Adjustable Suspension vs. Fixed Suspension: Which One is Right for You?

Suspension systems are integral to a vehicle’s performance, comfort, and safety. They can absorb road imperfections and maintain contact between the tire and the road. Also, they can provide safe and smooth rides for passengers. In this blog, I will talk about adjustable suspension vs. fixed suspension; those are primary choices for car owners.

In brief, drivers can modify the suspension settings in adjustable suspension. It helps them to meet their needs and road conditions. Alternatively, the fixed suspension is the factory reset suspension system for a particular vehicle model.

Technology advances, and vehicle owners demand more control over their driving experience. So, the debate goes on between keeping fixed suspension and changing it to an adjustable one. This blog lets you learn the definitions, features, advantages, disadvantages, and proper selection of these suspension systems.

Comparison Table: Adjustable Suspension vs. Fixed Suspension

A suspension system is indeed a crucial component of a car. It connects the wheels to the vehicle’s body to provide stability, comfort, and control while driving.

Some critical components of a suspension system are springs, shock absorbers, control arms, ball joints, and bushings. All these parts have a significant role in keeping the vehicle running safely and smoothly.

You can check the brief overview of these two vehicle suspension systems (adjustable and fixed) below:

FeatureAdjustable SuspensionFixed Suspension
CustomizationAllows for modification of suspension settingsNon-adjustable, designed with specific characteristics
AdjustabilityEasy to adjust ride height, stiffness, and dampeningMore time-consuming and requires replacing components
PerformanceBetter performance due to fine-tuning of settingsFactory-tuned performance, may not be optimal for all users
ComfortCan offer greater comfort by adjusting to preferencesConsistent level of comfort across various driving conditions
CostGenerally, more expensive upfrontLower initial cost
MaintenanceMore complex, may require more frequent maintenanceSimplified maintenance due to fewer components
Suitability for Off-RoadingBetter suited for off-road vehicles due to adaptabilityMay not provide optimal performance for off-road vehicles
Installation ComplexityMay require professional installation for some componentsEasier to install, but may still require professional help

Adjustable Suspension System: Definition, Benefits, and Drawbacks

According to ReRev, you can modify the ride height, stiffness, and damping characteristics in an adjustable system. You can adjust the spring rate, damping, and ride height. Again, some suspensions may allow automatic adjustments by the car itself.

You can fine-tune the vehicle’s handling, comfort, and performance to your liking by adjusting these adjustable suspension settings. Typically, these suspensions are popular among performance enthusiasts and off-road drivers.

You can find some new cars sold with adjustable suspensions. But other adaptable setups are offered as “after-market” solutions. It means you can buy, install, and change settings independently. (Your Mechanic

Benefits of Adjustable Suspension System

Installing or using an adjustable suspension system in your car offers several benefits:


Using the adjustable suspension, you can fine-tune your vehicle’s ride characteristics like height, comfort, firmness, etc. It provides optimal performance and relief for various driving conditions and preferences. Also, you can customize your vehicle for daily driving or a stiffer setting for spirited driving or track use.

Improved handling

These suspensions are great for adjusting the car’s stiffness, damping, and lower gravity center. So, you can see improvements in handling the vehicle, especially during high-speed driving or cornering.

Off-road capabilities

Adjustable suspension allows you to raise your vehicle’s ride height or ground clearance. Driving over rough terrain or off the road is more beneficial.

Adaptability to various driving conditions

You can adapt the suspension to different road surfaces, weather conditions, or driving styles. It provides a more versatile driving experience.

Drawbacks of Adjustable Suspension System

You may also experience some adverse facts of using adjustable suspensions like these:


Adjustable suspension systems are more complex than their fixed counterparts. It can lead to increased maintenance and potential for mechanical issues.

Higher Initial Cost

These suspensions are generally more expensive than fixed suspensions for their more advanced technology and components.

More maintenance

Adjustable suspension systems require more maintenance than fixed suspension systems. They have more moving parts and complex designs that you should maintain.

Potential for incorrect setup

An adjustable suspension system could lead to poor handling or a less comfortable ride if not properly adjusted.

Fixed Suspension System: Definition, Benefits, and Drawbacks

You may know them as non-adjustable suspensions. These fixed suspension systems are more traditional and common in most vehicles. Simply put, it does not allow the driver to adjust the ride height or firmness of the suspension. It is a part of the car’s chassis that supports the car’s weight. It can also absorb and dampen shock, maintaining tire contact with the road. (HowStuffWorks)

Fixed suspension is typically more superficial and less expensive than adjustable suspension systems. But it may not provide the same level of comfort and handling as adjustable suspension systems. (Wikipedia)

The components of this suspension are engineered to provide a pre-set balance of handling, comfort, and performance. You cannot modify settings (like ride height) in this suspension system. However, this system is standard in most vehicles that you can alter to an adjustable one.

Benefits of Fixed Suspension System

The factor-made fixed suspension system may offer benefits like these:


Fixed suspension systems are less complex than adjustable suspensions. So there are fewer chances of potential mechanical issues and easier maintenance.

Lower Initial Cost

Fixed suspensions are generally more affordable than adjustable suspensions. So, you can consider them a more budget-friendly option for your car.


You can drive consistently and get stable performance with a fixed suspension. The system is designed with specific characteristics that do not change.

Less maintenance

These fixed suspension systems have fewer moving parts and a less complex design. So, they require less maintenance and repair than adjustable suspension systems.

Factory-tuned performance

The manufacturer of the vehicle designs the fixed suspension. In production, their prime focus remains to balance comfort, handling, and performance to suit the vehicle’s intended use.

Drawbacks of Fixed Suspension System

Like an adjustable one, a fixed suspension system also has a few drawbacks:

Lack of customization

Fixed suspensions do not offer the same level of customization as adjustable systems. It can be a limitation for drivers who desire specific performance or comfort preferences.

Limited off-road capabilities

Fixed suspensions may not provide the necessary ground clearance or suspension travel for off-road driving. So, they are less suitable for off-road driving or enthusiasts.

Limited handling improvement

Fixed suspension systems may not improve your car’s handling as much as adjustable systems.

Potential for compromised performance

Fixed suspension may not provide optimal performance or comfort if you prefer driving in different conditions than the factory settings.

Which Suspension is Preferable: Adjustable vs. Fixed Suspension?

You should consider some factors to select between adjustable and fixed suspension systems. Some of them are:

Driving Conditions

Consider the types of roads and weather conditions you typically encounter. Adjustable suspension systems can be more adaptable to varying driving conditions. Alternatively, fixed suspension systems may suit consistent driving conditions like rough roads or unpaved surfaces.

Personal Driving preferences

An adjustable suspension may be the better choice for customization and fine-tuning your vehicle’s handling and comfort. However, a fixed suspension could be more suitable if you prefer a consistent, hassle-free driving experience.

Vehicle Type

Performance or off-road vehicles may benefit more from the customization and adaptability of adjustable suspension systems. Also, you can lower the ride height and improve its appearance using this suspension to keep your car sleek and sporty. On the other hand, daily drivers or family vehicles may be well-suited for fixed suspension systems.


Adjustable suspension systems allow drivers to fine-tune their settings to suit their specific driving preferences and conditions. Generally, they offer better performance than fixed suspension systems. Alternatively, fixed suspension systems are designed with a particular balance of performance and comfort. They may not always provide the best performance for every driver or situation.

Off-road capabilities

Suppose you frequently drive off-road or plan to modify your vehicle for off-road use. In that case, an adjustable suspension might be a more practical option.


Adjustable suspension systems offer greater comfort by allowing you to adjust the suspension settings to their liking. Similarly, fixed suspension systems provide consistent comfort across various driving conditions. However, the comfort provided by a fixed system does not match every driver’s preference or specific driving conditions.


You should consider the initial cost and ongoing maintenance expenses to select between these two suspensions. For instance, adjustable suspension systems can be more expensive upfront. But they may offer greater value for those who prioritize customization and adaptability. Conversely, fixed suspensions are less costly regarding initial cost and ongoing maintenance.


Fixed suspension systems typically require less maintenance and repairs of their simpler design and fewer components. Otherwise, adjustable suspension systems may require more frequent maintenance and repairs for additional complexity and components.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can adjustable suspension improve my car’s performance?
  • Yes, you can reduce body roll and improving cornering ability to improve your car’s handling and performance.
  • Is fixed suspension more comfortable than adjustable suspension?
  • In general, the fixed suspension provides a comfy ride for everyday driving. Adjustable suspension can be stiffer and less comfortable, significantly if you lower your car’s ride height.
  • Can I convert my fixed suspension to an adjustable suspension?
  • Yes, you can! You may need to install after-market components like coil-overs or air suspension systems. They replace the factory springs and shock absorbers.
  • Is adjustable suspension suitable for off-road vehicles?
  • Adjustable suspension systems can be particularly beneficial for off-road vehicles. You can customize the settings to suit varying terrain and driving conditions. It can improve traction, handling, and overall off-road performance.
  • How often should I adjust my adjustable suspension for optimal performance?
  • The frequency of adjustments depends on your driving habits, preferences, and the specific conditions you encounter.


Adjustable suspension vs. fixed suspension – the discussion ends here. In this blog post, I have shared everything regarding these two suspension systems for any vehicle. Let me summarize the content in a few lines.

If you want better handling and performance, the adjustable suspension is the way to go. On the other hand, fixed suspension may be a better option for a comfortable and consistent ride for everyday driving.

I hope you have understood the differences between these two suspension systems. Thanks for reading this discussion and being a part of this journey.

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