iPod-ready cars - Introduction
Some manufacturers are better than others when it comes to catering for the iPod generation. So, if you listen to a lot of music while you’re driving, it’s worth taking a look at the factory-fit options before choosing a new car.
It could save you money in the long run, and saves messing about with FM transmitters or ripping out the car’s stereo, possibly voiding at least part of your car’s warranty.
Many manufacturers offer an auxiliary input socket as standard, or as a cost option. This allows you to plug in your iPod or MP3 player using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm jack lead, and effectively use the car’s stereo as some rather large headphones.
The problem with this setup is you’ll need to use the iPod itself to change tracks, and won’t be able to charge it on the move.
Increasingly, car manufacturers are offering full iPod integration as an option. Some, such as Kia and Hyundai, even offer it as standard.
This gives you the options of controlling you iPod with the car’s stereo, or buttons on the steering wheel. It also means you don’t have you worry about your iPod running out of battery power on long journeys.
If it’s not standard, full iPod integration can be expensive, however - typically around £200.
We decided to find out what the major manufacturers offer iPod users, and just how much they will charge you if you’re buying a new car.