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View Poll Results: How much premium would you pay for a quieter car?
Silence is golden - I don't mind shelling out for it 184 47.67%
Nice to have - maybe a 5-10k premium for this? 160 41.45%
Turn up the music or ignore it - won't pay for silence 42 10.88%
Voters: 386. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 1st February 2020, 12:53   #1
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Default Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

A good friend of mine sent me a link today, on a novel initiative by Mumbai police - a signal that makes you wait more if you honk. The article has received a lot of media coverage -

https://www.indiatoday.in/trending-n...032-2020-01-31

This got me thinking; despite such initiatives, I doubt we will see any reduction in honking any time soon. The solution if you drive a car, is to opt for a quieter car, one with better sound insulation. I think a quieter car has tangible benefits - lowering my stress while driving and helping me drive safely. On the flip side, you do need some sound feedback while driving. What does the community here feel?

@Mods - can we start rating cars on sound insulation in teambhp reviews? Would love to have 2 measurements - ambient sound in dB, and in-cabin sound in dB. I believe this is easy to do via a sound level meter or a smartphone app.

Last edited by spiritofmars : 1st February 2020 at 12:59.
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Old 1st February 2020, 13:25   #2
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Provided after sales, performance and all other factors etc are the same, i have absolutely no issues shelling out a max of 30-40k for a car that is noticeably more refined and quiet.

As for the message to mods, this is something i thought of suggesting to mods. Cars nowadays carry a lot of expectations and refinement and NVH is one of the most important. I think the NVH should be measured in future reviews and it should be an important factor for future car reviews.
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Old 1st February 2020, 13:33   #3
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Absolutely would pay more, without a doubt. Mumbai is extremely noisy, not half a second goes by before you hear someone aimlessly honking or a distasteful Royal Enfield thumping away right by your window.

Silence and refinement make a big difference when you have a long commute. A quieter car = less stress.
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Old 1st February 2020, 13:38   #4
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Reasons I want a quieter car and won't mind paying more:

1. Parents often doze off during the longer drives, so music up is not an ideal solution. That and rattle buckets will wake up anyone.

2. Its harder to talk on the phone in a noisy car. I use the car bluetooth and the lack of noise cancellations means complaints from the other side if the car is too loud.

3. Over the years, at least in India, people have really cheapened the "loud car = powerful" thing with absolutely horrid exhaust mufflers or similar aftermarket things. I don't want my new ride to be associated with that.

4. Loud cars also carry the negative connotation of careless maintenance and worse performance, especially during resale scenarios. I know, its not actually true in all situations but that's how many in the market see it.
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Old 1st February 2020, 17:23   #5
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Measuring insulation is not going to be as easy as using a measuring device. There will have to be conditions that are equal for all cars measured, in terms of ambient noise levels, pitch, tone and type. Also the driving conditions will greatly affect the result, for example my car is super quiet at idle and gradual acceleration, but becomes noisy when revved (not in a nice way).

Some cars could be inherently noisier but have better insulation, and may come at par with others that are quieter but poorly insulated. They may score the same in a test in quiet areas, but wouldn’t in noisier environments.

Noise may be subjective too, because people react differently to different kinds of noise. I think in general a car can be subjectively rated as quiet or otherwise, but it would be difficult to quantify it numerically.
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Old 1st February 2020, 17:48   #6
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Voted for "Turn up the music or ignore it - won't pay for silence".

I've had an Innova for 13 years and it is VERY noisy. I guess I've so become attached to the loud engine and non-existent insulation that I feel empty in cars which have good insulation.
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Old 1st February 2020, 19:37   #7
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

being a diesel-head, I want that hum of a diesel. But not so quiet that I dont know what is happening outside. Somebody may be honking to tell me something, an ambulance coming up from behind, even some sound from one's own vehicle .. there are many reasons why total silence is not good.

Voted nice to have. Quieter, but not too quiet.
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Old 1st February 2020, 21:07   #8
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Silence is good to have would pay some premium for it surely. But I don't think I can shell out just for the sake of it. So I voted the middle option.

I feel pin drop silence is also deafening. Psychologically I need some sound and vibrations to gauge movement. Else visuals move and body doesn't get feed back, there is something amiss.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 1st February 2020 at 21:10.
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Old 1st February 2020, 21:32   #9
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

I never realized the importance of a silent car till I bought Yaris. Before Yaris, I had driven i10 and Santro and thought nothing could be done in a car to have a quiet cabin. In Yaris, tire noise is not cut-off completely, but traffic noise is cut-off to a large extent. Family loves the silent cabin and have become addictive to it and I can even take office calls without outside noise interference.


Will we Indians pay for it? It appears Toyota learnt that we don't give much importance to it and hence removed the Acoustic & Vibration Control Glass from all variants except top end VX variant.

Last edited by Simhi : 1st February 2020 at 21:33. Reason: grammar
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Old 1st February 2020, 22:13   #10
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

I voted for nice to have even though I feel it's golden. But not willing to shell out a huge amount for it. Yea 5-10k additional is good enough to get a quiet cabin.

Whether it can be achieved in 10k is a different question.
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Old 2nd February 2020, 00:50   #11
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Among mainstream brands, Hyundai has an uncanny ability to make noticeably "quiet cars", especially models priced above Rs. 10 Lakhs. Inside the cabin, you hear less engine, tyre and wind noise at highway cruising speeds when compared to its competitors. And no, this is not something new - even their 10 year old models (Eg: 1st gen Hyundai verna) were pretty quiet at cruising speeds.

Last edited by SmartCat : 2nd February 2020 at 00:52.
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Old 2nd February 2020, 12:56   #12
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Default re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

While I voted for the silence is golden option, I don't think it should be an optional thing for manufacturers to charge extra. For a particular car there should not be an option that -ok, if you want better insulation, then pay extra. Should be a given considering the levels of noise pollution in our country. The engine noise is just one aspect of it.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 07:54   #13
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

I think this "premium" is already in place, informally. I have noticed that, the more expensive the car, the better its overall NVH package usually is.

It doesn't bother me personally as I listen to my music pretty loud. All the unwanted sounds are automatically drowned out .
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Old 3rd February 2020, 08:07   #14
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

I have voted for 'Silence is Golden- I dont mind shelling out for it'. Of course assuming all else will be equal.

On my long journeys I have sensed that a quieter cabin translates into a more relaxing drive for the driver as well as the passengers.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 09:05   #15
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Default Re: Premium for quieter cars with superior sound insulation?

Well, voted for the second option as that is the closest to my opinion. I like silence inside my car, I don't listen to music and I get irritated with a rattle here and a squeak there. However, the car has to tick other boxes also along with a good level of NVH. So, all things being equal I will shell out a small premium for a quieter cabin.
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