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Old 08-28-2012, 10:43 AM
bdgtexas bdgtexas is offline
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Location: Dallas, TX
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 42
Mein Auto: 2007 530i
Originally Posted by KMA View Post
Hmmm... my latest update on active steering is still "getting used to it". I would describe it like this... It's very practical and useful at low speed when parking because it seems like you barely need to turn the wheel (and with virtually no effort) to make a huge turn and get in and out of a tight spot. It is a strange experience because you get to where it locks like you've turned it as far as it can go awfully fast... seems like it less than a half turn (?) but it may actually be more.

At higher speeds (i.e., nothing crazy yet!), it seems to add to a feeling of a very solid, controlled turn, albeit with less turning of the wheel.

At the speeds in between, it is definitely "less tight" feel than those who've driven a lot of BMW's may be accustomed and therefore can feel less aggressive. That is where I feel the jury is out with me. It has only been a couple days but there are times where I think to myself, hey this doesn't feel tight enough.

Overall, I am liking and think I will get used to this new steering experience, but can't say yet if I love it.

Adaptive Drive - I got it again because it really seems to keep this hulking car "flatter" around turns and perhaps less bouncy, too. I'm not saying any X6's are bouncy at all (I have never driven an X6 without Adaptive Drive), but having had a 2007 X5 4.8i and my wife having a 2012 X5 35d, I think of the X5 as a little bouncy (though still firm/tight!) and in my head feel like the adaptive drive helps to mitigate this. Maybe I just believe the marketing and adapt my thinking and am therefore brainwashed into spending more for it - who knows.
My 2009 has the active steering and adaptive drive (The AD was part of the sports package in the early years, before they added the word activity to the package title and made it only cosmetic). For me the active steering went from an 'i don't know what this feature is' when i bought the car to a 'must have.' I quite literally almost can't drive the g/f's 530 with standard BMW steering after acclimating to my car. Just backing out of the driveway takes so many more wheel turns. The AS makes a large SUV feel more nimble and on point than any medium sized car I have ever driven. It feels about like what I suspect people with a mini cooper have when it comes to maneuverability. I can see what you are saying with mid-speed cornering, but overall, to my senses, the tightness and the resistance of the wheel remain about the same through the speed range with the nice BMW characteristic heft or weight to it. At slower speeds though the steering input just takes a much smaller amount of rotation that the results is less work, even though the 'effort' or force required seems to me to be consistent. As I said, to me, its a must have feature now on all future BMW's I may get.

There are more than a few threads on this forum that debate the merits of Active Drive and what all it affects in the suspension (roll vs damping and ride). Having test driven an X6 without and now owning one that has it, I say it does improve the ride while also mitigating roll. Frankly if you are a performance and handling enthusiast, you should pony up to have it when offered. IMHO it is where BMW has put all there development and handling expertise on current BMW models that they have been historically known for. There standard non-dynamic setups are cheaper to keep their lineup prices appealing to the masses only interested in a luxury marquee and a luxury oriented ride. For performance in the twists AD stands out. And AD with the torque vectoring rear end on the X6 make these SUV's dance through corners in ways that have me grinning ear to ear...
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