Ride Comfort vs Handling - b308
Following recent discussions on low profile tyres, I wonder if the car manufacturers have lost the plot when it comes to ordinary cars and ride comfort...

Personally I feel that the use of ultra low profile tyres and stiffened suspension has gone much too far... most of us don't want, or need, a car which will handle like an F1 car so all these things do is make for a more uncomfortable car to drive... What makes matters worse is that the higher up you go on the trim levels you go the lower the profile the tyres, and you don't even get the option of going for more "ordinary" tyres...

What does everyone else think?
Ride Comfort vs Handling - Happy Blue!
Completely agree b308. One of the reasons for buying a Subaru Forester and Outback was the fact that the tyre profiles were higher than for equivalent regualr cars. The ride comfort of our old 1999 Forester was so good, it was almost limousine like and yet it handled well enough.

Given the state of our roads and the relatively low speeds we drive at compared to the car's potential performance, it is silly that we have such low profile tyres. They are now more low profile than supercar tyres in the 1970s. The average family car can now do over 120mph. Presumably there is some lawyer saying that the cars have to be fitted with tyres suitable for this speed. Well, there are tyres that are higher profile that are suitable, but more importantly, why do I need a car that can do 120mph? A Focus which has a reduced top speed of 100mph but improved ride comfort and economy is likely to be a better seller.

However, heavier cars now dictate that in order to give the same level of acceleration as previous cars more powerful engines are needed which also give a higher top speed.

Edited by Espada III {P} on 07/05/2009 at 09:06

Ride Comfort vs Handling - Alby Back
You have just put into words the conclusion I have reached. My Mondeo estate is a Ghia X model which although it is on standard 17" rims has a very pleasant compliant ride. My Signum is the Design model which features lowered and hardened suspension.

The "sportier" setup is OK if you are doing a late night cross country run on twisty B roads or something but for 90% of the time it just jars your spine. The Mondeo conversely, handles pretty well anyway but pampers you more.

Bottom line is that for a 350 mile round trip such as I did on Tuesday, I'd take the comfy one every time.
Ride Comfort vs Handling - DP
Peugeot are still the best at it. The ride vs handling compromise, that is. Even they aren't as good as they were in the 90's though.
Ride Comfort vs Handling - ForumNeedsModerating
It's marketing gone mad. Since wider tyres & flatter profiles have become synonymous with higher performance & a 'cooler' more sexy look, it's a cheap fix for manufacturers to fit oversize rims/tyres to pander to this adolescant tendency.

I doubt that the wheel/tyre proportions are necessary even for the higher performance cars of today - it's just a nice way to plump the prices when we're encouraged to devour the options list. My car for example, a Merc C270 - it comes with 205x55 /16s as standard, options go to 17/18 inch rims. The identical engine/chassis in 'avantgarde' trim has 17s as standard etc. This daft tendency can be seen most markedly with BMW - 120bhp engined cars offered with 18 inch 35/40 profile tryes - they've barely got the strength to turn the things, let alone test their lateral grip/stability limits!

A perfectly good Skoda Superb I bought a few ago was ruined by 225/45 x 17 wheels - why on earth market it as a comfort oriented car with those bone-shakers fitted as standard?

Unfortunately it seems that the generation who once got their kicks with Vauxhall Novas & Ford Fiestas with ridiculously large & inappropriate wheels attempting (and failing) to do donuts in Luton supermarket carparks, are now in charge those yoof-orientated marketing depts. of said companies - and we all suffer!

Ride Comfort vs Handling - ifithelps
The standard 17" wheels on the CC3 are like dustbin lids and I'm sure it would be a nicer car with less alloy and more rubber.

I would say the same for most of the modern cars I've been in/driven.

As an example, brother's Civic has all the toys and is a nice car, but ruined by its square wheel ride.

The problem is brought into sharper focus by the poorer road surfaces we have today.

I would probably get on much better with something French, but concerns about reliability made me strike the likes of Peugeot off the list.

My loss, I suppose.

Ride Comfort vs Handling - b308
Seem to have struck a chord here, perhaps HJ could feed it back to the manufacturers that there are many people who would prefer less of the sporty and more of the comfort in their cars... a start would be to offer "normal" rims and tyres throughout the various trim levels of their models alongside the low profiles, at least that would give us some choice. Its daft that if you get a high spec level that you are stuck with low profiles and don't have any choice..

My Roomster has 205/45s on it btw, bloomin' silly!
Ride Comfort vs Handling - perro
>>> I would probably get on much better with something French, but concerns about reliability made me strike the likes of Peugeot off the list. <<<

Is it time to 'bury the hatchet' as regards to French cars I wonder? I would certainly look at the new Megane + C3 Picasso ... I know plenty of people that swear by their frog motors, but then I also know a few that swear at them - especially the old Scenic!
Ride Comfort vs Handling - DP
Is it time to 'bury the hatchet' as regards to French cars I wonder? I
would certainly look at the new Megane + C3 Picasso ... I know plenty of
people that swear by their frog motors but then I also know a few that
swear at them - especially the old Scenic!

I was discussing with my father in law the other day that for what were supposed to be poorly built, unreliable rubbish, there ain't half a lot of 10-15 yr old 106, 306, 405/406, AX, Saxo, ZX, Xsaras, Clios, Meganes and Lagunas still on the road, and still in pretty good nick as well. They are usually far tidier in bodywork terms than similarly aged Fords, Vauxhalls and even Volkswagens.

Older, simple French cars are no problem. The very latest stuff I am inclined to give the benefit of the doubt too, given the conscious effort from the likes of Renault and Citroen to step up their gameplan regarding quality and reliability. It's the stuff in the middle you have to watch. The first generation of multiplex wired / common rail / gadget laden "modern" stuff which in some cases seemed to be stuck together with little more than hope and a prayer.

Our old Renault Scenic II remains the best riding, most comfortable (S60 aside) and practical car we have ever owned, but it just became too expensive to maintain as it got past 60,000 miles, so it had to go. I'd buy a new one with a 3yr warranty without hesitating though.
Ride Comfort vs Handling - perro
I've possibly driven and owned more cars than most people over the last 40 years - everything from Alfa's to Zastava's in fact.
Some cars that I would drool over left me somewhat disappointed once driven.
On a perfectly smooth road *all* cars are equally comfortable but - for everyday motoring I would err towards comfort over roadholding anyday.
My 4 year old Almera 1.8SE auto is an ideal combination really - not quite up to my previous Focus Zetec but - it suits my mimser motoring manner :)
Ride Comfort vs Handling - madf
Wide low profile tyres are Ok for company cars (if you ignore the comfort issue) but running costs due to tyre replacement are horrendous.. Why pay £150 for a new tyre when a £60 tyre is more comfortable.

As I drive a Yaris, I object to paying more than £35 (Bridgestones) so perhaps I am biased.

Low profile tyres and parking = kerbed rims.. And speed humps are a nightmare..

As UK roads are speed restricted and largely traffic restricted, the need for wide rubber is not there..
And as for driving in snow!!!!! Give me narrow wheels anytime.


106s are simple to fix. Modern complex cars are not. What are the chances of a 7 year old Peugeot electronics working? Or more compelling, going wrong and economically unfixable?

Having said that, peopl said the same about EFU when introduced. largely very reliable.

But second hand French cars over 5 years old with lots of complex electrics? As the dealers struggle to fix problems when they are new, I'll give them a miss.. Japanese or German for me.

Edited by madf on 07/05/2009 at 11:31

Ride Comfort vs Handling - merlin
I'm looking for a reasonable priced (<£20k) well specified car that rides well. It's proving difficult having excluded French manufacturers (long term reliability concerns) and Mondeos (don't want a rep mobile that has poor residuals maybe because of very heavy discounting to anyone but the public). I'm now thinking of increasing my budget to include C-Class Mercedes or Volvos. Seems crazy though just to get a good ride!

I suspect one reason for large wheels is because car manufacturers, in their pursuit of good reviews, are pandering to the whims of your typical motoring journalist who is more interested in going fast round a bend, and less concerned about the ride.
Ride Comfort vs Handling - Andy P
Have you tried the last model Accord? Even on 17" wheels the ride is much better than some other cars on 16" wheels. On 16" it should be even better, and you can pick them up now for less that 20k.
Ride Comfort vs Handling - Falkirk Bairn
Have you tried the last model Accord? Even on 17" wheels the ride is much
better than some other cars on 16" wheels. On 16" it should be even better
and you can pick them up now for less that 20k.

£14/£15K with del miles at Motorpoint - 2.0/2.4 EX - lots of toys!
Ride Comfort vs Handling - merlin
Have you tried the last model Accord?

I did try an Accord and was disappointed with the ride on IIRC 17" wheels. It was no match for the CR-V that I tried back to back with the Accord. The salesman agreed too. I was surprised because I was expecting the Accord to be good having read the reviews.

There's someone on the civinfo forum who has an old Accord and was fortunate to borrow a new one for an extended time. Comparing the two he thought the old Accord's ride was better. "I still prefer the ride of the 07 too - the 09 doesn't handle bumps nearly so well."
Ride Comfort vs Handling - ForumNeedsModerating
Merlin - have you considered the latest Skoda Superb? Although the higher spec. versions
have silly 17/18inch rims, the lower spec. (although still well specced & optionable-up) have 16s.
The reviews give it thumbs-up for ride & if my experience (had previous version Elegance)
only the bigger whells spoil it - my had 17s. I should have bought the 'Comfort' model on 16s.
Ride Comfort vs Handling - mikeyb
One of the reasons that I have gone for a new C5 - I'm not THAT old, it's just that I have reached a point where I favour comfort over "sportines". For ever 10 miles I might want to chuck it around a B road I will have probably done 1000 on motorways
Ride Comfort vs Handling - captain chaos
Bling rims and low profile tyres may look pretty but are totally impractical in a country with potholed roads like the UK. Why they are fitted to 4x4s at all is beyond me. At least it keeps the tyre manufacturers and wheel refurbishers happy
Ride Comfort vs Handling - merlin
> Merlin - have you considered the latest Skoda Superb?

Thanks woodbines - I have tried the new Superb in both SE (17") and Elegance (18") specs. Unfortunately the ride wasn't great in either spec. There's an interesting thread from the briskoda forum on this subject - tinyurl.com/czkx67 - which talks about the new Superb's ride and how it can vary between cars which should in theory have the same ride.

I would like to try a new Superb with the 16" wheels but as far as I can tell there are no demonstrators in the country.

Edited by merlin on 07/05/2009 at 22:07

Ride Comfort vs Handling - redviper
My Glirlfriends C4, has factory fit 17? alloys with low profile tires, the car is one of the most comfortable cars ive driven in I and I love driving it.
Although the tires are ridiculously expensive, we where quoted >£180 from a well known quick tyre place for one tyre, about a month ago)
(there the tyre punctured 1 mile down the road on a Saturday morning in the middle of the large town we where in) it was the only viable option we had to take it there.)

Any how the car is lovely and comfortable, no road noise (that?s noticeable) and its seems competent in the corners etc.

My Astra on the other hand has standard wheels and tyres, and is very unforgiving with its very stiff suspension, every bump, ridge and mark in the road you can feel, and it shakes your ribs out of place every single time. Go over a pothole, and you will have moved a joint out of place in your body.
I shudder to think what would happen if I put low profiles on this car it would be a horrible nightmare.
However 2 new branded tyres at the Vauxhall dealer last week, cost me £104, I was well pleased with that.
Ride Comfort vs Handling - alex823
Agreed I have a C4 and its very comfortable. However I had a 306 before that with 15" wheels and that made my C4 pretty firm in comparison - used to feel like a much bigger car than it actually was. Although it wasnt as grippy as the C4 I actually think it drove and handled better - probably something to do with the lower centre of gravity and the lack of power steering.

I reckon the majority of people would sacrifice a bit of handling for ride comfort. My mum for one far prefers her old Laguna over the Civic.

Still I did drive a Golf the other day and thouht that had an excellent compromise between ride and handling (ruined a bit by the over firm seats though). I hear the Focus is pretty good too though have not tried one although my mates ST170 is far too firm in my opinion.

Edited by alex823 on 09/05/2009 at 16:36