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Acura TL ride quality


We have an Acura 2004 TL. On longer trips, my wife drives and I recline the passenger seat way back; this allows me to arrive at our destination less tired.

Apparently because of the sports suspension, the ride quality is not that great. When I’m reclining, I feel every bump in the road.

I’ve read on other sites that different tires my improve the ride quality. Tires I’ve seen mentioned include:

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S

Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S (different/same?)

Yokohama YK520

I’m willing to spend a $1,000 to $2,000 on tires (or something else) if there will be a significant improvement in ride quality.

All thoughts and suggestions are welcome.


Maybe Goodyear Assurance ComforTread. They have an extra thick rubber tread layer.

Tires might make a difference, but you won’t know it until you’ve spent the money and driven on them.

What size wheels and tires are on the car now?

What is the recommended tire pressure for your car? What is your actual pressure?

Free experiment: if your recommended pressure is 32, see if 27 PSI “improves” the ride quality. This may not exactly simulate buying new tires, but maybe you’ll learn whether tires are a part of the problem or solution.

Try the Pilot Sport A/S Plus. It’s made of a different material than the non-plus A/S, and actually has a 45,000 mile tread warranty unlike the other.

I’ve got 'em on my 07, and the ride is nice. You do still feel the bumps, but as you said, it’s a sport sedan. You need an RL if you want an ultra-cushy ride. But the bumps aren’t harsh at all with these tires. Also, the wet traction is astonishing. Almost as good as the dry, which on these tires is excellent.

You shouldn’t have to spend anywhere close to 2 grand. Mine were $187 per plus install.

How many miles? Might your struts/shocks be worn?

From a safety standpoint reclining the seat whilst the car is in motion isn’t a good idea, the seat belt’s and air bag’s effectiveness will be severally compromised. But I digest.

The tires on your car are either 45 or 40 series; they are low profile tires that are meant for performance than ride comfort. I doubt you’ll be able to find a softer riding tire with that low of aspect ratio. Some might be a little better than others, but the changes won’t be dramatic. You could see if there are 15 or 16 inch rims available for that car that would allow you fit tires with more sidewall (but an overall identical diameter) that would make for a better ride.

That’s the way cars are now. Even Buicks ride a little hard. I had a ride in my neighbor’s new Buick and was surprised how firm the suspension was compared to older Buicks. Buicks used to have a pillow soft ride. My first ride in a Buick was in a 1953. The reason for a firm ride is to enhance handling for more safety. You can’t have both unless an undue amount of money is spent for a car’s suspension design.

I seriously doubt that you will find a tire that makes a difference.

You might ask around to see if front struts and rear shock absorbers are available for your front driver that give a soft ride but compromise handling to what cars used to be.

I suspect that the industry’s transition from sloppy handling but smooth riding cars to tight handling but firmly riding cars was done over enough time to keep the complaining from becoming too loud.

Most Honda/Acura cars sit pretty low to the ground, couple that with low profile tires and sporty suspension, doesn’t make for long term comfort.

Ride quality is very personal and subjective. I would probably like the way your Acura TL rides. I say that because we have a 2003 Toyota 4Runner that does have a firm ride and we prefer the ride to the 1993 Oldsmobile 88 that we previously owned. My wife often reclines the passenger seat and goes to sleep while we travel. Someimes, I do the same while she drives. I feel less tired making the 350 mile trip to visit our son and his family in the 4Runner than I did in the softer riding Oldsmobile.
As far as tire replacement is concerned, the 4Runner came with Dunlop tires as original equipment. When these tires wore out, we replaced them with Michelin. I didn’t detect any difference in ride. The Michelin are quieter, however.

The only car that I owned with a harsh ride was a 1971 Ford Maverick Grabber. It really wasn’t that comfortable on a long trip. I replaced it with a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon with the 4-4-2 suspension package and found the ride of that Oldsmobile quite comfortable.

Again, ride quality is quite subjective. I like a firm ride and become a little woosy with a soft suspension. Car ride is similar to sleeping quality of a bed. I really like firm bed. When I went to college, the room to which I was assigned had a coil springs and an innerspring mattress. Most of the other rooms had beds with flat ribbon springs and cotton mattresses. There were quite a few classmates who wanted a softer bed, so I managed to swap my bed to the highest bidder. I got a firmer bed and a case of beer in the exchange.

The shocks and struts are near 7 years old and it’s quite possible the ride quality has deteriorated over time without your noticing it.
The passnegers become acclimated to a harsher ride.

The chart shows these cars use 40 or 45 series tires and these are very low profile tires that will ride harsher. You might consider converting to a 50 or even 60 series tire, all depending on a few factors.