Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Metropolis.

I am no fan of hard-riding vehicles, and to be honest, even the current crop of non-sporty models, be it saloons, crossovers, proper 4x4s, all ride much too harshly. The focus is so much on handling, which I do not understand. Even the fabled Hyundai Genesis (mentioned on another thread) apparently had its suspension reworked from the USA spec to UK spec, no doubt ruining what would have been a softer ride although admittedly I have not driven one.

To answer my own question, smoothest riding car I have ever been in was a 1991 Lincoln Town Car. It really did not matter that the rear of the car is on a solid axle, or that it is body on frame (although some argue this actually helps as the insulation between body and frame is greater than unibody), it was like riding on a cloud. From the era where Cadillac and Lincoln were still trying to outdo each other on who could get the softest most cloud-like ride and it shows.

If they sold them in RHD I would be driving one today. Even speed bumps were not felt, it seated 6 people officially but I reckon you could fit 8 comfortably between the two bench seats. If anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about, here is a motorweek review of the 1990 model. Fantastic cars! www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJLB0AU3-pI

Close 2nd would be an LS400 but I think that won on quietness rather than ride quality (although admittedly very good still), in the Lincoln you got the v8 burble, in the Lexus there was near-silence which i think almost gives the illusion of better ride quality. Both were better than a 2007 S-Class I experienced brand new.

Any other submissions? Bonus points for anything in the UK market or at least RHD...

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Bromptonaut

A hydropneumatically suspended Citroen - BX * 2 and Xantia.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Metropolis.

True, although for some reason Citroen don't make them as soft as they used to, wonder why? Awesome technology though, I think Rolls Royce borrow it or used to, as did the Land Cruiser Amazon and some others.

Edited by Metropolis. on 08/02/2021 at 17:59

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - ifekas

I second the vote for Citroen Xantia

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - RT

VW Touareg with air suspension and active dampers - probably not as smooth as your Lincoln Town car but handles better.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Metropolis.

Good shout, bit of an underdog the Touareg, TFL car loved theirs, did you see the series? here's one but they did quite a lot of videos on it, much more capable than people realise. www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS2vUaGthUo

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - barney100

Merc S class.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Metropolis.

Ps: Before anyone says proper 4x4s always ride harshly, not so! The Range Rover Classic showed the way, soft long travel suspension will give better articuation off-road, although it will sag with weight so self-levelling helps. I never understand those 4x4 folks who buy the 'heavy duty springs and shocks', they are literally reducing articulation off road and unless they are about to tow something it really doesn't make sense. It's like riding around a field on stilts. Ford have realised this with the F-150 Raptor.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Metropolis.

Dishonourable mention goes to the Discovery 2, the hydraulic roll bars on higher spec models (Active Cornering Enhancement ACE) allow for a softer ride when not cornering.. still could be better, the spring rate is a bit too strong in my opinion, i'm considering fitting Range Rover Classic springs to mine provided that does'nt give the hydraulic anti roll bars an aneurism. Early Range Rover Classics didn't even bother with the anti-roll bars!

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - bazza

Don't think anyone can beat the French for combining comfort with handling, for me the most comfortable was a BX and also the xantia that followed it. The Peugeot 405 and 406 was a lovely balance, as was the 306, with more conventional set ups. Have no experience of modern ones although the Clio is a nice comfortable car for it's size.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - nellyjak

TBH, my current Toyota Estima V6 takes some beating.. so comfortable and quietly smooth.

Two other cars I've had that would always get a mention would be a Volvo V70 and Saab vert.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Xileno

Citroen CX, closely followed by Renault 20

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - badbusdriver

A few memorable experiences of an exceptionally smooth ride, all older cars of course, weird that.....!

Renault 16, Citroen CX Prestige, and Jag XJ6 (series 1)

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Lee Power

Peugeot 405 - excellent ride with brilliant handling.

Not forgetting a Citroen AX courtesy car that could devour speed bumps.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Metropolis.

Well the French are having a particularly good showing! I do recall driving an X reg Clio automatic that was surprisingly smooth and refined for such a small car.

Watched this on the 1955 Packard Caribbean recently, the torsion bar suspension not all that different (I assume?) to the Renault 16 albeit with an automatic levelling system!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=twiqImVwNBE

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Sulphur Man

Mercedes E300D Estate (W124).

I ran an E280 estate for several years with the optional 'sports' suspension. Very smooth too, but the n/a 300 Diesel was in a class of one

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - 72 dudes

My 2001 Citroen C5 would take some beating.

Soaked up most lumps and bumps as if they were not there and reminded me of driving a hovercraft (not that I ever have)

It was the model with the Sport button which firmed up and lowered the suspension for motorway driving - this was 19 years ago.

I also had a Renault 16 which was soft and cosseting but leaned and squealed in even moderate bends.

As for modern cars, our XC40 is pretty impressive, even on 18" wheels.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - John F

Either the one mile journey in the back of our wedding car over 40yrs ago (RR Silver Shadow) - or a friend's Citroen 2CV. They might be at both ends of the automotive price spectrum but I'm still not sure which was the smoothest ride.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Trilogy.

CX, ZX, 406, Dyane and MK1 Renault 5 plus my E300D S124 estate.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - dan86

Either the one mile journey in the back of our wedding car over 40yrs ago (RR Silver Shadow) - or a friend's Citroen 2CV. They might be at both ends of the automotive price spectrum but I'm still not sure which was the smoothest ride.

Talking if weeding cars ours was a Bentley Brooklands and that was like floating on a cloud.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - badbusdriver

Ours was a mid-late 30's Austin16. I remember the rear seat being very comfortable!, the ride?, pretty good but not exceptional.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Tester

I'll second the vote for the C5. The Xantia was great, too (I had 2 of those) but the earlier C5 models before Citroen started taking out the hydropneumatic suspension were magnificent. Like 72 dudes I had a 2001 C5 estate for a long time; IIRC it automatically lowered the ride height for better aerodynamics above a certain speed, and adjusted its settings in corners and according to the road surface. Mercedes 'S' class got a vote above; well, I have never driven one but have been chauffeured in them occasionally and actually reckoned that my C5 had a better ride. Certainly a lot cheaper! And despite what the proverbial 'bloke down the pub' might have said about reliability of Citroen hydro suspension, it never gave me any trouble in 3 cars over 21 years.

Edited by Tester on 09/02/2021 at 08:51

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - skidpan

Quite possibly the Superb iV we have now. Compared to the previous Superb (same car in many ways) its far better probably because it has DCC (dynamic chassis control) fitted as standard (don't think the very first ones sold did). 3 settings, comfort, Normal and Turbo Nutter. We have just left ours in Normal (it reverts to that on start up) and you could feel the difference in the way the car drove compared to the previous one on our 30 minute test drive (despite have a 200 kg penalty). Will possibly try different settings when we get to use it on more challenging roads in Scotland but for now Normal is just fine.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - jc2

2cv-there were roads round here where I could overtake high-powered sports cars!

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - SLO76
Good subject. The deterioration of car ride quality has been a pet hate of mine for many a year. Manufacturers have been chasing positive press reviews from correspondents who sadly suffer from the Top Gear effect, they pan anything that won’t handle like a sports car round a test track. Fair enough if it was indeed a sports car but ordinary family cars and top heavy SUV’s aren’t bought for their track day ability.

In recent years I’ve noticed a severe decline in ride quality from non-sporting cars. Examples that I’ve driven and which spring to mind are the 2012 Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Titanium, 2013 Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi, 2007 Peugeot 407 2.0 HDi and my own Volvo XC60. All are overly firm and never feel truly settled on anything other than a completely level motorway. They’re not designed for comfort at all despite being family cars and supposedly more luxurious versions of each model. Previous generations of the above all rode far better, from the 90’s Mk I Mondeo and earlier Sierra, Vauxhall Cavalier Mk III, Peugeot 405/406 and older Volvo estates. All did a much better job of keeping your fillings in place on our pothole laden roads.

As for picking an outright winner regarding ride quality I’d probably go for the XJ40 Jaguar XJ6 from the 80’s. These weren’t the best built luxury saloons but the balance of supple ride combined with surprisingly agile handling was hard to beat and at the time far superior to the BMW 7 series and Mercury S class both of which had a typically firm Germanic ride quality.

Many family sized cars of the 80’s and 90’s were very supple. A wee comfort shortlist that I’ve personally driven would have to include.

Citroen CX
Citroen AX
Citroen BX
Citroen Xantia
Citroen XM
Renault Safrane
Peugeot 406
Peugeot 306
Vauxhall Omega (pre facelift)
Jaguar XJ6 (particularly the XJ40)

But most European ordinary family cars from superminis to execs rode with much more suppleness than today’s equivalents. SUV’s were always a bit knobbly but even an old ladder chassis Shogun Mk II would be no worse than the modern Volvo we run as our main family car today.

Edited by SLO76 on 09/02/2021 at 11:19

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - jc2
Remember thr Fwd Escort.Critised for having too hard suspension.Why?Because the suspension engineers were overruled by senior management who wanted a "sporty" feel!Very quickly,re-released with suspension as originally planned.
Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Theophilus

Interested to see the number of votes for the Citroen BX.

In late 1970s I had a Renault 16 (and a Citroen 2CV) both very smooth riding - when a few years later the time came to change the R16 I was tempted by the BX and arranged a test-drive. To my complete surprise I found that the quality of the ride induced car-sickness - something which I had experienced as a child but never before when driving ... I bought a Peugeot 305 instead with conventional suspension and found it very acceptable.

I guess the ride of the BX was too soft for me!

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Engineer Andy
Good subject. The deterioration of car ride quality has been a pet hate of mine for many a year. Manufacturers have been chasing positive press reviews from correspondents who sadly suffer from the Top Gear effect, they pan anything that won’t handle like a sports car round a test track. Fair enough if it was indeed a sports car but ordinary family cars and top heavy SUV’s aren’t bought for their track day ability. In recent years I’ve noticed a severe decline in ride quality from non-sporting cars.

Likely caused by a combination of cars getting stiffer suspension and wider, lower profile tyres for both looks and bett-er handling.

I must admit being pleasantly surprised when corroding alloy wheels (which caused tyre leaks) coming at the same time as aged-out tyres landed me with the option of changing from not-that-low profile 205/55 R16s to 195/65 R15s on my Mazda3.

Very little difference in handling/grip due to having newer design of tyre, but the ride is more comfortable and the mpg didn't drop, as it usually does when changing tyres of the same mpg rating.

I also noticed the diffence in ride quality of my parents' 08 plate (run-out version) Fiesta shod on 195/50/ R15 tyres compare to their previous 96P Fiesta shod on 155/70 R13s, where the difference in sidewall height was about 10mm (for mine its 14mm). They other big difference is the cost of replacements.

I do recall a couple of times in a colleague's BX - great ride, but that was the only good thing about it, but then he did use it as his personal ashtray...

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Tester

A good call by SLO76 (as usual!) for the Citroen AX. I'd forgotten that one, and I had two of them. Great on the bumps, although at the cost of some 'entertaining' roll, and the one with a 1.4 engine went like a rocket given that it weighed about as much as a packet of crisps (probably with similar crash protection).

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - SLO76
Duplicate post. Couldn’t see the one I put up for several hours for some reason.

Edited by SLO76 on 09/02/2021 at 18:35

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Xileno

I'm glad it's not just me then. Some odd things have been going on in the last few days, I'm trying to compile a list and see if there's a pattern before letting Avant and Kalpesh know.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Pinstripe

Bear with me.....a couple of years ago I sold some odds and ends from my loft using an internet site and met the seller halfway.

He arrived in a battered old Citroen.

We talked about his interesting near-vintage car and he said that he had an awkward back problem which the firm suspension of modern cars aggravated and that he couldn't find any other car to replace it with, so he was forced to stick with the old car and keep it going regardless of the cost.

Edited by Pinstripe on 09/02/2021 at 16:22

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - RobertT
I remember getting picked up in a Citroen C5 taxi years ago and recall that the car was incredibly smooth. Never had a Citroen in 44 years of driving but this sticks in my mind.
Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - NowWheels

Citroen CX, by a long way; it rode like a magic carpet. The BX was good, but not close to the CX.

The car makers should be ashamed that 45 years later, they have produced nothing to beat the CX, and hardly anything at any price to match it.

Some other 1970s and 80s French cars were good too, such as the 35, 405, and some Renaults. But since then, there has been a great leap backwards, and French makers seem to have tried to emulate the German preference for cars built to ride on a billiards table.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Xileno

The longer wheelbase of the CX helped of course - but yes, they were fantastic. Not so good was the lack of rust prevention, although I think the later models were much better.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - NowWheels

The longer wheelbase of the CX helped of course - but yes, they were fantastic. Not so good was the lack of rust prevention, although I think the later models were much better.

Poor or non-existent rust protection was the default for nearly all cars until the 1980s or 1990s. Galvanising the sheet metal was such a no-brainer that it's a disgrace it took so long.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - edlithgow

Dunno if it counts, but it was a Honda SS50 on very black ice, just before impact...with the back of a police car.

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Theophilus

Dunno if it counts, but it was a Honda SS50 on very black ice, just before impact...with the back of a police car.

We really need the option of up-voting ... brilliant!

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Xileno

Thinking about the issue of ride comfort a bit more, a lot is also down to the wheel specification. When I first joined this forum back in 2004, I had a Megane MK2 on 17'' low profile tyres and although the ride wasn't uncomfortable, there was a certain underlying firmness that was a bit unusual given previous Renaults we had owned. My fault of course, I should have given it a longer test drive. However, on one occasion when I had a courtesy car from the dealer, it was another Megane almost identical to mine even down to colour but it has 16'' tyres and a deeper profile. The difference in ride quality was significant to the extent that I considered swapping the wheels but in the end with all the issues of insurance I decided against it. On the advice of some wise person on this forum (there's a thread somewhere), I lowered the pressures a couple of PSI and that made a useful difference.

Now when I specify a car I take more notice of these things and recently declined one of the new Scenics that would have been a perfect vehicle because you can only get it with 20'' wheels! What's wrong with a 16'' wheel, as long as it's black and round does anyone really care?

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Steveieb

After a short love affair with a A2 Tdi I found the short wheelbase and low profile tyres gave a really uncomfortable ride so when I sold it I was offered a Five seater Corolla Verso in part exchange.

Riding on 60 profile tyres and comfy seats which you walk into , I found it sanctuary on our local potholed roads and I still have the car six months on !

Built in Japan with a simple petrol engine i have kept it as a second car and love the comfort,

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - Penumbra

Anyone seen the Youtube videos of the Bose Electro Magnetic suspension in action. Absolutely brilliant, unfortunately to expensive to get into production although it will be appearing in a much modified way in the near future apparently

Link to Bose video www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KPYIaks1UY

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - RT

Anyone seen the Youtube videos of the Bose Electro Magnetic suspension in action. Absolutely brilliant, unfortunately to expensive to get into production although it will be appearing in a much modified way in the near future apparently

Link to Bose video www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KPYIaks1UY

Why it never made it to market is explained here Why Bose’s Electromagnetic Car Suspension System Never Made it to Market - In Compliance Magazine

Many brands use the Delphi MagneRide system under licence from GM

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - tim10597

Citroen Xantia for me, and a CX estate before that (friends car). Both super smooth. Would love to try them on today’s roads to see if the reality today lives up to the memory!

Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - daveyK_UK
Jaguar , think it was the XJ
Smoothest riding car you have ever been in? - skidpan

in the Lexus there was near-silence which i think almost gives the illusion of better ride quality.

Interesting comment. Dad had a new Renault 14 in 1978 and compared to our previous family affinity to British cars the ride comfort was incredible (as was the body roll).

He replaced it with a Talbot Horizon and whilst the ride was still excellent, it rolled little but had terribly noisy suspension which in many ways spoilt it.

Both had 145 80 13 tyres.

 

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