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Air Suspension vs Normal suspension

flyhigh123

Member
Aug 27, 2015
385
289
Los Angeles
Thoughts? Not sure if i want to spend the extra $ on an air suspension. Out of warranty repairs are pricey for airsuspension down the road... what are some other benefits? Is the ride a lot smoother? Anyone here opting for the normal suspension, if so why?
 

AB4EJ

Member
Feb 25, 2015
771
377
Tuscaloosa, AL
Thoughts? Not sure if i want to spend the extra $ on an air suspension. Out of warranty repairs are pricey for airsuspension down the road... what are some other benefits? Is the ride a lot smoother? Anyone here opting for the normal suspension, if so why?

I have thought about this question a lot also. What I finally came up with is to do the following:

- decide based on actual need. If you need to drive the car through places with steep drives, irregular surfaces, etc., where the bottom will scrape, the air suspension is useful
- "insure" based on what you can and can't afford; here, this means, if you plan to keep the car for many years, and you can't afford to repair the suspension if it breaks, buy the extended warranty, which gives peace of mind. It is a type of insurance - and like any insurance, it may or may not pay off, i.e., be the least expensive approach. Since the Model S is still relatively new (and constantly changing due to engineering changes), one can't really predict what repair work will be needed 5 years hence.
 

Branzo90D

Salt and Pepper
Oct 13, 2015
154
100
NorCal
Not sure how the Model X will perform, but my Model S can hit the roadway just going in and out of some driveways at "standard" suspension height. It will also strike curbs and parking stops in parking lots at that height. I find it very useful to move the height up to prevent scraping.

Also, I feel that the quality of the ride is much better with air suspension. Don't really know if there will be more out-of-warranty problems down the road or not.

Good luck with your Model X.
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,021
Brea, Orange County
The ride with a normal suspension is just fine. I've driven many air suspension car vs mine with coils and it's not a smoother ride or better. I went with the coils when I ordered based on people saying air suspensions cause problems and I didn't see the need to spend the money on it. I have bottomed out so many times, it's not even funny. Speed bumps, driveways, there is always something. Especially when you have passengers. I would highly recommend to get the air suspension.
 

flyhigh123

Member
Aug 27, 2015
385
289
Los Angeles
just configured and went with coils... saved a bit and prefer a stiffer ride. Wife said, why do i need air suspension... lol

this rides much higher so i should never have issues with bottoming out or scratching curbs etc. It would be nice, but saving 3k is also nice.

I had air suspension on my MB in the past, it was floaty and when one went bad after warranty expired, it cost around 2-3k to fix a single air bag.
 

mikevbf

Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2012
1,855
4,331
vermont
just configured and went with coils... saved a bit and prefer a stiffer ride. Wife said, why do i need air suspension... lol

this rides much higher so i should never have issues with bottoming out or scratching curbs etc. It would be nice, but saving 3k is also nice.

I had air suspension on my MB in the past, it was floaty and when one went bad after warranty expired, it cost around 2-3k to fix a single air bag.

Years ago people laughed at me when I posted Model X buyers would be able to economize over Model S owners because of the greater clearance and less essential need for air suspension and not needing to pay for a panoramic roof. At that time I was also hoping the 3rd row seats would be standard. Oh well. And I would never have predicted at that time that the larger battery option would require the purchase of air suspension. The real cost for me personally of the X over the S is that with the S I probably would have gone with the 70D for the value. With the X's difficulty in putting things on the roof, I wanted the option to tow a trailer long distances with things like kayaks which got me to buy 90D -- so much for economizing. Like many I cringed when I realized I would spend over 100k for a car, but I am sure it will be worth it ...
 

flyhigh123

Member
Aug 27, 2015
385
289
Los Angeles
Years ago people laughed at me when I posted Model X buyers would be able to economize over Model S owners because of the greater clearance and less essential need for air suspension and not needing to pay for a panoramic roof. At that time I was also hoping the 3rd row seats would be standard. Oh well. And I would never have predicted at that time that the larger battery option would require the purchase of air suspension. The real cost for me personally of the X over the S is that with the S I probably would have gone with the 70D for the value. With the X's difficulty in putting things on the roof, I wanted the option to tow a trailer long distances with things like kayaks which got me to buy 90D -- so much for economizing. Like many I cringed when I realized I would spend over 100k for a car, but I am sure it will be worth it ...


i hear you... i have 2 boats... i originally wanted to tow but it only came with the air suspension. I also have a f250. My wife said, why would you ever use the luxury X to tow your boats? Which made sense... i have a truck for that, so that made the final decision for me.

Plus my larger boat exceeds 5000 pounds, so it would only tow the small one. I would always have my truck, at least for now. So i shaved the tow and air out.
 

robby

Member
Aug 25, 2014
642
361
Andover, MA
Years ago people laughed at me when I posted Model X buyers would be able to economize over Model S owners because of the greater clearance and less essential need for air suspension and not needing to pay for a panoramic roof. At that time I was also hoping the 3rd row seats would be standard. Oh well. And I would never have predicted at that time that the larger battery option would require the purchase of air suspension. The real cost for me personally of the X over the S is that with the S I probably would have gone with the 70D for the value. With the X's difficulty in putting things on the roof, I wanted the option to tow a trailer long distances with things like kayaks which got me to buy 90D -- so much for economizing. Like many I cringed when I realized I would spend over 100k for a car, but I am sure it will be worth it ...

If it makes you feel any better, remember that that towing requires the air suspension. So even if you'd waited for the 70D, you'd have to pony up for that option.
 

CHG-ON

Still in love after all these miles
Jun 24, 2014
3,079
636
Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
I have not driven a coil MS and have the air suspension. So I can't give a comparison for you. I love it. I do need the adjustability, based on where I live, and I have found it to be both extremely convenient and stress reducing since now I don't have to worry about bottoming the car on steep driveways, curbs, parking curb blocks, etc. I love the ride. Very smooth and supple and also very responsive. The car corners amazingly flat for being a 4,600 pound behemoth. Don't know if the coil car is the same in cornering.
 

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