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      02-10-2013, 11:52 AM   #1
F30AM
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F30 Suspensions Compared: M Sport Adaptive vs M Sport Passive

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From the UK Forum:
http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=801767

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!
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      02-10-2013, 12:22 PM   #2
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throw the M Performance Suspension into the mix :-)
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      02-10-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaswrath View Post
throw the M Performance Suspension into the mix :-)
On our rotten UK roads, our livers would probably get fused with our kidneys.

Would the ride not be as stiff as a corpse on Viagra?
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      02-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #4
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Great review
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      02-10-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F30AM

On our rotten UK roads, our livers would probably get fused with our kidneys.

Would the ride not be as stiff as a corpse on Viagra?
Bwahahah!!

Love the adaptive suspension. Even though I drive mostly in sport, I enjoy the comfort option for long drives.
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      02-10-2013, 04:45 PM   #6
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Thats awesome that u managed to line up two identical cars, save for the suspension, for a true direct comparison.

It is information like this that needs to be out in the buyer's domain so that they, like i could, can make an informed purchasing decision.
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      02-10-2013, 05:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKau View Post
Thats awesome that u managed to line up two identical cars, save for the suspension, for a true direct comparison.

It is information like this that needs to be out in the buyer's domain so that they, like i could, can make an informed purchasing decision.
Yes, it is this sort of comparison that the motor mags ought to conduct, but they always seem to have different specifications if they do get close, like different wheels or engine size.

As I stated in the other UK thread: "Very interesting observations. About as close as you can get for a user comparison test. Very useful feedback on the different setups".

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      02-10-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frencholivier View Post
Great review
+1
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      02-10-2013, 05:34 PM   #9
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I have a f30 335i m sport what's the difference with the m sport sus and the adaptive??
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      02-10-2013, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB72 View Post
I have a f30 335i m sport what's the difference with the m sport sus and the adaptive??
Are you meaning the technical differences? As the comparisons clearly show the subtle differences in peformance.

It is the active damping that is different. Springs and ARBs are the same for a given model.

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      02-10-2013, 06:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Yes, it is this sort of comparison that the motor mags ought to conduct, but they always seem to have different specifications if they do get close, like different wheels or engine size.

As I stated in the other UK thread: "Very interesting observations. About as close as you can get for a user comparison test. Very useful feedback on the different setups".

HighlandPete
This is precisely what motivated me to post the Wheels magazine reviews.

I used this forum for my research prior to ordering the vehicle. I think this issue is important enough to warrant a sticky. It should contain all articles on the adaptive vs passive setup.

Interestingly only the Australian and UK mags seem to be highlighting the issue.
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      02-11-2013, 03:55 PM   #12
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My belief in the sportier nature of the adaptive suspension seems to be right on point.
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      02-11-2013, 05:01 PM   #13
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I just bought a 335i last week. It is my first Bimmer. It is an M Sport without DHP. It was speced exactly as I wanted and I read about it and thought ok the DHP package may not be necessary.

I am loving the car but it does roll in the corners and I'm generally very aggressive in corners. It's not bad doesn't have the bite I would like.

Now I am thinking the DHP is absolutely necessary, or at least the adaptive damping is. It is nearly $3K for the M suspension which seems very high and will button the whole works up. I like the idea of the comfort and sport damping and a little concerned the m performance may be too hard.

This is a dumb question but I wonder if the adaptive can be added now at the dealer? It's going to cost a lot more than $1K but I think I need it. Is it even feasible I wonder?
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      02-11-2013, 05:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F30AM View Post
On our rotten UK roads, our livers would probably get fused with our kidneys.

Would the ride not be as stiff as a corpse on Viagra?
It's actually pretty reasonable, we have crap roads here, and I would say 20-30% less stiff than an M3. Buttons up the suspension to JUST RIGHT in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by everettpa1 View Post
I just bought a 335i last week. It is my first Bimmer. It is an M Sport without DHP. It was speced exactly as I wanted and I read about it and thought ok the DHP package may not be necessary.

I am loving the car but it does roll in the corners and I'm generally very aggressive in corners. It's not bad doesn't have the bite I would like.

Now I am thinking the DHP is absolutely necessary, or at least the adaptive damping is. It is nearly $3K for the M suspension which seems very high and will button the whole works up. I like the idea of the comfort and sport damping and a little concerned the m performance may be too hard.

This is a dumb question but I wonder if the adaptive can be added now at the dealer? It's going to cost a lot more than $1K but I think I need it. Is it even feasible I wonder?
Your only option is the $1500 for the M Perf Suspension and a grand for the installation...they can't DHP at the dealer as far as I know, or it would be cost prohibitive.
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Last edited by shivaswrath; 02-12-2013 at 10:47 AM.
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      02-12-2013, 08:39 AM   #15
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I appreciate your assessment/review but the opinion is going to be biased.

In order to conduct a valid test you should have an independent party unfamiliar with the two cars drive them on both public roads and a circuit.

I'd be happy to do this for you!
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      02-12-2013, 08:47 AM   #16
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Nice review....when I was building my car and sent my spec sheet to my SA.. he returned it with the Adaptive Suspension added. He let me know I'd kick my self in the ass for not doing so. It's awesome.
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      02-12-2013, 08:49 AM   #17
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The roads I drive on dictates everything for me. My favorite road can quickly become the most hated road depending on the weather and my car's EDC, DSC and Power settings. Some days I'm better off just taking the SUV.

But hey, that's the point right, figuring this stuff out.
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      02-12-2013, 09:44 AM   #18
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Its like 2 cars in one, whats not to like about that
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      02-12-2013, 10:36 AM   #19
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Thanks for the review

To add to your review, when I first got my car I compared it to another vehicle with the passive and the difference seemed small. However, now having put 7k on my car I drove a vehicle with the passive and the difference was much more evident. The adaptive suspension and steering is awesome on the track too
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      02-12-2013, 12:28 PM   #20
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I think it would be highly interesting to have a comparison on the behaviour on snow.
I drive often on snowy roads in winter but don't want to switch to x-drive (LSD does the job good enough).
However I'd love to have softer suspensions each time I'm driving on slippery/snowy roads.
Have you felt some substantial improvement on the snow ?
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      02-12-2013, 01:01 PM   #21
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M Sport

Great review

I bought my 335i xDrive with M-Package in December 2012. I am also quite happy with the adaptive dampers. But what I can hear is a very disturbing "rumbling" over small unevennesses of the road. Does somebody made the same experience?
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      02-12-2013, 02:30 PM   #22
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I had a 2008 e92 m3 with passive suspension. Going into my 2013 (sig is wrong) e92 M3 with competition package was a huge difference.

Even though the car sits almost 1/2inch lower on comfort mode it's 100 times better and I had 18's on my 2008 and 19's on my 2013.
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