10-10-2012, 02:27 PM
Swedish Murder Machine
Location: Highlands Ranch CO
Join Date: Mar 2012
Mein Auto: 328i x-drive
So, I got a second day with the E90 under my belt before turning it in and picking up my F30. Here are my observations.
The heavier steering starts to grow on you and is actually fairly similar to the steering in my B7 Audi.
However, the steering is unnecessarily heavy-handed at lower speeds (not just parking lot maneuvers but even just making rapid turns at 20-30 mph on side streets in the burbs).
I took the same tight sweeping left-hander today that is on my alternate return route from my work. I have taken this road many times with the F30. What I would say is that road feel (there is some bumpy pavement, etc) at 80-90 mph on this nice sweeper is VERY similar between the two cars.... WHEN the F30 is in sport mode. Certainly the stock E90 suspension and steering are much firmer than they are on a stock suspension F30.
I did not feel that the E90 provided enough additional feedback that it would warrant a claim that it is BETTER than the F30, only that it is different, and certainly might appeal to different drivers.
I filled up the E90 and observed that I had put about 180 miles on its clocks in the time I had it and had burned 8.5 gallons of fuel. Not very good milage. Doing the EXACT same type of driving, filling up my F30 I would get about 30-32 mpg and that's with a car with fewer miles. I don't know that too many people would choose one sports sedan over another solely based on mileage but it is a fact worth considering.
Also, to the comments that my loaner E90 was "stripped"... it was not. It had a moonroof, heated leather power seats, climate control, etc. Obviously it seriously suffered in the tech department as it had no i-drive, no navigation, etc. I would say that I prefer the cockpit layout and layout/accessibility of controls GREATLY on the F30 over the E90.
I picked up my F30 and they had done a great job with the detailing and window tint. They buffed off whatever cosmoline/residue was on the driver's side tail light and the car looks showroom ready again.
First stop with the new car was picking up some lunch. I chose.... shawarma (because you know, all of us who prefer F30s are middle eastern leaning terrorist-wannabes). Driving over to the lair of middle eastern food preparers I immediately noticed how CRAZY LIGHT my F30 steering was. No really, it was palpable coming from the E90. Now... here's the interesting part... I had just as readily noticed that with the E90 the steering when I started driving it felt like it was way too heavy, especially at lower speeds... but, I got used to it.
So, maybe instead of this being a right vs. wrong issue, maybe it's a preference issue, and maybe (just maybe) if someone who is antagonistic towards either setup actually drove it for a couple hundred miles they might adjust to it and, in some cases might find that the system they initially detested was GOOD, or at minimum livable.
Just a thought.
P.S. I still greatly prefer my F30 to the E90.
F30 with tinted windows at the shawarma hut;
And at the casa while I run in, gobble down that middle eastern fare and prepare to race back to the office...