Just to clarify a few thoughts.
I can't really speak to the performance. I noticed it on one turn, where I was late making the turn for the onramp to the freeway, it didn't respond like my CX5 did, and it felt heavy. Everything else felt fine. It's hard to really know without an extensive test drive in the hills which is hard to get absent renting one. The dealer test drive is almost useless.
As far as noise goes, there are 4 sources of noise that I can discern: engine, road, wind and radio. I include radio because I have to crank it to get it above the other 3 so it doesn't really count. What I noticed driving in is that road noise was the biggest culprit (it's windier in the afternoon), until I hit new pavement, then it's wind noise unless I rev the engine. A new set of tires would probably help but I didn't get the sense that it would make a giant difference. It's just a noisy car.