Just How Bad is Tesla Model 3 Road Noise?


Is road noise more obvious in electric cars? How about the Tesla Model 3?

A few Tesla Model 3 owners have told us that one issue they have with the car is the fact that it’s so quiet. Wait, what? Well, since EVs are virtually silent, you may find that you can hear every bit of road noise, as well as all creaks and rattles. YouTuber SD Tesla sets out to determine if the Model 3 Performance is significantly louder than other cars inside the cabin. He jokes that he’s doing some “scientific” testing to find out. Essentially, he’s using a decibel meter and a call recorder. In addition, he tests an aftermarket product that’s supposed to help with wind noise.

As we learned from the video above, the plan is to test a gas-powered car (hopefully a Cadillac) to compare the data. While SD Tesla joked about his testing methods, he honestly tries to be as scientific as possible in his data collection. He attempts to drive in a single lane at various speeds while remaining quiet in the vehicle. Of course, he has no control over traffic, but neither does any Tesla Model 3 owner in the real world. He also tries out a Model 3 Wind Noise Kit from RPM Tesla. He says it’s a chore to install, but it reduces cabin noise by about 5 decibels. In addition, he tests the Model 3’s speakerphone feature, which he concludes is pretty terrible.

Below the video description, we’ve included SD Tesla’s followup video. He was able to rent a Cadillac ATS for comparison.

Video Description via SD Tesla on YouTube:

Just How Bad is Tesla Model 3 Road Noise?

Despite the fact that Tesla Model 3 runs quiet and you can hear every little noise inside the cabin, according to the decibel meter it isn’t much louder inside than the gas-powered car. In fact, it’s nearly the same. With the wind noise gasket, the Model 3 is quieter. The Caddy doesn’t have very good speaker phone quality, but it’s much better than the Model 3’s.

Video Description:

Tesla Model 3 Road Noise – Part Deux

What’s your experience? Let us know in the comment section below.

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7 Comments on "Just How Bad is Tesla Model 3 Road Noise?"

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I hit 112 mph while passing a line of cars about a week ago – it was much quieter than being in our 2.5 L Mazda 3 at 75 mph. My wife was quite surprised when I told her we had momentarily been going that fast; the car is great for listening to audiobooks while traveling at normal highway speeds in Texas (75 mph).

The Mazda is surpricingly poor when it comes to noise insulation. Too bad, since the cars construction is very modern.
Audiobooks while driving is just great. Good speakers and a quiet car makes it even better. I wonder how quiet the model 3 would have been with the extra insulation they dropped.

Anything is quiet comparing to a cheap Econbox like Mazda 3…

Why don’t you compare the Model 3 against all the other EV’s?
Won’t that be useful as well?
Apparently the e-Tron is very, very quiet inside according to Bjorn Nyland.

Isn’t that the car with the annoying rattle that was driving Bjorn nuts?

The e-tron is very quiet indeed, but it is a more expensive car then the model 3. Extra sound insulation is one of the features you pay extra for.

I once had an old car with a lot of engine and road noice coming in. It just aggravated the hell out of me. . . and after a few years I sprayed all the caveties with a special expanding foam rubber spray, and installed Dynamat all over the car. Installed extra rubber parts in the suspention/drive train, and used thick special sound insulation mats where I could fit it. In helped a lot, but took a LOT of time, and the expanding foam is a problem in case the vehicle needs bodywork, and you can not weld in it (the foam rubber can (when headed enough) catch fire).

In a new car, extra sound insulation is something I would pay extra for. . at least in one of the cars. The other one could be as cheap and simple as possible.

I have a long gravel driveway, and a Tesla Model 3. Ater just a week of ownership, I was leaving my driveway and heading down the road when I noticed a clicking sound. After about a half mile I pulled off the road to look at the left front tire, where the sound was coming from. A small piece of gravel was wedged into the tire tread, clicking on the blacktop with each rotation of the tire.

So that is an extremely small road noise, that you can hear in a Tesla due to absence of other sounds. That does not make the cabin more noisy – it is still far less noisy than an ICE car, in which you cannot hear a small sound due to so many other louder sounds. Not just the engine running – for example, a power steering hydraulic pump makes noise when the wheel is turned.

As a Tesla Model 3 owner, the quietness of the car is one of it’s attributes that I really enjoy.