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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum F30 Loaner car rides better than M-Sport F10?!?!
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      07-02-2014, 07:00 PM   #1
Alpine535Msport
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F30 Loaner car rides better than M-Sport F10?!?!

So I had a loaner 328i with the 225/50/17" tires and rims with the standard suspension. It's sad to say that I noticed a huge difference in ride quality vs my M-Sport 535i. The loaner rode significantly better even with run flats vs my non-run flat Michelin tires.

Anyone else have this opinion? I feel BMW has dropped the ball on the ride quality for the F10 535i.
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      07-03-2014, 04:07 AM   #2
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I think you are comparing apples to bananas. 535i M-sport on 19" is stiffer, but does it mean it's worse? Is 911 GT3 also worse than a loaner 328i because the ride quality is poor on potholes? It's not a fair comparison.

5 series has a much more refined suspension. 3 series doesn't even come close. Wheel size and tires do make a big difference though.
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      07-03-2014, 06:02 AM   #3
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The reason why when ordering my F10 m sport, made sure it was on 18inch, and also changed to normal Michelin super sport tyres, coming from e60 M sport on 19inch. I was also more in favour of the design of the 18inch Alloys! not a fun of the 19inch option, look after market.
Maybe your solution is to switch to normal tyres, big difference in my opinion!
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      07-03-2014, 06:32 AM   #4
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Having the dynamic dampers will solve all of this. Same capabilities of the non active suspension without all of the harshness.
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      07-03-2014, 07:26 AM   #5
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If you care that much about ride quality, you should have bought a luxury line.
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      07-03-2014, 09:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinimod
I think you are comparing apples to bananas. 535i M-sport on 19" is stiffer, but does it mean it's worse? Is 911 GT3 also worse than a loaner 328i because the ride quality is poor on potholes? It's not a fair comparison.

5 series has a much more refined suspension. 3 series doesn't even come close. Wheel size and tires do make a big difference though.
kinimod: ride quality is apples to apples on any car. Ride quality is ride quality. If a 328i rides more absorbent and refined over bad pavement than a 535i M-Sport and feels more comfortable, It is what it is. LOL. It's obvious the 5's M-Sport suspension is not "MORE" refined if it is crashing and upsetting passengers more in the 535i M-Sport and they're not complaining about it in a 328i loaner.
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      07-03-2014, 09:17 AM   #7
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OP its logical that 328i with standard suspension will be more comfortable than 535i with M-sport suspension and 19" tyres only way too make your 5 more comfortable is with 17" or 18" tyres
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      07-03-2014, 09:18 AM   #8
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Slap 17" wheels on the 5 and I'm willing to bet it will ride nicer than the 328 loaner.

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      07-03-2014, 09:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan l. View Post
Slap 17" wheels on the 5 and I'm willing to bet it will ride nicer than the 328 loaner.

Alan
im not sure Alan l that it would be nicer, because he has M-sport suspension
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      07-03-2014, 10:15 AM   #10
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The two biggest factors here are:

> Sport Suspension

> Tire Size

I can tell you from first hand experience how a 3-series rides with 18" wheels, sport package, sport suspension, etc. It crashes around on uneven pavement. I dealt with it for 13 years prior to my F10. It's fun, and it's a certain "feel" to the car. But if I jump in my buddy's 328xi with standard suspension and 17" tires, it feels like a completely different car than my previous 335i with sport package... much smoother ride (as expected).

If you test drive a few F10's, you'll notice the same differences between non-sport, M Sport, and of course M5. The 5's standard suspension is actually very cushy - even more so than a standard 3 suspension. And the chassis of the F10 just eats it up - don't forget this chassis also underpins the uber-luxury Rolls Royce Ghost.

But as soon as you slap bigger tires on a car, especially with run-flat tires (that have very stiff side-walls), the ride comfort is going to suffer. And then switch out a nice comfortable suspension with one that has less wheel travel (lower) and more damping (stiffer recoil of the body - will produce a shuttering effective over bumps)... and suddenly your comfortable car just turned into a fairly uncomfortable one. BUT... the flip side is HANDLING. Thanks to lower profile tires with stiffer sidewalls, you now have superior cornering control. Thanks to a lower suspension, you have a lower center of gravity. Thanks to stiffer dampers, you also have more body control, less float, and better overall control in corners. So, it's one big trade-off.

It's difficult to say "ride quality" because what's important to one person (comfort) may not be what's important to another person (control). So, it's more appropriate to qualify this by saying better COMFORT can be had with small tires and a standard suspension, and better CONTROL can be had with larger tires and a sport suspension.

If you want the best of both worlds, then you pony up $3,500 and opt for the Dynamic Handling Package on your 5-series as I did. If you opt for the M Sport package (as I did, as well), you can't do anything about your wheel size unless you want to change it out... so some amount of ride comfort will be lost to the wheel size, but I think it's very livable. However, DHP allows you to adjust the damper stiffness. You can make it anything from "boat-like" in Comfort+ to stiff in Sport or Sport+. The default Comfort mode is very nice for everyday driving and will absorb bumps in the road similar to a standard non-sport suspension (maybe ever so slightly stiffer). But switch to Comfort+ and you're suddenly in an old-school caddy - able to traverse cobblestone streets and other types of uneven pavement in comfort. And then switch to Sport/Sport+, and you've got your jittery, firm, and well-controlled suspension that feels like a typical BMW passive sport suspension.

So, in a nutshell, I think you're comparing apples and oranges. The tire size and suspension type will completely transform a vehicle. Don't forget, as well, that the length of the wheelbase in a car also adds comfort - shorter wheelbases (like the 3 series) will never feel as comfortable as long wheelbases when fitted with equivalent tire/suspension setups. You just need to determine what's most important to you, and configure your car in that fashion.

Finally, don't rule out a few other factors such as tire wear. Runflats are notoriously uncomfortable, but when they get worn down, my experience has been they become even MORE uncomfortable. If the tires on your car are relatively worn compared to newer tires on another vehicle, that may also be playing into the level of discomfort in the ride.
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      07-03-2014, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezmaass View Post
The two biggest factors here are:

> Sport Suspension

> Tire Size

I can tell you from first hand experience how a 3-series rides with 18" wheels, sport package, sport suspension, etc. It crashes around on uneven pavement. I dealt with it for 13 years prior to my F10. It's fun, and it's a certain "feel" to the car. But if I jump in my buddy's 328xi with standard suspension and 17" tires, it feels like a completely different car than my previous 335i with sport package... much smoother ride (as expected).

If you test drive a few F10's, you'll notice the same differences between non-sport, M Sport, and of course M5. The 5's standard suspension is actually very cushy - even more so than a standard 3 suspension. And the chassis of the F10 just eats it up - don't forget this chassis also underpins the uber-luxury Rolls Royce Ghost.

But as soon as you slap bigger tires on a car, especially with run-flat tires (that have very stiff side-walls), the ride comfort is going to suffer. And then switch out a nice comfortable suspension with one that has less wheel travel (lower) and more damping (stiffer recoil of the body - will produce a shuttering effective over bumps)... and suddenly your comfortable car just turned into a fairly uncomfortable one. BUT... the flip side is HANDLING. Thanks to lower profile tires with stiffer sidewalls, you now have superior cornering control. Thanks to a lower suspension, you have a lower center of gravity. Thanks to stiffer dampers, you also have more body control, less float, and better overall control in corners. So, it's one big trade-off.

It's difficult to say "ride quality" because what's important to one person (comfort) may not be what's important to another person (control). So, it's more appropriate to qualify this by saying better COMFORT can be had with small tires and a standard suspension, and better CONTROL can be had with larger tires and a sport suspension.

If you want the best of both worlds, then you pony up $3,500 and opt for the Dynamic Handling Package on your 5-series as I did. If you opt for the M Sport package (as I did, as well), you can't do anything about your wheel size unless you want to change it out... so some amount of ride comfort will be lost to the wheel size, but I think it's very livable. However, DHP allows you to adjust the damper stiffness. You can make it anything from "boat-like" in Comfort+ to stiff in Sport or Sport+. The default Comfort mode is very nice for everyday driving and will absorb bumps in the road similar to a standard non-sport suspension (maybe ever so slightly stiffer). But switch to Comfort+ and you're suddenly in an old-school caddy - able to traverse cobblestone streets and other types of uneven pavement in comfort. And then switch to Sport/Sport+, and you've got your jittery, firm, and well-controlled suspension that feels like a typical BMW passive sport suspension.

So, in a nutshell, I think you're comparing apples and oranges. The tire size and suspension type will completely transform a vehicle. Don't forget, as well, that the length of the wheelbase in a car also adds comfort - shorter wheelbases (like the 3 series) will never feel as comfortable as long wheelbases when fitted with equivalent tire/suspension setups. You just need to determine what's most important to you, and configure your car in that fashion.

Finally, don't rule out a few other factors such as tire wear. Runflats are notoriously uncomfortable, but when they get worn down, my experience has been they become even MORE uncomfortable. If the tires on your car are relatively worn compared to newer tires on another vehicle, that may also be playing into the level of discomfort in the ride.
Actually, I did go test drive a 535i with No lines, with just 18" rims. It was brand new. it certainly did not ride any better than the 328i base model.

My car doesn't have runflats, Just relatively new Michelin Pilot sports.

Overall the F30 seems to be tuned better for ride quality.
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      07-03-2014, 12:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine535Msport View Post
Actually, I did go test drive a 535i with No lines, with just 18" rims. It was brand new. it certainly did not ride any better than the 328i base model.

My car doesn't have runflats, Just relatively new Michelin Pilot sports.

Overall the F30 seems to be tuned better for ride quality.
The no line 3 series have turned into a marshmallow, I think it is actually softer than a no line LCI F10 base model. The handling and the steering on the base 3 series is probably the worst it has ever been. If you are interested in a softer ride, may I suggest a Lexus ES350.
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      07-03-2014, 02:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
The no line 3 series have turned into a marshmallow, I think it is actually softer than a no line LCI F10 base model. The handling and the steering on the base 3 series is probably the worst it has ever been. If you are interested in a softer ride, may I suggest a Lexus ES350.
Picturing the 3-series as a marshmallow got me in the mood for some smores.

I think, overall, BMW is trying harder to target a wider demographic... and the once "always sporty" approach to the suspension is being rethought. A lot of people criticized the F10 when it launched for being softer than the E60... and it is, for sure. But BMW bean counters got in a room somewhere and said, "if we want to sell 50% more of these things, here are the traits we need to adjust to reach a broader buyer base."

Clearly they're trying to appeal to Lexus and Mercedes buyers. But I'm not surprised to see that happening with the 3-series, as well. If you want sporty, you can still get sporty - you just buy the "M Sport" line. Where previously, even without a sport package, a certain dose of "sport" was just assumed... it's a BMW, of course. I think that dose is still there, but it's probably as dialed-down as it's ever been in history... and again, to target a broader set of buyers.

The 3-series is the best selling BMW. For many aspiring young people, it's the first BMW they'll own. And I think BMW is trying to transform it a bit from just a hardcore sports sedan to just an entry-level luxury car - after all, the 2-series is now making its mark as "the" new must have small sports toy from BMW. So if the 25 year old young professional woman walks into two car dealers - BMW and Mercedes - I think BMW is trying hard to make the 3 now appealing to her, as well, and not just seen as all-sport-all-the-time... but again, more of an entry level luxury car with a sporty heritage.

This is all just my opinion witnessed from the outside... take it for what's worth (0.02c!)... I'm not sitting in on any BMW board meetings where they're making these decisions. But I think it IS very clear that BMW is trying very hard to grow its line-up, widen its buyer base, and well... take over the world.
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