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      02-09-2013, 11:49 AM   #1
F30AM
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Drives: F30 330d M Sport sDrive
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: London, UK

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Suspension: M Sport Adaptive vs M Sport Passive

Two Cars, two drivers:
(1) F30 330d M Sport, Servotronic Steering, 18" Wheels, Bridgestone tyres, Adaptive M Sport Suspension, Sport Mode.
(2) Exactly as above but with Passive M Sport Suspension.
Both with full tanks of Diesel. Tyre pressures checked when cold to be exactly the same.

Roads:
Motorway, A Roads, B roads, Twisty roads, Bumpy roads, Potholed roads.

Ride:
Adaptive better on rough roads even though it felt slightly stiffer due to less body roll. Less crashing on potholes. At 70 mph Adaptive had a flatter ride and the car felt more secure/planted. There was a roughness to the cars overall feel with Passive suspension. I found the car with Passive Suspension a bit tiring. The other driver agreed with these differences but felt they were not enough to worry or concern him. I felt the opposite.

Handling:
Adaptive superior, less roll, felt more planted and stable. Better cornering ability. Car felt more at one with the driver. Both drivers agreed on the differences. However, the other driver did not feel they were significant enough. Again, I felt the opposite.

Steering feel:
Adaptive tracked better in a straight line on Motorways. Adaptive felt less twitchy. Overall steering feel very similar. Adaptive seemed to take bumpy corners with less steering fight. The other driver did not notice any difference.

Noise:
Somehow the car with Adaptive suspension seemed quieter to my ears. A much more refined drive. The other driver felt there was no difference which really surprised me.

Summary:
Perhaps, as I am used to a car with Adaptive Suspension, the change to the Passive setup was more obvious to me than the change from Passive to Adaptive to the other driver. Yes, he agreed the Adaptive setup was better overall, the car feeling more communicative but he could easily live without Adaptive. I strongly felt the opposite. To me, the F30 with the Passive setup felt a lower grade of car. It lacked the refinement and the overall prowess of the famed BMW drive. I think the other driver was in denial.

I know for sure I made the right choice. The other driver only had minor regrets in not having Adaptive, UNTIL .........

HE DROVE MY CAR IN COMFORT MODE AND WAS KICKING HIMSELF FOR NOT HAVING ADAPTIVE M SPORT SUSPENSION.

He regretted that for a few hundred quid he could have had two different superior cars!

Boy, I'm tired but happy.
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Last edited by F30AM; 02-09-2013 at 01:37 PM.