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2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited September 2014 in BMW

image2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo Long-Term Road Test

The cruise control on our 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo is about as flawless as it gets.

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Comments

  • kirkhilles_kirkhilles_ Posts: 151
    Neat! I'd like to see adaptive cruise, personally, though.

    Oh.and.can.we.stop.with.the.one.word.per.periods.now.It.gets.really.annoying.
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaPosts: 451
    Yeah, I fell for it this once. I'll take a Mulligan. Anyway, we do have adaptive cruise control cars in the LT fleet. But the success of any adaptive system depends on the engineering and corporate philosophy of the base cruise control that underpins it. I'd really like to bring in a 3-series with adaptive cruise control for a short-term test to see if my enthusiasm extends to the enhanced system.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • jaguar36jaguar36 Posts: 15
    No way. The E9x's had a much better cruise control system. The CC controls were mounted on a stalk on below the turn signal, it was incredibly easy to activate, far better than buttons.

    Moving it to the steering wheel buttons is just another example of BMW going for the lowest common denominator.
  • mlin32_mlin32_ Posts: 9
    This cruise control system (Dynamic Cruise Control) has been on BMWs since about 2006 or so and it is very smooth and controlled, agreed.

    It will apply the brakes both on downhill gradients to maintain set speed, as well as brake below the set speed should you go around a corner at a set speed that is too quick for safe operation.
  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Posts: 365
    I wouldn't say this is specific to BMW. This is just a situation where the Germans seem to get it right. Audi, MB, and Porsche also have excellent standard cruise control.
  • this looks pretty slick but i still prefer the stalk on the right hand side of the old lexus/toyota vehicles.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Posts: 606
    There's fine tuning you can build into a cruise control system but the biggies are engine and transmission. Having enough engine power to nail a speed without lag on hill climbs is critical. It's also important to have a transmission with enough gears and enough logic about how to use the gears to avoid lurching gear changes. A '97 truck I owned with a 4 speed would kick down from 4th to 2nd on moderate hill climbs at highway speeds, sending the engine into a roar as it jumped from 2,400rpm to over 4,000 and still couldn't keep up. I'd always switch off cruise control on anything steeper than a very gentle incline and manually shift to 3rd.
  • miedenmieden Posts: 75
    mlin32 hit the nail on the head. This is a product of the Bosch ESP 8 hydraulic controller I commented on WAY back in a Jan post on the Cadenza's "HOLD" feature. BMW/AUDI/Mercedes have been using this for almost a decade now. The controller is precise enough to apply braking in cruise to hold your speed. All this code is baked into the unit for adaptive cruise anyway, it'd be foolish of any company not to use it even when the radar input is absent. It is indeed quite comfortable. Like auto hold, im surprised no one has noticed it in any of the German luxury cars you've had since 2006. Audi links the GPS terrain data from the nav system to theirs too, so it knows of what hills, turns and off-ramps lie ahead. Now, THAT is a slick system!
  • Yeah some of those basic features are even on lowly VW's (e.g. 5mph increments). I also find the VW holds speed well. It doesn't have the indicator in the speedo though.
  • bimmerjaybimmerjay Posts: 28
    I love BMW's standard Dynamic Cruise Control as well for the reasons Dan mentioned - it slows and accelerates ever so smoothly regardless of terrain. What irks me though are all the other drivers around you that are incapable of managing their speed in hilly terrain. I occasionally cross a long freeway grade and on the upward section many cars slow to 50-55 mph and I'll rocket past them maintaining 75. Then when the section turns to a long downhill a few miles later they pass me going 85-90.
  • I hate to rain on the parade but here it goes. There is more electronic wizardry going on than meets the eye. Even the very best programmed and executed cruise control systems (including adaptive systems) cannot hold a set speed perfectly on hills without losing or gaining 1 mph. Even systems that have sensors for grades still use rate of deceleration/acceleration to calculate how much more throttle is needed to maintain the set speed. This rate of acceleration/deceleration also compensates for strong headwinds. BMW, I will assume, is smart enough to program the speedometer to indicate the set speed while the system compensates to maintain that speed giving the illusion that the vehicle is maintaining the set speed without losing or gaining any speed. There system obviously is one of the best since speed never goes high or low enough for the speedometer to show a change. Very much like temperature gauges that never move even though water temperature is constantly fluctuating. No system can know to compensate unless there is a change in the set speed. The best systems can normally compensate when vehicle speed is +/- 1-3. mph. Some systems are limited on the amount of throttle they can use to compensate. The best systems can apply 100% throttle if necessary. BMW does get credit for enabling the cruise control system to have access to the braking system to maintain speed going down hill.
  • I'd actually like a system that mimicked actual driving a bit more. If it keeps a perfectly steady speed heading up and down hills you'll tend to overtake people on the uphills and be overtaken on the down hills. I'd prefer to be able to set a mileage range that when the car is going up or down it would allow the speed to fluctuate. It would also help with efficiency if it wasn't pulling harder to keep the perfect 70 mph on the uphill and then breaking to keep it locked there on the other side. Let it drop to 68 or so with the traffic on the up and speed up to 72 or 73 on the down, again with the flow of traffic.
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