Seeking recommendations for quiet AWD wagon or SUV with low road noise

I live in Oregon where studded tires shred all paved roads and make driving on the highway incredibly noisy. In the past, I’ve had cars, such as an Audi A4 and A6, that have been quiet elsewhere, but they are loud here. Tires that are marketed as low noise (such as Michelin’s Primacy) help, but the noise is still pretty bad.

I’m thinking what I need is a car with a lot of insulation in the wheel wells and undercarriage, plus low noise tires. I need a wagon or SUV (becuase I have a dog that sheds that I like to keep out of the passenger compartment) and AWD (because I regularly drive to a cabin where the roads are often icy.)

I am having a really hard time finding reliable information on noise levels anywhere online.

What would you recommend?



Even though it is not usually mentioned in the list of features, many manufacturers put more sound-deadening material in their high-end models.

I can tell you that my 2011 Outback Limited is incredibly quiet in the cabin.
I am somebody who is very sensitive to road noise, so–trust me–this is a very quiet vehicle.
However, it is very possible that if you bought the base model or even the mid-level model of the Outback, there might be less sound-deadening material.

Thanks. It’s interesting that it’s so hard to find out about sound levels.

Our friends Outback is a quiet rider as well as another’s Highlander and neighbors GMC Terrain. IMHO, Subaru, along with GM and Toyota products tend to excell at quiet rides, especially if you move to models in the Caddy and Lexus line.

I’d check out a Toyota Venza and Lexus RX350.

my Mazda Cx-7 is pretty quiet, though they stopped making them in 2012

I have bought a 2013 Equinox (sister to the GMC Terrain) last November. At 7k miles, no issues so far. It is very quiet at all speeds. The OEM tires are The Michelin Latitude is the OEM tire and is also very quiet, has reasonable wet and dry traction, and did okay in light snow.

Ed B.

Test drive a Cadillac ATS with the V6 on your lousy roads. Larger luxury cars tend to be quieter, though. The Lexus ES 350 gets high marks for quiet ride, but it isn’t as athletic as your Audi’s were or the ATS is.

Is that huge pile of money in the corner yours, and are you looking for something to do with it? A Mercedes Benz S550 sedan will set you back $100,000, but it is the top of the luxury market.