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    • Turbo import pocket rockets - 2014 Mercedes CLA45 AMG vs. 2014 BMW M235i vs. 2014 Subaru WRX STI

      A Subaru going up against a Mercedes with an AMG and a BMW sporting an M badge? Hey, it does not sound as crazy as it once would have before BMW had a 2-Series and Mercedes-Benz produced a turbo 2.0 liter four-cylinder AMG model with all wheel drive. As the Germans move downscale these types of comparisons of brands not traditionally compared will becomes more common. How does the new Subaru WRX STI stack up to its German competition?


      Well, the first thing to notice is its the greatest value. A Subaru does not exactly have the brand appeal of a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz but that much is obvious. Starting at $38,190 and its as tested price of $38,190 makes that Mercedes badge lose some of its luster when the CLA45 AMG tested price comes in at an eye opening $60,625. If the CLA45 AMG loaded up with options is getting to $60k what will the new W205 C63 AMG go for? $80k? Probably.

      The M235i's tested price is $46,025 so it actually comes up in the middle between the STI and the CLA45 AMG. It also does not have all wheel drive or a turbo four-cylinder like the other two. It does offer the greatest displacement at 3.0 liter from its turbo inline-6 versus 2.5 liter for the STI turbo flat-4 and 2.0 liters from the AMG turbo inline-4.

      The WRX STI has the least amount of horsepower and torque at 305 horses and 290 lb-ft. It is outgunned by the 320 horse 330 lb-ft M235i and the 355 horse and 332 lb-ft CLA45 AMG. It shows in the acceleration figures:

      1. CLA45 AMG - 12.7 @ 110.0 1/4 mile, 4.2 0-60
      2. M235i - 13.0 @ 106.6 1/4 mile, 4.4 0-60
      3. WRX STI - 13.1 @ 104.4, 4.6 0-60

      The CLA45 AMG is the quickest and fast of the bunch, decisively. So the acceleration is quite clear but what about the handling performance? Interestingly all three cars pull a .97g skidpad. The skidpad does not tell the whole story and fortunately MotorTrend took all three cars for timed laps on the roadcourse. The result is quite interesting.

      The quickest car around the roadcourse? The WRX STI. Does the fact it has the lightest curb weight of the trio at 3367 pounds help? Certainly. It also seems to manage its nose heavy weight distribution of 59/41 front to rear better than the CLA45 AMG with its incredible 60/40 front to rear bias. It is clear which car here was designed as a front wheel drive originally.

      Streets of Willow laptime:

      1. WRX STI: 1:26.12
      2. CLA45 AMG: 1:26.20
      3. M235i: 1:26.37

      So the least powerful and cheapest car in the comparison has the best laptime. It also wins the comparison. The STI is said to just pack in a ton of fun into the package despite its understeer. The BMW unfortunately comes up short and the laptime likely shows that the tight Streets of Willow course does not favor an M235i without a limited slip differential and an automatic transmission. Whereas the STI has a sportier manual and the CLA45 AMG a technology advanced dual clutch the BMW is stuck with an automatic. What's going on here? Open diff, automatic, is this really a BMW?

      The STI wins and deservedly so. A great value and all around package. The CLA45 AMG shows it is the dragster of the group and very capable... but boring. MotorTrend cites the lack of emotion and so it finishes last.

      A Subaru going up against a BMW and a Mercedes? That thought certainly does not look so crazy in retrospect.

      3rd Place: Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

      Big on speed, style, and price; small on emotion.

      2nd Place: BMW M235i


      A well-balanced rear-driver in need of options for pizzazz.

      1st Place: Subaru WRX STI


      Launch Edition: Loud, fast, surefooted, amenity-packed—it typifies fun.

      2014 BMW M235i 2014 Mercedes Benz CLA45 AMG 2015 Subaru WRX STI (Launch Edition)
      POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
      DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD Front-engine, AWD Front-engine, AWD
      ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-6, alum block/head Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head Turbocharged flat-4, alum block/heads
      VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
      DISPLACEMENT 181.8 cu in/2979 cc 121.5 cu in/1991 cc 149.9 cu in/2457 cc
      COMPRESSION RATIO 10.2:1 8.6:1 8.2:1
      POWER (SAE NET) 320 hp @ 5800 rpm 355 hp @ 6000 rpm 305 hp @ 6000 rpm
      TORQUE (SAE NET) 330 lb-ft @ 1300 rpm 332 lb-ft @ 2250 rpm 290 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
      REDLINE 7000 rpm 6250 rpm 6700 rpm
      WEIGHT TO POWER 10.9 lb/hp 10.1 lb/hp 11.0 lb/hp
      TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 7-speed twin-clutch auto. 6-speed manual
      AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.08:1/2.05:1 2.44:1/1.17:1 3.90:1/2.94:1
      SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar
      STEERING RATIO 14.5:1 14.5:1 13.1:1
      TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.2 2.7 2.5
      BRAKES, F;R 13.4-in vented disc; 11.4-in vented disc, ABS 13.8-in vented, drilled, grooved disc; 13.0-in vented, drilled disc, ABS 13.0-in vented disc; 12.4-in vented disc, ABS
      WHEELS, F;R 7.5 x 18-in; 8.0 x 18-in, cast aluminum 9.0 x 19-in, cast aluminum 8.5 x 18-in, forged aluminum
      TIRES, F;R 225/40ZR18 88Y; 245/35ZR18 92Y Michelin Pilot Super Sport 235/40ZR19 91Y Dunlop Sport Maxx RT MO 245/40R18 97W Dunlop Sport Maxx RT
      DIMENSIONS
      WHEELBASE 105.9 in 106.3 in 104.3 in
      TRACK, F/R 59.7/60.4 in 61.3/61.4 in 60.2/60.6 in
      LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 174.5 x 69.8 x 55.2 in 184.7 x 70.0 x 55.7 in 180.9 x 70.7 x 58.1 in
      TURNING CIRCLE 35.8 ft 36.1 ft 36.0 ft
      CURB WEIGHT 3494 lb 3600 lb 3367 lb
      WEIGHT DIST., F/R 53/47 % 60/40 % 59/41 %
      SEATING CAPACITY 4 5 5
      HEADROOM, F/R 40.1/36.5 in 37.0/35.6 in 39.8/37.1 in
      LEGROOM, F/R 41.5/33.0 in 40.2/27.1 in 43.3/35.4 in
      SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 54.4/53.4 in 56.0/53.2 in 55.6/54.2 in
      CARGO VOLUME 13.8 cu ft 13.1 cu ft 12.0 cu ft
      TEST DATA
      ACCELERATION TO MPH
      0-30 1.7 sec 1.4 sec 1.3 sec
      0-40 2.4 2.2 2.3
      0-50 3.3 3.0 3.2
      0-60 4.4 4.2 4.6
      0-70 5.7 5.3 6.0
      0-80 7.3 6.9 7.5
      0-90 9.0 8.6 9.7
      0-100 11.2 10.5 11.9
      PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.2 2.2 2.5
      QUARTER MILE 13.0 sec @ 106.6 mph 12.7 sec @ 110.0 mph 13.1 sec @ 104.4 mph
      BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 103 ft 105 ft 108 ft
      LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.97 g (avg) 0.97 g (avg) 0.97 g (avg)
      MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.9 sec @ 0.78 g (avg) 24.6 sec @ 0.79 g (avg) 24.9 sec @ 0.79 g (avg)
      1.6-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 86.37 sec 86.20 sec 86.12 sec
      TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1800 rpm 1500 rpm 2400 rpm
      CONSUMER INFO
      BASE PRICE $44,025 $48,375 $38,190
      PRICE AS TESTED $46,025 $60,625 $38,190
      STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes
      AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, f/r head Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee Dual front, front side, f/r head
      BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles
      POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles
      ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/unlimited miles Unlimited 3 yrs/36,000 miles
      FUEL CAPACITY 13.7 gal 14.8 gal 15.9 gal
      EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 22/32/25 mpg 23/31/26 mpg 17/23/19 mpg
      ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 153/105 kW-hrs/100 miles 147/109 kW-hrs/100 miles 198/147 kW-hrs/100 miles
      CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.76 lb/mile 0.75 lb/mile 1.01 lb/mile
      REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 22/29/25 mpg 23/30/26 mpg 22/25/23 mpg
      RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium Unleaded premium

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Turbo import pocket rockets - 2014 Mercedes CLA45 AMG vs. 2014 BMW M235i vs. 2014 Subaru WRX STI started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 42 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by andrew20195 Click here to enlarge
        The new WRX/STi is based on the 4th gen Impreza chassis. Subaru may claim extra generations in between but there have really only been 4 clean sheet designs. This is the first WRX that "isn't an Impreza", even though it uses the same chassis. There was no 4th gen "Impreza WRX".
        I don't get it then, how is this not an Impreza then?
      1. litxus's Avatar
        litxus -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by whoosh Click here to enlarge
        Vendors are already listing the Cobb down pipe as compatible with the '15 STi, and Cobb got a car about a month ago to begin their work on the ECU. So everything known about the EJ should transfer over pretty easily w/regard to tuning.

        If you're willing to bypass the keyless entry and the things like gold wheels that are exclusive to the launch edition, you can get a base STi for under $34k. Mine is scheduled to be here in August, just before the snow flies. Looking to do E85 next spring.
        Why are you not getting the 2015 WRX and tune it? It seems 2015 STI uses an older engine and I just don't see a huge difference between two except price and pretty bad mpg for boosted 4 (sti).
      1. inlineS54B32's Avatar
        inlineS54B32 -
        That CLA45 AMG is crazy... I mean, that much power out of a 2.0 liter engine is absurd - I am very curious how this engine takes abuse over time. It's an astounding little engine. However, that weight bias is ridiculous... 60/40 split? Are you serious? That doesn't even make sense - it has a good powertrain, it has an AMG badge, but they screw up so badly here? Geez.

        I am really surprised how fast this car is - looking at the 0-100 MPH times, it's not even a race between them all in a straight line. The incredible part is that the AMG is making 355 HP at a ridiculously low RPM of 6000 (and aboring redline at 6250) - if tuners can raise the limit and hold the boost while keeping the block together, this thing has some serious potential. This is faster than an E46 M3. Pretty impressive for 2 liters.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
        That CLA45 AMG is crazy... I mean, that much power out of a 2.0 liter engine is absurd - I am very curious how this engine takes abuse over time. It's an astounding little engine. However, that weight bias is ridiculous... 60/40 split? Are you serious? That doesn't even make sense - it has a good powertrain, it has an AMG badge, but they screw up so badly here? Geez.
        Insane weight split I don't see how that would be fun. That said, crazy little motor. What's even crazier is VW/Audi are going after it.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
        I am really surprised how fast this car is - looking at the 0-100 MPH times, it's not even a race between them all in a straight line. The incredible part is that the AMG is making 355 HP at a ridiculously low RPM of 6000 (and aboring redline at 6250) - if tuners can raise the limit and hold the boost while keeping the block together, this thing has some serious potential. This is faster than an E46 M3. Pretty impressive for 2 liters.
        Agree 100%. Manufacturers are going to start trying to make as much power as they can from the smallest displacement they can. It's kind of fun to watch them go at it in this segment.
      1. andrew20195's Avatar
        andrew20195 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I don't get it then, how is this not an Impreza then?
        Every exterior body panel except the roof, IIRC, is different. I believe many of the interior panels are different as well. Every previous WRX is pretty much identical to the Impreza, with the exception of wider fenders, more aggressive bumper, sport seats.

        Subaru really only has two platforms. The small one is shared between the Impreza/Crosstrek and Forester, and the larger is shared between the Legacy and Outback (and possibly the forthcoming Subaru minivan).

        I haven't seen one in person yet, though.
      1. whoosh's Avatar
        whoosh -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by litxus Click here to enlarge
        Why are you not getting the 2015 WRX and tune it? It seems 2015 STI uses an older engine and I just don't see a huge difference between two except price and pretty bad mpg for boosted 4 (sti).
        The 2.0T in the WRX is Direct Injection, which we all know is a total PITA to deal with compared to port injection. I know with the EJ257 that I can get close to 400whp on E85 with a tune, upgraded tank pump, and upgraded injectors. Who knows what the FA20 will do on corn, or how long it will take to get it there...

        The engine isn't the only difference between the cars and I'm after a four season canyon carver, rather than a drag car. So the handling improvements on the STi are appealing, as are the things like:

        Brembos vs Subie brakes
        Bulletproof 6MT with direct actuation vs. cable shift 6MT of unknown durability
        Rear-biased (41/59) AWD with DCCD vs traditional Subie AWD (50/50) with no driver control of torque split.
        Front helical LSD and rear Torsen LSD vs. open front/rear diffs
        STi has more reinforced areas in the chassis than the WRX (more handling improvements)

        Some non-performance differences:
        dual zone climate control
        alcantara seating with more aggressive bolsters
        LED headlamps (WRX is stuck with halogens and no LED/xenon option)

        Since I can reach my power goals with the EJ, I'd rather get a car where I only have to upgrade the power instead of one where I have to upgrade the power, brakes, suspension, etc. etc. etc. Maybe the WRX would be cheaper, but definitely not easier. And I don't want to wait for my local tuner to know how to reliably tune for E85 on the new motor.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by whoosh Click here to enlarge
        The 2.0T in the WRX is Direct Injection, which we all know is a total PITA to deal with compared to port injection. I know with the EJ257 that I can get close to 400whp on E85 with a tune, upgraded tank pump, and upgraded injectors. Who knows what the FA20 will do on corn, or how long it will take to get it there...
        Your line of thinking is completely logical.
      1. andrew20195's Avatar
        andrew20195 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by whoosh Click here to enlarge
        Who knows what the FA20 will do on corn, or how long it will take to get it there...
        Full disclosure: I own a BRZ, and I used to own an Evo VIII.

        That being said, I think overall the FA20 will prove to be a stronger engine, and there is already tremendous aftermarket support. The Dual Injection system on the BRZ is an advantage over pure DI, though. If 400 whp is your goal, the venerable EJ25 is more than capable. Just make sure you get someone who knows what they're doing to tune it.

        The engine isn't the only difference between the cars and I'm after a four season canyon carver, rather than a drag car. So the handling improvements on the STi are appealing, as are the things like:

        Brembos vs Subie brakes
        I could be wrong on this model, but on previous WRX vs. STi, the steering knuckles are quite a bit stronger on the STi. So even if you retrofit the brakes, the STi is much better in this regard.

        Bulletproof 6MT with direct actuation vs. cable shift 6MT of unknown durability
        This is probably the only thing that would prevent me from buying a WRX over an STi as a fun car. The STi transmission will break long after everything else in the driveline. Although the STi shift feel is not really that good, to be honest. I would put it somewhere between my '05 Evo 5-speed and my '06 GTO T-56 (neither of which compare to, say, an S2000, or even my BRZ).

        Rear-biased (41/59) AWD with DCCD vs traditional Subie AWD (50/50) with no driver control of torque split.
        The driver control isn't that important to me, but DCCD is far better than a viscous coupling. Again, part of the transmission on a Subaru.

        Front helical LSD and rear Torsen LSD vs. open front/rear diffs
        This is actually relatively cheap to retrofit.

        STi has more reinforced areas in the chassis than the WRX (more handling improvements)
        It remains to be seen how much of a difference this makes, but it can be done to a WRX chassis with a little work.

        Some non-performance differences:
        dual zone climate control
        alcantara seating with more aggressive bolsters
        LED headlamps (WRX is stuck with halogens and no LED/xenon option)

        Since I can reach my power goals with the EJ, I'd rather get a car where I only have to upgrade the power instead of one where I have to upgrade the power, brakes, suspension, etc. etc. etc. Maybe the WRX would be cheaper, but definitely not easier. And I don't want to wait for my local tuner to know how to reliably tune for E85 on the new motor.
        Overall, I don't disagree with you. I'm a bit disappointed the STi is using the EJ engine, to be honest. But I understand, as the FA engine will not bolt up to the STi transmission. I think the lack of competition has made Subaru soft. Here's to hoping another manufacturer (Mitsubishi?) will give them a run for their money within the next few years.

        WRX/STi sales make up a very small portion of Subaru's total sales, it's not about money. I think they may need a push to be at the top of their game.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by andrew20195 Click here to enlarge
        Full disclosure: I own a BRZ, and I used to own an Evo VIII.

        That being said, I think overall the FA20 will prove to be a stronger engine, and there is already tremendous aftermarket support. The Dual Injection system on the BRZ is an advantage over pure DI, though. If 400 whp is your goal, the venerable EJ25 is more than capable. Just make sure you get someone who knows what they're doing to tune it.
        Would you do me a favor please @andrew20195 and take a look at the subaruboost and mitsubishiboost forum indexes to see how they are setup and if they make sense?

        Pay no attention to the styling that will change:

        http://www.subaruboost.com/forum.php
        http://www.mitsubishiboost.com/forum.php
      1. whoosh's Avatar
        whoosh -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by andrew20195 Click here to enlarge
        Full disclosure: I own a BRZ, and I used to own an Evo VIII.

        That being said, I think overall the FA20 will prove to be a stronger engine, and there is already tremendous aftermarket support. The Dual Injection system on the BRZ is an advantage over pure DI, though. If 400 whp is your goal, the venerable EJ25 is more than capable. Just make sure you get someone who knows what they're doing to tune it.
        This will be my third STi, along with an '02 WRX. So the EJ and the rest of the Subaru driveline are very familiar to me... Click here to enlarge

        Definitely dual injection helps - Toyota did it mainly for emissions of course, but for the rest of us, the main benefit will be reduction of carbon build up.

        I look at the EJ this way: At first I was disappointed too. It would have been great to get a new mill, but there's already so much knowledge and so many parts out there for the EJ that I'm not letting it hold me back (obviously). To me the rest of the car is much improved, and waiting on an FA to come into the STi means parking a car over the winter again. Or dropping more cash on a different AWD car which, in light of this comparison, won't really hold up from a performance standpoint.

        As for my tuner, I'll go to one of the highly regarded tuners in Colorado... where Subaru is the official state car.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by andrew20195 Click here to enlarge
        I could be wrong on this model, but on previous WRX vs. STi, the steering knuckles are quite a bit stronger on the STi. So even if you retrofit the brakes, the STi is much better in this regard.
        Yep, you're right about that although as you mentioned, the newer WRX may have closed that gap. They did go to electric power steering on the WRX now, so another plus to STi and the quickened hydraulic rack this year.


        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by andrew20195 Click here to enlarge
        This is probably the only thing that would prevent me from buying a WRX over an STi as a fun car. The STi transmission will break long after everything else in the driveline. Although the STi shift feel is not really that good, to be honest. I would put it somewhere between my '05 Evo 5-speed and my '06 GTO T-56 (neither of which compare to, say, an S2000, or even my BRZ).
        S2000 is the best shifter I've ever used, period. My Cayman's shifter, with the convoluted cable setup, is trash by comparison. I used to grind 2nd all the time in my 2010 STi... They've apparently made some improvements to the linkage for '15; hopefully they are beneficial.


        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by andrew20195 Click here to enlarge
        The driver control isn't that important to me, but DCCD is far better than a viscous coupling. Again, part of the transmission on a Subaru.
        It hasn't happened often, but I've absolutely needed to lock the center diff to get up my driveway in winter. Times when an Outback got stuck, an STi made it up... both with full winters mounted.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by andrew20195 Click here to enlarge
        Overall, I don't disagree with you. I'm a bit disappointed the STi is using the EJ engine, to be honest. But I understand, as the FA engine will not bolt up to the STi transmission. I think the lack of competition has made Subaru soft. Here's to hoping another manufacturer (Mitsubishi?) will give them a run for their money within the next few years.

        WRX/STi sales make up a very small portion of Subaru's total sales, it's not about money. I think they may need a push to be at the top of their game.
        Totally agree here - competition is often the thing that spurs innovation, and with Mitsu being questionable about extending the Evo lineup, Subaru doesn't have a lot of motivation. It will be interesting to see how the STi does against the upcoming S3 and Golf R. Those are really the only comparable cars in the segment now. Regardless, hopefully we'll see an FA20/FA25 with 330-350hp stock in a few years.
      1. whoosh's Avatar
        whoosh -
        Detailed information about the significant changes to the 2015 STI:

        http://subaruboost.com/showthread.ph...424#post552424
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by whoosh Click here to enlarge
        Detailed information about the significant changes to the 2015 STI:

        http://subaruboost.com/showthread.ph...424#post552424
        Nicely done.
      1. singletrack's Avatar
        singletrack -
        Really like the new styling of the STi...they lost their way there for a while. I use to have an 04 (03 build - first US STi release) and loved it - but ~76k hard miles on it with no significant issues. Great transmission. Best braking car in the world when it was released. Biggest fault was lack of steering feel/feedback which I think BMW is the best at in the world.

        AWDriveyourself can also be a little boring sometimes...but man can you push those things safely.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
        which I think BMW is the best at in the world.
        WAS best at
      1. singletrack's Avatar
        singletrack -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        WAS best at
        Could be right. My first-hand experience only goes to the E92 M3. I've never driven a car with better feedback - and that includes the Ferrari 430 Scuderia. I know BMW is all "our new electric steering is better than the e92" - well, I haven't driven it yet so I will reserve judgement. The fact that Porsche has gone to electronic steering gives me some hope that BMW can do a good job.

        I will say this. I drove a new F30 32 eh forget what - with the new 2L turbo. Amazing engine. I give it an F- on steering and road feedback. Compare this to my wife's 09 328, I would give it an A+ in the same category. So that tiny sample does support your opinion.

        The other thing I would add is that, after further reflection from a business standpoint, I think this may be deliberate. I mean if you consider who is really the target market for a base 3 series BMW, they likely want a luxurious disconnected feel. Still, to me it seems all wrong. If I wanted that, I would get an Acura....like the wheel isn't even connected to the car : P
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
        Could be right. My first-hand experience only goes to the E92 M3. I've never driven a car with better feedback - and that includes the Ferrari 430 Scuderia. I know BMW is all "our new electric steering is better than the e92" - well, I haven't driven it yet so I will reserve judgement. The fact that Porsche has gone to electronic steering gives me some hope that BMW can do a good job.

        I will say this. I drove a new F30 32 eh forget what - with the new 2L turbo. Amazing engine. I give it an F- on steering and road feedback. Compare this to my wife's 09 328, I would give it an A+ in the same category. So that tiny sample does support your opinion.

        The other thing I would add is that, after further reflection from a business standpoint, I think this may be deliberate. I mean if you consider who is really the target market for a base 3 series BMW, they likely want a luxurious disconnected feel. Still, to me it seems all wrong. If I wanted that, I would get an Acura....like the wheel isn't even connected to the car : P
        The E46 M3 has better steering feedback than the E92 which feels a bit too assisted.

        BMW steering feel started going downhill when they started all this park assist and steering assist electronic bull$#@!. Now the steering feels far more artificial.
      1. singletrack's Avatar
        singletrack -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The E46 M3 has better steering feedback than the E92 which feels a bit too assisted.

        BMW steering feel started going downhill when they started all this park assist and steering assist electronic bull$#@!. Now the steering feels far more artificial.
        I disagree. Maybe in a parking lot, but on the track I prefer the E92.

        A lot of people remapping the steering etc...I think it is damn near perfect....at least in the range where most people should be quite pleased. Remember, like it or not the e9x M3 IS a GT car + track car. I think the E46 was less GT focused IMHO.

        EDIT - I would also add that the boosting does not kill the feedback IMHO - that is the magic.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
        I disagree. Maybe in a parking lot, but on the track I prefer the E92.
        That's fine. My preference is the E46 steering.
      1. Nugs's Avatar
        Nugs -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge

        The other thing I would add is that, after further reflection from a business standpoint, I think this may be deliberate. I mean if you consider who is really the target market for a base 3 series BMW, they likely want a luxurious disconnected feel. Still, to me it seems all wrong. If I wanted that, I would get an Acura....like the wheel isn't even connected to the car : P
        I would say this is definitely the case. My brother drove my car and afterwards he goes "what's wrong with your steering, why is it so heavy?"
        He likes Audi & VW style steering where the wheel turns like it connected to nothing.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Nugs Click here to enlarge
        He likes Audi & VW style steering where the wheel turns like it connected to nothing.
        That's the crappiest steering feel in the world.