Do new cars have CD players? The answer may surprise you. Back in the day, all new cars came standard with CD players, but it’s very hard to find the same technology in today’s vehicles.
In this article, we discuss why CD players aren’t found as much in vehicles today. We also talk about when the transition happened and list some vehicles that can be found with the technology. Finally, we offer you a few alternatives and answer your top questions.
Do New Cars Have CD Players?
The majority of new cars do not come with CD players as standard technology. Many drivers have transitioned away from CD players to digital content instead. Therefore, the CD player isn’t as requested in new cars, so the equipment would be wasted.
That doesn’t mean the CD players are completely obsolete yet. In fact, there are still some new cars that offer the technology listed in a few minutes.
When Did CD Players Stop Being Put In Cars?
It’s been a good decade since CD players were popular. CDs have been slowly replaced by Bluetooth streaming in vehicles.
However, all of the car manufacturers haven’t discontinued the CD player entirely. Some brands want to offer a good balance of new and old technology.
Still, the majority of the auto brands stopped installing CD players back in 2015. In the coming years, we expect that CD players will disappear completely as new technology continues growing in popularity.
Why Don’t Most New Cars Come With CD Players?
In today’s market, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Spotify offer the most popular ways to listen to music. Apple CarPlay is available from every major car manufacturer. Android Auto is also currently available with more than 500 models. Spotify estimates that 70% of all vehicles will be connected in 2023, but it’s possible these figures are conservative.
The newer technology makes it easier to listen to anything at any time. The streaming content isn’t limited to just music, either. You can use the services to catch up on podcasts, listen to eBooks and more. You can also switch between musical artists and content without taking out a CD. Not only that, but the phone can hold a lot of content, far more than a CD could ever hold.
The new technology is far more convenient. Therefore, automakers are going to continue providing what customers want and what’s best for them over older technology that’s no longer desirable. If you still want a CD player in your car, you are sadly in the minority.
What New Cars Come With CD Players?
While the CD player is considered older and outdated technology, some automakers are having trouble letting go. There are still some newer models that offer CD players, but it probably won’t be for much longer.
Of the 2022 models, you can find some Honda models with a CD player option. Both the HR-V and Odyssey have it available.
As far as Toyota models are concerned, you have a few more options. Both the Sequoia and Highlander are available with a CD player. There’s also the chance to get a Prius or Camry with a CD player. Besides that, some Lexus models offer the option.
With Nissan vehicles, the Nissan Rogue, 370Z, Juke and Frontier offer this option. It’s unlikely that these will continue for many more years.
Finally, Ford is another brand that offers CD players. However, they aren’t coming in the 2023 models, so you have to find a leftover 2022 if you want this technology.
Can a CD Player Be Added to a Newer Car?
Yes, you can add a CD player to your new car, depending on the model. There are several options that make this possible. If the automaker has the option to include a CD player, you can add it from the factory. You would need to talk to the dealership to see if this is an option.
There’s also the option to add an aftermarket CD player into the vehicle. You will pay a little more to add a head unit with a CD player because these aren’t popular anymore. Plus, it can be difficult to install the older-type head units. If you aren’t sure how to do it yourself, you might be better off hiring a car electronic expert.
READ MORE: How Much Does It Cost To Install A Car Stereo?
Car CD Player Alternatives
It’s difficult for us to recommend getting a CD player in your new car. With the latest technology, it makes more sense to move forward and enjoy the new conveniences. However, we do have some options that might make sense for your lifestyle.
1. Buy A Used Car
You may not need to buy a new car. Have you considered the benefits of owning an older car that has a CD player installed from the factory?
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were released in 2014 and 2015. Yet, these technologies weren’t included in most cars until closer to the 2017 model year. You can find a used car from just a few years ago that still has the older technology you desire. Just remember to try it out before you buy the car.
2. Upload Your Music To A Digital Device
This may seem like a foreign task to you, but it’s going to make your life easier. Copy the files from your CD to your computer. From there, you can save them on your smartphone or a USB stick to play in the car.
Once you connect your smartphone to the vehicle through Bluetooth, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you will be able to play the content, just as if it was on CDs. The only difference is that you’ll be able to switch between tracks much easier.
RELATED: How To Play Music and Video From Phone To Car
3. Sign Up For A Streaming Service
If you join a service such as Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Prime Music, you can gain access to any song you want to listen to without owning all of the CDs. It’s like having a library of music at your fingertips.
There’s another benefit to using this option. With the streaming subscriptions, you gain access to more than just music. You can also listen to the news or get involved with a podcast.
4. Install A USB CD Player
There are aftermarket CD players that attach a USB port in your car. You can choose this option if you are desperate to listen to some CDs. Sure, you can install a head unit, as we discussed earlier, but this option is less cumbersome and permanent.
Just make sure you read the reviews of the equipment before you buy it. Choosing something cheap and poorly made can lead to a parasitic drain on your battery. It may also supply subpar sound quality.
What year did they stop making CD players in cars?
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto started to become popular in cars around 2017. It wasn’t long after that the automakers decided to shift to this technology as standard equipment versus installing a CD player. However, some models still offer the option to have a CD player.
How can I play CDs in newer cars without a CD player?
You can put the music on your compatible smartphone or a USB stick and play it through the Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connection. There’s also the possibility to purchase a CD player that connects through USB or you can replace the head unit with a compatible option.
How can I listen to audiobooks in my car without a CD player?
If the audiobooks are on a CD, you can transfer the files to a memory stick or your phone and play them that way. There’s also the option to listen to them through a service online while streaming from your phone, such as Audible.
Can you still buy CD players?
Yes, but they aren’t as common these days. It’s possible to find head units with a CD player, but you want to be careful where you buy it from. Additionally, they aren’t always easy to install, so you would want to hire a professional audio technician to ensure the job is done right.
It’s hard to keep up with new technology and roll with the changes. When the CD player stopped being popular, it created a lot of heartache for many drivers. Yet, you can still enjoy the content you love with the latest tech options. You may even find that the new technology brings you more enjoyment as you see how much more content is opened up to you.
As professional mechanics, we can’t stress enough the importance of working with a car audio team if you need help installing equipment. The electrical system and technology in today’s cars are quite sophisticated and not meant to be worked on by a novice. Your attempt at installing a car stereo with a CD player could lead to a major disaster if you don’t know what you are doing.