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Extremely Uncomfortable Ride and Side to Side Rocking Motion on all Velars?

Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:39 pm
by LordTechPro
Hey guys, I've had my Velar for over a year now and till now I haven't faced any major issues. Apart from this; the ride quality on the Coil Springs with Adaptive dampers. It is absolutely appalling. I owned a Freelander 2 for 9 years before upgrading to the Velar, and I have to say that in terms of ride quality it feels like an absolute downgrade.

In my city, the road quality changes quite drastically throughout the year, during summer we have these almost impeccably smooth roads, but the lesser I say about the condition of the roads after the monsoons, the better. My old Freelander 2 used to almost glide over these imperfections (albeit a bit noisily) and even let me drive flat out on non existent side roads I took to escape traffic snarls. For nearly 190,000 kms! I did not have to replace any major components of the suspension save for the anti roll bars and the bushes. The Velar's suspension? I don't think it can ever match the comfort or the durability of the Freelander 2's.

Here's why. Though the suspension on the Velar makes little to no noise over most surfaces, it is simply too stiff. In Auto or Comfort mode the Adaptive dampers become incredibly soft, but because the coil springs themselves are too stiff, it makes the spring and damper rates terribly mismatched. This can cause unnecessary stress on the rest of the suspension components. Again, Land Rovers have always had slightly stiffer suspension than rivals, and I loved that. The difference is on my Freelander 2 the body always remained flat and composed.

From my experience, the Velar runs out of suspension travel too fast and the mismatched spring and damper rates contribute to a profound side to side "rocking motion". It feels like I am sitting on a trampoline and is in no way worthy of a £90,000 (that's what it costs over here after taxes) SUV. While sub £20K cars drive at normal traffic speed, I am forced to slow down to a crawl, which is a serious traffic hazard. Land Rover never should have allowed such a suspension to be fitted on a Range Rover.

Selecting Dynamic Mode on the Terrain Response 2 stiffens the dampers and arrests most of the side to side rocking motions. However, this makes the ride so stiff, that the shock from each and every expansion joint, cobblestone, pothole and such causes the whole car to vibrate and the jolt is then transferred onto my back.

Don't get me wrong, the Velar remains very composed around corners and is supremely comfortable when the road surface is good, but that has got more to do with the robust aluminium chassis, the smooth transmission, sound dampening and all the electronic aids.

Fundamentally as we all know, the suspension is responsible for delivering a comfortable ride and it isn't even about the stiffness. My nearly 15 year old W211 E-Class has a much stiffer coil suspension (and less wheel travel too) but even after all these years it delivers a very flat ride with no side to side rocking motion.

Also, my Velar doesn't even have crazy large wheels, it is specced with the more reasonable 20" 7 spoke wheels with a decent amount of sidewall on the tyres. Air suspension isn't available as an option on the D180.

This may seem like a long rant (and it well may be) but is this a problem only with the Velars on Coil Springs? I ask this because many of Land Rover's own marketing material, we can see the body of the Velar is not very flat.

So my regret is this, I could have spent slightly less and got a more comfortable SUV (the Discovery Sport) or I could have spent slightly more and got a much more comfortable and practical SUV (the Defender 110). Instead, I'm stuck with missing my old Freelander 2.

I wish to hear your thoughts about this, have you experienced similar "Side to Side" rocking motion problems from the suspension on your Velar? Let me know in the poll above. Is this behaviour normal or should I send my Velar to the dealer so they can check if everything is fine?

Re: Extremely Uncomfortable Ride and Side to Side Rocking Motion on all Velars?

Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:34 pm
by Haybrd
So mine is a D240 on coil springs and 20in wheels.

The only thing I’ve noticed is when I go over speed humps, at any speed including ridiculously slowly, the ride is very harsh and there is always a hard ride over them. Otherwise though I have to say my Velar is one of the most comfortable cars I’ve owned or driven. No rolling from side to side. Might be worth having it checked out as JLR do describe the Velar as the most road focused of their range.

I’ve not spent a lot of time in the Discovery Sport but a friend has one and has spent some time in my Velar and she much prefers the drive of mine (which given the premium I’m grateful for! ;) )

Re: Extremely Uncomfortable Ride and Side to Side Rocking Motion on all Velars?

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:34 am
by LordTechPro
@Haybrd I am new to this forum so I don’t know how to reply to a specific comment. Yes, same for me. There is a stiff edge to the ride over speed bumps, and I have experienced it in 2 Velars, D180 and P250, both with 7 spoke 20 inch wheels and Pirelli Scorpion Verde tyres. Maybe it has to do with the road conditions, because I am pretty sure you have not experienced the ride on the type of roads I have driven my Velar on (smooth one second and pot marked the next).

The stiff ride is expected and many automotive journalists from my country have also commented about the stiff suspension. Motorbeam said “is a bit too stiff which affects the ride quality. On good roads, the Velar does a great job but find me a good road please because no matter where I drove the Velar, the stiffness could be felt and the tyre sidewall isn’t too less at 50 profile!”. Autocar said “it does not have “the all conquering ride that Range Rovers are known for” , but at the same time saying that it gorgeous to behold and feels very good to drive on the highway for the same reason.

As far as I can tell, Evo is the only one who did not mention any stiffness in the ride quality in coil springs. However, that’s to be expected, since they place “the thrill of driving” above everything else (and the Velar is the best driving Range Rover till now). They are also the only ones to have called the Velar’s ride as supple (which it is compared to sports cars and super cars).

I love the design of my Velar, the tech and the build quality. However, the only reason anyone would buy it (or the F-Pace for that matter) over a Jaguar XF is the practicality and that SUV ride. While it does very well in terms of practicality I am disappointed with the ride quality, it feels just like a sedan (stiff springs and low suspension travel).

Sources:
Autocar
https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.auto ... ive-412726
Motorbeam
https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.moto ... drive/amp/
Evo
https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.evoi ... lar-driven

Since most of you have responded on the poll that you don’t experience the same side to side rocking motion over bad road surfaces, I will ask my dealer to check the suspension while my Velar goes in for its next service. It has barely done 5,000 kms till now, so I expect the suspension components will be in order. I will just have to contend with the stiff low speed city ride as a trade off for a stable high speed highway ride.

Re: Extremely Uncomfortable Ride and Side to Side Rocking Motion on all Velars?

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:23 am
by Barachus
22in wheels on air sus, I have never had the side to side rocking
I have a child who is very susceptible to car sickness and she hated my last Audi, in the Velar she has never mentioned it.

I ordered it with 21in wheels because I read that 22s affect the ride, I wish I had ignored all that
I felt no difference at all when I switched to the 22s that I initially wanted, it’s just as smooth

Re: Extremely Uncomfortable Ride and Side to Side Rocking Motion on all Velars?

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:25 pm
by JimH
@LordTechPro - looking at your location is it possible that suspension settings/configuration are different for UK and other Worldwide markets?

It might be worth investigating - many early UK road test reviews of European models in the UK mention things like "of course, we'll wait for a UK specification car tuned for UK roads before we confirm our suspension comments"....... perhaps the reverse is true?

Re: Extremely Uncomfortable Ride and Side to Side Rocking Motion on all Velars?

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:43 pm
by raven14
I have the exact same suspension setup as you: coil springs, adaptive dynamics, Pirelli Scorpion Verde tires, 20" wheels. I might come from a different perspective (my last couple of daily drivers have been sports cars like 911 or at least sporty cars like an M4), but I find this a very comfortable car in comfort mode, and do not experience what you call side to side rocking. I do have beef with the 'dynamic' setting of the Velar, the effect is seemingly shortening its wheelbase and the car bobs all the time along with any road imperfection, and also transparently transfers the hit of small potholes and expansion joints to your spine, whilst not adding much in terms of better dynamics.

Re: Extremely Uncomfortable Ride and Side to Side Rocking Motion on all Velars?

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:40 am
by drg111
I must say that my FE D300 on Air feels great on our regular Swiss roads. But I see where you're coming from LordTech. On weekends in the mountains I have been unpleasantly surprised by the Velar's way of dealing with the uneven surfaces and bumps and understand what you mean with the side to side rocking (or thrusting) motion. I can only agree, that they could've made a better choice for the suspensions, it being a SUV.

Re: Extremely Uncomfortable Ride and Side to Side Rocking Motion on all Velars?

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:45 am
by LordTechPro
JimH wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:25 pm
@LordTechPro - looking at your location is it possible that suspension settings/configuration are different for UK and other Worldwide markets?

It might be worth investigating - many early UK road test reviews of European models in the UK mention things like "of course, we'll wait for a UK specification car tuned for UK roads before we confirm our suspension comments"....... perhaps the reverse is true?
I like a slightly firm suspension setup since it reduces the severity of motion sickness, but I don't want to feel every bump on the road.

Yes, but wouldn't that translate to a better ride quality? The ride quality is very good on highway and smooth roads. It even tackles the odd bump really well. Not to mention the suspension does it's job very quietly, in fact the suspension noise levels are almost comparable to my W222 S-Class, which even my Mercedes GL with air suspension cannot match.

The problem with the Velar (at least mine on coil suspension) starts with speed breakers and uneven/bumpy roads (I'm not even talking about potholes yet!).
As of this moment 16% of voters (2 coil and 2 air) have confirmed they also experience this unsettling motion, and some like me have mentioned that it only occurs on bad patches of road . Which means the majority of owners will be driving on good quality roads for most of the time, and hence Land Rover would have developed and tuned the suspension to suit this. Although, shouldn't the suspension be ready to take anything in it's stride?

Re: Extremely Uncomfortable Ride and Side to Side Rocking Motion on all Velars?

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:48 am
by LordTechPro
Barachus wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:23 am
22in wheels on air sus, I have never had the side to side rocking
I have a child who is very susceptible to car sickness and she hated my last Audi, in the Velar she has never mentioned it.

I ordered it with 21in wheels because I read that 22s affect the ride, I wish I had ignored all that
I felt no difference at all when I switched to the 22s that I initially wanted, it’s just as smooth
Do you drive it on good quality roads? Maybe it has to do with the air suspension, sadly the D180 did not have the option for air springs and it was the only diesel variant on offer.

Re: Extremely Uncomfortable Ride and Side to Side Rocking Motion on all Velars?

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:21 am
by LordTechPro
raven14 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:43 pm
I have the exact same suspension setup as you: coil springs, adaptive dynamics, Pirelli Scorpion Verde tires, 20" wheels. I might come from a different perspective (my last couple of daily drivers have been sports cars like 911 or at least sporty cars like an M4), but I find this a very comfortable car in comfort mode, and do not experience what you call side to side rocking. I do have beef with the 'dynamic' setting of the Velar, the effect is seemingly shortening its wheelbase and the car bobs all the time along with any road imperfection, and also transparently transfers the hit of small potholes and expansion joints to your spine, whilst not adding much in terms of better dynamics.
Yes, this is exactly what I meant to say when I said "side to side rocking". Except for me even comfort mode feels a bit too stiff, it's like the dampers become too soft while the spring itself remains stiff (which it does since it's a coil spring setup). It reminds me of the times I used to play on the trampoline or a bouncy castle :D .

My Mercedes GL with air suspension is surprisingly noisy and moves about like a ship, but it at least blocks out most road imperfections. The W222 S-Class is on another level, it feels like the local body has freshly paved the road if I drive it after the Velar.

Granted, both these cars have air suspension and cost much more (when new). However, I can feel every single expansion joint, bump or divot in the road even in comfort mode, which is weird because my nearly 15 year old E-Class does a better job at cushioning you from them.

I'll try and explain the rocking motion in more detail. For example, if a go over a speed bump (even at very low speeds) head on, the passengers on the inside don't just move up and down (as they are expecting and prepared for). What them off is that the Velar, makes the top side of your body move from one side to the other in your seat. The same goes for small crests and bumpy (but pothole free) roads. When I see a slight dip and then rise on the road, I expect the car to drop and then rise (up and down rocking motion), which is what most other cars tend to exhibit. However, in this case I am rocked about from side to side while in the seat (the bolsters keeping me in place), which seems very disconcerting.