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Old 6th March 2018, 20:44   #16
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

I think Lexus was trying to make their LS sportier after S class became sportier. Not just in looks but in ride too. I think they are making them thinking people need sporty cars and the average age of these luxury barges has decreased over decades. People need speed now

Now looking at this priority of handling, ride quality does suffer. But on our roads it suffers even more. Haven't the US buyers preferred ride quality over stiffer suspensions even on their relatively better roads ?

Last edited by srishiva : 6th March 2018 at 20:45.
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Old 6th March 2018, 23:34   #17
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post

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

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Old 7th March 2018, 00:06   #18
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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
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?
I believe this is due to:

1) Larger size rims for better looks and stiffness to aid cornering. Obviously lower profile tyres imply a harsher ride.

2) Emissions norms:
a) Reduce weight: To improve performance and fuel efficiency with smaller engines:

a1) Thinner glass
a2) Lesser sound proofing and damping in doors, tyre wells, under the hood etc.
a3) Aluminium and abs plastic components that might have similar strength as steel with lesser weight but do no insulate sound as well.
a4) Saving weight of heavy rubber and soft velvet type material sound proofing around doors, Windows and carpeting for flooring.
a5) Noticed how the heavy opaque hard material panaromic roof covers have been replaced by flexible soft roller blinds. Surely they do not isolate sound as well. In fact they even let a bit of light through.

b) Engine addons:
Turbo diesel, twin turbos, TDI diesel engines as well as TFSI petrols all are aimed at more BHP from smaller engines but they add to the noise. They are addictive and we have to rev the engine to say 1500-3000 rpm power band to get adequate movement and have some fun. Displacement HAS been Replaced. Naturally aspirated larger engines were quieter and had power at low rpms but were fuel inefficient.

That said the JLR 2ltr engines takes the cake as far as engine harshness is concerned.

BMW 30d is the best 3 Ltr diesel but the same engine is at times accompanied by harsh ride due to BMWs driving pleasure philosophy that somehow is exponentially bad on rough Indian roads.

Merc and Audis do in general tend to be more comfortable (Read Plush) in non sport variant models. (No AMG)

Volvo engines have all been reported to be a bit harsh.

Even the Endeavour 3 Ltr engine is loud when given the beans and the Fortuner remains bouncy. I know these are not Luxury brands but 40L OTR is higher than or on par with certain luxury brands.

Lower down:
Hexa is really superb in all noise and ride (even with 19" rims it is magic) parameters with great quality interiors. The Duster has a great ride.

Internationally many models have the option of Air Suspension which at times does not make it to India and generally diesels sold tend to be the more refined 3ltr versions.

Last edited by ACM : 7th March 2018 at 00:26.
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Old 7th March 2018, 15:16   #19
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

I tend to agree - especially with the lower end premium segment.

Reasons as mentioned:

1) Stiff suspension: This is a boon on the highways, but in the city you have to avoid each and every bump
2) Low profile tyres: A lot more tramlining which impacts ride
3) RFT: I don't think more needs to be said about these overly priced, uncomfortable, and average grip tyres
4) Most of these luxury cars come with a rough road package of sorts which increases ground clearance, and obviously impacts the ride & handling.
5) Most of their sales are in developed nations with excellent road quality.

In the higher segments (5 series and above), a lot of these issues are sorted out thanks to adjustable / air suspensions and the like - but are still tuned to be on the stiffer side.

In comparison, lower segment vehicles have a much softer suspension which is a boon in the city, though a pain at higher speeds. Some manufacturers however have managed to get the perfect ride and handling set up (Ford Fiesta, S-Cross as examples).

Interestingly, these premium manufacturers did a fantastic job once upon a time, but with tech advancing - it just isn't as great a mix. For instance, our E60 525D running on tubeless tyres offered a much more balanced ride & handling mix than the F10 5 series with it's adaptive dampers (which I found to be too soft or too stiff).
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Old 7th March 2018, 15:38   #20
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Another point probably will be that, unlike the lower segment cars the luxury models with much powerful engines can be like boats on road (at the speeds it can do) if tuned for comfort. That could be the reason that even brands like Lexus doesn’t focus really on the magic carpet ride. A 530d with Duster kind of comfort setup as standard can be a disaster; hence the different driving modes to choose from.
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Old 7th March 2018, 16:11   #21
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

I think getting the right suspensions for Indian roads is a very difficult task and I really pity those car manufacturers. We just have a huge variety of road surfaces in India. They make the suspensions soft to make the ride comfortable at city speeds, and we beat them up for the boat like handling in highways. They make the suspensions stiffer to make the car stable at highway speeds and we beat them up for harsh ride in the city.

Like lambhorgini has mentioned, very few manufacturers succeed in giving that perfectly balanced suspension that provides the best of ride and handling. With its fantastic multi-link suspension setup, I would add Jetta to that list of cars that get that right balance.

Interestingly, this topic has come up for discussion exactly at the time I am trying to figure out the ride and handling of my new 330i GT. I think the 3 GT can be considered as an exception to this thread's title.

The suspension is tuned so soft that in city speeds the car feels super smooth (in spite of those RFTs). It just glides over rough roads and speed breakers are not a problem even I wrongly approach them at a slightly higher speed - unlike my Polo GT with coilovers which has to be babied over these speed breakers (otherwise, it becomes airborne).

Forget tight handling or fast cornering ability, with the totally uneven road surfaces, the car just feels like a boat at highway speeds (the increased GC is adding to the woes) - so much that my wife is now complaining of motion sickness and I am getting some serious beating for having changed from the Jetta to the GT

Now it's time to order those M-Sport suspensions. Hope it doesn't become too harsh that I get beaten up again for spoiling the comfort in city.

EDIT: Missed vb-san's post as I was composing my response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Another point probably will be that, unlike the lower segment cars the luxury models with much powerful engines can be like boats on road (at the speeds it can do) if tuned for comfort. That could be the reason that even brands like Lexus doesn’t focus really on the magic carpet ride. A 530d with Duster kind of comfort setup as standard can be a disaster; hence the different driving modes to choose from.
This is exactly the same problem I am facing with the GT.

Last edited by graaja : 7th March 2018 at 16:15.
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Old 7th March 2018, 16:35   #22
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

When it comes to ride quality most of us complain about the suspension, the low-profile tyres, the RFTs, the road and what not.

In my opinion the seat which you sit is also a significant contributor to this bad ride quality. If you actually strip apart the seat and see all you will find is at the most an inch or two of proper cushioning. This leads all the bumps and vibrations being transfered to our poor bums.

There is no additional cushioning provided in the seats to offset the stiff suspension. And this is the easiest fix of them all without affecting the handling.

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
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.
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Old 7th March 2018, 16:49   #23
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by graaja View Post
Now it's time to order those M-Sport suspensions. Hope it doesn't become too harsh that I get beaten up again for spoiling the comfort in city.
Hope those M sport suspensions are adaptive, otherwise there is a good chance you will get beaten again!
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Old 7th March 2018, 16:58   #24
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Hope those M sport suspensions are adaptive, otherwise there is a good chance you will get beaten again!
No. They are not adaptive. But I have checked with many BMW forums on comparison between the standard, M Sport and Adaptive suspensions. The general feedback is that standard suspensions are too soft, adaptive is too soft in comfort and too stiff in sports mode and M Sport offers a stiffness that is in between the comfort and sport mode settings of adaptive. So I guess it should be fine.
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Old 7th March 2018, 17:08   #25
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by BeantownThinker View Post
If you actually strip apart the seat and see all you will find is at the most an inch or two of proper cushioning. This leads all the bumps and vibrations being transfered to our poor bums.

There is no additional cushioning provided in the seats to offset the stiff suspension. And this is the easiest fix of them all without affecting the handling.
In addition to Foam thickness there are many other factors which determine the level of driving comfort. It also depends on foam hardness (Single/Dual), foam density, type of seat cover used, availability of lumbar support etc. I would go to an extent that even the trim selection for door armrest/switches as well front center arm rests (Usage of fabric on Innova Crysta's mid vs top end variant) can also be related to seating and driving comfort in someway.
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Old 7th March 2018, 17:18   #26
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by graaja View Post
No. They are not adaptive. But I have checked with many BMW forums on comparison between the standard, M Sport and Adaptive suspensions. The general feedback is that standard suspensions are too soft, adaptive is too soft in comfort and too stiff in sports mode and M Sport offers a stiffness that is in between the comfort and sport mode settings of adaptive. So I guess it should be fine.
Be careful, most of these forums have members from so called developed countries. They are happy to run 20/21 inch rims with wafer thin tyre profiles and road hugging lowering springs on their cars and they say the ride is great. Their standards (and conditions) are totally different from ours.

Have you considered Bilstein B6 dampers? A few members here have fitted them on their F30s and seem to be happy. The beauty of B6 is that you get much better handling without much deterioration in ride comfort.
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Old 7th March 2018, 17:54   #27
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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
Be careful, most of these forums have members from so called developed countries. They are happy to run 20/21 inch rims with wafer thin tyre profiles and road hugging lowering springs on their cars and they say the ride is great. Their standards (and conditions) are totally different from ours.
Yes. I took that into account. I was not looking for absolute feedback, but rather comparative where people who had driven the standard and M sport, or M Sport and Adaptive back to back and provided relative feedback. That is how I could decide that M Sport actually is in between in terms of stiffness.

Of course there is always that little amount of risk that the suspensions turn out to be stiffer than what I expected. But from what I know about my family, they would be fine with a little more harsh ride in city roads (which anyway the BMW will not see much) than the boat like ride on the highways. If the ride gets in between the Polo GT and the Jetta, that would be more than enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Have you considered Bilstein B6 dampers? A few members here have fitted them on their F30s and seem to be happy. The beauty of B6 is that you get much better handling without much deterioration in ride comfort.
Yes. I did consider B6. It is the best if we go the non-OE way. But I just wanted to keep things OE so that I don't have to worry about any warranty issues - especially after taking the 6 years extended warranty. For the upgrade, the suspensions will be sourced by the BMW dealership and installed at their workshop. And the suspensions show up as proper upgrade option in BMW EKTA database for the GT.
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Old 7th March 2018, 18:16   #28
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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
Be careful, most of these forums have members from so called developed countries. They are happy to run 20/21 inch rims with wafer thin tyre profiles and road hugging lowering springs on their cars and they say the ride is great. Their standards (and conditions) are totally different from ours.
Makes me think, if we should blame the car or our roads for harsh riding experience
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Old 7th March 2018, 18:16   #29
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

I have zero experience owning a big fat expensive vehicle and very limited experience driving one (limited to a friend's BMW a few times)

I could be wrong but don't these cars come with adjustable suspension? Typically, driving modes are not just linked to engine behavior but also suspension stiffness, including custom settings that can be adjusted on the fly

Does this not work?
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Old 7th March 2018, 19:14   #30
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Two possible reasons in my eyes:

1. No one bothers spending too much time testing an expensive product in India. Talk of an upcoming hatchback and you'll see dozens of spy pics of it being tested on our roads. Talk of a luxury car and more often than not, it is just launched without any prior snaps of it being tested for months on end.

2. The ever popular trend of adding versatility to products; people have become too enamoured by the whole one solution for everything nonsense that they want 2 tonne vehicles to go fast and handle well regardless of their weight and long wheelbase which ofcourse, everyone wants to be able to enjoy as well so that they can stretch their legs while thinking about how they have made it in life. There is a distinct lack of focus these days. Perhaps it is because there is a distinct lack of passion amongst buyers as well people want to compare everything to everything and want one unanimous winner because they simply do not have the passion and sensibility to pick what is best for them, maybe because of the demanding jobs that most people aspire to. Go to a shiny glass building in any financial district of any city and ask people what their hobbies are. You will be surprised by the lack of results.

Last edited by IshaanIan : 7th March 2018 at 19:20.
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