In this brief article, we will look at the different SUVs in the market that are offered with Air Suspension, and the suspension system that each one features.
What SUVs have Air Suspension?
Here’s a list of Top 9 SUVs that offer Air Suspension:
- Audi Q7
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Volvo XC90
- Porsche Cayenne
- Volkswagen Touareg
- Cadillac Escalade
- GMC Yukon
- Infiniti QX 80
- Land Rover Discovery
What type of Air Suspension do SUVs have?
The Audi Q7 comes with Air Suspension as Standard. The ‘Vorsprung’ Trim or ‘Black Edition’ gets a slightly different “Sports Air Suspension” which is lowered by 15mm. The Q7 air suspension system consists of air struts at 4 corners, an air compressor, an air tank reservoir/accumulator, a solenoid valve block to distribute air pressure to the struts, and a control system to manage all of these. Although the Air suspension Control interface would look different between comparable Volkswagen group SUVs, this basic system shares several components like the air compressor with SUVs like the VW Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s proprietory QuadraLift system, circulates stored pressurized nitrogen between the reservoir and the air springs, instead of drawing in fresh air from or to the atmosphere. The QuadraLift system therefore eliminates the need for an air-dryer that removes moisture from atmospheric air, which is a drawback with other Air suspension systems of competitor SUVs. Also, the possibility of corrosion is very low since moisture is eliminated by using Nitrogen.
The XC90 comes with air suspension as an optional extra. The air suspension is adaptive and capable of changing the ride characteristics as well as ride height in the various Drive-modes: Sport, Off-Road, Easy-Entry, and Cargo.
While the ‘Easy-Entry’ setting lowers the ride height by 1.6 inches, the ‘Cargo‘ mode facilitates tailgate loading by lowering the ride height by 2 inches.
The Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S Models came with Air suspension as standard instead of coilovers. The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) Damper Control is a system that controls the Air suspension pressure and the Damper’s damping rate using solenoid control along with the help of accelerometers and ride height sensors. This system shares air suspension components with its siblings the Touareg and the Q7.
The Touareg comes with Air Suspension as an option. You can set the ride height at different levels varying up to 70mm through a dial in the center console. The Toureg suspension also has Selectable Driving Modes like ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’, ‘Off-Road’ etc. where the Ride Height is adjusted along with the Damper settings as a combination for each mode. Even Though the driver selects a particular Ride height, the control module senses vehicle speed and accordingly changes the Ride height automatically, Reduction in Ride height at speeds above 150 km/hr.
Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon
The Cadillac Escalade and the GMC Yukon both share the Air Ride Adaptive Suspension system that combines with the Magnetic Ride Control Active damping system. The Air Suspension performs automatic load-leveling and ride-height adjustments continuously at each of the individual wheels. At higher speeds, the system automatically lowers the ride height to improve aerodynamics. A driver-selectable Ride-Mode setting lowers the suspension by about 2 inches to facilitate passenger entry/exit when the vehicle is stationary. The ride height can also be raised for additional ground clearance when driving off-road.
The QX80 Rear suspension has an optional Pneumatic Self Leveling Tow Package Feature. The system is very similar to most competitor air suspension systems. Here, the rear suspension pneumatic spring lifts the suspension whenever it senses extra load, so that the ride-height is constant irrespective of the load variation. It works using an Air compressor that is automatically triggered to operate everytime the ride height sensors detect that the ride height has fallen below the reference ride height, after a certain delay.
Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Air suspension is also called EAS (Electronic Air Suspension). There are 4 corner integrated air strut shock absorbers that raise and lower the level of the vehicle, depending on the ride height selected by the driver. A compressor is connected to 2 Valve Blocks (one each in the front and rear) which supply air to the Air Struts at each wheel. The EAS system maintains the desired ride height by running the compressor and by compensating for any level difference between the corners by either pressurizing or exhausting air from the individual Air Struts.
In this brief article, we have looked at the different SUVs in the market that are offered with Air Suspension, and the suspension system that each one features.
In case of any questions or queries, please feel free to ask.