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I'm debating between a Corolla and the 3... one thing that people praise about the Corolla is that the amount of road noise is quite controlled. I drove a 2002 Civic and couldn't stand the amount of noise generated while on the highway.. whether this was from wheels or the engine or lack of sound proofing, I'm not sure, but I don't want a repeat experience...

How is the lvl of road noise with the 3 ? Did Mazda put in a decent amount of sound proofing material ? And is it on par with the 04 Corolla ?
 

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I've test driven a 3 twice in the last week and I can say the cabin is pretty quiet on the highway. It does not even compare to the extremely loud Civic.
 

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Very quiet. Never drove a Toyota. But the 3 is extremely quiet. And this is comparing it to my 6, which is a very quiet car. :)
 

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I thought there was a lot of wind noise, but the only thing I can compare it to is a honda accord ex, as I have been driving a pickup for years.
 

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The 3 is definitely not an exceptionally quiet car, but it is quiet enough for a compact class vehicle. It really depends on the surface you are driving on. Going over rough concrete can feel like you are in a school bus (a distant yet vivid memory).

What I've noticed is that there are lot of "extraneous" noises in the Mazda3 - noises that don't repeat but are weird. Like this morning, as I was going fairly slowly around a corner, I heard a something that sound like blowing into a beer bottle. Lasted 3 seconds, then gone. A few days ago, I could have sworn that there was a howling wind noise at highway speeds. It lasted a few minutes, then gone.
 

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So far, my 3 has been pretty quiet. For a compact, I think it beats Corollas, Focuses, and Civics when it comes to cabin noise.

I have no problems with city-street or freeway noise.

The only thing, though, I am guilty of is rolling down my window so I can hear my engine rev :) But I only do that if the weather is good.
 

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LeeLee said:
The 3 is definitely not an exceptionally quiet car, but it is quiet enough for a compact class vehicle. It really depends on the surface you are driving on. Going over rough concrete can feel like you are in a school bus (a distant yet vivid memory).

What I've noticed is that there are lot of "extraneous" noises in the Mazda3 - noises that don't repeat but are weird. Like this morning, as I was going fairly slowly around a corner, I heard a something that sound like blowing into a beer bottle. Lasted 3 seconds, then gone. A few days ago, I could have sworn that there was a howling wind noise at highway speeds. It lasted a few minutes, then gone.
I would have to agree with LeeLee. The 3 is adequate in quietness when it comes to road noise. I have the HB and the 17" wheels with low-profiles can stir up some noise on rougher roads, however my stereo is always on (volume level 9) and that usually dampens out the noise. My previous 99' Accord EX with leather and all the goodies had more noise than the 3. Plus, the engine on the 3 is much quieter than the 4 banger Accord.

At highway speeds, the 3 is pretty quiet but wind noise is slightly noticeable. Again, if your radio is on...you will hardly even notice it at all. With all due respect, the Mazda 3 is considered a "sport compact" vehicle...but the way it handles and the amenties offered on it would suggest that the vehicle be in a higher class. At the same token, the Mazda 3 is not a Lexus in the "quietness" department :) .

Spencer
 

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It's pretty good overall for quietness, certainly a step up from my previous Protege5 at any rate. I'd say that for noise levels the tires make more noise than the wind does on the highway but that's just my impression of it, I find tire noise more distracting or annoying than wind noise because it tends to drone. This is something I've found in most vehicles I've owned. My 97 SHO was a very quiet car but the only thing that bugged me was the road noise from the RSAs I had on that car.
 

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Yup

Road noise is subdued for anything under 120km/h. After that the road noise is quite noticeable. Pretty good for an econobox. Doesn't have anything on my Camry, but eh - Lexus-based cabins are usually really quiet anyway.

Tire thing is for certain. The 17" RSA's can stir up quite a racket on rougher surfaces. The smoothest tires I've "heard" so far are Michelin Harmony's on a 2003 Civic Si (Canadian). Without those tires on it before, ouch - way too loud. Curious that the tire name suggests something about noise.

Leelee is quite correct about the "weird" sounds. I'll hear strange creaks and rattles. In my area though, when it's -16 Celcius I'm not surprised. When it warms up, almost nothing is noisy.
 

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Yeah under 100km/h it's pretty good really. Our highways around Calgary are all 110 km/h so you're going 120 quite often, probably why I notice it. ;)
 

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The only way you are going to really decide is if you do some test driving. I have the 16 inch wheels and the car is very quiet :D . My father in-law has also bought an mz3 (hatchback) with the 17 inch wheels (he decided not to go with the Accord as usual
) and it is definitely louder. Don't get me wrong his car is still pretty quiet, but not as quiet as the same car with 16incher.
You also have to consider between the 2 body styles: the sedan is more quiet than the hatchback.
 

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[QUOTE}You also have to consider between the 2 body styles: the sedan is more quiet than the hatchback.[/QUOTE]

I suppose you have factual evidence to that fact then? I can see the differences in tire design making differences in noise levels but I'd like to see where being a sedan or a hatchback makes one that much noiser than the other outside of the rear door which is awfully far back to make that much of a difference, especially with the seats up and cargo covers in.
 

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Here's a simple experiment, have you ever been in a house were there was a door separating 2 rooms. Now remove the door to open up the space and you will notice sound travel easier from room to room. Trunks isolate sound better because they are a separate compartment from the cabin. In a hatchback the trunk is open to the cabin, all you really have separating the 2 is a filmsy cargo cover. Go out and try diff. model car of the same make (sedan, hatchback or wagon) and listen to the difference. Do not compare the mz3 to an volvo wagon, this is not realistic, there is so much more sound insulation in it. Only compare Mazda to Mazda ( compact) or Honda to Honda (compact).
 

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True, Hatchbacks/Wagons/SUVs are generally louder than their sedan counterparts. There's no isolation from noise generated in the cargo area, like there is in the sedan...

Of course, wheel size and the type of tires go a long way towards making the cabin quieter ot louder.

How's the wind noise when it comes to driving on the highway?
 

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I test drove the Corolla S a couple weeks ago, and from what I remember, the cabin noise is much better in the 3. There was also a week in between test drives, and I had to drive in the howling wind yesterday in the 3, so my opinions might not be 100% accurate.

I do notice that its fairly hard to hear the engine while you're driving and have music on at any decent level. This is my first sports tranny car, and I look down sometimes and notice I should have shifted about 5-10 mph ago but can't hear the engine screaming at me to shift :)
 

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I have test driven both versions of the Mz3 and the hatch is just a little bit noisier than the sedan but it isn't that noticealbe. Its true that in the hatch, the trunk is literally open to the rest of the cabin, reducing sound insulation from the trunk area. The sedan's trunk compartment is enclosed apart from the cabin and noise is better insulated due to the compartilization.
 

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it seems quiet to me, maybe its the tweeters.
the stereo sounds like its coming from in front of you....this takes away from the wind noise

in my 99camry, the music sounds like its coming from your feet, and the wind noise comes from above...so wind noise is much more noticible in that car
 

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Hatch-backs are noisier than sedans for a very simple reason: hatch-backs have a larger cabin. The larger cabin results in a lower fundamental frequency which is closer to the frequencies of mechanical vibrations and tire noises. Thus the larger cabin resonates more. Thus it is louder. Fortunately, this means subs are louder in a hatch as well, which is why SUV and VANs make the best SPL vehicles aside from having mo' space for subs and amps. Tap on an empty can of soup. Then tap on a larger empty can of soup.
 

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Hatch drivers, you can always insulate the trunk by stuffing a towel or some equivalent material where the spare sits. Also there is an opening that can be accessed where the jack is, where more foam can be stuffed. There are many simple techniques that can be done to reduce sound in your vehicle. Try it and let us know if there's a difference.
 

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I really don't notice any significant noise other than the tires so again I don't find it to be an issue. I understand the compartmentalization arguement but what I'm saying is that the difference in noise is pretty darn negligable between the 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch, at least IMO.
 
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