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I have read many of the Venza reviews that are out there, and on several there were comments made about sacraficing ride comfort for the looks of a 20" wheel/tire package. Some suggested Toyota should have gone with an 18" package. I am not saying the critics are wrong, but I do not see how an 18" could possibly ride any better than the 20's. If it is possible then that would be "one smooth ride"! Does that mean that a 16" tire will ride better than an 18". I guess I need a tire expert to explain this one. I have never seen much (if any) difference in ride quality from one size to the other, but I have experienced big differences from one brand to the other. Any ideas on this?
 

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I have read many of the Venza reviews that are out there, and on several there were comments made about sacraficing ride comfort for the looks of a 20" wheel/tire package. Some suggested Toyota should have gone with an 18" package. I am not saying the critics are wrong, but I do not see how an 18" could possibly ride any better than the 20's. If it is possible then that would be "one smooth ride"! Does that mean that a 16" tire will ride better than an 18". I guess I need a tire expert to explain this one. I have never seen much (if any) difference in ride quality from one size to the other, but I have experienced big differences from one brand to the other. Any ideas on this?
The 18" wheel/tire package should give a more comfortable ride than the 20" package and the 16" package should be even better. There are two factors to consider here.

Firstly, to maintain a proper speedometer and odometer reading, the overall diameter of the wheel/tire package has to remain the same. So if you are downsizing from a 20" diameter wheel to an 18" diameter wheel, the height of the tire's sidewall will have to increase; the sidewall on the 18" package will be higher than on the 20" package. The increased height gives more room to flex and the added space to flex allows for better absorption of bumps, so just changing from a 20" package to the same tire but made for the 18" package should give a more comfortable ride.

Secondly, the increased size of the 20" wheel is going to weigh more than the 18" wheel. This added weight unsprung weight will make the wheel/tire package slower to respond to steering inputs and also slower to respond to bumps; that makes for a less comfortable ride.

I have seen suggestions in another discussion here that the Highlander's base 17" wheel/tire package may fit the Venza. That may make for a more comfortable ride, lower unsprung weight and more options when it comes to shopping for replacement tires (including winter tires). I wonder if Toyota will offer a "base" (decontented) Venza for 2010 that will offer a smaller wheel/tire package and less interior content, like less powered accessories?
 

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"...decontended 2010 Venza..."

Toyota's southern california (otherwise known as the land of "fruits and NUTS") design team is much more likely to throw in a set of chrome "spinners" to match those 20" wheels.

Pimpmobiles.....
 

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I think one has to be careful regarding the Venza's "perceived" ride harshness -- many reviews I've read (including a recent and detailed one at driving.ca) praise the Venza's "smooth" ride, one going as far as to say it's one of the best riding crossovers out there. So when some reviewers criticize the ride while others praise it, I would say it's mostly a matter of personal perception. Best solution to that would be to take one for a spin and decide for yourself, rather than taking for granted any purely subjective opinions...
 

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don't forget folks that if you downsize wheels you will also need to make sure that your new wheels will clear your brake calipers and other hardware. this problem is common when downsizing.

sulu is correct in that, smaller rim size while maintaining stock wheel/tire diameter will require a tire with more sidewall and hence a "smoother" ride since there is more sidewall there to provide cushioning. smoother here will be at the expense of responsiveness to steering input as well as performance and fuel economy.
 

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I think one has to be careful regarding the Venza's "perceived" ride harshness -- many reviews I've read (including a recent and detailed one at driving.ca) praise the Venza's "smooth" ride, one going as far as to say it's one of the best riding crossovers out there. So when some reviewers criticize the ride while others praise it, I would say it's mostly a matter of personal perception. Best solution to that would be to take one for a spin and decide for yourself, rather than taking for granted any purely subjective opinions...
I agree. Test drive one carefully and decide for yourself if you can be comfortable in it for the long term. Remember that the manufacturer designed the vehicle for the wheel/tire size(s) that are original equipment, and if you, as the buyer, decide to switch to a different wheel/tire package, that will be a compromise, meaning there will be a trade off somewhere. For instance, a smaller wheel may not clear the brake hardware, such as brake disk and brake calipers.

don't forget folks that if you downsize wheels you will also need to make sure that your new wheels will clear your brake calipers and other hardware. this problem is common when downsizing.

sulu is correct in that, smaller rim size while maintaining stock wheel/tire diameter will require a tire with more sidewall and hence a "smoother" ride since there is more sidewall there to provide cushioning. smoother here will be at the expense of responsiveness to steering input as well as performance and fuel economy.
The higher sidewall, because of the greater flexing, will likely mean less (slower) response to steering inputs and performance. Fuel economy, however, may not be affected because the energy being wasted in tire flex may be won back due to lower unsprung weight of the smaller wheel. Additionally, a downsize to a smaller wheel usually involves a narrower tire, which means a smaller contact patch and less friction, which should help fuel economy also.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I posted this I had already had my Venza for about 2 months, and I am extremely satisfied with the ride quality, smoothness and low road noise. I was in no way considering changing to a smaller wheel size, as when I first saw the Venza in person, the 20" wheels and body styling is what initially drew my attention to it. I was just curious because I do not see how much smoother it could be with smaller tires. For anyone still considering a Venza, like others have menitoned, go try it for yourself. I just can not imagine anyone not being satisfied with the ride this vehicle will give you.
 

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Let's not forget that the 20" wheels are wrapped in a 50-series tire; plenty of sidewall in my opinion. What some are not considering is the Venza's suspension and its impact on ride quality. I've owned vehicles (Mini Cooper S) which, when I replaced the OEM struts with Koni FSD's, the ride quality/comfort was greatly improved. Another thing to consider is the tire selection by Toyota for the Venza. In my case that is the Goodyear Eagle RSA, the cheapest, lowest treadwear and lowest rated/reviewed tire you can put on a Venza based on technical information and reviews on the Tire Rack website. You would be amazed at the difference a better tire can make in comfort, noise and handling.
 

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When I posted this I had already had my Venza for about 2 months, and I am extremely satisfied with the ride quality, smoothness and low road noise. I was in no way considering changing to a smaller wheel size, as when I first saw the Venza in person, the 20" wheels and body styling is what initially drew my attention to it. I was just curious because I do not see how much smoother it could be with smaller tires. For anyone still considering a Venza, like others have menitoned, go try it for yourself. I just can not imagine anyone not being satisfied with the ride this vehicle will give you.
My wife loves her Venza but the one thing I do have a problem with is the ride. It definitely is not as smooth as the Camry V6 XLE we traded in on it. This isn't subjective, I can place my Garmin street pilot on the Venza dash with the bean bag mount and after 30 minutes of tollway driving it's danced 6 inches and needs to be repositioned again. Not so with the Camry. Her Venza came with Michelin tires. V6 AWD 20 " rims. Now it may very well be smoother than other crossovers but not as smooth as the full sized sedan it replaced.
 

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Another aspect is that the OUTSIZED wheels remind many of us of a PIMPMOBILE....

Not good.
I have heard this remark from a couple of people but I really don't get it. The majority of people I talk to think that any smaller wheel does not look right on the Venza. One of the syling cues I like about the Venza is the 20" wheels. It's what makes the car stand out from a "soccer moms" car...which I did NOT want.
These days, anyone thinking that 20" wheels equals Pimpmobile must be a very right-wing conservative and should probably get a Sienna instead.

And, once again, the reason the Venza rides rougher than the Camry is NOT because of the 20" wheels, it is because of the suspension setup for the Venza as a SUV-type hauler.
 

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...
And, once again, the reason the Venza rides rougher than the Camry is NOT because of the 20" wheels, it is because of the suspension setup for the Venza as a SUV-type hauler.
EXCEPT Toyota is not marketing/advertising the Venza as such. If anything it's the "Toyota Station Wagon". Not SUV, not Crossover. They are avoiding those descriptions. Rightfully so. As a station wagon the ride is harsh.
 

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I have heard this remark from a couple of people but I really don't get it. The majority of people I talk to think that any smaller wheel does not look right on the Venza. One of the syling cues I like about the Venza is the 20" wheels. It's what makes the car stand out from a "soccer moms" car...which I did NOT want.
These days, anyone thinking that 20" wheels equals Pimpmobile must be a very right-wing conservative and should probably get a Sienna instead.

And, once again, the reason the Venza rides rougher than the Camry is NOT because of the 20" wheels, it is because of the suspension setup for the Venza as a SUV-type hauler.
Then why does my "SUV-type hauler", '01 RX300 have such a comfortable ride...??
 

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If you don't like it , don't buy it.
QUIT posting negative comments.
Then why does my "SUV-type hauler", '01 RX300 have such a comfortable ride...??
Maybe ww is a lexus sales rep and worried he won't meet his quota?

To other venza owners: Thanks for the suggestions to improve ride quality, i.e. by checking tire pressure
 

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Then why does my "SUV-type hauler", '01 RX300 have such a comfortable ride...??
Why doen't my apple taste like a peach....because they are different fruits.
Speaking of fruits.........

Why isn't the Nissan Murano as comfortable a ride as the Infiniti FX? Because, just like your question above, they are in two different classes and price points.
 

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Another aspect is that the OUTSIZED wheels remind many of us of a PIMPMOBILE....

Not good.
wwest do everyone a favor at tn and take a flying leap at a rolling donut hole
we don't like you on quality aftermarket parts and as far as i can tell you are just as loved on this thread
i believe the car gods would insert the enema for car guys in your location
i hope i haven't been to subtle expressing my fellow bloggers feelings about your input

thank you for playing, not
 

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I agree with wwest. The 20 inchers are a contradiction - they make the Venza look like a Scion, when in fact Camry Station Wagon owners are family oriented people who are way beyond the "I gotta look hip" phase in order to attract the opposite sex.

The Venza would ride like a luxury car and get better fuel economy if Toyota had equipped it with conservative 16 inch wheels and narrower 65-70 series tires.
 

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big surprise it is the herpes virus from quality aftermarket
please refer to the warm vibes you got from that thead and crawl in a dark place and never come back
please feel the same warmth expressed for wwest as i believe you folks are two of a kind
 
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