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      01-15-2011, 09:06 AM   #1
X3buyerScotland
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VDC - worth the money?

Anyone any actual experience of how much VDC in Normal mode improves the ride quality on town roads? Is it worth £1000?
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      01-15-2011, 04:44 PM   #2
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I couldn't find much feedback anywhere on VDC for the X3. Would really like to drive one with and without to see for myself but it's too late and I didn't get it.

There is much more information on it in relation to the M3. I assume it's the same technology - follow the links from LateBraking on this thread

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...damper+control
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      01-15-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
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Ta. Looking for the same first hand comparison as you. An M3 is a very different beast and I thought the ride even on main roads with rutted ice was pretty good without VDC, so not convinced of the value yet (which will vanish at trade in time too).
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      01-15-2011, 05:06 PM   #4
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Presume the benefit of VDC will also depend on the tyre size and profile? Can any gurus confirm or deny this?
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      01-15-2011, 05:23 PM   #5
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Is your VDC the same as our dynamic handling package…does it change the steering feel and throttle response also or does it only affect the suspension?
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      01-15-2011, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fedinand View Post
Is your VDC the same as our dynamic handling package…does it change the steering feel and throttle response also or does it only affect the suspension?
As I understand it, it's the same, yes. The sport+/sport/normal switch affects suspension and steering definitely, and I think throttle response as well.

http://www.bmw.co.uk/specials/x3_201...trol.html#more
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      01-15-2011, 05:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfax View Post
As I understand it, it's the same, yes. The sport+/sport/normal switch affects suspension and steering definitely, and I think throttle response as well.

http://www.bmw.co.uk/specials/x3_201...trol.html#more
If that is the case, it is definitely worth the money for the change in throttle response and steering alone, but even in sport+ the ride wasn't harsh. It changes the X3's character significantly and makes it a much "sportier" vehicle, imo.
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      01-15-2011, 05:45 PM   #8
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Can you comment if in "Normal" setting the ride was noticeably better or have you not driven an F25 without it?
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      01-15-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fedinand View Post
If that is the case, it is definitely worth the money for the change in throttle response and steering alone, but even in sport+ the ride wasn't harsh. It changes the X3's character significantly and makes it a much "sportier" vehicle, imo.
But bear in mind you're driving a 2.8l or 3.5l petrol as opposed to a 2.0l diesel.
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      01-15-2011, 06:07 PM   #10
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For info, the "dynamic package" in the UK includes performance control and sports suspension but not VDC. Your dynamic handling package must include VDC if it has the three normal / sport / sport+ settings but in the UK we can buy VDC without the sports suspension but must also buy perf control at the same time.
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      01-15-2011, 06:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3buyerScotland View Post
Can you comment if in "Normal" setting the ride was noticeably better or have you not driven an F25 without it?
The ride was softer yes, but it wasn't that much different than the sport or sport+ modes. When I went over surface irregularities the ride wasn't harsh in any of the three modes. I felt much more of a change in the steering feel and throttle sensitivity. The normal mode was better in city driving as far as being a bit less firm, but the steering and throttle feel lazy compared to the sport and sport+ modes, that it took away from the driving experience for me even in the city where the normal setting should have and advantage in absorbing potholes and ruts. Edit: I have only driven an X3 with the dynamic handling package, so I cannot compare it with an X3 without one.
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      01-15-2011, 07:39 PM   #12
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I ordered the M sport 30D, so I thought it might be a worthwhile option with 19's and sport suspension. I had the old X3 30i M sport with 19s and I wished it had VDC there!
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      01-17-2011, 03:39 PM   #13
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Nearly all, if not all of the road tests I have read have vehicles with VDC. No test of the dynamic pack at all, so an unknown to some extent, only comments as in other threads. Wonder why that is?
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      01-17-2011, 04:21 PM   #14
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Might speculate, remembering BMW want good reviews, that they feel VDC might be needed for reviewers to feel the suspension as sporting. Without it, as I drove it, it felt very good over bumps but more like a limo than an M3. As I kinda liked it I'm trying to figure out whether VDC will help in Normal mode in town to make it even better. So far unless I go racing it may not be worth it for me.
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      01-17-2011, 06:00 PM   #15
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You can't combine sport suspension and VDC !
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      01-17-2011, 06:18 PM   #16
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The car I just had on demo over the weekend had VDC. Switching to Sport mode certainly firmed things up and the car just became "tighter" overall. It handled more like a sport saloon with less of the roll and bounce you feel in normal mode. There was a section of the iDrive interface which seemed to let you choose config options but as I had no intention of getting VDC I left it alone. I only pressed Sport+ once and immediately reverted to Sport mode as it turned off some of the stability features.

My family definitely preferred the car in normal mode which is just as well but I can see that sport mode would be fun on country roads.

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      01-17-2011, 06:34 PM   #17
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You still have stability control when sport + is engaged - it just lets you play a bit before intervening
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      01-18-2011, 01:28 AM   #18
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Yep. And I still ask the hard to answer question is VDC Normal mode a much smoother ride than with no VDC fitted at all?
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      01-18-2011, 01:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3buyerScotland View Post
Yep. And I still ask the hard to answer question is VDC Normal mode a much smoother ride than with no VDC fitted at all?
+1 for this question.

In the brochure, it suggests surface irregularities are ironed out with VDC but no-one seems to gave driven and reported back on VDC Normal vs no VDC. I decided against purely because people that have bought with no VDC reported a smooth ride.

If you can, I think the only way you'll you'll find out for sure is to find two demonstrators, with and without, and see if there is a noticeable difference.

I think the ride would feel more smooth (and you would get better fuel economy) by having 17" non run flats than you would in VDC Normal mode and 18"/19". They just won't look as good!
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Last edited by sfax; 01-18-2011 at 02:57 AM.
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      01-18-2011, 03:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfax View Post
I decided against purely because people that have bought with no VDC reported a smooth ride.
I made the same judgement, especially since I've ordered with 19". Based on my sales rep's experience, I also decided against sport suspension, which may risk making the overall ride too harsh. In this case, I tried to bear in mind what type of car the X3 is. Trying to make a sports car out of an SUV (my bad...SAV...) is only trying to fool yourself.

The VDC would have been a way of "having the cake and eating it too", but it just comes at too hefty a price. I also wasn't too fond of the Servotronic, which I felt "blurred" the steering feel. I might regret not opting for Servotronic while running around town in my 19":s, but that's a risk I'm willing to take to avoid the overly electronic feel of the Servotronic.

Karl
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      01-18-2011, 03:10 AM   #21
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Good points. Maybe VDC Normal is a way of compensating the big wheel brigade / run flat issue? If so, not of interest to me. Will still try to drive with & without tho before placing my order!
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      01-18-2011, 05:16 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven40 View Post
You can't combine sport suspension and VDC !
You sure? I am ordering M-Sport pack with VDC, and I am assuming that my car will still come with the lower ride height.
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