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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum BMW 5 Series Remains Superior Segment Leader in 2012 with 359,016 Sold
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      01-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #23
The X Men
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I do agree BMW's electric steering does need some work, and we can be sure that they are working on it as we speak. To think that most F10 owners want a much stiffer steering feel is a false statment. Most businessman do not want to wrestle with the steering while they are in their business suit. Lets face it, the F10 is a daily driver car for most people and they want to sit in traffic surrounded by comfort and yet still have a bit of sportiness.
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      01-18-2013, 11:21 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW BRAD
jUST WISH THEY'D DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE STEERING FEEL.........
No problem with the hydraulic steering in my 530d xDrive...
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      01-18-2013, 12:38 PM   #25
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Is it confirmed that the X drive still come with a hydraulic steering?
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      01-18-2013, 01:16 PM   #26
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The steering feedback is THE biggest problem I have with my F10.

Yes, it may be linear and relatively precise, but there is absolutely no sense of mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the tyres. This lack of sensation/feedback to inputs is very unnerving and makes it hard to judge positioning the car. Even at low speeds, e.g. when negotiating tight spaces. It's like you are guessing that you've turned the wheel the correct amount!

Plus there is less self-centering forces, too: I find I start 'correcting' it when I'm simply going straight on motorways as the wheel doesn't stay rock steady. Also fidgety when trying to hold a steady line through a corner. This means my wrists hurt after a long journey.

Still way better than other cars I've tried, but nowhere near the standards of the BMWs I've had the pleasure of driving since 1999. And making me seriously consider changing to another make next time around...
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      01-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by en1gma View Post
The steering feedback is THE biggest problem I have with my F10.

Yes, it may be linear and relatively precise, but there is absolutely no sense of mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the tyres. This lack of sensation/feedback to inputs is very unnerving and makes it hard to judge positioning the car. Even at low speeds, e.g. when negotiating tight spaces. It's like you are guessing that you've turned the wheel the correct amount!

Plus there is less self-centering forces, too: I find I start 'correcting' it when I'm simply going straight on motorways as the wheel doesn't stay rock steady. Also fidgety when trying to hold a steady line through a corner. This means my wrists hurt after a long journey.

Still way better than other cars I've tried, but nowhere near the standards of the BMWs I've had the pleasure of driving since 1999. And making me seriously consider changing to another make next time around...
LOL that's exactly how I felt when I borrowed my uncle's Camry. There was absolutely no feeling - it was just a steering wheel that turns and doesn't allow you to know what's going on.
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      01-18-2013, 04:00 PM   #28
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The worst experience was in a Nissan Murano SUV. Super light steering with no connection to reality! It was my brother-in-laws car: I pulled over after 2 minutes and gave him the keys back...
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      01-18-2013, 05:32 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by en1gma View Post
The steering feedback is THE biggest problem I have with my F10.

Yes, it may be linear and relatively precise, but there is absolutely no sense of mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the tyres. This lack of sensation/feedback to inputs is very unnerving and makes it hard to judge positioning the car. Even at low speeds, e.g. when negotiating tight spaces. It's like you are guessing that you've turned the wheel the correct amount!

Plus there is less self-centering forces, too: I find I start 'correcting' it when I'm simply going straight on motorways as the wheel doesn't stay rock steady. Also fidgety when trying to hold a steady line through a corner. This means my wrists hurt after a long journey.

Still way better than other cars I've tried, but nowhere near the standards of the BMWs I've had the pleasure of driving since 1999. And making me seriously consider changing to another make next time around...
I've nothing like your description. Personally I don't find the 535i to be hardly any different to the 330d with hydraulic assisted steering. Just that the weighting is different, mostly due to servotronic function.

Absolutely rock steady steering, precise in all modes, tracks perfectly straight, not a hint of wander in any conditions, so relaxing to drive. I get enough feedback from the wheels to know enough about the surfaces I'm on. I certainly feel connected to the wheels in all situations. In sport mode the steering firms up, but doesn't add more feel. Maybe that is where it appears to be more artificial to some drivers, but still not an issue to me, as all the above comments still apply.

I know my car is the best steering I've experienced in the F10/11 cars, obviously they are not all equal. I'm aware that Adaptive Drive does have an affect on the steering, (where it involves chassis balance), BMW claim that in their blurb.

BTW, what wheel and tyre combination are you running? That can be at least part of the issue.

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      01-18-2013, 06:41 PM   #30
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Here is a good article about hydrudic vs electric steering, Car and driver put 11 test engineer with years of experience in a blind drive test of two F10 equipped with hydrudic and electric steering. These are the same engineers that complains about the electric steering every chance they get. Guess what the result was:

http://www.caranddriver.com/features...n-test-feature
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      01-19-2013, 12:12 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
Here is a good article about hydrudic vs electric steering, Car and driver put 11 test engineer with years of experience in a blind drive test of two F10 equipped with hydrudic and electric steering. These are the same engineers that complains about the electric steering every chance they get. Guess what the result was:

http://www.caranddriver.com/features...n-test-feature
Interesting test.

What I've read about the electric system BMW now implements is that everyone prefers it over the hydraulic system because it's so much more precise. The only downfall of of the electric system is feedback, but other than that, the electric system is superior.

Now, that test concludes that there really isn't a difference between the two but I'm willing to bet the hydraulic system isn't a carry over from another car so by default, the steering is already "flawed" or doesn't feel the same as previous applications or setups (see: F10 M5; it uses a hydraulic setup but some say it has a similar feeling, the weight is there but there is less feedback). So while those test drivers feel that the differences are so minimal, it doesn't prove that there isn't something wrong or missing from the new electric steering.

All we can discuss is that from reading other reviews, Audi and Porsche seem to have a good/better system that provides the closest feeling to a hydraulic system (doesn't mean it's perfect, it just the closest at the moment) than the system BMW currently so there's obviously room for improvement.
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      01-19-2013, 07:36 AM   #32
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The fact that the F10 M5 is also giving less feedback, (according to the reviews) with all of the M-sport engineers working on it, along with traditional HPS, indicates EPS is not totally responsible for the change in feedback levels in the F10/11 models.

I note from BMW comment, the suspension changes were partly due to improve comfort, (I suggest also to help mask RFT characteristics) so a departure from MacPherson type suspension of previous 5-series. I suggest that may be one factor in having different roadfeel in the F10/11 chassis.

Quote:
BMW Wrote: The technically sophisticated suspension on the new BMW 5 Series Sedan combines very sporting driving qualities with an even higher level of motoring comfort. The double track control arm front axle made of aluminium allows clear separation of the wheel guidance and damping functions again in the interest of motoring comfort. Hardly influenced in the slightest by lateral forces, the dampers are able to respond particularly sensitively to bumps or unsmoothness on the road. At the same time the kinematic configuration of the front axle, with the precisely matched wheel camber, keeps the tyres smoothly and consistently on the road for optimum grip, ensuring effective transmission of high lateral forces even without a particularly firm set-up potentially detrimental to motoring comfort.
IMO, that translates to a different roadfeel (separation of wheel guidance and damping functions) and a change in the way road disturbances transmit to the car body and to the driver's seat, the other way we sense a degree of roadfeel. The other factor of 'matched wheel camber' can also refine the suspension in a way that reduces the level, or the way feedback is transmitted to the steering.

I'm sure M-sport engineers have had to live with these changes when tuning the M5 steering, even with HPS in the parts bin. It is clear to me, if F10 M5 steering feedback is 'dulled', (rather than designed that way) compared to the E60 cars, there isn't an easy fix in the F10 chassis, even with all the experience of HPS.

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      01-19-2013, 08:55 AM   #33
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I owned a 5 series with hydrudic steering and had loaners with electric, there is not much difference between the two. The only difference I notice is that the hydrudic feels a bit more connected to the road, but the difference is very slight. As far as precision, both feels very precise and the hydrudic had a slightly better center and off center feel to the steering, but the center feel is not as good as the previous generation of the 5 series.
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      01-21-2013, 02:28 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post

I note from BMW comment, the suspension changes were partly due to improve comfort, (I suggest also to help mask RFT characteristics) so a departure from MacPherson type suspension of previous 5-series. I suggest that may be one factor in having different roadfeel in the F10/11 chassis.
HighlandPete, I think that is an excellent observation. One of the characteristics of the old BMW steering was a strong self-centering force, and that would be primarily related to the suspension design, not the steering. And as you said, other changes that were made to the front suspension could easily have significant impact on the steering feel.

It's important to note that the F30, which still maintains the strut front suspension, is also criticized for lacking feel, but perhaps not to the same extent as the F10. I confess I've never driven an F10, so I am in no way criticizing it, I'm merely making an observation based on the reviews I've read.

I also think your point about the more sedate steering fitting a large executive car better is a very good one. After all, the kind of tactile feedback that is missing from the new generation of BMW steering is in a way just glorified steering kickback.

I do however think that it adds a touch of rawness to the car, and makes you feel more connected to the act of driving it. These characters are not in line with what people typically expect from a luxury car, as you pointed out, but on the flip side it could give the car something of a dual personality. I was reading reviews of the new Quattroporte, and that car seems to have just this kind of dual personality in spades. It seems ridiculous to equip a huge luxo-barge like that big Maser with a sporting chassis and an ultra-direct steering, and maybe that will be its sales downfall, but you have to admit it adds a lot of character to the car. So to the extent that people want the 5er to have a more "raw" steering, I think something similar to that is what they are looking for. A car that feels like a luxury car to the passengers, but lets the driver know that at its core it's still something not all that civilized. The problem with this (I think more traditional BMW) approach is that I'm pretty sure it's won't be popular in China, where one gets chauffeured in a long wheelbase 3 series.
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      01-21-2013, 05:49 AM   #35
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....
I also think your point about the more sedate steering fitting a large executive car better is a very good one. After all, the kind of tactile feedback that is missing from the new generation of BMW steering is in a way just glorified steering kickback.
Propagator, good points and I pick up your comment on "glorified steering kickback", as I think of it in a similar way.

I'll keep it to my own experience in the E91 330d. The steering feedback was not all good, to the point I didn't like it at all. I was running stock suspension, 17" wheels with Bridgestone Potenza RE050 run-flats. The steering was often too much "in the face", felt corrupted, never consistent and sometimes tugging like a FWD torque steer issue. Tramlined and was affected by road cambers which often translated to a strange form of steering wander, as if the steering was loose. Very temperature sensitive, you could virtually tell the ambient temperature by the steering feel. There wasn't much 'good' about it at all. Sure you had a feel of what was going on under the car, but did nothing positive for the driving experience.

Changed to non run-flats and the steering 'feel' matured, gained a consistent response and relaxed drive. We'd have to say I'd detuned the roadfeel via the steering, simply with a tire change. Some would say the OEM setup had loads of roadfeel, loved that typical run-flat feedback as if it was all positive and a good thing. But IMO as you suggest, was really a glorified steering kickback.

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