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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Just bought a CPO '16 XC90. Overall a great vehicle. Nothing new here, but I have noticed the "rough" ride issues and it is a bit worse than I expected. I feel every little dip in the highway. Sometimes not as bad, but sometimes I feel like I'm sitting in a boat in choppy water with the somewhat jarring side to side movements. This is on normal roads. I have searched around but have not found a consensus on possible fixes. Has anyone done anything to improve this? I have 20" wheels with brand new Pirelli's so they are not coming off anytime soon. Psi is 37 front, 34 rear. Any suspension mods?

My comparison is the MDX we just sold and the Touareg we have. Both handle really well without the stability or rough ride issues. Not sure I completely agree that it is the necessary tradeoff of a vehicle that handles well. The MDX is proof of that. I know the Touareg is a smaller vehicle.

Otherwise the car is great.

Thanks!
 

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Hi,

Just bought a CPO '16 XC90. Overall a great vehicle. Nothing new here, but I have noticed the "rough" ride issues and it is a bit worse than I expected. I feel every little dip in the highway. Sometimes not as bad, but sometimes I feel like I'm sitting in a boat in choppy water with the somewhat jarring side to side movements. This is on normal roads. I have searched around but have not found a consensus on possible fixes. Has anyone done anything to improve this? I have 20" wheels with brand new Pirelli's so they are not coming off anytime soon. Psi is 37 front, 34 rear. Any suspension mods?

My comparison is the MDX we just sold and the Touareg we have. Both handle really well without the stability or rough ride issues. Not sure I completely agree that it is the necessary tradeoff of a vehicle that handles well. The MDX is proof of that. I know the Touareg is a smaller vehicle.

Otherwise the car is great.

Thanks!
Not sure why the ride would feel choppy, the XC90 (even without air suspension) has a nice feel to it. Your tire pressure should be set (cold) at 38 psi, both front and rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Choppy may not be the best word, but I do feel every dip in the road, kid of like a boat rolling. On rougher roads the car is moving quite a bit.
 

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I read a lot of road tests and reviews in magazines and on the internet (professional sources, not just owners) before buying my 2019 XC90 T6, and most reviewers complain about the harsh ride of the XC90 with the standard suspension. I bought the optional air suspension, because it was very highly recommended by many reviewers. Right now I have 21" wheels/tires on the car, and even with the air suspension set in "comfort" mode it is harsh on small surface irregularities. Over larger bumps and undulations, the air suspension does a good job and the ride is comfortable -- but you still feel things like concrete seams and railroad crossings more than I expected. I plan to change to 20", hoping that helps a little. 18" or 19" would probably be better, but I don't like the appearance of anything less than 20", so I will put up with some harshness. My previous SUV's (Mazda, Toyota, Ford) had much less harshness, but they also had much smaller wheels and taller sidewall tires, and didn't handle as crisply as the XC90. When shopping around, I drove a few Audi Q7's and they handled very well, almost as well as the Volvo, but without the harsh ride. Don't get me wrong, I love the XC90 and it was absolutely the best choice for me, but the ride is not one of it's strong points.
 

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Not sure why the ride would feel choppy, the XC90 (even without air suspension) has a nice feel to it. Your tire pressure should be set (cold) at 38 psi, both front and rear.
42 psi for a T8. Our T8 with air suspension and 21" wheels rides fine. This is not a Buick.
 

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42 psi for a T8. Our T8 with air suspension and 21" wheels rides fine. This is not a Buick.
+1. The ride is great with Air Suspension even with 42 psi on both 20” A/S Pirellis and 22” Summers for T8.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looks like I need to up the psi.. thanks. Definitely don't want a Buick, but I do think the ride can be a little less bouncy and still handle well. Overall I love the vehicle.
 

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Looks like I need to up the psi.. thanks. Definitely don't want a Buick, but I do think the ride can be a little less bouncy and still handle well. Overall I love the vehicle.
Ride will be more "choppy" with increased PSI. The xc90 def rides 'firm'. It is a known and frequently pointed out negative (for some) in a context of many other positives. Could be improved, somewhat if you put 19" rims on and run psi a little lower, thouhg may not be worth it. I have gotten used to it on ours.
 

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Looks like I need to up the psi.. thanks. Definitely don't want a Buick, but I do think the ride can be a little less bouncy and still handle well. Overall I love the vehicle.
It will get worse when you increase PSI.
Your only option is to go down rim size. 19 or 18" will make a big difference. 20" without air suspension, on US roads, is not a pleasant experience. Go to 18, sacrifice some looks, and you will love the ride.
 

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I have a 2016 T8 with air suspension.

I actually feel the ride has deteriorated over time. Its not that it transmits every bump in the road but rather it pitches and rolls.

If it was riding on spring and damper suspension id be convinced the dampers were blown or a roll bar broken.

The rear feels worse than the nose. I even upped the psi from 42psi all round to 45psi at the rear.

Does anyone else have a similar experience?
 

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I have a 2016 T8 with air suspension.

I actually feel the ride has deteriorated over time. Its not that it transmits every bump in the road but rather it pitches and rolls.

If it was riding on spring and damper suspension id be convinced the dampers were blown or a roll bar broken.

The rear feels worse than the nose. I even upped the psi from 42psi all round to 45psi at the rear.

Does anyone else have a similar experience?
No. I keep my 20s and 22s at 42 psi.

The ride is more firm when I am driving locally while in Pure mode - as it is lower and less cushy. However, if it bothered me, I would set it to Hybrid or set Individual mode.

P.S., As a follow-up, I just drove on a somewhat low maintenance road. I tried both Pure mode (lower height) and Hybrid with no difference in ride. I thought there would be some improvement in Hybrid in the T8 but the road was just choppy on 20s.


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As a follow up, my car is in for Service (Turtle warning and Navi problems), and I got a loaner XC90. There is a very noticeable difference in the ride. The loaner is much smoother and the steering is tighter (I have adjusted the steering force on mine but it is not the same). The loaner does not have air suspension and the wheels are actually 21". It is an inscription built mid 2018. Mine is a 2016 Momentum. Not sure if there were improvements made in those 2 years. I'm going to ask the technician to drive it while it's at the dealership and see what he thinks....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Initial response form Service was "Could be a big difference between a 2016 with 39,000 miles on it and a relatively new 18/19. Wouldn't be surprised if the shocks had worn a bit in that time". May be true, but I don't think 2 years should make that much of a difference.

Rick
 
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