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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 03-06-2005, 01:23 PM
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CAR magazine: "Don't bother, I'll handle it"

Anyone read the review of the E90 330 in CAR magazine? They said some pretty negative stuff about how uninvolving the car is. They said it's faster, smoother, handles better, yet is very uninvolving, like the driver is just along for the ride. They said the 3 series is losing it's roots.

They also said some positive stuff, like the car sounds great from the outside.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:27 PM
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Automobile also used the word 'uninvolving.' Of course, being a US publication, they were much nicer about it. There was also a comment about how less involving the E46 was over the E36.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:30 PM
Pangearox Pangearox is offline
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i think from everything i have read...it does sound like there is quite a bit of electronic devices to help keep the car pointed in the right direction...but it sounds like a lot of these things can be shut off....
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangearox
i think from everything i have read...it does sound like there is quite a bit of electronic devices to help keep the car pointed in the right direction...but it sounds like a lot of these things can be shut off....
The CAR test model had active steering, which they complained about, and was part of the problem. But they didn't say the car was any better with DSC turned off.

A lot of competitors are no longer allowing you to disable the computer - the new GTI and new Lexus GS for example - have a layer of computer control that is not defeatable, and enthusiast magazines have complained about those two cars.
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:22 PM
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Is there a link for viewing.

thanks







Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg90
Anyone read the review of the E90 330 in CAR magazine? They said some pretty negative stuff about how uninvolving the car is. They said it's faster, smoother, handles better, yet is very uninvolving, like the driver is just along for the ride. They said the 3 series is losing it's roots.

They also said some positive stuff, like the car sounds great from the outside.
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2005, 02:51 PM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg90
The CAR test model had active steering, which they complained about, and was part of the problem. But they didn't say the car was any better with DSC turned off.
I somehow have a feeling that Active Steering will go away, or at least substantially revised. I was talking to a friend of mine who knows someone (not a car enthusiast) that just got a E60 with it, and is about ready to get rid of it over this feature. It seems pretty universally the one new BMW thing that all mag writers complain about (even over iDrive, which some people actually like).
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  #7  
Old 03-06-2005, 02:53 PM
Alex Baumann Alex Baumann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz
I somehow have a feeling that Active Steering will go away, or at least substantially revised. I was talking to a friend of mine who knows someone (not a car enthusiast) that just got a E60 with it, and is about ready to get rid of it over this feature. It seems pretty universally the one new BMW thing that all mag writers complain about (even over iDrive, which some people actually like).
Starting from next year (or at the end of this year), the technology (AS) will be available to all manufacturers.
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Old 03-06-2005, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Baumann
Starting from next year (or at the end of this year), the technology (AS) will be available to all manufacturers.
Good. That means someone else can fix it.
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2005, 03:33 PM
Pangearox Pangearox is offline
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here is the link to the article i was talking about.... http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,...7a2021,00.html

and an little bit from the article that says you can turn off the DSC


"On a specially-polished low- friction track, the 3-Series's three electronic-assistance package (that's Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and DSC-Plus, which can be switched in and out) was demonstrated in conditions not dissimilar to those of snow-roads. Understeer, oversteer and multi- surface braking behaviour could be experienced at manageable speeds and the effect of the electronics could be witnessed by switching out the assistance to taste."

I cant say anything about the active steering....but I'll let you all know after my dad gets his 645i in may
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2005, 05:20 AM
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With every new 3 series generation the car becomes more and more "uninvolved" do to:

a. Technology advancements and lower costs allow for computer aided driving.
b. The desire for BMW to be seen as an innovator
c. Motivation to stay ahead of the other luxury brands.
d. Market demands of the normal buyer (who really is not overly concerned with driver feel) to smooth out the rough edges of the driving experience.
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  #11  
Old 03-07-2005, 06:06 AM
LarryN LarryN is offline
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I'm assuming the CAR magazine article was based on the press event in Valencia, Spain, like all the rest of the articles that I've been reading in the past few weeks. The "uninvolving" comment is the most negative comment I've heard of so far, and it may be due to the active steering that was on the 330i's they tested, which I would agree with. That, coupled with the lack of any sport suspension equipped cars (inclusive of not having the larger, staggered tires/wheels) at the Valencia kick-off, may have played a role in that assessment. All of those cars had the equivalent of the premium package in the US.

Every other article that I've read said it was a "better" car than the one it replaced, which I am totally surprised at. Better can be subjective, but they all said the steering (on the non-AS cars) was a better feel, even with run-flats, and that the heart of the torque curve being available from 1000 lower rpm, made the car feel a lot more responsive.

I'll reserve judgment until I drive one myself (mine, in May, in Munich ), but the majority of these articles are sounding promising.

One thing I did find amusing was a quote in Bimmer magazine that went something like this: "The few that will not like this car, after seeing and driving it, were already predisposed as to their opinion."
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  #12  
Old 03-07-2005, 06:24 AM
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Automobile Magazine said: "The latest 3-series is a better car than its predecessor in almost every respect. It is bigger, faster, more fuel-efficient, and even more entertaining at the limit, it looks more modern; and it still provides a truly special driving experience. Our only reservation is that it isn't as involving as the old car at low speed."

My comments:

(1) I don't know how something is automatically better if it is bigger and faster. Also, I thought the 0-60 times were about the same for the 330 e46 & e90.

(2) what is the "old car" the authors referred to as being more entertaining at low speed? My car doesn't really wake up until 3500 rpm, and I don't like to keep it in second gear too long at those rpms. I like using it in 3rd and 4th at those revs per minute. What low speeds could they be talking about?

That said, I still need to drive one, and I'm going to see at the NYC auto show. I haven't warmed to the design yet, however those photos in the magazines were more impressive upon me than when I looked at the same shots on my computer screen.

Waiting to pass judgment as well...
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2005, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryN
I'm assuming the CAR magazine article was based on the press event in Valencia, Spain, like all the rest of the articles that I've been reading in the past few weeks. The "uninvolving" comment is the most negative comment I've heard of so far, and it may be due to the active steering that was on the 330i's they tested, which I would agree with. That, coupled with the lack of any sport suspension equipped cars (inclusive of not having the larger, staggered tires/wheels) at the Valencia kick-off, may have played a role in that assessment. All of those cars had the equivalent of the premium package in the US.

Every other article that I've read said it was a "better" car than the one it replaced, which I am totally surprised at. Better can be subjective, but they all said the steering (on the non-AS cars) was a better feel, even with run-flats, and that the heart of the torque curve being available from 1000 lower rpm, made the car feel a lot more responsive.

I'll reserve judgment until I drive one myself (mine, in May, in Munich ), but the majority of these articles are sounding promising.

One thing I did find amusing was a quote in Bimmer magazine that went something like this: "The few that will not like this car, after seeing and driving it, were already predisposed as to their opinion."
CAR reported on the Valencia event a few issues ago, this was an actual review I think. The car had the sports package. They also had a 320d which was compared with its competitors (and won).

Sorry, I think CAR is considerably less biased than Bimmer.
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2005, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryN
Every other article that I've read said it was a "better" car than the one it replaced, which I am totally surprised at. Better can be subjective, but they all said the steering (on the non-AS cars) was a better feel, even with run-flats, and that the heart of the torque curve being available from 1000 lower rpm, made the car feel a lot more responsive.
CAR said it's a better car in every stastical way, just less involving, and too much like a 5 series. I'm sure it'll sell well, since prices don't seem to have gone up much.
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  #15  
Old 03-07-2005, 07:26 AM
LarryN LarryN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg90
CAR said it's a better car in every stastical way, just less involving, and too much like a 5 series. I'm sure it'll sell well, since prices don't seem to have gone up much.
I'm still reserving judgement for myself, but I'm happy that the scribes seem to universally like it, for the most part.
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  #16  
Old 03-07-2005, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg90
Sorry, I think CAR is considerably less biased than Bimmer.
I didn't mention Automobile and Road and Track, but they also really liked the new 3er. I was just quoting the one funny thing from Bimmer magazine, which can sometimes be biased, but they slam Bangle, and the 5 and 7 styling, with the best of them...
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  #17  
Old 03-07-2005, 07:31 AM
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A Canadian car reviewer noted that the E90 was much quieter (on the inside) at cruising speeds than the E46. You hear practically nothing, he wrote. Perhaps this is one of the reasons the E90 may seem uninvolving.
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  #18  
Old 03-07-2005, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryN
I didn't mention Automobile and Road and Track, but they also really liked the new 3er. I was just quoting the one funny thing from Bimmer magazine, which can sometimes be biased, but they slam Bangle, and the 5 and 7 styling, with the best of them...
I think those US car mag reviews are not worth the paper, but I respect EVO more than anyone, and they liked the E90 a lot, gave it 4.5 stars I think? EVO is probably the most hardcore of the mainstream magazines, so if they like it, it's probably a fun car to drive.

The scathing comments in CAR bothers me though, cause like that reviewer, I don't want to trade driving involvement for skidpad numbers. The E46 is already too refined, and BMW certainly shouldn't go any further in that direction.

EVO's test car did not have active steering, maybe that's the difference.
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  #19  
Old 03-07-2005, 09:55 AM
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I have hope that if you option you car correctly and turn off everything that it will still be a good drive, at least equivalent to a e46. Biggest drawback probably is the increase size and weight, C&D stated 150 pound increase. We are starting a family so I guess the increase size will at least be useful for us if we get one.

Most new cars are like this, new Lexus GS sounds like a electronics nightmare and it comes bundled and cannot be turned off. So I dont have much hope for the new IS either.
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  #20  
Old 03-07-2005, 09:57 AM
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Where's the "I-told-you-so" smilie?

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  #21  
Old 03-07-2005, 10:43 AM
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Yeah, I read that article as well. Between EVO and CAR, I would almost always believe EVO (except when they're talking about wild trackday specials like Radicals, Caterhams and the like, which they insist could be daily drivers).

I take ALL magazine reviews with a grain of salt - more like a starting point really. I am not saying they're necessarily wrong, but I try to reserve judgement until I can drive the car...

I'd reach for the "wait-and-see" smilie...

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