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      02-04-2013, 07:22 AM   #1
BJB
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3.Od M Sport without VDC

I am considering purchasing a new 2.0d exclusive and a low mileage 2011 3.0d M sport. I recently drove a standard 2.0d without VDC and I was very happy with the ride quality. I plan to test drive the 3.0d M Sport later in the week. I am a little concerned about the ride quality due to the sport suspension. I have read a few reviews of the 30d M sport in which the ride quality was praised. However, the cars reviewed were fitted with VDC. Ultimately, I need to assess the ride when I test drive the vehicle. The problem is that I find a 30 - 60 minute drive does not always provide enough feedback about ride quality. Any advice would be appreciated.
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      02-04-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
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I have a 3.0D MSport without VDC. When I have to choose I always prefer a slightly firm rude to a slightly soft one - this is purely my personal preference so bear this in mind re what I say.

I find the non-sport suspension a little too floaty at times and a little less controlled over bumps. Sport suspension is a fraction firmer though it's hard to notice but the suspension controls the wheels better in that it recovers from a bump in the road faster. Turning into roundabouts I find is a more satisfying experience, the non-sport I find is less connected to the road.

My previous car was a 335i MSport. This was way more connected to the road than the X3 but its ride was frankly unacceptable. The X3 sport suspension ride is nothing like my 335i.
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      02-04-2013, 09:22 AM   #3
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I have the 30D M Sport with sport suspension (ie Sport Suspension was not deleted) and without VDC. It was an ex demo so I was stuck with the 19inch staggered tyres it came with. We are geriatic caravan towers. So the last thing we wanted was a 'sporty' (ie hard) ride.

When test driving we were particularly interested in whether the ride was hard or uncomfortable as my wife has back problems.

Result - we couldn't feel any difference to the standard 18 inch wheels we had tested before.

We have had the car for a year now and we are very happy with the ride quality.

That said - I currrently have 17 inch Winter Wheels on and it is definatly quieter although I would not complain about the road noise from summer 19 inch wheels, the 17 inch ones are just quieter.

Overall - I think you will be very happy with the M Sport without VDC and the 30D engine is a delight to drive.
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      02-04-2013, 12:05 PM   #4
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Drive on some rough rutted roads, if stuck to the nice roads in sandton you will be fine.
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      02-04-2013, 01:23 PM   #5
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Drive on some rough rutted roads, if stuck to the nice roads in sandton you will be fine.
On rutted roads I think you need US spec standard suspension! Assuming that all non-US cars get proper spec suspension for tarmac.
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      02-04-2013, 01:30 PM   #6
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X3 3.0d without VDC

I really appreciate your responses. Thank you. The 3.0d that I intend to drive has 18 inch wheels, which may be a tad softer than the 19 inch wheels. In order to aid my evaluation, I have asked the dealer to provide a regular X3 without sports suspension to compare with the 3.0d with sports suspension.
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      02-04-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BJB View Post
I really appreciate your responses. Thank you. The 3.0d that I intend to drive has 18 inch wheels, which may be a tad softer than the 19 inch wheels. In order to aid my evaluation, I have asked the dealer to provide a regular X3 without sports suspension to compare with the 3.0d with sports suspension.
Is there a dependancy on not only the wheel size, but also the tyres i.e. Run Flat or not ?
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      02-05-2013, 03:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by philtrick123 View Post
Is there a dependancy on not only the wheel size, but also the tyres i.e. Run Flat or not ?
You might be right, but I think that all X3s come to South Africa with run flats.
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      02-05-2013, 04:19 AM   #9
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You might be right, but I think that all X3s come to South Africa with run flats.
I suspect that due to RFTs you won't notice much difference between 18* and 19" wheels. There's little give with the sidewalls of either size.
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      02-07-2013, 11:15 AM   #10
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Its a very difficult question to answer as much depends on your previous cars and what you - personally - have been happy with. I have the 30d M sports with the sports suspension and 19" wheels (in summer).

I find the ride acceptable. Its much poorer than the Lexus GS430 that I owned, but much better than the Honda Civic Type R that I owned.

Ask yourself what type or ride you want? How do you feel about body roll? What type of driving experience are you looking for?

I went for my current spec as I wanted a 4 by 4 that handled and drove in a sporting fashion. It meets my needs.
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      02-07-2013, 11:51 AM   #11
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I'm surprised more of the X3 users aren't specifying VDC, to get the best from the chassis.

It is clear that those in 3 and 5 series cars are finding the VDC based suspension gives best of all worlds. Motor mags supporting that view.

For the X3, is it a case of users sacrificing superior ride and agility because it is an SUV, rather than getting the best possible?

Have many even tried it, to see what the benefits are in real world driving?

I know for the 5-series the ride and handling are in a different league with variable damping suspension, best technical feature of the car. Many report the same for the 3-series, the ability to have a sport setup and run in comfort when desired, makes so much sense. Rather than the "it's acceptable" type comments we get for most BMW suspensions, whether standard or sport setups.

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      02-07-2013, 01:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
I'm surprised more of the X3 users aren't specifying VDC, to get the best from the chassis.

It is clear that those in 3 and 5 series cars are finding the VDC based suspension gives best of all worlds. Motor mags supporting that view.

For the X3, is it a case of users sacrificing superior ride and agility because it is an SUV, rather than getting the best possible?

Have many even tried it, to see what the benefits are in real world driving?

I know for the 5-series the ride and handling are in a different league with variable damping suspension, best technical feature of the car. Many report the same for the 3-series, the ability to have a sport setup and run in comfort when desired, makes so much sense. Rather than the "it's acceptable" type comments we get for most BMW suspensions, whether standard or sport setups.

HighlandPete
I've said it before- I might have spec'd VDC if I could have compared an X3 with and without it. The dealer had one X3 20d with no VDC. The test drive seemed really good without VDC, I'll have another 18 months before I can change. Enjoying the 30d without VDC :-)
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      02-07-2013, 04:46 PM   #13
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I'm told I need VDC, Xenons, cameras, nav, premium sound. Each one is supposed to be very worthwhile. It's clear why some of us call it a day on some of the options. I can afford them but I choose not to.
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      02-07-2013, 05:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clivem2 View Post
I'm told I need VDC, Xenons, cameras, nav, premium sound. Each one is supposed to be very worthwhile. It's clear why some of us call it a day on some of the options. I can afford them but I choose not to.
I know we often have to limit our options, but my observation.... many BMW drivers will upsize the wheel specification, which advantages are to say the least open to debate, (other than looks) but typically make a BMW worse to drive on UK roads. Same buyers wouldn't dream of spending on a suspension upgrade, which reduces the compromises we have in a suspension system, and does do something positive for ride and handling.

I don't follow the logic when ride and handling are so debated, and ride quality of a BMW is one of the biggest criticisms by many users.

I came to the conclusion years ago that BMW 'got away' with putting RFTs on BMWs, as many drivers didn't care too much about the finer balance of ride and handling. BMW were already supplying many cars with big rimmed wheels with awful ride qualities, so introducing RFTs could be a natural progression into the mix.

For me the choice of a 19" wheel upgrade on the X3 for 845, or VDC for 930, there is no contest. Refinement comes first.

I sense most opt the other way around.

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      02-08-2013, 05:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
For me the choice of a 19" wheel upgrade on the X3 for 845, or VDC for 930, there is no contest. Refinement comes first.
My priority given those 2 options would indeed be the same as yours.
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      02-21-2013, 04:54 PM   #16
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VDC

I remain confused about VDC on the X3. Previous threads refer to comfort mode but all I see is a switch which has normal and sport. Where is the comfort mode? I am awaiting delivery of F25 2.0D MSport with VDC but I was not able to drive a demo with VDC. Currently I have an F10 with VDC and that scrolls from comfort to normal to sport then sport+. I assumed this would be the same for the X3 but comfort seems to be missing. Any ideas
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      02-22-2013, 02:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post

For me the choice of a 19" wheel upgrade on the X3 for 845, or VDC for 930, there is no contest. Refinement comes first.

I sense most opt the other way around.

HighlandPete
I opted for neither and saved 845 :-)
On UK roads and surface can be quite poor in areas. Around Maidenhead there are quite a few speed humbs + pot holes etc. I like the look of the 18" and 19" wheels, but I've just stuck to the standard 17".
How BMW can justify the wheel upgrade costs are beyond me- but its standard for most car makers to make on extras.
I opted for the Pro-Nav, which is very expensive- but at least I use the large screen and extra features every time I drive.
I will endevour to try a VDC fitted car, if I stay with BMW beyond the current X3.
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      02-22-2013, 04:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citrilla View Post
I remain confused about VDC on the X3. Previous threads refer to comfort mode but all I see is a switch which has normal and sport. Where is the comfort mode? I am awaiting delivery of F25 2.0D MSport with VDC but I was not able to drive a demo with VDC. Currently I have an F10 with VDC and that scrolls from comfort to normal to sport then sport+. I assumed this would be the same for the X3 but comfort seems to be missing. Any ideas
I have the VDC. It goes - ECO Pro - Comfort - Sport - Sport +
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      02-22-2013, 05:10 PM   #19
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I have the VDC. It goes - ECO Pro - Comfort - Sport - Sport +
Isn't that Performance Control?
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      02-23-2013, 03:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Isn't that Performance Control?
Yes, but with VDC fitted you have 'comfort' damping in eco-pro and comfort mode, and 'sport' damping in sport and sport+ modes.

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      02-23-2013, 04:21 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Yes, but with VDC fitted you have 'comfort' damping in eco-pro and comfort mode, and 'sport' damping in sport and sport+ modes.

HighlandPete
Precisely, the question was about what VDC modes were available, it seems the answer is 2. The may have been confusion over VDC (2 modes) vs PC (4 modes). As you state there is a relationship between the two though there is the option to have sport PC without sport VDC.
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      02-23-2013, 04:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Precisely, the question was about what VDC modes were available, it seems the answer is 2. The may have been confusion over VDC (2 modes) vs PC (4 modes). As you state there is a relationship between the two though there is the option to have sport PC without sport VDC.
There certainly is confusion, as in iDrive you have the option to configure Chassis or Drivetrain, or both. Depending on what options you have fitted it means different things. For example 'chassis' only means the steering if there is no VDC fitted.

I know in my 5-series I run in chassis only, for steering and suspension. Leave the drivetrain unticked, as I can flick the gearstick to DS if I want the sport gear changes, or paddle the changes in manual mode. Just flick back to D when I'm in relaxed mode.

As to the 2 base damping modes and their association to the driving experience control, it is often misunderstood. In the 5-series there are 3 damping modes, so that also confuses the issue, when we compare BMW models.

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