Wind/Road Noise and Roof Rack Crossbars?

  #1  
Old 06-25-2006, 11:39 AM
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Default Wind/Road Noise and Roof Rack Crossbars?

I really, really want to like the FEH but it's slow going to convince my husband. We drove a 2006 FWD yesterday and took it up to 75 MPH. Yes, I know I don't get the best mileage at 75 but that's how fast we drive on the highway. Road noise has been a big concern for us. I realized that the engine does cut back to about 2300 RPM once I put on the cruise control, so the roar of the engine goes away. But the wind noise does not . I asked the salesman if the crossbars can be taken off in hopes that it would help. Has anyone removed the crossbars and noticed an improvement? I don't need the crossbars on all the time. I think I might test drive again without the crossbars and see if it helps. If it doesn't, then I think I'll have to pass on the Escape.
 
  #2  
Old 06-25-2006, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Wind/Road Noise and Roof Rack Crossbars?

Originally Posted by robinb
I really, really want to like the FEH but it's slow going to convince my husband. We drove a 2006 FWD yesterday and took it up to 75 MPH. Yes, I know I don't get the best mileage at 75 but that's how fast we drive on the highway. Road noise has been a big concern for us. I realized that the engine does cut back to about 2300 RPM once I put on the cruise control, so the roar of the engine goes away. But the wind noise does not . I asked the salesman if the crossbars can be taken off in hopes that it would help. Has anyone removed the crossbars and noticed an improvement? I don't need the crossbars on all the time. I think I might test drive again without the crossbars and see if it helps. If it doesn't, then I think I'll have to pass on the Escape.
Test drive a Mercury Mariner Hybrid and see if the noise is less. Some people here have reported the Mariner rides quieter than the Escape Hybrid. I only have experience in the FEH so I can't provide my own take on it. I am quite happy with the noise levels in the vehicle -- they're comparable to my husband's F-150 Supercrew (2001) and way better than my 1992 Toyota Corolla (at highway speeds).

Also, you might want to expand your choice of hybrids if you do a lot of highway travel; a more aerodynamic hybrid (Prius; or even the Civic or Camry) would suit a pure highway driver better, IMHO. The Escape and Mariner, as small SUVs, just aren't as aerodynamic and that's most notable at highway speeds. That said, plenty of FEH and Mariner owners are getting good MPGs with highway commutes, so I'm not saying it's a non-viable option, just that if you're still in the early decision-making phase (which it sounds like you are), there are additional options that may suit you better.
 
  #3  
Old 06-25-2006, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Wind/Road Noise and Roof Rack Crossbars?

The roof rack crossbars on the '05 and '06 are removable. I have them off both of mine since I will probably never need them. I honestly can't say that the noise decreased and/or the mileage increased but anything that eliminates drag will help both causes.

Good luck on your decision.
 
  #4  
Old 06-25-2006, 02:49 PM
dsd
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Default Re: Wind/Road Noise and Roof Rack Crossbars?

Try an '07, they have no crossbars. I find the ride very quiet at all speeds.

-dsd
 
  #5  
Old 06-25-2006, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: Wind/Road Noise and Roof Rack Crossbars?

We have a need for a bigger car, so the other Hybrid options are either too small or (in the case of the Lexus and Highlander) too expensive.

BTW, I'm not a pure Highway driver. I probably drive about 20% highway. But when I do I go for 3 hours or more at a time and the road noise is a problem. The FEH (I have driver 3-4 different cars plus a MMH) is louder than my convertible!
 
  #6  
Old 06-25-2006, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Wind/Road Noise and Roof Rack Crossbars?

Understood about the size and price issues. Those are the reasons I'm in a FEH and not a Prius or Civic or Highlander, after all.

I'm not sure what to offer up about the sound/noise issues you note, other than to suggest that if everything else being equal you like/want/need the FEH, perhaps having some of that high tech sound deadening stuff audiophiles get installed in their door panels, trunk/cargo area, etc. would help. Granted, I have no idea what that stuff costs and the labor costs would be extra, and who wants to do that just for a comfortable sound environment? But, like I said, all other things being equal I guess that could be an option.

The only time the noise in my FEH has gotten to me is driving in wet weather. I'm not used to hearing all that water kicked up by the rear of my vehicle... the first time I drove in rain/wet conditions, I thought Niagara Falls had diverted to run through my cargo area!

P.S. Sorry about suggesting a Mariner Hybrid test drive. Your login name sounded familiar and I just back-tracked and realized you and I had exchanged posts in a comparison of the FEH and Mariner Hybrid noise levels. Oops! "Been there, done that!"
 

Last edited by GeekGal; 06-25-2006 at 03:35 PM.
  #7  
Old 06-26-2006, 05:03 AM
dsd
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Default Re: Wind/Road Noise and Roof Rack Crossbars?

I have an 07 FWD and noise levels are quite low (Granted my daily driver is a Maserati so I may be deaf). The FEH noise compares with the Altima quite well. And I can assure you it is much quiter than any convertable I have owned :-) Unless you open the moonroof. The deflector is greatly needed.

If you are test driving an 07 and the noise is really loud, try another. If the noise is still too much, check the tire pressure. If it is still too load and you really want the car, turn the radio on :-)

Best of luck,
dsd
 
  #8  
Old 06-26-2006, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Wind/Road Noise and Roof Rack Crossbars?

I find the noise to be more from the Econo tires (hard tires are noisy, fact of life I guess) or during a large rpm increase. Neither are bad compared to my old Sportage!

My stereo usually drowns out either!
 
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