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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:58 AM
sle39lvr sle39lvr is offline
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People Switched from E90 to F30 - Please comment

I am currently a E90 owner, an I am starting to like my car more and more everyday.


Other than what's on paper, I want to know what are your thoughts on living with E90 day to day vs F30.

I heard everywhere that the interior quality has improved over E90. I recently got to sit in a F30 and I do have to say they Did cut back on 'soft-touch' plastic on certain surfaces.
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2012, 01:58 PM
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Find a dealer that offers F30 loaners. I hope to get one next time I go in for service. The dealer's been waiting for AWD models to add the F30 to the loaner fleet.
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2012, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sle39lvr View Post
I am currently a E90 owner, an I am starting to like my car more and more everyday.

Other than what's on paper, I want to know what are your thoughts on living with E90 day to day vs F30.

I heard everywhere that the interior quality has improved over E90. I recently got to sit in a F30 and I do have to say they Did cut back on 'soft-touch' plastic on certain surfaces.
I owned an E90 for 3 years prior to my F30. The answer to your question (assuming you have a 328i) boils down to this:

The F30 is 80% of what the E90 was. Materials are the same. Fit and finish is the same.

The 20% that is different is a big deal:

Torque: The turbo 4 is just a beast, so much faster off the line than the 6 it replaces, really throws you back in your seat.

Power: Once at speed, there's plenty more power to burst past other cars. I'll be driving on the highway completely oblivious to the fact that I'm doing 92 MPH and will have to slow myself down. It's effortless.

Transmission: The 8 speed auto is so much faster and smoother and accurate than the version it replaced. Because you don't have to stomp on the accelerator to get the car to move anymore, the transmission doesn't have to jerk wildly to get from 1st to 2nd to 3rd gear anymore.

Steering: It's lighter and easier. The car weighs less, so the combination of the weight reduction and the torque increase completely transforms how the car drives. It's effortless, requires a lot less effort and thought to get the car to go where you want it.

Experience Modes: This is not just savvy marketing, throwing the switch from Comfort to Sport changes the driving characteristics of the car completely, it feels like two different cars. Sport mode is crazy fun. Comfort mode is easier for the wife and kids stomachs. The E90 had neither. Was not as fun as Sport mode, was not as eased as Comfort mode. This is a big deal, not to be overlooked.

Size: The car has increased in size so there's a bit more shoulder room and rear passenger legroom but it doesn't feel bigger.

Audio System is upgraded. If you have a standard audio system in the E90 you'll be thrilled with the standard audio system in the F30 as it's the "enhanced" system they pay extra for in Europe.

Visibility is better: I find that the A pillar and B pillar location combined with new rear seatback position gives me a better overall view of the road.

It's more quiet: Not sure if it's the sound deadening material or better door seals but the F30 definitely has a more soundproofed cabin.

Interior looks and acts better: This myth about materials and quality you've read is BS. It's the same as the E90. What's different is the layout of the center stack, the integration of the wood and the dash components, the ambient lighting, the new cupholders, the thought that went into the storage compartments.

Great new standard equipment: The auto dimming mirrors, split-folding rear seat, power seats, garage door openers, and other throw-in's really make the experience better.

Technology: iDrive is now standard on all F30's. Nuff said. If you get the Technology Package, the head up display is crazy good and extremely functional.

Un-Bangled: The F30 has more refined sheetmetal, specifically the nose of the car which no longer looks like a Japanese pachinko machine.

BJ
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2012, 03:38 PM
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So he should keep his E90?
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2012, 04:33 PM
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E90 comparison versus F30

(this is a poorly written article that I found on Wilkpedia, but it does quote Car and Driver)

New F30 saloon is 93 mm (3.7 in) longer, 6 mm (0.2 in) wider (42 mm (1.7 in) including mirrors) and 8 mm (0.3 in) taller than its predecessor (E90). The wheelbase is longer by 50 mm (2.0 in). Also boot space is bigger by 20 litres (0.71 cu ft). Even though the new 3 Series is bigger and has more standard equipment than its predecessors, it is lighter than the model it replaces. For example, the new 328i has the same weight as the outgoing 325i and the new 335i is 40 kilograms (88 lb) lighter than the outgoing 335i.[20]

Notable downgrades to the new 3-series from its E90 predecessor include the deletion of LED turn signals in both the headlight and tail light clusters (with the return to traditional bulbs), as well as the replacement of non-intrusive, articulated gas-strut trunk hinges with cheaper, obstructive gooseneck hinges.

Enthusiast magazine reviews were also less than stellar. In their November, 2012, issue, Car and Driver wrote, "We're convinced that the E90 would handily win a comparison test against the F30." [1] In the April, 2012, issue they noted an increase in weight, versus the BMW's suggestion of a loss: "weight gain from our last E90 335i test car is 77 pounds, at least some of which must be from the new optional 19-inch wheels ($900) . . . ." Furthermore, acceleration suffered in comparison to the E90 as well, "A slower 5-to-60 time of 5.9 seconds-we expected mid-fives for that-also indicated that something may have been amiss. The magazine closed the generally ambivalent article with, "At some point, BMW will have to take a bigger step to move forward or risk falling behind its competitors"
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Last edited by beden1; 12-16-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:03 PM
sle39lvr sle39lvr is offline
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Excellent replies.

Overall, do you feel like the 3-series lost it's 'Feel'?
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  #7  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:22 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sle39lvr View Post
Excellent replies.

Overall, do you feel like the 3-series lost it's 'Feel'?
Not at all.

If anything, the 3 Series has gained more feel if you define "feel" as a car that is faster, more powerful, and acts lighter and more nimble.

If you define "feel" as a harsh, noisy, uncomfortable ride with truck-like steering, then the E90 would be preferred.

BJ
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  #8  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:29 PM
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I have to confess that I have not driven an F30 yet, but I am pretty certain that I am definitely going to enjoy it as much or more than my E90.

Besides, I'm getting a new car anyway, and it's not like there are hundreds of options to choose from, right?

Cadillac ATS?
Infiniti G?
Lexus IS?
Mercedes C350?
Ford Mustang GT?
Dodge Charger RT/MAX?

Last edited by krash; 12-16-2012 at 06:17 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sle39lvr View Post
I am currently a E90 owner, an I am starting to like my car more and more everyday.


Other than what's on paper, I want to know what are your thoughts on living with E90 day to day vs F30.

I heard everywhere that the interior quality has improved over E90. I recently got to sit in a F30 and I do have to say they Did cut back on 'soft-touch' plastic on certain surfaces.
Hmmm. Had two e90s and now I'm in this F30.

Ride: F30
Handling: F30 (even with narrow tires it'll take the same corners much better than my e90s)
Space: F30
Interior fit and finish: F30
Cockpit design: F30
Exterior styling: F30
Overall size: E90 (easy, the F30 is massive)
Suspension: F30
Engine: F30
Economy: F30
Luxury features: F30
Driving feel: e90 without a doubt.
NVH: 330i e90 (not my 335i e90)
Engine sound: E90 330i (not the 335i...which had no engine sound)
Transmission: e90 330i
Brakes: F30
Tires: e90 335i (F30 has some insanely bad/narrow tires on sport models)

Of course if my 2003 ZHP were sold today with a new 4 year warranty, I'd take that car without pause. It's way smaller (yahoo), not as luxurious but far more alive/exciting to drive and far better looking than the e9x/f3x cars. Sadly, BMW no longer sells a compact sedan in the US double XL.

Last edited by brkf; 12-16-2012 at 05:58 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2012, 06:02 PM
sle39lvr sle39lvr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brkf View Post
Hmmm. Had two e90s and now I'm in this F30.

Ride: F30
Handling: F30 (even with narrow tires it'll take the same corners much better than my e90s)
Space: F30
Interior fit and finish: F30
Cockpit design: F30
Exterior styling: F30
Overall size: E90 (easy, the F30 is massive)
Suspension: F30
Engine: F30
Economy: F30
Luxury features: F30
Driving feel: e90 without a doubt.
NVH: 330i e90 (not my 335i e90)
Engine sound: E90 330i (not the 335i...which had no engine sound)
Transmission: e90 330i
Brakes: F30
Tires: e90 335i (F30 has some insanely bad/narrow tires on sport models)

Of course if my 2003 ZHP were sold today with a new 4 year warranty, I'd take that car without pause. It's way smaller (yahoo), not as luxurious but far more alive/exciting to drive and far better looking than the e9x/f3x cars. Sadly, BMW no longer sells a compact sedan in the US double XL.
Driving feel is what I was going after. I wish my e90 could have early e46 steering feel

No staggered set up on F30 Sport's?
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  #11  
Old 12-16-2012, 06:07 PM
jfox335i jfox335i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brkf View Post
Hmmm. Had two e90s and now I'm in this F30.

Ride: F30
Handling: F30 (even with narrow tires it'll take the same corners much better than my e90s)
Space: F30
Interior fit and finish: F30
Cockpit design: F30
Exterior styling: F30
Overall size: E90 (easy, the F30 is massive)
Suspension: F30
Engine: F30
Economy: F30
Luxury features: F30
Driving feel: e90 without a doubt.
NVH: 330i e90 (not my 335i e90)
Engine sound: E90 330i (not the 335i...which had no engine sound)
Transmission: e90 330i
Brakes: F30
Tires: e90 335i (F30 has some insanely bad/narrow tires on sport models)

Of course if my 2003 ZHP were sold today with a new 4 year warranty, I'd take that car without pause. It's way smaller (yahoo), not as luxurious but far more alive/exciting to drive and far better looking than the e9x/f3x cars. Sadly, BMW no longer sells a compact sedan in the US double XL.
The new 1-series sedan should fit your desire for a compact sedan. If you can wait 3 years of course.
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  #12  
Old 12-16-2012, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sle39lvr View Post
Driving feel is what I was going after. I wish my e90 could have early e46 steering feel

No staggered set up on F30 Sport's?
Having owned and driven BMWs since 1984, I would say the F30-335i M Sport that I now drive comes closest in steering feel to my retired E46/ZHP. I had 3 different E90s and the steering heft in all of them was heavy in comparison to the F30. I should mention that my car has the Variable Sport steering, which I would highly recommend. It's very direct, accurate and quick turning in tight corners. It also has good on centre feel. Only the feedback to road imperfections may be less than it was with the E46/ZHP, but overall, I'm very impressed with the VSS coupled with M Adaptive suspension.

I realize that in the US, if you order VSS, you also have to get the M adaptive suspension, which my car also has. This is another worthwhile option. I would far rather spend my option budget on features that improve the feel and handling of the car than on technical toys like HUD.

As for staggered set-ups, if you ordered the M sport version, you get a proper staggered set-up with summer performance tires (non-staggered all-seasons are an option, only in the US). For the Sportline version, if you opt for the 19" wheels/tires, you would get staggered summer performance tires.

When comparing the styling of my current 335i M Sport to past BMWs that I have owned, the only retired car that stands out for me is the E46/ZHP coupe. But I really admire the styling of my M Sport !!! To my eyes, the M Sport stands well above any of the other F30 versions or any of the competitors.

My suggestion is that you borrow a F30 Sportline or M Sport and drive it for at least an hour over a variety of roads and at higher speeds. Although the car is slightly larger, it doesn't feel larger, but it does feel more solid (because it is a stronger body shell) and it is quieter @ higher speeds. However, the N55 engine still makes some wonderful sounds !!!
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Last edited by DerekS; 12-16-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-16-2012, 06:32 PM
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bayoucity bayoucity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Not at all.

...
If you define "feel" as a harsh, noisy, uncomfortable ride with truck-like steering, then the E90 would be preferred.

BJ
BJ, do you really prefer that light steering in your F30? The only item I dislike about F30 is the EPS. Otherwise, BMW has done a marvelous job on F30's suspension especially during urban driving.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:44 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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BJ, do you really prefer that light steering in your F30? The only item I dislike about F30 is the EPS. Otherwise, BMW has done a marvelous job on F30's suspension especially during urban driving.
Yes, I do.

It's not bad, it's just different. At speed, took me two days to get used to it, to have the car respond the way I was used to after 6 years in E9X's. When parking or navigating the driveway, it's a dream, far less endless turning to deal with.

BJ
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  #15  
Old 12-16-2012, 07:04 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Yes, I do.

It's not bad, it's just different. At speed, took me two days to get used to it, to have the car respond the way I was used to after 6 years in E9X's. When parking or navigating the driveway, it's a dream, far less endless turning to deal with.

BJ
Are we talking about steering effort or steering ratio.

Does your car have active steering?

CA
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:13 PM
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What's making F30 have less driving feel? Other than EPS..
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Are we talking about steering effort or steering ratio.

Does your car have active steering?

CA
I don't have active steering. My perception:

The steering ratio = same
The steering effort = same (at speed)
The steering effort = halved (at no speed)

When I drive on roadways and highways, the steering feels the same to me. When at a dead stop making a 3-point turn in a tight driveway, the new steering requires half as much force, no longer getting a P90X workout just getting out of the garage.

From a feel standpoint, I don't feel the undulations of the pavement in my palms, I don't feel the vibration of the tires on the road, but a turn left or a turn right feels more responsive because the car feels faster and lighter.

Let me know if that makes sense.

Also, for the OP, my perspective is from the least 'sporty' configuration. I have a Luxury line with the standard comfort suspension. Those with Sport lines and sport suspensions will tell you that the F30 feels the same or better than the E90, based on reading past threads.

My advice to you: Get to a dealer, arrange for a test drive. Make sure you hit the "Sport" button. If after 1000 feet of driving you don't have a smile on your face, stick with the E90.

BJ
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I don't have active steering. My perception:

The steering ratio = same
The steering effort = same (at speed)
The steering effort = halved (at no speed)

When I drive on roadways and highways, the steering feels the same to me. When at a dead stop making a 3-point turn in a tight driveway, the new steering requires half as much force, no longer getting a P90X workout just getting out of the garage.

From a feel standpoint, I don't feel the undulations of the pavement in my palms, I don't feel the vibration of the tires on the road, but a turn left or a turn right feels more responsive because the car feels faster and lighter.

Let me know if that makes sense.

Also, for the OP, my perspective is from the least 'sporty' configuration. I have a Luxury line with the standard comfort suspension. Those with Sport lines and sport suspensions will tell you that the F30 feels the same or better than the E90, based on reading past threads.

My advice to you: Get to a dealer, arrange for a test drive. Make sure you hit the "Sport" button. If after 1000 feet of driving you don't have a smile on your face, stick with the E90.

BJ
I haven't driven an F30 yet so I really don't have a valid opinion between the two. As for what I read here and elsewhere I take all of that with a grain of salt based on my experience with the RFTs and OEM shocks on the E90. I do know that I preferred the way the sport suspension on the E93 felt compared to the stock suspension after I test drove both but I was totally unprepared for the "Pothole Explosions" (although I was able to solve that issue).
I have seen that a number of automotive jounalists whose opinion I respect feel that the F30 improved on the E90 in many ways but that the E90 had better "feel" than the F30. In a sense that is a moot point since the E90 is no longer available. What would make more sense is to compare the F30 to competitors that are currently available and in that respect it seems to be holding its own. After my experiences with the 335i and the 750 I will never buy a New York car that does not have an adjustable suspension.

I willl not be buying an F30 (I am sure it is an excellent car but I have no use for a small sedan) but will look at the 4 Series Cabrio when it was released. I will also look at a number of other cars and an particularly interested in the new Jaguar F-Type.

I really don't understand the complaints about the heavy steering in the E9x. I honestly never noticed it and I drive a wide variety of cars every year,
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
...
I really don't understand the complaints about the heavy steering in the E9x. I honestly never noticed it and I drive a wide variety of cars every year,
CA, the steering on E9x is neither too heavy nor truck-like. At the time I purchased E90 was because its HPS felt so different than other makes on the market. That was then & there isn't really anything comparable to E90 at the moment except maybe 1 series. F30's steering is more akin to C250 that you have been driving down at FL. However, F30 is a much better handling car than non-AMG C class.

F30's EPS requires much less effort to turn, hence it also gives impression you are driving a much lighter vehicle. It losses quite a bit of road feel. BJ's perception is fairly spot-on:

""The steering ratio = same
The steering effort = same (at speed)
The steering effort = halved (at no speed)
...
From a feel standpoint, I don't feel the undulations of the pavement in my palms, I don't feel the vibration of the tires on the road, but a turn left or a turn right feels more responsive because the car feels faster and lighter."
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:55 PM
sle39lvr sle39lvr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post

I really don't understand the complaints about the heavy steering in the E9x. I honestly never noticed it and I drive a wide variety of cars every year,
I have a base e90 with non-Sports suspention but with OEM staggered 18's. Steering is HEAVY! I am no muscle man but I can't imagine women driving this car...

I DO like that heaviness. Very confident to command it around bends. This is the main reason I don't like EPS.. on straight's it just feels like I can drive it off road with a small jolt to the wheel....

One complain I have with E90 steering that EPS excel at is the center vagueness. It's way too slow and less accurate in the middle. EPS's never have that, they are way more accurate even on a Corolla...
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sle39lvr View Post
Driving feel is what I was going after. I wish my e90 could have early e46 steering feel

No staggered set up on F30 Sport's?
M Sport gets staggered, I believe. But then only black leather interior (which to me is a deal breaker).
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by sle39lvr View Post
I have a base e90 with non-Sports suspention but with OEM staggered 18's. Steering is HEAVY! I am no muscle man but I can't imagine women driving this car...

I DO like that heaviness. Very confident to command it around bends. This is the main reason I don't like EPS.. on straight's it just feels like I can drive it off road with a small jolt to the wheel....

One complain I have with E90 steering that EPS excel at is the center vagueness. It's way too slow and less accurate in the middle. EPS's never have that, they are way more accurate even on a Corolla...
I have a 335i E93 and my wife drives it a lot and has never complained about heavy steering. I asked her if she found the steering to be heavy and she said she did not. Incidentally she has an issue with the strength and range of motion in her right arm due to an injury.

So the next time someone thinks that the steering on his car is too heavy keep in mind that a disabled woman has no problem with it.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 12-16-2012 at 09:42 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-16-2012, 09:44 PM
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bayoucity bayoucity is offline
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Originally Posted by sle39lvr View Post
I have a base e90 with non-Sports suspention but with OEM staggered 18's. Steering is HEAVY! I am no muscle man but I can't imagine women driving this car...
Does the steering feel much heavier on an 08 E90 vs. post-LCI models such as 11 E90? Anyone, you, CA, BJ ???
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:50 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Originally Posted by bayoucity View Post
Does the steering feel much heavier on an 08 E90 vs. post-LCI models such as 11 E90? Anyone, you, CA, BJ ???
Hmm.

I had a pre-LCI E93 and I found that the LCI E90 had more steering feel but I'm not sure if that's for technical reasons or because the XDrive Sedan had different driving characteristics than the RWD Cabrio.

I've driven E36's and E46's and those cars had SERIOUS road feel and planted steering. Almost like a go-kart. Extremely connected, extremely fun. Legendary.

The E90's and F30's are nothing like those cars. Comparing the road feel and/or steering between the E90 and F30 is like a 5%-er whereas compared to those earlier rides it would be comparing a magnitude of 50%.

While it's an interesting topic of discussion, the truth is it's a non-issue. Someone coming from an E36 to an F30 would have a seizure over what's happened to the 3 Series. Someone coming from an E90 to an F30 would merely say "oh, that's slightly different".

BJ
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:00 PM
sle39lvr sle39lvr is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Hmm.

pre-LCI E93 and I found that the LCI E90 had more steering feel
Wish someone could confirm this..
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