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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm in the process of taking down my next career which will be a used I Pace. I've researched lots of options and gone through various specs on different cars and recently stumbled across the above spec choice, which seems quite rare?!

I've had a solid look through the various threads regarding suspension differences and people's thoughts and opinions but haven't seen anything on AD without Air. I'm a keen driver, hence choosing I pace! If like to get a vibe on the following...

1) Does the combination of spec exist or is it a description blunder by sellers.
2) What does it drive like compared to stock steel.
3) Should I be looking at a car with AS & AD for the most dynamic drive? (I've driven a stock 20 and was pleasantly surprised with the comfort and drivability combination)

Thanks in advance!
 

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Adaptive dynamics must come with air suspension. It effectively monitors the suspension and constantly adjusts the settings to keep the car level. There is nothing it could adjust on steel springs.

I have only test driven once on steel springs which had the smaller wheels. Dynamic mode on 20" wheels on air is similar to steel with 18" wheels (drive mode makes no difference to suspension settings in steel sprung cars).

Active dynamics basically makes everything better and keeps the car much better balanced when pushed (e.g. turns/cornering at speed). It basically seems to keep the car constantly levelled with no dipping or roll
 
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For what it’s worth, my I-Pace with stock suspension and 20” alloys is very smooth and composed. I know that is subjective but I also have an E-Tron on air suspension and would rate the I-Pace on stock with 20” alloys, as equal to the E-Tron with 20” alloys set to dynamic mode. In fact setting the E-Tron to anything softer makes my passengers feel nauseated as it’s too floaty.

The I-Pace on stock is better than my previous 4 series Gran Coupe and BMW X1 (both 19” alloys), better than my wife’s S-Line Q2 and better than my neighbours VW T-Roc which we car share for the daily school run. So if you are familiar with any of the above cars or similar, then you have a rough reference point.

Do a test drive to check for yourself of course. You have a reference of the stock 20” I-Pace but the ability to set stiffer springs will give a more sporty drive, but not night and day to be fair.
 

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Out of curiosity I just tried the I-Pace configurator and you cannot choose adaptive dynamics without the air suspension being automatically added to the spec. So if it says it has adaptive dynamics then it should have adaptive suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies guys, I have test driven a stock on 20's and it felt composed, responsive and comfortable. As it's a case I'm looking for both items as I can't have AD without AS then so be it, it was more a case of whether it was worth trawling through cars to find an AD system if it added 25+% to the driving experience?
 

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I test drove a car with 22's and air suspension and loved it, it was really flat and composed going round corners. I was getting a new car via a lease so chatted with the dealer about what options he'd recommend. He said that he didn't feel air suspension added much on 20's and suggested it wasn't necessary. Now that I have the car I wished I didn't listen to him. Stock suspension definitely feels less composted going round corners/roundabouts. If I could turn back time I would have added active air suspension to my order BUT, I do like my car and overall am very happy with it after 2 months and 2k miles. Not having air suspension doesn't make this a bad car, but in my opinion the air suspension takes it up a level.
 

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What Electric Beagle and notquickvic posted above matches my own experience. Air suspension will improve the dynamics a bit when you need it and also give a more floaty drive when you want it. The issue when looking is if you feel the extra £2,000 is worth it.

As you know from your own tests, the stock suspension on 20” alloys is still very composed and is a good compromise between dynamics and comfort. So if anyone tells you it’s night and day, or like a different car, they are exaggerating In my experience but that is subjective. Go test one with air suspension and adaptive dynamics to see if you feel it is worth it. The fact I didn’t feel it to be substantially better for the cost, is just personal preference.

If you can find a car with dynamics and air suspension in your budget then go for it.
 

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If you are buying used the added cost won't be anything like the £2.5k AS with AD cost me.

Obviously I have only driven my car extensively but I don't think the car would be as versatile as it is (superb high speed handling in country roads and floaty suspension on crappy roads in day to day driving), without both.

AS also gives you the additional height and suspension travel off road (or on very tough roads) too which makes a huge difference.

Those who haven't lived with it will not see the point, as someone who was on the fence about AS and AD to begin with I am hugely relieved I specced them. I cannot imagine the car being anything like as good or versatile without them.
 
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What Electric Beagle and notquickvic posted above matches my own experience. Air suspension will improve the dynamics a bit when you need it and also give a more floaty drive when you want it. The issue when looking is if you feel the extra £2,000 is worth it.

As you know from your own tests, the stock suspension on 20” alloys is still very composed and is a good compromise between dynamics and comfort. So if anyone tells you it’s night and day, or like a different car, they are exaggerating In my experience but that is subjective. Go test one with air suspension and adaptive dynamics to see if you feel it is worth it. The fact I didn’t feel it to be substantially better for the cost, is just personal preference.

If you can find a car with dynamics and air suspension in your budget then go for it.
If you just drive it on a good road at average speed you will not notice the difference from AS. If you don't like fast country road driving you will not appreciate the benefits of AD. This makes it very very hard to do a quick side by side comparison, you need to live with it for a while to see the significant benefits.

If you want real sports car like handling or decent off road (rough road) capability you will feel the difference.
 
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That’s a lot of assumptions. Nobody here has disputed that adaptive dynamic air suspension is better and if you can spec it you should, if the cost is deemed worth it. The point being made is that even without it the I-Pace on Stock springs and 20” alloys (not 18” like you tested), is very sporty and composed when you want to push in it a bit.

The fact I find it only an OK thing to have is just personal preference. I have owned many cars both with and without air, adaptive, active and stock to know what they do and do not do for a car.

This is why I have recommended the OP try both properly to see if they deem it essential. Because my or your opinion may inevitably differ from theirs.

Incidentally, from experience I know a dealer will up the used price by about £1k just because a car has such a feature. I worked in IT for a dealership and they would even try to sell customers a service plan for a car that already had one (BMW or Mini).
 

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That’s a lot of assumptions. Nobody here has disputed that adaptive dynamic air suspension is better and if you can spec it you should, if the cost is deemed worth it. The point being made is that even without it the I-Pace on Stock springs and 20” alloys (not 18” like you tested), is very sporty and composed when you want to push in it a bit.

The fact I find it only an OK thing to have is just personal preference. I have owned many cars both with and without air, adaptive, active and stock to know what they do and do not do for a car.

This is why I have recommended the OP try both properly to see if they deem it essential. Because my or your opinion may inevitably differ from theirs.

Incidentally, from experience I know a dealer will up the used price by about £1k just because a car has such a feature. I worked in IT for a dealership and they would even try to sell customers a service plan for a car that already had one (BMW or Mini).
The problem is the span of a typical test drive is not long enough to really feel the difference.

Ultimately it becomes a leap of faith either way and then peeps tend to seek to justify their choice either way.

You really need a few days with each I would suggest to have a good comparison but you will never get that in reality.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again for the input, I've found a suitable car that is specced with both running 20's, negotiations are underway.... I'll let you know how I get on.
 

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The problem is the span of a typical test drive is not long enough to really feel the difference.

Ultimately it becomes a leap of faith either way and then peeps tend to seek to justify their choice either way.

You really need a few days with each I would suggest to have a good comparison but you will never get that in reality.
EDIT: Just realised that you are contradicting yourself. if as you allude in previous posts the difference is huge, then regardless of how short the test is you should notice instantly? If not then the difference is not actually as huge as you imply?

I do agree that it is normal human behaviour to justify an expensive purchase, be it a car or any other item. So I also agree it is a leap of faith unless you have extensive experience of both setups.

For my part I have not once declared dynamic air suspension worse than stock in an effort to justify my own purchase. What I have done is relate my own experience based on variouls different cars (not just my I-Pace). I also clarified this was only my objective opinion and that the OP should test and decide for themself.

As you stated yourself you found an I-Pace on 20" alloys with Dynamic suspension, roughly equivalent to stock coils with 18" alloys. From that logic an I-Pace on 20" wheels and stock suspension would be even stiffer and sportier? To be honest I could not verify either way. All I am able to convey is that IMHO the I-Pace on stock coils and 20" alloys are sporty, composed and have no significant body roll while still being comfortable. I fully expect that with 20" alloys and adaptive air suspension it will be even better. Just not night and day better.
 

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EDIT: Just realised that you are contradicting yourself. if as you allude in previous posts the difference is huge, then regardless of how short the test is you should notice instantly? If not then the difference is not actually as huge as you imply?

I do agree that it is normal human behaviour to justify an expensive purchase, be it a car or any other item. So I also agree it is a leap of faith unless you have extensive experience of both setups.

For my part I have not once declared dynamic air suspension worse than stock in an effort to justify my own purchase. What I have done is relate my own experience based on variouls different cars (not just my I-Pace). I also clarified this was only my objective opinion and that the OP should test and decide for themself.

As you stated yourself you found an I-Pace on 20" alloys with Dynamic suspension, roughly equivalent to stock coils with 18" alloys. From that logic an I-Pace on 20" wheels and stock suspension would be even stiffer and sportier? To be honest I could not verify either way. All I am able to convey is that IMHO the I-Pace on stock coils and 20" alloys are sporty, composed and have no significant body roll while still being comfortable. I fully expect that with 20" alloys and adaptive air suspension it will be even better. Just not night and day better.
My point was that it is tiring being in sport mode all the time. You need to drive on bumpy roads, off road/track roads and fast moving twisty A roads and switch modes between them to see the difference. Most test drives simply do not do this, my test drives did not do this.
 

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I came out of back to back Mercedes both with air suspension into a standard I-Pace set up and have been really impressed with the handling. It’s hard to see how it could be improved, other than the ability to raise the car for wading etc
 

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Does Adaptive Dynamics only comes on when Dynamic Mode is selected or does it come on in any modes? Anyone knows?
It would be always on. It would help dampen any rebounds due to uneven road surfaces. Like others have stated it will improve the ride quality but the idea that it transforms the sporty handling is an exaggeration. Think great handling on stock but adaptive does improve it slightly. The main benefit of air with adaptive is the ability to manually select a range ride heights from stiff to comfort as you desire. If you just specify air suspension alone I don’t think you can manually adjust the settings.

It’s a matter of managing expectations and trying before you buy.
 

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My point was that it is tiring being in sport mode all the time. You need to drive on bumpy roads, off road/track roads and fast moving twisty A roads and switch modes between them to see the difference. Most test drives simply do not do this, my test drives did not do this.
Then you should have stated you were referring to the ability to manually adjust the suspension to the type of road. Rather than exaggerating what adpative air suspension can actually can do in dynamic mode. Your first post had a few gross exaggerations (bolded) and you continued in this vein throught most of the thread.

Active dynamics basically makes everything better and keeps the car much better balanced when pushed (e.g. turns/cornering at speed). It basically seems to keep the car constantly levelled with no dipping or roll
My own experience in multiple cars with air and or adpative suspenions is that, no it will absolutely not keep it constantly levelled with no dipping or roll. You cannot change the laws of physics. It improves it somewhat by a small but noticeable degree, but not to the level you have been implying.

I want people to have realistic expectations, so they don't go spec a £2.5k feature expecting some magic improvement in sporty handling.
 

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Again the topic here was should someone look for this spec on a used car where the real cost is likely to be a £1k premium over not having AS/AD.

It obviously does not change the laws of physics but it does really help to keep things controlled. I think we will just agree to differ on the degree of difference it makes.
 
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