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      07-27-2013, 12:51 PM   #1
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X-Drive Adaptive Suspension

I know this as been talked about before but I really need some opinions for MY situation.

I have an F30 Xdrive 320d MSport Sport Auto on order. The cut off for amends is this week.

Now I realise that the X-drive is 1cm higher than the RWD Msport. My question is, do I add adaptive to the order. Dealer reckons its a waste of money. Before answering, YES!, please consider this...

It's an auto so it will only be stiffer in Sports mode when I feel like a thrash and throw economy out the window. Shame you can't make it bespoke like on an Audi (slow changes, stiff suspension).
I drive pretty sensibly (that's why Im getting a 320d!) apart from the odd moment of weakness. So will mostly be in comfort mode.

So in comfort mode, will the adaptive make any difference?

Is it worth the 485 I've been quoted?

Thanks!
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      07-27-2013, 12:59 PM   #2
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I just placed an order today and included it as I think it gives you the best of both worlds.

I deleted the M Sport suspension on my current E92 and haven't regretted it a bit, that said the adaptive will give some of that back at the flick of a switch.

I'm not convinced that it makes any difference in comfort but good to have the option.

Finally, remember the xDrive is that bit heavier so I think it needs 'something' - either M Sort suspension (not possible) or adaptive.
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      07-27-2013, 01:04 PM   #3
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I test drove a 330d in both RWD and xDrive and IMHO you do need it with the xDrive, because on the non M Sport suspension being too soft/floaty, whereas I would not bother with the RWD. My ex demo RWD 330d does have the adaptive suspension.

As an aside but do you really need xDrive, absolutely fine if you do, but the difference in price between a 320d xDrive and a RWD 330d is very small if you take into account the higher spec as standard of the 330d.

Last edited by mactrack; 07-27-2013 at 01:18 PM.
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      07-27-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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That's a very good point well made, I'm coming from a 320 into a 335 and its not all about the speed - it's so much smoother and more relaxing to drive a 6.
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      07-27-2013, 01:42 PM   #5
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Oh christ, don't complicate things even further!

Its been a stress just settling on this spec.

I was looking for a economic car rather than super fast. I'm coming from a V6 diesel A6 though so I will miss the purr from a 6 cylinder engine. This seemed like the best compromise though, a bit of speed with 50Mpg (Ish).

I really wanted 4 wheel drive. Was going for a 4x4 so this seems like a good compromise again, also getting winter wheels! Clearly I live in a bit of a hairy area in the winter. (800+ft above sea level)

So the 330D comes with more as standard?

I've spec'd the 320 Msport Auto with

Vis pack
Sports+ pack
Folding rear seats

Cheers.
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      07-27-2013, 01:52 PM   #6
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Stick with plan A - your current order. It's stressful making that choice do don't change your mind.

Back to the original question:

Given that you've come from an Audi, if you had sport or S-Line suspension in the A6 you MUST go for the adaptive otherwise it will be way to soft in comparison.

I'm surprised the dealer said it's a waste of money - ask the salesman what he drives? All the guys I spoke to said it was a must (they were in M135i's and other M Sports). You may have a salesman in an X3 or 5 series SE who doesn't understand
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      07-27-2013, 01:58 PM   #7
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I had two previous Audis both 2.0 litre four cylinder, a FWD A3 and a quattro A5, and neither of them were anywhere near as economical in the real world as either the F10 520d or subsequent F30 330d or drove as well (they might have looked better inside and out though). A 320d xDrive book MPG values are only marginally higher than a RWD 330d but in the real world you are more likely to enjoy the 330d more so the actual average may well be lower.

From memory, when I was going to buy new, the additional standard spec on the 330d is metallic paint, servotronic steering, front parking sensors, sport automatic and lighting in the door handles etc. but someone else may be able to confirm this.
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      07-27-2013, 04:37 PM   #8
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I ordered my F31 320d xdrive last week and I went to a lot of trouble trying all of the combinations and in my opinion the standard suspension fittd to the xdrive msport is very poor and in particular the damping. It is certainly a long way from the msport suspension that's fitted to the RWD msport cars. Put it this way until I drove an xdrive with adaptive I was not oing to order one that's how important I thought the adaptive suspension was
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      07-27-2013, 04:56 PM   #9
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Apart from the ability to control the firmness of the ride, I have heard it said that adaptive also handles better. I cannot judge given that I have never driven a car without adaptive, or indeed an X drive.
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      07-28-2013, 02:53 AM   #10
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Thanks guys. @stan876 does that apply even in comfort mode?
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      07-28-2013, 03:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mactrack View Post
I had two previous Audis both 2.0 litre four cylinder, a FWD A3 and a quattro A5, and neither of them were anywhere near as economical in the real world as either the F10 520d or subsequent F30 330d or drove as well (they might have looked better inside and out though). A 320d xDrive book MPG values are only marginally higher than a RWD 330d but in the real world you are more likely to enjoy the 330d more so the actual average may well be lower.

From memory, when I was going to buy new, the additional standard spec on the 330d is metallic paint, servotronic steering, front parking sensors, sport automatic and lighting in the door handles etc. but someone else may be able to confirm this.
Totally agree on Audi economy and ride quality, NO comparison to BMW , the 330D will give great MPG and Audi bashing performance.
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      07-28-2013, 04:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan876 View Post
I ordered my F31 320d xdrive last week and I went to a lot of trouble trying all of the combinations and in my opinion the standard suspension fittd to the xdrive msport is very poor and in particular the damping. It is certainly a long way from the msport suspension that's fitted to the RWD msport cars. Put it this way until I drove an xdrive with adaptive I was not oing to order one that's how important I thought the adaptive suspension was
I'll second that. There aren't that many of us that have managed to try both non-adaptive and adaptive xDrives back to back. I had to do a 200 mile round trip to do it myself but I don't regret it at all as it really is worth doing. I suggested the same to Stan876 because he was really not impressed with non adaptive and I know he had a hell of time trying to find one to try but as you can see, it changed his opinion.

Everyone has different ideas of what they like and different driving styles. For me I found with the non adaptive that the body control wasn't that great at all and certainly with the 330d, I actually thought it was a little dangerous as on a sprited cross country thrash I found myself backing off because of the suspension. The idea of a 335d with standard setup for me is a little scary BUT (and it's a big but), for some just having the straight line squirt is enough and they are not interested in pushing the car too hard.

The comfort setting on the adaptive is better than the non adaptive simply because it's not trying to be two things at the same time. The damping is way better and the ride less busy. Back into sports mode and it is hugely better than non adaptive. Yes, the springs are ultimately softer than ideal and you will notice more body roll (than on sDrive M Sport) and yes there is only so much damping even adaptive dampers can do but they cope with it far far better, loading up far quicker.

Everyone has an opinion but seriously before you order do try and find one to try because it really is worth doing. There are xDrive owners on here that are very happy with the standard setup and there's nothing wrong with that - it has to be down to personal preference.
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      07-28-2013, 04:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Englishbloke View Post
Thanks guys. @stan876 does that apply even in comfort mode?
The whole concept of continuously variable damping is to do just that. Even in comfort mode it is setup to enhance better body control like in cornering, braking, when using faster steering inputs, etc.

Obviously it can't do more than use the firmest damping rate, in helping to tighten up body control. But it isn't running in 'soft' setting all the time in comfort mode, dampers can still be optimised to the firmest setting by the electronics when deemed necessary.

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      07-28-2013, 04:43 AM   #14
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Thanks guys, really useful input. Sadly I don't have time to test these things, for the 465 it's gonna cost me it seems like I should add it to my order (already ordered the car without).

Just wish the 330 hadn't been suggested!
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      07-28-2013, 05:15 AM   #15
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Btw the opening post is wrong. You can choose slow changes and stiffer suspension with adaptive. Then flick te gear knob left to go with fast changes when you feel like thrashing. Plus other benefits of adaptive as described in other threads make it a no brainer for x drive.
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      07-28-2013, 05:16 AM   #16
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I am one of those who is very pro Adaptive M Suspension.

Yesterday, I took my car to my local BMW Dealer. They wash and hoover my car once a month FOC. They do a brilliant job. Whilst there, they checked and adjusted my tyre pressures. What a difference. Less noise, improved handling in both comfort and sport modes and much, much less body roll. Both modes are so useful to have. I drive no more than at 6-7/10ths, so the suspension set-up for me is perfect in either mode.
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      07-28-2013, 05:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Englishbloke View Post
Thanks guys, really useful input. Sadly I don't have time to test these things, for the 465 it's gonna cost me it seems like I should add it to my order (already ordered the car without).

Just wish the 330 hadn't been suggested!
Don't test drive a 330d then. As cypher said in the Matrix "Ignorance is bliss"
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      07-28-2013, 06:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Englishbloke View Post
Thanks guys. @stan876 does that apply even in comfort mode?
Been answered in detail but yes in comfort and sport. like I said its the damping that's the problem with the non adaptive I likened it in another thread as similar to being on a boat on calm seas it constantly undulates i really did not like it and if you hit a couple of depressions or bumps in succession the standard suspension struggles to cope and starts pogoing not in a major way but enough for it be annoying. Like gtsussex I drove a long way to try a car with adaptive it's worth the effort. The RWD cars don't need it but xdrives do.
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      07-28-2013, 07:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZigmundUK View Post
Btw the opening post is wrong. You can choose slow changes and stiffer suspension with adaptive. Then flick te gear knob left to go with fast changes when you feel like thrashing. Plus other benefits of adaptive as described in other threads make it a no brainer for x drive.
That's how I have mine set up now too. Sport+ also gives the full hit of course.

Incidentally, I also ordered a 320d originally and changed to 330 quite late. The dealer was fine but it didn't leave me in a great negotiating position and I probably failed to get the best discount. Still, I have no regrets at all, the 330d is just a glorious engine and makes the car very special IMO.
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      07-28-2013, 10:48 AM   #20
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Also remember no matter what mode you are in the adaptive sus adapts as you go, so in comfort mode if you whack it into a corner you should find it stiffens up the relevant shock.

As i understand it, with adaptive, The comfort or sport modes act as a basic stiffness, then will adapt from that as road conditions and speeds dictate.
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      07-28-2013, 02:19 PM   #21
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Being in sport suspension is great even when driving casually in non sport auto as it holds the corners much better.

However I swear yesterday I was in sport chassis with sport auto on then flicked the switch to sport+ and the car liched forwards like it was holding back in sport...
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      07-28-2013, 04:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZigmundUK View Post
Being in sport suspension is great even when driving casually in non sport auto as it holds the corners much better.

However I swear yesterday I was in sport chassis with sport auto on then flicked the switch to sport+ and the car liched forwards like it was holding back in sport...
If it is like my 5-series, it changes down a gear or two when you toggle to Sport+.

From another topic on this subject I wrote.

Quote:
Even if my car is configured to chassis only and I toggle to sport+, the autobox automatically moves to the sport program, dropping gears. I've the sport automatic (SAT).
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