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Road noise on 2015\16\17

21068 Views 46 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  MikeInNH
I know this is a subjective matter but how would you rate the road noise of the third generation highlander. Wife currently drives the 2012 elantra and the road noise on that one is just terrible. Also I presume the road noise would be lower at the higher end models. Is that assumption correct ? Is AWD more noisy that FWD ?

Thanks for reading.
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I went from a '12 Lexus RX350 to my '15 Highlander and the Highlander, (believe or not) is a total improvement in road noise feed back.
I ask about the road noise on a Lexus web-site and someone mention it could be the tires that Lexus uses.
If that's the case, that's pathetic on a $48,000 SUV from Lexus.

I firmly believe it's the tires, because a neighbor of mine has a 2016 Chevrolet Traverse, and I swear it sounds like we're riding on marbles.
 

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The higher end models are not fitted with better or more sound deadening material. And maybe you will hear slightly more noise in a AWD or notice more trans noise in a 8spd trans, but tires make the biggest difference.

If you are concerned with external noise vibrations and such, I HIGHLY recommend getting your car sound deadened. Use quality material and a good installer, and you will notice at least 5 dB differnce in noise.
Music is much better
Conversations are better
You hear people in the back better
Overall enjoyment is more like a luxury car.
Costs about $1000, something you can do yourself for about half, or less. Results are priceless. Tires will still make the biggest difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Got new tires

Thanks Phil. Yes this past week we got new tires Good Year Assurance Comfort Tred Touring. The improvement is minimal from what I observed but wife does not see any improvement.

The higher end models are not fitted with better or more sound deadening material. And maybe you will hear slightly more noise in a AWD or notice more trans noise in a 8spd trans, but tires make the biggest difference.

If you are concerned with external noise vibrations and such, I HIGHLY recommend getting your car sound deadened. Use quality material and a good installer, and you will notice at least 5 dB differnce in noise.
Music is much better
Conversations are better
You hear people in the back better
Overall enjoyment is closer to a luxury car.
Costs about $1000, something you can do yourself for about half, or less. Results are priceless. Tires will still make the biggest difference.
 

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I did a couple road tests with a sound meter and posted numbers. You might want to check that out. I would think from 2014-15-16 to 17 the measurable sound is minimal *to undetectable difference.
Another big difference is the material and way the floor is made. I notice asphalt being a bit dampening in sound. While high speed on cement starts making higher frequency sounds. Just my observation in general when driving regularly. It could be the tire/tread and floor combo.
So Far the Michelin Latitude Touring and Pirelli Scorpions are comparable, but on some surfaces they behave different. Higher speeds I can remember the Michelins being louder vs Scorpions being less noisy...BUT, it could have been due to end of life on the former.
 

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I know this is a subjective matter but how would you rate the road noise of the third generation highlander. Is AWD more noisy that FWD ? .
When r u going to test drive fwd & awd HL & find out for yourself? :wink:
 

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If road noise is a major concern then maybe test drive a Kia Sorento. Kia's are not cheap toy cars anymore - they have smooth, bump absorbing rides, well padded seats and rich looking and feeling interiors - qualities that ease fatigue on long trips. Resale values are not up to Toyota levels, however.
 

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I know this is a subjective matter but how would you rate the road noise of the third generation highlander. Wife currently drives the 2012 elantra and the road noise on that one is just terrible. Also I presume the road noise would be lower at the higher end models. Is that assumption correct ? Is AWD more noisy that FWD ?

Thanks for reading.
As you say, very subjective.

We find our 17 AWD LE to be very quiet. Much quieter than our previous cars, Sat Ion, Sat Vue (FWD). We are running the Bridgestone tires that came with the vehicle.

IMHO, your best answer will be found if you take a nice long test drive, at speed.
 

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Our '16 Limited is much quieter than our old '10 Venza. Asphalt is much quieter than concrete.
I had the same two vehicles and I swear those 20" wheels were the culprit on the Venza. It was extremely loud and my HL is much quieter. Tires also play a big part in noise. Overall the HL is a quality vehicle but if you're worried about noise keep in mind that it is after all an SUV!
 

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I had the same two vehicles and I swear those 20" wheels were the culprit on the Venza. It was extremely loud and my HL is much quieter. Tires also play a big part in noise. Overall the HL is a quality vehicle but if you're worried about noise keep in mind that it is after all an SUV!
Our Venda was FWD with the 2.7L 4 cyl, so it had the 19" wheels. After about 47000 miles we replaced the tires, which made very little difference in reducing the road noise. The body & rear suspension just wasn't designed to reduce noise that was generated in the rear half of the vehicle. Even our 2013 RAV4 was quieter, but those '13, '14, and '15 Rav4's were real rough riding & stiff. Toyota claims they softened up the RAV4 suspension in '16.
 

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The higher end models are not fitted with better or more sound deadening material. And maybe you will hear slightly more noise in a AWD or notice more trans noise in a 8spd trans, but tires make the biggest difference.

If you are concerned with external noise vibrations and such, I HIGHLY recommend getting your car sound deadened. Use quality material and a good installer, and you will notice at least 5 dB differnce in noise.
Music is much better
Conversations are better
You hear people in the back better
Overall enjoyment is more like a luxury car.
Costs about $1000, something you can do yourself for about half, or less. Results are priceless. Tires will still make the biggest difference.
I did that on my 2nd Gen as did sweeney on his Highlander and it made a very noticeable difference. :)
 

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I did that on my 2nd Gen as did sweeney on his Highlander and it made a very noticeable difference. :)
yes i too did the same that Phil and Sweeny did

IMHO HL Stock road noise is not bad at all .. I did audio upgrade and to make things more clean went through the extra steps to get the road noise addressed.
 

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I find the road noise of my 14 HL to be very very good (low). Not as good as wifes 07 Lexus, but far better then any SUV I've owned in the past 27 years.


The biggest culprit of road noise is usually the tires. The more aggressive the tires, the more road noise it makes. I' currently running Cooper Discovery SRX.
 

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The sound deadening in the 2017 HL is very effective. I was very surprised when I was at a red light and open the door for some reason. I thought the horn is weak on the HL, but stand corrected when I heard it with windows down. Suspension noise is lower than my 2006 Lexus RX400h. I haven't notice any tire noise simply because I always play music when I am on the road.
 

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Again it boils down to the roads quality you are driving on.
My doors deadening was good enough for CA roads. but once in Oregon I had to get all the floor done to avoid the immense road noise here since the roads are designed for heavy rainfall.
 

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Not all tires are the same. Michellins are known for their ride quality but wear very quick. Tire rotation is key too. Tire width and sidewall height also play with your cars suspension.

Concrete and ashpalt are key factors too.

Sound deadening in my 17 xle is not much/non existent. So road noise does come thru. The bridgetone tires are good as well.

For those that have installed deadening material, what item did you use?
 

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I did some deep research in materials, and the Kaulossas KNew Koncepts is the foil back butyl rubber I used, with a decoopler of a thin air foam, I think called Reflectix from Lowes on some other parts I used, a Acoustic 1lb per sq inch roll of rubber from Amazon. Home Depot has something like it that is .75lb per sqft, and less expensive. But doing it once, I wanted max return.


Here is a list of things:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009KXF9MW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00URV8MFC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PBBSLWM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FCB4JS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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