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Rough Ride Toyota Venza

I recently purchased a 2010 Toyota Venza. I unfortunately did not test drive it enough to realize how rough a ride it has. Thinking that something was wrong I brought it back and was told that it is normal and the Venza has a very hard ride. After more research I found out that it is a common complaint. The mechanic said that its large 20" tires, long wheel base and tight suspension all add up to a very hard ride. I saw previous discussions regarding this but no real or recent answers. Can anything be done to improve the ride? I was told that the 2013 model has a better ride so they must have changed something. Would something as simple as replacing the shocks with a different type help? I love the car but hate the thought of driving it for the next 5 years the way it is. I would have purchased a Ford Edge or similar car if I realized how hard the ride is.

The 4 cyl. had 19" wheels, you might be able to switch them out, dealers have ‘take offs’ available from those with 4 cyl. Venzas that want the 20" look.

But first, what tires are on it now (make/model/miles)? There are tires made especially for a smooth ride that might help. And worn tires ride rough.

It is the AWD V6 with the 20" tires and 26K miles on it. 2 tires are brand new and the other 2 have plenty of tread left. And yes all 4 tires are the same make and model. I have to check what make the tire is. It was also just aligned. The Toyota mechanic told me that I would not likely notice much of a difference in the ride with the 19" tires. Can springs, struts, shocks or other parts of the suspension be adjusted?

Aftermarket springs and struts will typically not be softer riding, they’ll either be the same or firmer. So let us know the make model of tire, and consider 19" wheels, they’ll help some (but maybe not a lot).

I always advocate that, if you can, you should rent an example of a new car you’re considering, and drive it on your daily routine for a few days. Doing this helped me decide there was NO WAY I would EVER consider buying a PT Cruiser. It was a piece of junk.

DrRocket thats great advise unfortunately I already purchased it so now just trying to make lemonade.

Have you checked the air pressure in the tires?

Goodyear ComforTread tires are claimed to have a softer ride.
Check out tirerack.com for info.
Those combined with 19" rims might make enough difference.
Also check that tire pressure is no higher than the value on the door sticker.

About all the OP can do with the current set up is reduce tire pressure. Changing to softer springs and less firm struts might work, but the cost would be high and the resulting handling could be awful to the point of dangerous. If the current tire pressure recommendation is 32 psi, the OP might try 28 psi and see if it helps. There will be a bit less handling capability but not as much as redoing all the spring rates and softer struts.

What are the tires on the car now, size and brand? I just put Michelin X-ice2’s on a car and they ride very smoothly, have softened the bumps and thunks going over expansion cracks, and are very quiet. The OP might replace the current tires with known soft riding ones, and I think Michelin tires in general do give a softer ride.

Michelin’s relatively new Defender tire also gets high marks for ride comfort.
If adjusting the tire pressure does not resolve the issue to some extent, and if Defenders are made in the size that your vehicle calls for, you should give these top-rated tires some consideration.

Oh…and I just wanted to add that whoever told you that a long wheelbase leads to a rougher ride was just spouting nonsense. Based on that theory, a Toyota Yaris would have a less rough ride than a limousine and…that is just not the case. The longer the wheelbase, the smoother the ride.

A rough ride and a tiring ride are two different things. How tiring is the ride on a trip? The reason I make this comment is that we have a 2003 Toyota 4Runner. The ride seems pretty harsh at first, but on long trips, it is the least tiring vehicle to drive that we have ever owned.
I used to “improve” the ride of my 1950 Chevrolet 1 ton pickup by riding for a couple hours in the seat of an Farmall F-12 tractor. The Chevrolet pickup then seemed like the smoothest, quietest vehicle ever.
My point is that what seems like a rough riding vehicle may not be a tiring ride. On the cars I used to own, when the car needed shock absorbers, I would replace the shocks with the firmest shocks I could buy.

+1 @Triedaq - the most ‘tiring’ ride I’ve had recently was in a 4-hour ride in a business’ Caddy Escalade. The seat was very soft, felt good for 10 minutes, but after an hour was painful.

A soft suspension will transmit less impact from sharp road defects to the passenger, giving a smoother feel in the short term, but will be prone to bouncy undulations on a smooth but slightly wavy road, which can be tiring or even nauseating in the long term.
(How’s that for a run-on sentence!)

^ Yup!

After owning a couple of Plymouths, my father decided to consider a new Chevy Impala, with “Jet Smooth Ride”, circa 1963. For the first couple of blocks of the test-drive, we were all impressed with the softer ride of the Impala, but soon we were all displeased with an almost continual up and down floating motion of the suspension.

To some, it may have felt “Jet Smooth”, but to my family, it felt like something that was…borderline nauseating.

I don;t know if the Venza has them, but of you DO have “run flat tires” you can noticably improve the ride by replacing them with regular tires.

Apparently These Cars Just Have A Poor Ride. Consumer Reports Describes It As “Jittery.” I Don’t Think It’s A Matter Of Putting Perfume On A Pig, But One Of Basic Design/engineering.

Are these (Versas Venzas) little cars or economy (smallish) cars ?

CSA

Nope, the Venza is based on the Camry, and shares lots of basic components with the Highlander and Lexus RX350.

+1 TSM - I didn’t think about whether it has runflats. If it does that’s an obvious problem.

A Quote From A Car And Driver Overview:

"2010 Toyota Venza
Choose Toyota Venza Style:
C/D Overview:
Like most Toyota crossovers, the Venza is based on Camry underpinnings. It offers the closest modern approximation to a Camry wagon and is more practical than a four-door, but some utility is sacrificed for the looks. Optional 20-inch wheels are pretty but spoil the comfortable ride. "

“Optional 20-inch wheels are pretty but spoil the comfortable ride.”

As others have suggested, I’d look into that a little more, do some more searches.

CSA

I was asked what tires I have on the car. Michelin Latitude Tour HP P245/50R20 on front and rear. The rear were just replaced and the front are in good condition.

The 20" wheels put you into low aspect 50 series tires. These tires have less sidewall height and stiff sidewalls that results in the harsh ride. You need to see what aftermarket wheels are available for the car. Obviously 19" wheels are available, but perhaps 17" or 18" wheels might also fit without binding on the brakes. If you could get smaller diameter wheels you could fit 65 or 60 series tires on the car and it would ride better.

I don’t think you’ll be able to find a much softer riding tire that the Michelin Latitudes on in now. That means you have to look at the wheel tire combo for an answer, or just live with it.