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up_north

F11 Adaptive drive/variable damper control query

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Hi all

 

First post here.

 

I remember when the F10/11 was launched and just about every review said you must spec some kind of adjustable susoension. So fast forward a few years and I've found a nice 2014 535D Touring. The car is specified as having Variable Damper Control. When it  was first launched I'm fairly sure the 6 cylinders could be specified with Adaptive Drive (£2k+) and the 4 cylinders could be had with VDC (less than £1k). And from looking at a 2011 pricelist I can see this was the case. However, a 2012 pricelist does show VDC as now being available for the 6 cylinders.

 

So I think my question would be - does VDC on its own address ride quality issues that reviewers complained abour or is that only addressed with the full Adaptive Drive. The car I'm looking at is M Sport wearing 19" run flats!

 

Cheers.

 

Ian

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41 minutes ago, up_north said:

 

So I think my question would be - does VDC on its own address ride quality issues that reviewers complained abour or is that only addressed with the full Adaptive Drive. The car I'm looking at is M Sport wearing 19" run flats!

 

Cheers.

 

Ian

 

Short answer is yes. I've had F10s with and without VDC. VDC gives you 3 suspension settings, Comfort+, Comfort and Sport which will benefit you all the time.  Adaptive drive adds anti roll stabilisation which is great if you hoon it round corners all the time.  I tend to spend most of my time on motorways, so didn't stump up for AD. I run 18"s in summer and 17"s in winter, both on runflats.

You'll lose the 25mm lower M Sport suspension and look which appeals to many on here if you have VDC or AD, but your backside and lower spine will thank you for it.

Finding VDC cars can be a challenge though, i got mine as a factory order.

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I have VDC on my recently acquired F11 530d and in Comfort+ it's a waftamatic pleasure zone. There are definite differences between all three settings.

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I have Adapted drive on my 535d M sport F10. I must say it's one of the best features of the car, and I often flick between the different settings depending on road conditions, if the family are in the car with me etc.

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It all depends on how fussy you are, and possibly on how enthusiastically you drive the car.

VDC can add some comfort on straight roads.

AD adds a bit more comfort, and also adds great cornering and handling.

 

AD is the only reason I chose a 5 series, and it is excellent.

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after having it on my f11 i wouldn't really want to do without it unless I had no choice. It's great. I did get rid of the run flats though - it's not just ride quality, they warp rims due to them being so hard they don't soak up any of the shock of a pothole or poor road, causing damage (ask me how I know) anyway - Adaptive drive - I have comfort, normal and sport as mine is the "old" naming system, comfort feels big and bouncy, really makes a difference and is perfect for cruising down the motorway. Normal is just that - not hard or soft, and sport I use quite a bit, great for aggressive speed bumps and if you feel like enjoying the car a bit. I think I do:-

 

50% Normal

30% comfort 

20% sport - only because I live in the countryside and the roads are crap.

 

I do think the system is run off a pully on the engine though - I had my drive belt snap and one of the multitude of errors was adaptive drive failure, so I suspect you pay a small penalty in terms of MPG (i get 33.7mpg on a 530d) but don't quote me on that, i've no idea how it works.

 

 

 

Edited by johnleb

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