Adaptive M Suspension
If you've searched around for info about the Adaptive M Suspension, you'll find out that most people highly recommend getting this option. Some even say that if you could get one option, this would be it. But does the Adaptive M Suspension truly live up to its name?
The adaptive M suspension includes electronically controlled dampers that help adapt to the road and different suspension modes that help determine ride quality. On the newest 2017 M3 vehicles, the adaptive M suspension comes as standard. I personally would not opt for the non-adjustable suspension setup as you are paying for it in the base price of the vehicle.
The suspension has 3 different setting that the driver can control. There is comfort, sport and sport + modes. Comfort is the softest suspension setting while sport + is the stiffest. One thing I can say is that the suspension will get softer over time simply because the springs will break in. For some any suspension setup in this vehicle will be harsh while others may not think that it’s the best setup for track. When I first received my vehicle, I definitely wasn’t used to the stiff suspension, even in comfort mode. As I drove the vehicle more and more the springs wore in and I did get used to the fact that car wasn’t going to drive as smoothly as a pure luxury car. After driving approximately a few thousand miles, I can say that for me at least, that the car in comfort suspension setting is livable. It’s not soft by any means but driving around town is fine. The car will bounce up and down quite a bit on the freeway if the road has a big bump. It’s quite unpleasant and it feels like your head is going to hit the roof but it doesn’t. I thought that driving though the canyons with the suspension in sport + was too harsh for me. There was definitely more roll in comfort mode than sport + but sport + transferred all of the road imperfections into the vehicle and after a while I decided that it was just uncomfortable. I have not tracked my vehicle yet so I cannot say much about the handling of the vehicle on sport + while gunning for lap times. I presume that the stiffer suspension would be of a major benefit in that regard.
The 3 different suspension modes are meant for most drivers to find a setting best suited for their driving style. By no means is it perfect but it does allow for some adjustments that can allow all different types of users to have to car work for them. The car’s handling isn’t only determined by the suspension. Other things such as tires and tire pressure can also affect the performance of the vehicle. I would say just give the adaptive suspension a shot as it’s already included in the base price of the vehicle. If you don’t like it, try change out the tires and changing the pressure as well. It might save you the trouble of buying an entire new suspension setup.