So the time has come to purchase a van – and you are unsure on what suspension to either choose or look out for? Heard rumours about each one but never got a concrete answer? The truth is – it’s all personal preference. Each variation has their own retrospective benefits.
For a long time standardised Leaf spring (Beam axle) suspension was on nearly every van – although of recent years Independent Suspension has been a big movement especially for Off-Road orientated vans. The fact of the matter is on a sealed road – you won’t realise much, if any difference between the different suspension variations. The main difference comes with Off-road capabilities and where you are wanting to take the van. Independent suspension for the most part allows greater wheel travel and more ground clearance – as such is known to perform better when taken off sealed roads.
On a side note – there is a weight difference of approximately 100Kg between the two variations – with independent being the heavier of the variants. This weight difference can also be a major deciding factor when choosing between different suspension variations if you have a weight limit on your tow vehicle.
I know what you are thinking – it doesn’t fully answer your question but as stated previously – it really does come down to personal preference, budget and experiences with different suspension choices. Many people swear by independent, and as such won’t purchase a van without it… On contrary many people won’t purchase a van with independent.
To summarise a complex topic of discussion, the suspension you choose is honestly dependent on your own personal preference. However, there are not many occasions in which Leaf springs will outperform Independent suspension although there is an obvious price difference between the two. You can get to most locations with both suspension options – the choice is yours!