Looking for a quiet ride

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coalcracker
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:25 pm

Looking for a quiet ride

Post by coalcracker »

My car is slowly sputtering to its death, and I am at the point in my life when I can afford to buy a nice car with some saved up cash. My commute is mostly at highway speeds (70+mph), and after listening to my beast roar for years I am yearning for a peaceful, calm cabin.

I have gone through a bunch of car ratings on consumer reports, and while they don't have a rank list for cabin noise, you can look in the detailed reports and find the ranking for a given model. The ones I have found listed as excellent are (no surprise) mostly luxury models, your Lexus(s), Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and usually the higher end models of those makes. Hyundai Genesis is also in there, but I also would like something with good gas mileage which is does not have. I have been looking at the Camry Hybrid, which has a "very good" rating for cabin noise and good MPG. As for other features, I really don't care that much. Heated seats, bluetooth, stereo seem to come standard in most new cars these days.

Any other models with the good MPG/quiet cabin combo that you can recommend?

Also, I have read several places that tires can make a big difference with road noise. Thoughts?
sport
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by sport »

According to the Toyota web site, the 4 cyl Camry gasoline engine gets better highway mileage then even a Corolla. IIRC the highway rating is 35 MPG. IMO it is very quiet. The best way to evaluate the sound level is a test drive. I don't know if the XLE model is quieter than the LE model. It may be.

Jeff
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norookie
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by norookie »

:mrgreen:
Last edited by norookie on Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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btenny
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by btenny »

I suggest you drive and try out a Toyota Avalon sedan. This is the best car Toyota makes IMO. It is cheaper than a Lexus and just as nice and quiet. It is big wonderful sedan that rides great and drives peacefully on the highway or in town and it gets around 30MPG on the highway. See here for customer reviews of the 2010 model.

http://www.edmunds.com/toyota/avalon/20 ... ?sub=sedan

My neighbor has one and you can never tell when the engine is running when he glides by my house. It is a great car that will last decades. If you shop around I suspect that you can find a slighty used XLS or Limited 2010 model for $25K or so. A great deal IMO.

Bill
stupidkid
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by stupidkid »

A couple thoughts:

You're replacing an old car with a new car. Simply because you're getting a new car, the ride noise will go down due to excess wear & tear on your old car, better build quality in new cars, etc.

Tires make a huge difference. I've seen a number of people complain about noisy cars, and it was the tires. Think about it, they're the only things making contact with the road and therefore the most likely thing to transmit sound into the cabin. If you have a well-insulated cabin, it may mask tire noise, but not having tire noise does a much better job. You'll get different performance out of different tires, but probably the largest contributor to tire noise is tread pattern. More pattern, more traction, more noise (typically). http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/hunters-r ... ur-vehicle

If you're a DIY-er, as norookie suggests, you can make a less-insulated car more insulated pretty easily. Pull back the carpets and slap down some vibration dampener, makes for better car audio too example. I did this on a car of mine once while upgrading the stereo, made a big difference, but then I removed it from the firewall because I couldn't hear the engine roar as well and I missed the V8...

Lexus = the quietest car out there, every time. Toyotas, made by the same company, are pretty darn quiet too. Typically Lexus adds a few hundred pounds of "stuff", including sound dampener and carpeting (which acts as a sound dampener) but all the toyotas will be pretty quiet. Though I've been enjoying some hyundais, the sonata hybrid gets 40+ mpgs and I was riding around in one the other day, nice & quiet.

A historical perspective your reading pleasure:
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/0 ... t-ofnoise/
PacNorWest
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by PacNorWest »

Traditionally, the Lincoln depreciates rapidly after just 2 or 3 years but is still a good car. . .luxury, power and quiet.
Buick has outrated BMW in some ratings - my aunt has one and I've driven it - it's quite impressive, quiet, smooth running and easy to find yourself speeding, not for the thrill of it, but because it just drives so nice that you don't even notice how fast you're traveling.
isittime
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by isittime »

I recently bought an Acura RDX. It is extremely quiet and has great noise cancellation technology through the speakers.
mikem
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by mikem »

PacNorWest wrote:Traditionally, the Lincoln depreciates rapidly after just 2 or 3 years but is still a good car. . .luxury, power and quiet.
Buick has outrated BMW in some ratings - my aunt has one and I've driven it - it's quite impressive, quiet, smooth running and easy to find yourself speeding, not for the thrill of it, but because it just drives so nice that you don't even notice how fast you're traveling.
+1...Lincoln...smoothest, quietest car on the road. Not very exciting..but a nice ride.
madbrain
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by madbrain »

Neal wrote: Any other models with the good MPG/quiet cabin combo that you can recommend?
Prius certainly comes to mind. Very high MPG and very low road noise.
noid
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by noid »

Check out the 2013 cadillac ats. Bose noise canceling in the cabin, plus a ton of other innovative features.
tomd37
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by tomd37 »

If you are thinking about the Toyota Avalon, wait for the 2013 model instead of the 2012. Big changes I understand.
Tom D.
Anon1234
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by Anon1234 »

The Honda Accord Crosstour has active noise damping using the audio system. I've heard it described as "sound chamber quiet." Never been in one myself.
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ram
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by ram »

Over the last 20+ yrs I have driven many toyota camrys, honda accords, one nissan and one Hyundai.
My current cars are Avalon (2006) and Honda Odyssey (2006). The Avalon is BY FAR the quietest of them all. There is a substantial difference between the 2 current cars in noise. Avalon gives me 29-30 mpg on highway. It remains quiet with all season tires and winter tires (both michelin recommended by Consumer Reports)
Ram
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yukonjack
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by yukonjack »

Lexus LS460 is the answer. Most all 4 cylinder vehicles are going to make more noise because they are running at a higher rpm.
sport
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by sport »

yukonjack wrote:Lexus LS460 is the answer. Most all 4 cylinder vehicles are going to make more noise because they are running at a higher rpm.
That is true for some 4's. However, the Camry has a 6 speed transmission and runs only 1900 rpm at 65 mph.
Jeff
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zaboomafoozarg
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by zaboomafoozarg »

I second the Toyota Avalon. The thing is awesome if you like smooth and quiet. If you're looking for something sporty it's probably not going to fit what you want (it feels slightly Cadillac boat-ish), but I loved it. The price of $35K new doesn't really work for me, but if I was old and rich I'd probably have one, haha.
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shmidds
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Re: Looking for a quiet ride

Post by shmidds »

+ New Camry Hybrid. Very nice ride, good mpg.
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