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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-13-2013, 02:21 PM
GreggBrent GreggBrent is offline
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New Bimmer Owner and question on ride quality

First thanks to ALL the replies and advice I got on this site from my pre-lease questions. Everyones knowledge really helped make a more informed decision. Smart group on here.

I ended up leasing a 2012 328i cabrio. Really beautiful car. I would have rather gone for 335 but the deal I received was good and fit my budget.

The question I have is about ride quality. I had taken it for a few test drives and thought it was fine. Handled great, felt a bit heavy but overall nice. Now that I've had it a few days I'm noticed that the ride feels a bit harsh.. like I'm feeling every crack in the road. I know that these cars are suppose to have more road feel but unless the road is completely smooth, it feels a bit uncomfortable.

I'm coming from MB which have a softer ride but I'm wondering: Is this just the characteristics of BMW's that I have to get use to, or could there be something wrong or off with the shocks, etc?

I wanna love this car and I love the handling and feel but really don't wanna be bouncing around the road. And this isn't city driving... just suburban roads I've been on.

thanks for any input.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2013, 02:56 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggBrent View Post
First thanks to ALL the replies and advice I got on this site from my pre-lease questions. Everyones knowledge really helped make a more informed decision. Smart group on here.

I ended up leasing a 2012 328i cabrio. Really beautiful car. I would have rather gone for 335 but the deal I received was good and fit my budget.

The question I have is about ride quality. I had taken it for a few test drives and thought it was fine. Handled great, felt a bit heavy but overall nice. Now that I've had it a few days I'm noticed that the ride feels a bit harsh.. like I'm feeling every crack in the road. I know that these cars are suppose to have more road feel but unless the road is completely smooth, it feels a bit uncomfortable.

I'm coming from MB which have a softer ride but I'm wondering: Is this just the characteristics of BMW's that I have to get use to, or could there be something wrong or off with the shocks, etc?

I wanna love this car and I love the handling and feel but really don't wanna be bouncing around the road. And this isn't city driving... just suburban roads I've been on.

thanks for any input.
This is been discussed at length on this forum:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ole+explosions

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...e+captain+back

I was able to solve the problem by:

1. Ditching the Run Flats - I am running Continental DWS non-RFTs
2, Replacing the dampers with Koni FSDs. There is a current thead about them being on sale.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=675728

Doing those two things transformed the car (a 2007 335i E93 with Sport Suspension).

CA
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2013, 03:18 PM
MAGjersey MAGjersey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggBrent View Post
First thanks to ALL the replies and advice I got on this site from my pre-lease questions. Everyones knowledge really helped make a more informed decision. Smart group on here.

I ended up leasing a 2012 328i cabrio. Really beautiful car. I would have rather gone for 335 but the deal I received was good and fit my budget.

The question I have is about ride quality. I had taken it for a few test drives and thought it was fine. Handled great, felt a bit heavy but overall nice. Now that I've had it a few days I'm noticed that the ride feels a bit harsh.. like I'm feeling every crack in the road. I know that these cars are suppose to have more road feel but unless the road is completely smooth, it feels a bit uncomfortable.

I'm coming from MB which have a softer ride but I'm wondering: Is this just the characteristics of BMW's that I have to get use to, or could there be something wrong or off with the shocks, etc?

I wanna love this car and I love the handling and feel but really don't wanna be bouncing around the road. And this isn't city driving... just suburban roads I've been on.

thanks for any input.
I personally went from a Mercury Mariner to a 328i. The Mercury had a soft ride, but I like the BMW ride better. I love the sportiness in it.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:55 PM
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tl;dr

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Old 02-13-2013, 05:01 PM
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tl;dr

Runflats suck monkey ass crack


OP - You have a 2012. That is as good as it gets, stock. Heck, you should try a 2007 E9x. Now that is REALLY harsh.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:05 PM
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The secret code to a good ride is "lose the run flats"
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2013, 05:16 PM
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The fluff ride is over and after a bit you'll start to enjoy the connectivity it just might take awhile..Are you riding on 17' or 18's?? If you think the ride is extreme take it back to the dealer and let em take a look and remember 50k 4 year free service is sweeeet!!Good luck just give it time.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:24 PM
GreggBrent GreggBrent is offline
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Thanks... they are just the standard 17" tires. Since it's only a two year lease I don't think buying new tires and changing shocks is feasible but if I had purchased it's probably what I'd do right away.

It's funny I didn't notice the harshness on the test drives but very aware now after driving around a few days. And it's not like I hit any potholes.. these are just regular roads and highways with the usual bumps and patches you find anywhere (around here). I'll probably keep my other car just to go into city as I can see this being terrible in NY.

Well hopefully I'll get use to the drive, the weather will warm and top will come down.. then I can judge decision. Good news is I guess I can always go to lease swap site since I think I'd have no problem finding someone to take over if I'm really not happy with it.

One other quick question: When I went over a larger bump in road there was a brief flash of a red light on the dash.. like some sort of warning light. It happened quick...so wasn't able to see what the symbol was.. it just flashed red as I hit the bump. I tried looking up in user manual but can't see to seem to find what that could be. Any ideas?

thanks
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:35 PM
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No idea on the red light but as i stated just bring it in..Perhaps your just not used to the stiffer suspension,Do you have the sports package?? For me the stiffer the better and I on occasion drive my girlfriends CLK 550 and it feels way too soft for my liking and can't wait to climb back into my Bimmer,Truth.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
Heck, you should try a 2007 E9x. Now that is REALLY harsh.
MMME30W, I've got a 2007 E90 - just bought a couple months ago... and driving around here in this neighborhood on these terrible roads with cracks and potholes of biblical proportions has driven me to the firm decision that my run flats have got to go, and soon, because they certainly aren't helping.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:00 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggBrent View Post
I ended up leasing a 2012 328i cabrio. Really beautiful car. I would have rather gone for 335 but the deal I received was good and fit my budget.

The question I have is about ride quality. I had taken it for a few test drives and thought it was fine. Handled great, felt a bit heavy but overall nice. Now that I've had it a few days I'm noticed that the ride feels a bit harsh.. like I'm feeling every crack in the road. I know that these cars are suppose to have more road feel but unless the road is completely smooth, it feels a bit uncomfortable.

I'm coming from MB which have a softer ride but I'm wondering: Is this just the characteristics of BMW's that I have to get use to, or could there be something wrong or off with the shocks, etc?

I wanna love this car and I love the handling and feel but really don't wanna be bouncing around the road. And this isn't city driving... just suburban roads I've been on.

thanks for any input.
Gregg,

We have an MB E430 and my 2009 E93. There is no doubt that the E93 is a more visceral, feel all the nuances of the road experience relative to the E430. That being said, the E93 has much sharper road feel in terms of steering. Two entirely different cars. The E93 is still on RFTs which undoubtably adds to the harsh road experience. The BMW will never be described as "floaty", that's for sure. All those things being given, I'd still rather drive the E93 any day of the week vs the E430. ps: in the morning when it's cold, I do hate listening to the creaks and groans of the E93, but that is a small price to pay when you can in the afternoon open the top in 22 seconds and enjoy the plein aire experience.
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2013, 07:39 AM
GreggBrent GreggBrent is offline
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Thanks Kat, that's what I'm hoping for and funny enough I had narrowed down my choices to this car and an E Class. Seems you got it solved by getting both!
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:31 AM
Spagolli94 Spagolli94 is offline
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If you're complaining about the ride quality in the burbs, then avoid the city at all cost. I find the ride quality of my 335 (with sport package, in stock form) to be just fine in the burbs. But in the city, it's a symphony of banging, rumbling and crashing noises. You also have a post 2011 model, so whatever you do, don't drive an older model - they are way worse.

I've put Koni's on. They help some, but they really shine at smoothing bumps on the highway, like frost heaves and bridge joints. For me, they don't do much when driving at lower speeds through the city. I'll be putting non-RFTs on this spring, so that should help some as well.

I recently rented a new F30 328i for a week. Avis only has the no-line stripped-down model. No sport package and 17" rims. The ride was PERFECT. Firm and planted on the highway, not floaty at all. But it also had just enough cushion to smooth out the bumps in the city. I found myself forgetting about the road and just enjoying the drive, rather than constantly concentrating to swerve around potholes. The downside was that without sport package, the seats and steering wheel blew chunks. It's a shame we can't get sporty seats and steering wheel with a reasonable (not harsh, yet not floaty) ride quality.

If I do end up moving to the F30 in a few years, then I know I'll be ordering the adjustable suspension option.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:29 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggBrent View Post
I'm coming from MB
Your last car was a MB, say no more Does your MB handle like your BMW. Cant have your cake and eat it too. Try lowering your tire pressure a bit, maybe that will help.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:15 PM
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Verts4Ever Verts4Ever is offline
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Originally Posted by GreggBrent View Post
It's funny I didn't notice the harshness on the test drives but very aware now after driving around a few days.
Like XMen said, have you checked your tire pressures? We've only had a harshness issue when I took our E93 in for its first annual service and the dealer randomly overinflated every tire by three to eight psi.

Last edited by Verts4Ever; 02-14-2013 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:21 PM
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The idea that a good handling car has to have a rock hard ride is simply false. The problem that I had with the stock 335i sport suspension with the RFTs was that its harsness and stiffness led to bad handling, not good handling. With the RFTs and the OEM dampers the rear end would bounce all over the place on bumpy corers and the rear end would start to break loose. This is neither "sporty" or a characteristic of a good handling car. What it is bad engineering and a poorly sorted out suspension.

With the technology available today there is absolutely no reason why a good handling car should have a suspension that is so stiff and non-complaint that it is uncomfortable to ride in and that the car sustains damage (i.e. bent rims and bubbled tires) when it is driven on poor road surfaces.

CA
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:03 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Captain, if you can design a suspension that is both comfortable like a lexus ES350 and handles like a M3, you will be a rich man. Runflat does make the ride a bit stiffer, but it also has its benefits. When it comes down to it, not too many high performance cars are design to go fast on a bumpy rode unless its a rally car. Driving a car with low profile tires in NY city is almost like going off road with the size of some the potholes there. Runflat does make the matter worst but there are plenty of people who got tires and rim damage with regular tires as well.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
Captain, if you can design a suspension that is both comfortable like a lexus ES350 and handles like a M3, you will be a rich man. Runflat does make the ride a bit stiffer, but it also has its benefits. When it comes down to it, not too many high performance cars are design to go fast on a bumpy rode unless its a rally car. Driving a car with low profile tires in NY city is almost like going off road with the size of some the potholes there. Runflat does make the matter worst but there are plenty of people who got tires and rim damage with regular tires as well.

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Old 02-15-2013, 07:52 AM
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the secret code to a good ride is "lose the run flats"
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:10 AM
Spagolli94 Spagolli94 is offline
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I see the OP said he had 17" rims. That would imply he doesn't have the sport package. Also, he has an issue with the ride quality in the burbs. OP, whatever you do, don't drive a sport package in the city. You would hate it. For me, I enjoy the positive aspects of the car 80% of the time, so I put up with the crappy city ride 20% of the time.

I do agree with CA though, in that it IS possible to design a firm, responsive suspension that isn't crashy. In fact the 2011 335 M-Sport I test drove was firm, but not crash. Likewise, I recently drove a 2012 S4 with 18" rims. Very, very firm, but the bumps weren't nearly as loud or crashy as they are on my 335. I don't think it's possible to design a suspension that's Lexus soft, yet handles responsively. But I do think it's possible to design a firm suspension that isn't crashy.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spagolli94 View Post
i see the op said he had 17" rims. That would imply he doesn't have the sport package. Also, he has an issue with the ride quality in the burbs. Op, whatever you do, don't drive a sport package in the city. You would hate it. For me, i enjoy the positive aspects of the car 80% of the time, so i put up with the crappy city ride 20% of the time.

I do agree with ca though, in that it is possible to design a firm, responsive suspension that isn't crashy. In fact the 2011 335 m-sport i test drove was firm, but not crash. Likewise, i recently drove a 2012 s4 with 18" rims. Very, very firm, but the bumps weren't nearly as loud or crashy as they are on my 335. I don't think it's possible to design a suspension that's lexus soft, yet handles responsively. But i do think it's possible to design a firm suspension that isn't crashy.

I don't know what the OPs car rides like and what he considers harsh.
I do know that by replacing the shocks and the RFTs I was able to improve both handling and ride quality so it is obviously possible to do that.

CA
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Spagolli94 View Post
I see the OP said he had 17" rims. That would imply he doesn't have the sport package. Also, he has an issue with the ride quality in the burbs. OP, whatever you do, don't drive a sport package in the city. You would hate it. For me, I enjoy the positive aspects of the car 80% of the time, so I put up with the crappy city ride 20% of the time.

I do agree with CA though, in that it IS possible to design a firm, responsive suspension that isn't crashy. In fact the 2011 335 M-Sport I test drove was firm, but not crash. Likewise, I recently drove a 2012 S4 with 18" rims. Very, very firm, but the bumps weren't nearly as loud or crashy as they are on my 335. I don't think it's possible to design a suspension that's Lexus soft, yet handles responsively. But I do think it's possible to design a firm suspension that isn't crashy.
I think I probably speak for a large number of people when I say that I am not looking for a car that rides like a Lexus ES but I do not want a car that shakes the fillings out of my teeth and/or breaks when I hit a road imperfection. Firm is fine, harsh is not as it unsettles the car.

CA
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:33 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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I get a kick out of you guys who opt for the sport package and complains about the stiff ride. You guys did test drive the car before you bought it right? Its almost like a Lexus ES350 owner complaining about the lack of handling.

Last edited by The X Men; 02-15-2013 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:02 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
I get a kick out of you guys who opt for the sport package and complains about the stiff ride. You guys did test drive the car before you bought it right? Its almost like a Lexus ES350 owner complaining about the lack of handling.
I get a kick out of people who don't have the sport suspension and criticize those who do and find issues with it.

And yes I did test drive the car in New Jersey before I bought it.
I bought it in Palm Beach and drove it for 2,000 in South Florida with no issues before I had it shipped to NYC.
As it is set up now with Continental Exteme Contact DWS non-RFT tires and Koni FSD shocks I am happy with both ride quality and handling.

Obviously the 20 minute test drive in New Jersey did not give me the total picture. I drove a 335i with the sport package and a 328i without it. Both my wife and I preferred the 335i with sport package and we did not encounter any road surfaces that indicated the issues we would have later. I learned from that experience and before we pulled the trigger on the 750iL we had it for a 4 day extended test drive and drove it 500 miles in the exact environment that we would be using it in.




CA
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:58 AM
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thekurgan thekurgan is offline
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I think I probably speak for a large number of people when I say that I am not looking for a car that rides like a Lexus ES but I do not want a car that shakes the fillings out of my teeth and/or breaks when I hit a road imperfection. Firm is fine, harsh is not as it unsettles the car.

CA
Agree. Another thing with the RFT, as I've owned both the 335i and now the M3, both E90 chassis, is that the RFT cause an unGodly amount of rattles and loose parts because of the acoustics and harshness. The E90M3, even with 19" standard tires is worlds quieter within the cabin than the 335. I remember taking the entire inside of the 335i apart applying automotive felt in all the creaky/noisy areas. The M3 is like a tomb.
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08 E90M3 6MT Alpinweiss/Schwartz/BMW Pedals/Dinan Exhaust

Last edited by thekurgan; 02-15-2013 at 12:59 PM. Reason: bad speller :(
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