Road Noise - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited July 2014 in Mazda
imageRoad Noise - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test conducts a long-term test of a 2014 Mazda 3 and reports on its excessive road noise, as observed during a freeway road trip.

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  • ha_mazdaha_mazda Member Posts: 1

    I have owned the car for about 5 months and that is the only complain I have, the damn road noise. Also the new Mazda Connect System which is rather finicky and has died on me twice already with the latest one requiring an update. Other than that its a very fine car.

  • cgrocho47cgrocho47 Member Posts: 12
    edited July 2014

    Have you compared the road noise to the 3i with the 16in wheels/60 series tires? We have that one, and road noise is not an issue. I've heard other complaints about those tires on the 3s, I'd be interested to see if a tire swap would improve the situation.

  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599

    And this, I think, is one of the key answers to the question, "why don't Americans buy hatchbacks and wagons?" This bodystyle, by definition, invites all the noise from the rear wheels and suspension into the cabin and provides a nice chamber above for resonance. The same is true for SUVs and CUVs but we accept it there. We like our cars quiet. The noise can be overcome with insulation and maybe some technology but the sedan will always be quieter.

  • pg123456789pg123456789 Member Posts: 11

    It's usually the tyres. I have summer tyres on my car and depending on the road surface it can be very quiet or very noisy. Engine and wind noise minimal. The newly paved roads provide a quiet run, but if the surface reveals exposed the pitted concrete, cracks or coarseness underneath (as the surface wears) it almost resonates and can be really irritating and tiresome (no pun intended). Usually, the rear wheel arches are felt-lined to reduce this, but noise cancellation may help as well. You could get a quiet tyre but it would be at the expense of grip and performance, or you could lobby your state government to resurface roads.

  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 171

    I agree that if it is noisy, it is likely exacerbated by the tire tread pattern and possibly the 45-series profile. The s is also heavier than the i and may have different suspension calibration. I've had about six different brands/models of 17" 50-series tires on my 2007 Mazda6 and the road noise has varied significantly between them. Driving on the same stretch of I-79 in SW Pa as well as local roads, a Mazda3 i Touring 5-door (with 60-series 16" tires) was virtually silent--quieter than my Mazda6 in any circumstances; while a Ford Focus SE 5-door (with 50-series 17" tires) was uncomfortably noisy--one of the few cars I've ever driven where the road noise was apparent over the stereo at my typical volume. Unless the rear parcel shelf has been removed, there is no reason for it to be noisier than the 4-door--except with the rear seat down, in which case the sedan would be just as noisy. And Americans seem perfectly happy to buy SUVs and CUVs, many of which lack the optional cargo cover.

  • cx7lovercx7lover Member Posts: 90
    edited July 2014

    Turn on the BOSE sound system! It's near tops in this class.

  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    edited July 2014
    • It is a combination of lack of sound deadening, (probably some engineering on the way the suspension is setup for noise transfer) and those tires are pure evil. Our P5 came with the same ones and I hated driving it any distance. I added tons of sound deadening everywhere I could in the car and it helped a little bit but not much. Finally when we put a set of Continental DWS tires on it made a world of difference. Suddenly we could carry on a conversation at freeway speeds and driving for a couple of hours didn't fatigue me anymore. It was a completely different car and still handled great.
    • Our CX-5 wasn't bad for noise until I wore out the original tires and went with cheaper P7s (everyone in the reviews raved about how quiet they were) and now it is terrible. Mazda actually did a good job sourcing the A23 tires on it.
    • Due to the poor NVH engineering and lacking sound deadening the sound levels in Mazdas seem to be really affected by the tires.
    • I'd love to see a long term test try a tire swap and measure before and after noise. When the online tire place compares their tires they tend to run them on BMWs so noise probably isn't as huge of a factor.
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    edited July 2014

    @bc1960 said:
    Unless the rear parcel shelf has been removed, there is no reason for it to be noisier than the 4-door

    The rear parcel shelves tend to be much larger than the little area in front of the window in a sedan. I would think a lot more noise would transfer through there. In either setup the seats would absorb a fair amount but you do get a much more open to the cabin echo chamber in a hatchback and that thin cargo cover isn't going to do much more than resonate the sound right on through.

    @legacygt said:
    This bodystyle, by definition, invites all the noise from the rear wheels and suspension into the cabin

    On my CX-5 I pulled both rear side panels and all the flooring out and added sound deadening throughout the back area and it helped a noticeable amount. Although the biggest area of improvement was adding it to the small area where the wheel well protrudes right next to the rear seats. Popping that plastic loose and adding stick on deadening to the metal and then filling the open area as completely as possible with mass loaded vinyl did wonders.

  • dgcamerodgcamero Member Posts: 148

    My GTI had a lot of road noise on the OEM ContiProContacts, was unbearable on Sumitomo AS P-01s, and is very quiet on the current Nitto Motivos.

  • glossgloss Member Posts: 150

    I used to drive a 2003 Protege and currently drive a Fiesta ST, so perhaps I've grown numb to this particular fault.

  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580

    @gloss said:
    I used to drive a 2003 Protege and currently drive a Fiesta ST, so perhaps I've grown numb to this particular fault.

    It largely depends on where you drive. On back roads and around town our P5 with the stock tires was great. Get on the freeway for 3 or 4 hours and it wasn't much fun. Drive with the windows down and it was great as the wind noise drowned out the road noise but on 100 degree or rainy days the sound would leave me feeling worn out after an hour or so and around 3 hours I'd have the feeling of still moving when we stopped. Sadly for Mazda the right tires fixed all that so they probably lost a lot of owners by putting those tires on them.

  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89

    2010 Mazdas have the same issue. I drive the speed 3 version as well and I would be the first to admit the wife's xc 90 is a lot more comfortable on the ears for a road trip. Mind you the road noise seems to help put baby to sleep so it's not all bad. Of course when baby's in the car I can't drive it like I stole it.

    All said if they do reduce the nose it would make the car a better seller. And it doesn't have to be heavy if clever engineering is done right. I think the issue is that it's not a priority for them to spend money on. If you want zoom zoom you are likely willing to put up with a bit more noise anyhow.

  • glossgloss Member Posts: 150

    I took many a road trip in that ol' girl. It was definitely loud, but I guess I was still at the age where just turning up the (meager) stereo was an appropriate salve. Loved that car. Was always jealous of P5 owners, though. That is still a great looking hatchback.

  • mlin32mlin32 Member Posts: 35

    I have one on order due Week 33/34 and plan to put a set of proper summer tires on it as soon as I get it. I'll see if that mitigates the road noise because I did notice the road noise levels being on the high side on my test drives, and NC actually has good roads so it isn't so much a pavement factor.

  • ex_tdierex_tdier Member Posts: 277

    Mazda really skimped out on many basic features with the 3. Mazdas, historically were never ever a quiet vehicle. There is no glove box light, there is no lighted driver mirror, window, and door lock controls. The tiny side mirror signal is almost an insult Look at the other cars on the market, it's quite huge and very noticeable. Mazda3 has seemingly chronic issues with their infotainment and they can't get the firmware updates to fix problems without causing new ones down pat. Mazda is really a poor man's Lexus and one should not expect a lot from this car. Let's see what improvements Mazda does for 2015? However, I dont expect major improvements until the latter half of 2016 or 2017.

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