:39 PM
Brand image is extremely important for sales of high end cars, I suspect more so than the majoirty of buyers actually being able to recognize and appreciate the virtues that the image is based on. I think bmw is making a big mistake if they take a "wait and see" approach to the steering in the F10. Once the brand image takes a hit it's not easy to recover. It's one of those things that takes a long time to build but is relatively quickly lost. Toyota is a good example. It's brand image is anchored in reliability. One problem with the accelerator and years of hard work is immediately jeopardized. A taut communicative chassi and steering are core parts of bmw's brand image and it seems like a huge gamble to mess with that.

nealh
10-10-2010, 04:12 PM
Actually I agree with Rich on this one. The F10 steers better in Sport Mode in a F10 with DHP and IAS. The F10 steers 98% as good as my 2008 550i E60 with the M-sport package when it is at 50+ as abmwc pointed out. However I believe that BMW will implement a software upgrade, much like they with the E60. I am sure that the steering will be improved beyond the software fix, but when?
So DHP without IAS has a less communicative feel with the road? I thought it was the other way.

Hmm...My 650i lease is up in Jan. I have no idea what I am going to do. I love it but refuse to buy out, but the F10 has some kinks.

535i or 535ix?? I am avoiding the 550i for guilt over gas consumption.

nealh
10-10-2010, 05:00 PM
Brand image is extremely important for sales of high end cars, I suspect more so than the majoirty of buyers actually being able to recognize and appreciate the virtues that the image is based on. I think bmw is making a big mistake if they take a "wait and see" approach to the steering in the F10. Once the brand image takes a hit it's not easy to recover. It's one of those things that takes a long time to build but is relatively quickly lost. Toyota is a good example. It's brand image is anchored in reliability. One problem with the accelerator and years of hard work is immediately jeopardized. A taut communicative chassi and steering are core parts of bmw's brand image and it seems like a huge gamble to mess with that.
So true remember the Transmission issue on the Audi5000..it killed them.

The 5 series has always benn their bread n butter. Awesome overall car that handles like a sports car with a fantastic ride as well.

Needsdecaf
10-10-2010, 06:41 PM
Brand image is extremely important for sales of high end cars, I suspect more so than the majoirty of buyers actually being able to recognize and appreciate the virtues that the image is based on. I think bmw is making a big mistake if they take a "wait and see" approach to the steering in the F10. Once the brand image takes a hit it's not easy to recover. It's one of those things that takes a long time to build but is relatively quickly lost. Toyota is a good example. It's brand image is anchored in reliability. One problem with the accelerator and years of hard work is immediately jeopardized. A taut communicative chassi and steering are core parts of bmw's brand image and it seems like a huge gamble to mess with that.

I think that this is a bunch of hooey, to be honest. I've driven in and been involved with BMW since 1985. The last BMW in my family was a 2001 525i that finally ate it's head because of chronic overheating. After that, I kind of hopped off the BMW train. I read about the newer cars getting fat, getting overly complicated. I read of issues with the N54 wastegates and HPFP's. Finally I read about the F10's poor steering. BMW is losing the plot, I thought.

Then I drove the F10 and thought...what the hell is everyone talking about? This machine kicks a@@!!!

You lose brand image by having issues like Toyota did, or having issues with the HPFP. Not by a group of jurno's saying that the car lost some steering feel.

solstice
10-10-2010, 07:34 PM
Maybe it's just me but I suspect that the verdict of the auto press "jurno's" on one of bmws trademarks have a bigger impact on the brand image than a guy called Needsdecaf on a forum that thinks it's "kicks a@@ss!!!" And we are not talking about a low volume expirement here, we're talking about bmws cash cow the funfer.

quackbury
10-10-2010, 07:45 PM
Maybe it's just me but I suspect that the verdict of the auto press "jurno's" on one of bmws trademarks have a bigger impact on the brand image than a guy called Needsdecaf on a forum that thinks it's "kicks a@@ss!!!" And we are not talking about a low volume expirement here, we're talking about bmws cash cow the funfer.

Depends on whether your target demographic reads those mage. I'm sure the 17-year-olds out there have a lower opinion of the F10, but I don't know many 50-year-olds making north of $150,000/year who subscribe to C&D, R&T, MT or the like.

If the Robb Report, JAMA, The Economist or Barrons panned the F10 it might be different. And I think the mainline mags probably influence 3-Series buyers. F10? Not so much.

x5 '08
10-10-2010, 07:58 PM
Depends on whether your target demographic reads those mage. I'm sure the 17-year-olds out there have a lower opinion of the F10, but I don't know many 50-year-olds making north of $150,000/year who subscribe to C&D, R&T, MT or the like.

If the Robb Report, JAMA, The Economist or Barrons panned the F10 it might be different. And I think the mainline mags probably influence 3-Series buyers. F10? Not so much.

On a seperate note, how do you like your M3 Conv? I am trying to decide between M3 conv and 535 M sport Xi. Two totally different cars but I'm not loving the F10 handling. I'm worried I will regret getting such a small car with such little storage in the M3 Conv.

Thoughts?

sambb
10-10-2010, 08:14 PM
I don't really care about brand image, etc. I just know what I like. I do not like a numb/dead or even Lexus like feel.

BMW has probably done market research and determined that they will have more sales by changing the steering. That's fine. Certainly Lexus (for a marque started in 1990) has taken the US market by storm, obviously they are doing something right.

The problem, is that I consider myself an enthusiast, and I would like to have a more "sports" style steering rather than a more numb or dead feel. I guess the ultimate question is whether or not BMW really cares about my small group rather than the larger lexus/cadillac/buick crowd. It seems like the direction they are taking is less "sports" and more "ease/comfort".

If that is the direction that makes more profits, then they are doing something right for their owners/shareholders. It just isn't right for me! But I guess they will lose a few enthusiasts and probably gain some cadillac/lexus/buick buyers and they will do better perhaps. I hope they make changes however.

pharding
10-10-2010, 08:28 PM
Are you sure there are three steering modes or just two? One for comfort and normal and one for sport and sport plus. I'm need to drive my car more so see if I can tell a difference.
There are four steering modes. I can definitely tell the difference, especially at 50+ mph.

solstice
10-10-2010, 09:17 PM
Depends on whether your target demographic reads those mage. I'm sure the 17-year-olds out there have a lower opinion of the F10, but I don't know many 50-year-olds making north of $150,000/year who subscribe to C&D, R&T, MT or the like.

If the Robb Report, JAMA, The Economist or Barrons panned the F10 it might be different. And I think the mainline mags probably influence 3-Series buyers. F10? Not so much.

It's not just the mags. I would be surprised if for example Audi don't make sure the results of the comparos and a few carefully choosen quotes will appear in all kinds of mags, major airports, TV ads during demographically focused programs ( Golf torunaments, cnbc, BBC etc. ). The press can pretty much make or break any consumer product. These things usually finds it's way to the target audience one way or another. It's not something you can afford to ignore as a CEO.

kocsis
10-10-2010, 09:23 PM
I'm over 50 and subscribe to all of the above. And all of my friends, colleagues and clients ask for my opinion when they uy a new car...and they can all afford the F10 and its competitors. So one reader of the mags equals probably 20-30 purchases per year....

mujjuman
10-10-2010, 09:56 PM
I agree. I like my E46 steering better. The new steering is too smooth like Lexus


Sent from my iPhone using BimmerApp

jimefam
10-10-2010, 11:10 PM
Plus I don't know where you get it that all 5 series drivers are 50+ I'm picking up my 550i in Munich for my 26 birthday and have several friends who are around my age and purchasing cars in this segment. To all the drivers that hate the steering I suggest waiting a few months for the new A6 the current one is much more of a "sports sedan" than the f10. I almost purchased the current iteration but it's weak v8 and the f10's superior looks and interior convinced me to deal with the poor steering and softer handling.

richschneid
10-11-2010, 04:46 AM
There are four steering modes. I can definitely tell the difference, especially at 50+ mph.

I think there may be only two "modes", but both modes are speed sensitive and tighten up at higher speeds. This may feel like four modes. But that is a good thing.

I think one solution for BMW is to set up the car so that the steering effort has four settings that are independently adjusted from the suspension, transmission, and throttle settings. Then they can cater to people of multiple different tastes. I'm sure they will figure this out soon. They certainly got it right with only two modes on my 650i.

quackbury
10-11-2010, 05:36 AM
On a seperate note, how do you like your M3 Conv? I am trying to decide between M3 conv and 535 M sport Xi. Two totally different cars but I'm not loving the F10 handling. I'm worried I will regret getting such a small car with such little storage in the M3 Conv.

Thoughts?

Love the M3. Best car I have ever owned. BMW nailed it - handling, steering, clutch and braking feel; ride comfort; ergonomics; power; exhaust note; sound system; you name it. It gets a little tight in the back seat on those rare occasions I have 3 passengers, but it is not unbearable - much more usable than my 911 was.

With the top down you can put an "okay" amount of stuff in the trunk (2 duffel bags and a briefcase, or a week's worth of grocery shopping), but access is inconvenient as you have to raise the roof to get at it all. You can carry more with the top (and luggage partition) up. Most of the time, the rear seat back is folded flat and the wind deflector is up, and between the trunk and the rear seat area I can carry plenty. But if we go away as a family we take the X5.

There will "always" be competent sports sedans like the 535. However, the E9X M3 will likey be the last normally-aspirated M car ever. And you can't beat driving with the top down (the heated seats and "Convertible" setting on the climate control make top-down driving fine, even if it is only 60 degrees outside). If you can find a way to make it work, I say go for it. :thumbup:

pharding
10-11-2010, 05:40 AM
Plus I don't know where you get it that all 5 series drivers are 50+ I'm picking up my 550i in Munich for my 26 birthday and have several friends who are around my age and purchasing cars in this segment. ....
50+ mph is what the posts say.

quackbury
10-11-2010, 05:51 AM
Plus I don't know where you get it that all 5 series drivers are 50+ I'm picking up my 550i in Munich for my 26 birthday and have several friends who are around my age and purchasing cars in this segment.

Reread my post. I didn't say "all" I said "target demographic". I was 27 when I bought my 911. I know I was unusually young to own that car (new), although I certainly wasn't the only one: there were dot com entrepreneurs and trust fund babies my age, but the bulk of new 911 owners were in their late 40's and early 50's. (When I was a driving instructor for PCA, I very rarely had any student my age, unless they owned a 944 or a used 911).

Maybe it's an overstatement to say that the F10's target market is 50-year-olds (like me), maybe it's more like 40-year-olds. (Besides, 50 is the new 30). But I do think you are an outlier. If you made the money to purchase / lease yours on yuour own, congratulations. In Munich, you will not be picking up an "old man's car", but rather a car for those with refined tastes.

Needsdecaf
10-11-2010, 05:59 AM
Depends on whether your target demographic reads those mage. I'm sure the 17-year-olds out there have a lower opinion of the F10, but I don't know many 50-year-olds making north of $150,000/year who subscribe to C&D, R&T, MT or the like.

If the Robb Report, JAMA, The Economist or Barrons panned the F10 it might be different. And I think the mainline mags probably influence 3-Series buyers. F10? Not so much.


Exactly my point.

Remember, the "enthusiasts" don't buy the majority of the cars. That includes us wackos here as well as the auto-rag reading bunch as well. Many, many buyers just waltz in and buy the damn car.

The point is, it's not like overnight it feels like a Volvo or a Toyota. It still feels like a BMW, and it's not going to put off enough people to really matter.

markl53
10-11-2010, 07:07 AM
I don't really care about brand image, etc. I just know what I like. I do not like a numb/dead or even Lexus like feel.

Have you actually driven a Lexus to compare to the new F10? So many people are just taking this "Lexus" statement and saying "repeat after me, repeat after me".

I drove several E60 528i service loaners and was totally underwhelmed. I just don't know what all this talk of "sport" is in relation to the E60 :dunno:

Then I drove the F10 and thought...what the hell is everyone talking about? This machine kicks a@@!!!

To all of you simply parroting journalist quotes, just go drive an F10 then report back.

pharding
10-11-2010, 08:45 AM
I, for one, drive the car every day.

solstice
10-11-2010, 12:19 PM
I, for one, drive the car every day.

Same here.

quackbury
10-11-2010, 12:49 PM
I don't read auto mags any more (unless it's in a doctor's waiting room), and have driven 4 different F10's at Ultimate Drive events. All of them left me underwhelmed.

jimefam
10-11-2010, 12:51 PM
50+ mph is what the posts say.

Not the post I was referring to. And I would actually be surprised if the demographic for this car is primarily 50 year olds. I really haven't given it much though let alone researched it but I always thought of the 5 series as being for someone in their 30's or early 40's. The 7 series is what I thought of as a 50+ year olds car. Based on the responses here I guess I'm wrong. And yes I'm the one responsible for my income(no trust fund).

solstice
10-11-2010, 01:08 PM
Not the post I was referring to. And I would actually be surprised if the demographic for this car is primarily 50 year olds. I really haven't given it much though let alone researched it but I always thought of the 5 series as being for someone in their 30's or early 40's. The 7 series is what I thought of as a 50+ year olds car. Based on the responses here I guess I'm wrong. And yes I'm the one responsible for my income(no trust fund).

No I don't think you are wrong. From my own observations back in Europe the funfer is mainly the choice of middle class family men and women that enjoys driving and feel that they have outgrown the 3-series physically and/or mentally. Many comes from the 3-series. I'd guess the main age group is 35-55. Here in the US it's more difficult for me to place the car it seems a bit more status oriented than driver oriented here from a glance.

sambb
10-11-2010, 04:26 PM
I have driven the car, and lexus as well
There is no doubt, that when car and driver called the steering "spooky", it is spooky to me, a former owner of several 5 series cars.
BMW is moving away from "sports" with its car, and that is fine, but it is not exactly what I am looking for. It is a great luxury car however, no doubt. Safe too. But that steering detracts for me, it may not for others. Most car mags seem to agree on the steering.
Remember at C&D, it finished behind the infiniti M and the audi. And they are BMW fans! That is telling to some degree to me, but i dont want to pretend that it matters to everyone.

solstice
10-11-2010, 04:34 PM
If bmw do not respond to this criticism with attempts to improve the steering it tells me that their priorities have changed and after the F10 I will find another brand that prioritizes the enthusiast, most likely it will be Porsche.

B-1 Pilot
10-11-2010, 09:55 PM
So went on yet another F10 test-drive this weekend, and two things came up that I think are relevant to whats being discussed here.

First, the test drive was for my wife, not me... I want a new BMW bike AND a 550ix.. the only way this will happen is if we trade in her 1.5 year old 335. She is afraid that the 5 is just too big for her; I say lets go drive one and see. We get in a plain 535 (cause the dealer had no 550, no Xs obviously, and none with any type of sports pacakge). She drives it and thinks its a bit bigger than her three and more luxiourious, but that she likes how smooth the steering is compared to her 3! :rofl: I at this point am doing everything to contain myself from laughing out loud since I configured the 335 for her (maxed), and think that the steering in the F10 is a bit numb compared to the 3... I just personally want the larger size and luxury, and can sacrifice the connectedness (and with full sport package I think it drives pretty dang well.... Im waiting to test drive an iX before committing one way or another), but she is happy with the 'smoothness' of the car (Full disclosure were both in our early 30's).

Second, while we are there, this relatively small dealership sells 2 of the 5 F10s they have on the lot from walk-up older couples (to use your metric, +50yrs) They both buy white car, beige interior, oyster headliner -- one a 528, one a 535, both with little to no options (premium package only I believe). The guy I'm working with says they represent about 2/3 to 3/4 of the sales. The rest are passionate enthusiasts who come in with varying ranges of knowledge but like to order custom cars with their exact specifications. I guess the question is who does BMW truly respond to?

I think that the enthusiast, though in the minority, is the more learned and vocal, and the wishes and desires of these people tend to push for things that will benefit all. BMW of course will have to look at how their profits are affected overall in any attempts to answer to enthusiast demand for their 'mid-range' sedan.

bm323
10-12-2010, 01:12 AM
Yes, and "enthusiasts" (especially those who have less than 3 year old cars and not ready to buy any car as yet:) ie excluding solstice and a few others) will want to brag how numb the f10's steering is :) Why not check out the Lotus' steering and see how numb the steering is on the E46 and E90, yes and the F10, and the many enthusiasts who will dispose of their 3 series and buy the Lotus :)

kocsis
10-12-2010, 06:17 AM
For every car manufacturer, profits come from the vocal minority opinion leaders who create the buzz, not the silent majority who buys based on brand and looks (though they too are affected by the buzz). Moreover, profits come from the marginal sales represented by the enthusiasts, who are more likely to switch brands based on performance. I have driven BMWs for 30 years, stepped up from a 3 to 5 when I bought my E39 M5, and was about to switch to the Audi S4 because of some of these BMW "numbness" issues. I did stick with the 500ix Msport (on boat, leaving Bremerhaven tomorrow), but am still somewhat ambivalent. Though I am heartened that the ix has hydraulic steering (according to this board) and not electronic, and my packages including the sport shifter should maximize performance. I am though troubled that BMW is achieving performance "virtually" - not by engineering the car for performance, but rather "emulating" it by electronics. In contrast, the S4 is built for honest performance - suspension, steering, etc. But it's a bit small, and there is still that 30 year loyalty factor.... Now if the reliability starts to suffer - forget about it!

CAFleming
10-12-2010, 06:38 AM
I find this thread very interesting. In March of 2001 I bought a 330 cab. I had ordered it 8 months earlier, because the cabs were new then and considerably backordered. Apparently some customers (NOT driving enthusiasts, no doubt) complained that the steering was too heavy in the 2000 E46s at parking speeds. BMW responded by lightening the steering feel of the 2001 models. The enthusiasts then rebelled, labeling the 2001 models "The Ultimate Parking Machine", an underhanded reference to BMW's "Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan.

Enough fuss was made by the enthusiast side, and BMW responded by offering 2001 owners a chance to revert to the heavier feel steering rack at no charge. I did the retrofit, and I was happy with the change, although I must say the E46 cabs never handled all that well anyway.

For the 2002 models, BMW quietly equipped all standard E46s with the heavier feeling rack, and the issue was over.

Nowadays, of course, with electronically controlled systems, one can have both extra assist at parking speeds, and less boost at higher speeds. Unfortunately, when it comes to steering feedback, I think both come up short.

markl53
10-12-2010, 08:03 AM
I am though troubled that BMW is achieving performance "virtually" - not by engineering the car for performance, but rather "emulating" it by electronics. In contrast, the S4 is built for honest performance - suspension, steering, etc.

Well, the car has to be designed at the maximum performance level, regardless of how that performance is achieved right? Meaning, if the driver has the ability to adjust performance parameters for themselves, the car was still built for the highest level available. To me, turning the dial to less than max just means to car is currently working lower than what it is capable of. I'm not sure you've lost anything in the end.

B-1 Pilot
10-12-2010, 08:32 AM
I am though troubled that BMW is achieving performance "virtually" - not by engineering the car for performance, but rather "emulating" it by electronics.


Heh, if we had followed this logic in the flying world, there would be no fly-by-wire (which allows high precise G and maneuverability), there would be no stealth and flying wing capabilities, etc. There's a reason why many car manufacturers are looking into high performance electric cars -- not to go green, but to go fast.

I think in the end it will be the same argument as those who feel the need to run the clutch and stick-shift themselves -- as technology supersedes human capability, nostalgia is often misconstrued as better performance.

The thing that sets BMW apart from others for me is that they seek technology for performance first, then comfort and convenience -- I dont think the same can be said for MB, Audi or the luxury hondas and toyotas.

ihumphrey
10-12-2010, 09:28 AM
Heh, if we had followed this logic in the flying world, there would be no fly-by-wire (which allows high precise G and maneuverability), there would be no stealth and flying wing capabilities, etc. There's a reason why many car manufacturers are looking into high performance electric cars -- not to go green, but to go fast.

I think in the end it will be the same argument as those who feel the need to run the clutch and stick-shift themselves -- as technology supersedes human capability, nostalgia is often misconstrued as better performance.

The thing that sets BMW apart from others for me is that they seek technology for performance first, then comfort and convenience -- I dont think the same can be said for MB, Audi or the luxury hondas and toyotas.

+1:thumbup:

solstice
10-12-2010, 11:56 AM
"The thing that sets BMW apart from others for me is that they seek technology for performance first, then comfort and convenience"

If this is true how do you explain the weight gain and the soft springs on the F10 that compromises even the Sports setting with dhp to the soft side?
These are to me both signs of putting comfort and convinience ahead of performance, especially dhp in it's current setup is technology to cater for the Buick crowd not the enthusiast.

quackbury
10-12-2010, 11:58 AM
I think that the enthusiast, though in the minority, is the more learned and vocal, and the wishes and desires of these people tend to push for things that will benefit all. BMW of course will have to look at how their profits are affected overall in any attempts to answer to enthusiast demand for their 'mid-range' sedan.

Willing to bet you the two older couples were more "profitable" to the dealership than any two of us would have been. They probably negotiated down from MSRP, instead of up from invoice, and thought they got a steal for getting a $1,000 discount off sticker.

I think in the end it will be the same argument as those who feel the need to run the clutch and stick-shift themselves -- as technology supersedes human capability, nostalgia is often misconstrued as better performance.

Well for this 6MT driver, nostalgia is also construed as more fun. :thumbup: Be honest now: if someone offerd you a pristine P51D, wouldn't love to be behind that big ole, old tech Merlin?

PS Assuming you are still on active duty: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

solstice
10-12-2010, 12:53 PM
What quackbury says is so true. All of the manufacturers in this segment produces cars with more outright performance in terms of speed than most buyers use. The question to me for a road car is not mainly "how fast" but "how fun". Anyone saw Top Gear yesterday? There were two examples, first Richard Hammon that prefered the Camaro over the E-class AMG even if the AMG crushed the Camaro in performance and then all of the presenters who prefered the Quattroporte over the Panamera and the Rapide even if it had by far the lowest performance but it stirred the senses in a way that the others did not, it was more fun.

quackbury
10-12-2010, 01:39 PM
Since I've already taken us OT .... here's a guy who might well prefer the tactile over the tech. (Watch what he does at the end):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PftNh_SShlg

I grew up in Reading PA, and had the pleasure of seeing him perform at the Reading Airshow several times. He'd fly this jaw-dropping routine in his P51 "Old Yeller", then climb out and repeat it in the stodgy Aero Commander Shrike. Jimmy Doolittle described him as the "ultimate stick and rudder guy". Somehow, I don't think it would be as impressive watching him fly a RPV.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled kvetching.....

B-1 Pilot
10-12-2010, 04:28 PM
I fly for a living (yes, I'm still active duty, and appreciate your thanks), and I am certifiable aircraft buff, though I really have no desire to go flying in light aircraft and i loathe the airlines.

I much rather enjoy spending my free time and money on motorcycles and cars! I ride a ridiculously overpowered motorcycle for the same reason you drive a 6MT -- it's fun! I realize what solstice and others are saying about the perceived compromises; but feel is one thing, actual performance is another.. until we have full, independent track data we wont know if they truly sacrificed performance for the obvious additions of luxury that are in the new F10. That being said, the opinions of those who actually own the car (especially if you owned an E60 prior) are the ones of most value to me -- my 3 test drives in no way match your empirical data, and I look forward to your posts

The elephant in the room are the M types... The M3 is obviously there for those who want lighter, more connected ride. The F-10 550 comes close to M3 performance numbers, but unless you are at Nurburgring are you going to notice the difference? I think the M5 will be the ultimate performance sedan... I just don't know if I will be able to afford it.

Will BMW fix the deficiencies in the current F10? I say probably at some point because the hardware is more than adequate, all that is required is some software tuning -- but I dont think that all F10 drivers will even want such a change, if and when it is offered.

B-1

Oh yeah by the way Bob Hoover is the s*#t... read Chuck Yeager's autobiography sometime, and even he says what a badass pilot Bob Hoover is.

kocsis
10-12-2010, 07:08 PM
It's interesting that the "B-1 Pilot" made the observation about technology. I recall that many B-1s were crashed because pilots didn't trust the electronics that were guiding the plane and took over control...then crashed. The logical extension of B-1 Pilot's argument is the Google car (see Sunday's New York Times) that controls itself without human intervention. According to Google, it doubles highway capacity and is safer than human driving. But what would all of us on this board do? Sit in the car and pretend we're driving like our two year olds who sit in a fake car with a fake steering wheel and go "zoom-zoom"?

jimefam
10-12-2010, 07:25 PM
It's interesting that the "B-1 Pilot" made the observation about technology. I recall that many B-1s were crashed because pilots didn't trust the electronics that were guiding the plane and took over control...then crashed. The logical extension of B-1 Pilot's argument is the Google car (see Sunday's New York Times) that controls itself without human intervention. According to Google, it doubles highway capacity and is safer than human driving. But what would all of us on this board do? Sit in the car and pretend we're driving like our two year olds who sit in a fake car with a fake steering wheel and go "zoom-zoom"?

No we would keep a "real" car for pleasurable driving when we wanted to. I have a 1989 240sx with a skyline engine in it that I LOVE. Whenever I'm too annoyed with the f10's steering I will drive that for a day. I disconnected the power steering as the engine is from a RHD car and rerunning the PS lines would have been a pain. Talk about responsive and fun to drive steering! Would be terrible for a DD but on occasion there is nothing better.

quackbury
10-12-2010, 07:36 PM
I fly for a living (yes, I'm still active duty, and appreciate your thanks), and I am certifiable aircraft buff, though I really have no desire to go flying in light aircraft and i loathe the airlines.



Since you're a B-1 driver, was the BUFF part a play on words?

markl53
10-12-2010, 08:28 PM
I much rather enjoy spending my free time and money on motorcycles and cars! I ride a ridiculously overpowered motorcycle for the same reason you drive a 6MT -- it's fun! I realize what solstice and others are saying about the perceived compromises; but feel is one thing, actual performance is another.. until we have full, independent track data we wont know if they truly sacrificed performance for the obvious additions of luxury that are in the new F10. That being said, the opinions of those who actually own the car (especially if you owned an E60 prior) are the ones of most value to me -- my 3 test drives in no way match your empirical data, and I look forward to your posts


For you as an individual (or me, or anyone else), does it really matter if a comparison to a prior model indicates anything? The question should be whether you like the car as it stands today, because that is the current reality. I'm not trying to be harsh, just realistic. Will the car feel different to you if E60 owners tell you one way or another? I hate to say it, but many of them probably don't care for the F10 just because it is a new model. It took me several years to like the E60, it looked so bland to me, so "un-German", almost Japanese from the side. I finally liked it. The new F10 speaks BMW! the moment you see it, no question what brand it is. It always hurts a little when the car you own is superseded by a new model, and there's bound to be bias in owner reviews. Whatever, the new F10 is what it is, a highly advanced, very well behaved road car, in my opinion.

B-1 Pilot
10-12-2010, 08:31 PM
Since you're a B-1 driver, was the BUFF part a play on words?

Oh yeah absolutely.. Big Ugly Fat F**ker

The B-1 is called the Lancer, but all the Aircrew call it the Bone.. for B-One.

It's interesting that the "B-1 Pilot" made the observation about technology. I recall that many B-1s were crashed because pilots didn't trust the electronics that were guiding the plane and took over control...then crashed. The logical extension of B-1 Pilot's argument is the Google car (see Sunday's New York Times) that controls itself without human intervention. According to Google, it doubles highway capacity and is safer than human driving. But what would all of us on this board do? Sit in the car and pretend we're driving like our two year olds who sit in a fake car with a fake steering wheel and go "zoom-zoom"?

Ok, so not sure if you are trolling me here, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt. 1st off, there have not been many B-1 crashes -- there have been 6 to be exact. In only one could a person even remotely link it to the pilots 'not trusting' their instruments. The pilots punched off the automatic terrain following radar without guaranteeing they were clear, and hit a side mountain. Now these pilots were at 500 ft above the ground, going 540 knots (thats 610mph to you land-stranded types), it was night, and they were very low light conditions before NVGs were even used. The terrain following system basically creates a terrain trace on the ground and keeps the aircraft at a certain selected altitude from 200 - 2000 ft, in any condition to include zero visibility, while the pilots make left and right turns, clear for threats, and monitor a number of other systems and radios. It is speculated that they didnt trust the system.. but there isnt any full proof of this because they gave their lives training to defend this country.

Remember very simply that when a system fails in an aircraft, I cant flip on the hazards and pull to the side of the road. I regularly have to make decisions while moving at 9 miles a minute or faster... In order to help me a trust electronic, automated systems... but am a saying we should remove the man in the loop? Of course not, because the thinking man is who ultimately will best maximize the employment capabilities of the aircraft, and systems do fail from time to time. To name a few, I have had a fire on takeoff, compressor stallout of an engine over Iraq, hit by lightning in Afghanistan,and a major bird strike in the middle of West Texas -- of course there are many more, but in all these electric systems on the plane and the aviator in charge of flying it had to work in concert to bring the thing home and land. This isnt even mentioning surface to air missiles coming within 300 ft of my tail or AAA off my nose.

Do I trust and appreciate the value of technology and electronics? -- you're damn right I do. Do I applaud upgrades in technology, and understand at times it may takeaway from my direct control in order to provide greater benefit? -- yes. Will we be riding in automated cars and planes someday in the future? Sooner than you think... but I also know that on the leading edge of technology there are hiccups and systems that may not work as well as first advertised.. this doesn't mean their envisioning was wrong. Yes there will be systems that can drive our cars for us, but there will be a thinking man in the loop for a very long time.

/Rant and sorry for the hijack,

B-1

http://i52.tinypic.com/wivvxt.jpg
21 Mar 2003, Post Air Refueling over Iraq

B-1 Pilot
10-12-2010, 08:35 PM
For you as an individual (or me, or anyone else), does it really matter if a comparison to a prior model indicates anything? The question should be whether you like the car as it stands today, because that is the current reality. I'm not trying to be harsh, just realistic. Will the car feel different to you if E60 owners tell you one way or another? I hate to say it, but many of them probably don't care for the F10 just because it is a new model. It took me several years to like the E60, it looked so bland to me, so "un-German", almost Japanese from the side. I finally liked it. The new F10 speaks BMW! the moment you see it, no question what brand it is. It always hurts a little when the car you own is superseded by a new model, and there's bound to be bias in owner reviews. Whatever, the new F10 is what it is, a highly advanced, very well behaved road car, in my opinion.

Actually I tend to agree with you on this as well... but if people are going to make comparisons, I prefer them to have operational experience with the two variables. I also really like the looks and sizing of the F10... for me its not a matter of if I buy one, but when, and I like reading the learned opinions of those on this board who can help me understand the small differences, such that I can best shape my own opinion.

bm323
10-12-2010, 09:02 PM
I think in the end it will be the same argument as those who feel the need to run the clutch and stick-shift themselves -- as technology supersedes human capability, nostalgia is often misconstrued as better performance.


++1 imo some see the technology, and they get all the "enthusiasm" in them worked up, and others follow the "leaders" to belittle the technology cos it's only popular for an "enthusiast" to do so. A poor follower of the latter -

http://www.bmwblog.com/2010/10/12/video-2011-bmw-535i-review-from-consumer-reports/

Check out the video at 2:05, the phrases "not as fun" to drive and lacks "on-center feel" are "popular", not initially though. But this guy says the lack of on-center feel is particularly evident when the F10 is at its limits. This seems to be contrary to the view that the lack of on-center feel is when the F10 is going straight, but fine when the f10 is at its limits/twisties etc?

---------------------------------

Quote "While there is still direct mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the drive wheels, an electric motor is used to assist steering on demand. As the electric motor kicks in, it seems to distort feedback through the wheel. Since the electric motor is only used when steering input is added, there is less energy consumed verses a conventional hydraulic steering assist setup, but this energy savings comes at a high price. On center feel is numb and leaves you guessing most of the time. Once the wheel is turned beyond 5 degrees, more information is progressively fed through the wheel, but still not in the raw, mechanical fashion we so adore. Road undulations are felt through the wheel, but there is definitely a middleman in this equation. While efficient electronic systems do have their place, it seems that this steering technology has evolved too far. Lets go back one evolutionary step and restore the pure, honest, steering feel of 5 series past."

http://www.bmwblog.com/2010/08/06/bmwblog-drive-review-2011-bmw-550i-%E2%80%93-survival-of-the-fittest/

---------------------------

There are people (including some who haven't even tested the F10) who jump on the bandwagon, but not sure what's in it - is it that the steering is too light/lexusfied (but the steering is weightier in sport mode, and generally reviews are positive about the weight) vs numb on center (but many don't know what is the meaning of numb on center eg the above), numb generally (please buy a 3 series if one is comparing the F10 to a E46 or E90, or better still a Lotus).

sambb
10-15-2010, 08:29 PM
There is a lot of technical points here, but car and driver AND consumer reports agree on this issue: the steering is terrible.
Of course, if one is a mainstream driver (ie lexus, lincoln, caddy) then you will like the steering.
It is not a question of the steering being better or worse per se... it comes down to preference of a cadillac fleetwood feel vs a sports feel.

solstice
10-15-2010, 09:08 PM
"It is not a question of the steering being better or worse per se... it comes down to preference of a cadillac fleetwood feel vs a sports feel."
I experienced this first hand today. A collegue of mine bought his wife a 328 and when we briefly discussed it he told me: "Man is that steering heavy, it's supposed to be a luxuary car, it should not require such effort to drive it. I kept quite...

bm323
10-15-2010, 09:30 PM
"It is not a question of the steering being better or worse per se... it comes down to preference of a cadillac fleetwood feel vs a sports feel."
I experienced this first hand today. A collegue of mine bought his wife a 328 and when we briefly discussed it he told me: "Man is that steering heavy, it's supposed to be a luxuary car, it should not require such effort to drive it. I kept quite...

A heavier steering does not mean it's more precise or connected.

Btw, have you recently tested against other F10s to verify whether there's anything wrong with your car?

bm323
10-15-2010, 09:32 PM
There is a lot of technical points here, but car and driver AND consumer reports agree on this issue: the steering is terrible.
Of course, if one is a mainstream driver (ie lexus, lincoln, caddy) then you will like the steering.
It is not a question of the steering being better or worse per se... it comes down to preference of a cadillac fleetwood feel vs a sports feel.

Check and you'll see they don't agree http://f10.5post.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6573653&postcount=1

As far as I can recall, hardly any, if at all say, that the steering is Lexus-like.

sambb
10-16-2010, 03:54 AM
Correct, it is described as "SPOOKY" by car and driver

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q4/2011_bmw_528i-short_take_road_test

BMW is going for the lexus/cadillac/buick market with the 5, and why shouldn't they? After all, lexus sells a lot of cars... it just isn't right for what i want... But I say, if you like it, go for it.

richschneid
10-16-2010, 09:46 AM
Correct, it is described as "SPOOKY" by car and driver

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q4/2011_bmw_528i-short_take_road_test

BMW is going for the lexus/cadillac/buick market with the 5, and why shouldn't they? After all, lexus sells a lot of cars... it just isn't right for what i want... But I say, if you like it, go for it.

I guess that's the point of the DHP. In COMFORT and NORMAL mode it competes with Lexus and Cadillac. In SPORT mode it's a BMW and it competes with AUDI and MB. That's why the switch is right by your right hand, it's so easy to switch from one to the other, which I do all the time depending on how I feel and the driving conditions.

BTW, I test drove a RWD 550i last summer. I don't recall much of a difference in feel between the electric steering on the RWD and the hydralic steering on my 550i xDrive.

Also, these guys at C&D an Consumer's do not drive the cars every day for months on end. Bimmers seem to grow on you over time. Consumer's complained about the controls as well. That's because they don't have time to fully learn them and understand the amazing intelligence and driver friendliness of them once you get used to using them. I am just amazed as to how easy to use and driver friendly the controls and ergonomics are in my new car. Puts my 650i to shame.

pharding
10-16-2010, 11:05 AM
Did Car and Driver have DHP or the standard version? IAS or the the standard version?

bm323
10-16-2010, 12:26 PM
Correct, it is described as "SPOOKY" by car and driver

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q4/2011_bmw_528i-short_take_road_test

BMW is going for the lexus/cadillac/buick market with the 5, and why shouldn't they? After all, lexus sells a lot of cars... it just isn't right for what i want... But I say, if you like it, go for it.
I'll tell you it's bull s--- ;)

If you know your readings check out
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 6.4 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 17.1 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 35.9 sec
Street start, 5***8211;60 mph: 7.0 sec
Standing -mile: 14.9 sec @ 94 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 151 mph
Braking, 70***8211;0 mph: 160 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.86 g

And your E60 with SP will smell the dust if you can of the F10 550i :)

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5547206&postcount=32

sambb
10-16-2010, 06:58 PM
For me, the drag race times are just not as important as feel. I am not excited about numbness, etc. I have driven a few 5s. Again, i have no problem with the people who like the numb and dead feel. It will certainly sell to the masses! I am more interested in an "enthusiast" feel. If you look back at the previous generation of BMW, there was a steering issue in the past. Posts here lauded BMW... but when BMW changed the steering to more of an enthusiast feel, they kept it that way...

So BMW has made steering mistakes in the past. For me, the current steering is a mistake, but I am hopeful that BMW will return to the enthusiast roots I desire for a 5 series. If they don't, however, I understand, as there is a market for the more numb feel. It is great for some drivers and not for others. It just depends on what one is looking for. I am sure that there are several people here who like the steering. I bet my mother would like it too. That is great, I have no problem with it. To each his/her own. Some people like black cars, and others like white. Some people want satellite radio, and others dont. Some people like a precise enthusiast feel, others like the more mainstream feel that several car companies like lexus have offered. I think it is great that we have a choice - it is not about the steering being better overall - for some it is better this way, and for others it isnt. It is a simple preference. I lean more to the car and driver article after testing.

When Car and driver lauds a BMW, the story is quoted here. There is nothing wrong with agreeing or disagreeing with their testing. I think their description of the "spooky steering" is rather accurate from my experience, but I would not at all be upset if you like it! Everyone has to find what works for them. I am hoping they decide to fix (change) it.

Best of luck no matter what you do.

Here is the portion of the article from the October 2010 Car and Driver, which I find enlightening:

Spooky Steering

Unfortunately, the 528i shares with the rest of the 5-series its new electric power steering. Although weighty, the setup feels artificial and provides zero feedback. Its imperturbable tracking and smooth feel will likely endear it to more-laid-back buyers, but we consider this a frightening departure from what has made BMW great. Fishing in the mainstream may be profitable, but it nets the kind of buyers who painted Toyota as an unapologetic killing machine.


The electric power steering is something all 5-series buyers have to live with, but the 528i***8217;s only other shortcoming***8212;not being a rocket***8212;isn***8217;t. Were we deciding to spend $45,000 for the 528 or $50,000 for the 535, we***8217;d be tempted to jump to the more powerful car. (Actually, were it the test car in question, we***8217;d pare a few items from the $13,325 pile of options and spend that money on the engine upgrade instead.) But it***8217;s easier to be cavalier with money when you***8217;re writing imaginary checks. For customers spending real money and finding the difference harder to swallow, as well as those attracted by its more affordable lease rates, the 528i is a fine and capable alternative to the 535i.

tadtaggert
10-16-2010, 08:18 PM
I am more interested in an "enthusiast" feel.

I see this 'enthusiast' argument thrown around as the end all argument way too many times, so how does one become an enthusiast?

Is there a card in a cereal box? More likely a multi-year subscription to some car magazine so that when someone argues with you, you simply state, "I'm an enthusiast, see what -insertFavoriteMag- says."

Here is the portion of the article from the October 2010 Car and Driver, which I find enlightening:

Well here's something else C&D wrote:

At 100-plus-mph speeds on the highway, the steering borders on scary light in its regular setting. It's certainly accurate, however, and the sport setting clears up much of the lightness problem, but it still has a larger-than-we'd-like dead spot on-center and could use even more heft, in our opinion. Worse is that the level of tingly, tactile feedback coming through that thick-rimmed wheel seems to be dialed back a bit compared with the last M3 or even a current-gen 328i or 335i.

Yep, that's C&D's first opinion of the current M3.

If you prefer something, fine. If you don't like something, fine. Do you really need a magazine to tell you what you like?

So sad.

markl53
10-16-2010, 08:26 PM
Here is the portion of the article from the October 2010 Car and Driver, which I find enlightening:

The electric power steering is something all 5-series buyers have to live with, but the 528i's only other shortcoming-not being a rocket-isn't. Were we deciding to spend $45,000 for the 528 or $50,000 for the 535, we'd be tempted to jump to the more powerful car. (Actually, were it the test car in question, we'd pare a few items from the $13,325 pile of options and spend that money on the engine upgrade instead.) But it's easier to be cavalier with money when you're writing imaginary checks. For customers spending real money and finding the difference harder to swallow, as well as those attracted by its more affordable lease rates, the 528i is a fine and capable alternative to the 535i.

Of course, I'm sure they said similar things about the E60 528i in comarison to the E60 535i. I've read C&D for going on 25 years. I usually find their articles informative and consistent. Of course I like when they like the car I'm planning to buy. But I've noticed a difference in the last several years and I think it has to do with a new group of writers and editors. They're no longer consistent and they pick on very small issues, IMO. In an early F10 535i report they complained the steering was too heavy. Then later in the full report they said too light. OK, maybe different drivers were reporting, but still, there has to be some baseline. Now they're saying the 528i isn't a rocket, well, we all know that don't we? Nothing new here. Now E60 folks will latch on to this latest statement and consider the F10 528i "bad". The new one probably performs better than the E60 and as I said, I'm sure in previous comparisons, the old 528i was no rocket either. To all the E60 fanboys out there, just live with an F10 for a week or so and then pass judgment rather than repeating over and over the C&D quotes.

sambb
10-17-2010, 03:44 AM
I think it comes down to, again, whether or not one likes the more numb feel vs the more the precise steering feel. There are plenty of those who are looking for a lexus/buick feel with a BMW badge, and I think BMW has done a great job with catering to that group, even here on bimmerfest. I am glad they are happy with the result. I just hope that BMW listens to some of the reviews about steering (which they have changed in the past as well when they made a mistake). Nevertheless, there probably a large market for the numb feel, as evidenced in the people who like the f10 steering. Enthusiasts may want something different.

pharding
10-17-2010, 08:01 AM
If BMW sticks with a numb feel on the steering or other performance compromise to appeal to the Lexus crowd or the Chinese crowd, then I am done with BMW and I will shift over to Audi or Porsche. However I believe that this stuff will be fixed by BMW as they have done in the past.

bm323
10-17-2010, 10:43 AM
I think it comes down to, again, whether or not one likes the more numb feel vs the more the precise steering feel.

The F10's steering is as precise as my E90. And you are saying that the 7 series 2007-8's steering is superior to the F10's?? Your views on the steering is clearly opposite mine.

Hello, I am a 335i owner, and a former 5 series owner of mult 5 series. I need to get a larger car than my 335i coupe which is great. I was sold on the new 5 series - until i drove it and experienced really terrible steering - car and driver has commented extensively about it, and I concur it is really a different place then I want to go.

I am thus considering a 7 series, 2007-8, after I saw that CPO examples are pretty well priced in the low 40s. That is amazing for cars with 30k miles!

So, some general questions (i dont want a turbo charged engine, so newer 7s are a little out of the question).

How reliable is the 5 liter v8
What can I realistically expect for mileage in a 75% highway (75 mph) and 25% city driving environment?

Which options are problematic?

How easily damaged are the sport package 20" wheels?

Any other general information? This would be a family car, and I have 2 smaller children.

I appreciate your input and candor. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5534090&highlight=#post5534090

melor
10-17-2010, 11:00 AM
If BMW sticks with a numb feel on the steering or other performance compromise to appeal to the Lexus crowd or the Chinese crowd, then I am done ......


I understand what you mean by the Lexus crowd... People who want a "Lexus" ride buy one and you are referring to those people.

Please explain what you mean by Chinese crowd... Are you saying Chinese people like numb feel on steering? Are you referring to all Chinese people, because many many of them don't have cars although that is changing... Or a particular subset of Chinese?

Where did this Chinese thing come from? How about the Japanese? Hell, they make the Lexus, don't they like the numb feel on steering too?

Pharding, I don't always agree with your posts, but usually I understand them.

Paul

bm323
10-17-2010, 11:05 AM
For me, the drag race times are just not as important as feel.

Drag race?? You're missing the picture, see the readings again.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5547206&postcount=32

markl53
10-17-2010, 11:55 AM
the f10's steering is as precise as my e90.

+1. Many of these people have not driven an F10, or are so biased by their current or previous BMW's that they refuse to acknowledge a difference between steering "precision" and "feel", meaning lightness/heaviness. My 535i steering is as precise or more so than my E90 335i. At speed the lightness tightens up (even without sport or DHP), and mine exhibits absolutely no on-center "vagueness" or wandering. This is now urban legend, IMO.

jimefam
10-17-2010, 12:05 PM
I understand what you mean by the Lexus crowd... People who want a "Lexus" ride buy one and you are referring to those people.

Please explain what you mean by Chinese crowd... Are you saying Chinese people like numb feel on steering? Are you referring to all Chinese people, because many many of them don't have cars although that is changing... Or a particular subset of Chinese?

Where did this Chinese thing come from? How about the Japanese? Hell, they make the Lexus, don't they like the numb feel on steering too?

Pharding, I don't always agree with your posts, but usually I understand them.

Paul

I'm assuming he means that as china is quickly becoming a huge market for luxury cars more and more companies including BMW are pandering to their preferences. For example, many buyers in china who are buying a 5 series are being chauffeured as hiring workers is very cheap over there. So buyers in that market care little about steering feel or that the car handles well and instead emphasize comfort and a "Lexus" like ride. The seven series is still to costly for that market so that is probably one of the reasons BMW pushed the new 5 far more into the luxury side of things this time around. India is actually beginning to see the same thing.

markl53
10-17-2010, 12:17 PM
I'm assuming he means that as china is quickly becoming a huge market for luxury cars more and more companies including BMW are pandering to their preferences. For example, many buyers in china who are buying a 5 series are being chauffeured as hiring workers is very cheap over there. So buyers in that market care little about steering feel or that the car handles well and instead emphasize comfort and a "Lexus" like ride. The seven series is still to costly for that market so that is probably one of the reasons BMW pushed the new 5 far more into the luxury side of things this time around.

Perhaps, but do we know how the Germans are reacting to the new F10? I wouldn't be surprised if BMW could tailor the steering profile for various country destinations, US vs. Asian countries vs.??

jimefam
10-17-2010, 12:50 PM
+1. Many of these people have not driven an F10, or are so biased by their current or previous BMW's that they refuse to acknowledge a difference between steering "precision" and "feel", meaning lightness/heaviness. My 535i steering is as precise or more so than my E90 335i. At speed the lightness tightens up (even without sport or DHP), and mine exhibits absolutely no on-center "vagueness" or wandering. This is now urban legend, IMO.

You are right about the Steering being accurate. I don't think many people are claiming otherwise. It definitely does as it's told in the sense that it is easy to make it do what you want. What most people are complaining about is a lack of communication from the steering as to the state of road conditions and available grip. While this isolation is desirable for luxury it makes it more difficult to explore the limits of the car because your unsure of what the tires are experiencing. Most people won't have any issue with this and most of the people lamenting this change(myself included) just enjoy the feeling of connectedness and responsiveness this provides. I doubt 90% of the people complaining about the steering are gonna take it to the limit. But as I stated in another thread that really is not the point we buy these cars not because we need all 400hp or all the performance the car is capable of but because we enjoy having on tap. Buying a BMW is supposed to deliver that as they pride themselves(or did) as the ultimate driving machine. Hope this LONG post cleared up your confusion as to what the issue actually is. Also to say that the people who are bring up this issue are just parroting C&D is rediculous as reviews for the 5 series started coming out just a couple of months ago and people on this board have been discussing this far longer than that.

jimefam
10-17-2010, 12:53 PM
Perhaps, but do we know how the Germans are reacting to the new F10? I wouldn't be surprised if BMW could tailor the steering profile for various country destinations, US vs. Asian countries vs.??

I'm sure they could and perhaps that is the solution they will eventually implement but I doubt that is being done right now.

sambb
10-17-2010, 01:30 PM
You are right about the Steering being accurate. I don't think many people are claiming otherwise. It definitely does as it's told in the sense that it is easy to make it do what you want. What most people are complaining about is a lack of communication from the steering as to the state of road conditions and available grip. While this isolation is desirable for luxury it makes it more difficult to explore the limits of the car because your unsure of what the tires are experiencing. Most people won't have any issue with this and most of the people lamenting this change(myself included) just enjoy the feeling of connectedness and responsiveness this provides. I doubt 90% of the people complaining about the steering are gonna take it to the limit. But as I stated in another thread that really is not the point we buy these cars not because we need all 400hp or all the performance the car is capable of but because we enjoy having on tap. Buying a BMW is supposed to deliver that as they pride themselves(or did) as the ultimate driving machine. Hope this LONG post cleared up your confusion as to what the issue actually is. Also to say that the people who are bring up this issue are just parroting C&D is rediculous as reviews for the 5 series started coming out just a couple of months ago and people on this board have been discussing this far longer than that.

I think this is a reasonable opinion. My only point of this thread is that the steering has changed to become more lexus-buick-cadillac fleetwood style - it has poor feedback, etc. This is in the hands of experts. I am not saying that those of you shouldn't like it. If you like that style, then I think you'll be very happy with it! Some of us don't like that style, and BMW has a history of making some of the best "enthusiast" steering out there. I am disappointed that they went in a more 90s GM mainstream direction.

If you like this style of steering, great. More power to you. There are some who drive the car for performance, and others who drive it for the badge, and there are a lot of other viable reasons to buy the car. I am hoping that a fix or software update can be made for those of us who like a different feel. But neither version is necessarily better - it is just differences in preference for what we want in a car.

gregb10
10-17-2010, 01:36 PM
I think this is a reasonable opinion. My only point of this thread is that the steering has changed to become more lexus-buick-cadillac fleetwood style - it has poor feedback, etc. This is in the hands of experts. I am not saying that those of you shouldn't like it. If you like that style, then I think you'll be very happy with it! Some of us don't like that style, and BMW has a history of making some of the best "enthusiast" steering out there. I am disappointed that they went in a more 90s GM mainstream direction.

If you like this style of steering, great. More power to you. There are some who drive the car for performance, and others who drive it for the badge, and there are a lot of other viable reasons to buy the car. I am hoping that a fix or software update can be made for those of us who like a different feel. But neither version is necessarily better - it is just differences in preference for what we want in a car.

90s GM mainstream direction? Im not sure about that. It might be a little light when going slow but that does not have an impact on handling. The car still handles great an better than any GM car from the 90s era in its class.

jimefam
10-17-2010, 02:12 PM
90s GM mainstream direction? Im not sure about that. It might be a little light when going slow but that does not have an impact on handling. The car still handles great an better than any GM car from the 90s era in its class.

This is in my opinion another misconception. I don't think that the problem with the steering is it being too light or heavy that is just a matter of personal preference. I prefer a heftier steering than most but that is not the problem with feedback. I think alot of people either don't know how to adequately describe the lack of feedback issue or perhaps are just expressing their preference as a problem with the car. The lightness or heft of the steering is a separate issue from the feedback issue and is causing many on here to dismiss the problem as an "urban myth" simply because they see so many people poorly describing the situation. The people whom I have seen complain about the steering who I believe know what they are talking about and truly understand what is meant by lack of feedback are pharding, solstice, quackbury. I believe most others are lumping in their opinions on the force needed to operate the steering wheel. Totally different topics!

sygazelle
10-17-2010, 02:14 PM
[QUOTE=enigma;5532863]And my point was that this topic has been discussed to death already in case it wasn't clear the first time around. I would love to hear what additional value this thread brings besides rehashing the same points over and over.


USC plays the Fight Song over and over. Using your logic, once would be enough. BTW I am a USC alumni so I am not dissing USC.

The reason this topic keeps coming up is because the steering on the F10 is so un-BMW that many (including me) BMW owners are shocked when they test drive the F10. I was so stunned by the lack of BMW feel, that I test drove it again a week later to see if I was missing something the first time. I am on my 3rd 5 series. My current ride is the 2003 540i with m-tech package. The F10 feels like a soul-less boat by comparison. I would not trade straight across.

The steering issues keep coming up because it is so shocking and BMW enthusiasts want to voice their considerable, and well deserved opinions.

Fight on!

sambb
10-17-2010, 02:18 PM
[QUOTE=enigma;5532863]And my point was that this topic has been discussed to death already in case it wasn't clear the first time around. I would love to hear what additional value this thread brings besides rehashing the same points over and over.


USC plays the Fight Song over and over. Using your logic, once would be enough. BTW I am a USC alumni so I am not dissing USC.

The reason this topic keeps coming up is because the steering on the F10 is so un-BMW that many (including me) BMW owners are shocked when they test drive the F10. I was so stunned by the lack of BMW feel, that I test drove it again a week later to see if I was missing something the first time. I am on my 3rd 5 series. My current ride is the 2003 540i with m-tech package. The F10 feels like a soul-less boat by comparison. I would not trade straight across.

The steering issues keep coming up because it is so shocking and BMW enthusiasts want to voice their considerable, and well deserved opinions.

Fight on!


VERY well said! people dont have to read this, they can skip the thread if they arent interested! Can you imagine if there was only ONE thread on HPFP failures??!!!

Here is another review which has some good points:
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q3/2011_bmw_550i_automatic_and_manual-short_take_road_test
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q3/2011_bmw_550i_automatic_and_manual-short_take_road_test

They say "The steering in the 550i is by far its greatest downfall. The electrically assisted system is linear, but it feels artificially heavy and is devoid of feedback, even when it***8217;s supposedly been livened in the sport or sport-plus settings. Coming from BMW, this is a huge disappointment, and the steering of the 550i can***8217;t hold a candle to the fine feel provided by the tiller in the Audi A6. At legal speeds, the steering in the 550i isn***8217;t so lifeless as to be unforgivable, but it takes time to get used to. When pushing the car, though, we find that the lack of feedback leaves one guessing the precise amount of input needed to control the vehicle.

Between the dull steering and the easy-as-pie computerized handling, the 550i offers a fast journey but a driving experience that lacks the drama, involvement, and excitement we expect from BMW. We walked away from the manual 550i with a slightly better impression of the 2011 5-series, but it simply boiled down to feeling more connected to the car through the gearbox, something the automatic can***8217;t deliver."

markl53
10-17-2010, 03:02 PM
[QUOTE=sygazelle;5551335]


They say "The steering in the 550i is by far its greatest downfall. The electrically assisted system is linear, but it feels artificially heavy.."

I am a C&D subscriber, and this is the statement I was so confused about. They claim "artificially heavy". Regardless of how people feel about the feedback, isn't this statement totally against what anyone on bimmerfest is saying? If anything I thought the feeling in general was it's too light.

solstice
10-17-2010, 03:15 PM
[QUOTE=sambb;5551343]

I am a C&D subscriber, and this is the statement I was so confused about. They claim "artificially heavy". Regardless of how people feel about the feedback, isn't this statement totally against what anyone on bimmerfest is saying? If anything I thought the feeling in general was it's too light.

I'm just speculating here but it could be that they try to say that when the steering is tigthened it doesn't feel like a reduction in boost but as an artificial layer of added resistance. If you have no power steering it's very heavy to turn the wheel, then you add assistance to make it lighter and to make it tigther you could just reduce the assistance which should result in a more natural "heaviness" but C&D might imply that to them it feels more like one more layer of electronic trickery is added to achieve "heaviness".

jimefam
10-17-2010, 03:17 PM
[QUOTE=sambb;5551343]

I am a C&D subscriber, and this is the statement I was so confused about. They claim "artificially heavy". Regardless of how people feel about the feedback, isn't this statement totally against what anyone on bimmerfest is saying? If anything I thought the feeling in general was it's too light.

That's what i mean about it being two issues. How light or heavy the steering is is a subjective opinion the lack of feedback is a fact. The reason some people say it's too light and others say it's too heavy is because it depends on what your used too. Just like lifting weights 150lbs might be to much to bench for me but it may be nothing to a bodybuilder. Or to five u an example that has more to do with cars when I drive my 240sx with the skyline engine in it the steering feels super heavy at first cause it's got no PS then when I get into my wifes jag it's steering feels super light as I've become accustomed to the 240. It's subjective! The feedback issue? Not so much.

richschneid
10-17-2010, 03:31 PM
"the lack of feedback is a fact"

How can you say it is a fact when feedback is by definition only a sensation in one's hands. In order to state it as a fact it has to be something that is objectively measureable. How would you go about measuring the amount of "feedback".

sambb
10-17-2010, 04:28 PM
It would be nice to see if the xdrive is different, as earlier in this thread, it was alluded to be a different steering system.

markl53
10-17-2010, 04:41 PM
That's what i mean about it being two issues. How light or heavy the steering is is a subjective opinion the lack of feedback is a fact. The reason some people say it's too light and others say it's too heavy is because it depends on what your used too. Just like lifting weights 150lbs might be to much to bench for me but it may be nothing to a bodybuilder. Or to five u an example that has more to do with cars when I drive my 240sx with the skyline engine in it the steering feels super heavy at first cause it's got no PS then when I get into my wifes jag it's steering feels super light as I've become accustomed to the 240. It's subjective! The feedback issue? Not so much.

Well of course C&D is used to most BMW steering feel, so when they say "heavy" I think they mean in relation to other BMW's.

pharding
10-17-2010, 05:28 PM
90s GM mainstream direction? I'm not sure about that. It might be a little light when going slow but that does not have an impact on handling. The car still handles great an better than any GM car from the 90s era in its class.
In Comfort Mode and Normal Mode the F10 floats like a boat down the highway like a GM car from the 90's. In Comfort Mode and Normal Mode it steers like a 90's GM car going down the road. One pays twice the price of a miserable GM product to get the feel of a miserable GM product. BMW was dropped the Ultimate Driving Machine theme because they no longer make the Ultimate Driving Machine. Now the theme is Joy. Watch this flash of how they define Joy. http://www.bmw.com/com/en/insights/technology/joy/bmw_joy.html They don't even mention driving or Sport Sedan. They are selling touchy feely stuff that has nothing to do with driving or the Sport Sedan Heritage of BMW.

BMW has a bunch of Senior Citizens on the Board of Directors who make ridiculous decisions and issue stupid directives that ignore the rich heritage and tradition of BMW. They have absolutely no courage. It is like a bunch of Homer Simpsons on the Board of Directors. I am sure the F10 conceptual discussions went like this. "Oh the criticism of the Chris Bangle E60 has been sooooo unnerving. Let's make the F10 really bland so that no one would criticize the design. While we are at let's make the F10 Lexusy. Let's just dumb down the suspension and steering to appeal to the Lexus and Mercedes crowds. Let's just build a car that appeals to all people even if it makes no one particularly happy. We have gotten some criticism that the sports suspensions make the ride too bumpy. We can't have that anymore. With our growing focus on the Chinese market we don't need a true sports suspension because they have hired help that drives the BMW Owner around in the back seat. We will make the F10 big and heavy so that it appeals to big and heavy Americans. We will just load up the F10 with a bunch of expensive doo dads that have very little to do with driving, that we can offer as expensive options that will bring JOY. Since we are now selling Joy we can just forget all that Sports Sedan Stuff. We need to move on and offer electronic luxury cars. Sports Sedans are so 2000."

sygazelle
10-17-2010, 06:21 PM
"the lack of feedback is a fact"

How can you say it is a fact when feedback is by definition only a sensation in one's hands. In order to state it as a fact it has to be something that is objectively measureable. How would you go about measuring the amount of "feedback".


First of all, congratulations on your new 550i. I am sure it is a stunning car.

Now to the point. Subjective or not, the steering feel on the F10 (and arguably the E60 before it) is different than ever before in any BMW. For the past 40+ years, car magazines and owners have praised BMW sedans for being sporty and having a great road feel. The F10 is very different. It may very well be a great car, but good or bad, it is not the same. BMW is clearly taking a different direction with the 5 series. That's okay.

markl53
10-17-2010, 06:24 PM
In Comfort Mode and Normal Mode the F10 floats like a boat down the highway like a GM car from the 90's. In Comfort Mode and Normal Mode it steers like a 90's GM car going down the road. One pays twice the price of a miserable GM product to get the feel of a miserable GM product. BMW was dropped the Ultimate Driving Machine theme because they no longer make the Ultimate Driving Machine. Now the theme is Joy. Watch this flash of how they define Joy. http://www.bmw.com/com/en/insights/technology/joy/bmw_joy.html They don't even mention driving or Sport Sedan. They are selling touchy feely stuff that has nothing to do with driving or the Sport Sedan Heritage of BMW.

BMW has a bunch of Senior Citizens on the Board of Directors who make ridiculous decisions and issue stupid directives that ignore the rich heritage and tradition of BMW. They have absolutely no courage. It is like a bunch of Homer Simpsons on the Board of Directors. I am sure the F10 conceptual discussions went like this. "Oh the criticism of the Chris Bangle E60 has been sooooo unnerving. Let's make the F10 really bland so that no one would criticize the design. While we are at let's make the F10 Lexusy. Let's just dumb down the suspension and steering to appeal to the Lexus and Mercedes crowds. Let's just build a car that appeals to all people even if it makes no one particularly happy. We have gotten some criticism that the sports suspensions make the ride too bumpy. We can't have that anymore. With our growing focus on the Chinese market we don't need a true sports suspension because they have hired help that drives the BMW Owner around in the back seat. We will make the F10 big and heavy so that it appeals to big and heavy Americans. We will just load up the F10 with a bunch of expensive doo dads that have very little to do with driving, that we can offer as expensive options that will bring JOY. Since we are now selling Joy we can just forget all that Sports Sedan Stuff. We need to move on and offer electronic luxury cars. Sports Sedans are so 2000."

OMG, another "where do I start" response? First, for you guys that "hate" your F10's, I just don't understand why you bought one in the first place, especially solstice and pharding. You seem to hate them so much, why don't you just trade for an Audi or some other "ultimate driving machine" alternative? You must be the drivers looking for the badge factor, otherwise I just don't know why you bought them.

Second, unless your "normal" mode is much different from my base suspension 535i, I can tell you, having driven many GM cars not just in the 90's but through the 70's and 80's, that my non-sport 535i feels nothing like a 90's GM car driving down the highway. Surprisingly for a car significantly larger than my previous 335i, it does not wallow "floatingly" down the road, nor does it have imprecise steering. In addition, for me, it does not have a bloated or heavy feeling, instead it is very nimble, doesn't feel all that different in everyday driving from the 335i, except for its far superior ride characteristics. Perhaps the added weight of the 550i makes that difference for you.

Third, do you really think the F10 was targeted only for foreign markets, totally ignoring the German populace? Why would they build a car which would only be shunned in their home land?

Fourth, no one is forcing you to buy options you do not want or need. Yes, the sport package + DHP is a bit more expensive than the total sport package was in the E60, but not that much more for what you get, IMO. No I don't have the sport package or DHP, nor did I buy the sport package in my other two 3-series. That doesn't mean I want a Lexus or GM like ride, and that is not what I've gotten with any of my BMW's. If they offer other electronic add-ons that you don't need, just skip them, you don't need to claim you bought a "totally loaded" BMW. The lack of some of these features may be the deal breaker for people moving from other cars, such as MB, Audi, Lexus and other luxury brands. Did you ever think that BMW "needs" to offer these features to be on par with other brands in its class? This alone does not mean they are building Lexus and MB with a BMW badge.

sambb
10-17-2010, 06:28 PM
First of all, congratulations on your new 550i. I am sure it is a stunning car.

Now to the point. Subjective or not, the steering feel on the F10 (and arguably the E60 before it) is different than ever before in any BMW. For the past 40+ years, car magazines and owners have praised BMW sedans for being sporty and having a great road feel. The F10 is very different. It may very well be a great car, but good or bad, it is not the same. BMW is clearly taking a different direction with the 5 series. That's okay.

Well said... it is just not the sports sedan that it used to be... unfortunately. But the buick crowd will love it, that's for sure. Marketing >>> Enthusiast for this model

bm323
10-17-2010, 06:46 PM
I think it comes down to, again, whether or not one likes the more numb feel vs the more the precise steering feel.

One of those on the car & driver crowd :)

So how is the 2007-8 7 series superior to the F10? Quote"I am thus considering a 7 series, 2007-8, after I saw that CPO examples are pretty well priced in the low 40s. That is amazing for cars with 30k miles!"

What are the specs of the F10 you tested? And in what mode did you test it, and what was ticked in i-Drive?

ccbbrb
10-17-2010, 06:46 PM
Yes, it is different. Some will think it is better, some will think it is worse. ...and those who are resistent to change, won't like it regardless.

B-1 Pilot
10-17-2010, 06:48 PM
Sambb,

Just curiously, what are the specifics to the 550i you own, just so I can better understand where you are coming from.

bm323
10-17-2010, 06:49 PM
First of all, congratulations on your new 550i. I am sure it is a stunning car.

Now to the point. Subjective or not, the steering feel on the F10 (and arguably the E60 before it) is different than ever before in any BMW. For the past 40+ years, car magazines and owners have praised BMW sedans for being sporty and having a great road feel. The F10 is very different. It may very well be a great car, but good or bad, it is not the same. BMW is clearly taking a different direction with the 5 series. That's okay.
Meaning arguably, the E60 was different too?

jimefam
10-17-2010, 06:49 PM
"the lack of feedback is a fact"

How can you say it is a fact when feedback is by definition only a sensation in one's hands. In order to state it as a fact it has to be something that is objectively measureable. How would you go about measuring the amount of "feedback".

Your kidding right? That's like saying it's impossible to measure the decibels coming from the radio because noise is only a sensation in ones ear drum! "Feedback" is the information about the road conditions and tires that is transmitted through the steering rack in the form of vibrations and other input. This exists independent of whether your hands are on the wheel or not. What you are referring to is your PERCEPTION of the "feedback". Just like sound would still be coming from the hypothetical radio I referenced above even if the only person around was deaf. So to answer your question yes if someone was determined to measure this "feedback" I'm talking about it could be done and even compared to other cars if they were measured in the same manner. Now you are right that it is indeed not a fact because this has not been measured but it absolutely can be and I'm confident that if it was you would see a marked difference between the e60 and the f10. Also any who understands what I and others mean by feedback will notice the difference without said measurements.

bm323
10-17-2010, 06:54 PM
Your kidding right? That's like saying it's impossible to measure the decibels coming from the radio because noise is only a sensation in ones ear drum! "Feedback" is the information about the road conditions and tires that is transmitted through the steering rack in the form of vibrations and other input. This exists independent of whether your hands are on the wheel or not. What you are referring to is your PERCEPTION of the "feedback". Just like sound would still be coming from the hypothetical radio I referenced above even if the only person around was deaf. So to answer your question yes if someone was determined to measure this "feedback" I'm talking about it could be done and even compared to other cars if they were measured in the same manner. Now you are right that it is indeed not a fact because this has not been measured but it absolutely can be and I'm confident that if it was you would see a marked difference between the e60 and the f10. Also any who understands what I and others mean by feedback will notice the difference without said measurements.
So what instrument is used to measure this so called objective feedback? Any car mag reviewer measures this? Any readings for the F10?

jimefam
10-17-2010, 07:16 PM
So what instrument is used to measure this so called objective feedback? Any car mag reviewer measures this? Any readings for the F10?

If you reread my post you'll see I said that this was something that COULD be measured if you were so inclined not that it's measured now by any magazine. I swear I think these threads drag on so much because people don't take the time to read carefully. Now I'm no physicist or engineer(that would be rich) or anything but a businessman but I imagine you could sort of measure this "feedback" by measuring the vibrations coming through the steering wheel with the motor running at idle to determine how much of that is from the engine running. That would be your baseline then drive the car through various conditions and see how increases in "feedback" correlate with road conditions. Again I'm just making sh*t up but I don't see why this wouldn't work.

bmrboy2008
10-17-2010, 08:22 PM
I am no PHD either, and maybe I'm being simplistic. However, when I bought my 2008 535i after driving a 5'er with active steering for three years, I thought the 535i's steering sucked. I thought something was wrong with it. However, it was just a matter of getting aclimated to a non-active steering optioned car. Albeit other issues, I have no problem with the steering on my 535i now, I actually love it.

sygazelle
10-17-2010, 08:27 PM
Meaning arguably, the E60 was different too?


Sorry for the ambiguity. I drove a friends 2009 535i. I did not like the steering or the feel of the car. It had run flats and we were on a very bumpy road so it was arguable to me. I drove home on the same road in my E39 without run flats and my car felt great by comparison. Maybe it is simply what I am used to driving.

As others have stated in this thread, it's subjective. All I know is the albeit unmeasurable grin factor that used to be the heart of the ultimate driving experience is missing for me. With all three of 5 series I have owned, I find excuses to take the long way home.

Bottom line: BMW has moved on with the 5 series and I haven't. I wait with anticipation for the F10 M5 or the next 3 series. In the meantime, I'll drive my E39.

To be clear, I am not saying the F10 is not a good car. It's probably a great car. I love the look and the fit and finish. It just isn't the same feel to me, subjective or not, measurable or not.

pharding
10-17-2010, 08:28 PM
"the lack of feedback is a fact"

How can you say it is a fact when feedback is by definition only a sensation in one's hands. In order to state it as a fact it has to be something that is objectively measurable. How would you go about measuring the amount of "feedback".
It is like fine art and music. Other than polls and surveys how do you measure the quality of fine and music in an objective manner? It is the same as evaluating the feel and quality of the F10 steering and ride. It is subjective and relies upon informed opinions. It is comparative. In this case we are comparing the ride and steering to the E60 and prior 5ers. BMW has ventured off into an over reliance on electronics for the suspension and steering. What was wrong with the mechanical versions? Why pursue electronic solutions for the sake of using electronics? The electronic solutions feel less than natural and disconnected. Why not offer decent springs as a performance option? Why does the BMW Enthusiast, after spending significant dollars on a well equipped F10, have to then go out and buy after market sport springs?

jimefam
10-17-2010, 08:36 PM
I am no PHD either, and maybe I'm being simplistic. However, when I bought my 2008 535i after driving a 5'er with active steering for three years, I thought the 535i's steering sucked. I thought something was wrong with it. However, it was just a matter of getting aclimated to a non-active steering optioned car. Albeit other issues, I have no problem with the steering on my 535i now, I actually love it.

That's how it works 95% of the time because most people have an issue with the force needed to operate the wheel. That's why you hear people complaining about it being too light or heavy eventually you get used to it and then come to love that type of steering. That is different from the communicative steering we are discussing and even that is not an issue for 98% of drivers as most people prefer the luxurious insulated feel rather than a rougher and vibrating wheel. Also pay no attention to the people who say if you criticize something about the car you hate it and should trade it in for an Audi. It's ridiculous talk by people who feel personally offended if you say one bad thing about "their" car. I have seen many posts where pharding and solstice both praise their cars and state they are overall excellent vehicles. Some people just can't stand dissent.

bmrboy2008
10-17-2010, 08:40 PM
Sorry for the ambiguity. I drove a friends 2009 535i. I did not like the steering or the feel of the car. It had run flats and we were on a very bumpy road so it was arguable to me. I drove home on the same road in my E39 without run flats and my car felt great by comparison. Maybe it is simply what I am used to driving.

As others have stated in this thread, it's subjective. All I know is the albeit unmeasurable grin factor that used to be the heart of the ultimate driving experience is missing for me. With all three of 5 series I have owned, I find excuses to take the long way home.

Bottom line: BMW has moved on with the 5 series and I haven't. I wait with anticipation for the F10 M5 or the next 3 series. In the meantime, I'll drive my E39.

To be clear, I am not saying the F10 is not a good car. It's probably a great car. I love the look and the fit and finish. It just isn't the same feel to me, subjective or not, measurable or not.

The run-flat tires on the E60 you drove were the problem. Another technical advance that shall we say "flopped".

jimefam
10-17-2010, 08:42 PM
the run-flat tires on the e60 you drove were the problem.

+1

bm323
10-17-2010, 08:45 PM
That's how it works 95% of the time because most people have an issue with the force needed to operate the wheel. That's why you hear people complaining about it being too light or heavy eventually you get used to it and then come to love that type of steering. That is different from the communicative steering we are discussing and even that is not an issue for 98% of drivers as most people prefer the luxurious insulated feel rather than a rougher and vibrating wheel. Also pay no attention to the people who say if you criticize something about the car you hate it and should trade it in for an Audi. It's ridiculous talk by people who feel personally offended if you say one bad thing about "their" car. I have seen many posts where pharding and solstice both praise their cars and state they are overall excellent vehicles. Some people just can't stand dissent.
Yes, a lot of people don't know what they are talking about and just parrot some mags' reviews, and disregarding the positive ones. The same car mag (which some forummers rely on for their views) says the Audi is better, so if one is on the bandwagon with the car mag, what is wrong with saying trade it in for an Audi or buy an Audi? Just as you can give your negative views, others can give their positive ones. Do you have any any objection to this?

jimefam
10-17-2010, 09:16 PM
Yes, a lot of people don't know what they are talking about and just parrot some mags' reviews, and disregarding the positive ones. The same car mag (which some forummers rely on for their views) says the Audi is better, so if one is on the bandwagon with the car mag, what is wrong with saying trade it in for an Audi or buy an Audi? Just as you can give your negative views, others can give their positive ones. Do you have any any objection to this?

Ok let's assume for a moment that you are able to determine who knows what they are talking about and who doesn't. You specifically mentioned pharding and solstice as people who hated their cars and should get audi's. Where did they parrot C&D? That is simply your weak excuses for dismissing other peoples observations because you have nothing else to say. Plus not that the reviews matter much but the vast majority of the reviews I've seen have been negative about the steering.

markl53
10-17-2010, 09:21 PM
That is different from the communicative steering we are discussing and even that is not an issue for 98% of drivers as most people prefer the luxurious insulated feel rather than a rougher and vibrating wheel.

You actually have a BMW that exhibits a rough and vibrating steering wheel? Never noticed this on my '05 330i or '08 335i. Maybe you have a tire balance issue? :dunno:

bm323
10-17-2010, 09:25 PM
You specifically mentioned pharding and solstice as people who hated their cars and should get audi's.
Better read and reread the posts cos you didn't take the time to read carefully.

jimefam
10-17-2010, 09:27 PM
You actually have a BMW that exhibits a rough and vibrating steering wheel? Never noticed this on my '05 330i or '08 335i. Maybe you have a tire balance issue? :dunno:

No of course not. I was exaggerating but by rougher I mean requiring more force to turn and yes if it is more direct you will feel the tires beginning to lose hold in the form of tiny vibrations. Perhaps vibrations is not the correct word but if you've felt it you know what I mean.

jimefam
10-17-2010, 09:35 PM
Better read and reread the posts cos you didn't take the time to read carefully.

Your right I was speaking to markl53 and didn't realize now you were parroting him.

bm323
10-17-2010, 09:56 PM
Some people just can't stand dissent.
You're right, you can't stand dissent.

bm323
10-17-2010, 09:58 PM
No of course not. I was exaggerating but by rougher I mean requiring more force to turn and yes if it is more direct you will feel the tires beginning to lose hold in the form of tiny vibrations. Perhaps vibrations is not the correct word but if you've felt it you know what I mean.
Losing hold is not my idea of good handling. So yes, different people have different views of what's a good steering. Your views are unique here, definitely not parroting :) Or are you exaggerating again, there, here and all over.

jimefam
10-17-2010, 10:13 PM
OMG, another "where do I start" response? First, for you guys that "hate" your F10's, I just don't understand why you bought one in the first place, especially solstice and pharding. You seem to hate them so much, why don't you just trade for an Audi or some other "ultimate driving machine" alternative? You must be the drivers looking for the badge factor, otherwise I just don't know why you bought them.
Second, unless your "normal" mode is much different from my base suspension 535i, I can tell you, having driven many GM cars not just in the 90's but through the 70's and 80's, that my non-sport 535i feels nothing like a 90's GM car driving down the highway. Surprisingly for a car significantly larger than my previous 335i, it does not wallow "floatingly" down the road, nor does it have imprecise steering. In addition, for me, it does not have a bloated or heavy feeling, instead it is very nimble, doesn't feel all that different in everyday driving from the 335i, except for its far superior ride characteristics. Perhaps the added weight of the 550i makes that difference for you.



That's how it works 95% of the time because most people have an issue with the force needed to operate the wheel. That's why you hear people complaining about it being too light or heavy eventually you get used to it and then come to love that type of steering. That is different from the communicative steering we are discussing and even that is not an issue for 98% of drivers as most people prefer the luxurious insulated feel rather than a rougher and vibrating wheel. Also pay no attention to the people who say if you criticize something about the car you hate it and should trade it in for an Audi. It's ridiculous talk by people who feel personally offended if you say one bad thing about "their" car. I have seen many posts where pharding and solstice both praise their cars and state they are overall excellent vehicles. Some people just can't stand dissent.

Yes, a lot of people don't know what they are talking about and just parrot some mags' reviews, and disregarding the positive ones. The same car mag (which some forummers rely on for their views) says the Audi is better, so if one is on the bandwagon with the car mag, what is wrong with saying trade it in for an Audi or buy an Audi? Just as you can give your negative views, others can give their positive ones. Do you have any any objection to this?

Easy to confuse who I'm replying to when your repeating other peoples posts.

sygazelle
10-17-2010, 10:20 PM
In Comfort Mode and Normal Mode the F10 floats like a boat down the highway like a GM car from the 90's. In Comfort Mode and Normal Mode it steers like a 90's GM car going down the road. One pays twice the price of a miserable GM product to get the feel of a miserable GM product. BMW was dropped the Ultimate Driving Machine theme because they no longer make the Ultimate Driving Machine. Now the theme is Joy. Watch this flash of how they define Joy. http://www.bmw.com/com/en/insights/technology/joy/bmw_joy.html They don't even mention driving or Sport Sedan. They are selling touchy feely stuff that has nothing to do with driving or the Sport Sedan Heritage of BMW.

BMW has a bunch of Senior Citizens on the Board of Directors who make ridiculous decisions and issue stupid directives that ignore the rich heritage and tradition of BMW. They have absolutely no courage. It is like a bunch of Homer Simpsons on the Board of Directors. I am sure the F10 conceptual discussions went like this. "Oh the criticism of the Chris Bangle E60 has been sooooo unnerving. Let's make the F10 really bland so that no one would criticize the design. While we are at let's make the F10 Lexusy. Let's just dumb down the suspension and steering to appeal to the Lexus and Mercedes crowds. Let's just build a car that appeals to all people even if it makes no one particularly happy. We have gotten some criticism that the sports suspensions make the ride too bumpy. We can't have that anymore. With our growing focus on the Chinese market we don't need a true sports suspension because they have hired help that drives the BMW Owner around in the back seat. We will make the F10 big and heavy so that it appeals to big and heavy Americans. We will just load up the F10 with a bunch of expensive doo dads that have very little to do with driving, that we can offer as expensive options that will bring JOY. Since we are now selling Joy we can just forget all that Sports Sedan Stuff. We need to move on and offer electronic luxury cars. Sports Sedans are so 2000."

Mr. Pharding. I have one word for your comments: Perfect!

bm323
10-17-2010, 10:21 PM
Easy to confuse who I'm replying to when your repeating other peoples posts.

Very good that you copied the posts. Now read them carefully, it'll do you even better if you can check on your understanding of what is "parroting". If your understanding of steering is of the level as your understanding of "parroting", forummers will do good to steer far off :)

jimefam
10-17-2010, 10:23 PM
No of course not. I was exaggerating but by rougher I mean requiring more force to turn and yes if it is more direct you will feel the tires beginning to lose hold in the form of tiny vibrations. Perhaps vibrations is not the correct word but if you've felt it you know what I mean.

Losing hold is not my idea of good handling. So yes, different people have different views of what's a good steering. Your views are unique here, definitely not parroting :) Or are you exaggerating again, there, here and all over.

I cant tell if you really misread this often or are just trolling but if you read the bold section you can see I was referring to the tires. No matter how good a car handles or how sticky the tires are if pushed hard enough they will lose grip and become loose. If you have good feedback on the steering it makes it easier to tell when this is close to happening and can alert you to back off. That is what I meant, if the steering has a very direct and connected feeling you will notice the tires reaching their limit and be able to adjust. If the steering is very aloof and disconnected you may miss this and potentially be in a world of trouble. Same as the brakes, good brake feel will allow you to tell when the brakes are beginning to fade and get mushy others not so much and make hard driving less enjoyable as your constantly concerned about where you stand. Its possible that you have no idea what i'm talking about if thats the case then I understand your confusion with basic concepts and english in general.

sygazelle
10-17-2010, 10:34 PM
The run-flat tires on the E60 you drove were the problem. Another technical advance that shall we say "flopped".

And yet, with 7 years practice with this "flopped" "technology, BMW has with wisdom to force it on the F10 consumers!

jimefam
10-17-2010, 10:38 PM
And yet, with 7 years practice with this "flopped" "technology, BMW has with wisdom to force it on the F10 consumers!

I wouldn't say flopped they just have alot of room for improvement. Its a good idea but as long as they are more prone to damage and make more noise + cost more than regular tires they wont be many peoples first options. This is a technology that still hasn't been fully invented and maybe BMW jumped the gun by forcing everyone to buy RFT. I'm sure as an option many people would enjoy them.

bmrboy2008
10-17-2010, 10:42 PM
And yet, with 7 years practice with this "flopped" "technology, BMW has with wisdom to force it on the F10 consumers!

No doubt all of us will eventually be reading threads here about replacement options for the RFT's on the F10's........ just like we did on the E60's.

bm323
10-17-2010, 11:36 PM
I cant tell if you really misread this often or are just trolling but if you read the bold section you can see I was referring to the tires. No matter how good a car handles or how sticky the tires are if pushed hard enough they will lose grip and become loose. If you have good feedback on the steering it makes it easier to tell when this is close to happening and can alert you to back off. That is what I meant, if the steering has a very direct and connected feeling you will notice the tires reaching their limit and be able to adjust. If the steering is very aloof and disconnected you may miss this and potentially be in a world of trouble. Same as the brakes, good brake feel will allow you to tell when the brakes are beginning to fade and get mushy others not so much and make hard driving less enjoyable as your constantly concerned about where you stand. Its possible that you have no idea what i'm talking about if thats the case then I understand your confusion with basic concepts and english in general.
Quote "Feel the tires beginning to lose hold in the form of tiny vibrations"; better check your English. Or maybe cos you're exaggerating again, as usual.

jimefam
10-17-2010, 11:41 PM
Quote "Feel the tires beginning to lose hold in the form of tiny vibrations"; better check your English. Or maybe cos you're exaggerating again, as usual.

I don't understand what your talking about.

solstice
10-17-2010, 11:47 PM
Someone asked about the F10 in germany. I don't know how good your german is but here is a link to a similar forum in germany
http://www.bmw-drivers.de/forum-82/fahrbericht-test-bmw-530d-f10-t-47107.html

If you are a bit rusty I can summarize that it's pretty much the same comments as given by the sport enthusiasts here. To synthetic feel, no sports sedan but a very comfortable car. Lack of driving dynamics etc, etc. Though they more compare it to an Audi than Lexus. I guess Lexus is not selling enough volume in Germany to exist in their world.

enigma
10-18-2010, 12:52 AM
If BMW sticks with a numb feel on the steering or other performance compromise to appeal to the Lexus crowd or the Chinese crowd, then I am done with BMW and I will shift over to Audi or Porsche. However I believe that this stuff will be fixed by BMW as they have done in the past.

I respect your opinion because you've been very fair and balanced about the F10 you own.

However, I doubt this is an easy fix and I believe BMW will punt this one. How do you fix the excessive weight? BMWs have always been the nimble one despite HP shortcomings (as compared to MB/Audi), and the current incarnation has put the F10 in an unenviable position by saddling it with extra weight. The F10 does a good job (especially with DHP) of masking the extra weight, but you know it's there, and when pushed hard, you can't help notice it.

Additionally, I don't believe the electric variant is fully capable of giving the feedback that the hydraulic counterpart can offer. Obviously, this is a hard one to prove, but the closest comparison is the Z4 Coupe vs. Z4 M Coupe. For the "M" version, BMW ditched the electric components and put in the proper hydraulic setup. I've test driven both, and the difference is unmistakable. If BMW could get away with one common setup, I would think they would have because these are low-volume production cars, and the fact that they switched over says a lot about the limitation of one over the other.

sambb
10-18-2010, 01:34 AM
Yes, but BMW has made steering mitakes before, and they have corrected it!
Doens't it come down to simple business decision - if it will sell more cars to switch to a more enthusiast steering, then wont they consider doing it?
Unfortunately, BMW probably knows that it will sell more if it builds a BMW-buick or BMW-lexus or BMW-fleetwood rather than a BMW sports sedan style steering.
I hope they can reconsider. I have owned a 540i, 530xi, and a 550i and this iteration looks good. It is a little bloated. But the steering is a major issue compared to the essence of the car that I desire. If I wanted a lexus or buick, I would have gotten one of those, not the ultimate driving machine!

enigma
10-18-2010, 01:47 AM
Yes, but BMW has made steering mitakes before, and they have corrected it!
Doens't it come down to simple business decision - if it will sell more cars to switch to a more enthusiast steering, then wont they consider doing it?
Unfortunately, BMW probably knows that it will sell more if it builds a BMW-buick or BMW-lexus or BMW-fleetwood rather than a BMW sports sedan style steering.
I hope they can reconsider. I have owned a 540i, 530xi, and a 550i and this iteration looks good. It is a little bloated. But the steering is a major issue compared to the essence of the car that I desire. If I wanted a lexus or buick, I would have gotten one of those, not the ultimate driving machine!

Yes, it is a business decision, and that's precisely why I don't believe BMW will do anything about it. The F10 is selling VERY well, and the folks complaining about it represent a very small minority for the 5er market. As long as it attract several new buyers from Lexus/MB for every repeat customer BMW may lose, they have absolutely no incentive to do anything.

bm323
10-18-2010, 02:03 AM
Yes, it is a business decision, and that's precisely why I don't believe BMW will do anything about it. The F10 is selling VERY well, and the folks complaining about it represent a very small minority for the 5er market. As long as it attract several new buyers from Lexus/MB for every repeat customer BMW may lose, they have absolutely no incentive to do anything.

Yes, the F10 is selling well. Most of the forummers who have bought the F10 (had tested it before driving, which is only logical) already own BMWs. There are many enthusiasts amongst these forummers. You can check out the 3 forums to verify this.

sambb
10-18-2010, 02:09 AM
selling well - can be attributed to a lot of things (economy, new model, etc.)
nevertheless, i have no doubt that the buick and lexus crowd will like this BMW more than previous versions - it is a target worth going for I bet.

The fact that prior BMW owners buy this car is irrelevant to me. At the parking lot at my mall, there are a lot of BMW owners who buy the car for the name. That has no relevance to enthusiasts.

Let's hope BMW listens to the car mags (who are biased in their favor usually), and changes course. I bet if it was corrected, more people here would laud the change.

bm323
10-18-2010, 02:24 AM
selling well - can be attributed to a lot of things (economy, new model, etc.)
nevertheless, i have no doubt that the buick and lexus crowd will like this BMW more than previous versions - it is a target worth going for I bet.

The fact that prior BMW owners buy this car is irrelevant to me. At the parking lot at my mall, there are a lot of BMW owners who buy the car for the name. That has no relevance to enthusiasts.

Let's hope BMW listens to the car mags (who are biased in their favor usually), and changes course. I bet if it was corrected, more people here would laud the change.

Will you be replying on the specs of the F10 you tested, since I presume you know the specs, how long you tested it, and how is the 2007-8 7 series superior to the F10?

and also below Sambb,

Just curiously, what are the specifics to the 550i you own, just so I can better understand where you are coming from.

pharding
10-18-2010, 05:29 AM
Yes, it is a business decision, and that's precisely why I don't believe BMW will do anything about it. The F10 is selling VERY well, and the folks complaining about it represent a very small minority for the 5er market. As long as it attract several new buyers from Lexus/MB for every repeat customer BMW may lose, they have absolutely no incentive to do anything.
Some customers are better for BMW business than others. I and my company have bought/leased 6 BMW's in the last 10 years. BMW values my business.

sambb
10-18-2010, 05:48 AM
Will you be replying on the specs of the F10 you tested, since I presume you know the specs, how long you tested it, and how is the 2007-8 7 series superior to the F10?

and also below

1. I have had several 5 series, including a 550i M sport, 535, 540, and even date back to 528s from the 80s
2. I never said that a car was superior, I have, time and time again, stated that the steering is different and my personal preference. For others, the numb feel may be what they like. It is not about what is superior, it is about what I prefer! Some people like red cars, and others blue. Some like leather and others like leatherette. Some will like the more buick/lexus feel and others (like myself and car and driver, and other auto mags who are professional enthusiasts) prefer the traditional BMW feel.
3. I have not driven the GT, but I have driven the loaded versions of the others. I concur with the experts at car and driver on the steering.

It just comes down to personal preference! There are a lot of us, who like a certain traditional steering feel from BMW, and they have gone in another direction. We hope they change back to the enthusiast feel, but if they choose to retain the more GM style feel, it shows which direction they are going. I entrust that their marketing teams are aware of the pros and cons of this approach, and it probably makes more sense financially. After all, There are a lot fewer enthusiasts out there than cadillac driver. That doesn't stop me from looking at this debate constructively. Even in the BASE versions of the older 5 series had great steering, it didnt rely on certain expensive options.

I think the car and driver articles are accurate and informative. I think the 5 is a great car, maybe a little too big, but for me the steering is a deal breaker. Ironically, the MB E class has moved the steering into a slightly more of the old "BMW style". It isnt there yet, but it is a little closer than the new BMW steering. It is a fascinating evolution of events to see the companies move in different directions, and it will be more interesting to see if these moves continue or if there is backtracking.

What I would really like to see is if the xi versions have different steering. It was alluded to earlier that they are different, and maybe they are less numb and more controllable.

richschneid
10-18-2010, 06:50 AM
Your kidding right? That's like saying it's impossible to measure the decibels coming from the radio because noise is only a sensation in ones ear drum! "Feedback" is the information about the road conditions and tires that is transmitted through the steering rack in the form of vibrations and other input. This exists independent of whether your hands are on the wheel or not. What you are referring to is your PERCEPTION of the "feedback". Just like sound would still be coming from the hypothetical radio I referenced above even if the only person around was deaf. So to answer your question yes if someone was determined to measure this "feedback" I'm talking about it could be done and even compared to other cars if they were measured in the same manner. Now you are right that it is indeed not a fact because this has not been measured but it absolutely can be and I'm confident that if it was you would see a marked difference between the e60 and the f10. Also any who understands what I and others mean by feedback will notice the difference without said measurements.

Look, as a physician and a physicist I know that to quantitate something you have to define the parameters that you are measuring. Then you have to set up a system to measure it. You say, "but it absolutely can be". That is a simply as assumption on your part. I asked how one would go about doing that. Sound from a radio in db can easily be measured. "Feedback" is a senstion in one's hands. I can't think of a way of measuring this quantitatively. Now, would you please explain how you would set up an experiment to measure the "amount of feedback" in different cars to determine which cars have more "feedback" than others.

You could have different drivers drive the cars and give their personl assessment by rating the amount of feedback on a scale of one to ten, but this is still a purely subjective measurement. db from a radio is an objective measurment made with a db meter.

You can't just stipulate that "but it absolutely can be" if you have no idea how to do it. The more I drive my car the more feedback I seem to sense in the steering. The feel is different than my 650i, but the actual amount of "feedback" doesn't seem to be less than my E39 540i sport, E39 M5, or 650i. It just feels a little lighter but the amount of information conveyed by the steering is not that much different.

The analogy I use is saying a sentence in a whisper in one's ear or screaming it in one's face. The information conveyed in the words is exactly the same, but the volume is just louder in a scream.

B-1 Pilot
10-18-2010, 08:17 AM
1. I have had several 5 series, including a 550i M sport, 535, 540, and even date back to 528s from the 80s
2. I never said that a car was superior, I have,

So the truth is you dont even own a 5, yet alone the F10 you seem to know so much about? I wonder when the last time you drove a buick is as well. I am just trying to separate the wheat from the chaff, and I think your opinions are now chaff to me as I read your posts (to include your 'dont buy an F10' rant in the E60 forum).

Again, as I said before the value of the forums comes from learned perspective. Pharding, Solstice, Markl53, Richschneid, and others all have very different opinions of the car, but at least they all own it. Others, while not owning the car do have perceptive, educated by experience, opinions. If a person merely has owned or owns an E60 and uses that as the basis to trash the new model that's replacing theirs... well that's just immature. Constantly parroting what C&D said in one article, while ignoring all the others doesn't make your argument more legitimate.

Obviously, this is a hard one to prove, but the closest comparison is the Z4 Coupe vs. Z4 M Coupe. For the "M" version, BMW ditched the electric components and put in the proper hydraulic setup. I've test driven both, and the difference is unmistakable. If BMW could get away with one common setup, I would think they would have because these are low-volume production cars, and the fact that they switched over says a lot about the limitation of one over the other.


Yes, it is a business decision, and that's precisely why I don't believe BMW will do anything about it. The F10 is selling VERY well, and the folks complaining about it represent a very small minority for the 5er market. As long as it attract several new buyers from Lexus/MB for every repeat customer BMW may lose, they have absolutely no incentive to do anything

Enigma.. perceptive back to back comments here... do you think that BMW is getting back to roots of a sort and putting most of their enthusiast efforts into the M models? I know people are going to say you don't need an M to get a level of performance expected from BMW, but I think you may have hit upon their changed business model.


In Comfort Mode and Normal Mode the F10 floats like a boat down the highway like a GM car from the 90's. In Comfort Mode and Normal Mode it steers like a 90's GM car going down the road. One pays twice the price of a miserable GM product to get the feel of a miserable GM

Pharding.. don't doubt this, but you really didn't comment on Sport or Sport +. I know its not a perfect comparison, but my BMW bike has modes that tighten up suspension and response with standard comfort/norm/sport settings. I ride the bike in sport 90% of the time, while others who dont ride as aggressively me might keep it in comfort. Is their any downside to driving in sport all the time? Isn't that kind of the point of the switch in the F10? For instance, my wife could be happy on comfort, and I could be happier in the sport modes?

jimefam
10-18-2010, 09:14 AM
Look, as a physician and a physicist I know that to quantitate something you have to define the parameters that you are measuring. Then you have to set up a system to measure it. You say, "but it absolutely can be". That is a simply as assumption on your part. I asked how one would go about doing that. Sound from a radio in db can easily be measured. "Feedback" is a senstion in one's hands. I can't think of a way of measuring this quantitatively. Now, would you please explain how you would set up an experiment to measure the "amount of feedback" in different cars to determine which cars have more "feedback" than others.

You could have different drivers drive the cars and give their personl assessment by rating the amount of feedback on a scale of one to ten, but this is still a purely subjective measurement. db from a radio is an objective measurment made with a db meter.

You can't just stipulate that "but it absolutely can be" if you have no idea how to do it. The more I drive my car the more feedback I seem to sense in the steering. The feel is different than my 650i, but the actual amount of "feedback" doesn't seem to be less than my E39 540i sport, E39 M5, or 650i. It just feels a little lighter but the amount of information conveyed by the steering is not that much different.

The analogy I use is saying a sentence in a whisper in one's ear or screaming it in one's face. The information conveyed in the words is exactly the same, but the volume is just louder in a scream.

Ok I will try to explain it as simply as I can and maybe we will understand each other. Forgive me if I sound a little testy but I'm a little frustrated to be explaining once again something that seems like common sense to me. Also I'm on my iPhone so my reply will probably contain some mistakes. First let me clear this business about feedback being some immeasurable telepathic bond between you and your car. It is not you are using your sense of touch to interpret the vibrations that come through the steering. Those vibrations are the feedback! It has nothing to do with your hands or anything else. Even if you took your hands off the wheel while driving(not recommended!) that feedback would still be coming through the wheel. I hope you can agree on this as it's the basis for everything else I will attempt to explain. To give you another example of what I mean perhaps you have heard people ask if a tree that falls in the forest makes a sound. They ask this question as if it's some unanswerable question but the answer is of course it does because the laws of physics exist independently of human perception.

So now that we have determined that "feedback" is not something caused by your hands but rather exists in the "real" world we can see that this can in fact be measured as anything perceived by your senses can. To address another statement you made that you sense more feedback from your car the more you drive it. This is also incorrect or rather poorly articulated. It's not that the steering is providing you anymore feedback the it initially did but rather you are learning how to better interperet that feedback. With more experience comes greater understanding so as you familiarize yourself with you car you can better understand what it's "telling" you through the wheel. To give a few examples, a musician and I can hear the same symphony at the same time, place and volume but do to his training he may be able to pickout individual instruments and notes that an untrained ear such as mine would miss. Or to give you a real life example I have a friend who is a trained chef and quite a foodie, when we go to dinner he can name all the ingredients used with remarkable accuracy while I cannot even if I'm familiar with the taste of all the individual components. His dish is no more flavorful than mine he simply is better equipped to process that information. A sommelier is another example I drink wine and taste nothing but alcohol and perhaps can pickout the fruit it derived from but none of the details that a trained expert can. Hopefully this explanation clears up you thinking the the initial "whisper" of feedback had increased to a scream, it is still at the same volume so to speak but you just know how to listen better.

As for how to measure this feedback I attempted to explain in a post after the one that you quoted but if that was insufficient or incorrect I will try to flesh out the idea. I normally wouldn't presume to tell a great physicist such as yourself how to conduct a scientific experiment but since you seem to require the method to grasp the concept of feedback being measurable I will do my best. Perhaps you could adapt a seismometer to detect the vibrations transmitted by the steering. This seismometer would mimic you hands on the wheel but would provide objective data to compare. You would begin by determining what is background "noise" by measuring the "feedback" received with the car stopped but idling and then putting the car on a dyno and running though the gears at different engine speeds to have full idea of what is not handling "feedback"(although it's still feedback and useful but is not what we are discussing here) then with the leads still attached take this car through a full test of handling characteristics and put it into a few drifts so that we may see when the wheels begin to lose traction what is coming through to the driver via the steering. This data would be objective and comparable with other vehicles if put through the same tests.

Before you or anyone starts tearing down my post claiming it's not practical or that the equipment I mentioned are not intended for this purpose I'm aware of that and am speaking hypothetically but if anyone has any other issues I'd love to hear them. If you are in agreement with me so far then you see the amount of feedback is not subjective. What is most certainly subjective is whether or not I want that feedback in the first place or what I consider an appropriate or necessary amount of feedback. Most people have little desire for the type of feedback I and a few others on here enjoy. They prefer the luxurious feel of an isolated steering wheel gives an I suspect that is why BMW toned it down in this iteration of the five. Someone tell me if I'm just full of it but none of this seems particularly difficult to understand and rather like common sense to me.

sygazelle
10-18-2010, 09:43 AM
I wouldn't say flopped they just have alot of room for improvement. Its a good idea but as long as they are more prone to damage and make more noise + cost more than regular tires they wont be many peoples first options. This is a technology that still hasn't been fully invented and maybe BMW jumped the gun by forcing everyone to buy RFT. I'm sure as an option many people would enjoy them.


I agree that RTF should be provided as an option. The tires BMW engineers spec are just as important as any other suspension component. BMW should spec the tire that matches the performance of the car (you know, the old "Ultimate Driving Machine" thinking). If a consumer wants the safety of RFT, they can option it. Problem is, BMW took the space of the spare and used it for "other things."

Are today's non-runflat tires so unsafe that BMW thinks they should not give their customers the choice to select a tire that actually matches the performance fo the rest of the suspension? What was BMW thinking when it knowingly specified tires that have an un sprung weight that is 20% + more than a conventional tire? Isn't the engineering objective to reduce un sprung weight?

quackbury
10-18-2010, 10:12 AM
Rich, are you sitting down? I actually am going to pay you a compliment.

I like the whispering vs. shouting analogy. A lot, actually.

Your position is that the F10 steering IS communicating to you, just at a lower volume / amplitude than what many of us consider "traditional" BMW steering. The feedback isn't "numb", it's just toned down (to a whisper instead of a shout).

I do think jimefam rose to the challenge and suggested a methodology to test whether the information is being transmitted. I would add parameters to test whether the feedback provides you information on road surface, slip angle and incipient break-away, but it should all be measurable if the test is designed properly. Based on your anecdotal evidence and others, I think we may well conclude that the steering (or at least the HYDRAULIC steering) transmits a similar amount of information as a "traditional" BMW setup.

However, while some may prefer the whisper, others may prefer the shout. And in certain circumstances, one is probably preferable to the other. (Whisper in my ear at Gillette Stadium when the Pats are mounting a scoring drive in overtime, and it's unlikely the information you are trying to transmit to me will come through).

So now that we have determined that "feedback" is not something caused by your hands but rather exists in the "real" world we can see that this can in fact be measured as anything perceived by your senses can. To address another statement you made that you sense more feedback from your car the more you drive it. This is also incorrect or rather poorly articulated. It's not that the steering is providing you anymore feedback the it initially did but rather you are learning how to better interperet that feedback.

I think jimefam is only half-right here. Yes, it is likely that your proprioception adjusts to the level of stimulus over time, and you "learn" the steering. But the actual steering system (mechanical, electric or hydraulic) is only part of the feedback loop. Other variables include the road surface and the tires. If you drive on a slick concrete roadway in the rain, you likely notice the steering feels lighter than on dry asphalt.

My experience is that new tires (whether on a new car, or replacement tires on a car I've driven for years) take a while to feel "right". It may be that molding compound is cooking out of the treads, it may be that the tread blocks squirm more, and it may also be that the tire needs a while to take a "set" based upon your alignment settings. But whatever the reason, I know that new tires always feel better after a week of driving. So I agree that you sense more "feedback" after you have driven a new car or new tires for a while.

This leads to an important point. Let's assume Rich is right and the F10 steering does transmit all the information that traditional BMW steering does, only at a lower volume / amplitude. I would suspect that, human proprioception being somewhat limited, most drivers will have a more difficult time discerning SUBTLE messages being transmitted (wet vs. dry pavement being an example) if the steering is 'whispering" to them instead of "shouting" at them. This ties in with jimefam's musician-sitting-in-the-audience example.

Using an audiophile example, at lower listening levels, you are unlikely to appreciate the full dynamic range or the 3-dimensional nature of the soundstage. Bass sounds muddy, and highs are attenuated.

So it IS possible that the F10 steering DOES transmit all the data, but that SOME of us find it less satisfying. Is that a conclusion we can all live with (so we can get on with our lives?)

jimefam
10-18-2010, 10:31 AM
So it IS possible that the F10 steering DOES transmit all the data, but that SOME of us find it less satisfying. Is that a conclusion we can all live with (so we can get on with our lives?)

To be honest I assumed that everyone already accepted this as fact. I don't think ANYONE on here or any magazine has suggested that steering has no feel at all. That would be very hard to achieve even if that was the goal so long as the steering is mechanical it doesn't matter how it is boosted your gonna get some feedback. The question has always been whether it is enough for (to use a word that has been thrown around here) enthusiastic driving and whether it is in what many consider to be BMW tradition. Most people are unconcerned with this but a few like myself, solstice and pharding plus a few that maybe I'm missing don't think it's up to par. Other such as rich consider it to be much improved over previous bmw steering and more conducive to hard driving, I obviously disagree. That is what it comes down to. As for getting back to my life it's gonna be hard for a couple of weeks till I get my car back and put all these theories to the test!

solstice
10-18-2010, 11:14 AM
There is also such a thing as over analyzing. In the end as a driver and customer I'm really just concerned about the result of all the components and processes that makes up the steering. When the result is uninspiring it doesn't really matter if the cause is EPS, the suspension a mix of it or something else. Whatever the cause and details our collective minds come up with the result doesn't change instead it start to smell like excuses. What matters to the OPs question is if bmw is intentionally re-positioning the 5-series to a softer more isolated car or if the car is a work in progress that was released before they could achieve the traditional bmw dynamics. If it's the latter the steering will be "fixed" if it's the former it all depends on sales numbers and market share down the line.

bm323
10-18-2010, 11:39 AM
So for you guys who have made different complaints in the past ie not enough heft/weight for the steering to return to the middle, and another was numb on center; it appears that a few of you now agree that the complaint is that the steering does not give enough feedback :)

richschneid
10-18-2010, 11:45 AM
Ok I will try to explain it as simply as I can and maybe we will understand each other. Forgive me if I sound a little testy but I'm a little frustrated to be explaining once again something that seems like common sense to me. Also I'm on my iPhone so my reply will probably contain some mistakes. First let me clear this business about feedback being some immeasurable telepathic bond between you and your car. It is not you are using your sense of touch to interpret the vibrations that come through the steering. Those vibrations are the feedback! It has nothing to do with your hands or anything else. Even if you took your hands off the wheel while driving(not recommended!) that feedback would still be coming through the wheel. I hope you can agree on this as it's the basis for everything else I will attempt to explain. To give you another example of what I mean perhaps you have heard people ask if a tree that falls in the forest makes a sound. They ask this question as if it's some unanswerable question but the answer is of course it does because the laws of physics exist independently of human perception.

So now that we have determined that "feedback" is not something caused by your hands but rather exists in the "real" world we can see that this can in fact be measured as anything perceived by your senses can. To address another statement you made that you sense more feedback from your car the more you drive it. This is also incorrect or rather poorly articulated. It's not that the steering is providing you anymore feedback the it initially did but rather you are learning how to better interperet that feedback. With more experience comes greater understanding so as you familiarize yourself with you car you can better understand what it's "telling" you through the wheel. To give a few examples, a musician and I can hear the same symphony at the same time, place and volume but do to his training he may be able to pickout individual instruments and notes that an untrained ear such as mine would miss. Or to give you a real life example I have a friend who is a trained chef and quite a foodie, when we go to dinner he can name all the ingredients used with remarkable accuracy while I cannot even if I'm familiar with the taste of all the individual components. His dish is no more flavorful than mine he simply is better equipped to process that information. A sommelier is another example I drink wine and taste nothing but alcohol and perhaps can pickout the fruit it derived from but none of the details that a trained expert can. Hopefully this explanation clears up you thinking the the initial "whisper" of feedback had increased to a scream, it is still at the same volume so to speak but you just know how to listen better.

As for how to measure this feedback I attempted to explain in a post after the one that you quoted but if that was insufficient or incorrect I will try to flesh out the idea. I normally wouldn't presume to tell a great physicist such as yourself how to conduct a scientific experiment but since you seem to require the method to grasp the concept of feedback being measurable I will do my best. Perhaps you could adapt a seismometer to detect the vibrations transmitted by the steering. This seismometer would mimic you hands on the wheel but would provide objective data to compare. You would begin by determining what is background "noise" by measuring the "feedback" received with the car stopped but idling and then putting the car on a dyno and running though the gears at different engine speeds to have full idea of what is not handling "feedback"(although it's still feedback and useful but is not what we are discussing here) then with the leads still attached take this car through a full test of handling characteristics and put it into a few drifts so that we may see when the wheels begin to lose traction what is coming through to the driver via the steering. This data would be objective and comparable with other vehicles if put through the same tests.

Before you or anyone starts tearing down my post claiming it's not practical or that the equipment I mentioned are not intended for this purpose I'm aware of that and am speaking hypothetically but if anyone has any other issues I'd love to hear them. If you are in agreement with me so far then you see the amount of feedback is not subjective. What is most certainly subjective is whether or not I want that feedback in the first place or what I consider an appropriate or necessary amount of feedback. Most people have little desire for the type of feedback I and a few others on here enjoy. They prefer the luxurious feel of an isolated steering wheel gives an I suspect that is why BMW toned it down in this iteration of the five. Someone tell me if I'm just full of it but none of this seems particularly difficult to understand and rather like common sense to me.

First of all I am not a "great" physicist. Please don't sink to the level of name calling here, it's unbecoming and invalidates your arguments. Thank you.

I just taught physics as a young man at a major uninversity. I understand that "feedback" is a tactile sensation. That is why it is subjective and I don't think it can be measured at the present time as you so aptly point out. You describe exactly the reason why it is so difficult to measure. You have to separate the signal from noise. But that requires that you can actually measure the signal so that you can validate the accuracy of your equipment. So, how do you propose to measure the signal given by the car, you only want to measure it through the steering wheel, which by definition is a mixture of both the signal and the noise. And since you can't measure the initial signal you have no way of determining how much of the information measured at the steering wheel is actual signal and how much is noise. Then it just comes down to the subjective perception of the person whose hands are transmitting information to the brain. It is then the brain that makes the final differentiation of signal and noise. This is the defintion of subjective.

What I have found in the steering on my car is that the signal comes through just fine once you get used to it. Your sense of tactile sensation adjusts to the lower level of the signal coming through. What is markedly diminished is the "noise" and the background effort.

So, you are absolutely correct. One must differentiate the signal from the noise and that is what our nervous system can do given the time to adjust. It is precisely what I am experiencing every day the my car. The more I drive it the more "feedback" it seems to have. This is not measurable objectively at the present time, but I can feel it every day. The information is there it just isn't as loud and one's nervous system adjusts to the point that the information is perceived. This is exactly what I was trying to say last month. I'm glad you agree with me. I was accused of thinking that I had more sensitive hands, but in reality everyone's nervous system will adapt in exactly the way you describe. Of course, the degree of adaptation and accurate perception of the signal will vary from individual to individual because all human beings are unique organisms, even identical twins.

solstice
10-18-2010, 11:46 AM
So for you guys who have made different complaints in the past ie not enough heft/weight for the steering to return to the middle, and another was numb on center; it appears that a few of you now agree that the complaint is that the steering does not give enough feedback :)

No, the center weight is also insufficient for my taste. I also experienced sudden loss of resistance around the center while on my ED. I haven't driven as fast for an extended period back in the US so I haven't experienced it here..yet.

bm323
10-18-2010, 11:51 AM
I also experienced sudden loss of resistance around the center while on my ED. I haven't driven as fast for an extended period back in the US so I haven't experienced it here..yet.

But the above does not appear to be a feature of the F10, more like a defect. The F10's center weight to me is fine (and I'm comparing to my 1 plus year old E90 and my E46 sold a month back) as imo it does not mean the steering is more/less precise or connected to the road. My F10 has no play on center, ie a very slight turn on the steering will cause my car to turn. I agree that the F10's steering is slightly less connected, but then I'm inappropriately comparing it to my E90 and E46.

solstice
10-18-2010, 12:02 PM
But the above does not appear to be a feature of the F10, more like a defect. The F10's center weight to me is fine (and I'm comparing to my 1 plus year old E90 and my E46 sold a month back) as imo it does not mean the steering is more/less precise or connected to the road. My F10 has no play on center, ie a very slight turn on the steering will cause my car to turn. I agree that the F10's steering is slightly less connected, but then I'm inappropriately comparing it to my E90 and E46.

Not the same. I'm saying that it's to easy to move the steering off center for my taste. It has nothing to do with being precise or turning when you move the wheel.

richschneid
10-18-2010, 12:11 PM
Rich, are you sitting down? I actually am going to pay you a compliment.

I like the whispering vs. shouting analogy. A lot, actually.

Your position is that the F10 steering IS communicating to you, just at a lower volume / amplitude than what many of us consider "traditional" BMW steering. The feedback isn't "numb", it's just toned down (to a whisper instead of a shout).

I do think jimefam rose to the challenge and suggested a methodology to test whether the information is being transmitted. I would add parameters to test whether the feedback provides you information on road surface, slip angle and incipient break-away, but it should all be measurable if the test is designed properly. Based on your anecdotal evidence and others, I think we may well conclude that the steering (or at least the HYDRAULIC steering) transmits a similar amount of information as a "traditional" BMW setup.

However, while some may prefer the whisper, others may prefer the shout. And in certain circumstances, one is probably preferable to the other. (Whisper in my ear at Gillette Stadium when the Pats are mounting a scoring drive in overtime, and it's unlikely the information you are trying to transmit to me will come through).



I think jimefam is only half-right here. Yes, it is likely that your proprioception adjusts to the level of stimulus over time, and you "learn" the steering. But the actual steering system (mechanical, electric or hydraulic) is only part of the feedback loop. Other variables include the road surface and the tires. If you drive on a slick concrete roadway in the rain, you likely notice the steering feels lighter than on dry asphalt.

My experience is that new tires (whether on a new car, or replacement tires on a car I've driven for years) take a while to feel "right". It may be that molding compound is cooking out of the treads, it may be that the tread blocks squirm more, and it may also be that the tire needs a while to take a "set" based upon your alignment settings. But whatever the reason, I know that new tires always feel better after a week of driving. So I agree that you sense more "feedback" after you have driven a new car or new tires for a while.

This leads to an important point. Let's assume Rich is right and the F10 steering does transmit all the information that traditional BMW steering does, only at a lower volume / amplitude. I would suspect that, human proprioception being somewhat limited, most drivers will have a more difficult time discerning SUBTLE messages being transmitted (wet vs. dry pavement being an example) if the steering is 'whispering" to them instead of "shouting" at them. This ties in with jimefam's musician-sitting-in-the-audience example.

Using an audiophile example, at lower listening levels, you are unlikely to appreciate the full dynamic range or the 3-dimensional nature of the soundstage. Bass sounds muddy, and highs are attenuated.

So it IS possible that the F10 steering DOES transmit all the data, but that SOME of us find it less satisfying. Is that a conclusion we can all live with (so we can get on with our lives?)

Thank you for the compliment. So, I'll return the compiment and say I think your analysis is excellent. But I think you underestimate the ability of the average person's nervous system to adapt to the different volume. I agree totally that "feedback" is not just felt by the tactile sensation, but also by sound and vision as well as g force sensation felt by the body and inner ear. Also, smell if your tires or brakes start to burn. LOL.

But the converse of the question then presents a different question. Do you want noisier tires and a higher interior sound level. When listening to music the purpose is to hear the sound, when driving a car I want quiet tires and a car in which I can conduct a conversation at 80mph in a normal tone of voice. When I listen to music I don't try to have a conversation at the same time. Also, to use the same metaphor, I want the car to be quiet so that I can hear the music better. I can hear the signal of the music better if I don't have to filter the noise of the car out.

One thing that I loved about my 650i was that is was so quiet, only around 63.5 db at 70 mph. For comparison the new 750i is around 65 db. The quietest car I have seen tested is the Lexus LS 460 at 62.5. The 6 is quieter than the 7 because the shape is more aerodynamic and there is much less wind noise. Also, on long trips driver and passenger fatigue is largely related to the ambient noise level.

So, I prefer that the signal level for the steering be correlated with the visual input from the eyes and the g forces felt by your body and whether or not these sensory inputs to your brain correlate well with the sensations transmitted to your brain through the tactile sensations in your hands.

What I have found with my car is that the more I drive it the more correlation I feel. The tires seem to provide adequate information, but don't have the cornering capacity of the Potenza's on my 6. That's why I may substitute Potenza's next Spring if I get the Dinan upgrade. Since I'm going to have dedicated winter tires I can use dedicated summer tires as well. But I realize that will result in a firmer ride and more road noise, but the Potenza's are pretty quiet and have a good ride when new.

sambb
10-18-2010, 03:35 PM
The center loss is something i have commonly felt on my brother in law's f10. On a drive on I-55 to chicago yesterday, the ability of the steering to be numb and lack feedback is truly incredible. i also noticed while driving over bumps that the play in the wheel was more than prior 5 series, but course correction is gradual rather than precise.
I can imagine there is a group who like this more casual and less connected feel, it is just way off and unanticipated based on Bmws history. I am glad they check out these forums, they could learn alot about how some people feel, and get real world verification of the rather spooky car and driver results. The nice thing for the back seat is the ride is comfortable, i bet owing to the larger size and weight, feels bigger than prior models, which is good for passengers, esp in a chauffered enviroment.

Of note, since the ix has a different steering system, i dont think it is really relevant to this thread. Maybe it is better than what the rest of us are experiencing.

richschneid
10-18-2010, 04:12 PM
The center loss is something i have commonly felt on my brother in law's f10. On a drive on I-55 to chicago yesterday, the ability of the steering to be numb and lack feedback is truly incredible. i also noticed while driving over bumps that the play in the wheel was more than prior 5 series, but course correction is gradual rather than precise.
I can imagine there is a group who like this more casual and less connected feel, it is just way off and unanticipated based on Bmws history. I am glad they check out these forums, they could learn alot about how some people feel, and get real world verification of the rather spooky car and driver results. The nice thing for the back seat is the ride is comfortable, i bet owing to the larger size and weight, feels bigger than prior models, which is good for passengers, esp in a chauffered enviroment.

Of note, since the ix has a different steering system, i dont think it is really relevant to this thread. Maybe it is better than what the rest of us are experiencing.

Actually, I don't find the steering on my xDrive to feel any different than what I remember about the steering in the RWD version I test drove. Of course that is not a fair comparison because I did not drive them back to back. But the steering on my car does correlate well with the description of the electrically assisted steering posted on this thread. So, I think it is only fair that before you make a statements about the difference that you actually drive one. It's usually a good idea not to make declarative statements about something that you have no real information about. What you are saying is pure conjecture so "i dont think it is really relevant to this thread. Maybe it is better than what the rest of us are experiencing". The operative word there is "maybe".

The actual steering mechanism is rack and pinion. The difference is the assist being either electric on the RWD and hydralic on the xDrive. Since the mechanism might be the same the feel may not be any different. It might be or it might not. One would have to drive both and decide, but of course that would also be a subjective assessment and different people could have different opinions about this.

sambb
10-18-2010, 05:31 PM
Someone wrote earlier that the ix has different steering than the i. No electrical assist. I have no idea if it is true or not, but it would be interesting to have some comparators.

markl53
10-18-2010, 05:39 PM
The center loss is something i have commonly felt on my brother in law's f10. On a drive on I-55 to chicago yesterday, the ability of the steering to be numb and lack feedback is truly incredible. i also noticed while driving over bumps that the play in the wheel was more than prior 5 series, but course correction is gradual rather than precise.


Really, your brother-in-law should have his F10 checked. There is absolutely no on-center steering play on my 535i. Just check this in the driveway with the engine running. I can turn my wheel the slightest amount (less than 1mm) and the front wheels are responding. Turn it the other direction, there is no play whatsoever as the wheels begin turning in the opposite direction. When you are driving on a highway at normal speeds I just can't imagine the feedback you feel you are losing. Most write-ups are talking about loss of feedback sensation at the performance limit.

The ride characteristics of the new F10 are so superior to other cars I have driven that I think people are confusing the overall smoothness of the drive with overall isolation and a lack of steering feedback. The cabin is very quiet, and when I say smooth, I don't mean that it does not handle bumps "properly". How they got the car to be so smooth and quiet and at the same time exhibit the BMW penchant for nimbleness and tightness for a car this size over bumps, even in my non-sport setup, is truly a feat, IMO.

1HOT BMR
10-18-2010, 06:38 PM
The ride characteristics of the new F10 are so superior to other cars I have driven that I think people are confusing the overall smoothness of the drive with overall isolation and a lack of steering feedback. The cabin is very quiet, and when I say smooth, I don't mean that it does not handle bumps "properly". How they got the car to be so smooth and quiet and at the same time exhibit the BMW penchant for nimbleness and tightness for a car this size over bumps, even in my non-sport setup, is truly a feat, IMO.

I completely agree with your assessment above. The ride is "so far superior to other cars" and yet they have kept the "nimbleness and tightness" that BMWs are known for - except IMO it is now better than ever.

richschneid
10-18-2010, 06:45 PM
Someone wrote earlier that the ix has different steering than the i. No electrical assist. I have no idea if it is true or not, but it would be interesting to have some comparators.

They both are rack and pinion steering. The assist on the RWD cars is electric, the assist on the xDrive car is hydralic. But that does not mean that they necessarily "feel" different.

bm323
10-18-2010, 06:46 PM
The center loss is something i have commonly felt on my brother in law's f10. On a drive on I-55 to chicago yesterday, the ability of the steering to be numb and lack feedback is truly incredible.

This is different from BMW's tech speak, reviews and my experience - the F10's steering stiffens in sport and even more so in sport+ modes when driven fast. It's either your brother's F10 does not have the toggle switch/dynamic drive control and/or adaptive drive. Even when driven slow, there is no play on my steering, just that the steering is lighter.

bm323
10-18-2010, 06:47 PM
Not the same. I'm saying that it's to easy to move the steering off center for my taste. It has nothing to do with being precise or turning when you move the wheel.
This I understand :)

bikerboy
10-18-2010, 07:40 PM
Picked up my 550ix Sport today. The steering is, without question, lighter. I've owned many BMW's over the years. I've been driving them, almost exclusively since 1974 when I owned a 2002 tii. Had a couple of Porsches, including a Turbo, an E55 Mercedes and more motorcycles than I can remember. I've driven at Mid Ohio, MIS, Watkins Glen, Grattan and other tracks. I think I'm a pretty good judge of how a car "feels." This is the lightest steering feel I have ever experienced, and I'm driving in Sport mode. I DO NOT like it. Say what you will, if you are an experienced BMW driver, this one will feel different, and to me, not in a good way.

Besides that, the ix rides too high. I got out of my 08 550i Sport and into this car, and was astounded that it felt so much higher. For me, that is another serious issue. I'll fix it with new springs. Simply can't drive it that high. Now, off with the RFT and putting some "driving rubber" on this thing.

Really not sure if I'd get this car again after driving it today. I'm sure it'll improve when lowered to an acceptable height and good tires are put on. Not sure what can be done about that steering. I am disappointed in BMW. This is the "Sport" model. I shouldn't have to put on all these extras to make it drive like one!

pharding
10-18-2010, 08:06 PM
The problem that I have is that I don't understand why one has to buy after market add-ons for an expensive BMW with the sport options. And then if I do buy sport springs or upgrade the suspension software this has the potential to void the BMW warranty. The F10 is a fine luxury sedan. Historically the 5ers have been fine SPORTS SEDANS. I don't understand why BMW dumbed down the sport aspect of the F10. However this is consistent with the F10 Sport Package which is aesthetic only with no real Sport components in it. BMW has lost its way with the F10.

nealh
10-18-2010, 08:08 PM
First of all I am not a "great" physicist. Please don't sink to the level of name calling here, it's unbecoming and invalidates your arguments. Thank you.

I just taught physics as a young man at a major uninversity. I understand that "feedback" is a tactile sensation. That is why it is subjective and I don't think it can be measured at the present time as you so aptly point out. You describe exactly the reason why it is so difficult to measure. You have to separate the signal from noise. But that requires that you can actually measure the signal so that you can validate the accuracy of your equipment. So, how do you propose to measure the signal given by the car, you only want to measure it through the steering wheel, which by definition is a mixture of both the signal and the noise. And since you can't measure the initial signal you have no way of determining how much of the information measured at the steering wheel is actual signal and how much is noise. Then it just comes down to the subjective perception of the person whose hands are transmitting information to the brain. It is then the brain that makes the final differentiation of signal and noise. This is the defintion of subjective.

What I have found in the steering on my car is that the signal comes through just fine once you get used to it. Your sense of tactile sensation adjusts to the lower level of the signal coming through. What is markedly diminished is the "noise" and the background effort.

So, you are absolutely correct. One must differentiate the signal from the noise and that is what our nervous system can do given the time to adjust. It is precisely what I am experiencing every day the my car. The more I drive it the more "feedback" it seems to have. This is not measurable objectively at the present time, but I can feel it every day. The information is there it just isn't as loud and one's nervous system adjusts to the point that the information is perceived. This is exactly what I was trying to say last month. I'm glad you agree with me. I was accused of thinking that I had more sensitive hands, but in reality everyone's nervous system will adapt in exactly the way you describe. Of course, the degree of adaptation and accurate perception of the signal will vary from individual to individual because all human beings are unique organisms, even identical twins.
I have read many comments on the steering issue and I am dismayed at BMW's approach here. I own a 2003 530i and lease a 2008 650i.

I am no expert on handling and never tracked my cars, but I love the tight feel and road response for these cars. I'm 45 and clearly do not want jarring kidney killing ride but I want the BMW feel and sense.

How do you descrbe, I have no idea but I just know it. I have yet to drive a F10 but I am concerned BMW is moving to far away from their tradition.

The idea that you have to add IAS, DHP etc to ge the right feel is absurd. I only hope I am not disappointed with the new 5er.

I really feel the 3 series misses too many nice options(ie HUD, ventilated seats).

I do not know wherre to go if the F10 is not as expected. I hate to leave BMW.

FWIW on the steering "feel", my wife knows it and loves our e39 as a result. She just feels it handles right.

I am the prototypical buyer BMW wants. I would be on my 3rd BMW and never before bought same brand from age 26 to 38.
They need people like me to stay loyal. I hope I am not disappointed.

kocsis
10-18-2010, 08:08 PM
We can argue about "numbness" and "lightness" of the steering, and about advanced technology, but the reality is that many people who are experienced drivers of BMWs find the new F10 problematic. Unless BMW fixes this, its core supporters will abandon it and BMW's unique niche as the performance German auto manufacturer will disappear.

markl53
10-18-2010, 08:29 PM
I am the prototypical buyer BMW wants. I would be on my 3rd BMW and never before bought same brand from age 26 to 38.
They need people like me to stay loyal. I hope I am not disappointed.

We all agree, I think, that when you first drive an F10 you will notice a difference in the steering, especially at low speeds. It's easier to turn, that's the main difference. I just sold my '08 335i, my second 3-series. For me, that 335i steering was not all that heavy, though I will say somewhat heavier than my new 535i, again mostly at low speeds. It did not exhibit what some people describe here as a very strong pull of the wheel back to center.

After reading all the "hype", if you get in an F10 and expect the worst, you'll no doubt find it. Coming from a 3, the 5 is a much larger car and has a ride much "nicer" than my previous 3's. You're coming from a 5 and a newer 6, so I'm thinking the ride of your 650 is probably closer to the F10. IMO, when I'm driving at moderate and faster speeds (50+ or so), the steering tightens nicely, even on my non-sport, non-DHP 535i. It doesn't feel that much different than my 335i did. There is some highway construction on my drive to work and several areas where the road has been re-routed around where the highway was. I'm taking these bends at 65+ in my 535i and to me, it feels as good or better than my 335i in the same circumstance. No float, no lean, just taut control as I'm used to after driving BMW's for (only) 6 years.

Do yourself a favor and drive an F10 and try to forget all the negative (and positive) reviews of other people and just try to feel and judge it for yourself.

solstice
10-18-2010, 09:24 PM
"The problem that I have is that I don't understand why one has to buy after market add-ons for an expensive BMW with the sport options."
This is the core of the problem. I don't care if the base model handles like the cop cars in the intro to Hill Street Blues as long as the Sport Package makes it a bmw sports sedan. I'm used to getting a sports steering wheel, a sport suspension, a sports seat and sporty steering when I select the sport package. With the F10 we got none of that, is it a wonder that the sports enthusiast feels disappointed and abandoned by bmw? And kocsis are right, loyalty needs to go both ways. When the vendor abandons the client the client will not stick around.

bm323
10-18-2010, 09:35 PM
I don't understand this fuss about the label placed on the options. There are adaptive drive, M-sport (is this what it's called in the States?) and M-sport suspension options. Will it make a difference if BMW had labelled the sport option as the "look good" option. Know the options and tick the correct ones.

solstice
10-18-2010, 09:54 PM
I don't understand this fuss about the label placed on the options. There are adaptive drive, M-sport (is this what it's called in the States?) and M-sport suspension options. Will it make a difference if BMW had labelled the sport option as the "look good" option. Know the options and tick the correct ones.

No. I ticked all of the available sports options including dhp. No difference, still no sporty steering, no sporty steering wheel, suspension or seat. ars is about the only thing that can be called sporty imo. It does a decent job in reducing body roll. And yeah the M-sport steering wheel is reported to be a bit better.

In short bmw does not offer options to make the F10 the sports sedan the funfer used to be. That's why some are now looking for after market parts to a brand new $70k car from bmw. It's sad.

jimefam
10-19-2010, 12:22 AM
I don't understand this fuss about the label placed on the options. There are adaptive drive, M-sport (is this what it's called in the States?) and M-sport suspension options. Will it make a difference if BMW had labelled the sport option as the "look good" option. Know the options and tick the correct ones.

The msport suspension that you are referring to is not available in the US. Our msport package is purely cosmetic just like the sport package. The MSRP on mine is 78,600 and yet I anticipate spending at least $3k more just to get it closer to what I want. Your right that is ridiculous.

enigma
10-19-2010, 12:48 AM
Some customers are better for BMW business than others. I and my company have bought/leased 6 BMW's in the last 10 years. BMW values my business.

I certainly hope so. While not as high as your number, I did my part and purchased 4 BMWs in the span of a decade, but I don't think they are listening to me. I certainly didn't ask for bloated cars with insufficient feel riding on RFTs.



Enigma.. perceptive back to back comments here... do you think that BMW is getting back to roots of a sort and putting most of their enthusiast efforts into the M models? I know people are going to say you don't need an M to get a level of performance expected from BMW, but I think you may have hit upon their changed business model.


I believe there has been a fundamental shift in the philosophy by which BMW operates. Instead of driving engineering excellence and catering to the enthusiast community, what we are seeing is a company hell-bent on increasing market share by increasing ever-expanding product lines (e.g. how many SUV models does BMW need?), making compromises wherever they can (e.g. FWD entry models) and chasing after the mass-market appeals (e.g. softer and bloated rides).

Even the "M" models are changing unfortunately, as some are now claiming the "M" stands for Marketing, not Motorsport.

Despite all this, BMW still makes the best sport sedans known to mankind, and I continue to buy BMWs as long as I find what I like in their product portfolio.


Someone wrote earlier that the ix has different steering than the i. No electrical assist. I have no idea if it is true or not, but it would be interesting to have some comparators.

The xDrive models have the hydraulic setup instead of the electrical found in the sDrive (i.e. WRD) models. It would be interesting to see how much difference this makes (probably noticeable difference if I were a betting man).


I don't understand this fuss about the label placed on the options. There are adaptive drive, M-sport (is this what it's called in the States?) and M-sport suspension options. Will it make a difference if BMW had labelled the sport option as the "look good" option. Know the options and tick the correct ones.

Yeah, that's assuming we get the M-Suspension in the US. BMWNA, in its infinite wisdom, decided that the fat, ugly, stupid Americans are too dumb to tell the difference. In fact, most of the options are "look good" variants unfortunately.

sambb
10-19-2010, 05:55 AM
It will be very interesting to see if the M models and the new 3 series follow the 5 in being watered down... then the die will be cast... i still have hope that BMW will consider this a mistake and back track. Magazines like car and driver, etc. are taken seriously by them I would hope. Lets see. After all, they certainly have changed the idrive after being criticized a lot. So maybe there is hope. Maybe a lesson in "dont buy the first model year"

sambb
10-19-2010, 06:31 AM
:thumbup:We can argue about "numbness" and "lightness" of the steering, and about advanced technology, but the reality is that many people who are experienced drivers of BMWs find the new F10 problematic. Unless BMW fixes this, its core supporters will abandon it and BMW's unique niche as the performance German auto manufacturer will disappear.

I think this is a concise, well written, overall impression of the issue. Very well said.

richschneid
10-19-2010, 07:16 AM
I have read many comments on the steering issue and I am dismayed at BMW's approach here. I own a 2003 530i and lease a 2008 650i.

I am no expert on handling and never tracked my cars, but I love the tight feel and road response for these cars. I'm 45 and clearly do not want jarring kidney killing ride but I want the BMW feel and sense.

How do you descrbe, I have no idea but I just know it. I have yet to drive a F10 but I am concerned BMW is moving to far away from their tradition.

The idea that you have to add IAS, DHP etc to ge the right feel is absurd. I only hope I am not disappointed with the new 5er.

I really feel the 3 series misses too many nice options(ie HUD, ventilated seats).

I do not know wherre to go if the F10 is not as expected. I hate to leave BMW.

FWIW on the steering "feel", my wife knows it and loves our e39 as a result. She just feels it handles right.

I am the prototypical buyer BMW wants. I would be on my 3rd BMW and never before bought same brand from age 26 to 38.
They need people like me to stay loyal. I hope I am not disappointed.

Neal, I have had five consecutive BMWs since 1992. 740i, 540i, E39 M5, 650i, 550ix. Each one has been superior to the last. The F10 feels different but it is a far better car in the overall. I think you should avoid any quick judgements and drive it for a month or so before you decide if you like it. It will take some time to adjust to the different sensations, but I think they will grow on you as your nervous sysem adjusts to the different feel. I have had my car for two weeks and it's already starting to feel different and better.

The only thing that may make a difference is the standard tires are grand touring tires and not maximum performance tires like the Potenzas on our 650s. I may switch the Goodyears to the Potenzas next spring.

Of course, when I test drove the 550i RWD car in July I drove it hard and fast on twisty back roads with the standard tires. But even despite the grand touring tires, when I got out I said to myself this car is absolutely amazing. It makes my 650i seem like an old Ford Model A. The xDrive version is even better. This is a totally different car than my 540i or M5. It feels very different but it is better in every single way. I can't believe anyone could make a car like this for only $85,000 list. It's almost like science fiction becoming real.

bikerboy
10-19-2010, 08:18 AM
I don't want to have to "adjust" to the steering feel of my BMW "Sport". I didn't have to "adjust" to the steering of my Porsche's or my previous BMW's. It should "feel" right "out of the box." It doesn't.

AND.....if I wanted a car that "feels" as high as my wife's Volvo XC 70, I'd have leased an X5. This 550ix Sport is TOO HIGH!! Period. Trust me, I got out of my 08 550i Sport and in to this one and was extremely surprised. I said to my saleman, "what the heck is with the height of this thing?"

When I drove the first 2011 550i that the dealer got in, I commented to my salesman,
"I like mine way better." He said "that's because you have the Sport with all of the suspension tweeks." When you drive the new Sport you'll see the difference. I don't. I am not a happy camper. Anyone who calls this "The Ultimate Driving Machine" has never driven a well set up car. The 08 was well set up. This just isn't.

It's as simple as this, if they can't figure out a way to fix the way this car feels, I'm driving my last BMW. I've been a customer since 1974. I hope someone at BMW is listening.

markl53
10-19-2010, 08:52 AM
I don't want to have to "adjust" to the steering feel of my BMW "Sport". I didn't have to "adjust" to the steering of my Porsche's or my previous BMW's. It should "feel" right "out of the box." It doesn't.

AND.....if I wanted a car that "feels" as high as my wife's Volvo XC 70, I'd have leased an X5. This 550ix Sport is TOO HIGH!! Period. Trust me, I got out of my 08 550i Sport and in to this one and was extremely surprised. I said to my saleman, "what the heck is with the height of this thing?"

When I drove the first 2011 550i that the dealer got in, I commented to my salesman,
"I like mine way better." He said "that's because you have the Sport with all of the suspension tweeks." When you drive the new Sport you'll see the difference. I don't. I am not a happy camper. Anyone who calls this "The Ultimate Driving Machine" has never driven a well set up car. The 08 was well set up. This just isn't.

It's as simple as this, if they can't figure out a way to fix the way this car feels, I'm driving my last BMW. I've been a customer since 1974. I hope someone at BMW is listening.

So if you had waited to test drive a similar car to the one you just leased, 550 (or even 535) ix/sport, you would have chosen a different car I suppose. Also, I doubt the steering in all your BMW's felt exactly the same, car to car. There's usually a short adjustment period when moving into any new car.

nealh
10-19-2010, 09:48 AM
We all agree, I think, that when you first drive an F10 you will notice a difference in the steering, especially at low speeds. It's easier to turn, that's the main difference. I just sold my '08 335i, my second 3-series. For me, that 335i steering was not all that heavy, though I will say somewhat heavier than my new 535i, again mostly at low speeds. It did not exhibit what some people describe here as a very strong pull of the wheel back to center.

After reading all the "hype", if you get in an F10 and expect the worst, you'll no doubt find it. Coming from a 3, the 5 is a much larger car and has a ride much "nicer" than my previous 3's. You're coming from a 5 and a newer 6, so I'm thinking the ride of your 650 is probably closer to the F10. IMO, when I'm driving at moderate and faster speeds (50+ or so), the steering tightens nicely, even on my non-sport, non-DHP 535i. It doesn't feel that much different than my 335i did. There is some highway construction on my drive to work and several areas where the road has been re-routed around where the highway was. I'm taking these bends at 65+ in my 535i and to me, it feels as good or better than my 335i in the same circumstance. No float, no lean, just taut control as I'm used to after driving BMW's for (only) 6 years.

Do yourself a favor and drive an F10 and try to forget all the negative (and positive) reviews of other people and just try to feel and judge it for yourself.
I have a very open mind and glad to here it is easier to turn at low speeds and tightens at higher speeds.

bm323
10-19-2010, 10:00 AM
We can argue about "numbness" and "lightness" of the steering, and about advanced technology, but the reality is that many people who are experienced drivers of BMWs find the new F10 problematic. Unless BMW fixes this, its core supporters will abandon it and BMW's unique niche as the performance German auto manufacturer will disappear.

Many people who are experienced drivers of BMWs don't find the F10 problematic, and have proceeded to buy it.

For you guys who are saying that the F10 isn't sporty enough, do you all drive the F10 on a track? If not, what sort of roads you all travel on when you don't find the F10 sporty, how many lanes, distance on these roads, speed limit is on these roads?

solstice
10-19-2010, 10:49 AM
Many people who are experienced drivers of BMWs don't find the F10 problematic, and have proceeded to buy it.

For you guys who are saying that the F10 isn't sporty enough, do you all drive the F10 on a track? If not, what sort of roads you all travel on when you don't find the F10 sporty, how many lanes, distance on these roads, speed limit is on these roads?

How about autobahn ( no speed limit ) and backroads in the alps regarded as some of the finest enthusiast roads in the world for several hours a day and for +2000 miles? I really don't see how it matters though. The main problems we are tallking about are obvious immediately for anyone who is sensitive to them and it doesn't change to the better depending on how far or how fast or for how long you drive, it actually gets more frustrating and irritating as the miles and time passes.

richschneid
10-19-2010, 10:53 AM
I don't want to have to "adjust" to the steering feel of my BMW "Sport". I didn't have to "adjust" to the steering of my Porsche's or my previous BMW's. It should "feel" right "out of the box." It doesn't.

AND.....if I wanted a car that "feels" as high as my wife's Volvo XC 70, I'd have leased an X5. This 550ix Sport is TOO HIGH!! Period. Trust me, I got out of my 08 550i Sport and in to this one and was extremely surprised. I said to my saleman, "what the heck is with the height of this thing?"

When I drove the first 2011 550i that the dealer got in, I commented to my salesman,
"I like mine way better." He said "that's because you have the Sport with all of the suspension tweeks." When you drive the new Sport you'll see the difference. I don't. I am not a happy camper. Anyone who calls this "The Ultimate Driving Machine" has never driven a well set up car. The 08 was well set up. This just isn't.

It's as simple as this, if they can't figure out a way to fix the way this car feels, I'm driving my last BMW. I've been a customer since 1974. I hope someone at BMW is listening.

The new 3 series coming out in a couple of years may be just your cup of tea. So, don't abandon BMW just yet.

bm323
10-19-2010, 11:06 AM
How about autobahn ( no speed limit ) and backroads in the alps regarded as some of the finest enthusiast roads in the world for several hours a day and for +2000 miles? I really don't see how it matters though. The main problems we are tallking about are obvious immediately for anyone who is sensitive to them and it doesn't change to the better depending on how far or how fast or for how long you drive, it actually gets more frustrating and irritating as the miles and time passes.

Imo, sure makes a big difference. If my roads are autobahn material or I track my car, I'll buy a M3 or M5 for the sportiness, if I don''t need the space and if I can afford it. If it's mostly city driving and expressways are limited to say 70 mph, I would not buy a M3 or M5 even if I can afford it, and how sporty the car is supposed to be at 90 mph? :) I can understand if one is comparing the drive of say 2 distinctive makes, but the above is comparing the E60 to the F10 at up to 90 mph? I'm sure there is a difference between the E60 and the F10. But taking into account the handling of the E90 and E46, I would disagree that the F10 is not sporty with adaptive drive in sport + mode or with M-sport suspension. Maybe we would have to agree to disagree :)

Do you find the E60 more sporty/handles better than the E90?

solstice
10-19-2010, 11:22 AM
"Do you find the E60 more sporty/handles better than the E90?"
I don't have enough miles in an E90 to split them. Both have a sporty feel and the E90 felt a bit more agile around town where I've driven it as a loaner but out on the mountain highways around here I guess I would have given my E60 the nod due to it's wider stance, wider rubber and what felt like a more sophisticated suspension. And with the adjustable seat side bolsters set to a firm hug it was a hard to beat combination in this segment.

sambb
10-19-2010, 06:44 PM
Did you see the consumer reports review? Even they aren't impressed by the drive... see the review... WOW.. Maybe a Wake up Call for BMW!

markl53
10-19-2010, 08:39 PM
Did you see the consumer reports review? Even they aren't impressed by the drive... see the review... WOW.. Maybe a Wake up Call for BMW!

LOL, of all the mags out there, CR is the last I would use as a standard.

sygazelle
10-19-2010, 11:49 PM
LOL, of all the mags out there, CR is the last I would use as a standard.

LOL, let's shoot the messenger again.

Bottom line: BMW has produced a car that many sources find lacking in steering feel.

Who would have thought that car magazines or BMW enthusiasts would have ever said or written negative things about the iconic BMW and its legendary steering and suspension. CR is just one of many how has heaped un-praise on the F10. For some many sources to criticize BMW is unthinkable.

After two test drives, I find the F10 to be a very nice, expensive appliance. It is not a soul-inspiring sports sedan line the 5ers that came before. The point is BMW should not ignore this feedback. If I had not invested 25 years of my life driving and owning BMW's exclusively, I would not give a **** what BMW does. Now I am forced to look at other brands for the first time in a quarter century.

As a business model, I guess I understand what BMW is doing in target a broader audience. They should also understand that they will lose a few customers along the way. Why can't they build an enthusiast model ALSO as simply a different line.

As loyal as I have been to the brand, I will wait for the M5 and the new 3 before I bail. I hope BMW thinks it though. The good news is there are other great sedan choices if they don't listen or care about the loyal enthusiasts any longer.

bm323
10-20-2010, 12:44 AM
LOL, let's shoot the messenger again.

LOL?? Shooting the messenger?? Have you read below in this thread??

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5540357&postcount=80

And this? http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5557988&postcount=11

sygazelle
10-20-2010, 01:10 AM
LOL?? Shooting the messenger?? Have you read below in this thread??

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5540357&postcount=80

And this? http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5557988&postcount=11


Yes, I read it and I looked at the video.

Not that it matters, but I test drove the F10 before I read any of the negative comments. In fact, I was so surprised with how poor the F10 felt, that I checked out the reviews to see if I was dreaming. In fact, the review echoed, including CR, echoed my personal impression of the car. This has nothing to do with not embracing new technology. It has to do with the way the car feels when you drive it.

I'm don't personally care if the F10 with its unfeeling, numb setup is faster on the track. I want a car that is fun to drive.

The thread you referenced points out that new technology takes time for some people to embrace and they the manual transmission as an example of old technology. BMW, so far, has not quit selling cars with manual transmissions. BMW knows that there is a market for customers who insist on a stick shift. Likewise, they should know that there is a market for cars that feel like BMWs and not any other appliance driving down the road.

bm323
10-20-2010, 02:41 AM
Yes, I read it and I looked at the video.

Not that it matters, but I test drove the F10 before I read any of the negative comments. In fact, I was so surprised with how poor the F10 felt, that I checked out the reviews to see if I was dreaming. In fact, the review echoed, including CR, echoed my personal impression of the car. This has nothing to do with not embracing new technology. It has to do with the way the car feels when you drive it.

I'm don't personally care if the F10 with its unfeeling, numb setup is faster on the track. I want a car that is fun to drive.

The thread you referenced points out that new technology takes time for some people to embrace and they the manual transmission as an example of old technology. BMW, so far, has not quit selling cars with manual transmissions. BMW knows that there is a market for customers who insist on a stick shift. Likewise, they should know that there is a market for cars that feel like BMWs and not any other appliance driving down the road.
That's not my point which is that CR is just joining the herd, following others who say that the steering is numb-on-center but this CR guy doesn't know it's meaning. It's like trying to show that he's as good as those who "criticize" the F10. If there are a few who can "detect a shortcoming" but CR can't, it would suggest that CR is not a good a reviewer as these few. Eg if a critic say a wine is not complex, finish is short or the middle palate is hollow, I would appear not a sharp a sommelier as the former critic if I say this wine is a good first growth. In short, it's "safer" to criticize to show one's "superiority".

pharding
10-20-2010, 03:56 AM
There seems to be many auto journalists that are saying that the F10 is coming up short in terms traditional BMW SPORTS SEDAN characteristics. Many BMW Enthusiasts are saying that the F10 is a fine luxury car, however as a SPORTS SEDAN the F10 is disappointing. What BMW has done is to give the F10 a major personality change, morphing the F10 into a LUXURY SEDAN with hints of sportiness. Hopefully BMW will recognize that they are too conservative with the F10. The design has been dumbed down and the sport performance of the car has been dumbed down at the same time. The F10 is over reliant on electronics to replace mechanical components that were extremely effective, if not some of the best in the automotive industry. For me the 5 Series is on life support. Audi, Porsche, and with AMG Mercedes, all offer competing products that have more of a SPORTS orientation. Hopefully the elderly board of directors at BMW will wake up and modify the F10 to fix the the LACK OF SPORT COMPONENTS in the F10 before it is too late.

sygazelle
10-20-2010, 08:45 AM
That's not my point which is that CR is just joining the herd, following others who say that the steering is numb-on-center but this CR guy doesn't know it's meaning. It's like trying to show that he's as good as those who "criticize" the F10. If there are a few who can "detect a shortcoming" but CR can't, it would suggest that CR is not a good a reviewer as these few. Eg if a critic say a wine is not complex, finish is short or the middle palate is hollow, I would appear not a sharp a sommelier as the former critic if I say this wine is a good first growth. In short, it's "safer" to criticize to show one's "superiority".

You're right. I did miss your point. Sorry.

The poor CR guy can't quantify the F10's shortcomings. Whether he is part of the herd or really feels that the F10 is lacking, who knows.

I don't know what numb-on-center means. I do know that driving the F10 does not feel sporty at all with no accurate measure other than the seat of my pants and the lack of a grin.

Since the beginning, BMW has differentiated itself by having a sporty road feel and suspension that no other car manufacturer could match. Every year, some car company's marketing people would come out saying they had a BMW beater. Of course, they never did. BMW has chosen to eliminate that differentiation. I don't get it.

Funny thing. Some are comparing the F10 to a '90s GM car. A little harsh maybe. Interestingly, a GM car, the CTS, is getting praise for its sportiness and handling. Is a changing of the guard in the works here?

sygazelle
10-20-2010, 08:47 AM
There seems to be many auto journalists that are saying that the F10 is coming up short in terms traditional BMW SPORTS SEDAN characteristics. Many BMW Enthusiasts are saying that the F10 is a fine luxury car, however as a SPORTS SEDAN the F10 is disappointing. What BMW has done is to give the F10 a major personality change, morphing the F10 into a LUXURY SEDAN with hints of sportiness. Hopefully BMW will recognize that they are too conservative with the F10. The design has been dumbed down and the sport performance of the car has been dumbed down at the same time. The F10 is over reliant on electronics to replace mechanical components that were extremely effective, if not some of the best in the automotive industry. For me the 5 Series is on life support. Audi, Porsche, and with AMG Mercedes, all offer competing products that have more of a SPORTS orientation. Hopefully the elderly board of directors at BMW will wake up and modify the F10 to fix the the LACK OF SPORT COMPONENTS in the F10 before it is too late.

BMW, are you listening? Hello....Hello....anybody home?

kocsis
10-20-2010, 08:52 AM
It's hard for a single company to maintain its direction. When it gets successful, it gets fat and happy....complacent...It takes its core customer base and offering experience for granted, and tries to expand its market by going after new type of customers. Then other companies pick up the lead and offer a better product. Who knows, maybe the next Audi A6/S6 will capture the sport enthusiast market....Its S4 and S5 are certainly very responsive, grin-producing cars.

gregb10
10-20-2010, 09:21 AM
This thread has sparked a lot of controversy. I owned a 2006 530 xi and currently a 2008 535xi. My car is coming of lease and I was considering the F10. I test drove it three times. Im not a professional driver nor do I bring the car to its limits.

My unprofessional opinion is that the car does feel very different from my current E60. I don't know the proper term for the steering but it does feel lighter and the car feels considerably bigger. The E60 does feel more sporty and more maneuverable. Even if its not actually true, its my perception. I decided to keep my car. Im not putting down the F10, I just didn't feel the need to upgrade at this time. The fit and finish of the F10 are top notch and it is a gorgeous looking car. The interior is amazing and the electronics more nicely updated. If I felt my current car was lacking, I would upgrade. Im just very happy with it and decided to keep driving it for a few more years. Every time I drive it, I love it, I love the way the transmission shifts when in sports mode and how the car handles. Even though its only 17 inch tires, the car handles great. It sticks on turns and has great acceleration. In fact, I think its a little quicker to 60 than the F10.

There is no question that the new F10 is more 7-like. Im not sure if thats a bad thing or not. But it is for sure much different

I don't thinks its a bad idea to wait for a year or to when a new model is first introduced.

I wont keep my E60 forever of course, so maybe in two years or so, Ill go for the F10.

I dont criticize anyone who likes the car and im sure if I did get it, I would love it after getting used to it.

However, for now, Im sticking with my E60.

bm323
10-20-2010, 11:37 AM
BMW, are you listening? Hello....Hello....anybody home?
++1 I look forward to seeing BMW responding to all these complaints. If they do make any software upgrade, even better for me :)

joshbw
10-20-2010, 12:53 PM
Is this entire complaint thread about the X drive models or are people experiencing similar experiences with the 550I (rwd version)???

sygazelle
10-20-2010, 02:53 PM
++1 I look forward to seeing BMW responding to all these complaints. If they do make any software upgrade, even better for me :)

BMW must be lurking on Bimmerfest, no? It would be great if they would take in all of this consumer input and 1) Make changes to the current F10 or at least offer a sport line (not just a High Horsepower M5 version but a sport version with a variety of engine choices (my preference) or 2) man up and explain to decades-long loyal customers why they changed course with "our" precious 5 series.

So, BMW, here's the challenge... Acknowledge the criticism and make some type of a statement. Prediction: Never going to happen.

chrischeung
10-20-2010, 03:22 PM
I'm yet to be convinced that it makes financial sense for BMWNA to make any changes, as long as sales and market share meet expectations.

Selling the sport suspension negates the ability to package the Dynamic Handling System (further profit), complicates inventory management, may cause confusion to potential purchasers, and may cannibalize some M5 sales. Financially, it may make sense for them to keep the current offerings - or even have a "stripped out" M5.

If there was a business case for this, the question is why hasn't BMWNA done it? It's not like some of the parts aren't in the catalog.

solstice
10-20-2010, 03:29 PM
You know what always makes business sense? Satisfied customers.

chrischeung
10-20-2010, 03:45 PM
You know what always makes business sense? Satisfied customers.

I agree. So in the end this will resolve itself. I'm sure all new buyers will be surveyed to death by Maritz, J.D. Power et al, and those results will end up at BMWNA.

If marketing and sales results bear out changes to the model options and mix, then I'm sure it'll happen. But if any changes would have little overall impact, you can't be all things to everyone, I'll bet that we'll see more of the same.

joshbw
10-20-2010, 03:47 PM
HA! I am sure BMW is monitoring bimmerfest on a real time basis! You think they are gonna change the steering because someone with 11 posts on bimmerfest says it sucks? Come on guys stop hoping BMW is listening they aren't, not here anyway. It isn't even concrete that anyone here has first hand knowledge of the steering in the two cars. This thread would be much more informative if the guys who have actually taken delivery of there cars continued to update it as opposed to everyone who is waiting for there car or might have test drove it once or twice or jumping on the bandwagon. Guys if you want BMWNA to hear about the steering issue then simply don't take delivery of your F-10 and tell your CA the steering blows and I no longer want it. That's how BMWNA will get the message not from complaining on bimmerfest about a steering issue that I think few have had the proper time to experience. Just my .02

P.S. Companies don't read message boards the read sales reports!

P.P.S. Does anyone give a crap what Consumer Reports says about a BMW 5 series? This is the same company that has an opinion on my hair drier!

solstice
10-20-2010, 04:03 PM
The F10 can't be everything to everyone but it's not to much to ask for to expect it to be a bmw.

gregb10
10-20-2010, 04:04 PM
To be fair, the steering does feel diferent than the previous series, and that steering was different than the series before that.

I did drive it and there is some truth to the lightness of the feel at slow speed. Does that make it so bad? Absolutely not. BMW will certainly not make any changes from anytihng written here. When the 04 was introduced, everyone hated it, than a few years into, people loved it. This is something new, different, people inherinty dont like change.

Watch a model or two from now,,, the reviews will change.

solstice
10-20-2010, 04:07 PM
I love change when it's for the better. That argument is what your boss conveys to make everyone feel bad about complaining about the cost cuttings. You don't embrace change, give me a break.

sambb
10-20-2010, 05:09 PM
BMW may respond, but they still havent done anything over the HPFP issue, let alone acknowledge it head-on... so we can hope, but it may not help

chrischeung
10-20-2010, 05:29 PM
Isn't the extension of the warranty on HPFPs a direct acknowledgement of the HPFP issue?

I doubt you'll ever get any corporationi to directly admit to any error - more likely any change will be crafted as an "improvement".

sygazelle
10-20-2010, 06:32 PM
HA! I am sure BMW is monitoring bimmerfest on a real time basis! You think they are gonna change the steering because someone with 11 posts on bimmerfest says it sucks? Come on guys stop hoping BMW is listening they aren't, not here anyway. It isn't even concrete that anyone here has first hand knowledge of the steering in the two cars. This thread would be much more informative if the guys who have actually taken delivery of there cars continued to update it as opposed to everyone who is waiting for there car or might have test drove it once or twice or jumping on the bandwagon. Guys if you want BMWNA to hear about the steering issue then simply don't take delivery of your F-10 and tell your CA the steering blows and I no longer want it. That's how BMWNA will get the message not from complaining on bimmerfest about a steering issue that I think few have had the proper time to experience. Just my .02

P.S. Companies don't read message boards the read sales reports!

P.P.S. Does anyone give a crap what Consumer Reports says about a BMW 5 series? This is the same company that has an opinion on my hair drier!

Believe it or not, Josh, I agree with you, at least partially. First, BMW should not react to ranters like me who can't believe that BMW would purposely abandon their clear advantage is suspension for my sake. After all, I am only one customer. What is 80 or $90k in sales compared to the upside of attracting a bunch of new 3 year lessees who are looking for a nice smooth ride.

The part I don't agree is when you say BMW should listen more buyers who don't take deliver. It's all about sales. I test drove the F10 with full intention of buying one. I hated the experience. I test drove it again to make sure, and I hated it again. The bottom line. No sale. Same as someone who orders and does not take deliver.

If sales figures for the F10 meet or exceed BMW's expectations, who cares about what the loyal enthusiasts think!

Regarding your remark about the proper time to experience the the steering problem: It does not take more than 10 minutes to learn that this is not the car for me. I'm not going to plunk down $80k to hope that the F10 grows on me. If BMW doesn't listen to this "noise", too bad. There are other choices.

Time will tell. BMW may be making the most brilliant strategic move ever. Who has the business balls to thumb their nose at their loyal customer base to attract a new market? If the numbers are there, it was the right choice.

markl53
10-20-2010, 07:26 PM
The part I don't agree is when you say BMW should listen more buyers who don't take deliver. It's all about sales. I test drove the F10 with full intention of buying one. I hated the experience. I test drove it again to make sure, and I hated it again. The bottom line. No sale. Same as someone who orders and does not take deliver.


Your 540i is an E39, right? Had you driven an E60 previously and what did you think of that compared with the 540i? I'm guessing you may not have liked that either since you've held on to the E39?

jsf1993
10-20-2010, 07:38 PM
There seems to be many auto journalists that are saying that the F10 is coming up short in terms traditional BMW SPORTS SEDAN characteristics. Many BMW Enthusiasts are saying that the F10 is a fine luxury car, however as a SPORTS SEDAN the F10 is disappointing. What BMW has done is to give the F10 a major personality change, morphing the F10 into a LUXURY SEDAN with hints of sportiness. Hopefully BMW will recognize that they are too conservative with the F10. The design has been dumbed down and the sport performance of the car has been dumbed down at the same time. The F10 is over reliant on electronics to replace mechanical components that were extremely effective, if not some of the best in the automotive industry. For me the 5 Series is on life support. Audi, Porsche, and with AMG Mercedes, all offer competing products that have more of a SPORTS orientation. Hopefully the elderly board of directors at BMW will wake up and modify the F10 to fix the the LACK OF SPORT COMPONENTS in the F10 before it is too late.

Honestly, don't you think that you're being a bit too harsh here? Of the cars you mention, only 1 is in the same price range as the BMW 5 series (the Audi A6 is actually a bit less expensive). The new Porsche 4 door is priced significantly higher (stripped, it starts around $80,000) and the AMG's base price is $87,600. I'm guessing that you didn't intend to compare the F10 to the new A8 as that car competes against the BMW 7 series. I can't imagine that anyone who has driven both the A6 and F10 would dare compare the 2 from an overall driving experience perspective. At least, that's my opinion after test driving them. And, I certainly wouldn't favor an E series from MB or an M series from Infinity over the F10. (I've test driven both, as well. Granted, the Infinity is a very good car, especially for the price. It's fun to drive, but the suspension transmits too much road "noise" and the car is not nearly as refined as the F10. The MB is not much fun to drive at all.)

I've noted in other posts that the F10 doesn't feel as sporty as the 08 5 series that I presently have. But, to suggest that it doesn't feel sporty (at least when ordered with the dynamic handling, sports and sports transmission options) is, in my opinion, unfair. Since my new F10 (535xi) retains hydraulic steering, I'm of the opinion that the change in "feel" stems from the switch to the new multi-link front suspension from the older MacPherson strut design that the 5 series had from inception (if I'm not mistaken). Most engineers believe that the multi-link wishbone suspension is superior overall. The new model clearly corners better. It simply doesn't transmit as much road feel through the wheel. Clearly the design change involves trade-offs and I'm not certain that the right decision was made, especially if one doesn't push the car hard into corners or around curves frequently. Having said that, I LOVE the new car overall. Again, in my humble opinion, the F10 offers a much better ride than anything close to its price range or less. It may not be perfect, but it is a great car and is much better, overall, than the E60 5 series that it replaces.

sygazelle
10-20-2010, 10:54 PM
Your 540i is an E39, right? Had you driven an E60 previously and what did you think of that compared with the 540i? I'm guessing you may not have liked that either since you've held on to the E39?

I have had two E39s. a '97 540i and an '03 540i with m-tech package. I bought the '03 used instead of an E60 because I did not care for the E60 looks. I drove a colleague's E60 535i and did not like it at all, probably because of the run flat tires. My '03 540i with m-tech is an amazing car. I would have liked to drive an E60 with performance tires. I'm sure I would have liked it, but I could not get past the looks, so I happily stuck with the '03 and waited for the F10. I was hoping to pull the trigger, but the F10s I test drove just didn't inspire me compared to my 7 year old (15 year old technology) 540i.

I'm sure the F10 is a fine car. I would have liked to try it without the crappy RFTs, but BMW has chosen to take that option away. I have no interest in paying $80k and then spending more to make the car "right" by getting rid of the run flats.

enigma
10-20-2010, 11:36 PM
There seems to be many auto journalists that are saying that the F10 is coming up short in terms traditional BMW SPORTS SEDAN characteristics. Many BMW Enthusiasts are saying that the F10 is a fine luxury car, however as a SPORTS SEDAN the F10 is disappointing. What BMW has done is to give the F10 a major personality change, morphing the F10 into a LUXURY SEDAN with hints of sportiness. Hopefully BMW will recognize that they are too conservative with the F10. The design has been dumbed down and the sport performance of the car has been dumbed down at the same time. The F10 is over reliant on electronics to replace mechanical components that were extremely effective, if not some of the best in the automotive industry. For me the 5 Series is on life support. Audi, Porsche, and with AMG Mercedes, all offer competing products that have more of a SPORTS orientation. Hopefully the elderly board of directors at BMW will wake up and modify the F10 to fix the the LACK OF SPORT COMPONENTS in the F10 before it is too late.

Spot on! My bet is that BMW still does nothing about it any time soon unless their sales numbers start taking a deep dive.


You know what always makes business sense? Satisfied customers.

Yep, satisfied customers. BUT, if you have 10 ex-Lexus/MB customers who are happy with the new F10 for every dissatisfied ex-BMW customer, it's still a net gain for BMW, no?

Short sighted? Absolutely. But, many decisions that BMW has made in the recent years seem that way.


Your 540i is an E39, right? Had you driven an E60 previously and what did you think of that compared with the 540i? I'm guessing you may not have liked that either since you've held on to the E39?

When the e60 was introduced, I don't remember seeing this much controversy over the steering feel or the overall performance. If my memory serves me right, I believe the consensus was that it was an ugly BMW that still drove like a BMW. Of course, many of us have gotten used to the look over time, and some even got to love it.

solstice
10-21-2010, 12:28 AM
"it was an ugly BMW that still drove like a BMW" Yup that's how I remember the criticism as well. And the I-drive of course. The E60 also had the not so envious task of succeeding "The best car in the world" which was bestoved on the E39. I mean how do you best that? I remember an interview where the then newly appointed CEO of DaimlerChrysler was asked about his favourite car, he answered the M5.

markl53
10-21-2010, 05:28 AM
I have had two E39s. a '97 540i and an '03 540i with m-tech package. I bought the '03 used instead of an E60 because I did not care for the E60 looks. I drove a colleague's E60 535i and did not like it at all, probably because of the run flat tires. My '03 540i with m-tech is an amazing car. I would have liked to drive an E60 with performance tires. I'm sure I would have liked it, but I could not get past the looks, so I happily stuck with the '03 and waited for the F10. I was hoping to pull the trigger, but the F10s I test drove just didn't inspire me compared to my 7 year old (15 year old technology) 540i.

I'm sure the F10 is a fine car. I would have liked to try it without the crappy RFTs, but BMW has chosen to take that option away. I have no interest in paying $80k and then spending more to make the car "right" by getting rid of the run flats.

So it would seem your prospects for ever getting another BMW are dim. I've had RFT's (non-sport) on 2 BMW's now and I don't understand all the fuss. Both my '08 335i and new 535i have very quiet smooth rides without excessive tire noise or harsh ride. I think the RFT issue may be more pronounced on sport equipped models.