Is MB suspension up to the mark?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by l5foye, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. l5foye

    l5foye Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    In recent times I have been wondering if the suspension in various models of MB is up to scratch. Earlier in the year I was visiting friends in Portugal who live off a road which was a special stage in the World Cup Rally. To my surprise I found that the lowly hire car (latest type Opel Corsa) handled the very rough conditions better than 2 MBs (C class and a ML) -smoother ride, less kickback through the steering, more comfortable to sit in etc. Then where I live got a large number of speed humps. Driving all cars at a steady 30mph, a Megane outperformed in terms of suspension a SL, a ML and a new E Class. None of the Mercedes have what might be termed tired suspension. The worst performer over the speed humps was the new E Class. A friend and I took turns to drive the cars while the other was either a passenger or a spectator. The way the rear end of the E Class acted was quite alarming. OK the MBs were good on smooth roads but that is not much of an achievement.Has MB lost the plot where suspension is concerned?
    Happy Christmas to all.
     
  2. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    But how did the non- MB suspensions handle corners??

    A soft wallowy suspension will handle speed bumps and potholes easier than a firmer set-up.

    My suspension is very stiff and the car sits low. I have to crawl over speed bumps and try and avoid potholes. But the handling is probably the best I have ever experienced.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    l5foye

    l5foye Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I should have mentioned that I recorded a better time in the little Corsa (1.2) than in a C220 CDI over the special stage. I would not have described the Corsa suspension as wallowly.
     
  4. Diesel Benz

    Diesel Benz Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That doesn't prove a lot. Instability is an advantage for jet fighters and rally cars, not for a passenger plane or a standard car.

    I'd suggest you to buy a Corsa when it is a good car for you. I'm sure I would do better with the C220CDI than with the Corsa. Comfort is highly dependent on the suspension option on the MB as stated above, Corsa probably does not have those options (from the factory), I would not be surprised if the Corsa behaved better in one aspect compared to a specific suspension setup for a C-class but I don't buy the C-class loosing elsewhere when there is an obvious compromise that has to be selected (like handling and comfort).
     
  5. Darrell

    Darrell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I think this is a case for "horses for courses".

    Where we live in Greece the roads are generally bad but occasionally you will find a nice new bit of tarmac.
    On the new roads our old w202 is like an old pair of slippers.Comfy and you know what you are getting.
    When we venture onto the mountain roads we take our old Suzuki Alto.The Suzuki is not even 4wd but it gets us to most of our friends villas for lunch.The short wheelbase of the Jap-box is perfect whereas the old c180 feels a bit hesitant.

    It can be summed up well.......good roads for the Merc and bad roads for the Suzuki.And I think they are both super cars.Both are worth about tuppence but worth their weight in gold.

    FWIW, We always pick our guests up from the airport in the Merc and they are always impressed,even if it is only worth about 1500 quid in the UK.
     
  6. crockers

    crockers MB Club Veteran

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    If you want to go belting around rough tracks then buy a 2CV - :D :D
     
  7. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    My guess its probably something to do with the aspect ratio of the tyres. The basic Corsa will probably be equipped with 14" wheels with 185/70R14 tyres, good for the rough stuff. Your Merc E class will have 205/60R16 or lower profile tyres. People don't realise how much ride comfort they are sacrificing with low profile tyres for marginal handling improvements on ultra smooth surfaces or as a styling feature.
     
  8. popuptoaster

    popuptoaster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My W114 coupe leans like buggery when cornering but the ride is brilliant on all road surfaces and speed bumps can be taken without slowing down if you can hang on to the non grippy flat seats and ignore the lean it will actually corner really fast, i just worry about scraping my door handles on the floor. :D
     
  9. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Don't worry about the door handles, worry when it's the roof gutters..

    Six Guys in a 2CV makes for a few interesting moments..
     
  10. Lord Lucan MK

    Lord Lucan MK Member

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    suspension I feel is a matter of taste for example on my track missile RS2000 I have bilstein shocks all round with special order Group 4 tarmac springs you want harsh jump in this on a public road your teeth will have fell out....

    I feel it is a matter of getting the right balance most who buy an MB expect great road handling characteristics however there is an expectation of smoothness and comfort as well this is probably the hardest balance to acheive on a car and very few get it right as everyones expectations are different so the cars are set up at a sort of happy medium to try and please as many as possible but this is not always the case.

    Happy Christmas all
     
  11. popuptoaster

    popuptoaster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    old jags and old mercs are just about the best things i've ridden in for a balance between comfort and grip levels, the 17"s i've fitted on my coupe haven't made it much worse, its noisier though and thumps when you hit ridges in the road, actually grips less trying to pull out of junctions than it did with the skinnier tyres on it.
     
  12. crockers

    crockers MB Club Veteran

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    ..............Hmmm...what ever floats your boat....:D :crazy: :D :crazy:
     
  13. jeremytaylor

    jeremytaylor Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've got an old Citroen Xantia Activa which has active anti-roll suspension and has hard suspension as Xantias go. It still soaks the bumps up better than my E-class. But there is more to comfort than just soaking up bends, and overall I prefer to drive my E-class (surprise, surprise!) for the better seats, driving position, etc. but mainly for the lack of understeer!
     
  14. Dryce

    Dryce MB Club Veteran

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    You have an AG so you presumably have the harder suspension?

    The standard AG suspension is not that soft and does ride better when the going gets interesting. Citroen vs Elegance might be a fairer comparison.
     
  15. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    The Citroen is an Activa version so no body roll at all. Even a standard Hydractive Citroen can handle better than most cars, even with compliant ride.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gVPXgvOl0xc&feature=related

    Activa
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FkztOZbLA_0&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  16. jeremytaylor

    jeremytaylor Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    To be honest, I don't find that much of a difference between A/G and Elegance on the W211. Not driven an Airmatic, though.
     
  17. lynall

    lynall Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    We have a crappy old C15 diesel van at work and it handles terribly and leans so far its unreal, BUT it goes over bumps and rough terrain as smooth as anything:D



    Lynall
     

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