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      11-05-2012, 09:45 AM   #23
jsedlak
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OMG, you drink coffee while you drive. BMW should have known this would happens when they put in those big cup holders
My car doesn't have cup holders, actually.
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      11-05-2012, 10:12 AM   #24
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There is no FEEDBACK from the F30 electric steering!! None, nada, zippo, zilch. That's the point all the reviews are making.

Feedback has nothing to do with steering effort or mode setting. Feedback is information about what the front tires are doing or not doing. The F30 has no feedback.

Don't believe me? Go drive an E30 and let me know what you feel in your hands. The F30 doesn't even provide feedback to the steering wheel when you run over lane reflectors.
I'm not sure I'd go this far, but the F30 328i Sport Line I tested had very little feedback -- perhaps even less than the numb EPS in my Acura TSX. (And yes, I tried sport mode.) I was sorely disappointed, but other than the numb steering, I thought the F30 was phenomenal.

BMW is far from alone in this, and I haven't tried a single EPS system that provides satisfying feel/feedback like the best hydraulic systems. This includes the Scion FR-S I tested, which, according to most reviewers, has communicative steering. (I thought it was better than the F30's though.) And even Porsche's EPS has been criticized for lack of feedback by some journos.

As I understand it, electric motors have high rotational inertia, and are very difficult to "back drive." As a result, the rack simply does not move as much in response to road surface imperfections, hence the lack of feedback. They often don't self-center as naturally, at least in my experience. (Of course, tires play a role in all of this, and I bet my Acura and the F30 would feel better with different tires.)

You're right that feedback is distinct from effort, and I think some confuse these and other parameters. While EPS systems tend to lack feedback, they are easy to tune for weight and a linear response to steering inputs, and I would characterize the F30's steering as extremely accurate and precise. My Acura's steering is similar. I think many drivers like these aspects of EPS. As a result, they think the F30 has excellent steering and don't mind the lack of feedback. It bugs me, but unfortunately I'm afraid it's already the "new normal," and we're stuck with it.
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      11-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #25
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Driving an E9x today (loaner) vs. my F30 (in service), I'll have to say, I like the electric steering of the F30...when I click it into Sport, it's more weighted and reactive, around the parking lot, in Comfort, it's easier to maneuver.

I think the F30 has done an exemplary job in moving forward...
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      11-05-2012, 11:08 AM   #26
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I found the steering perfect. In comfort mode its pretty light, but you are not going to gun it around a corner in comfort mode. Now the fun part, once you hit sport mode the steering tightens up very nicely. You will barely notice the steering has tightened until its hammer time. (the transitions are quite seamless betweens modes, but the driving experience is night and day)
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      11-05-2012, 12:38 PM   #27
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Did your hands go numb????
Really?

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      11-05-2012, 03:18 PM   #28
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Really?

Joel
I was being sacastic Although I think no feedback is a bit drastic. A 1984 Lincoln has NO feedback, but thats far from an F30
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      11-06-2012, 07:41 AM   #29
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I was being sacastic Although I think no feedback is a bit drastic. A 1984 Lincoln has NO feedback, but thats far from an F30
Ok. No feedback is a bit drastic. But it is the only complaint that I have about my car and the lack of feedback is far different than any other BMW that I've owned, driven, or raced.
I have no experience with a Camry or a Lincoln.

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      11-06-2012, 07:48 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by jwilly View Post
Ok. No feedback is a bit drastic. But it is the only complaint that I have about my car and the lack of feedback is far different than any other BMW that I've owned, driven, or raced.
I have no experience with a Camry or a Lincoln.
Joel
Do you have standard steering or variable sport steering ?
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      11-06-2012, 09:23 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by jsedlak View Post
I am currently driving an E46 and my F30 is on order. The steering in the E46 is fantastic for about 20% of my driving: when I'm cruising around the twisty back roads. For in town and parking it's a little bothersome but a downright pain if I've got a coffee in my hand.

So I'm welcoming a little lighter of a feel. There is a lot of difference between the sporty feel of the E46 and a boat feel like the Camry and I think the F30 will fill that gap nicely, leaning a little bit more to the sporty side. What's more important is whether or not you can feel the [important] bumps in the road and can feel how the tyres are gripping.
Interesting comment. Not to give you a hard time but is one handed steering ever a good thing and should BMW and others design cars to make it easy to steer when you are driving and drinking coffee at the same time? BMW driver's in Germany would think us American's are a bit nuts. Then again, light steering doesn't have to mean lack of feel.

We've been discussing the EPS since the beginning of the year and what I've found in reading all of the comments is that steering feel is as subjective as can be. One person will say the F30 steering is as good as in an E90 and another will comment it's lifeless. We should all visit our local dealers, take a drive before buying and make our own decisions.
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      11-06-2012, 09:28 AM   #32
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The F10 535i have the electric steering and the 535xi still use the old hydraulic steering, having driven both, there is quite a bit of difference. The hydraulic steering still lighten up at parking lot speed just like the electric steering but it has quite a bit more feedback than the electric. The F30's steering does tighten up in sport mode, but it still lacks feedback. For the non sport line or M-sport models, one cannot select tight steering in the comfort transmssion mode.
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      11-06-2012, 09:32 AM   #33
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The F10 535i have the electric steering and the 535xi still use the old hydraulic steering, having driven both, there is quite a bit of difference. The hydraulic steering still lighten up at parking lot speed just like the electric steering but it has quite a bit more feedback than the electric. The F30's steering does tighten up in sport mode, but it still lacks feedback. For the non sport line or M-sport models, one cannot select tight steering in the comfort transmssion mode.
if you hold down the DTC button in comfort mode you get tight steering, but some might not want to do that.
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      11-06-2012, 09:49 AM   #34
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But now you are disabling a important safety feature.
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      11-06-2012, 10:43 AM   #35
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Do you have standard steering or variable sport steering ?
Standard.

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      11-06-2012, 11:07 AM   #36
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although the e90 has a heavier steering feel, i think it somewhat lacks feedback as well...here's why, when Im on a corner, I cant feel resistance in my hands when im holding the wheel whereas on my e36, lighter steering feel than the e90, i can feel the wheels pulling the steering wheel. on high speed turns, the e90 feels a little overboosted and can get wobbly..idk, its hard to explain really. i do like how the f30 in sport mode tightens up the steering like the servo on the e92 m3.
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      11-12-2012, 03:22 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwilly View Post
There is no FEEDBACK from the F30 electric steering!! None, nada, zippo, zilch. That's the point all the reviews are making.
Car and Driver has been seen as one of the more critical of the F30, and here's what they said:

"Steering feedback is comparable to that of the outgoing 3-series, in spite of the noticeable reduction in effort. "

source: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...t-drive-review

Other reviewers have said similar.

Driving an LCI E92 and the F30 back-to-back over the same familiar loop, I would have to agree (testing in Sport mode). Through the wheel, you can still feel every pebble, every expansion joint, and every little squirm the car makes when you're pushing it.

I did feel less feedback through the chassis, but that wasn't a negative for me. It's through the wheel that I want to receive that feedback.

And the F30 is lighter-steering, undeniably.

It's a longer-wheelbase, wider-track vehicle, with a stiffer chassis but less stiff stock suspension, so steering feel will not be the same, but there's still good feedback. The wheel, after all, is still directly connected to the steering rack.

The one thing I did notice is that bumps that would pull the wheel to one side on the E92 (or my E46) didn't seem to torque the wheel as much on the F30. You could still feel the bump just as well as with the E92, but there was less side to side movement of the wheel itself. Could that be perceived less feedback? Perhaps. It could also just be better control. Same for road grooves that tend to pull you left or right - the F30 relays the message just fine, but it's easier to correct. Personally, I'd rather control the direction myself versus having the bumps in the road dictate the direction of my wheels, so for me this is a positive rather than a negative.

But "feel" is a personal thing, and some may prefer a heavier-weighted steering.

As you pointed out in your post, weight and feel are not the same. I believe some reviewers equated this reduced effort for increased isolation, but the lighter weight is only half of the equation. Car and Driver (along with many other reviewers) got it right, though.

Coming from an E46, this was a concern for me, but after much testing I can tell you that the F30 steering feedback is most certainly there; it just takes less effort to point the nose. It's a mental adjustment to come to grips with the lighter feel, but once I made that adjustment and got accustomed to the feel and feedback provided, I find I am quite happy with the steering.
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      11-13-2012, 04:21 PM   #38
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Here are some other reviews:

"The steering of the 328i is so light and fingertip easy, the accelerator so delicate underfoot, the gearbox so smooth in its machinations, you almost feel like a passenger in the car as it wafts gracefully from one destination to the next. "

That doesnt sound like a driver's car to me.

http://www.bimmerpost.com/2011/11/16...ully-at-heart/

"Fans of BMW's once legendary steering feel will mourn the passing of the fuel-thirstier hydraulic assist. Our test car had the optional variable-ratio electric-assist rack, which provides a 14.5:1 ratio on-center, quickening to 11.2:1 as the wheel passes about 100 degrees in either direction. The effort and heft feel natural enough, but on these smooth, dry roads it transmits no wiggles or twitches to suggest subtle variation in the grip level of the road surface, and the ratio transition feels unnatural in the tightest corners."

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...s_first_drive/
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      11-13-2012, 11:08 PM   #39
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"... the suspension and steering still make us smile"

and

"If the definition of good steering is that which allows the driver to place the car exactly where desired, the 335i’s still got it. Its clarity is undimmed by the switch to electric assist and a new, optional variable-ratio steering gear..."

Car and Driver


"...the car feels solid and stable and the steering is as one expects from BMW--accurate and stable."

and

"...with spot-on steering that provides good road feel without being nervous..."

and

"A turn of the steering wheel returns a weighty feel, quick response and satisfying feedback"

Autoweek


"Select Sport mode and you get firmer but far from aggressive vertical body control and the kind of steering weight you’ll need a bit more forearm leverage to get on terms with. But the feedback flowing from tyre sidewall to steering rim is excellent."

Autocar


"The new electric steering rack steers quickly enough, and gives pleasant amounts of feedback."

Autoworld


"Steering, brakes, ride quality, grip, handling… Every other aspect of the new 3-series constitutes a proper improvement over the saloon’s predecessor, already a highly involving and entertaining drive."

Car Magazine


"The steering feel isn’t greatly diminished by the electric assistance, with plenty of communication and good weighting."

The Motor Report


Obviously this could go on and on, but I think it's abundantly clear that there is no consensus on the new steering being isolated or not providing adequate feedback, as was posted earlier.

I am not a professional driver, but I am most recently coming from an E46 on which I clocked over 160,000 km's. This ain't my first rodeo with BMW steering. I very clearly feel the feedback. I can't speak for the universe in general, but obviously many other reviewers also could.
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      11-13-2012, 11:17 PM   #40
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boom!
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      11-14-2012, 12:18 AM   #41
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You already ordered the car, do yourself a favor and stop reading reviews about it... You drove it (I'm assuming) and liked it enough to order and wait for it, that's all that matters.
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      11-14-2012, 12:23 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by juddholland
That's the evil of these forums. Say you love your car and it feels solid. Then you read a bunch of forum posts about how the interior is creaky and rattly and cheap. This had never occurred to you before. You begin to adopt the mindset of the extremists, and suddenly your standards are higher and you notice every single rattle in your car. Forever thereafter you are cursed with a hyper-awareness to every noise your car makes.
I'm having this issue with wheel gap. Not sure the extra height of the x-drives would have bothered me as much, or at all, were it not for all the talk about it on here.. Kind of like when someone points out a gray hair you didn't know you had or a tiny scratch on your car you never saw until someone pointed it out and now it screams at you every time you walk up to the car (ok, on the car I notice it on my own )
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      11-14-2012, 01:29 AM   #43
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Government fuel economy, emissions, and safety requirements are the driving force behind many of the changes in vehicle construction and design such as electric steering, brake regeneration, seat belts, air bags, anti-lock brakes, and the list goes on. Even the hood design of the new 3 series, which some have complained about, was the result of new safety requirements to reduce injuries to pedestrians in vehicle accidents.

Government will never stop adding on regulations for vehicle manufacturers so these changes will continue.

Welcome to 1984. The future is now.
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      11-14-2012, 08:28 AM   #44
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Quote:
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Ok. No feedback is a bit drastic. But it is the only complaint that I have about my car and the lack of feedback is far different than any other BMW that I've owned, driven, or raced.
I have no experience with a Camry or a Lincoln.

Joel
If you ever get to upstate NY, look me up. My father still an 85 Lincoln.Talk about not being able to feel the road . You literally feel like you're riding in a boat. The front just lightly bobs up and down all the time(even with new shocks). When you make a turn at any speed , you need to initiate the turn 20ft before. You almost feel the front wheels "fold" as you go around a corner. 80's American engineering at its finest. So If you here me defend newer American cars and how they've come a LONG way, it because I spent so much damn time in big boats like that.
Yes the F30 has a different feel , but I think all the writing about it makes people think they're gonna end up with something horrible and thats just not true.Yes, It feels different from an E46 or e90 but it isn't close to horrible. Just my opinion
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