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      10-03-2012, 10:44 PM   #1
popopine
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Hydraulic steering rocks

I was so impressed driving home tonight from the dealer with the steering feel of my new x1 i just had to post this quick review/opinion. Originally, i was very nervous purchasing a nearly loaded X1 sight unseen and NOT selecting the servotronic option. Phew, did i get lucky. It's NOT heavy. I don't think so, and neither does my wife - and we're not big, strong people. I don't understand why 80% of reviewers feel it's too heavy. However, it does feel more organic and consistent. More in touch with the road and what's happening under the tires. You could say more "dead" feeling because it's not as assisted. I've had servotronic steering on my Audi Q5 and while it's ok, you do feel it weight and unweight at different speed.

Bottom line, if you're trying to decide whether or not to get it, YOU DO NOT NEED SERVOTRONIC IN THE X1.
MO, of course.
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      10-03-2012, 10:54 PM   #2
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I agree. This is one of the last cars from BMW to have Hydraulic steering...So maybe its worth buying. Some people don't like it...I believe its what makes a BMW a BMW...even the new 3s feel mushy...
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      10-04-2012, 04:14 PM   #3
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+1 to the OP.

I've always liked BMW's steering feel from my limited time with my brother's E92 328i and E90 335i, but I've never owned a BMW myself. Just love love love the steering feel of my X1, feels so similar to my brother's cars (not surprising since same platform). Its definitely heavier than other cars I've owned/driven, but like the OP said, it feels just right. I'm currently taking a vacation in LA and the handling difference between my 09 A4 (coilovers) and my X1 (springs + spacers) is soo huge, I wished I had my X1 here.
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      10-04-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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The hydro steering rack for the X1 without servotronic is exactly the same as the one in my 135i, and it is perfect!

I only wish that non-servotronic was an option for the X1 35i. Unfortunately, it only comes with servotronic.
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      10-04-2012, 09:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popopine
I was so impressed driving home tonight from the dealer with the steering feel of my new x1 i just had to post this quick review/opinion. Originally, i was very nervous purchasing a nearly loaded X1 sight unseen and NOT selecting the servotronic option. Phew, did i get lucky. It's NOT heavy. I don't think so, and neither does my wife - and we're not big, strong people. I don't understand why 80% of reviewers feel it's too heavy. However, it does feel more organic and consistent. More in touch with the road and what's happening under the tires. You could say more "dead" feeling because it's not as assisted. I've had servotronic steering on my Audi Q5 and while it's ok, you do feel it weight and unweight at different speed.

Bottom line, if you're trying to decide whether or not to get it, YOU DO NOT NEED SERVOTRONIC IN THE X1.
MO, of course.
Agreed.
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      10-04-2012, 11:55 PM   #6
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The steering on my old 01 530i was the heaviest power steering I've ever driven. Though extremely heavy but offers plenty of feel.

The previous version 3 series (335d) had the best balance of steering feel and effort in my opinion, not to mention the devastating torque it possessed!

The current models are too light and artificial. I didn't get a chance to drive the x drive.
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      10-05-2012, 12:13 AM   #7
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This is very helpful. I'll pay closer attention to the steering on my next test drive. Thanks all!
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      10-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #8
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Test drove an X1 28i with Servotronic and without- agree with you totally that without Servotronic (Hydrolic Steering) is what makes it drive like a sporty BMW. I think any guy would like the car without Servotronic. My wife felt it was a bit too heavy- she's driven light steering cars all her life.
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      10-15-2012, 05:17 AM   #9
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Eh, all LCI models have EPS, so I don't think you've got hydraulic powerassist.
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      10-15-2012, 08:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naambezet View Post
Eh, all LCI models have EPS, so I don't think you've got hydraulic powerassist.
In the US, only the Sdrive models have EPS.
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      10-15-2012, 08:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill B. View Post
In the US, only the Sdrive models have EPS.
Correct!
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      10-16-2012, 02:44 PM   #12
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Eh, not exactly...35i model is standard with servotronic, which if I understand correctly is EPS layered on top of the hydraulic. I haven't driven a BMW with straight EPS but I'm guessing similar to servotronic equipped cars...ie lighter, still precise but somewhat artificial feel.
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      10-16-2012, 06:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Monterra View Post
Eh, not exactly...35i model is standard with servotronic, which if I understand correctly is EPS layered on top of the hydraulic. I haven't driven a BMW with straight EPS but I'm guessing similar to servotronic equipped cars...ie lighter, still precise but somewhat artificial feel.
EPS does not equal servotronic.

Servotronic is the concept of speed sensitive power steering. On a hydraulic rack, it is accomplished by using an electromagnetic valve to modulate the hydraulics.

An EPS rack is driven completely by an electric motor. It can have servotronic (speed sensitive steering) as an option or not. On an EPS rack, it is essentially just software.
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      10-17-2012, 01:32 AM   #14
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Servotronic is completely different than type of power assist.

Only X-drive models have hydrolic power assist (which does definitely rock in terms of feel!!)
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      10-17-2012, 11:34 AM   #15
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After a couple days driving, I concur. Really digging the hydraulic setup. The weight and feel are sublime.
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      10-17-2012, 04:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwlvr60 View Post
Test drove an X1 28i with Servotronic and without- agree with you totally that without Servotronic (Hydrolic Steering) is what makes it drive like a sporty BMW. I think any guy would like the car without Servotronic. My wife felt it was a bit too heavy- she's driven light steering cars all her life.

Agree with you. I'm a girl and yes, without servotronic it gives you that sporty feel. eeek, i can't wait for my car to get in
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      10-20-2012, 10:56 AM   #17
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As a comparison to my 09 335, the Steering in our new X1 feels very similar. Weight is about the same, responsiveness is as well. Very enjoyable, and a world of difference from the new EPS BMWs i've driven. I don't hate the EPS on the F30 335s that i've driven...it's accurate, and has decent feel, but the X1 "feels" better.
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      02-11-2013, 06:57 AM   #18
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About to purchase the xdrive28i and still a little conflicted about servotronic or no? I would
appreciate it if a few others might weigh in about this choice and tell me what they
preferred and why. Thanks.
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      02-11-2013, 07:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curvo View Post
About to purchase the xdrive28i and still a little conflicted about servotronic or no? I would
appreciate it if a few others might weigh in about this choice and tell me what they
preferred and why. Thanks.
I think you need to decide it for yourself with test drive. However it is almost impossible to find a car with servotronic at the dealer. All servotronic does - it reduces assistance at higher vehicle speed.

To me what's more important - hydraulic or electric. I tried both. And I really did not like hydraulic. Much harder than any of cars I owned before. Even electric is fairly hard to my taste. However I never had BMW before.

Most people here who like hydraulic steering had BMW before and looking for that particular feel/experience. So it all comes down to personal preferences.

Servotronic will just make the steering feel at high speed similar to slow.
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      02-11-2013, 04:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curvo View Post
About to purchase the xdrive28i and still a little conflicted about servotronic or no? I would
appreciate it if a few others might weigh in about this choice and tell me what they
preferred and why. Thanks.
X1 is my first BMW. After reading all the posts, discussing hydrolic vs electric steering, with/without servotronic, I order xDrive hydrolic steering without servotronic. I never be happier about my decision. I just picked up my X1 for three weeks and have not played with every feature yet. But, so far the thing I like the most is the hydrolic steering. When you turn steering wheel in parking lot, you may feel a little bit heavy. But, once the car starts moving forward, the steering feel is wonderful. It seems the car is on the rails and can drive itself. I would say hydrolic steering without servotronic is "true" BMW, as far as to my expectation. Just go order one and you will never regret.
One friend of mine is a lady at 50. She has E90, the same hydrolic steering as X1 xDrive. She said that if her next car was not BMW (with hydrolic steering), she would not feel safe in highway drive.

Last edited by MSportX1; 02-11-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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      02-11-2013, 06:51 PM   #21
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I like it. It's got the perfect feel, IMO. It's not as quickly ratioed as my old tii but it will do.
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      02-11-2013, 09:41 PM   #22
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xDrive hydraulic servotronic reduces steering effort at lower speeds while sDrive electonic servotronic increases steering effort at higher speeds compared to those without servotronic. I had planned to order servotronic xDrive but my wife test drove one without and she loved it (her main vehicle is 128i). Case was closed. Not sure why they didn't make servotronic optional on the 35i.
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