Posted by richard schumacher on October 10, 2005, 9:41 am
Seems odd. Prius is one of the quieter cars I've driven.
Posted by Bob Wilson on October 10, 2005, 11:00 am
I picked up our 2003 Prius in Weatherford Texas and drove it 700 miles
back to Huntsville AL. The only noticable road noise came from a stretch
of I-20 in west Louisianna that needed resurfacing and another stretch
where the road joints had gone uneven. It was quite ordinary noise.
However, we have new Michelin tires, the 2003 had 49,300 miles when I
picked it up.
As for engine noise, the only noticable noise came when going up hills
at highway cruising speed, 50-75 mph, when the engine / motor would rev
up. It wasn't loud as much as different from ordinary vehicles. It has a
rumbling quality that at first made me think "are the motor bearings
OK?" but that was it. We get the same noise going up overpasses on the
I had to make a U-turn in Shreveport and scraped bottom on an uneven
patch. No damage but it reminded me to make sure and stay on even road
The 2003 cabin seems quite fine to this 6 ft. 240 lb. driver who spent a
lot of time in it.
You might have added more details about the driving conditions such as
road conditions and speeds and driver dimensions. Also the duration of
the test and any test drive objectives you were looking for. For
example, when I test drove the Ford Escape hybrid, I was looking for its
'motor only' modes, cruise control operation and noise at highway cruise
Posted by B. Peg on October 10, 2005, 12:30 pm
To some extent I agree with you on the road noise, most of which seems to be
the fault of the stock Goodyear Integrity tires. I'm hoping that switching
to another type, like the Goodyear ComforTread, will dampen some of the
noise. Tirerack.com has the noise listed in their tire comparisons and the
stock Integrity is near the bottom of the list for noise. Also, a
mentioned, road surface ahs a lot to do with it. If they neglect to roll it
well it's a bit noisy as are some aggregate surfaces they mix. I-5 through
California mixes it up a lot and some stretches I wear ear foams to drown
out the noise.
Ride is stiff no doubt due to the new shocks. However, I do prefer that
over the bouncy and swaying of my older car (it was 11 years old and the
shocks were shot). The car noise (excluding tire noise) is far less in the
Prius with the exception of going up hills as already mentioned. It's a lot
better over railroad crossings than my older car that required a good
braking before crossing else it bounced all over the place.
Ceiling is actually taller in the Prius than some others. Try the new
Chrysler 300 or Magnum if you want a low(rider) roof. I hit the roof in the
Chrysler without even trying and my knees were into the dash. The Prius
seems to be around 3" taller. If you notice you're sitting about level with
some pickup trucks. The Prius seat is higher than most cars. I know it's
tall because I have a hard time reaching the center of the top washing it
(I'm 6 foot, btw). It does give a little top-heavy feel in the canyons
though (it's narrow, although I'm adjusting to that as it appears to be less
likely from door strikes in the parking lots.
It does take some adjusting, but seeing the result on the gasoline credit
card statement makes it worthwhile (mine went from $20 month down to $0).
Posted by Paul Missman on October 11, 2005, 12:38 am
I usually have the fan on and the stereo playing. I don't really notice any
road noise at all in that mode. A few days ago, I switched off the fan, and
the stereo, just to listen. There was some road noise, but it was not
bothersom. My guess is that the folks who have complained about the noise
live in areas where the streets are not perfectly smooth, or they are
sensitive to noise in the frequency band produced by the stock tires. As
one other person said, you could probably get different tires to fit the
car. However, you might be trading off road noise for MPG by going to
As to the comment about it sounding like the old Tercel, I understand that
the Prius engine design comes from the old Tercel engine, with some
modernizations thrown in.