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Best Car for a Quiet Ride?

Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,914
edited February 12 in General
Books on tape, iPods, mp3s, SiriusXM, CDs, talk radio. It all sounds better in a quiet cabin (well, maybe not talk radio).

Lexus seems to have the best reputation followed by Buick.

Are those reputations deserved? Which makes and models have the quietest cabins? What's the best ride if you have a long commute and want to tune out the stressful noise of the Interstate?


  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067's the 1965 Ford LTD! It's quieter than a Rolls-Royce!

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    Yeah, that might do it.

    Amazingly, my new to me Solara convertible is insanely quiet with the top up. Heck, it's not crazy noisy with the top down!

    Having had so many Hondas I'm not used to this!
  • My 3 most quiet cars - a 2003 Jaguar X-Type 2.5, a 2006 Jaguar S-Type 4.2, and a Mercedes Benz GLK 4Matic. For a liitle SUV, the GLK is amazingly quiet on trips.

  • Back when the Lexus LS400 was a new car(1990 or so), I got to ride in one for a 1-hour trip.


    I thought I'd gone deaf.

    I currently drive an 06 Civic, similar to a garbage can with an outboard motor...

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,914
    Heh, Honda's have that reputation, although the new 2012 CR-V reportedly is quieter than its predecessors.

    Chief Executive Magazine points to the Hyundai Equus and one that didn't occur to me, but makes sense that it'd be quiet.

    The Chevy Volt.
  • I know what you mean. I own a 2010 CRV, and, its so noisy that its annoying. On every little hill on the interstate it sounds like a supercharged food processor. However, to its credit, it is quieter than my stock 1948 Chevrolet sedan at speed.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Our 1992 LS400 w/air suspension and shod with nice quiet comfortably riding bridgestone Turanza summer use only tires.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    Tighten down your tappets on that old 216. Intake = .006 Exhaust = .013.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067
    ...but I can't complain about the quiet ride both my 1989 Cadillac Brougham and 2007 Cadillac DTS Performance deliver! Back in the day I had a 1975 Cadillac Sedan DeVille that was so quiet you could hardly hear the engine running. A co-worker asked, "Is it running?"
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,886
    When I was a kid, my dad knew a guy with a 78 or so Fleetwood (light yellow on light yellow) which amazed me with its plush silent ride. I only rode in it a couple times, but I remember it vividly. It was really memorable in those colors, too.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    You ever have one of those cars that was so quiet you forgot it was on and tried to start an already running car? Now THERE'S a sound you don't forget!
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,914
    I test drove a Sienna back in '98 and tried to crank it. It was running.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,442
    Up until about 50 mph, my '02 Explorer is quieter and smoother than any of the Lexus RX models I have been in. Speeds above that, it goes the other way.
    MY '11 Explorer is really quiet, although you can hear the tires when driving on concrete or the engine if you put some upper revs in it.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    It's interesting that at the moment my Solara convertible is quieter than my wife's Camry. Basically same car same year. A little of that is that Solara is a 6cyl while the Camry is a 4. The biggest part is what explorer's post mentions - tires. Hers needs new ones which may enter into it.

    Of course mine has half the miles on it as well...
  • Yeah, that would probably help some. Biggest problem is the old babbitt pounder is turning a 4:11 rear end. About 55 - 60 MPH is all she's got, and, the 216 doesn't have pressurized rod bearings, she's got oil dippers on her rod caps.

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    I don't really understand the technical nuances that you describe regarding your 216, but it's my understanding that the '53 Stovebolt on Powerglide equipped Chevys, and all '54 Stovebolts eliminated the deficiencies you described. Those later engines were supposed to be excellent, would you agree? Also, it's my impression that at least until the Stovebolt eliminated the old babbit bearings, Plymouth's flathead six was the best engine among the "low-priced 3." How do you feel the Chevy, Ford and Plymouth engines of that era compared?

    Do you have an opinion regarding Ford's OHV I-6, introduced in '52 model cars? I understand that engine could outperform the optional flathead V8. For '54 Ford replaced the flathead V8 with a new OHV V8.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,914
    edited December 2012
    A reporter is looking for any drivers out there who can discuss the creative ways they've tried to keep their car clutter-free. There are so many gadgets, toys for kids, stuff for pets and other goods carried along in vehicles today, and he'd like to know how you manage or organize all these things inside your car. If you think you have helpful tips or ideas, please let us know at by Monday December 24th.
  • oldbearcatoldbearcat Posts: 161
    edited December 2012
    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Yes, I think you're correct - the 53 Powerglide engines had a full pressure bottom end, and, are much better. I also owned a 37 Dodge back in the 60's with the flathead 6 - so I'm familiar with that engine as well. It had some design issues too. It only had 3 main bearings, so if you lugged the engine frequently, you'd pound the main bearings out of it. The flathead engine doesn't breathe as well as the OHV Chevy engine, so it makes a bit less HP/cubic inch displacement, and, is less responsive. Valve adjustments were much more difficult on the flatheads as well. The valve covers were on the side of the engine, and, getting the valves adjusted was difficult. The old Dodge flathead was a long stroke design, just like the Chevys of the day, so both make peak torque at low rpm. From the info I've read about the 216 in my Chevy, if the splash lube setup is set up correctly, its longevity is as good as the Dodge Flathead's. I don't know anything about the Ford 6 - have never messed with one.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,324
    edited December 2012
    I know this will be met with derision by those 'experts' who grudgingly admit they've never sat in one yet ridden or driven in one, but I think most would be surprised how quiet my Cobalt is on the highway, with its fifth gear and lack of wind or road noise. Absolutely more silent than either my coworker's Civic or Matrix. And at would be ocmpelled to try and start it while running. It is that smooth and totally quiet.

    I replaced the tires with the same brand on it new, as part of the "XFE" package, and they are quiet.

    The engine can be a little "thrashy" as you go up the gears, but not offensively so.

    Other than that, our '93 Caprice Classic was probably the quietest car I've owned.

    I can remember riding in a new '77 Caprice Classic. There was a complete absence of sound. It was notably quieter than our same-year Impala...mostly engine sound (Impala didn't have a 'hood blanket').

    Our Malibu is quiet, but at 23K miles seems like the tires are getting noisy. That's another late-day 'enhancement' I don't seem to remember in older cars, unfortunately.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    New Blacktop is pretty quiet. New Concrete, if laid right, is quiet also.

    Chip N Seal roads are not quiet to begin with so buy a Lincoln MKS. :)

    Gravel roads on the way to Alaska are to be avoided in any luxury motorcar.
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