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Discussion Starter #1
I can't post on the UK Mazda forum at mazda3forums.co.uk for some reason so I'll try asking for advice on this forum with my first post!

I'm planning to buy a Mazda 3 Fastback 2.0 petrol 2.0 Sport Nav Auto (UK spec) - this one Mazda3 Fastback | Discover the perfect ride

The car ticks all the boxes for me and I was impressed by the test drive. I've also found the Mazda 3 has a better breakover angle than many competing cars which is important since I have to negotiate a steep change in incline on my driveway.

This UK spec car is built in Japan and supplied with 18" alloys fitted with Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT tyres (215/45 R18 89W).

Road noise at 70 mph on the motorway is important to me. The road noise didn't seem too bad to me on the test drive compared to my current 2006 Accord (Euro) which I rate as a very quiet car.

I've seen mixed reviews on Mazda 3 road noise from the 18" wheels/tyres on this forum and elsewhere. Do owners find road noise on these wheels very intrusive and if so, what success have you had in reducing the road noise by fitting alternative tyres or soundproofing?

There are relatively limited choices for 215/45 R18 tyres in the UK and the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT tyres are hard to find in this size. The Euro sound rating for these tyres is 68dB (1 wave / low noise tyre) so it will be hard to find a lower sound rated tyre in the UK - but I guess the frequency distribution of the noise is important as well as the overall volume. Can any UK Mazda 3 owner recommend a 215/45 R18 tyre avalable in the UK which is quieter than the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT?

Thanks in anticipation for your help.
 

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Yes- the road noise above 70 is substantial, but it's also subjective to some extent. Those who change tires all report reduction in noise, but I also worry about a halo effect from spending the money and wanting to hear a difference. There are soundproofing threads- the trunk under the floor is an easy target. I think the Bose stereo is quite good, helping to make up for some of the road noise. As you noted, the ground clearance on the 3 is pretty high- something like 9 inches, which I'm sure helps with your driveway. It's high enough that I find it pretty easy to get a 3 year old into a front facing car seat. I think you would need an suv to get more clearance. Good luck with your decision- it's a great car, but it's not flawless. In my personal opinion, it's louder than I would like, at least on long highway trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks. The Mazda 3 road noise didn't sound much worse than my 2006 Accord on the test drive at 70mph. Have low road noise expectations been raised in the 10 years since I last changed my car?

Installing sound proofing under the trunk floor of the Fastback version is an easy and cheap fix. Is this sufficient to make a substantial reduction in road noise? I wouldn't want to install more radical sound proofing under the cabin carpet and doors on a new £20k car when this should really have been installed in the factory if required to provide acceptable noise levels.

I don't really understand how changing the tyres makes much difference when the standard Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT tyres are already low noise tyres according to their Euro noise rating.
 

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I just don't get the road noise thing. I have the latest Mazda3 with the 18 inch Dunlops, and I don't really notice anymore road noise than any other modern car that I've ever driven. It runs really nice and smooth.
I've never had a new car before, so I'm wondering if all the people that are complaining about road noise, have only ever had new cars, and expect them to be silent at motorway speeds? Are people just getting to be a little bit too fussy these days? God, If some of you people were old enough to have driven cars back in the sixties and seventies, you wouldn't be complaining now. Back then you had to put up crappy ball joint front ends with constant wheel alignment problems, and the squeaking used to drive you mad, not to mention up to half a dozen exhaust leaks starting at the flange gasket in the manifold, that needed constant re tightening. Back then this was real road noise, not the silence you get from today's cars. These days we're absolutely spoiled with how good our cars are, compared to yesteryear's unreliable bombs.
 

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My first car was a chevette, so I think I know about road noise. :) Yes- in the S price range, other new cars are quieter. The golf is much quieter. You can feel the difference in sound pressure just sitting in both cars with th engine off. If you look in the trunk under the carpet, in the Mazda, there is no soundproofing whatsoever- it's bare metal. The pics I've seen of the doors with the panels off are similar. This is part of why we get great mpg and why the handling is superb, but it's a trade off. As for the tires, I think the uk tires are different. They are both Dunlops, but ours are sp sport 5000. Maybe yours are quieter? In all honestly, I blame the tires more for the jittery ride than the noise. The handling is great, but my Mazda has never met a smooth road. It ranges from what I would call sporty road feel to wtf am I driving on?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your help. This thread confirms the mixed views on Mazda 3 road noise. I think I'll go ahead and buy the car since I was content with my test drive on the motorway - but realise when I live with the car I might want to change the tyres and/or use sound deadening - starting with sound proofing the trunk first is that right?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mazda in their wisdom have recently withdrawn the 2.0 petrol Mazda 3 fastback Auto from sale in the UK so I can't buy this version new. I've now had a test drive of the Fastback manual version which was fine. I initially thought the road noise was a bit loud on the test route which had some relatively rough tarmac surfaces. I then drove the same test route again in my 2006 petrol (Euro) Accord which gave about the same level of road noise. Is the road noise issue on the Mazda 3 many people report perhaps an auditory illusion since the engine noise on the Mazda 3 and Accord is so quiet you tend to focus on the road noise instead?
 

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well, I changed from 2009 Fiesta which revved at highway around 4000 rpm to M3 with 2750 rpm at the same speed, the M3 seems sooo quieter :D
I have 2015 M3 with 18" Michelin PS3's with noise level of 71 dB (+3 db comparing to Dunlop, this means twice the noise if I'm not wrong) and the noise seems (subjectively) ok even for 300mls/400km ride at constant 65mph. The road noise is really depending on quality / age of tarmac, and above 60 mph there comes some wind noise through windows noticed mainly on passenger side (UK driver side), maybe they're too "slim", but on the other side, as said above, the car is much lighter and agile thanks to this.
 

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Yeah noise level and perception is very subjective. A lot of people say its not bad and some people say its horrible. The only real way to actually judge for yourself is to actually drive the car on a variety of situations and speeds and you have done so.

From what I read and done so myself, adding sound deadening in the trunk area does indeed help reduce the noise levels a bit. By how much? I don't really know since I didn't measure the before and after DBs, but it did help alright.
 

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It`s all about the quality on the surface you are driving on. On new asphalt mine is silky smooth on old and rough asphalt it`s pretty loud.
 

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AUDM here, Japan built and with Dunlops same as the UKDM model. I find it very quiet - especially compared to a 1st Gen. I don't think I'll buy new Dunlops though when these wear out... maybe Kumhos?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It would be interesting for someone who has bought the Mazda 3 facelift to report on the claimed road noise improvements.
 

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AUDM here too. i reckon it's fine. depends on the road as well. most freeways and suburb streets very good in terms of road noise. once you get to crapy b roads, thats when it gets a lil loud. way better than the new corolla i reckon, comparing between jdms. japan built and dunlops. dunlops are shite. waiting on yoko r compound ad08r to be shipped over from eastern states before i see how the new tyres fare (4 left in the country). but honestly, most of the time i have the music up, i can't even tell.
 

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It would be interesting for someone who has bought the Mazda 3 facelift to report on the claimed road noise improvements.
Austrailian guys says that nosie lvl is same in both models.
There is no improvment in sound insulation


Mislim,dakle nisam
 

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Got a good bit of road noise I deal with. Does not really bother me though. I play my music loud. But even when using bluetooth I have no problem talking or listening to folks. High speeds have road noise but seems not to bad for me. Others might not agree. Don't seem to hear much wind noise though. Mostly road noise. The 2017 plus have increased sound deadening added. So I would wait or look at other options if road noise is at the top of your list
 

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changing your stock tyres is your best option. had the ad08r from yoko installed a week ago. huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No, we only get the 2.0 petrol version and the diesels. I tried to buy the 2.0 petrol Fastback auto a few months ago only to find the Fastback / Auto version is no longer available in the UK! I'm waiting to see the UK options for the Mazda 3 facelift and whether the road noise is improved.
 
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