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Old 6th March 2018, 10:38   #1
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Default Re: Audi Q5 vs Mercedes GLE vs others

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Originally Posted by ACM View Post
Am posting this thread on behalf of my friend
Comfortable Ride with Very Good Sound Insulation / silent drive. (Peaceful Drive)
I just made an interesting observation.

Out of 8 or so SUVs mentioned on this thread, looks like atleast 6 of them failed to impress in ride quality or noise insulation or both. What's with the luxury car makers? Aren't these two parameters supposed to be basics of a luxury car?
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Old 6th March 2018, 15:00   #2
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Default Re: Audi Q5 vs Mercedes GLE vs others

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I just made an interesting observation.
As always, a smart comment from you! Copying your post to a new thread as it deserves an independent discussion (link to old thread).

None of the German cars I've owned offered ride comfort like the Duster / Terrano or Hexa. Weird as you'd expect 'comfort' to be among the first things to be associated with 'luxury'. It's like the Taj Mahal renting you a 5-star suite with all the luxury, amenities & butlers, but a....rock hard mattress!

I think most luxury cars (including many Lexus now) don't offer plush ride quality because:

1. Focus of handling & stability over ride comfort.

2. They think their cars are built only to cruise at 250 kmph on the Auto Bahn. Stiff suspensions, baby!

3. Some stupid obsession with oversized wheels (and thus, shorter tyre sidewalls). 20" rims in India - seriously!!!

Last edited by GTO : 7th March 2018 at 17:57.
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Old 6th March 2018, 15:27   #3
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Pardon me for the noob question. Is the ride quality of the luxury cars that bad? Never experienced but for one instance in a Toyota Land Cruiser on Hyderabad ORR that was easily doing eye-popping speeds that better not be mentioned here, and it felt smooth like being in an flight.

I believe most luxury SUV's have a very good ride quality. The low slung sports cars were never built for our roads, so I assume ride quality is not something that is expected of them.

That apart, I am sure nothing can come close to the poor ride quality of my Wagon-R, even an auto-rickshaw might be a little better(softer) in comparison.

Last edited by jetsetgo08 : 6th March 2018 at 15:50.
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Old 6th March 2018, 15:27   #4
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Good observation. It was James May some time ago, still on Topgear at the time who provided the reason. He also was complaining bitterly about the ride quality of modern cars, not just SUV, but in general. He referred to the fact that these days many new cars are taken to the Nurnbergring and are set up to go around such a track at whatever ridiculous speed they can press out of it. Obviously, that will always come at the expense of ride quality.

I am a huge Jaguar fan, but take an F type or even the XF and the ride is pretty harsh. Certainly if I compare to my 2002 XJR. No comparison.

Although its pretty cool to own a car that corners really well, at the end of the day most of our daily driving won,t allow or you simply cant drive like that. So give me luxury and "wafting" along over a sub 10 minute Nurnburgcircuit any day.

Jeroen

Last edited by suhaas307 : 6th March 2018 at 23:53. Reason: Small typo fixed :)
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Old 6th March 2018, 15:47   #5
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Can we have a benchmark comparison here? Say for example considering the base as the Camry vs the others? Have not had much experience with luxo-barges, but of the few I tried, I did like the Merc ML 350's ride. Even the E-Class and S-Class are very good. BMWs are generally a bit on the harsher side, but then one doesn't expect sublime comfort from BMWs now, do we?

Further, after travelling in the likes of Duster, Hexa, Innova Crysta (highway drive only), I felt these offer a lot better ride. Considering the price difference, the improvement in the luxury cars is not proportionate to the price.
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Old 6th March 2018, 17:13   #6
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

My colleague upgraded from Duster to BMW X1, he misses the ride quality of Duster. And on top of that he has to slow down for every small pothole , because he isn’t confident of taking them like a Duster. But the majority who buy these cars aren’t obsessed about ride quality I guess. But with our infrastructure getting better, the ride quality won’t matter much in the coming years.
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Old 6th March 2018, 17:56   #7
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by jetsetgo08 View Post
Never experienced but for one instance in a Toyota Land Cruiser on Hyderabad ORR that was easily doing eye-popping speeds that better not be mentioned here, and it felt smooth like being in an flight.
High-speeds, on a straight good road isnt what one should be considering. It's what happens out side that - long distances, our kind of roads etc.

Yes, have done some real bad roads in a Duster.
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Old 6th March 2018, 18:25   #8
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Simple: Stiffer the suspension, better the handling. Most of the luxury cars are designed in countries where roads are smooth and potholes and unscientific speed-breakers rare. How would you like if your expensive car starts wobbling on a high speed straight or cornering run?

That being said, SUVs should have softer suspensions as they are all about tackling the worst kind of terrains.
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Old 6th March 2018, 18:26   #9
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Looking at it from an Indian perspective, yes, the ride quality of most big luxury brands can be termed as harsh and they really do not cope with poor Indian roads that well. Just ask any luxury brand dealership about how many tyres and rims come in for replacement and you will realise how common it is.

Problem is these cars being global models, are designed for road conditions that they will mostly be plying on. So whatever compliance is dialed into the suspension is meant to absorb the average to poor road condition in those countries. Any more and these cars will be rated as dynamically poor and no company worth it's salt wants to read reviews with 2 stars in the handling department. The balance which is aimed for is meant to be optimum for those countries.

Actually some of these cars ride very well on roads with small undulations and it's only the really sharp ruts and deep potholes that catch them out. You just can't fly over big potholes in these cars with stiff suspensions and low profile tyres. They were never designed to do that.

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 6th March 2018 at 18:31.
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Old 6th March 2018, 18:26   #10
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by jetsetgo08 View Post
but for one instance in a Toyota Land Cruiser on Hyderabad ORR that was easily doing eye-popping speeds that better not be mentioned here, and it felt smooth like being in an flight.
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Originally Posted by condor View Post
High-speeds, on a straight good road isnt what one should be considering. It's what happens out side that - long distances, our kind of roads etc.
Land-cruiser has one of best suspensions of all the so-termed luxury vehicles, On or Off-Road, of course, Range-Rover vogue has even better suspension and handling but both of these are at the extreme high end of luxury cars.

Coming to the subject, I believe it's very difficult (Read Expensive) to have a combination of all- Speed, Handling, and a plush ride. Manufacturers try various different ways like there are Dampers which change behavior at a push of a button or add Air bellows which again can be adjusted on some variants. But I cannot think of a metal spring which can have all of these features.

In the old days, our Ambassador despite being on leaf springs used to be comfortable for different reasons, the seats had steel springs and coir and then foam, even the posture was like a sofa sitting due to the way it was designed. It will make all kind of noises when you try to take a high-speed curve or axles in some of the generations will snap without a warning.

Modern cars are different, I will agree, most of the perceived luxury cars have a harsh ride and sitting postures especially if we talk about the rear seats.

Quote:
Problem is these cars being global models, are designed for road conditions that they will mostly be plying on.
Very true, most of BMW's are comfortable at high speeds as long as roads are good but the moment you lose speed or are on a bad road, most of the models will take a hit.

Last edited by Turbanator : 6th March 2018 at 18:31.
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Old 6th March 2018, 18:27   #11
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

If you are after great ride quality, I guess the Germans and other luxury cars offer you that in the form of adaptive suspension systems. Flick it to "Comfort" mode and the ride becomes plush, or so I've heard.
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Old 6th March 2018, 18:50   #12
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Interesting conversation

I think the biggest reason are Physics & Economics behind car making. You want luxury and comfort then you would need soft suspension, this inherently goes against the laws of physics needed for fast cars. Ofcourse we have moved ahead in science and found that both speed and luxury can go hand in glove. But then science inherently means more complex systems (like adaptive suspensions etc) resulting in more money. All these (actually much more) is taken into consideration when a car is being designed, developed and accordingly tuned for the market it is made for. With globalisation the same product gets sold in emerging markets like India where the infrastructure does not support the design, making the vehicle tad uncomfortable.

As we progress further and the science becomes cheaper, we might actually have all the parameters ticked off....
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Old 6th March 2018, 18:51   #13
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
You just can't fly over big potholes in these cars with stiff suspensions and low profile tyres. They were never designed to do that.
Now you can on a Baleno! Its a pity we don't appreciate the hidden mode offered by Indian manufactures.

1. Eco Mode
2. Comfort Mode
3. Sport Mode
4. Flight Mode


Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?-fb_img_1520152465412.jpg

source (Baleno lands on the roof of a house!)

Last edited by super.cars : 6th March 2018 at 18:52. Reason: added source
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Old 6th March 2018, 19:16   #14
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Even on our good roads, ride quality remains important; concrete slabs and bridges/flyovers with expansion joints need this to remain at the forefront.

There used to be a sharp divide between the US and European cars in how they were set up on the ride comfort (US) v handling(Europe) parameter, with the Europeans looking down on American barges, even the luxe barges. I am not sure if that distinction still persists to that extent.

I have little experience of high end cars of today, but when set to comfort or equivalent, isn't the ride close to magic carpet on Indian highways of today?
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Old 6th March 2018, 20:20   #15
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Good point! Mind you, this 'unacceptable' ride quality is AFTER manufacturers have incorporated the 'rough road' package in IN cars:
Smaller rims with higher profile tyres
Softer suspensions (rarely though)

Interesting to think of what a totally unadulterated luxury import would do on Indian roads.
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