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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have ordered a SE on steel springs and standard 20 inch wheels, and I am wondering whether to update my order to air suspension.

Apart from cost, my main reason for avoiding air suspension is that I have had problems with M-B's airmatic suspension on two different cars and thought that this was a complexity I could do without as, in my non-engineering view, EV's ditch a number of other complexities of ICE's.

My car will be used mainly in Edinburgh city (where the roads are terrible) and on motorways or A roads. It will not be getting hustled along on minor roads.

The I-Pace replaces a BMW 640d Grand Coupe which has an uncomfortably firm ride on MSport suspension and 20 inch wheels.

Has anyone done a back-to-back of air v. steel on the same size wheels? What did you think?

Has anyone got a steel sprung I-Pace on 20 inch wheels and is unhappy with the ride?

Do you need both air suspension and dynamic dampers to control the ride quality?

I should confess to having test driven neither.

Regards
Andrew
 

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Hi AGT ,
My I-Pace has 20" s on steel springs , and for me it feels great
Last cars have been a couple of RS4s , so obviously a hard ride
I am sure air suspension is amazing , but never had it , so I suppose don't miss it
My thoughts were , a little to do with cost , drawing the line somewhere
Also does the extra weight negate any possible range benefit of lowering suspension ,
And I don't intend to go off roading ,
And as you suggest , possibly one more thing to go wrong ?
Good luck choosing , one thing for sure , it is a great drive
Malcolm
 

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I did post a relevant remark in the test drive section. No comparative drive I'm afraid, but a no-air SE on 20" felt quite unsettled to me on variable Norfolk roads, relative to my current SD Macan.

It's obviously very much a personal thing and TBH I haven't yet decided 100% whether to go ahead with my I-Pace order (heart says yes, head says it's maybe one car premature - ie definitely an EV next time around in 2-3 years time - to allow time for EVs to go through one more generation and for the charging network to expand and become more reliable) but if I do go ahead now then I'm pretty sure that I'll specify air, just to be on the safe side re ride quality.
 

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to answer your question about controlling the ride quality, you get this adjustability if you take both "Active Air Suspension" (£1100) and "Adaptive Dynamics with Configurable Dynamics" (£800).

Air suspension alone seems to just be a change of "spring" but no user control.

The 2nd option gives:
Adaptive Dynamics = real-time automated adjustment of damping taking inputs from sensors such as accelerometers
Configurable Dynamics = driver can change settings, soft/ hard etc in combination with throttle response etc

so yes, you need both of these options at £1900 if you want to be able to make changes yourself.
There are probably only a few settings, so I suggest you test drive to see if it gives you enough controllability and whether it's worth it.
 

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I test drove a steel sprung car and felt it was just as comfortable on normal roads as my current Peugeot 3008. I have chosen to have the air suspension because I will occasionally be travelling on some very uneven Cornish lanes and want to be able to raise the ride height. The air suspension I had on 2 LR Discovery SUV's was 100% reliable over a combined 5 years.
 

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I know what you mean about MB Airmatic I had a nightmare with a CLS a few years ago. I have only had a couple of extended test drives I the Ipace but have been very happy with the coil springs & I suppose this will vary according to preference. Because of this I will not go with the air.

I am planning to stick with the 18" wheels, I would certainly look at air if I wanted the 22" boots on.
 

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I think all the cars at Oulton Park yesterday had air suspension and the ride on 22s was noticeably excellent on the road drive - every bit as good as in my discovery 4 driving away from the circuit on the same roads (btw, no problems with air suspension on that at 8.5 years and 80k miles). The circuit itself was smooth so nothing learned about ride there

I am a bit concerned that the steel sprung cars will have a firmer ride - when I test drove one from the dealer, it felt a bit jittery on one patch of road (SE on 20s) but I need to drive one again on public roads to check it out I think - I have worked out that my very bad experience with that dealer buying a car 8 years ago negatively influenced my views of the iPace, so I was unconsciously looking for things to dislike
 

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Hi I was at Oulton Park as well yesterday and they all pretty much appeared to have air suspension. However, when I did the bollards test (to see the card handling) the instructor said that his car didn't have air and was on springs.
I could tell the difference but the car still handled well, albeit without any pot holes, so will probably not spec it myself.
It was on 20's as well.
 

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I also did Oulton today, all as far as I know were on air suspension, a few weeks ago I spent about 3 hours driving around the lakes in one with steel springs, to be honest I hardly noticed any difference between the two. Maybe off road it would make a big difference, but doubt I would pay extra for air susp.
 

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JLR's airsprings appear to be reliable - whereas Merc's are known not to be. I went for it, as I like cars softer than most makers set them up. Comfort for me, therefore!
Especially if the steel spring setup is a little harsher than air to allow all that sportiness in a traffic jam (sarcasm intended)
 

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I previously had an 2012 MB S class - fantastic ride, never ending issues though. I jumped on a factory spec I-Pace SE model delivered in September, standard not air suspension. I find the ride firm and wish I could have had air. Dealer advice was mixed - some say it makes no difference, some say vital if coming from MB air suspension. All I know is I'll spec it next time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for all of the comments.

It has been difficult to find a coil spring demo -possibly my fault for not ordering from my local dealer. Anyway, after (too) much deliberation, I have updated my order to include air suspension and adaptive dynamics. I intend to keep this car for a long time (I always say that) and decided it was safer to go with this set up which I know can take the broken city roads in its stride rather than risk being disappointed. I was also a bit suspicious that all of the reviews seemed to be of air suspension cars although that might be because many of these cars appear to be on 22" wheels.

Now I need to settle in for the long wait. Anyone know what the WTO tariff is on a motor car?

Regards
Andrew
 

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I've driven both and am happy that the coil springs will be very comfortable for most uses on 20 or 18 inch wheels.

If I drove regularly off road or on unmade ones, or wanted 22 inch wheels, I'd probably go for air.
 

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Drove both an air sprung first edition on 22 plus a co coil se. Unfortunately not on same roads.

I feel the air suspension gives more of a pleasant float at speed but low speed difference is undetectable to me.

The coils are on the firm side and comparable to s sports saloon. Not as sorted as the xf I drove but perhaps similar to the fpace. Comfort wise, ok, not great.
 
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