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Old 4th October 2022, 14:09   #1
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Default Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

Hello Petrolheads!

I'm glad to be a part of the Team-BHP community. I'm searching for the right car in the compact SUV segment and have a slightly odd requirement that neither the Google nor the reviews could help with hence I'm posting here in hopes of having direct opinions from the owners of the shortlisted cars.

A little about me:
I am a Non Resident Indian staying primarily in London. I'm an entrepreneur and I visit my home in India 3-4 times a year. So effectively, I spend half of the time here and the rest half traveling across Europe.

Requirement:
I'm looking for a compact SUV to accompany me during my stay at home in India. I have a medical condition (Hyperacusis) where everyday sounds seem much louder than they should. This makes me prefer a car that scores high when it comes to a quiet cabin.

Please note it's not just the NVH levels I'm referring to. It's the regular noise of streets, vehicles, and (most disturbing) the HONKING in India that is painful for me. I've been into European cars here and they have such a beautifully silent cabin, coupled with the fact that people rarely honk here, which makes me forget my condition but whenever I'm back to India, the torture starts. So much that I have to avoid getting out whenever I'm at home and I would like to change it.

Possible Contenders:
All compact SUVs in India: Venue, Sonet, XUV 300, Brezza, Nexon under the budget of 15 Lacs INR (On Road).

-
I'm aware what I'm asking for is usually reserved for the high-end brand/segments and the cars in the higher price range always offer the best cabin silence. However, there must be some "least worst" among all in the CSUV segment. The owners of these cars, can you please share your experience pertaining to the noise levels in the cabin?

I also know we can enhance the soundproofing using custom modifications in doors and other places and I would consider them, but buying a car with the best level of silence is the right way to begin.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

PS: A small humble suggestion to the review team - if you people can start mentioning the cabin silence factor too while reviewing a new car, that'd be really helpful for a lot of buyers like me.
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Old 5th October 2022, 02:26   #2
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

I would suggest you to take a test drive of the mentioned vehicles for better judgement, as noise isolation is the major criteria.

However, as per my experience below would be my preference in order, when it comes to noise isolation -

Venue / Sonet
XUV 300
Brezza
Nexon
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Old 5th October 2022, 06:58   #3
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

Fistly, I too am quite keen on getting a car with least NVH, road and tyre noise, having driven almost all compact (sub 4 metre) SUVs under the 20 lakh OTR , I would firstly like to suggest you go for an EV, there is nothing more silent than an EV. However if range anxiety and charging are a problem, then among ICE cars, Hyundai and Kia are the best when it comes to NVH. So the Sonet and Venue would be the pick of the lot. The Brezza with its 4-cylinder N.A. motor is also a quiet cruiser, the XUV300 would be the next pick and finally the Nexon.

Do take test drives on all the possible contenders before finalizing!
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Old 5th October 2022, 07:24   #4
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

This is the elusive nirvana that I have always been seeking, always found less than desirable sound proofing in our Indian compact cars.

One thing that I have started making up my mind for is an EV, at least that's one variable that has a bearing on cabin sound.

In the past, I have used the sound meter app during test drives, so I could suggest you to use that during your research. While the app may not be perfecly calibrated, but can be useful for relative comparison.
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Old 5th October 2022, 08:30   #5
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

A simple and effective solution, get yourself a pair of good quality sound cancelling (it does have a technical name) headfone, this should solve your problems by more than 90%.

.
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Old 5th October 2022, 09:45   #6
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit View Post

I also know we can enhance the soundproofing using custom modifications in doors and other places and I would consider them, but buying a car with the best level of silence is the right way to begin.
While cars of all types, variations, engine specs, interiors are available, choosing something based on the silence and calm it provides and compromising on the other aspects that one can't install aftermarket might not be the correct way to go.
Instead, choose what drives according to your desire, what interiors and seating type suits you, and just get it dampened aftermarket.
Best solution IMO
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Old 5th October 2022, 11:28   #7
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

Test it out for yourself. For someone used to daily noises it may be silent but not for you. If you have an Apple Watch then you can use the inbuilt db meter to check the noise levels. It is much better to have an objective number rather than going by a subjective perception of noise.
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Old 5th October 2022, 12:45   #8
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

During my test drives, I felt the S-cross cabin as the best insulated from city traffic noise. On the highways though, the lack of a 6th gear is apparent with the engine roar at 3000 rpm.

You could also look at the subscription options of the Germans if that makes sense for the shorter periods you are in India.
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Old 5th October 2022, 20:17   #9
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

I would recommend Venue + sound deadening post purchase. I had major road noise issues in 2016 having moved back from UK after 12+ years. Had bought Verna then and got 3M sound proofing done, it was quite effective. Generally Hyundai cars have low NVH levels and sound proofing makes it even better.
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Old 5th October 2022, 22:43   #10
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bijims View Post
Fistly, I too am quite keen on getting a car with least NVH, road and tyre noise, having driven almost all compact (sub 4 metre) SUVs under the 20 lakh OTR , I would firstly like to suggest you go for an EV, there is nothing more silent than an EV. However if range anxiety and charging are a problem, then among ICE cars, Hyundai and Kia are the best when it comes to NVH. So the Sonet and Venue would be the pick of the lot. The Brezza with its 4-cylinder N.A. motor is also a quiet cruiser, the XUV300 would be the next pick and finally the Nexon.

Do take test drives on all the possible contenders before finalizing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajayc123 View Post
This is the elusive nirvana that I have always been seeking, always found less than desirable sound proofing in our Indian compact cars.

One thing that I have started making up my mind for is an EV, at least that's one variable that has a bearing on cabin sound.

In the past, I have used the sound meter app during test drives, so I could suggest you to use that during your research. While the app may not be perfecly calibrated, but can be useful for relative comparison.
Thank you both. However please note that my concern is more about the street noise, rather than car's NVH. The NVH levels are manageable but in my current swift ZXI, when I stop at a signal and some dude honks his pressure horn right next to my window, I start feeling like banging my head.

That's the thing I want to prevent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinod_nair View Post
A simple and effective solution, get yourself a pair of good quality sound cancelling (it does have a technical name) headfone, this should solve your problems by more than 90%.

I do have noise cancelling earphones and headphones from Sony and Sennheiser respectively, which I use when walking in the streets. However I can't put them on while sitting for hours in the car.

.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cryptarchy View Post
Test it out for yourself. For someone used to daily noises it may be silent but not for you. If you have an Apple Watch then you can use the inbuilt db meter to check the noise levels. It is much better to have an objective number rather than going by a subjective perception of noise.
DB meter would show the regular noise which is NVH. To test two cars in the "real life street scenario" would be tricky as we would need to have two cars at the same time on the same street to gauge. Hence asking the owner's opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pras99 View Post
I would recommend Venue + sound deadening post purchase. I had major road noise issues in 2016 having moved back from UK after 12+ years. Had bought Verna then and got 3M sound proofing done, it was quite effective. Generally Hyundai cars have low NVH levels and sound proofing makes it even better.
Thanks bud. Can you tell me more about the 3M soundproofing as to what all they do, and how much it costed you?
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Old 5th October 2022, 22:54   #11
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

If you are open to 2 major compromises (sedan instead of CSUV, and pre-owned instead of new), please read on.

Toyota Yaris highest variant was sold with Acoustic and Vibration Control glass, which reduced road noise by a good deal. It was obviously not a hot-selling car, but might just fit into your use-case. Also, Toyota's age really well. So, if you feel it worth pursuing, you can test-drive some models at any Toyota Pre-Owned outlet, and see if it floats your boat.

Last edited by Caffeinated : 5th October 2022 at 23:23.
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Old 5th October 2022, 23:22   #12
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

I understand where you're coming from. Hyperacusis and Tinnitus are the worst kinds of hearing disorders - an absolute nightmare for musicians. Hyperacusis varies from person to person, yours seems to be mainly triggered by loud sounds. Unfortunately, we have a 'Horn Ok Please' driving culture where even two wheelers come retrofitted with Bosch twin-horns. About which car- I doubt you'll find any significance difference in noise levels while using any of the models at this price range. EVs should, in theory, be the better choice. My ICE pick would be a used Tucson 2L Diesel AT. Besides dampening, tyre noise is also something you ought to take into consideration.

Now you could use a combination of either foam plugs, ear muffs or ANC earphones while driving. But since the most dangerous driving antics & traffic violations are justified and equally retaliated with aggressive honking, you simply cannot expect to be driving safe here without being alert about the horns and sirens at any given time.

I've read that listening to pink noise or talking/ listening to a co-passenger helps alleviate the symptoms for some. Other suggestions include avoiding peak traffic hours as much as possible and taking the longer and lesser crowded route to your destination. Hope you find what you're looking for.
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Old 6th October 2022, 18:38   #13
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

1. While discussing music equipment, we say that people hear differently. Of course that is more do to with nuances etc, but this is true for many situations. Considering your hearing is quite different from the average person, I'd say that your purpose might best be served by test driving yourself.

2. Please try and take long test drives. I took a second round of TDs which were at least an hour long, and some of my initial impressions changed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit View Post
... I'm aware what I'm asking for is usually reserved for the high-end brand/segments and the cars in the higher price range always offer the best cabin silence.
3. I agree here, and considering this, it might not be a bad idea to consider pre-owned vehicles from a higher segment. Some basic notes on NVH in the SUVs I tried in this post: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/suvs-...ml#post5322625 (Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700, Kicks, Scorpio N)
Some also in the following posts.

Quote:
I also know we can enhance the soundproofing using custom modifications in doors and other places and I would consider them, but buying a car with the best level of silence is the right way to begin.
4. Considering the above, cars could also be checked from the perspective of they being friendly towards such mods.

5. Once you have a pointed shortlist, you could go through threads and ask owners about the deterioration of cars in terms of NVH over time.

Wish you all the best to find something workable in the mayhem we have on road sounds.

Last edited by Poitive : 6th October 2022 at 18:47. Reason: Refinement.
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Old 7th October 2022, 07:46   #14
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

Mahindra had the Marazzo, which has rather good noise isolation. We have one in the family and I distinctly remember of how we locked our little cousin inside for fun and were shocked at the fact that no amount of screaming and crying inside was audible outside even if I stand next to the door. I believe they did some marketing about the same.

It's another matter that I got an earful after letting her out in 5 mins LOL.

It's only available pre-owned now as it got discontinued last year or so and it's an MUV unless you're very specific on compact SUVs
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Old 7th October 2022, 08:06   #15
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Default Re: Which Compact-SUV wins in the soundproofing department?

I would suggest the following

1. Go for a EV, it would be far more silent than ICE. Go for higherend which will have better NVH.

2. From day one get a michilin or similar tyres, which are known for lower road noise. (Rs. 15+ K with swap of new tyres)

3. Get sound proofing done (Budget around Rs.40+K), cover wheel wells, doors, floor, trunk and roof.
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