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I recently picked up a 2020 Forester 'Limited' with 18" wheels but I find the ride to be a little more bumpy than I remember from the test drive. Is this just the nature of 18" wheels? Have any other owners found the ride to be bumpy or are you happy with the ride comfort level? I guess I'll get used to it in time.
Thanks in advance!
 

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Did you test drive another Forester with smaller wheels (e.g. 17"). Yes, larger diameter wheels can affect the ride especially if the tires are a lower profile than the alternative(s) but as the extent, that really depends. ....and it will be partly based on your own sensitivities, expectations, etc.

We just bought my wife a new 2020 Premium with the 17s and the ride is quite smooth. I can't speak to the differences in ride quality differences between those and the 18s though.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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@Flanders2750 welcome to the forum from Oregon!

I've read where the tires are overinflated for the shipping. Perhaps the tire pressure wasn't reduced to the correct tire pressure at the dealership?
Apparently, the TPMS will detect & alarm on "low" tire pressure, but not on "high" tire pressure!

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Remember that the Forester is a small SUV and is designed to have a firmer ride. And, as referenced by @Kean, larger diameter rims (which usually have a lower profile tire) will impact ride firmness. As some Foresters are used by off-roaders and soft-roaders, plus campers and outdoor sports enthusiasts (skiers, snowboarders, surfers, bikers, etc.), the vehicles are expected to carry additional cargo and needs to support the weight of that gear; so you get a firmer suspension set up.

It's a bit of physics, really. The less height of the sidewall of the tire, the less flex that the tire will have, and the more firm the ride will be, as well as the handling being a bit sharper and crisper than a tire with a taller sidewall. This is why sports cars tend to have very low profile tires. Luxury cars tend to ride on a taller sidewall so there is more flex and rebound in the tire, before the suspension even gets involved.

As Kean also references, if you test drove a different trim (say a premium) that had a smaller tire, you may find a smoother ride. Additionally, many dealers and sales agents pick out a certain test drive "route" that they feel will best show off the car. They may even alter that loop based upon the vehicle type or even what type of vehicle you're coming from. For example, if you're coming from a sportier car, they will probably take a route that will emphasize the sporty aspect of the car your test driving. If you have a more luxury oriented car, they may choose smoother, and more flat roads to emphasize the smooth ride that the vehicle offers. These same roads may well be very different from the roads you drive on a daily basis.

I'm not sure if this is your first Forester (or even your first Subaru) and not sure what type of vehicle you were driving before, but you will certain find a different ride feel if you came from a more traditional car.
 

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+1 on the tire pressure. I've had a few new cars that had over 40psi when I first checked them. One was fine on the test drive, then rode like the Flintstone-mobile on the drive home. I checked when I got home, and on the pre-delivery prep, some kid must have bumped them up to over 40psi. If so, drop it down to what it says on your label by the driver's door.

And, yes, the 18s will have less sidewall to act as a cushion, so they will be slightly firmer riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all your advice! My previous car was a Ford Escape Limited and before that a 2010 Forester with 17" wheels. I only test drove a couple of 2020 Foresters with 'Limited' trim (at two different dealers). Obviously, it would be too expensive to change the wheels and get higher profile tires. I will check tire pressure, though and run them at a slightly lower pressure and see if that helps.
Thanks again to all those who gave me advise!
 

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Was the Escape an AWD or just FWD model?

The Forester and Escape may both be compact SUVs, they're worlds apart in what they're capable of doing. And given that Subaru is aimed more towards those that want to do stuff (camping, surfing, skiing, whatever) and carry more stuff, that could be another reason why the Ford had a softer ride - as it generally is marketed more for on-road and less for the adventure seeking crowds...
 

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Thanks for all your advice! My previous car was a Ford Escape Limited and before that a 2010 Forester with 17" wheels. I only test drove a couple of 2020 Foresters with 'Limited' trim (at two different dealers). Obviously, it would be too expensive to change the wheels and get higher profile tires. I will check tire pressure, though and run them at a slightly lower pressure and see if that helps.
Thanks again to all those who gave me advise!
Actually, you'd be surprised how cheap some folks sell their factory wheels. .....and in a trade, I'm sure you could even ask for additional cash on top if you wanted to get your hands on some OEM 17s.
 

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Actually, you'd be surprised how cheap some folks sell their factory wheels. .....and in a trade, I'm sure you could even ask for additional cash on top if you wanted to get your hands on some OEM 17s.
That's a good idea! I will have to weigh up between whether reducing tire pressure slightly and partially or fully rectifying the issue, just getting used to the existing ride or swapping down to 17"s (if it continues to bug me).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
+1 on the tire pressure. I've had a few new cars that had over 40psi when I first checked them. One was fine on the test drive, then rode like the Flintstone-mobile on the drive home. I checked when I got home, and on the pre-delivery prep, some kid must have bumped them up to over 40psi. If so, drop it down to what it says on your label by the driver's door.

And, yes, the 18s will have less sidewall to act as a cushion, so they will be slightly firmer riding.
The tire on delivery is 38 psi. I will try 35 or 34 psi for around town running and see what happens.
 

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2019 Forester Touring CWP/Brown 2018 Crosstrek Limited White/Gray
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I run mine at 35 front and 33 back. When I got it the tire pressure was 46psi all around.
 
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