Best $32,000 Sound System You Can Find

  • Dolby Digital 5.1 with 12-Speakers
  • 400-Watt Amp with Sub-Woofer
  • Super Quite Listening Room
  • HD & Sirius Radios, CD, MP3
  • WiFi and iPhone Integration
  • Nice But Why So Much? Details…

You guessed right. This one of the new 2015 automobiles with feature packed, top-of-the line sound systems once available only in expensive luxury models. With greater completion between manufactures, we are seeing sound systems from Lexus in Toyota Camry’s and from Infinity in Nissan Altima’s.  Here is what we found in 5-popular, intermediate sized family sedans with their most premium sound systems. We thought each car sounded great so are listed alphabetically (with model and price).

Chevrolet, Malibu 2LT, $27,545

  • Sound by Pioneer
  • 9-speakers
  • 7” viewing screen

Remarks: No power rating is provided but major brand Pioneer equipment. Clunky looking radio controls easily confused with similar looking AC controls.

Chrysler Group, Chrysler 200C, $26,635

  • Sound by Alpine
  • 10-speakers, 506-watts power
  • 8.4” viewing screen

Remarks: The most powerful system with largest screen.  All new model car.

Ford, Fusion Titanium, $31,175

  • Sound by Sony
  • 12-speakers, 390-watts
  • Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound
  • 8” viewing screen

Remarks: Most speakers, well known Sony brand but mainly touch – slide controls vs. easier to use buttons and knobs. Most expensive.

Hyundai, Sonata Limited, $26,525

  • Sound by Infinity
  • 10-speakers, 400-watts
  • 8” viewing screen

Remarks: Nice dash lay-out for controls, easy to view screen up high and canted to driver and SD card input. Also includes Apple’s new CarPlay which will revolutionize the integration of your iPhone, car functions, navigation and sound (no cost download coming). Best price and our favorite.

Nissan, Altima SL, $28,150

  • Sound by Bose
  • 8-channel amp, 9-speakers
  • 5” viewing screen (7” available)

Remarks: Unsure what 8-channels means (maybe Dolby 7.1) and no amp power rating provided. Most Bose home theater systems feature small speakers and low power. But this Altima setup sounded fine to us anyhow.

Toyota, Camry XLE / XSE, $27,320

  • Sound by JBL
  • 10-speakers
  • 7” screen

Remarks: No amp rating provided but the JBL GreenEdge energy efficient speakers probably use less power so a rating number might not be comparable for less efficient speakers in other cars. The Camry has been the nation’s most liked car and we assume the sound system too.

The new cars all have increased soundproofing and stiffer bodies – perfect for quiet listening while motoring to work; however, with testing at the dealer’s lot, we did not experience the effect of background road noise but did experience the background noise of the salesperson trying to sell us a car while listening to music.  We think these premium sound systems are the best ever and rival the most expensive systems available.

Let us know your impressions if you are on the road in one of these new models.

[picture credit Hyundai USA, picture 2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited Dashboard]