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We all know that Mazda6 has had low scoring on comfort in very many tests due to the road noise that comes into the cabin.

Many testers describe how engine sound is isolated out of the car, but how road noise gets tiresome. (Although I don't quite agree, and also many journalists hasn't found this very bothering). Measurements also show that even if road noise is a bit higher than in comparable cars, it's not really that much. And the question is if you even could hear the difference in some aspects.

But, and here's where my theory comes in.

My dealer told me that Mazda put a big effort into creating a silent ride. For example they designed a special waved steel plate under the car that is supposed to deaden the road noise.

He even told me that the developers were excited about how tremendously well this worked, that they could actually take away sound deadening material that they first had planned to use.

What if the engineers only tried the car on extremely flat, fine asphalt? And never drove on a bit rougher road, gravel or dirt while doing these sound deadening experiments? I know car developers often use only facilities with special tracks while working on these things (Closeby where I live, car manufacturers have several test facilites where they develop things like DSC, ABS and such - and I've had the opportunity to visit and see how they work. They never drive on a real road ever during the measure-change-test-measute-process).

So, perhaps they took away some sound deadening that would have been necessary to make the ride completely silent?

Well, it's a theory!
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

But isn't that bad for Mazda introduction to have a car that never was tested in real life. I am sure the designer/tester had to try the car out in the regular street to be absolute sure of the sound deadening plate.

I hope you are right Steve, that the noise is not unbearable. It will be awfully horrid if I was not able to purchase the Mazda6 because the noise is unbearable.

It seem that about 80% of the previews mentioned some sort of noise, comfort or others similar things about the Mazda6. They can't be all wrong, the writers/testers. If majority mentioned about this matter, then it may be an issue with most of the population.

You know that what is written down with magazines and such will be passed on and on. Even people who have never tested the car will pass that statement on. It will only hurt Mazda in the long run.

If Mazda does not do something about this then it may be the stake to the heart that they have been trying desperately to avoid.
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

Yes, I agree that it is extremely important for Mazda to deal with this. Even with customers who already bought the car and aren't happy with the sound levels. Although we've heard nothing about this from the real owners in here, have we?

You who already have a Mazda6 - what do you think?

One more thing: ofcourse they have done real roadtests. But every design team work very isolated when they do "their" part. Trying out the sound deadening is probably done in a special test facility. And what if they never tried it on a rough road?

In Sweden we have a bit rougher paving for security reasons (and also it's stronger). The security comes from better grip when the road is wet.

The downside to this material is that there is a very big difference in noise compared to a road with smooth asphalt.

No matter what, the pure discussion of this hurt sales. Mazda must act.
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

From what I've put together from reading numerous reviews of the Mazda6: the noise issue that most journalists are commenting on seems to be mainly related to the tyres fitted to the test cars with 17 inch wheels, which are low 45 profile tyres (virtually all tests to date seem to have been on Mazda6's with the 17 inch wheels).

As we probably all know, a low profile tyre will generate more noise - it's just the laws of physics...less physical separation of car from the road. Added to this, Mazda seems to have chosen tyres that are also not exactly the quietest in their class (in Australia they're 225/45 Bridgestone Turanzas, which are known to be noisy). The few tests on Mazda6's with the 16 and 15 inch wheels (with corresponding higher profile tyres) have not noted such a noise problem. So I'm thinking it's the tyres, not the car.

Of course the Mazda engineers could have also completely forgotten to put some insulation around the wheel arches!;)
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

Actually, I've read tests that say that road noise is high even with 15" or 16" tyres. But perhaps that is still the tyres that Mazda picked only.

Anyway, the entire existence of this debate is damaging to Mazda's efforts, I'm sad to say. It's a great vehicle. Wonderful handling, quiet (it is!); comfortable, cool, beautiful, flexible (especially the hatch)...

A lot of good things in one package. So why did they mess up in this field? Or didn't they? Some tests conclude that the noise isn't higher than in other cars.

Whom to trust? What to think?

I still wish for some 6-owners to come forth with their experiences in this field. What do you think?
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

Before I ordered my M6 I did some test driving in Volvo S60 and the new SAAB 9-3, and I can promise you that theese cars are a lot less noisy than M6.

Still I ordered M6 because of the looks and are hoping that they will fix the sound problem otherwise I'm going to do it myself, I hate noisy cars!

If it isn't solved I prabably will buy a different car after a year.
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

Actually, the road noise does come into the cabin.
My Mazda6 is factory fitted with 15" size bridgestone tyres (which is very noisy). I've mine coated with SOUND CLAD which suppose to reduce about 20% of the road noise.
I'm thinking of changing my tyres later ( maybe 6 months or so ).

Mazda should have put in more effort in the road noise insulation.
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

Okay.

I read someone from Singapore that put some extra sound dampening material in the cabin. Who was that?

Changing tyres after six months is no good deal. I guess that means that you think it's worth a few bucks to ease the pain...

Anyone else?
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Steve 6er


            Okay.

I read someone from Singapore that put some extra sound dampening material in the cabin. Who was that?

Changing tyres after six months is no good deal. I guess that means that you think it's worth a few bucks to ease the pain...

Anyone else?[/b]

Xterm did some sound insulation to his mazda6 cabin. It cost him around US$550++.
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

QUOTE
Originally posted by junkan


            Before I ordered my M6 I did some test driving in Volvo S60 and the new SAAB 9-3, and I can promise you that theese cars are a lot less noisy than M6.

Still I ordered M6 because of the looks and are hoping that they will fix the sound problem otherwise I'm going to do it myself, I hate noisy cars!

If it isn't solved I prabably will buy a different car after a year.[/b]
I guess it also comes down to what you're used to.

I'm driving around in my -99 626 and that's much noisier than the 6. Still I have no problem in that, it's not so noisy it bothers me.

True is that there are quiter cars out there. But I also think it would be quite easy to make the 6 more quite. I'm quite sure that a lot of the road noise comes in via the wheel houses. If you put some extra stuffing in there, that could take care of it. One just has to make sure it's not a stuffing that sucks up all the moist and give you big rust-holes in a couple of years...:sarc
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

For a sedn, I would like it to be on the quiter side, personlly. It sounds like there is an easy resolution - just some more insulation. Mazda can even offer it as a courtesy - if the customer wants a quieter car, they can bring it back in for extra insulation.

My econobox is niosy, and usualy I don't mind it, but I would want a sedan to be a bit quieter. Road niose is for sportscars. Hey, I wouldn't mind a little noise to connect me to the road, but I don't think the masses will, and I don't think I would want my sedan to even be as loud as my econobox.

And road noise is different than wind noise. Road noise is much more acceptable than wind noise. Wind noise makes a car cheap.
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

I agree wind noise is worse. Road noise doesn't bother me too much. Too little road noise is actually a bit dangerous - you don't see the speed in a modern car, and you don't feel it. If you don't even hear it - then it's like you're not driving fast. A dangerous illusion.
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Steve 6er


            I agree wind noise is worse. Road noise doesn't bother me too much. Too little road noise is actually a bit dangerous - you don't see the speed in a modern car, and you don't feel it. If you don't even hear it - then it's like you're not driving fast. A dangerous illusion.[/b]
Agreed.
 

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Are there any hard numbers? Something like decibel ratings at 70mph or something? Then compare it to other cars in the class and see how it turns out.

I don't expect this car to be a Lexus, and I really doubt how *BAD* the noise could be. If I were going to bet money, this is one of those deals that has been picked out and has become worse than it actually is. For instance, when all these journalists drive the 6 and there isn't much of ANYTHING to complain about, except a small bit of road noise, that will always be pointed out as the biggest complaint. So while it is the biggest complaint, it isn't that big. If this car had a rough engine, bad gearbox, sloppy handling, and the same amount of road noise, we probably wouldn't hear much, if anything, about it.

I just have the feeling that it is the only thing we'll hear about because the rest of the car is so darn good. Plus, going for the sporty segment usually means you hear a bit more and feel a bit more of the road than you do in say, a Camry.

Me, I'm not too worried about road noise. My bet is that it will be quieter than every car I've ever owned. Its all relative...
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

I was just reading an Australian car magazine review of the Mazda6 (Wheels Magazine) and there's mention of the road noise problem in the article, but it concludes with the telling statement "the road noise is only prominent because the 6 is otherwise so silent".

As others have said, the car is so quiet otherwise, ie. very little wind noise or transmission noise, that it makes the road noise much more noticeable. Still, Mazda should be reading all of this and moving to make a fix.
 

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Replying to Topic 'A theory on the noise issue'

QUOTE
Originally posted by fencer


As others have said, the car is so quiet otherwise, ie. very little wind noise or transmission noise, that it makes the road noise much more noticeable. Still, Mazda should be reading all of this and moving to make a fix.[/b]
Someone that have a good e-mail address to Mazda people in the position to make a change?
 

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I hate noisy cars too. They are a pain to drive on rough pavement and expansion joints.

You guys think that NA version of the 6 will be better isolated from the road? I hope Mazda NA did that on the 6 so that it is comparable to the new Accord and Camry. I think the Altima suffers from tons of road noise too. :sarc
 
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