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New Softer Suspension

plug

Member
Nov 10, 2009
41
25
Monterey, CA
Having read early reviews about the original "sporty" suspension, I'm now finding comments like "soft" and "floaty". This isn't what I have in mind at all. Has anyone driven both who could offer comments? Is there some way out of the floaty one on a new car?

I'm a very early reservationist and a Dual Motor holdout who's really concerned about this. Please provide whatever feedback you can.

Thank you.
 

gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,312
12,809
Santa Barbara, CA
I have two Model 3's in this household. One is December 2017, the other is February 2018. The 2017 was noticeably stiffer than the 2018. The 2017 is my car, the 2018 is my son's. I recently had the stiffer 2017 suspension updated to the new softer one. With the stiffer suspension you can head into any tight curve as fast as you dare and the car stays completely flat with a feeling of security. But with this stiffer suspension I found myself changing lanes on road trips looking for a less bumpy ride. I did a 1,000 mile trip with the stiffer suspension. It was ok but the thought of driving the next 100,000 miles like this made me decide to go for the update.

So, now, it has been two weeks after the update to my 2017. It is hard for me to say, does the car corner less well or does it simply lean just a tad more? I have the feeling that I can still take the curves just as fast and just as well although with a tiny bit of body lean. The difference may only be that the car no longer "feels" like a go-kart. It still takes the curves faster than anyone should safely drive. I also always feel confident in the car's handling. The car is still just as fun. Driving distances is way more comfortable. Another big bonus is that I noticed a substantial decrease in tire/road noise. It makes sense that stiffer springs would transfer more energy from the tire noise.

If you were allowed the choice, I'd guess 90% would take the smooth ride. If I was a boy of 16 years old to 22 years old I might go for sport. 23 and older, go for the softer ride.
 

ponzu

Member
Apr 19, 2018
289
115
Southern California
I raised a reportedly stiff ride as a concern for my upcoming Model 3. The community came to the car's defense and someone wrote this

I own a Model 3 and find the ride to not be "stiff". My friend, who owns a brand new Mercedes C-Class, found the ride in the Tesla to be smoother than his car.

I personally find the current C-Class ride to be as satisfying in the sporty vs. comfy department as anything I have driven (have not driven a Model 3 yet like the vast majority of prospective buyers), so to hear that Model 3 is "smoother" than a C-Class was very encouraging.

I am hoping for a smooth/comfy ride. I personally have not heard it described as "soft" or "floaty".
 
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mcreston

Member
Dec 31, 2017
19
29
San Francisco, CA
I have two Model 3's in this household. One is December 2017, the other is February 2018. The 2017 was noticeably stiffer than the 2018. The 2017 is my car, the 2018 is my son's. I recently had the stiffer 2017 suspension updated to the new softer one. With the stiffer suspension you can head into any tight curve as fast as you dare and the car stays completely flat with a feeling of security. But with this stiffer suspension I found myself changing lanes on road trips looking for a less bumpy ride. I did a 1,000 mile trip with the stiffer suspension. It was ok but the thought of driving the next 100,000 miles like this made me decide to go for the update.

So, now, it has been two weeks after the update to my 2017. It is hard for me to say, does the car corner less well or does it simply lean just a tad more? I have the feeling that I can still take the curves just as fast and just as well although with a tiny bit of body lean. The difference may only be that the car no longer "feels" like a go-kart. It still takes the curves faster than anyone should safely drive. I also always feel confident in the car's handling. The car is still just as fun. Driving distances is way more comfortable. Another big bonus is that I noticed a substantial decrease in tire/road noise. It makes sense that stiffer springs would transfer more energy from the tire noise.

If you were allowed the choice, I'd guess 90% would take the smooth ride. If I was a boy of 16 years old to 22 years old I might go for sport. 23 and older, go for the softer ride.

what was the cost for updating your 2017 car? I'm curious how they handled that
 

gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,312
12,809
Santa Barbara, CA
what was the cost for updating your 2017 car? I'm curious how they handled that
It was no charge. No other car company on earth would do something like this for a customer. When I had my very early Model S, Tesla made many updates at their expense to be sure my car was as good as the newer ones. I sometimes read comments complaining about Tesla service but I have only had the most superb service experiences.
 

gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,312
12,809
Santa Barbara, CA
Elon Musk on Twitter

Could this have something to do with it? He mentions a softer ride, though I'm not sure if CR had a 2017 model and Elon was just referencing the existing suspension update.
If CR was complaining about stiff ride, they must have had the early suspension. No way would anyone ever complain about the updated suspension.
 
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gilscales

Banned
Jul 16, 2016
1,694
2,035
Long Beach, CA
Having read early reviews about the original "sporty" suspension, I'm now finding comments like "soft" and "floaty". This isn't what I have in mind at all. Has anyone driven both who could offer comments? Is there some way out of the floaty one on a new car?

I'm a very early reservationist and a Dual Motor holdout who's really concerned about this. Please provide whatever feedback you can.

Thank you.


Rented and early build model 3 back in feb. for 2 days off of Turo, the car was on 18's and the owner had the tires over inflated (51 psi) at the time i really did not think of lowering air pressure and i drove the car from irvine to san diego then to long beach and back to irvine, over 300 miles, my wife and i loved everything about the car except the rough ride, it was a deal breaker for her and i had to convince her that i would put softer aftermarket springs on the car, she let me know that if we could not get a much better ride than this would be my car and she would be going back to BMW.

the car we rented drove like it was on rails but tires lacked grip and gave out WAY before the suspension budged

I ordered our car with the 19" sport wheels and when we drove off I was expecting the car to be similar to what we rented
but it was NIGHT and DAY different, the new suspension soaked up the bumps and road irregularities were so much more damped that we could not believe it was the same car, (our tire pressure was 42 psi so I'm sure that had something also to do with our ride quality) tossing the car into a corner hard there is a little more body lean and you can feel the rear end move a bit more but with our 19" stickier tires the car corners harder than our rental did and when people who want a test drive ask how it handles they grin ear to ear after taking a frwy. on ramp when i push it hard.

unless you are a gluten for punishment i feel you would be much happier with the new suspension but if you want to up the handling then there is always the coilovers and the suspension mods from mountainpassperformance.com

oh and the little woman, after calling me crazy for standing in line 4 hours over 2 years ago she informed me she will be keeping this one and if i want one ill have to get my own! she can't quit telling everyone what a great car this is and how everyone should be driving one, good thing i made 2 reservations!
 
Last edited:

geometro

Member
Jun 24, 2015
429
772
Austin
Rented and early build model 3 back in feb. for 2 days off of Turo, the car was on 18's and the owner had the tires over inflated (51 psi) at the time i really did not think of lowering air pressure and i drove the car from irvine to san diego then to long beach and back to irvine, over 300 miles, my wife and i loved everything about the car except the rough ride, it was a deal breaker for her and i had to convince her that i would put softer aftermarket springs on the car, she let me know that if we could not get a much better ride than this would be my car and she would be going back to BMW.

the car we rented drove like it was on rails but tires lacked grip and gave out WAY before the suspension budged

I ordered our car with the 19" sport wheels and when we drove off I was expecting the car to be similar to what we rented
but it was NIGHT and DAY different, the new suspension soaked up the bumps and road irregularities were so much more damped that we could not believe it was the same car, (our tire pressure was 42 psi so I'm sure that had something also to do with our ride quality) tossing the car into a corner hard there is a little more body lean and you can feel the rear end move a bit more but with our 19" stickier tires the car corners harder than our rental did and when people who want a test drive ask how it handles they grin ear to ear after taking a frwy. on ramp when i push it hard.

unless you are a gluten for punishment i feel you would be much happier with the new suspension but if you want to up the handling then there is always the coilovers and the suspension mods from mountainpassperformance.com

oh and the little woman, after calling me crazy for standing in line 4 hours over 2 years ago she informed me she will be keeping this one and if i want one ill have to get my own! she can't quit telling everyone what a great car this is and how everyone should be driving one, good thing i made 2 reservations!

That psi delta is massive and likely made a massive difference in the ride quality.
 

plug

Member
Nov 10, 2009
41
25
Monterey, CA
I have two Model 3's in this household. One is December 2017, the other is February 2018. The 2017 was noticeably stiffer than the 2018. The 2017 is my car, the 2018 is my son's. I recently had the stiffer 2017 suspension updated to the new softer one. With the stiffer suspension you can head into any tight curve as fast as you dare and the car stays completely flat with a feeling of security. But with this stiffer suspension I found myself changing lanes on road trips looking for a less bumpy ride. I did a 1,000 mile trip with the stiffer suspension. It was ok but the thought of driving the next 100,000 miles like this made me decide to go for the update.

So, now, it has been two weeks after the update to my 2017. It is hard for me to say, does the car corner less well or does it simply lean just a tad more? I have the feeling that I can still take the curves just as fast and just as well although with a tiny bit of body lean. The difference may only be that the car no longer "feels" like a go-kart. It still takes the curves faster than anyone should safely drive. I also always feel confident in the car's handling. The car is still just as fun. Driving distances is way more comfortable. Another big bonus is that I noticed a substantial decrease in tire/road noise. It makes sense that stiffer springs would transfer more energy from the tire noise.

If you were allowed the choice, I'd guess 90% would take the smooth ride. If I was a boy of 16 years old to 22 years old I might go for sport. 23 and older, go for the softer ride.
This is exactly the comparison I was seeking. After many years driving the M3 and my wife's Works Mini, I will miss the flat cornering but it seems like the the current setting is a reasonable compromise for most situations. Thankfully no one has mentioned "floaty" except to say that it isn't. Many thanks.
 

gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,312
12,809
Santa Barbara, CA
This is exactly the comparison I was seeking. After many years driving the M3 and my wife's Works Mini, I will miss the flat cornering but it seems like the the current setting is a reasonable compromise for most situations. Thankfully no one has mentioned "floaty" except to say that it isn't. Many thanks.
Definitely not floaty.
 
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Ben W

P85 #61, Roadster #108
Feb 27, 2009
664
563
Santa Barbara, CA
I have a relatively early Model 3, VIN 20xx, and the ride in the back seat is, to put it mildly, bone-jarring. We have a 12-week-old infant who we'll need to put in a car seat back there, so we definitely need to upgrade the suspension. I have a service call in to Tesla, and hope that they're willing/able to do this. We're also getting some rattling noises from the shelf above the back seat, which may be exacerbated by the stiff suspension. Will update here when we hear back.
 

dgaultiere

Member
Sep 29, 2017
128
130
Santa Barbara, CA
This is exactly the comparison I was seeking. After many years driving the M3 and my wife's Works Mini, I will miss the flat cornering but it seems like the the current setting is a reasonable compromise for most situations. Thankfully no one has mentioned "floaty" except to say that it isn't. Many thanks.

I’m a driving enthusiast who’s owned several stiff/sporty cars. My model 3 (VIN 185xx) has the “softer” suspension and I would put it on par with other sporty cars for a balance of tight handling and highway comfort.

If you really want performance, there are quite a few aftermarket suspension options being developed:
mountain pass performance coilovers
unplugged performance springs or coilovers
t sportline springs
eibach springs

Search around this forum and you’ll find plenty of good options.
 

LSE47

Member
Apr 10, 2018
21
28
Bay Area
i spoke with Tesla yesterday about doing the switch from softer suspension to the stiffer original 2017. (lotus and BMW M3 owner here - i like the stiffer ride) They would do it for the full price of labor and parts. i was told that upgrading from stiffer to softer suspension is no charge.
 

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