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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
The X5 SAV Forum

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  #1  
Old 01-01-2004, 02:44 PM
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beware_phog beware_phog is offline
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What can BMW (anyone) do to soften X3 ride

As we know, the X3 rides a little firm. Is this the xDrive? It is the suspension? Everyone just says it is firm, but can anyone telling me why? Can it be adjusted somehow?
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2004, 03:00 PM
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I don't know why people say it's firm. It really just isn't.

I look forward to driving one with the sport suspension, hopefully that's adequately firm.
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2004, 03:22 PM
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As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, firm is in the eye of .....

I read in several places that the X5 drove too firm and too stiff. I drove it and disagreed so much that I bought one. Firmer and stiffer than what? A Cadillac? Duh. A 3-series? I sure hope so - it's a SAV, not a sports car. If it drove exactly like my husbands 330i, it'd feel too light and dangerous, or exactly how my mom's Escape feels to drive.

My X5 outdrives my old 4Runner so much you can't really put the two in the same sentence.

I haven't driven the X3 yet, but I'm betting it's going to be the same deal - stiffer than a car, less stiff than my old 4Runner.
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  #4  
Old 01-01-2004, 03:49 PM
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I thought that it had a somewhat disturbing level of body roll under pretty moderate driving conditions.
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  #5  
Old 01-01-2004, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beware_phog
As we know, the X3 rides a little firm. Is this the xDrive? It is the suspension? Everyone just says it is firm, but can anyone telling me why? Can it be adjusted somehow?
While I have no experience with the X3, I can suggest that the firmness of any suspension is generally a result of the springs and wheels/tires. Firmer springs = firmer suspension. Lower profile tires (or bigger diameter wheels) and/or higher tire pressures also contribute to ride harshness. The combination of the springs and sidewall give (or lack of) determines the overall ride stiffness in any vehicle.

Thus, in light of the fact that the X3 is brand new and not likely to have much to choose from with respect to aftermarket springs, the only choices are to go with smaller diameter wheels with larger profile tires and lower tire pressures to soften the ride a bit. Obviously, avoid the sport package which most likely includes stiffer springs and larger wheels as is the case on every other sport package BMW offers.

Having said all that, you really have to drive it to make your own mind about it's level of stiffness. As an example, when I was researching X5 ride quality, I came across a number of sources which remarked that the suspension was too stiff and to avoid the sport package (stiffer springs and lower profile tires) however, I was very happy with the ride in the sport package and wouldn't have it any other way. Although I should mention that I also have a 330Ci with H&R sport springs and 19" wheels so I am very biased towards stiff riding suspensions.

Last edited by virtualrain; 01-01-2004 at 03:54 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-01-2004, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by virtualrain
While I have no experience with the X3, I can suggest that the firmness of any suspension is generally a result of the springs and wheels/tires. Firmer springs = firmer suspension. Lower profile tires (or bigger diameter wheels) and/or higher tire pressures also contribute to ride harshness. The combination of the springs and sidewall give (or lack of) determines the overall ride stiffness in any vehicle.

Thus, in light of the fact that the X3 is brand new and not likely to have much to choose from with respect to aftermarket springs, the only choices are to go with smaller diameter wheels with larger profile tires and lower tire pressures to soften the ride a bit. Obviously, avoid the sport package which most likely includes stiffer springs and larger wheels as is the case on every other sport package BMW offers.

Having said all that, you really have to drive it to make your own mind about it's level of stiffness. As an example, when I was researching X5 ride quality, I came across a number of sources which remarked that the suspension was too stiff and to avoid the sport package (stiffer springs and lower profile tires) however, I was very happy with the ride in the sport package and wouldn't have it any other way. Although I should mention that I also have a 330Ci with H&R sport springs and 19" wheels so I am very biased towards stiff riding suspensions.
I did drive the X3 and thought it was comparable to my 330 Cic with SP and upgraded wheels. Considering this is going to be primarily a vehicle for the mrs with around town driving and future bmw owners in the back seats, a firmer ride is not what I'm looking for.

I agree with everyone as they said firmer to what? I had the same questions. I love my 330.

Interesting that similar things were said about the X5. Perhaps at the time they were comparing it to the 5-series? I've never driven the X5 so can't comment on that. Probably doing ED so X5 is not an option.
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2004, 10:01 AM
batm4n batm4n is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beware_phog
I did drive the X3 and thought it was comparable to my 330 Cic with SP and upgraded wheels. Considering this is going to be primarily a vehicle for the mrs with around town driving and future bmw owners in the back seats, a firmer ride is not what I'm looking for.

I agree with everyone as they said firmer to what? I had the same questions. I love my 330.

Interesting that similar things were said about the X5. Perhaps at the time they were comparing it to the 5-series? I've never driven the X5 so can't comment on that. Probably doing ED so X5 is not an option.
Give it a bit of time. The suspension should soften up a little bit over time. My X5 was really stiff coming out of the door from the dealer. 4000 miles it's a bit softer or i'm a bit more used to it.
Check your tire pressure to make sure it's not overinflated, it may be affecting your ride.
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2004, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batm4n
Give it a bit of time. The suspension should soften up a little bit over time. My X5 was really stiff coming out of the door from the dealer. 4000 miles it's a bit softer or i'm a bit more used to it.
Check your tire pressure to make sure it's not overinflated, it may be affecting your ride.
Funny you should say that as I was thinking that it might loosen up a bit through some use.
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2004, 01:21 AM
SupraRZ SupraRZ is offline
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Just reduce the tire pressure =)
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2004, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beware_phog
As we know, the X3 rides a little firm. Is this the xDrive? It is the suspension? Everyone just says it is firm, but can anyone telling me why? Can it be adjusted somehow?
I thought the X3 was a truck.

Are you complaining about the ride of a truck?
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