Air suspension systems have fallen in and out of favor over the years, but they’ve become quite popular with today’s crop of luxury suvs. Raising an SUV with an air suspension system for off-road use provides extra ground clearance for bumpy trails, and lowering it on the interstate improves aerodynamics and increases fuel efficiency. The technology delivers the best of both worlds while providing a comfortable ride.
Cadillac introduced the first air suspension system on the 1957 Eldorado Brougham, but the technology took a hiatus after 1960 among the Big Three. Detroit carmakers didn’t offer a system again until the 1984 Lincoln Continental Mark VII. But with the advent of the SUV, air suspension systems hit their stride — particularly on luxury imports, with Mercedes-Benz taking a leading role.