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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-16-2005, 04:09 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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Arrow Active Steering vs Servotronic

I test drove a non-sport 530i today, without Active Steering. I wanted to see how non-AS steering felt now that BMW is outfitting these cars with Servotronic as standard equipment.

I was a bit disappointed. The steering felt overboosted, even at speeds above 40 mph, compared to my engine-speed-sensitive E39, which IMO provides the best road feel of any modern 5-series BMW.

For those like me who aren't too fond of AS, have you compared the Servotronic against the latest version of Active Steering? Which do you like better? What are your subjective thoughts, particularly when it comes to road feel?
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Current
2014 535d, M Sport, Space Gray/Mocha Nappa
Prior
2007 530i, White/Black, 6MT
2001 530i, Orient Blue/Beige, 5MT
1994 325is, White/Black 5MT
1984 325e, White/Black 5MT
1983 318i, Delphin/Beige 4MT
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2005, 04:13 PM
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chuck92103 chuck92103 is offline
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I have an 05 645 with AS. At low speeds it feel kind of light. But once I get upt 40+ miles per hour, I really like it out on the open road.

I don't mind the light steering when parking or navigating through parking lots. Rack and pinion does not do you much good at low speeds with or without AS.

Overall I happy with it. Surveys show 85% of the people like it, 10% indifferent, and 5% do not like AS. I suspect the 5% have manual transmissions and perhaps track the car on occasion.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2005, 04:33 PM
philippek philippek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck92103
Surveys show 85% of the people like it, 10% indifferent, and 5% do not like AS. I suspect the 5% have manual transmissions and perhaps track the car on occasion.
I'm part of that 5%, and your suspicions are dead-on
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2005, 04:43 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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Phil, would you expand on your comment a bit further. I've driven 3 or 4 AS cars, and didn't care for any of them until quite recently when the latest software upgrades were installed in the last AS car I drove. That car, an early '06 sport 530i, you could barely tell it had AS. OTOH, Beewang let me drive his '05 545i, and I found AS annoying intrusive, and robbing of the car's steering feel.

As an aside, the 330i's I've driven, all with sport, non-AS felt absolutely great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philippek
I'm part of that 5%, and your suspicions are dead-on
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Current
2014 535d, M Sport, Space Gray/Mocha Nappa
Prior
2007 530i, White/Black, 6MT
2001 530i, Orient Blue/Beige, 5MT
1994 325is, White/Black 5MT
1984 325e, White/Black 5MT
1983 318i, Delphin/Beige 4MT
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2005, 05:03 PM
philippek philippek is offline
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My first impressions of AS are here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...pressions+545i

For the most part, I've learned to live with AS. It's not a feature I'd order on any of my future vehicles. For 8/10ths driving or above, with multiple lateral transitions and varying speeds, it's just not up to task. Give me a nice quick rack 'n' pinion set up...or even the recirculating ball they gave to the E39 540s.

I have not had any software updates on my vehicle. It's a 2/05 build, I believe the software is 15.x.

OTOH, I have not found AS on the E90s to be nearly as intrusive. I don't own one (yet), but the highest compliment I can give to AS on that vehicle is that it doesn't overtly let me know it's there.
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2005, 05:17 PM
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chuck92103 chuck92103 is offline
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I just got my car so I think the current SW release, need to figure out a way to determine software version in an 05 645.

At any rate, I took it to the back roads a few days ago, once above 20-30 mph the car was better to me than rack and pinion, got up to about 120 and the steering was amazingly tight.

I wish when it comes to stuff like this the user could program there own AS, ARS, etc. to there liking using i-drive. Maye someday.

It is sad the different MW owners are having different driving experiences based on what version of software they are running.
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2005, 05:25 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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I haven't driven an E90 with AS, but I suspect that you'll find the latest iteration on the E60 to be quite comparable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philippek
My first impressions of AS are here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...pressions+545i

For the most part, I've learned to live with AS. It's not a feature I'd order on any of my future vehicles. For 8/10ths driving or above, with multiple lateral transitions and varying speeds, it's just not up to task. Give me a nice quick rack 'n' pinion set up...or even the recirculating ball they gave to the E39 540s.

I have not had any software updates on my vehicle. It's a 2/05 build, I believe the software is 15.x.

OTOH, I have not found AS on the E90s to be nearly as intrusive. I don't own one (yet), but the highest compliment I can give to AS on that vehicle is that it doesn't overtly let me know it's there.
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Robert A
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Current
2014 535d, M Sport, Space Gray/Mocha Nappa
Prior
2007 530i, White/Black, 6MT
2001 530i, Orient Blue/Beige, 5MT
1994 325is, White/Black 5MT
1984 325e, White/Black 5MT
1983 318i, Delphin/Beige 4MT
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2005, 07:02 PM
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gbelton gbelton is offline
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Cool To Each His Own...

Hello My Friends:

It seems that those who do not care for for AS are those who like to feel/know they have to turn more/harder to achieve road feel. Either way, to each his own.

I would fall in to the catagory of the 85%.

Previous ownership or driving experience: '99 540i, '00 M3, '03 745Li and the rest were all equipped with AS (Ownership).

-GMAN


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  #9  
Old 10-17-2005, 06:55 PM
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sdriver sdriver is offline
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I also love AS....

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  #10  
Old 10-18-2005, 09:00 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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I have to be honest here: when I first picked up my car, I didn't know anything about AS. So, I never really noticed anything when I drove it so I can't really say it made any difference to me. Only after I learned more about it did I start to try and concentrate and notice it. I still have to say that I really don't notice it at all. The car still feels well-connected to the road...even better than my E39.
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2001 530i/5 (E39), Topaz Blue/Stone Green/Black (118k miles) *very rare interior/exterior color combo*
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  #11  
Old 10-18-2005, 09:54 AM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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Okay, here's the man I want to talk to.

You came from the same car I drive now, a 2001 530i which has great road feel. I must assume that your new car has the latest AS software upgrades, and is similar to AS car I drove recently. If you're saying that you don't notice AS at all, then that's a really good thing.

When you hit the Interstate for a long drive, how is the road feel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ågent99
I have to be honest here: when I first picked up my car, I didn't know anything about AS. So, I never really noticed anything when I drove it so I can't really say it made any difference to me. Only after I learned more about it did I start to try and concentrate and notice it. I still have to say that I really don't notice it at all. The car still feels well-connected to the road...even better than my E39.
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Robert A
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Current
2014 535d, M Sport, Space Gray/Mocha Nappa
Prior
2007 530i, White/Black, 6MT
2001 530i, Orient Blue/Beige, 5MT
1994 325is, White/Black 5MT
1984 325e, White/Black 5MT
1983 318i, Delphin/Beige 4MT
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2005, 11:15 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Like I said, it feels great on the road. I think I feel more connected. The car is definately more stable at higher speeds and the active suspension keeps the car flat around hard turns. It is just amazing to drive this car hard.

Now, I'm not TOTALLY comparing apples to apples here since I have the 545i. Had I gotten the E60 530i, it might be more comparable. But, there you go...the E60 is a dream to drive and while the E39 is still nice, it is no E60.
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2001 530i/5 (E39), Topaz Blue/Stone Green/Black (118k miles) *very rare interior/exterior color combo*
2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2005, 12:21 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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Just so you know, I'm not debating the cars -- I just want to know how they compare from folks I know.

If you feel more connected with AS, subjectively speaking (and that's all that matters to me), that's a plus. As soon as the 550s start to hit the L.A. Area dealers, I'll go out and test drive one.

Other than the weight difference, they should handle similar to the current 530i's. The older E39s were, of course, different, because the suspension and steering systems between thhe V8s and the I6's were not the same.

The other aspect that no one can really answer for me, is whether I wouldn't be happier in a 330i. The car's handling is lot more fun, but then, it's a different car. The build quality probably isn't as nice either, but it's now $10k cheaper than a comparably equipped E60.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ågent99
Like I said, it feels great on the road. I think I feel more connected. The car is definately more stable at higher speeds and the active suspension keeps the car flat around hard turns. It is just amazing to drive this car hard.

Now, I'm not TOTALLY comparing apples to apples here since I have the 545i. Had I gotten the E60 530i, it might be more comparable. But, there you go...the E60 is a dream to drive and while the E39 is still nice, it is no E60.
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Robert A
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Current
2014 535d, M Sport, Space Gray/Mocha Nappa
Prior
2007 530i, White/Black, 6MT
2001 530i, Orient Blue/Beige, 5MT
1994 325is, White/Black 5MT
1984 325e, White/Black 5MT
1983 318i, Delphin/Beige 4MT
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  #14  
Old 10-18-2005, 12:35 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Bob,

I dunno what to tell you. 3ers just don't fit my lifestyle right now so I don't have any interest in them. Maybe if I drove the E90, I might think differently but the interest just isn't there. 5ers fit me well so I'm sticking with those! Look at it this way...I'm gearing up for another ED come Sept.-Oct. 2006 for a 2007 550i!
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2001 530i/5 (E39), Topaz Blue/Stone Green/Black (118k miles) *very rare interior/exterior color combo*
2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
2015 335i, ED Order Summer 2015
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