Kuga Plug-In Hybrid Is One Of The Quietest Ford Vehicles Ever
With a plug-in electric car, you experience a quarter of the interior noise levels of those experienced by your grandparents.
Ford took some time off to look back into history and compare several of its cars, from 1966 to 2020, to see how much progress has been made in terms of making cars quieter.
A few decades ago, drivers and passengers had to shout to make themselves heard. Today, modern cars – especially plug-ins – are pleasantly quiet (basically almost silent in all-electric mode).
The comparison at a speed of 50 km/h (30 mph) indicates that the Ford Kuga PHEV (Ford Escape PHEV in the U.S.) is rated at 69 dB (peak internal noise). A lot less than the old ICE models (10 dB difference usually is perceived as twice as loud).
Max decibels dB(A)
1966 Ford Anglia
1970 Ford Cortina
1977 Ford Granada
1982 Ford Cortina
2000 Ford Mondeo
2020 Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid
Ford notes that Kuga PHEV occupants “experience interior noise levels that are just one quarter of those experienced by their grandparents in a 1966 Ford Anglia” (20 dB difference).
In all-electric mode, the measured interior road noise level, in controlled tests, was just 52 dB(A) – “equivalent to gentle rainfall”.
Ford Kuga PHEV – quiet
Ford explains that its “Whisper Strategy” is based on multiple small noise improvements around the vehicle. In the case of Kuga, Ford says:
“For the new Kuga SUV, Ford examined noise‑generating elements from the suspension to the door seals to help find ways to optimise interior refinement.
Adding perforations to Kuga Vignale leather seat bolsters reduced the total area of flat surfaces inside the cabin, helping absorb rather than reflect noise.
Aerodynamically-tuned sound shields are added underneath the body of the vehicle that help limit road and wind noise entering from outside.
Ford engineers spent two years testing more than 70 different tyres over surfaces from smooth Tarmac to rough concrete and cobbles, in wet and dry conditions and at a range of speeds to find the exact specification that kept road noise to a minimum while still delivering high levels of comfort and grip.
And channels behind the exterior panels that allow hidden wiring and components to pass from one area to another are smaller and narrower to limit airflow inside the body.”
Interestingly, the top of the line trim Vignale is equipped with Active Noise Cancellation system:
“The system works just like popular noise-cancelling headphones – detecting unwanted low-frequency cabin sounds through strategically-placed microphones and counteracting them with an opposing soundwave from the B&O Sound System.”
As a side note, we just found out that the Kuga PHEV all-electric range is now officially up to 56 km (35 miles) under the WLTP test cycle, compared to 50 km (31 miles) reported initially, a few months ago. That’s a nice surprise.