What's the quietest car?
Q: I travel long distances on business and with my family, so I'm looking for a car with the quietest cabin I can find for less than 75,000. What hushed, four-door cars would you recommend - and are there any published statistics on noise levels?
A: Unfortunately, we don't record any statistics on cabin noise. This is because rolling noise levels are susceptible to variations in road, wind and weather conditions, so aren't a fair way to compare cars. There are plenty of super-quiet cruisers for well under 75,000, though.
At the bottom end is the Jaguar XF 2.7D V6 Luxury. It costs 33,900, and we like it so much we made it our Car of the Year for 2008.
For a similar price, the Lexus GS 300 SE (Multimedia pack) is also a quiet cruiser, and if you haggle hard you should be able to get one for 2500 less than the list price of 38,000.
Our most expensive suggestion is the Mercedes S-Class 320 CDI, which costs 55,022 (52,177 with a bit of haggling), and is our favourite luxury car.
It's also worth pointing out that much cheaper cars are becoming almost as hushed as their more luxurious rivals. Starting at 19,995, the Citroen C5 in Exclusive trim comes with acoustic laminated side windows as standard, so it's a remarkably quiet long-distance cruiser.