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Old 18th November 2018, 13:39   #91
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Default Re: Audi Q5 vs Mercedes GLE vs others

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Gents, how strong is the correlation between sidewall height (tyre profile) and ride quality?

If a particular model has reasonably high profile tyres across its variants, it is likely that suspension will be ride friendly too. Can we make such an assumption?
May not get true always. Ride quality is the result of a finely tuned suspension, chassis, tyre profile and application. Prime example is the Hexa with 19 inch wheels, 235/55 profile tyres and fantastic ride quality.
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Old 18th November 2018, 14:09   #92
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Default Re: Audi Q5 vs Mercedes GLE vs others

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Gents, how strong is the correlation between sidewall height (tyre profile) and ride quality?
If a particular model has reasonably high profile tyres across its variants, it is likely that suspension will be ride friendly too. Can we make such an assumption?
It will be important but not significantly in my opinion, so an example, Innova - Z 215 / 55 R17 with 55 profile will have a better ride over Fortuner - 265 / 60 R18 even though based on the similar platform.

Though what we can safely say is the one with higher profiles will be least susceptible to damages on our Roads

Last edited by Turbanator : 18th November 2018 at 14:11.
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Old 18th November 2018, 14:41   #93
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Aah yes, true. I realize that changing to high profile tyres on a car with stiff suspension might not help much.

But this is what I was wondering about -> if a car manufacturer is sensible enough to put 215/60 R17 tyres on a particular SUV (as against 225/45 R18 on competing SUVs from other manufacturers), is he more likely to tune the suspension for good ride quality too? After all, choosing a chunky tyre is a decision taken after considering practical aspects of ownership.

Note that almost all Audi and Lexus cars seem to be reasonably well tyred. And in most reviews, they seem to score well in ride quality department when compared to its competition.
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Old 18th November 2018, 17:48   #94
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

To ride quality and comfort I would add the ease of ingress and egress. Not sure why car designers are determined to shave off height with successive models trumpeting the cause of air resistance streamlining. Considering that a car in most countries spends most of its time at less than 90 kmph that streamlining is not worth much in fuel consumption savings versus lost comfort for the passenger. Everybody is not James Bond or the model in some advertisement. Also why can't rear doors be the sucide type like Rolls Royce - more on the same issue.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 19:37   #95
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by Varun_HexaGuy View Post
Yeah indeed, in the verge of keeping up with the competition, the car companies have forgotten their root strengths and focusing on their weaknesses. While it's a good move, it's a bad move as well. It's like as if they're trying to become the Jack of all trades and the king of none!
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Originally Posted by gururajrv View Post
I’m astounded by the fact the ride quality is compromised in India solely for the handling?! I mean, how is it possible for a luxury car made in India (atleast most of them), haven’t considered the roads in India?!
This seems to stem from the fact that luxury car buyers have become increasingly demanding of their rides. Is Mercedes produces both the E-Class and the AMG GTR, it's unfair (and to an extent, physically impossible) to combine the best of both in a single product. Most manufacturers who try to incorporate a bit of everything in their product end up with nothing but the best compromise. And this is true of practically every auto manufacturer out there (especially the big Germans, now). But one cannot blame the manufacturers entirely, because that's what their potential customers seem to want.

The way to get around this is focus. At a time when Honda was ruling the D2 segment roost with its Accord, Nissan introduced the first generation Teana 230JM. It sunk without a trace, since Nissan was an unknown quantity in the luxury scene back then (except for the X-Trail, an import which spelt rugged rather than luxury). The car was built to offer an excellent ride quality and unbeatable refinement from the word go, without trying to excel at much else. Sure, it was wallowy and handled like a wet sponge, but boy did it ride like cream! The V6 motor was oh-so-silent, and the rear seat was more a living room sofa (albeit for 2). I had an opportunity to ride in one of the first-gen cars but not the second-gen, which, if reports are to be believed, was even more comfortable and hushed. In perspective, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry of that generation had a fidgety ride, the Hyundai Sonata Embera was all over the place, and the first-gen Škoda Superb had the typically mature high-speed and firm low-speed ride.

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Also, more often than not when European auto manufacturers alter the suspension characteristics of vehicles before launching them in India (case in point, Škoda's rough road package), they just end up jacking the vehicle and stiffening the springs, which has more to do with protecting the underbody from our mammoth speed-breakers, and does no favours for the ride quality.

We, as BHP-ians, tend to forgo ride comfort for brilliant dynamics, but the same can't be said for many people who prefer to be chauffeured around, and rightfully so. There are cars who tend to strike a near-perfect ride and handling balance (case in point, Fiat Linea, Mitsubishi Cedia, Ford Mondeo, etc.), but a majority of customers never took too kindly to them as can be deduced from the monthly sales. Those who have driven them, swear by them. And those who haven't, swear at them!

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Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
I think good ride is a very subjective thing. Cars with a soft ride end up with too much body roll - there is a clear trade off between the two.
+1 to that. To make it less subjective, we need to get even deeper into the science of ride quality, it may be analysed from the viewpoint of both primary and secondary ride quality. Primary ride quality is how the car rides over long-amplitude and short-frequency bumps, and is generally more a function of the suspension and damping. Secondary ride quality is how the car deals with low-amplitude and high-frequency undulations, like sharp edges of broken tarmac, and has more to do with the profile of tyres, and the cushioning offered thereby.

Last edited by RoverX : 23rd November 2018 at 19:56.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 23:23   #96
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by RoverX View Post
At a time when Honda was ruling the D2 segment roost with its Accord, Nissan introduced the first generation Teana 230JM. It sunk without a trace, since Nissan was an unknown quantity in the luxury scene back then (except for the X-Trail, an import which spelt rugged rather than luxury). The car was built to offer an excellent ride quality and unbeatable refinement from the word go, without trying to excel at much else. Sure, it was wallowy and handled like a wet sponge, but boy did it ride like cream! .
Good point on the Teana.... Though the car was horrible to look at.

On that note, Opels and General Motor cars in India had class leading ride quality in their day, though severely lagging in the engine department.

Personally feel that Mercedes Benz cars universally used to have the best ride quality across their range even till early 2000s.

However, now in their quest to catch up with BMW in handling, they seem to have lost their edge except in cars like S class.

One important point many manufacturers need to understand is that, once you are on the wrong side of 40, invariably your body seeks and demands comfort for your back rather than G Force inducing handling prowess.

This is especially true for our country where the roads are pretty unforgiving breaking many a backs.

Given the present infrastructure, we simply cannot shy away from the fact that we would need cars with great ride quality.

Many people mistake good ride quality for fluffy rides at low speeds. Unfortunately that isn't true.
Otherwise Hyundais would make a case for the best ride quality in their segment.

It should be just the right balance between softly sprung and stiff suspension. The Duster and Hexa are great examples of cars which don't cost a bomb but still deliver rides better than cars twice their price.

We need to have our enthusiast choice of cars as much as we need to have cars with focus on great ride quality for our roads.
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Old 24th November 2018, 07:30   #97
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by Flash777 View Post
Many people mistake good ride quality for fluffy rides at low speeds. Unfortunately that isn't true. Otherwise Hyundais would make a case for the best ride quality in their segment.
This would be stereotyping.. I say this because fortunately, I owned 3 cars of Hyundai which had a great balance tending towards comfort and not just at low speeds. The Santro Xing had a way better suspension and comfort compared to its chief competitors of that time the Alto or WagonR, however its cornering abilities were zero thanks to the tall-boy design. Then came the Getz, lets put it this way.. a Polo TSi didn't impress me the least bit in comparison.. the car was a rocket and loved to corner and had a hydraulic steering which gave complete control over all 4 of its corners.. at the same time the suspension was quiet, supportive and simply rode over the bad patches at 40+ speeds, the TSi was very thuddy and crashy on such bad patches.

Now the Elantra is doing business.. and its silent, incredibly stable and I am so used to attacking every bad patch at 50+ speeds that when I drove a Honda City in the same manner it almost felt like the suspension broke with the way the car shook and I got an ugly stare from its owner.

If you're talking of the older gen i20s, Vernas and i10s, you are correct.. an overly squishy suspension just doesn't cut it for comfort.. but those days are long gone. Though they aren't sporty or enthusiastic cars, neither are their buyers.. we just need comfort, stability and a feeling/illusion of luxury at an affordable price.
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Old 25th November 2018, 13:40   #98
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
This would be stereotyping.. I say this because fortunately, I owned 3 cars of Hyundai which had a great balance tending towards comfort and not just at low speeds...
Completely agree. Hyundais have improved a lot. At the moment Hyundai's suspension setup is one of the best suited for India. I recently drove Elantra and Sonata in USA. And was very impressed by the overall ride and handling. Although the thread is for luxury cars but i would like to mention that i recently test drove all C2 segment sedans in India and own a 2014 Honda City. And I found Verna to have the best ride and handling balance among them. Even better than the Germans ( Vento/Rapid ) which had poor low speed ride over broken roads.
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Old 29th December 2018, 08:38   #99
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

As the year winds down, I sit back reflecting upon it with coffee this cold Sat morning, and I feel my love for automobiles has diminished like never before.. no matter the radical styling, the features or the interiors, nothing tugs at my heart strings anymore.. maybe I'm maturing too fast against my own good, or there simply isn't anything new, perceivably, to pull me towards it anymore. Maybe part of the love for automobiles was due to the halo certain brands had, and the associated status that comes with being seen in one.. I don't think that matters anymore either.

I've driven luxury cars quite a bit this year so that qualifies me more than ever to contribute to this thread. One is a Q3 taken on self-drive and I must admit during the times I got the car I've felt like driving it forever.. great car, build quality that easily beats similar segment BMWs, everything perfect in terms of ergonomics and tactility.. the only huge let-down is ride quality.. it is thuddy, very very firm for my liking and I say this with about 400 kms of driving. The other car is a 520d of a friend, again I'm not sure if its the older runflat tyres or something wrong with the suspension but man is it firm, its best to slow down before passing over a road damage else it'd feel very disconcerting specially given that the car is expensive so why take chances. Over flat roads, and 80+ kmph the Audi is sublime, comfortable and 80 feels like 40 inside the cabin, the road undulations are also dealt with quite well at 80, below that the ride sucks. Also, the steering didn't reflect the capability of its quattro system as it is quite light at all positions and not 100% direct. The BMW, well you better have smooth tarmac all the way, because it is low slung you don't want potholes to catch you by surprise suddenly but other than that the grip is good but its better to steer slowly than take quick turns with foot on the pedal since the RWD kicks back like a mule and in India its quite scary. I've not crossed triple digits on either of these cars (safety/responsibility first), but their low speed ride isn't what one would describe as comfortable.

I simply do not think that German cars have the best suspension tuning for Indian roads, this is with my other driving experiences of Vento, Polo, Octy, Yeti etc.. I'm speaking from a 100% city driving perspective with speeds below 50. Indian roads are never going to be free of potholes, abrasions and errant stones and pipes. Whether they are purposely being built for long-range driving only or whether they refuse to change their Autobahn tuning just for a small country like India I'm not aware. It also depends on individual tastes I suppose, some people seem to think these cars are still too soft for their liking while to me they are extremely hard, between these two opinions who knows what reality is.
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Old 29th December 2018, 12:06   #100
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

Just one man's observations. Where luxury cars go BMW, Audi and Skoda Superb do not offer a soft ride for reasons explained here on other posts. For a rear seat passenger they are uncomfortable cars on our cheerful roads. They are designed for different markets, different roads and a fast driving requirement. One may buy them for driving experience or status but rarely for rear side luxury or leg space unless the A8 or BMW 7 is affordable.

Mercedes especially E and S class are actually not bad and have softer rear seat suspension. It may not be fair for Mercedes E and S to be put in the same bucket as Audi & BMW. The Mercedes C in my limited experience is harder and the Merc SUVs I can't comment on due to inadequate experience. But the E and S are pretty good. It is our roads that are C-minus.

The Japanese - I can only speak for Camry & Lexus ES from personal ownership experience - are actually quite comfortable on rough roads with the ES even more so. ‎The ES is softer than an E. I wouldn't be surprised if the Honda Accura, Nissan Teana and other Japanese luxury models are as good on a smooth absorbent drive. But a Lexus or Camry won't give your neighbour's envy even if they do give you owner's pride [the old Onida TV advertisement not withstanding]

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Old 29th December 2018, 13:49   #101
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Default Re: Audi Q5 vs Mercedes GLE vs others

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

If a particular model has reasonably high profile tyres across its variants, it is likely that suspension will be ride friendly too. Can we make such an assumption?
Tyre profile does make a significant difference but it is not the prime factor. But this is a catch22, for a luxury car to look "luxurious" it needs to have 18inch or above rims in most cases and you need atleast a 55 and above profile to keep it comfy on our roads. This is where SUVs fair better on looks and comfort due to their larger wheel arches, none of the luxury sedans can do a 55R18 tyre setup.

Example - We have a GLC300 with 235/60R18 tyre and the 2018 CRV too which has exactly the same tyre specs. Drive them back to back and you can find a major difference being felt, the CRV is far more plush and soft. On the downside the handling of the GLC is car more controlled while the CRV has a decent amount of body roll.

In my experience the 3 factors that affect suspension, in order of importance:
1. Suspension setup(air suspension and softer tuned ones are always more plush)
2. Tyre profile (Almost as important as the first)
3. Tyre quality (Runflats will always be more hard)

Last edited by Sahil : 29th December 2018 at 13:54.
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Old 29th December 2018, 14:51   #102
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

My first car was Matiz, which had terrible ride quality even if the road was slightly rough. Around the same time I was taking a ride in a Ambassador taxi and I was amazed at the way the car was able to insulate you from the same broken roads. Was it the suspension (leaf springs!) or the sofa like rear bench or the extra high profile tire, I am not sure.
When I got to sit in a Mercedes taxi abroad,( I think it was E class) the ride was very firm, contrary to what I expected. It was nowhere close to the Ambassador experience
I guess ultimately you can't beat the laws of dynamics: either you choose between a 'soft/cushiony' ride with terrible body rolling or a firm ride with good control on body rolling (or a good balance)
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Old 15th May 2019, 17:59   #103
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

I drive a Linea and i want to understand what is it that makes the ride quality so bad when i drive on those flyover expansion joints. The thuds are so evident that passengers ask me to slow down. Is that the same case with SUVs too? Would upgrading the wheels help? Current set up is 175 70 R14. Going in for 195/70/R14 or 205/55/R16 would make a difference? Or is it that those flyover expansion joints are felt in all sedans? I haven't driven other cars.
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Old 15th May 2019, 22:00   #104
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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I drive a Linea and i want to understand what is it that makes the ride quality so bad when i drive on those flyover expansion joints.
I'm shocked, Fiat tunes their suspension very, very well. German cars are the absolute worst at city speed comfort.. Fiat is the king of the balance between soft/firm, their suspension and spring rate is quick enough that the chassis does not shake or get jarring at any speed, and the build quality is such that the noise is quite isolated, I've driven a Punto at 20+ speeds over deep ditches (much worse than expansion joints) and it just protected me from spine-breaking jarring so well and with great control at that. Shouldn't the Linea be just as good? Just get the shock-absorbers and bushings checked at a service station and find out their opinion.

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The thuds are so evident that passengers ask me to slow down. Is that the same case with SUVs too? Would upgrading the wheels help? Current set up is 175 70 R14. Going in for 195/70/R14 or 205/55/R16 would make a difference? Or is it that those flyover expansion joints are felt in all sedans? I haven't driven other cars.
First get the suspension checked at a reputed specialist garage or authorized dealer before you take a call on tyres. As for the tyres, 175/70 R14 is quite ok for a Punto, the narrower section should increase fuel efficiency and agility (reduced drag). You are only talking of increasing section (width) of the tyre whereas you should focus on increasing profile. 205/55 R16 will destroy your comfort (personal opinion, others may disagree because they have a higher tolerance for road punishment). Use soft compound tyres like Michelin Energy XM2 or Yokohoma BlueEarth or other such brands (your tyre shop guy can help you find the perfect match). Go for 185/70 R14 so that you needn't change the wheels and 185 is the perfect size for a large hatch.

I dont feel the flyover expansion joints one bit in my Elantra. Fiat is the king of ride/handling balance, even above Renault Duster, I'm surprised your passengers are having a problem. P.S also reduce tyre pressures to 29-30 psi and see if it makes a difference with present tyres.

Last edited by dark.knight : 15th May 2019 at 22:13.
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Old 15th May 2019, 22:40   #105
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Default Re: Why does ride quality suck in so many luxury cars?

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Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
I'm shocked, Fiat tunes their suspension very, very well. German cars are the absolute worst at city speed comfort..
You might be walking eerily close to the same precipice that you'd warned others about a few posts back, i.e. one on stereotyping.

Please drive cars with fully independent suspensions like the Jetta and the Passat before tarring the entire German stable
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