Does anyone know of a site which measures how noisy a new car is or will be? I am about to trade my very noisy Focus wagon and would like a quieter car. When I ride with my friend in her Toyota I am always impressed at how quiet it is inside with the windows closed. I am interested in a very small wagon or a 4 door hatchback and my highest criterion is good gas mileage.
The only real way to tell is to test drive all those that look interesting to you. Everyone is different. If you like your friend’s Toyota, perhaps one like it would be good for you.
Toyota Prius I rented was great in those aspects you list.
I have to say given that criteria small cars and low noise are an extremely rare combo especially with the hatch/wagon factor which amplifies road noise. Consumer Reports has a 6 point scale that is done over a variety of conditions.
I am done with noisy cars after my Subaru WRX wagon which thankfully I only drive on short hops and do not commute in.
I believe some auto magazines measure interior noise as part of the testing, I do not know if/where this information is collected.
I think that goes without saying…
However cars are MUCH quieter then they were just 10 years ago. You may be surprised that the smallish car you buy today is quieter then the Big car you bought in the 90’s. It also differs from Manufacturer to Manufacturer. The only real way to tell is to test drive them.
There are things you can buy to quiet a noisy car. Almost any Auto-sound installation place sells them and installs them. They do work…not sure of the cost though.
Noise is rather subjective. We may both ride in the same pair of cars and we may choose different ones when asked which is more quiet. Don't start with the noise factor, take care of that with the test drive. You are not considering buying a car without a test drive are you?
Does anyone make small wagons or a 4 door hatchbacks now? I like to call crossover SUVs “station wagons in Zoot suits”. They may be the most functionally-equivalent to what you seek.
Note that tires can be a big contribution to noise. Tire design is getting better all the time, but they are still a compromise between traction in many different conditions, wear, price and noise level.
I’ve always called crossovers “the minivans for those too trendy to own a minivan”.
How long have you owned your current car? It could just be that whatever sound deadener they used in the factory is wearing out, or you’ve owned the car long enough to notice every little squeak and rattle it’s making.
Mazda3 is a 4-door, small hatchback. There must be others, but I can’t think of any at the moment.
As to the Consumer Reports and other ratings, take those with a grain of salt. It seems anything not as silent as a luxury car is called noisy. Your older Focus is probably louder than anything you would buy new, so even a less-than-great noise rating in Consumer Reports might be good enough for you. I would absolutely test drive a variety of cars before settling on one.
Consumer Reporta Annual Auto Issue has a Ratings section that describes the highs and lows of the car. They note both quiet and noise if either one is a high or low. It’s the April Issue and you can buy it now. It’s not those thick ones with the stiff cover. It’s just like the regular magazine.Barnes and Nobles has a stack of them.
“Does anyone make small wagons or a 4 door hatchbacks now?”
BMW 3-series wagon
VW Jetta/Passat wagons
I’m sure there are more.