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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 1700 miles on my Ascent. We have enjoyed a nice smooth ride from 0 to 75 mph. Coming from central Colorado 3 hours to and from Denver International today (freezing rain, 28-32 degrees), the ride was smooth as silk on asphalt but noticeably bumpier on the concrete portions of 70 and 470. A while back, we had a smaller SUV rental that had a similar ride, and returned it 5 miles from the airport for a heavier Ford Explorer, which seemed to handle the concrete better.
Does anyone have an explanation and/or suggestions? Definitely surprised. Otherwise love the vehicle.
 

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Typically, it's the tires that makes for a big chunk of that difference.



I wrote this in another thread, but I'll put it here, too, as I think it's applicable. :)

The amount of money that the big tire manufactures spend to bring offerings to-market is literally crazy. Part of that also goes to OE fitments. And part of that is aimed at curtailing any interior unpleasantness for the vehicle's passengers (NVH - Noise/Vibration/Harshness). While this may be less important for certain specific genres of vehicles - i.e. for a supercar or hypercar, the focus may be more about how the tire mates with the car's chassis and expert driver inputs in order to produce certain performance characteristics that the particular car make is known for - you can bet that it is money well-spent for passenger vehicles. But this doesn't mean that how the tire may contribute to that driving experience is ignored at mere-mortal-daily-driver levels, either.

Objectively, engineering considerations such as sound-deadening - and other stuff that is well beyond the depth and breadth of my limited knowledge puddle - can make huge differences between vehicles even when the same tire and fitment is chosen: for example, a tire make/model and size that would produce minimal road-noise in a 2005 Subaru Legacy can be a lot noisier in a 2005 WRX. The same can be said for the same make/model tire in different fitments on different vehicles, too, in how that may translate to certain driving characteristics. You'll note that on the better "tests" conducted by various agencies that they'll list the specific vehicles used in the testing as well as the specific tire fitment tested - this is because as these variables change, so can (and most often WILL) the results.

However, how any level of noise and the quality of that sound is perceived - as well as how the car "feels" in terms of its handling - also varies from person-to-person, and this can make all the difference in the world. Unfortunately, this is subjective based on that unique person (and this is in-turn why manufacturers employ highly skilled test-drivers and build amazing facilities so that they can try to, as much as possible, quantify even these subjectives). :grin:
 

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Vehicles that have stiffer suspension will always suffer more in concrete roads. The Ascent is a bit stiffer than other vehicles in the class, which makes it great to drive, but on a bad road it will show.
As far as suggestions, try lowering or raising the tire pressure, but not too much to hurt your tires. Also try driving at a different speed, it changes the frequency of the bumps and can make a big difference in how they feel.
 

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Touring, so 245/50 R 20
I've heard others report an overall smoother ride w/ the factory 18" wheels, and I experienced this first hand while test-driving several Ascents with both wheel variants. It was pretty noticeable, and makes perfect sense. You get more tire sidewall with 18" wheels, which in turn absorb more impact. If it does bother you, consider possibly swapping out your 20's for 18's. There seems to be a few nice aftermarket 18" alternatives trickling out too if you can't stomach the look of the factory ones.
 

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Has anyone thought of using 245/65 R20? They are about 3 inches larger, I'm wondering if they would fit, especially the front wheels when turning that might rub on the sides.<br />
If they do fit well, they would soften the ride without having to pay for new rims. I know it will mess up the odometer and speedometer, but that's something minor.

Edit: I mean 245/60 not 65, there's quite a few brands in tirerack available
 
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