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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I find my M3P quite a firm ride, after a while it takes it's toll on my lower back. I know it's performance vehicle and it's supposed to be like that but it's taking it's toll on my body.

I've already switched from the stock 20" wheels to T Sport Line 18", that made a bit of an improvement.

Does anyone know it's possible to put longer springs on the performance model like the long range has? It looks like they have longer springs and a slightly higher ride height.

I can find lots of lowering springs online but not any standard long range springs.
 

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My Model 3 LR didn't have a very good ride quality, especially on some of the poorer roads around here, so you may find that fitting LR springs may not give you the improvement you're looking for. However, some of the custom after market suspension companies may be able to offer something like progressive rate springs, that may work for you. I remember a friend fitting springs like this to a BMW years ago, and they made a useful improvement in ride quality on poorer roads.
 

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I'd think you would have to go straight to something like Ohlins to have a chance of finding it comfortable. It's the wrong car to have for ride comfort.

EVs are fat ass cars and they just need a strong suspension to cope with all the weight.

The lower back issues may be also to do with seat comfort and support as well. I'd also look at seat padding, back support doodads etc and also changing driving position a bit to see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My Model 3 LR didn't have a very good ride quality, especially on some of the poorer roads around here, so you may find that fitting LR springs may not give you the improvement you're looking for. However, some of the custom after market suspension companies may be able to offer something like progressive rate springs, that may work for you. I remember a friend fitting springs like this to a BMW years ago, and they made a useful improvement in ride quality on poorer roads.
That's interesting to know about the LR, I thought that the ride quality would be better without the performance shocks, it is about 5cm higher.

I'll look into other springs, I can't find anyone online who has done this. It all seems to be the other way around, lowering springs which obviously make the ride more uncomfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd think you would have to go straight to something like Ohlins to have a chance of finding it comfortable. It's the wrong car to have for ride comfort.

EVs are fat ass cars and they just need a strong suspension to cope with all the weight.

The lower back issues may be also to do with seat comfort and support as well. I'd also look at seat padding, back support doodads etc and also changing driving position a bit to see if that helps.
I also have Nissan Leaf 40kw, while it does roll more in the corner and shake a bit over bumps, it's so much more comfortable than the Model 3. The seats are great on the Model 3 but other than that, it's quite a firm ride.
 

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I wasn't sure if it was the Leaf was much more comfortable or I was misremembering.. the model 3 is a rough ride, especially on UK roads with all the potholes and speed bumps.

There's a market out there for decent suspension..
 

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I had a Leaf. The overall ride quality in that for shoddy UK roads is very good. I don't think you'll get the Model 3 to be as comfortable without a lot of work.

If you have a softer more comfortable car it really does put a harsher one into focus. You may just have to get a car that rides worse than the 3 then the 3 will feel better :)

The Corsa bounces over rough roads like Pepe Le Peu. It's very uncontrolled and jiggles everywhere. It's also harsher than the Leaf. You really appreciate how well put together the Leaf is. It's a bit soft and leany but with the roads being the way they are it's not such a bad thing.
 

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The Leaf actually has a very good ride - even our Lexus GS seems firm compared to the Leaf.

The Model 3 is designed as a taut, sporting car and it's never going to ride like the Leaf. However, just chucking springs at it isn't going to help. Our Lexus has adjustable dampers and ordinarily it rides much more smoothly than the Model 3, but put it into Sport+ and the dampers dial themselves down and it becomes quite similar to the model 3 ride - without changing springs!

The thing you want is an adjustable coilover set - Either redwood motorsports or Mountainpass, both do a comfort oriented version. I'd love a set of the Redwood Ohlins in GT spec (ie the softer of the two spring options), and dial them toward the comfort end.

Try Tevo: https://www.tevo.solutions/
 

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For me, coming recently to a LR from smaller, sportier (albeit not as fast) cars, I find the ride very good. Everything is relative I guess. It’s fairly firm, but I don’t find it crashy, and in my opinion it’s well damped. Any softer and I doubt it would handle as well - particularly with the weight it carries.

It sounds like the Skoda Enyaq might be the place for people wanting an electric car with really good ride, but that obviously gives up a big chunk of performance and a bit of handling precision to compensate.
 

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I'd think you would have to go straight to something like Ohlins to have a chance of finding it comfortable. It's the wrong car to have for ride comfort.

EVs are fat ass cars and they just need a strong suspension to cope with all the weight.
A "strong suspension" ?? I can only assume by that you mean a stiff suspension.

As someone who has done a bit of suspension tuning years ago on active suspensions suggesting that EV's don't/can't ride well just because they're heavy is laughable and naïve. It's far easier to make a heavy car ride well than a small light car.

Two factors come to mind immediately - on a car without active suspension there is a limit to how soft you can make the suspension before it can't cope with load variations from unloaded to fully loaded. This problem is a lot less of an issue with a heavy car because the percentage change in total weight when you load it up is a lot less. (And it's not an issue on a car with active height correction where you can go way softer - eg Citroen's Hydropneumatic, which is around 2x or more softer springing rate than most comparable passive suspensions)

The second factor is the effects of friction on the moving elements of the suspension - all suspension joints/bushes/dampers etc have friction. High static friction and low body mass leads to a harsh ride because small road imperfections can't overcome this static friction and the suspension will not move for these small imperfections leaving it up to the tyre alone to deflect. While you can reduce friction in suspension joints you can only go so far. When you make the car mass heavier the inertia resists body movement more and the friction of the suspension can be more easily overcome by small road imperfections and thus be absorbed by the suspension. There are other factors as well.

If an EV rides poorly it's because it was designed that way not just because it's "heavy". In the case of the Model 3 they've clearly gone towards a stiff sporty suspension tuning and without an active system like the Model S they probably don't really have a choice with all that power otherwise the handling would be poor and people would complain it rolled and pitched too much. Classic ride vs handling trade-offs of a passive suspension design.

In the case of many other EV's that don't ride that well, some of them have pretty poor suspension design compared to comparable ICE cars. A good example is the torsion beam rear suspension used in many EV's like the Leaf - presumably to fit around the battery pack more easily. Not a great design and considerably inferior to even independent trailing arms let alone a multilink system.

Until very recently there was little effort on the part of EV makers to design EV's that ride and handle well. Hopefully that will change.
 

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I wasn't sure if it was the Leaf was much more comfortable or I was misremembering.. the model 3 is a rough ride, especially on UK roads with all the potholes and speed bumps.

There's a market out there for decent suspension..
You wouldn't think so when most manufacturers aren't willing to give you a decent ride these days and bone crunching ride on huge heavy wheel rims with low profile tyres with flat cornering is the only option available. :(
 

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A "strong suspension" ?? I can only assume by that you mean a stiff suspension.

As someone who has done a bit of suspension tuning years ago on active suspensions suggesting that EV's don't/can't ride well just because they're heavy is laughable and naïve. It's far easier to make a heavy car ride well than a small light car.

Two factors come to mind immediately - on a car without active suspension there is a limit to how soft you can make the suspension before it can't cope with load variations from unloaded to fully loaded. This problem is a lot less of an issue with a heavy car because the percentage change in total weight when you load it up is a lot less. (And it's not an issue on a car with active height correction where you can go way softer - eg Citroen's Hydropneumatic, which is around 2x or more softer springing rate than most comparable passive suspensions)

The second factor is the effects of friction on the moving elements of the suspension - all suspension joints/bushes/dampers etc have friction. High static friction and low body mass leads to a harsh ride because small road imperfections can't overcome this static friction and the suspension will not move for these small imperfections leaving it up to the tyre alone to deflect. While you can reduce friction in suspension joints you can only go so far. When you make the car mass heavier the inertia resists body movement more and the friction of the suspension can be more easily overcome by small road imperfections and thus be absorbed by the suspension. There are other factors as well.

If an EV rides poorly it's because it was designed that way not just because it's "heavy". In the case of the Model 3 they've clearly gone towards a stiff sporty suspension tuning and without an active system like the Model S they probably don't really have a choice with all that power otherwise the handling would be poor and people would complain it rolled and pitched too much. Classic ride vs handling trade-offs of a passive suspension design.

In the case of many other EV's that don't ride that well, some of them have pretty poor suspension design compared to comparable ICE cars. A good example is the torsion beam rear suspension used in many EV's like the Leaf - presumably to fit around the battery pack more easily. Not a great design and considerably inferior to even independent trailing arms let alone a multilink system.

Until very recently there was little effort on the part of EV makers to design EV's that ride and handle well. Hopefully that will change.
My Leaf 2 has a great ride and as good as a Citroen C5 with hydrogas suspension on the very badly patched roads around where I live and it is true that it is nonsense to blame the weight for poor ride quality, when the opposite should be true. (& is in the case of the Leaf E & the C5 (v6 auto))

Often when a car has a firm ride its because of incompetent suspension design that would cause poor handling if the springs and dampers were softer. Conversely, some of the best cornering cars have really soft suspension, at the expense of some body roll. (eg my 1998 Rover 420SD from the days when Rover advertised how good the ride was, and it cornered like on rails provided you braced yourself against the bodyroll)

Adaptive damping would be of benefit on high powered EVs and not difficult to implement given the data available on the Can bus which can be used to alter the damping as required, eg in relation to power demanded, and from the G sensor(s) for cornering.
 

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I had a Leaf. The overall ride quality in that for shoddy UK roads is very good. I don't think you'll get the Model 3 to be as comfortable without a lot of work.
The Leaf actually has a very good ride - even our Lexus GS seems firm compared to the Leaf.
For me, coming recently to a LR from smaller, sportier (albeit not as fast) cars, I find the ride very good. Everything is relative I guess. It’s fairly firm, but I don’t find it crashy, and in my opinion it’s well damped. Any softer and I doubt it would handle as well - particularly with the weight it carries.
Everything is relative it seems. I find the ride on my Leaf 30 Tekna on CrossClimate+ harsh on broken surfaces to the point that it's quite uncomfortable - so much so I've had to drop the tyre pressures by 3psi to make it tolerable. To be fair, the tyres are responsible for a good part of that - on the original Dunlop Eco tyres the ride was acceptable at the standard tyre pressure but I would never say that a Leaf on 17" wheels is a "comfortable" ride. I guess I've just been spoilt by a Hydractive 2 Xantia! :)
 

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Often when a car has a firm ride its because of incompetent suspension design that would cause poor handling if the springs and dampers were softer.
Stiff suspension is often a crutch for poor/lazy suspension geometry - if the suspension can't move much because it's so stiff you don't need to design in good geometry as it is staying near the same working point all the time.

As soon as you make the suspension softer you have to design in more suspension travel (otherwise it will bottom too easily) and then the longer suspension travel will show up the poor geometry. Maintaining good geometry over a long travel is not easy to do, and a long travel inevitably means you have to increase the ride height a bit which can be detrimental to cornering.

So the easy, lazy route is to just make the suspension stiff, short travel and low, and also have bragging rights that it corners well....... on perfectly smooth roads anyway. But you get a bone crunching ride and poor handling on broken surfaces.
Conversely, some of the best cornering cars have really soft suspension, at the expense of some body roll. (eg my 1998 Rover 420SD from the days when Rover advertised how good the ride was, and it cornered like on rails provided you braced yourself against the bodyroll)

Adaptive damping would be of benefit on high powered EVs and not difficult to implement given the data available on the Can bus which can be used to alter the damping as required, eg in relation to power demanded, and from the G sensor(s) for cornering.
I'd like to see more EV's with active suspension, or more cars in general to be honest. After driving cars with active suspension for years its hard to go back to passive systems when you understand all the compromises that a passive system faces. In the 21st century ride height correction and active damping rates really ought to be standard on anything other than econoboxes.
 

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Certainly the I-Pace that I have now, with the optional air suspension package, has a much better ride quality, and much better steering response, than the Model 3 LR I used to own. Hard to pin down what makes such a big difference to the feel, all I can really say is that the I-Pace just feels a lot more confident on winding roads than the Model 3, and the better steering response definitely plays a big part in that. The Model 3 was fine in a straight line, if a bit noisy and uncomfortable, but started to feel far less certain on winding roads, especially those with a rough surface. By contrast, the I-Pace is a great deal quieter and much more comfortable, and handles long sequences of bends very well, although you do definitely feel the extra weight.
 

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The real problem seems to be although there are a couple of products for the M3 that seem to address the problem, neither are cheap and what you really want is a test drive with one setup to a its best shot at a comfortable ride, without that I feel like it would be unwise to pop for them. Although those are both passive. I've tried a Merc EQA and it was better than the M3 and the Polestar which were about equal, but still not really there. I want to try the EQA with adaptive dampers but no one seems to have one, it's quite a joke the dealer I spoke to was quoting 3-5 months for delivery and no clue when they will see anything other than the launch cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Certainly the I-Pace that I have now, with the optional air suspension package, has a much better ride quality, and much better steering response, than the Model 3 LR I used to own. Hard to pin down what makes such a big difference to the feel, all I can really say is that the I-Pace just feels a lot more confident on winding roads than the Model 3, and the better steering response definitely plays a big part in that. The Model 3 was fine in a straight line, if a bit noisy and uncomfortable, but started to feel far less certain on winding roads, especially those with a rough surface. By contrast, the I-Pace is a great deal quieter and much more comfortable, and handles long sequences of bends very well, although you do definitely feel the extra weight.
I had a test drive with in an I Pace and found it to be as comfortable as any premium mid size SUV that I've been in. I almost bought one but I chose the the Model 3 for various obvious reasons.

The Model 3 was a unique product to the market, the ride comfort is not at the top of peoples priority list. Where as for a BMW 3 series, Audi A4 etc, comfort does matter and it will win some customers.
 

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I just got tired of all the irritating aspects of the Model 3. I'd lusted after one for a long time, and don't regret the 16 months I owned it, but the last six months were just one irritation after another. I spent far too much time driving to the SC and back getting faults fixed, too. When my wife refused to drive it, after it had thrown another random wobbly and slammed the brakes hard on for no reason, on one time too many, it had to go. I scratched the Tesla itch, though, and had I not spent that time with the car I would probably still want one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just got tired of all the irritating aspects of the Model 3. I'd lusted after one for a long time, and don't regret the 16 months I owned it, but the last six months were just one irritation after another. I spent far too much time driving to the SC and back getting faults fixed, too. When my wife refused to drive it, after it had thrown another random wobbly and slammed the brakes hard on for no reason, on one time too many, it had to go. I scratched the Tesla itch, though, and had I not spent that time with the car I would probably still want one.
I've had mine for 2 years but I've only done around 2000 miles, it's a second car for us and with the lockdowns it's not being used much.

I have to agree, there's so much to learn with the Model 3 and remember. Even unlocking and locking the car is fiddly and doing everything through the screen is pain. The Nissan Leaf works exactly how you expect a car to work, it's easy and intuitive to use.

I'm driving to the Costa Blanca this weekend in the Model 3, via the ferry. I'd only feel comfortable doing that kind of trip with the supercharger network. Wish me luck.
 

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Have a look at Mountain Pass Performance, a Canadian company offering 3 different damper/spring kits for the M3: Comfort, Comfort Adjustable and Sports Adjustable. The first two kits are designed to give a better ride than standard and also give better body control. The Comfort Adjustable allows variation of compression and rebound to suit your preferences, and is aimed at providing the best possible ride. The Performance Adjustable kit is more suited to track days. The kits are made by the respected KW in Germany and designed specifically for the M3. The prices on their website look high, but are in Canadian dollars. For example the Comfort Adjustable kit I have just received cost just over £1200 once import duty was paid. Online reviews of the kits are excellent. Unfortunately I can't give you a personal opinion of the kit as mine is not being fitted until mid-August. I actually find the ride of the standard M3P ok, but then I prefer sporty cars. My reason for upgrading the suspension is to improve the body control at speed.
 
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