Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take our awesome home theater-surround sound system with us on the road, especially if we’re frequently traveling or carry the family along?
Sure, it costs a little more for the best in-car sound systems direct from the factory, but isn’t the pure enjoyment worth it? For the audiophiles among us, it definitely is. Here we take a look at some 2012 and one 2013 family cars with the best sound systems.
Could you pay more? Undoubtedly you could, but there’s really no need, unless, of course, you’ve just hit the Lottery or come into an unexpected windfall.
2013 Lexus GS 350
Unveiled at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and available in February 2012, the 2013 Lexus GS 350 five-passenger mid-size luxury sport sedan will offer an available 835-watt 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. The system provides 7.1 Surround Sound through 10 channels using a new class Digital amplifier and luxury-first Green Edge speakers that are more energy-efficient, lighter and have less distortion. Lexus says the new system produces almost three times as many watts per channel over the previous generation.
2012 Honda Odyssey
2012 Honda OdysseyEnlarge Photo
2012 Honda Odyssey
Carting the family around in an eight-passenger 2012 Honda Odyssey can be more than a little less distracting with the Touring Elite trim’s standard 650-watt AM/FM/CD premium audio system with twelve speakers, including subwoofer and 5.2 Surround Sound Theater mode. Note that this is a big step up from the 229-watt system with five speakers standard in the base LX model, or the same 229 watts and seven speakers standard in EL and EX-L, or even the 246-watt, seven-speaker system standard in the EX-L with Navigation and Touring trims. But then, you get what you pay for, and the 2012 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite is pure comfort and technology on wheels, along with great audio entertainment. The 2012 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite begins at $43,675.
2012 Hyundai EquusEnlarge Photo
2012 Hyundai Equus
As Hyundai’s luxury large sedan, the four-passenger 2012 Equus should have all the bells and whistles to appeal to the most discerning audiophile. Does it deliver? The proof is in the enjoyment of the Lexicon 7.1 Discrete Surround Sound Audio System with 17 standard speakers. That’s more speakers than you’ll find standard on BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In addition, the Lexicon 7.1 Discrete Surround Sound system includes a 13-channel digital amplifier that produces 608 watts of distortion-free music. What the system promises: the ability to experience true audiophile quality with an audio system that delivers higher highs, lower lows, and rich mid-range sounds. The Lexicon 7.1 Discrete Surround Sound system also has XM Satellite Radio with over 170 digital channels, HD radio technology, and iPod/USB and auxiliary input jacks. The 2012 Hyundai Equus, available in Signature and Ultimate trims, is priced from $58,750.
2012 Infiniti EX
2012 Infiniti EXEnlarge Photo
2012 Infiniti EX
Optional on the 2012 Infiniti EX35 Journey and Journey AWD luxury crossover as part of the $2,700 Premium Package is the Bose 11-speaker Premium Audio system, including AM/FM/CD with MP3 playback capability, radio data system (RDS) and speed-sensitive volume control. The Premium Package also includes Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation with touch-screen display, lane guidance and 3-D building graphics, Infiniti voice recognition for audio, navigation and vehicle information systems, XM NavTraffic and XM NavWeather with real-time information, Zagat Survey restaurant guide, Around-View monitor with front and rear sonar systems, streaming audio via Bluetooth wireless technology, advanced climate control system, and aluminum roof rails. The 2012 Infiniti EX 35 Journey and Journey AWD begin at $37,900 and $39,300, respectively.