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      11-22-2012, 01:43 AM   #151
Major General

Drives: 340i M-sport AT
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Chicago

iTrader: (1)

Originally Posted by Carnook View Post
On BMW...
"theres something kind of clinical about it..."
"you kind of want things to be firm..."

On Mercedes...
"great stiff neutral chassis...Cadillac's chassis is even stiffer"

On Cadillac...
"goes around corners better than it goes in a straight line..."
"the ride is on the firm side of firm, in fact I'd call it harsh, which I happen to really like..."

I think BMW will tweak the steering and suspension a bit and they will be well served by doing this. However in this comparison the reviewer places a bit too much emphasis on having a hard suspension and heavy steering. Certainly not what I'm looking for in a sports sedan. Sports car yes, sports sedan no.
I'm surprised the reviewer praised the "harsh" ride, as he calls it, considering it had the magnetic dampers, which are supposed to NOT be harsh but in control.

Why not a 335i with M adaptive then to equal out the test?

I agree the sport/Msport suspension could be firmer, but the damping quality is great. The M adaptive is even better. It controls the springs very well. The springs could be 30-40% stiffer and that should help satisfy most sport sedan drivers.
I'm not too pleased with why BMW choose to soften up the sport suspension. It's fine to do that on the base, lux, or modern versions so as to attract more buyers, but I don't recall sport package buyers complaining that the sport suspension in the E46 or E90 were too firm.
Easy to correct though and BMW should.

As for the steering effort, BMW shot themselves in the foot by making "comfort" the default setting. Most test drivers likely don't know how to use the driver mode system and thus drive in comfort mode. I think most early reviewers did the same thing. Their initial impressions were based on the default setting and the whole "what happened to the steering" issue is still with us.
As for feeling the road through the steering, well, most near luxury cars are designed to transmit every pebble and road grain to the driver.
Still, BMW should have tuned the sport/Msport versions for a bit more road feel, not just steering effort firmness.
I still say that most complaints about the electric steering are related to the steering effor in comfort mode MUCH more so than any lack of road feel. It's not like the E90 allowed much road grain through the steering, but it's effort was firmer and that's what most people notice.
Put the F30 in sport mode and the effort firms up nicely, even though it's still a bit light at slow speeds. We can thank the BMW buyers who buy a 3 series more for it's near luxury amenities rather than it's sport driving prowess.