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Smart air suspension vs regular on buying used S?

AcesUp

Member
May 22, 2018
60
16
Dallas
Considering buying a used Model S and I haven't driven the 2 types of suspensions back to back but want some feedback on the difference and if one is worth seeking out over the other. Thanks
 

cucubits

Active Member
May 17, 2019
1,718
1,747
TX
Not extremely scientific test but you can get an idea.
Smart air may be a bit smoother on rough roads and having the option to lift/lower the car can help in certain situations (to avoid scraping the bumper on an incline) but on the other hand, there's way less things to break and less expensive to fix on a regular suspension setup.

I probably wouldn't look at the suspension in my search for a used S. If the rest of the car is fine, I'd be ok with whichever is in it.


*not my video

 

Chris TX

Active Member
Sep 30, 2013
1,531
188
Dallas, TX
I have a 2013 Model S with air suspension, and love it. The loaners I get that don't have air suspension feel too stiff, and not in a sportscar way. The automatic lowering at highway speeds is good for range increases, and the GPS location suspension raises are great for lower grade pavement, speed bumps, and steep driveways.
 

kkillebrew

Banned
Jun 23, 2019
401
237
austin, tx
I have smart air - I have only found it useful in that the bumper curb in my garage ever-so-slightly rubs the bottom of my bumper. So I have it automatically raise in my driveway - it is geo aware.

Beyond that I have never moved it from factory default which is to lower the car at 100mph. I don't drive 100mph...

Raven models have adaptive suspension which may be worthwhile - not sure.

Bottom line smart suspension would be nothing I really miss.
 

Mhoepfin

Member
Mar 18, 2019
162
121
Atlanta, GA
I have the standard suspension with 19” wheels in my 2015 MS 85D and prefer it to any other setup I’ve driven. At some point the air suspension will cost you and the standard suspension in the S is very tight and nice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pilotSteve
Nov 8, 2018
479
330
LX
I guess it depends on how you use your car.
For me smart air suspension is a must have, not only because it's smoother but mainly because i really need to raise the car on many occasions.
Besides several other occasions, I have a weekend house where i need to raise my S to Very High to get it into the garage, so it's really a must have for me.
 

Fleer

Member
May 19, 2019
149
160
Boise, ID
The ability to raise/lower the car is priceless. The only con would be once you are out of warranty its potentially more expensive if one goes out on you.

If you are into lowering your car at all you can do it cheap with some 3d printed lowering links vs having to buy new springs.
 

nativespinner

Member
May 28, 2018
161
77
Tulsa, OK
I wanted a car with standard suspension for ease of repair and cost but ended up with a pre-owned S with air suspension. It's nice I like the ability to change the ride height and it is adjustable to lower at different speeds other than 100mph. I have mine set to lower at 60 mph.
 

Zishan

Member
Jan 28, 2019
238
78
Houston, TX
I have SAS and had a loaners without/on coils and it drove fine. I actually kinda liked it. Felt more connected to the road. It's going to really about personal preference. I have 4yr/50k warranty, so I'm not too concerned about issues.

I do like the fact the SAS can lift the car and I use this often, so that's why I personally opted for it.
 

daviddavid

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 10, 2019
209
111
Chicago Area
I have smart air - I have only found it useful in that the bumper curb in my garage ever-so-slightly rubs the bottom of my bumper. So I have it automatically raise in my driveway - it is geo aware.

Beyond that I have never moved it from factory default which is to lower the car at 100mph. I don't drive 100mph...

Raven models have adaptive suspension which may be worthwhile - not sure.

Bottom line smart suspension would be nothing I really miss.

Why wouldn't you lower your speed to at least something like 60 or 70? Mine was set at 100 as well and I changed my to 60. I felt the driving much better after that. Worth trying IMHO.
 

P100D_Me

Active Member
Nov 12, 2018
1,048
1,046
Australia
+1 for air, I heard the air struts are more reliable than regular ones.
Not the Tesla ones! (which I think are Continental branded) I had to get one changed over when the car was only one year old. The service guy said to me they make sure they always have spares on hand (what does that tell you?)
I've never ridden in a Tesla without air suspension so I can't compare the ride but the lowering and raising is a very nice feature to have, I would definitely miss that.
 

kkillebrew

Banned
Jun 23, 2019
401
237
austin, tx
Why wouldn't you lower your speed to at least something like 60 or 70? Mine was set at 100 as well and I changed my to 60. I felt the driving much better after that. Worth trying IMHO.
Interesting, I will try it. My last car was a Jag XJ8 an it lowered itself around 70 and it TURNED UP the music volume.
 

David29

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,267
1,961
DEDHAM, MA
I have the coil suspension and it is quite firm, so I have always found it a bit uncomfortable on bumpy roads, but otherwise it if fine. When I have loaners with air suspension, they seem to be a bit more tolerant of the bumps. And being able to raise the car is occasionally useful.
 

Benjanos

Member
Jul 20, 2018
194
155
Switzerland
Worth considering if you are buying in a way that has some warranty or not. IMO it adds complication and will one day cost money.

My CPO has it. I didn't want it. But with second hand you can't choose every option. It probably reduces a lot of NVH which is good.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,987
13,774
California
I went with coils for long-term ownership. They’re a little rough compared to the air springs but I don’t regret the decision.
 

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