Let’s start over: BMW allowing dealers to reprogram 3 Series auto start/stop

2012 BMW 335i front

As part of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics measure aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and enhancing fuel economy, BMW introduced an automatic start/stop feature in its new 3 Series. In theory, the auto start/stop feature is supposed to make your driving experience more efficient. By all accounts though, it has proven more of a nuisance as evidenced by our recent 2012 BMW 335i review.

In addition to having trouble with the feature ourselves, we had to reengage the ignition on numerous occasions with the key (rather than automatically starting up again as intended). Of course our workaround was simply to disengage the function altogether, however that option is marred by the fact that the auto start/stop function reengages to “on” by default. This means you must manually deactivate it every time you start the car. Annoying? Yes.

Now, according to reports from Bimmerfile, BMW is dealing with that issue by allowing dealerships to activate the system’s Last User Mode, which eliminates the need to consistently deactivate auto start/stop every time the engine is engaged. Apparently, enough drivers of the new 3 Series expressed frustration with the system, prompting BMW to allow dealerships to reprogram the vehicle and allow the car to start in the same mode it was shut down in. Interestingly, owners of BMW M models come with Last User Mode enabled automatically.

Despite a few hitches, we wholeheartedly approve of automatic start/stop technology, especially when considering that fuel economy can increase by up to 12 percent when equipped. As it turns out, we’ll start to see more and more vehicles equipped with automatic start/stop technology. Right now, the technology is limited to automakers such as BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes in the U.S. (Ford has plans to offer it in its upcoming 2013 Fusion as well), but recent study by Lux Research found that by 2017 around eight million vehicles in North American will feature some form of automatic start/stop.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

BMW’s 2020 M340i will show off mix of tech and luxury at the Los Angeles show

The 2020 3 Series represents the seventh generation of BMW's bread-and-butter luxury sedan. Where previous generations emphasized the driving experience, the 2020 3 Series focuses more on tech than ever before.
Cars

VW will use Siri as the designated driver for its connected car party

Volkswagen of America added Apple's Siri to help drivers control and interact with their cars. Owners can customize voice commands to tell Siri to change access settings such as interior climate, vehicle lock status, and fuel checks.
Cars

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.
Cars

Thinking of driving for Uber? These cars are safe, comfy, and fuel-efficient

Uber is a viable means for making money on the side, but you won't earn much if all of your profits are going direct toward fuel and maintenance. Thankfully, these five cars are a perfect fit for those looking to shuttle passengers from…
Cars

Roborace wants human drivers and machines to work together

Roborace believes the future of racing is autonomous, but it's keeping human drivers in the picture for now. For its first race season, Roborace will use a car called DevBot 2.0 that can be driven by humans or machines.
Cars

Tesla raises prices and simplifies options on Model S and Model X

Tesla is making changes to its offerings of the Model S and Model X. The lower-range 75D models will increase in price, while the higher-range 100D models will decrease in price.
Cars

Tesla brings track mode to Model 3 Performance

The new Track Mode introduced for the Tesla 3 Performance model adds stability to the drive while you're behind the wheel and is specifically designed for driving on closed track courses.
Cars

Jaguar’s rally-ready F-Type roadster is happiest off the pavement

Jaguar is celebrating the XK120's 70th birthday by turning the F-Type roadster into a rally warrior. Built to FIA specifications, the model receives suspension and braking upgrades plus a full roll cage to protect the occupants.
Mobile

Lyft’s new rewards program promises ride discounts and comfier cars

If you're always hopping in and out of a Lyft car, then you'll be pleased to hear that the ridesharing service is about to launch a rewards program. Perks include discounts on future trips and upgrades to comfier cars.
Cars

Study suggests autonomous cars could become red-light districts on wheels

Fully autonomous cars can change the way we commute, but they can also have a far-reaching impact on the tourism industry. Two researchers published a study that outlines how self-driving technology could create a new dimension in tourism.
Cars

Meet the born-again Ford Bronco that will soothe your ’90s nostalgia

Ford has confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in a few short years. While it's still very much a work in progress, this is what we expect from the Blue Oval's born-again off-roader.
Cars

Waymo will launch its commercial autonomous ridesharing service in December

Waymo will launch a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in December, according to a new report. As previously discussed by Waymo, the service will operate in specific areas around Phoenix, Arizona.
Cars

Quick! Someone petition Ferrari to make this luscious tribute to the F40

Ferrari looks toward the future as it designs hypercars like the LaFerrari. Designer Samir Sadikhov turned his eye toward the past to create a modern interpretation of the 1987 F40 without venturing into full retro territory.