Driving a car should be about comfort. It should be about feeling the road, sinking into your seat, and enjoying the journey. That would, of course, be the ideal world, where the goal is not getting there but appreciating everything along away.
But this is not the ideal world. We have places to be, things to do, and not enough hours in the day for it all. That may seem disappointing, but it’s more of a call to action. It’s a call to make the most out of what we’re given. If we can only worry about the destination, then we have to take every step we can to make the journey as perfect as it can possibly be.
Create harmony where time is given. Force ourselves to take a step back and reflect.
You can’t have harmony without silence. Can’t relax on a long trip when all you can hear is the grinding of the road, the rush of the wind, or the roaring of the engine. So when it comes to it, and it’s time to find that moment of peace on wheels, you need to find one of the quietest cars available.
How We Choose Our Cars
The foremost statistical factor that dictates exactly how much sound permeates and disrupts the interior of the car is referred to as NVH – noise, vibration, and harshness. The entirety of the road environment determines how quiet a car can be.
The sources that determine what constitutes NVH fall under three categories: aerodynamic, mechanical, or electrical. Anything that can make noise, such as wind, you car engine, or an alternator, are examples of their respective measures of NVH.
The end goal of a quiet car is do do everything possible to dampen, negate, or absorb the noise generated by these sources.
When we choose our quietest cars, we look at a select number of qualities that make them stand out.
- Low NVH: The gold standard of a quiet car is determined by the NVH level. The more a vehicle is adapted to deal with noise, the better of a ride it will provide. For comparison, any decibel level below 70 that a car’s occupants will hear is considered good.
- Comfort: The purpose of a quiet car is to maximize its occupants’ relaxation on the road. However, a quiet car can’t do its job properly if the interior is an uncomfortable mess. Everything about the car’s interior, from the seats to the amenities, needs to work towards a better experience.
- Quality: A comfortable car isn’t worth much if it can’t stand the test of time. The more wear and tear a vehicle sustains, the more noise it’ll generate. Any car that prides itself on its quietness needs to be able to sustain that quality for years without losing its reliability.
Quiet cars have a standard to maintain. They will lose their function if they can’t provide peace. Thankfully, everything you’ll find on this list has proven to live up to the challenge set before them and impress upon the market a reliably high-quality driving experience.
Here Are the Top 8 Quietest Cars
You’ll find that the gold standard of the quietest cars are maintained by luxury vehicles. There should be no surprise there, but even so we will be providing their affordability as well to help inform your final decision.
This car is top-of-the-line, an S-class vehicle that distinguishes itself on every level of performance. With an NVH level measuring at 61 dBA to the driver’s ear, you could hear a pin drop in the back seat going 60 on the highway. The car’s aerodynamic design, combined with laminated windows and creatively applied insulation materials, reduce external noise sources to a minimum.
Of course, there’s no debating the comfort of a luxury vehicle. The dashboard is designed with a driver’s every convenience in mind, to help coax your car onward. The air vents are even designed to minimize any generated noise. And, of course, the seats. High-quality material, designed to support the human body of any shape or size, there’s no arguing that you’ll sink into these chairs.
The soft lull of an engine is perhaps the hallmark of a good car. Even better than a soft lull is none at all, or the next best thing to it. The Audi A8 is the latest in the line of the line of Audi cars, and provides a heightened luxurious experience. When it comes to the road, it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going, you’ll hardly notice the sound of the outside world.
If nothing else, the cabin is designed to lessen the roughness of the road. The vehicle feature air suspension, which provides an entirely smooth ride for all occupants. Plus, if it’s space you’re worried about, you’ll have no want of legroom with this car.
Tesla Model S
Of course an electric car is going to have a place here, but there are no other electric cars that stand to the same performance level the Tesla Model S can. At a leisurely NVH level of 65 dBA, the Model S will have more of a purr than an engine roar. Due to being an electric engine, virtually any mechanical sourced noise is completely done away with. The most you’ll hear is the wind rushing past.
And, of course, the Model S is designed for your personal comfort among all other things. The electric nature of its engine negates the usual combustion-centric rumble, providing an ultimately smooth ride in supportive seats and a controlled, casual atmosphere.
We’ve examined the viability of both an electric and a regular gas powered car, but what about hybrids? The Toyota Prius has made its name on the car market for years, but is it that valuable, ever-quiet car you’re looking for?
It certainly may be. The Toyota Prius is a hybrid between an electric and gasoline powered vehicle. A sought after car much like this provides a mixture of both the environmental appeal and the power of a fossil fueled car. And if you’re concerned about the noise, don’t worry. The Prius is among the quietest cars out there, due to the electric parts of it’s designed. The most you’ll notice is the faint, electric hum of the car.
The interior, meanwhile, is a soft, almost refined vehicle for the passengers. While the car itself is a bit small, so that taller passengers may find themselves a bit constrained, the mass average will find themselves in a perfectly suited environment.
But here’s the real value: the Prius prides itself on a smooth, quiet ride, much like a luxury vehicle, but is more than half the price. It may not have the bells and whistles, but what are those compared to gliding along the highway?
The Lexus LS follows in the footsteps of its forebears: luxury at no cost to the consumer – think of it as an investment. The Lexus itself has a history of noise reduction dating back decades. The vehicular designers spared no expense in making the Lexus LS as quiet as possible. Much like its predecessors, the Lexus LS makes the trip nigh silent, save for the faint sounds of the engine and road, almost like they were miles away.
Of course, what’s a luxury car without a luxury interior? The car is designed to absorb, negate, and remove all manner of sound from either exterior or interior sources. With an interior designed for the occupants’ maximum comfort in mind, this is a vehicle that embraces both function and security.
The Genesis G90 is what you may call… an athletic luxury vehicle. For being fairly new to the luxury scene, it’s making a stand-out performance. It’s designed to appeal to every one of your senses, providing an absolutely wonderful sensation to every one of your sense. However, none more of these does it appeal more to than your ears, to your very being.
The Genesis G90 employ sound dampening technology at the most important parts of the car, designed to absorb and negate every possible source of external noise. Even the glass is meant to fortify the vehicle’s passengers from unwanted noise. With a rigid frame and a purposefully low-noise fuel pump, this car will provide a smooth, soundless trip to wherever you go.
When it comes to luxury-class vehicles, the Genesis G90 is a fantastic choice when it comes to being the most affordable, valued options available when it comes to a compromise between performance and cost.
Buick has a reputation for designing the quietest cars. With a history of smooth, well-operated vehicles, Buick does nothing if not live of it its reputation. The Buick Lacrosse can certainly count itself among the quietest cars on the market, at worst suffering from a very faint sound of wind. This, of course, is more than made up for from the quality of its engine, wheels, and overall low NVH.
As for the interior, you don’t need for fret over its luxury. The seats, both front and back, are supportive and designed for human comfort. The doors are triple-sealed, to remove even more external noise sources. With plenty of space, effective air conditioning, and the smooth roll of the car over the highway, you won’t want for anything else.
Not only does it perform admirably, it can compete with any luxury vehicle when it comes to quality, efficiency, and price.
The current generation of Honda Accord is a little bit of a different beast in comparison to its previous generations. For the most important part, however, when it comes to NVH, the Accord performs among the best. Quiet, smooth, and supremely enjoyable, the Honda Accord is a breeze on the road. Among its many appliances, the Accord has specialized mounts to absorb vibration, a hood blanket to absorb engine noise, and plastic and foam sheeting to further dampen noise.
The Accord prides itself on its high-quality steel that not only strengthens the vehicle, but also improves noise-cancelling performance. It may not technically be a luxury car, but it performs just as well at a competitive price. Even the wheels aid the effort to negate overall noise.
What To Look For When Finding A Quiet Car
The quietest cars are, most of the time, going to boil down to matter of affordability and preference. While a Tesla may be a very good car, you might prefer an Accord more for its sturdy design and straightforward sensibility.
Whatever your preference may be, they don’t change that there are going to be a few select criteria to look for in whatever car you want.
- Low NVH
You want the quietest car possible that also fits you like a glove. The car needs to suit you before all else, because even the highest quality car may not be the one that defines who you are.