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Smart Air Suspension: How important?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by BEEZR, Dec 14, 2016.

?

Do you have Smart Air Suspension?

  1. Yes. I use/like/need/want it.

    35 vote(s)
    41.2%
  2. Yes, but I could do without.

    15 vote(s)
    17.6%
  3. No. I don't need it. No problem.

    27 vote(s)
    31.8%
  4. No, but would like to have it.

    8 vote(s)
    9.4%
  1. BEEZR

    BEEZR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    My car has it but occasionally I scrape/bang the bottom if I'm not paying close attention (!), but I don't need it on a daily/weekly basis. I'm considering a car that doesn't have it so I'm trying to gauge whether or not it is a necessity. I think I know the answer but thought I'd seek the wisdom of the crowd.

    I realize that a non-SAS car sits a bit higher than the Standard SAS position -- does anyone notice the difference?

    I've hard you say the ride is different, though I suspect it's what you get used to.

    I like the idea of the car lowering at speed, but that's probably a nice to have and adds minimal range efficiency if at all.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Carl

    Carl Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,072
    Location:
    Belgium
    The funny thing is my 2016 S85D (without air suspension) apparently sits a bit lower than my previous 2013 S85 (also without air suspension).

    So whereas for three years I was fine without air suspension, now, with my new S, I have to take some garage exits "sideways" in order to avoid scraping the bottom, which was never a problem before (and of course I found that out the hard way).

    So I would appreciate air suspension now, but only to be able to put suspension on 'high' on such slopes (which are not even that abrupt - for me it is a situation encountered daily at the office garage, and the only other cars who have the same problem are of the Maserati/Porsche/Lamborghini type, which I did not anticipate my new MS to resemble :)).

    In terms of comfort, having tried other S's with air suspension: a different ride (a bit more comfortable; perhaps a bit less 'feeling' in curves however); I wouldn't buy air suspension for that. But I would (now) for clearance!
     
  3. ba2002

    ba2002 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2016
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Minneapolis, Mn
    I have the SAS because it came on the inventory car I leased. I had test driven both. Not worth $2500 to me in terms of ride comfort or whatever minor efficiency gains it has. To me this is a 19 vs 21 tire issue. That said, there is a work ramp I park at, and I have to set it to very high in order to go over a hump and not scrape the front underbody. So I agree - buy for clearance if you need it; otherwise skip it.
     
  4. AB4EJ

    AB4EJ Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    751
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Whether you get air suspension or not should depend on 2 factors:

    • Do you often drive in places with uneven surfaces likely to scrape? (yes=a vote toward air susp.)
    • Do you plan to keep the car for many years (yes=a vote against air susp.)

    I have been told that air suspensions are extremely expensive to repair (outside warranty); people looking for used Mercedes cars are advised by service guys to try and find one without the air susp. So be sure you really need it for driving situations before getting it.
     
  5. DÆrik

    DÆrik Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    574
    Location:
    Colorado
    I have the smart air suspension on mine. I mainly purchased it because my parents have a very steep driveway. Whenever I would go visit in my previous cars, I had to enter the driveway at a crazy angle to get up without scraping. Besides using it when I visit them, I don't use it very often. Just a few places or if the snow gets to deep. The geo fencing is very nice!

    My friend just took delivery of his S and it doesn't have SAS and it sits noticeably higher than mine. I keep mine on standard. But if I put mine on high/very high it would be the same height as my friends with coil suspension.

    You can kinda see the difference in my video:


    Thanks Erik
     
    • Like x 2
  6. dhcp

    dhcp Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    Great video Erik, helpful for seeing the AP changes up close. Thanks for putting that together.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. demundus

    demundus Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Messages:
    495
    Location:
    Oceanside, CA
    I didn't think I'd need it till I found out I can't back into my garage without coming in at a weird angle without scraping horribly. Also, San Diego county in general, it helps for those questionable moments. I'd probably order with it again.
     
  8. DÆrik

    DÆrik Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    574
    Location:
    Colorado
    Not a problem!

    Thanks Erik
     
  9. davidc18

    davidc18 Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,196
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Love the coils, and unfortunately really have grown to dislike the air on the P90.
     
  10. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,060
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
    I don't think it is a must have for most. I live in the mountains with plenty of steep driveway inclines, so I actually do need it and I prefer a lower stance when driving than what I need for those inclines. But honestly, I bet I wouldn't really feel the difference in handling between the two. It's a silkier ride while still handling quite flat. So I love it. And it makes the car much easier to clean from top to bottom. I just raise or lower, depending on what I am doing. But I am an obsessed retard...
     
  11. ev-now

    ev-now Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
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    441
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Efficiency for range might be somewhat useful (single digits I suspect) but it will increase tire wear (inside edge of rears) due to the rear wheel setup on the MS - there are threads in here discussing options for improving that, but as built there is nothing you can do it will increase wear when it lowers. (Have SAS on my 2015 S60).
     
  12. boonedocks

    boonedocks Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2015
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    783
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA
    Interesting that Tesla requires SAS on the P100D. If was just about money and not something useful then I'm sure they would require UHD audio, SubZero Package and maybe even the premium interior package. Having 21's as a daily driver and SAS and having driven severall 19" tire cars without SAS for several days it is an option I am glad I got and will get again on my next Model S
     
  13. P85DBeast

    P85DBeast Side tEsLa

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2015
    Messages:
    443
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    We have it simply because of our steep driveway. But we had a 70D as a loaner with coil's (Tesla re-calibrating radar again) and have to say I really disliked it. Had to park it on the street because we were so afraid to scratch the front & rear of the car when driving up our driveway. And I really didn't like the ride too much it felt bumpy, my wife thought it was ok though. But I guess thats because im used to the SAS on our cars. :)
     
  14. mjcostajr

    mjcostajr Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2015
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    After having coils on 70D and picking up 90D with air suspension, I can say the difference is quite noticeable - especially on the highway. Incredibly smooth. Air suspension also seems to be a little quieter over bumps on local roads as well. Very happy I opted for it this time, however, it won't drastically change the feel.
     
  15. tga

    tga Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
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    2,711
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Exactly. SAS is less about raising the car, and more about lowering it. People often focus on raising the car to get in a driveway, forgetting that's necessary because the car was lowered beforehand (either explicitly or automatically). For many people, coils would be high enough.

    You can't compare 2 cars with different tires, wheels, and suspensions and ascribe all of the handling difference to the suspensions alone.
     
  16. boonedocks

    boonedocks Member

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    May 1, 2015
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    783
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA
    You can't compare 2 cars with different tires, wheels, and suspensions and ascribe all of the handling difference to the suspensions alone.[/QUOTE]


    I can definitely say I will have 21" AND SAS on my next Model S
     
  17. whitex

    whitex Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,626
    Location:
    Seattle area, WA
    I have it, I like it as I can actually tell the slight difference when at highway speeds (steering feels a little tighter - the difference is enough that when Tesla disabled lowering back in 2013 I noticed the first day while driving on a ramp between 2 highways, at first I thought the update switched my steering to comfort, which has happened before, but then realized that it's the SAS that is not going down). That said, you do have to be careful as the car at standard height sits lower than coil loaners I had. For my wife, we got one without SAS because she doesn't want to have deal with remembering to put the car on high when encountering some bumps or curbs when parking. Also doesn't want to deal with possible bugs like car lowering over a curb while parked (has happened to me, hence I now always check). AFAIK coils height is comparable to high setting on SAS, do for clearing things, all you'd be missing is very high.
     

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