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8 Cars With the Quietest Cabins - Subaru Legacy and Impreza Score Best In Class

Which cars have the quietest cabins? Check out the eight cars that are best at keeping the noise out. The 2021 Subaru Legacy and Impreza are two of the best.


Which automaker makes the quietest cars? Consumers who buy a sedan or compact car are looking for a comfortable, quiet cabin, and you don't have to buy a luxury car to get it. A new study from Consumer Reports (by subscription) identifies the eight quietest mainstream compact cars and sedans. The 2021 Subaru Legacy is best among midsize sedans, and the 2021 Subaru Impreza scores the highest in compact cars.

Because it's hard for car shoppers to determine how quiet a car is in a short test drive, Consumer Reports tests all models to determine the best new cars with the quietest cabin. The mainstream models listed below are ranked in order of the results in CR's interior noise tests. All eight models also scored well in road tests, have good reliability, have active safety features, and scored the best in crash tests.

2021 Subaru Impreza STI Sport, 2021 Subaru Legacy

The five quietest mainstream midsize sedans

The 2021 Honda Accord scored best with its sleek outside styling. The 2021 Nissan Altima scored the second-best for interior noise. The 2021 Subaru Legacy scored third-best and ranked high in CR's road tests. The 2021 Mazda 6 is number four, and the 2021 top-selling 2021 Toyota Camry comes in at number five.

The three quietest mainstream compact cars

You don't think of compact cars as quiet because of having lighter bodies and high-revving engines. CR identified the three best models you can buy today. The 2021 Subaru Impreza ranks best overall. The 2021 Mazda 3 is next, and the 2021 Nissan Sentra comes in at number three.

2021 Subaru Impreza STI Sport, 2021 Subaru Legacy

CR says, "Subaru knocks it out of the park with the current Impreza sedan and hatchback, now among the top-rated cars in the compact class. The Impreza wows us most with its quiet cabin, roominess, and user-friendly controls, and its ride comfort puts some luxury cars to shame."

Consumer Reports says of the 2021 Legacy sedan, "The cabin has cushy armrests and a well-designed center console with a padded cutout for the driver's right knee. The wide trunk opening makes loading and unloading quite easy; there are few better sedans in that respect. The closely related Outback wraps the Legacy's virtues in a more versatile, outdoorsy package that's equally desirable."

Consumer Reports has not come out with its quietest midsize SUVs yet, but CR already mentions the 2021 Subaru Outback as one of the quietest because it shares the same platform and chassis as the Legacy. Both are built at the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana.

The 2021 Subaru Legacy has one of the quietest cabins among midsize sedans, and the 2021 Subaru Impreza scores highest in all compact cars.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Photo credit: Subaru


ImprezaOwner (not verified)    February 13, 2021 - 12:48PM

Wow, a mention of the Subaru Impreza in a positive context. The red headed step child Impreza is so often overlooked by her much better looking sibling, the Crosstrek.

LegacyOwner (not verified)    February 16, 2021 - 10:54AM

The first thing I said when I first drove the new Legacy was "wow this is the quietest Subaru I have every driven." I have owned at least 10 Subaru sedans in my career and this is by far the best Subaru Legacy sedan I've ever owned. Don't overlook a sedan for a "SUV", the Legacy has everything and more.......

Carlos Gomez (not verified)    May 8, 2022 - 3:52PM

In reply to by LegacyOwner (not verified)

Hi Legacy owner. Is this a SUV or a sedan? The pictures make it look like a small SUV instead of a sedan. They say it's real quiet cabin noise, road noise, but how comfortable is it on long trips?

Outback 1 (not verified)    February 20, 2021 - 8:41PM

They Outback must have improved since 2017. Ours is the loudest and sounds like the suspension is coming apart on a very slightly rough blacktop road. The highway racket is loud and the damn thing is awful in a crosswind on the interstate. Other than that, it is a pretty good car.