Top 10 Worst Sounding Modern Cars

For some, the way a car sounds is more important than the way it looks.

There’s no mistaking the deep, throaty note of a V8 or the exotic rumble of a V12, but sometimes, some engines and exhaust setups totally miss the mark. Some would blame it on increased emissions standards that have caused automakers to restrict exhaust setups, but sometimes cars just sound downright wimpy. Other times, cars just don’t sound like they look, and that’s an even bigger disappointment.

SEE ALSO: 10 of the Most Controversial Car Redesigns in Recent History

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

For decades, the Ford Mustang has been labeled as a “muscle car,” and often associated with a nice, performance-minded V8. Sure V6 engines have also been offered over the years for the Mustang, but the latest iteration now boasts a turbocharged Ecoboost four-cylinder that some Mustang enthusiasts consider sacrilegious. Some might say it’s downright offensive based on how it sounds, hardly believing that a car featuring the Mustang nameplate makes those noises.

Tesla Model S / Model X

Wait a second, the Tesla Model S and Model X don’t even make any noise! Well, that’s why they are some of the worst sounding modern cars. Instead of a nice exhaust note to fill your ears, electric cars emit what some would consider an annoying whine. Electric cars are here to stay and there may be a day that the majority of cars on the roadways aren’t making any sounds at all.

BMW M3 / M4

The latest-generation M3 and M4 models marked a new era for the famous model. Not only did BMW split up the nomenclature so that the M3 was reserved for the sedan while the M4 represents the coupe, the German automaker ditched the V8 engine for a turbocharged six-cylinder mill. Admittedly not everyone believes the new turbocharged engine sounds bad, but is certainly doesn’t have the same effect as the older V8.

Dodge Viper

You might think we’re a bit crazy putting the Dodge Viper on the list, with its massive V10 lurking. But take a listen and maybe you won’t think we’re so crazy. It’s a shame too that the latest iteration, which is also the Viper’s last, sounds like this when you consider how great its predecessor sounded.

BMW i3 Range Extender

The BMW i3 is an electric vehicle, but it can be had with a small gas-powered range extender, a paltry 647-cc two-cylinder unit. And just listen to it! That is not the noise you want a BMW to make, regardless of whether or not it’s an electrified car.

Nissan 370Z

When the Nissan 350Z and Infiniti G35 first debuted, everyone loved the exhaust note of the VQ engine. It was a unique sound and every time you heard it, you knew what was coming up on the road. And then the Japanese automaker revamped the engine, increasing its size from a 3.5 liter to a 3.7 liter and making it sound… strange. Sure the 370Z has horsepower and is more fuel efficient, but even a quick check on internet forums and you will see 370Z owners asking how to make their cars sound like a 350Z.

Cadillac ATS 2.0T

Like many other automakers, Cadillac has turned to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to maintain performance while increasing fuel efficiency. For the most part however, these smaller engines don’t sound brilliant and Cadillac’s mill is one of the worst offenders. You could say it’s the fault of the engine, considering BMW’s 2.0-liter turbo-four engine doesn’t sound great either, but then you have the AMG-massaged mill found in the CLA 45 that sounds… well, a bit better at least.

Smart Fortwo

We’re well aware that a Smart car doesn’t give the impression that it would sound any good. But did you know it could sound this bad? It’s often an exaggeration when people point at a car and say it sounds like a lawnmower, but that might just be the case with the Smart Fortwo.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

It’s a terrible tragedy that the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been axed, but some would argue that the Lancer Evolution has really lost its luster over recent years. What was once one of the most popular platforms for tuners worldwide, the Lancer Evolution hasn’t really evolved. The latest iteration has all the trademark characteristics you would expect from an all-wheel-drive, turbocharged four-cylinder sports car, but it really doesn’t sound the part. Luckily there’s plenty of aftermarket goods that really open up the Evo and make it sound like a true performance sedan.

Alfa Romeo 4C

Like the Dodge Viper, we expect the Alfa Romeo 4C to be a controversial pick. But it’s one of the few cars that is actually too loud from the factory, especially from inside the cabin. Once the appeal and allure of the rumbling startup is over and you take it on the road past five minutes, you’ll be wondering how exactly the 1.75-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine can possibly make that much noise. That is if you can wonder anything at all while you’re fighting off a massive headache.

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