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Old 05-12-2014, 12:46 PM
BDubya BDubya is offline
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Question Value of Active Suspension?

I'm new to the forum today, although I've been lurking for some time. I am considering a 535 GT xDrive purchase soon & have a question:

Can someone with experience describe the day-to-day driving difference between a car with the standard suspension and one with Dynamic Drive please?

I do not have access to examples of both to test side-by-side myself. I've located two cars with other options that I desire, but one has the regular suspension and one the upgrade. (And of the course the one without Dynamic has more of the other things I want).

My purpose of this car is far more toward comfort and versatility than sport.

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Old 05-13-2014, 11:53 AM
rogueshot rogueshot is offline
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I have driven the 5 series without active suspension. I own a 550GT w/active suspension. I could certainly live without it and probably be perfectly happy (after all the 5 series suspension is quite good for its size - best in class as compared to E class and A6?) BUT it is a very very cool option. I am amazed at how dramatically different the various settings are - you can truly go from super comfort "Cadillac" sedan ride (almost floaty) on the highway to taught and sporty - and of course you can decide whether to have the throttle response and shift points match the ride or so many BMW options, I would be hard pressed to add it IF buying new but when shopping used you gotta look for the cars that have all the bells whistles since the options are worth about $.10 on the dollar used!
2010 550 GT Black Sapphire, Active Ventilated Seats, Convenience, Cold Weather, Driver Assistance, Dynamic Handling, Luxury Rear Seating, Premium Sound, Sport, Rear-View Camera, Ceramic Controls, Ski Bag, Side View Camera, Sirius and Triple3_O Coded.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:15 PM
chemlite chemlite is offline
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If comfort is of primary concern, then the Adaptive Drive suspension is what you want. The "Comfort" mode provides a ride that the Dynamic Drive suspension can't touch. (I've driven both extensively)

AD Comfort mode, as rogueshot noted, is "floaty". This may not sound great, but in two kinds of situations it is. One, around town at slow speeds on rough pavement/cobblestone this mode is much more pleasant than the softest mode on DD. Two, on long boring stretches of high speed highway this mode provides a serene ride. However, on any road with mid frequency undulations, I switch out of Comfort to Normal due to floatiness-induced queasiness. So, it's a mode perfect for some situations and not others.

The other benefit of AD is that the modes are more distinct than on DD. What I mean is that the actual dynamics of the car change more noticeably between the modes. The tautness and controlled motion of the suspension in Sport mode with AD is quite good and allows better back-road hustle than a 2.5 ton car should be able to do. (It's not a Porsche Cayenne, in this regard, but not bad).
Yet, switched to Comfort, it's ready to keep your mother-in-law happy on the way to dinner.

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Last edited by chemlite; 05-13-2014 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:47 AM
hungryninja hungryninja is offline
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Thx @chemlite for the very helpful coverage of the difference between AD and DD. I need to stop reading these since I love my 550GT but don't want to feel like I'm missing too much from my drive!

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Old 05-15-2014, 08:48 PM
BDubya BDubya is offline
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Mein Auto: 535x GT; Volt, Miata
Thank you so much for the input. These are exactly the real-life experiences I was hoping to find. From your accolades I've decided on the upgraded AD suspension . . . and pick up the car tomorrow! Bye, Audi. Hello o o o Bimmer!

I will report more when I've had a chance to test and experiment a bit.
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