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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New member observation/question,

The only thing I really don’t like about my 2021 Passport is the ride quality over uneven/bumpy surfaces and am a little perplexed as to the exact cause.

It feels stiff and at the same time a little boat-like and unsure. It definitely jostles you on uneven (though not necessarily harsh) road conditions. I don’t mind a little bit of a stiff ride, I have had sports cars and sedans that were rough over bumps but not this weird bouncy/jostling at the same time. I have driven other brands of SUV’s and did not notice this quality, even in 4-runners. I don’t want to get rid of it but would really like to fix it if I can.

I have two questions:

1) If the struts are too stiff, why the side to side jostling and unsure feeling ? Has anyone else noticed this or is if just my vehicle ?

2) What is the solution, if any, to eliminating the jostling ?

Thanks…
 

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Part of your problem may be caused by the factory tires. I replaced the original 265 45 R 20 tires with 245 70 R 17 and I have found that the ride and handling is much better. The new tires are also much less prone to curb rash .
 

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The Pilot has a softer ride and the only difference in part numbers, between the Pilot and our Passport are the Springs themselves. All of the other strut assembly part numbers match, both Pilot and Passport.
The 20" rims also make the ride more harsh.

I noticed that the payload for the Pilot was 1400 pounds = AWD and 1600 pounds FWD. My Passport AWD = 948 pounds. I have to guess that the 20" tires are the Achilles heel, of the payload.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Part of your problem may be caused by the factory tires. I replaced the original 265 45 R 20 tires with 245 70 R 17 and I have found that the ride and handling is much better. The new tires are also much less prone to curb rash .
Part of your problem may be caused by the factory tires. I replaced the original 265 45 R 20 tires with 245 70 R 17 and I have found that the ride and handling is much better. The new tires are also much less prone to curb rash .
What wheels/tires did you go with ?
 

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John R...Try checking tire heights and tread widths at tirerack dot com.
Chose tire by vehicle, pick a tire, click on specs, and look at the OEM height and tread width.

Now you know how tall &wide your 20" OEM tires are and you can scroll down (in the specs), to see which 18" and 17" tires are the same height and tread width.

Example: Passport Tour & Elite OEM = 265/45/20 = 29.4" tall and 9" tread width.
The Passport Sport & EX-L OEM = 245/50/20 = 29.7" tall and 8.5" tread width.

I have a set of 2007 MDX 18" Sport rims and am considering some highway grand touring tires:

Goodyear Weather Ready or Comfort Drive tires =
1. 245/60/18 = 29.6" tall and 7.9" tread width
2. 235/60/18 = 29.1" tall and 7.6" tread width
3. 235/65/18 = 30" tall and 7.3" tread width


Here are 2 sizes for 17" rims:
1. 235/65/17 = 29.1" tall and 7.5" tread width
2. 245/65/17 = 29.5" tall and 7.4 tread width

The above mentioned 245/70/17 in post # 2 are 30.6" tall and 7.3" tread width.
 

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This has been my major complaint with the vehicle as well, here is my thread about the issue from last year:


Love the AWD but my god is the ride terrible. This was my first new car purchase after half a lifetime of shitboxes and the ride is worse than any of them. In the process of buying 18" winter tires for the PP, if that doesn't help she will be traded in at the Volvo lot for an XC60 (or perhaps an MDX... but I've pretty much had it with Honda).
 

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Maybe try 17" or 18" wheels? I find the ride somewhat improved after switching to 18", and certainly off road requires more sidewall anyway. The 20" are awful on most cars. I doubt you will see a night and day difference with any new combo and safe offset though, but maybe it will be enough to improve your experience.

For those reporting here they hate the ride altogether, sad to say it but maybe you bought the wrong car for your needs and have expectations based upon improper comparisons. Proper test drives can be hard to achieve at some dealers, but are important. The Passport is a large SUV with higher center of gravity. Go try test driving a large truck and you will see a truly bad ride. A softer suspension like the Toyota Highlander sounds like it would probably be for you. The trade is, the Highlander and similarly setup suspensions suck off road and feel mushy to drive- but you get your comfort where everything is damped out. The Passport is very middling in its solutions for everything including suspension, in my experience. The suspension is intentionally balanced in the middle of the stiffness / comfort range.

Personally I find the ride well enough balanced for the purpose of the car: comfortable on road with decent off road capability. Much less stiff ride than a large truck, or even a 4Runner, much firmer than a small SUV or sedan built for comfort. The ride is not soft, but not the worst either, and I would personally not describe it as unsure in any condition I have driven it. I have also not personally ever noticed a 'boat' feeling or side to side wobbling as described. The Passport feels to me like it has decent handling for a large SUV, but it is still clearly a large SUV. It is tall, with a higher center of gravity than sports cars or small SUVs and should never be compared to such. Some amount of suspension action for any tall truck or SUV is expected.

If you find yourself having to change vehicles, I suggest a longer test drive series. I always find a dealer who will let me take a car out by myself for at least a half day, and do several shorter test drives on different days too. Drive it on known roads. Park it in the garage, etc. Make sure it really fits your need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe try 17" or 18" wheels? I find the ride somewhat improved after switching to 18", and certainly off road requires more sidewall anyway. The 20" are awful on most cars. I doubt you will see a night and day difference with any new combo and safe offset though, but maybe it will be enough to improve your experience.

For those reporting here they hate the ride altogether, sad to say it but maybe you bought the wrong car for your needs and have expectations based upon improper comparisons. Proper test drives can be hard to achieve at some dealers, but are important. The Passport is a large SUV with higher center of gravity. Go try test driving a large truck and you will see a truly bad ride. A softer suspension like the Toyota Highlander sounds like it would probably be for you. The trade is, the Highlander and similarly setup suspensions suck off road and feel mushy to drive- but you get your comfort where everything is damped out. The Passport is very middling in its solutions for everything including suspension, in my experience. The suspension is intentionally balanced in the middle of the stiffness / comfort range.

Personally I find the ride well enough balanced for the purpose of the car: comfortable on road with decent off road capability. Much less stiff ride than a large truck, or even a 4Runner, much firmer than a small SUV or sedan built for comfort. The ride is not soft, but not the worst either, and I would personally not describe it as unsure in any condition I have driven it. I have also not personally ever noticed a 'boat' feeling or side to side wobbling as described. The Passport feels to me like it has decent handling for a large SUV, but it is still clearly a large SUV. It is tall, with a higher center of gravity than sports cars or small SUVs and should never be compared to such. Some amount of suspension action for any tall truck or SUV is expected.

If you find yourself having to change vehicles, I suggest a longer test drive series. I always find a dealer who will let me take a car out by myself for at least a half day, and do several shorter test drives on different days too. Drive it on known roads. Park it in the garage, etc. Make sure it really fits your need.
Thanks for the thoughtful response, I agree that a thorough test drive is crucial before buying a car.
My question was intended to describe, what is to me, the unique suspension of the Passpport and see if anyone has the same experience as I do and if there were any theories on why it feels the way it does. I have a full size truck and have owned SUV’s, sedans and sports cars and find the Passport unique among those.
I drove the Highlander and the other competitors, and found the PP best overall, despite the suspension. It was not a deal breaker to me, just something that I would like to improve, if possible.
Like I said, it has a firm, yet sometimes uneven feel that I have not experienced before. Some people have mentioned it, others do not feel it. I believe it has special, two stage shocks and maybe that accounts for it. I may try 18” wheels and see if that makes a difference; the 20” wheels were a bad decision for this vehicle in my opinion, but that is another topic altogether.
 

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New member observation/question,

The only thing I really don’t like about my 2021 Passport is the ride quality over uneven/bumpy surfaces and am a little perplexed as to the exact cause.

It feels stiff and at the same time a little boat-like and unsure. It definitely jostles you on uneven (though not necessarily harsh) road conditions. I don’t mind a little bit of a stiff ride, I have had sports cars and sedans that were rough over bumps but not this weird bouncy/jostling at the same time. I have driven other brands of SUV’s and did not notice this quality, even in 4-runners. I don’t want to get rid of it but would really like to fix it if I can.

I have two questions:

1) If the struts are too stiff, why the side to side jostling and unsure feeling ? Has anyone else noticed this or is if just my vehicle ?

2) What is the solution, if any, to eliminating the jostling ?

Thanks…
What did you end up doing and if so did it make the ride better?
 

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I dont love the ride over rough roads either. Not only is it harsh but the suspension, itself is noisy as hell. Tire pressure definitely affects noise level and from what Ive read, the shocks Honda uses with what they call "amplitude reactive dampers" make noise over bumps. Ive had the car inspected, more than once to be sure nothing is out of sorts. Its not an aspect of the car that inspires comfort or confidence.
 

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I took mine on a trip over the thruway the other day as I had a 225 mile round trip that I have to take for work every two weeks. In certain sections the road surface was very choppy and the vehicle I find is quite a bit more noisy than expected over that surface, in particular when compared with recent vehicles I've owned. I chalked it up to the stock 18 inch tires and maybe a serious lack of sound deadening panels / materials underneath. I still love it so far but honestly that did put a bit of a damper on my enthusiasm to take this over some of the longer road trips that I have planned. I will probably ditch the Firestones after they wear and hope any new tires I choose make a substantial difference here but if not then maybe the Acura 'variant' of this is worth stepping up to the next time I'm in the market for something. There's a lot to really like about the Passport but yes I hear you on this issue.
 

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I took mine on a trip over the thruway the other day as I had a 225 mile round trip that I have to take for work every two weeks. In certain sections the road surface was very choppy and the vehicle I find is quite a bit more noisy than expected over that surface, in particular when compared with recent vehicles I've owned. I chalked it up to the stock 18 inch tires and maybe a serious lack of sound deadening panels / materials underneath. I still love it so far but honestly that did put a bit of a damper on my enthusiasm to take this over some of the longer road trips that I have planned. I will probably ditch the Firestones after they wear and hope any new tires I choose make a substantial difference here but if not then maybe the Acura 'variant' of this is worth stepping up to the next time I'm in the market for something. There's a lot to really like about the Passport but yes I hear you on this issue.
Definitely not the quietest interior. Lots of squeaks and rattles when the road gets rough.
 

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I have a little over 1000 miles on the '22 Passport Elite so far, but was also disappointed in the ride quality, especially impact harshness, over bumpy, broken pavement. I checked the tire pressure and the dealer had the tires inflated to 38 to 39 psi. The door sticker suggests 37 psi. I dropped the pressure to 33 psi and this made a big improvement in ride quality with very little difference in handling. The 33 psi does not trigger a TPMS warning.
 

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I have a little over 1000 miles on the '22 Passport Elite so far, but was also disappointed in the ride quality, especially impact harshness, over bumpy, broken pavement. I checked the tire pressure and the dealer had the tires inflated to 38 to 39 psi. The door sticker suggests 37 psi. I dropped the pressure to 33 psi and this made a big improvement in ride quality with very little difference in handling. The 33 psi does not trigger a TPMS warning.
It’s what it is with these low profile tires. You can always get the smaller wheels with more sidewall if you want a more smooth ride.
 
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