Auto Stories

Noisy Driving


We recently bought a Subaru Forester and it’s perfect for our needs. I like almost everything about it, except for how noisy it is. Not the engine, but road noise. My husband says I’m crazy and that it’s just as quiet as our last car. Have you heard anything about the Subaru Forester being noisier than other cars? Can anything be done?


There are a few things to take into consideration. For one, SUVs tend to seem more noisy than cars, mostly because their height catches more wind as they barrel along. So people who are moving from a car to an SUV often report that, as far as noise goes, they feel they’re in the middle of a stadium on homecoming weekend. That feeling usually diminishes after a while. It did for me, and for many noise-sensitive people I know.

That said, some vehicles actually are noisier than others. I have seen the issue about the Forester reported on discussion boards, and some auto writers have noted that the Forester is noticeably noisier than many SUVs.

I made the same observation when I rode in one. My friends who have them disagree, and say their vehicle is no noisier than mine. And they’re not hard of hearing, they’re just not as tuned into certain noises as I am because they’re used to it.

Clearly, some people are more sensitive to road noise than others, just as some people truly can tell the difference between a really good butter and the store brand.

Your ears are sensitive; your husband’s are evidently not.

As for what you can do, I think it’s possible that your awareness of the road noise will diminish with time. I can’t think of anything you can do to the vehicle to make it less noisy, though some folks report putting on a set of “road-quiet tires” that help. But that’s a pretty expensive proposition when you’ve already got brand new tires.

If any readers have ideas, we’d love to hear them!

What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email Sharon@ctwfeatures.com.