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      06-04-2019, 01:40 PM   #1
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Adaptive Suspension vs. Standard - Who has tried both?

Looking at ordering an m340i x-drive. Has anyone tried both suspensions?

The non-adaptive and adaptive have both been vastly improved according to earlier press releases.

In the F30, the adaptive suspension was a no-brainier for me after driving both because, it came with an improved steering program. It doesn't seem like this difference has carried over.

I would love to hear some takes on both suspensions.
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      06-04-2019, 02:38 PM   #2
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From my experience, and as you noted, the F30 basically required it (especially if getting xDrive). When I test drove the G20 M340 with xDrive, it had the non-adaptive M Sport Suspension, which was more than enough for my needs, so I didn't opt for it.

FYI the M340 has variable steering (VSS) standard.
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      06-04-2019, 03:26 PM   #3
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https://g20.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...1613560&page=2

Seems to be a thread about this already.

A quick summary:
1. Most people think the normal M Sport Suspension is sufficient and passed on the adaptive damper, as the standard suspension rides much better than its equivalent in the F30 generation cars.
2. In terms of stiffness, the standard M suspension is between the "Normal" and "Sport" settings of Adaptive Suspension.
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      06-04-2019, 04:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer813 View Post
https://g20.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...1613560&page=2

Seems to be a thread about this already.

A quick summary:
1. Most people think the normal M Sport Suspension is sufficient and passed on the adaptive damper, as the standard suspension rides much better than its equivalent in the F30 generation cars.
2. In terms of stiffness, the standard M suspension is between the "Normal" and "Sport" settings of Adaptive Suspension.
Seems to align with what bmw said (adaptive gives you the softest ride available and the stiffest ride available).

The f30 springs and dampers didn’t seem happy with each other. Sounds like that has been sorted and the pairing is now good again?
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      06-04-2019, 05:26 PM   #5
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Keep in mind that the M Adaptive Suspension is not merely an adjustable suspension with three overall stiffness settings so it will never exactly emulate the standard suspension regardless of the setting.

I live in Manhattan and would not consider getting a car that did not have active suspension. As I recall from the years I lived in Boston the roads there are as bad as the roads in NYC.

Good explanation in this video:

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Last edited by captainaudio; 06-04-2019 at 05:40 PM..
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      06-04-2019, 05:32 PM   #6
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Another excellent video explaining adaptive suspension technologies,

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      06-04-2019, 10:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Keep in mind that the M Adaptive Suspension is not merely an adjustable suspension with three overall stiffness settings so it will never exactly emulate the standard suspension regardless of the setting.

I live in Manhattan and would not consider getting a car that did not have active suspension. As I recall from the years I lived in Boston the roads there are as bad as the roads in NYC.

Good explanation in this video:

Yes, I drive into Boston for work and just had a newborn so, comfort mode is still enticing despite the positive reviews of passive linked above. Passive M-Sport sounds very good. I may just have to keep hunting for an m340i without adaptive so I can drive it myself.
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      06-05-2019, 09:31 AM   #8
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Passive:
For the new G20 3 Series, BMW wanted to get back to basics, in the way it drives. So rather than rely on adaptive dampers, speed-variable steering and multiple drive modes, BMW wanted the 3 Series to drive like a proper sport sedan without any of that. So it developed a new suspension setup that would be the 3er’s as-standard, passive suspension. Also, BMW claims that few customers actually paid for the adaptive dampers.

These new lift-related dampers feature both main and auxiliary springs and new internal hydraulic bump stops, which are capable of progressively increasing pressure inside the shock over bumps, while also progressively adjusting rebound. This new tech for the front and rear shocks also do slightly different things in the new 3 Series, with the fronts work on rebound while the rears work on compression. This is a BMW-first technology.

Essentially, this new suspension setup stages compression on both compression and rebound, allowing for a finer-tuned, more controlled ride, which will allow it to both absorb bumps better as well as handle better. And it seems to have worked well.

BMW applied this technology to two passive suspension setups, both regular and M Sport. Neither of which are adaptive, which is the way the car Gods intended. The setup that journalists sampled on the Nurburgring recently was the M Sport one. While it gets similar technology, the M Sport suspension, it’s 10mm lower and features a stiffer setup that doesn’t sacrifice comfort much.

“The suspension hardware means we’ve been able to increase the effective spring rate of the M Sport suspension quite a lot, so there’s now twice as big a gap in terms of handling response and body control between cars with standard suspension and M Sport suspension than before,” according to BMW 3 Series dynamics lead Jon Van As.

“But we’ve also been able to take initial, low-level damping interference away in the stiffer-sprung version, because we’ve got more progressive control available later in the suspension stroke. That actually makes the car’s ride flatter and more supple, because the suspension’s freer to work and to move to begin with; the body doesn’t jostle or fidget as much. Other manufacturers use ‘selective’ dampers in an attempt to achieve something similar, but those can ‘freeze’ when the suspension inputs pass a certain pretty arbitrary frequency — and when they really needn’t.”

While most engineers will rave about the car they’ve just developed to journalists about to test it, it seems as if neither BMW or Van As are being hyperbolic. According to Car and Driver, “Over the Nürburgring’s most abrupt attitude changes, they feel almost as miraculous as magnetorheological dampers in their ability to quell body motion.” That’s high praise indeed, as anyone who’s used magnetorheological dampers knows they feel almost magical.

Motor Trend also had darling things to say about the new 3 Series’ suspension setup. “Application driving dynamics boss Jos van As notes that the test cars are the “worst case for ride”—sport suspension and lowest-profile run-flat tires. Yet body motion control is impeccable, and the vehicle absorbs the sharpest impacts with trademark vintage-BMW suppleness. I can only imagine how cosseting the base car on taller sidewalls will feel.”
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      06-05-2019, 05:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Keep in mind that the M Adaptive Suspension is not merely an adjustable suspension with three overall stiffness settings so it will never exactly emulate the standard suspension regardless of the setting.

I live in Manhattan and would not consider getting a car that did not have active suspension. As I recall from the years I lived in Boston the roads there are as bad as the roads in NYC.

Good explanation in this video:

I'm being pedantic here but the BMW F30 and G20 do not have active suspensions. They are classified as adaptive suspensions.

Something like Magnetic Ride like on Camaros and Corvettes is a semi-active suspension. It can actually respond to road conditions quickly enough to make a difference and actually respond to changing road conditions. It can stiffen its fluid so much so quickly that it can legitimately completely lock the wheel position and emulate an adjustable sway bar. So it has a some limited control of individual wheel height.

Mercedes ABC suspension is a real active suspension with real full control of all four corners. So is Audi's new active suspension on the 2018 A8. Those systems are really only useful for large heavy luxury cars.

The simple valved dampers on the F30 and G20 are the most basic type of electronic dampers and are largely just comfort/sport switches. When all you're doing is changing damping with a slow response time (keeping spring rate and sway bar rigidity the same), you can't do much else. They're good for people who live in places with bad roads.
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      06-05-2019, 07:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidedownfunnel View Post
I'm being pedantic here but the BMW F30 and G20 do not have active suspensions. They are classified as adaptive suspensions.

Something like Magnetic Ride like on Camaros and Corvettes is a semi-active suspension. It can actually respond to road conditions quickly enough to make a difference and actually respond to changing road conditions. It can stiffen its fluid so much so quickly that it can legitimately completely lock the wheel position and emulate an adjustable sway bar. So it has a some limited control of individual wheel height.

Mercedes ABC suspension is a real active suspension with real full control of all four corners. So is Audi's new active suspension on the 2018 A8. Those systems are really only useful for large heavy luxury cars.

The simple valved dampers on the F30 and G20 are the most basic type of electronic dampers and are largely just comfort/sport switches. When all you're doing is changing damping with a slow response time (keeping spring rate and sway bar rigidity the same), you can't do much else. They're good for people who live in places with bad roads.
Has anything caught up to the Bose prototype that never made it to production?

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      06-06-2019, 08:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidedownfunnel View Post
I'm being pedantic here but the BMW F30 and G20 do not have active suspensions. They are classified as adaptive suspensions.

Something like Magnetic Ride like on Camaros and Corvettes is a semi-active suspension. It can actually respond to road conditions quickly enough to make a difference and actually respond to changing road conditions. It can stiffen its fluid so much so quickly that it can legitimately completely lock the wheel position and emulate an adjustable sway bar. So it has a some limited control of individual wheel height.

Mercedes ABC suspension is a real active suspension with real full control of all four corners. So is Audi's new active suspension on the 2018 A8. Those systems are really only useful for large heavy luxury cars.

The simple valved dampers on the F30 and G20 are the most basic type of electronic dampers and are largely just comfort/sport switches. When all you're doing is changing damping with a slow response time (keeping spring rate and sway bar rigidity the same), you can't do much else. They're good for people who live in places with bad roads.
That is my take on it as well. I haven’t found any technical write ups on the adaptive in the g20 yet. The passive sounds excellent. It sounds like it learns and reacts to your driving inputs, which I dislike. I don’t trust it to always know what I am wanting before I want it so I imagine it could create some inconsistent suspension actions. That will bring confidence down.

If I wasn’t going to lease, passive would be a no brainer. Just upgrade the suspension if I didn’t like the setup. Doesn’t make sense on a lease. Suspension tune for $299 to clear up any issues makes a lot more sense on a lease.
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      06-06-2019, 01:55 PM   #12
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For those who are unaware, the Adaptive suspension has the following modes:

ECO
Comfort
Sport Individual
Sport Standard
Sport+
Adaptive

I haven't played with the adaptive mode too much but they claim it uses your driving style, combined with GPS data to continually adjust the settings. For example, if the GPS sees you are about to take a turn too fast the car would automatically stiffen up the steering and suspension. Does anybody have any additional info or experience on this new mode?
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      06-06-2019, 02:14 PM   #13
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I haven't driven the adaptive yet but I will say the M-Sport suspension was quite stiff and felt great. My buddy has an F30 with the M-Sport and it didn't feel so sporty.
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      06-06-2019, 02:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrownRoyal79 View Post
For those who are unaware, the Adaptive suspension has the following modes:

ECO
Comfort
Sport Individual
Sport Standard
Sport+
Adaptive

I haven't played with the adaptive mode too much but they claim it uses your driving style, combined with GPS data to continually adjust the settings. For example, if the GPS sees you are about to take a turn too fast the car would automatically stiffen up the steering and suspension. Does anybody have any additional info or experience on this new mode?
I think those are all driving mode options, not necessarily specific to suspension only? For example, drivetrain probably switches between Eco and Comfort, but suspension probably stays the same (in "comfort"). Obviously suspension would change from comfort to sport though.
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      06-06-2019, 02:41 PM   #15
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My first M340i test drive I honestly don't know which suspension it had but the roads would not have tested it well anyway. Just smooth and flat. My second test drive was standard M-sport non-adaptive and I did feel it was a bit stiff for a daily or passenger hauler. If you have low tolerances for this kind of thing, you will notice it and maybe not like it in the long run.

I have fairly good tolerance for bumps and thought it was ok with enough comfort to live with it. Plenty sporty and handled really excellent but on the many bad roads I drive on in Seattle I think it would annoy me over time to be stuck with only one semi-stiff setting. I feel like it was slightly more stiff than my past M235i in sport adaptive and about the same as "normal" (medium setting) on my E92 M3.

I ordered mine with adaptive suspension.
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      06-06-2019, 02:45 PM   #16
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From my experience in M235i, this is how these settings translate when it comes to suspension:

ECO - comfort
Comfort - comfort
Sport Individual - Choice of sport or comfort
Sport Standard - Sport
Sport+ - Sport (likely a stiffer sport+ for M340i)
Adaptive - ya got me but must be an "auto" mode.
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      06-06-2019, 03:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transfer View Post
From my experience in M235i, this is how these settings translate when it comes to suspension:

ECO - comfort
Comfort - comfort
Sport Individual - Choice of sport or comfort
Sport Standard - Sport
Sport+ - Sport (likely a stiffer sport+ for M340i)
Adaptive - ya got me but must be an "auto" mode.
Thanks, this is what I thought too. No way that there were 6 unique suspension choices available.
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      06-09-2019, 05:41 AM   #18
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It appears most people in this thread are talking about suspension for M340i, however for those with the 330i after 2 weeks of driving with the optional adaptive suspension, here are my comments:


Driving Experience settings include:

Eco Pro
Eco Pro Individual
Comfort
Adaptive
Sport Standard
Sport Individual

With the optional adaptive suspension, the adaptive mode driving experience is noticeable and provides more of comfort compared to default Comfort mode. Slightly stiff but balanced around town better than comfort mode for non-ideal road surfaces.

Sport Individual allows you to select between comfort or sport for the steering, dampening, engine and transmission. I believe would be the same for M340i owners.

Question now how is Sport Individual different from Sport+ for M340i?
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      06-10-2019, 10:30 PM   #19
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So - - - which kind of "Adaptive" does BMW use on the G20 family?
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      09-21-2019, 03:28 PM   #20
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What I find annoying is I cannot be in Eco Mode (Coasting) with Adaptive Suspension chosen. I wish someone could explain why the suspension choice affects the motor choice with adaptive.
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      09-21-2019, 03:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Who's on first View Post
What I find annoying is I cannot be in Eco Mode (Coasting) with Adaptive Suspension chosen. I wish someone could explain why the suspension choice affects the motor choice with adaptive.
You'll have Comfort 'adaptive' damping in Eco Mode. Adaptive damping is never switched off.
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      09-21-2019, 03:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Who's on first View Post
What I find annoying is I cannot be in Eco Mode (Coasting) with Adaptive Suspension chosen. I wish someone could explain why the suspension choice affects the motor choice with adaptive.
You'll have Comfort 'adaptive' damping in Eco Mode. Adaptive damping is never switched off.
But it takes the motor out of eco pro.

I want to adjust the suspension... not the damn motor/trans.
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