Quietest Compact Cars

    CR's experts identify the cars that are best at keeping the noise outside

    2021 Mazda 3
    2022 Mazda3
    Photo: Mazda

    Compact cars often get a bad rap for being too loud on the road. Their lighter bodies sometimes fail to dampen road and wind noise enough, and their high-revving small engines add to the problem.

    Sometimes it can be hard to judge how quiet a car is during a traditional test drive at a dealership. To help you purchase a quiet compact car, we’ve identified the quietest ones on the market.

    We evaluate interior noise among more than 50 objective and subjective tests. To do so, we listen to the wind, road, engine, and tire noises that are generated when the vehicle is driven over various pavements, both on our track and on public roads.

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    Below, we’ve identified the quietest compact sedans and ranked them in order of their results in our interior noise tests. They’re all recommended, meaning they’ve scored well in our road tests; have good reliability; have available forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and blind spot warning (BSW); and performed well in crash tests.

    Some of these models have our Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions.

    If you’re a CR member, this article and the list below are already available to you. But if you haven’t signed up, click below and become a member to access this list and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

    Sign up for CR’s Cars email newsletter to be notified when we post our latest road tests. If you’re a used-car shopper, you can click through to the model pages for information on these vehicles from older model years.

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    We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.