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View Full Version : Active steering - is it any good.


BimmerUKF10
10-21-2010, 12:39 AM
I've ordered a 535d with adaptive drive, but don't know if I should have ordered the active steering. There are unfortunately no demo cars anywhere for me to drive with this option. Does anyone here have knowledge of this option?

wessew
10-21-2010, 06:57 AM
Well this is a little bit of the blind leading the deaf. I recently ordered a 550i with active steering. I could not locate a demo vehicle with the feature either. I did do an extensive review of the test reports/reviews of the vehicle with and without this option. The consensus of the reports I read is that it improves the handling and responsiveness of the vehicle. These are views expressed by those who drove the vehicle with and without active steering back to back. In addition, those that have it and have commented seem to strongly support its value. Finally, I talked with some people inside BMW and took a hard look at the technical literature. The BMW insiders indicated it improved the sporting character and responsiveness of the car and recommended it. The technical literature describing how it works is impressive. The system is in its second generation implementation, at least. So I decided to take the plunge.

AzNMpower32
10-21-2010, 12:25 PM
What type of driving do you normally do? It's not really worth it for primarily urban applications and makes wheel alignments much more complex and costly. On the other hand, these technologies show their worth on empty roads and country roads.

vortexx
10-21-2010, 01:54 PM
I ordered it on mine and really like it. I drove two identically equipped vehicles, on with and one without AIS back to back at a dealer before deciding. At low speeds and in tight places like a parking lot, it really comes in handy. It improves the turning radius substantially for U-turns. At high speeds, it makes lane changes and other quick moves more agile. On twisty roads with decreasing radius turns it makes the car feel smaller and more nimble.

richschneid
10-21-2010, 02:22 PM
I had the old active steering on my '06 650i and really liked it even in the two wheel version. It's not available with my 550i xDrive so I couldn't get it but I would have had it been. I'm glad to see that people who have it think it makes the handling quicker and more responsive at both low and high speeds.

Many on this blog have complained that the electric assisted steering on the RWD F10 lacks sportiness and that BMW is not making an F10 for "enthusiasts". It seems that none of these complaints have come from people who have a car with the IAS or read a review of a car with the IAS. The IAS seems to have been designed specifically by BMW for the enthusiasts who want a "sportier" F10. :thumbup:

jimefam
10-21-2010, 03:52 PM
What type of driving do you normally do? It's not really worth it for primarily urban applications and makes wheel alignments much more complex and costly. On the other hand, these technologies show their worth on empty roads and country roads.

I drove a 535i with it and I completely disagree with this statement. I found it really good at low speeds and makes parking and turning much easier. I didn't like it at higher speeds though felt a little quirky I guess would be the best word I can think of. I didn't order it because if I was gonna get it it would be for winding roads and I didn't like it for that. Very useful for low speed maneuvers though.

1HOT BMR
10-21-2010, 07:18 PM
I ordered it on mine and really like it. I drove two identically equipped vehicles, on with and one without AIS back to back at a dealer before deciding. At low speeds and in tight places like a parking lot, it really comes in handy. It improves the turning radius substantially for U-turns. At high speeds, it makes lane changes and other quick moves more agile. On twisty roads with decreasing radius turns it makes the car feel smaller and more nimble.

I drove several cars in my quest to find out exactly what I needed to order on mine. Two of them with Integral Active Steering and I completely agree with the statement above, especially the part about the car feeling smaller and more nimble. The U turn radius is just terrific for such a large car. If you don't mind the price go ahead and order it. It became a must order item for me after I drove the cars equipped with it. :thumbup:

bm323
10-21-2010, 07:47 PM
If I recall correctly, there are reviewers who say that IAS somewhat numbs the steering. Any views?

1HOT BMR
10-21-2010, 08:16 PM
If I recall correctly, there are reviewers who say that IAS somewhat numbs the steering. Any views?

Yes, I have a view. If you think the regular steering without IAS is numb, then this one is just as numb - no more, no less. It just turns in quicker and turns more with a smaller input on the steering wheel. Around a curve it has an effect very similar to the SH-AWD that Acura uses and the Sport Differential that Audi uses on the S4 where they can distribute the torque from side to side to the rear wheels. If you have driven either one of those cars you will know what I mean, otherwise it's hard to describe it with a few words. Let me just say that the car is happier staying in the turn where you put it, and there is less pull towards the outer side of the curve you are negotiating.

Mr. Magic
10-21-2010, 09:23 PM
I ordered it on mine and really like it. I drove two identically equipped vehicles, on with and one without AIS back to back at a dealer before deciding. At low speeds and in tight places like a parking lot, it really comes in handy. It improves the turning radius substantially for U-turns. At high speeds, it makes lane changes and other quick moves more agile. On twisty roads with decreasing radius turns it makes the car feel smaller and more nimble.

+1. Same experience here after 5,500 miles.

dadesidon
10-22-2010, 05:31 AM
Best part of IAS is 1 on u-turns and 2 at speed on freeway when the car becomes nice and tight. Otherwise effect in city is negligible.

PDX5er
10-22-2010, 03:25 PM
For low speed maneuvers it's quite good, but I don't really notice any difference at higher speeds. The steering on cars with and without IAS feels artificial and numb, much like a Lexus. I ordered it without actually trying it first hoping that it would improve the steering feel and I don't think it does. I would save your money or get a different option like the ventilated seats or HUD.

bmrboy2008
10-22-2010, 04:10 PM
Does anyone know if IAS if offered on the F10 528i? It does not appear as an option for this model on the BMW USA website.

AzNMpower32
10-22-2010, 04:23 PM
Does anyone know if IAS if offered on the F10 528i? It does not appear as an option for this model on the BMW USA website.
The Intergral Active Steering can be paired with any model except xDrive models in Germany. Likely BMW NA does not see a demand for the option in the base models, so they probably dropped it.

Honestly, I don't see any additional cost in production to making an option available on a lower model line, but I guess they know better.