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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Vermont and am surrounded by mountain passes and twisty two-lane blacktop. Though I had no expectations that I was buying a sports car, the one (and only) disappointment I have with my Elite is its inability to corner relatively quickly with a minimum of fuss and body lean. I am trying to determine what, if anything, I can do to improve its cornering capability. Changing any of the components already on the car, i.e. tires/wheels, shocks, sway bars are expensive and, having been down that road in the past, probably not worth it. For example, if you bought a car that did not come with sway bars, hard to find these days, then putting them on would make a huge difference. Replacing the ones that came on the vehicle, not so much.

Do others share my desire to try to improve the handling of their Passport? If so, please share your thoughts and any ideas you may have.

So far, I have discovered a component I had been unfamiliar with called a strut bar. It is designed to reduce body flex during cornering by forming a rigid connection point across the tops of the front McPherson struts. There are several YouTube videos that demonstrate/discuss strut bars. One of the manufacturers is called redline360.com. I sent off an e-mail query this morning inquiring whether they might eventually offer this for Passport. Check it out and let them know if you’re interested.
 

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A strut bar isn't going to improve anything. The Passport (and Pilot) doesn't have a chassis flex problem; the issue is the high-center-of-gravity, heavy weight, and soft suspension. Those are what contribute to the body roll, and none of that will get fixed with a front strut bar. In fact, generally speaking the only thing a front strut bar is good for is lightening your wallet ;). Sway bars are infinitely more beneficial in keeping the car flatter while cornering, but thicker sway bars will negatively impact articulation which will make the car less off-road worthy.
 

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A strut bar will only address body flex, but does not address body roll. Replacing struts, shocks, springs and sway bar first would achieve your immediate needs?

I love driving a sports car and twisty roads, but the Passport is "the wrong tool for the job". It has a higher center of gravity and a larger mass than your previous vehicles. It will be costly trying to mitigate the targeted purpose as a light duty off-road vehicle? I realized before purchase and have reset my expectations for how the Passport handles. However, it does handle well for this class of vehicle.

If you truly want the best (handling, utility and light duty off-road), test drive a Porsche Macan or Porsche Cayenne. However, those cost multiples of a Passport.
 

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Flatfux is right. The laws of physics are against you to improve the handling. If the Passport is anything like my 2006 Ridgeline was it already has a very stiff chassis. The Passport, Pilot and Ridgeline all share the same wheelbas so I assume the chassis afe closely related.
 

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Based upon the recent vehicles you have owned, I can see why you may find that the Passport does not quite have the handling to which you were accustomed (as to what you had alluded).

This often happens when a young couple needs a 'bigger' vehicle to handle the new family member. Many things change, the 'ride' is just one of them..
 

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If you truly want the best (handling, utility and light duty off-road), test drive an Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Ti Sport or Quadrifoglio trim levels. a Porsche Macan or Porsche Cayenne
Fixed it for you. ;)
.
 
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I love driving a sports car and twisty roads, but the Passport is "the wrong tool for the job". It has a higher center of gravity and a larger mass than your previous vehicles. .
I can’t speak for Honda (yet) but my last 3 trucks a 14,16 and 18 f150 are lifted with 35” tires. With the lift I always change the struts. Fox and Bilstein not so nice, on my 14, 18. My 16 had halo lift and rode like a sports car, almost zero lean. Once a tuner was in turned into a blast to drive and handled better than any included Lexus that I’ve ever owned. My point is with proper quality struts and shocks make a world of difference
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fixed it for you. ;)
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LOL! I’ve always loved Alphas but, like all Italian (or French or English for that matter) cars, thanks but no thanks. If I felt I could spare the change, maybe a BMW X5. There are so many things that I love about the Passport, I’m stayin’ right here. The handling isn’t really that bad. If there was a way to substantially improve it for $500 tops, sign me up. I know there isn’t. I’m glad I started this thread, nonetheless. The responses were not what I hoped to hear but they were knowledgeable and, I think, dead accurate. I’m now back out of fantasy land and back to reality. I/we own great cars! Deal with it!
 

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I agree that it has lean to it, but I am adjusting. One thing I like is that the car only leans once. I feel like it locks in very nicely but definitely has a slightly tilted feeling. My old ridgeline did not lean as much. I kind of like the extra "slop" as its easy to throw around. Reminds me of my friends old 80s ram charger, but with complete control. Feels like an actual SUV.
 

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Anyone ever do anything that improved handling? I don't see anything wrong with trying. Summer tires might go a long way to help all by themselves.
 

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Anyone ever do anything that improved handling? I don't see anything wrong with trying. Summer tires might go a long way to help all by themselves.
Yes, summer tires would help. I've contemplated changing to summer tires after the current 20" Continental tires are done. As the Passport is our primary use vehicle and a lot of annual miles, I would chew through summer tires. Performance summer tires do not last very long. I will definitely switch to a better set of all-season tires for my 20" wheels.

Do you have a Touring or Elite trim with the wider wheels and tires?

If you've not done it, sign up for a car control, auto-cross or high performance driving class? That is the number one best investment before changing a vehicle. Plus, it will put a big grin on your face. Otherwise with the Passport as is, the suspension is firm and good feedback. I am able to keep with faster vehicles on windy roads in the Passport.
 

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Yes, summer tires would help. I've contemplated changing to summer tires after the current 20" Continental tires are done. As the Passport is our primary use vehicle and a lot of annual miles, I would chew through summer tires. Performance summer tires do not last very long. I will definitely switch to a better set of all-season tires for my 20" wheels.

Do you have a Touring or Elite trim with the wider wheels and tires?

If you've not done it, sign up for a car control, auto-cross or high performance driving class? That is the number one best investment before changing a vehicle. Plus, it will put a big grin on your face. Otherwise with the Passport as is, the suspension is firm and good feedback. I am able to keep with faster vehicles on windy roads in the Passport.
That IS great advice.. I have autocrossed / Solo 1&2 for 40+ years. Have had many very high performance sports cars & totally understand what Passport is & isn't.. But that said, doesn't mean Passport can't be improved - & possibly significantly. Most often tires do a ton.. (& 265/45 on my EX-L might be an improvement in and of itself) But there MAY be other things to try too & was/am just curious as to if/what anyone has tried.

I pick mine up this week and thus far only put the salesperson through limited test drive abuse.. (they can only take so much 😳) Only when broken in & driving it by myself will I find the limits.. 🥳 Sure, I'd love a Cayenne S or FPace SVR, etc, but I plan to take what I'm saving & hopefully later this year buy a Miata. Have been off work since March, so am good for now with loving hearing the Honda VTEC sing.

Enjoying this community!! thank you.
 

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Having been an SCCA Solo 2 driver for many years, I feel ya.
My money would be on good summer tires (18" or 19") and thicker sway bars... Does anyone know who sells upgraded sway bars for our platform? Surely they exist somewhere...
 
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