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Sealiedog
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I've had my Excel HEV for 18 months now. I love the car mostly, but the road noise at any reasonable speed drives me mad. I'm beginning to think I might need to get something else next year. Can anybody give me some objective info on how much reduction can be achieved by changing tyres, and which ones? With the scale of price increases recently I might consider new tyres and keep the car a bit longer. My mileage is very low so the Toyo Proxes I've got don't have much wear yet.

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Noise levels on tyre labels are measured from outside the car, so may not translate well to how much interior noise is generated.

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My experience to alternative tyres to OEM’s is very limited. I’ve owned Skoda, Subaru etc. and when I’ve changed the tyres I’ve always gone for Michelin Cross Climates and found them very good for noise inside the cabin. No direct experience of your car.

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I expect Tony HSD will reply he seems to have quite a bit of knowledge on tyres. I read a article in auto express where they measured the noise levels in the car and the Dutch tyre vreidstien  came out in the top three for noise levels and were a good compromise between noise and grip.

I have driven my corolla on roads where they put that top dressing of grit on the road and the noise is significantly increased to the point that you have a job to hear what the passenger is saying I don’t think that the noise that is generated from those roads will be much quieter with even the quite’st of tyres.

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1 hour ago, Sealiedog said:

I've had my Excel HEV for 18 months now. I love the car mostly, but the road noise at any reasonable speed drives me mad. I'm beginning to think I might need to get something else next year. Can anybody give me some objective info on how much reduction can be achieved by changing tyres, and which ones? With the scale of price increases recently I might consider new tyres and keep the car a bit longer. My mileage is very low so the Toyo Proxes I've got don't have much wear yet.

I rather doubt that anyone can satisfactorily answer your question but you could, as Mike implies, look at the noise rating that your tyres have and compare that with candidate replacements.

The OEM tyres on the Rav4 have typically been chosen by Toyota for long life and good economy rather than a quieter ride. It is likely that swapping to a more compliant, quieter tyres will improve matters - though whether the improvement is sufficient for your ears only you can tell.

I declined to have the OEM tyres on mine and have run Michelin Cross Climates from new. They are perfectly acceptable to my ears - the road / tyre noise is on a par with the wind noise and the engine noise. But the Rav4 is hardly whisper quiet ... 😉

Out of idle curiosity, what are you comparing the road noise of your RAV to?

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Hi, 

the tyre labels for noise (dB) or (letter) are for outside drive by noise only and in many cases the noise intrusion into the cabin is very different. 

In general the winter and all season tyres with V- shape tread patterns are quieter than standard summer tires which have straight lines and deep channels for water evacuation. 
The v shaped tyres are much quieter particularly on rough asphalt, which are the most A roads and motorways in UK. On smooth surfaces they are as quiet as summer tyres with slight possibility of whining at low to medium speeds, noise typical for bad wheel bearing. 
What makes different summer tyres create different noise levels is the space between the tread pattern lines, the tread pattern profile, and how deep are the treads. Another difference comes from the softness of the rubber compound, softer equals quieter. Eco and high performance tyres are not the softest and not the quietest , the standard touring tyres are the best., however the quietest ones are winter tyres with v shared treads and small space between, not too large water evacuation channels and small gaps between the tread design. 

I never drive a Rav4 and can’t say anything but on other Toyota models the different tyres made huge difference and yes , for me personally worth changing the tyres. 

Best example for summer tyres are Goodyear efficient grip performance perhaps the suv ones for your cars. For winter or all season again as long as they are v shaped similar look to Goodyear vector 4 season gen 3 or Michelin Cross Climate 2 they will be quieter than any other standard summer tyres. 
All season V shaped tyres cancel the road noise that is created as a result of the tyre deep water channels and larger gap between the tread pattern plus they have softer rubber compound, better insulation against noise and vibrations transition and intrusion into the cabin, therefore better NVH ( noise, vibrations and harshness).

I am going into a drama currently with new set of tyres but this could be me, the car , the pressures or combination of all above 😂, so can’t blame entirely on Goodyear. They are my favourite by far. 👍

Here more info about tyres and stuff. 

And here some tyre examples suitable for the rav4 https://www.blackcircles.com/tyres/235-55-19?id=11679

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23 minutes ago, philip42h said:

I rather doubt that anyone can satisfactorily answer your question but you could, as Mike implies, look at the noise rating that your tyres have and compare that with candidate replacements.

The OEM tyres on the RAV4 have typically been chosen by Toyota for long life and good economy rather than a quieter ride. It is likely that swapping to a more compliant, quieter tyres will improve matters - though whether the improvement is sufficient for your ears only you can tell.

I declined to have the OEM tyres on mine and have run Michelin Cross Climates from new. They are perfectly acceptable to my ears - the road / tyre noise is on a par with the wind noise and the engine noise. But the RAV4 is hardly whisper quiet ... 😉

Out of idle curiosity, what are you comparing the road noise of your RAV to?

My last car was a Ford Edge with Ford's noise cancelling technology. Very quiet on the move. Before that an Outlander PHEV, another quiet car. Maybe I've been spoilt.

 

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1 minute ago, Sealiedog said:

My last car was a Ford Edge with Ford's noise cancelling technology. Very quiet on the move. Before that an Outlander PHEV, another quiet car. Maybe I've been spoilt.

 

It is possible indeed 👍

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6 minutes ago, TonyHSD said:

Hi, 

the tyre labels for noise (dB) or (letter) are for outside drive by noise only and in many cases the noise intrusion into the cabin is very different. 

In general the winter and all season tyres with V- shape tread patterns are quieter than standard summer tires which have straight lines and deep channels for water evacuation. 
The v shaped tyres are much quieter particularly on rough asphalt, which are the most A roads and motorways in UK. On smooth surfaces they are as quiet as summer tyres with slight possibility of whining at low to medium speeds, noise typical for bad wheel bearing. 
What makes different summer tyres create different noise levels is the space between the tread pattern lines, the tread pattern profile, and how deep are the treads. Another difference comes from the softness of the rubber compound, softer equals quieter. Eco and high performance tyres are not the softest and not the quietest , the standard touring tyres are the best., however the quietest ones are winter tyres with v shared treads and small space between, not too large water evacuation channels and small gaps between the tread design. 

I never drive a rav4 and can’t say anything but on other Toyota models the different tyres made huge difference and yes , for me personally worth changing the tyres. 

Best example for summer tyres are Goodyear efficient grip performance perhaps the suv ones for your cars. For winter or all season again as long as they are v shaped similar look to Goodyear vector 4 season gen 3 or Michelin Cross Climate 2 they will be quieter than any other standard summer tyres. 
All season V shaped tyres cancel the road noise that is created as a result of the tyre deep water channels and larger gap between the tread pattern plus they have softer rubber compound, better insulation against noise and vibrations transition and intrusion into the cabin, therefore better NVH ( noise, vibrations and harshness).

I am going into a drama currently with new set of tyres but this could be me, the car , the pressures or combination of all above 😂, so can’t blame entirely on Goodyear. They are my favourite by far. 👍

Here more info about tyres and stuff. 

And here some tyre examples suitable for the rav4 https://www.blackcircles.com/tyres/235-55-19?id=11679

Thanks for that brilliant information. I'm clutching at straws I suppose. I'm not sure I want to invest the best part of a grand and then probably be disappointed. I might reluctantly have to go for something different next time, Rav4s are getting a bit too expensive for me now, and I need a decent sized car.

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5 minutes ago, Sealiedog said:

Thanks for that brilliant information. I'm clutching at straws I suppose. I'm not sure I want to invest the best part of a grand and then probably be disappointed. I might reluctantly have to go for something different next time, Rav4s are getting a bit too expensive for me now, and I need a decent sized car.

Fair enough, my tyres are half price of the Rav4 so I can understand. Best to improve comfort in your circumstances now is to keep the tyres inflated properly. Best to check and adjust pressures on cold, first thing in the morning before driving off. Measure with gauge and top up or reduce pressure as necessary to be exact spec  as on the car label.
Over inflated tyres produce a lot more noise and harshness. Once you have correct pressures set you may notice an improvement. 
Good luck 👍🛞

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Philip surprised me with the RAV not being whisper quiet. I guess being a PHEV version is why mine is whisper quiet, so much so that I sometimes turn of the music to marvel at the peace it delivers. On the tyre front I can say I changed my Lexus OEMs to Vredestein quatrac pros and they were quieter, more comfortable and way much better grip in wet, icy or snowy conditions, the staff of the tyre firm I use all have them on their cars.

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I tend to find that tyres with higher noise ratings tend to be quieter in the car :laugh: 

Also, I don't know what they've been resurfaced with, but on the way home I found some recently re-laid road and oh my god it was so quiet and smooth! Like driving on silk!! Whatever that was they should use that on all roads!!

 

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14 hours ago, Sealiedog said:

I've had my Excel HEV for 18 months now. I love the car mostly, but the road noise at any reasonable speed drives me mad. I'm beginning to think I might need to get something else next year. Can anybody give me some objective info on how much reduction can be achieved by changing tyres, and which ones? With the scale of price increases recently I might consider new tyres and keep the car a bit longer. My mileage is very low so the Toyo Proxes I've got don't have much wear yet.

I'm in exactly the same situation Richard, Toyo tyres on mine with about 9000mls.

Getting a bit fed up with every time we go anywhere my wife saying " this car is so noisy "

She really regrets me changing the Volvo ☹️

 

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I have a 2008 Rav4. Always fitted with whatever Toyota recommended. 
2 years ago, after carefully noting the detailed arguments about tyres and their properties on a Porsche discussion board, I decided to apply the same to my Rav4. Went on 2-3 tyre review sites, typed in my size, drew up comparison tables of a few different brands. Googled “SUV tyre tests” for YouTube videos; noted the results. 
 

Probably most interesting, my current tyres weren’t there. 
 

Chose my situation accordingly (yes for wet grip, no for snow or mud, low noise more important than longevity) and decided I’d go for Goodyear over the more expensive Michelin. Told my indie, he came back with closer prices (only €50 more for 4) so I went for Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV. 

Strikingly quiet inside on the motorway, no problem for other driving. 


Am very happy I changed. 

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I did two things...

bought some sound deadening material, from eBay.

Cheap and cheerful.

I put it in the boot, under the mats - easy.

I run All-Season tyres - quieter, softer, more comfortable.

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BTW I don’t remember if smaller tyres are quieter but they are certainly cheaper. My car was top of the range at the time and was issued with 18in wheels while cheaper versions had 17in. I asked the dealer for 17in at the time of purchase, so he probably offered the 18s to someone else as a “free upgrade”.   Might be an option for you. 

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Quieter tyres had one negative side, they make the engine and wind noise more prominent than If you drive on noisier tyres. Basically you can lower tyre road noise with winter or all season tyres but you will get extra engine noise, Toyota won’t turn into a Volvo or Mercedes with a tyre swaps that’s for sure. 😊

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I don’t agree. If you make the tyres quieter it’s not like the engine magically decides to be louder. It might seem like it because now you can hear it, but it’s still the same volume as before. 
I changed my tyres. Before there was noticeable background noise on the motorway and we had to talk at a certain volume. Now the background noise is distinctly less and we can talk without raising our voices.  For a total cost of maybe £200 more than a set of Toyos. 
 

Works for me. 

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Pardon me, I meant to say you will hear more engine noise not “you will get more engine noise” - my bad. 👍

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It is a minefield tyres, we have 4 cars in the household with different needs. My kids cars are supermini size so not quiet anyway and safety first so my priority is grip (A wet rated) and economy (at least C efficiency grade) noise is 3rd consideration.
My wife and I have run SUV's for many years, on her cars I tend to use Continentals, something like Sports Contact, always solid consistent grip, great cornering and rolling refinement, smoother and quieter. Not the most expensive either. Do wear relatively quick but I don't care, I never compromise on tyres.
Mine are company cars, currently Rav4 and are the high miler in the family so get through a lot of tyres, long life and economy are secondary as I am not paying! so grip and low noise are most important. The more miles you do, the more chance you will need to put stopping distance to the test at some point.
I have less choice as its partly between the nominated tyre supplier and the lease company authorising. If I can, I sweet talk them into Continentals, my previous RAV came with horrendous tyres and swapping to Conti Sports Contacts transformed a nervous squealy nightmare into a sure footed and refined rocket.

As someone mentioned, the noise rating is the external noise, not necessarily a reflection of the noise transmitted into the cabin.

If your on a budget, my current favourite for our other cars are Falkens, very grippy tyres for the price and roll very nicely. Definitely punching above their price. 

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I just try to buy the cheapest premium tyres I can find - Has tended to be Goodyear/Dunlop or Hankook in the past few years, as the tyres have been half to a third cheaper than other premium makes but still good; Continental used to be in the mix but their prices have gone up to Michelin levels sadly (And that that price I'd rather get the Michelins!)

 

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12 minutes ago, Cyker said:

I just try to buy the cheapest premium tyres I can find - Has tended to be Goodyear/Dunlop or Hankook in the past few years, as the tyres have been half to a third cheaper than other premium makes but still good; Continental used to be in the mix but their prices have gone up to Michelin levels sadly (And that that price I'd rather get the Michelins!)

 

Goodyear still has offer at ats £64 off  , you can buy 4 efficient grip performance 2 and you want be disappointed. I just ordered from there for myself and getting rid of the all season ones, did not liked them at all. 
https://www.atseuromaster.co.uk/consumer/special-offers/goodyear-promotion

The best summer tyres for comfort, performance + efficiency and longevity. Tested by myself 👌🛞

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