I agree, these Ford I4's make a lot of noise; had an '09 Fusion and now drive a 2011 Milan Hybrid; the ICE is a bit loud, with a low growl. Specifically, I've noticed it on Ford 2.3 and 2.5 I4's; my brother has a Focus 2.0 I4 and I don't notice as much engine noise, that's a smooth engine. Can't speak for the 2.0 atkinson/hybrid setup, haven't driven one yet. You do get use to it, but I haven't noticed it as much on non-Ford I4's.
My guess is, because the exhaust is on the back side of the engine compartment versus the front, it's close to the firewall (very close), and so it seems normal that there would be more engine "grumble" coming through. I'm not sure if there was a standard practice in the past for exhaust at the front of the engine compartment (or perhaps exhaust on the back has always been a Ford thing), but these newer Fords have them turned around (perhaps for emissions, helps heat up the cat. quicker). I don't know a lot about exhaust design, but I suspect that having the exhaust on the backside of the engine, you are going to hear more sounds (maybe this has no impact). Take it for whatever it's worth, but you will get use to it.
Edited by musicalgreasemonkey, 03 March 2018 - 08:28 AM.