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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
4 years ago we were looking at the Pilot to replace my wife's 2nd Odyssey. I drove three different vehicles and all had an annoying bottoming-out sound coming from the rear, over rough roads. Passed on it and got the Ody instead.

This time round, tried the Pilot again and there didn't seem to be an issue, so we bought one. Sure enough, within minutes of driving it off the lot, that sound was there. The suspension is generally very hard, especially in cold weather where the roads are particularly bumpy from freezing.

We originally tested one in October when it was still relatively mild out, but didn't pick it up until Jan 14th, with the outside temp at -4F(-20C) so I'm guessing the cold plays a part. I should also mention that when we test drove the Pilot 4 years ago, it was also in January weather.

I've let some air out the tires which has helped a bit but I'm wondering if anyone has either noticed this problem or found that the Pilot softens up a bit in the suspension once it's broken in.

Thanks.

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4 years ago we were looking at the Pilot to replace my wife's 2nd Odyssey. I drove three different vehicles and all had an annoying bottoming-out sound coming from the rear, over rough roads. Passed on it and got the Ody instead.

This time round, tried the Pilot again and there didn't seem to be an issue, so we bought one. Sure enough, within minutes of driving it off the lot, that sound was there. The suspension is generally very hard, especially in cold weather where the roads are particularly bumpy from freezing.

We originally tested one in October when it was still relatively mild out, but didn't pick it up until Jan 14th, with the outside temp at -4F(-20C) so I'm guessing the cold plays a part. I should also mention that when we test drove the Pilot 4 years ago, it was also in January weather.

I've let some air out the tires which has helped a bit but I'm wondering if anyone has either noticed this problem or found that the Pilot softens up a bit in the suspension once it's broken in.

Thanks.

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not just sound, but feel when it comes to the rear suspension and overall handling of Honda vehicles on rough surfaces. it's a stiff suspension setup or design that has some compliance, but not enough to soften things up over the rough stuff like potholes. not gonna get that 1970's floating over everything ride which some of us remember. i went through three odysseys; '02, '08, '10. now 2020 pilot EX-L with 18 inch wheels. all four with stiif suspensions, although the pilot has the most compliance of all, the ody's were sharper handling around turns because of the lighter front ends. stiffer suspension equals better handling with a tradeoff of comfort on less than smooth as glass blacktop roads. what can be done to help? less air pressure in tires. smaller wheel and tire setup; going from 20 inch to 17 inches with a soft compound tire for more cushioning. there are some on the forum who have had positive results reducing tire size with higher sidewall profiles for a softer ride. other than that, it would mean changing to a different car. if you have the time and energy, test drive different suv's to compare rides. it can be an eye opener ! good luck, and let us know how things turn out.
 

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My folks have a 2014 Acura MDX (whose chassis was used for the 2016 Pilot) and their rear suspension has a very slight "hollow thunk" sound to it over certain bumps. They had it checked several times by the Acura dealer and they didn't find anything amiss. I guess this is discussed on Acura forums as something of a common complaint. Interestingly enough, our 2022 Pilot has the exact same noise. Nothing seems to be loose -- it just seems to be endemic to this chassis design and I'm sure some folks are more sensitive to it than others (if it is indeed common to this chassis). I understand this chassis has rear spring and damper forces put straight to the rear unibody rather than the subframe as was the case in the previous generation Pilots. This may have something to do with it (but that's just conjecture on my part).

Further discussed in the 2016 Honda Pilot Press Kit available here:

Rear Suspension
At the rear is a compact multi-link design with a tubular stabilizer bar. This multi-link system allows a generous amount of wheel travel and excellent compliance for a supple ride, together with confident cornering and handling. All rear suspension control arms are steel – including the high-strength steel upper and lower control arms. Compared to the previous Pilot, the new 2016 Pilot has improved rear-suspension geometry, the upper damper mounts are now located on the body side rails for greater rigidity, and softer bushings are calibrated to reduce road noise without compromising handling.
Cold weather in general is certainly a contributor to a harsh ride, though. Hydraulic dampers are stiff, the rubber material in tires is stiff, and rubber and hydraulic suspension bushings are firm. 20" tires (with shorter sidewalls) will generally ride firmer than 18" tires. All this said, our 2022 Pilot rides significantly softer/smoother than the 2020 Subaru Ascent we traded. That Subaru wore the very same tire size (245/50R20 in our case), but the tires were more of a performance compound and the suspension settings were certainly firmer. It handled great, but it also rode too firmly for our taste. All that to say that it's definitely relative...the Pilot rides softer than some others in the class, but cold weather will decrease the ride quality on just about all of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My folks have a 2014 Acura MDX (whose chassis was used for the 2016 Pilot) and their rear suspension has a very slight "hollow thunk" sound to it over certain bumps. They had it checked several times by the Acura dealer and they didn't find anything amiss. I guess this is discussed on Acura forums as something of a common complaint. Interestingly enough, our 2022 Pilot has the exact same noise. Nothing seems to be loose -- it just seems to be endemic to this chassis design and I'm sure some folks are more sensitive to it than others (if it is indeed common to this chassis). I understand this chassis has rear spring and damper forces put straight to the rear unibody rather than the subframe as was the case in the previous generation Pilots. This may have something to do with it (but that's just conjecture on my part).

Further discussed in the 2016 Honda Pilot Press Kit available here:



Cold weather in general is certainly a contributor to a harsh ride, though. Hydraulic dampers are stiff, the rubber material in tires is stiff, and rubber and hydraulic suspension bushings are firm. 20" tires (with shorter sidewalls) will generally ride firmer than 18" tires. All this said, our 2022 Pilot rides significantly softer/smoother than the 2020 Subaru Ascent we traded. That Subaru wore the very same tire size (245/50R20 in our case), but the tires were more of a performance compound and the suspension settings were certainly firmer. It handled great, but it also rode too firmly for our taste. All that to say that it's definitely relative...the Pilot rides softer than some others in the class, but cold weather will decrease the ride quality on just about all of them.
So I'm not losing my mind. None of the salespeople could ever hear the problem, even my wife couldn't understand what I was complaining about until she sat in the back seat on one of the testdrives and I could see her nodding her head as we drove over bumps in the road.

It's almost as if the front and rear suspension are from two different vehicles. Like I think i could stand it more if the sound was uniform front to back but it sounds like what you get in an old cab when the rear shocks are shot. I'm also probably oversensitive to it but a smooth ride has always been important to me.

It's a lease, so changing the wheels/tires would be an expensive alternative. Anyway, I appreciate the information it does certainly explain things, forunately it has a nice sound system so I guess I'll just have to crank the music and get used to it. It's my wife's vehicle so I'll be driving it mostly to and from university 6 hours away to get our daughter..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
not just sound, but feel when it comes to the rear suspension and overall handling of Honda vehicles on rough surfaces. it's a stiff suspension setup or design that has some compliance, but not enough to soften things up over the rough stuff like potholes. not gonna get that 1970's floating over everything ride which some of us remember. i went through three odysseys; '02, '08, '10. now 2020 pilot EX-L with 18 inch wheels. all four with stiif suspensions, although the pilot has the most compliance of all, the ody's were sharper handling around turns because of the lighter front ends. stiffer suspension equals better handling with a tradeoff of comfort on less than smooth as glass blacktop roads. what can be done to help? less air pressure in tires. smaller wheel and tire setup; going from 20 inch to 17 inches with a soft compound tire for more cushioning. there are some on the forum who have had positive results reducing tire size with higher sidewall profiles for a softer ride. other than that, it would mean changing to a different car. if you have the time and energy, test drive different suv's to compare rides. it can be an eye opener ! good luck, and let us know how things turn out.
I also had a 2007 (head-on collision) 2010 and 2018 Odyssey. The suspension seemed to be softer to me but it may just be preference and sensitivity to certain sounds. Like I explained to the other poster, the sound isn't uniform from front to back so it's more noticeable to my ears.

If I had purchased it I would probably look into new wheels/tires and sell these but it's a lease so I'm sol. I'm sure I'll get used to it but it is a bit disappointing.

Thanks for the feedback, it's what I was looking for.
 

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I believe the 20 inch wheels and tires may be a big part of your problem. People with 18 inch say the car rides nicer. I have the 20 inch on my 2019 but don't notice any unusual stiffness or ride discomfort. Then again I have always opted for a sport suspension or heavy duty suspension in the past on other cars when possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I believe the 20 inch wheels and tires may be a big part of your problem. People with 18 inch say the car rides nicer. I have the 20 inch on my 2019 but don't notice any unusual stiffness or ride discomfort. Then again I have always opted for a sport suspension or heavy duty suspension in the past on other cars when possible.
It occurs to me that the one we test drove in October was an EX-L with 18 inch wheels, ours is a Touring with 20 inch. Ironic that larger wheels are a "luxury" feature yet take away from the ride.
 

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You may consider swapping to 18" wheels when it's time to replace your tires (or earlier, depending on how much the 20" ride bothers you). 245/60R18 is the size to buy if using 18" wheels.

It is unfortunate that the higher end models seem to come only with larger wheels. I do think the OE Continental tires do ride relatively well for their size. I'd at least wait until the weather warms to make a decision about potentially changing to smaller wheels. I think you'll find the ride will soften up quite a bit in warm weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You may consider swapping to 18" wheels when it's time to replace your tires (or earlier, depending on how much the 20" ride bothers you). 245/60R18 is the size to buy if using 18" wheels.

It is unfortunate that the higher end models seem to come only with larger wheels. I do think the OE Continental tires do ride relatively well for their size. I'd at least wait until the weather warms to make a decision about potentially changing to smaller wheels. I think you'll find the ride will soften up quite a bit in warm weather.
We probably won't need to change the tires before the lease is up. Our Odyssey only had 25,000 miles on it when we turned it in.

I haven't bought snow tires for it yet, so I'll probably buy 18inch rims/tires. Question: since winter tires are a softer compound, will that make a difference in the ride. I feel like this is more of a winter problem since when I drove the vehicle in October the problem wasn't noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
You may consider swapping to 18" wheels when it's time to replace your tires (or earlier, depending on how much the 20" ride bothers you). 245/60R18 is the size to buy if using 18" wheels.

It is unfortunate that the higher end models seem to come only with larger wheels. I do think the OE Continental tires do ride relatively well for their size. I'd at least wait until the weather warms to make a decision about potentially changing to smaller wheels. I think you'll find the ride will soften up quite a bit in warm weather.
Do you know if these would work. Bolt pattern is correct but I don't know the offset. I've sent a message but would prefer to hear from someone who owns a Pilot.

EDIT: Seller says they are 35mm offset. I really don't know much about this stuff.

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Do you know if these would work. Bolt pattern is correct but I don't know the offset. I've sent a message but would prefer to hear from someone who owns a Pilot.

EDIT: Seller says they are 35mm offset. I really don't know much about this stuff.
With the bolt circle and offset information these wheels should bolt right on.

I've never leased my vehicles so I have a question: do you have a plans for the new wheels and tires after the lease?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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With the bolt circle and offset information these wheels should bolt right on.

I've never leased my vehicles so I have a question: do you have a plans for the new wheels and tires after the lease?
I would either resell or if we stay with Honda may be able to reuse on another Pilot. Maybe buy out the vehicle.
 

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I like my 2017 EX but the road noise and clunky sounding suspension is very annoying to me. I wish I had paid closer attention before purchasing in 2017. Coming up on 5 years now and 82300 miles.
 

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I like my 2017 EX but the road noise and clunky sounding suspension is very annoying to me. I wish I had paid closer attention before purchasing in 2017. Coming up on 5 years now and 82300 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I like my 2017 EX but the road noise and clunky sounding suspension is very annoying to me. I wish I had paid closer attention before purchasing in 2017. Coming up on 5 years now and 82300 miles.
Yeah, same here. I specifically test drove it to see if the problem was still there and it seemed fine. I should have realized there was no difference in the build from 2018 to 2022. Same vehicle.
 

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my lease is up at the end of '22 and i can't wait till the next generation pilot comes out so i can go for a test drive. supposedly the new gen's are going to be based on the '22 acura mdx platform with a longer wheelbase. hopefully there will be a ride improvement. they may be in showrooms next spring.
 
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