In the summer of 2011, German automotive magazine AUTO BILD conducted a thorough noise study. Out of the vehicles tested, they concluded which were the top 30 quietest and noisiest vehicles respectively in terms of the noise level inside the cabin of the car.
Bear in mind that a decibel rating of the interior noise level does not give you the full picture of the sound experience. The dBA decibel rating does not convey information about the frequency spectrums of the sound, which is something that also directly impacts how you as an individual perceive the noise in a given car.
That’s why it is so important to, after having done some desk research to arrive at a shortlist of interesting cars, go for test drives in your local surroundings and listen with your own ears to decide whether you feel comfortable with the sound or not.
As a support to your ears, do bring a decibel meter/sound meter (get one at Amazon here) so that you can measure the noise level in different parts of the car – by the left side of the head of the driver, the passenger seat and the back seat.
Here goes the list of the Top 30 Quietest Cars according to the AUTO BILD test. The top positions were snagged by the BMW 730d, Jaguar XJ and Audi A8.
|Noise level in decibels (dBA) at different speeds||100 km/h||130 km/h|
|BMW 730d Blue Performance||58||62|
|Jaguar XJ 3.0 V6 Diesel S Luxury||58||63|
|Audi A8 4.2 TDI DPF quattro tiptronic||59||64|
|VW Touareg 4.2 V8 TDI DPF Automatik||59||66|
|Jaguar XF 3.0 V6 Diesel||60||66|
|Audi Q7 3.0 TDI DPF quattro tiptronic||60||63|
|BMW X6 ActiveHybrid||60||65|
|Mercedes R 350 CDI L DPF 4Matic 7G-Tronic||60||65|
|BMW 520d Touring||61||65|
|Mercedes S 400 Hybrid 7G-Tronic||61||66|
|VW Sharan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Comfortline||61||65|
|Audi A4 2.0 TDI DPF Ambition||61||65|
|Saab 9-5 2.0T Aero||61||65|
|Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Tiptronic||62||66|
|Mercedes-Benz E 200 CGI BlueEfficiency Avantgarde||62||66|
|Volvo S60 D3 Summum||62||66|
|BMW 135i Cabrio Automatik||62||68|
|Audi A7 3.0 TDI quattro S tronic||62||69|
|Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI Ecomotive Reference||62||65|
|Citroën C5 HDi 165 FAP Exclusive||62||66|
|Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi DPF Titanium||62||67|
|VW Touran 1.4 TSI Comfortline||62||67|
|Mercedes C 180 T BlueEfficiency Avantgarde||62||70|
|Mercedes-Benz ML 250 BlueTec 4Matic 7G-Tronic||62||71|
|VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI DPF 4Motion DSG Sport & Style||62||67|
|Audi A6 Avant 2.0 TDI DPF||62||67|
|Lexus RX 450h Impression Line||63||70|
|Land Rover Range Rover Sport TDV6||63||66|
|VW Polo 1.2 TSI DSG Highline||63||67|
|BMW X3 xDrive28i Automatik||63||68|
Were you surprised by any of the cars in the list? Which car do you drive?