Quiet Riding: Quiet Car and Quiet Tires

Reduce noise in your vehicle by choosing a quiet car and quiet tires. Also mufflers and other accessories.

If you're like many people, your vehicle is almost a second home. The more time you spend in your car (or truck or SUV), the more important it is for it to be safe, comfortable, and as stress-free as possible. High noise levels make it hard to talk to other passengers, or hard to enjoy the music from your sound system, and add to the cumulative stress of your day. If you're in the market for a new vehicle, consider the noise element along with the other factors that are important to you.

If you're not purchasing a new vehicle right now, you can significantly reduce the road noise in your current car by installing quiet tires. Your choice of muffler can also make a difference.

Quiet Vehicles

How quiet should a quiet car be? Cabin noise within a vehicle is not a simple thing to measure; it varies depending on road conditions, tires, wind, and other weather factors. Also, vehicle noise is a subjective quality; noises that are annoying to you might be acceptable to others, and vice versa. Do you just want to be able to converse without shouting, or do you want to be able to enjoy high-fidelity music while driving? Take a test drive to find out whether a vehicle meets your standards for quiet. If possible, drive on similar roads and at the same speeds that you intend to use it for the most.

Quiet automobiles

The quietest cars tend to be in the luxury or near-luxury class. According to several reviews, the ultimate quiet ride is the Lexus LS. If that's beyond your budget, other Lexus models are also low noise, including the ES, the RX (hybrid), and the GS. Buicks and Cadillacs are also generally regarded as quieter makes.

Here are some passenger cars that have received positive reviews for their low noise levels, listed from most affordable to highest priced:

  • Ford Taurus
  • Buick LaCrosse
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid
  • Mercury Milan Hybrid
  • Toyota Avalon
  • Buick LuCerne
  • Mercury Grand Marquis
  • Hyundai Genesis Sedan
  • Volvo V70
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Lexus ES
  • Cadillac CTS
  • Volvo S80
  • Lexus RX Hybrid
  • Audi A6
  • Lexus GS
  • Cadillac DTS
  • Lincoln Town Car
  • Acura RL
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan
  • BMW 5-Series
  • Lexus LS
  • BMW 7-Series
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid

Quiet SUVs

  • Jeep Commander
  • Buick Enclave
  • Mercedes-Benz M-Class Hybrid
  • Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Quiet minivans

  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Chrysler Town & Country (without sport suspension)
  • Volkswagen Routan

Accessories for a Quieter Ride

Quiet tires

Your choice of tire can make all the difference in a vehicle's road noise.
  • Quieter all-season tires for passenger cars include:
    • Bridgestone Turanza Serenity
    • Goodyear Assurance ComforTred
    • General Altimax HP
    • Michelin Harmony

  • Quieter all-season tires for SUVs include:
    • General Grabber HTS
    • Michelin Cross Terrain SUV
    • Michelin Latitude Tour or Latitude Tour HP

Quiet mufflers

For the best noise reduction, choose a baffled style muffler. The next most quiet muffler type is the tri-flow (reverse flow) style. The dog-leg type is less effective, and the straight-through type is the noisiest. In general, the bigger and heavier the muffler, the better its noise reduction capability.

Because of the back pressure produced by effective noise mufflers, engine power is reduced. For the greatest reduction in noise, be prepared to sacrifice some engine power.

Quiet towing hitches

Softride's QuietRide anti-rattle ball mounts and hitch pins are specifically designed to minimize clanking sound.

Quiet RV generators

  • Cummins Onan
  • Generac Guardian QuietPact (fully enclosed, with built-in muffler) or PrimePact (with muffler accessory)

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Sarinne Fox
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