The Best SUV Audio System

That Will Make The Miles Fly

by Bill Flitter

“Dad, play the Beatles!” This is my son’s request every time we climb into my new car. And my reply is, “OK Google, play the Beatles.” After a brief pause, my car replies, “Alright, playing the Beatles.” Suddenly, the car is filled with the sounds of Here Comes the Sun and we’re happily jammin’ down the road with a fantastic SUV audio system.

One of the reasons I bought a brand new car was for the sound system. Brand new cars these days are loaded with tech you might not have even known existed. Plus, with having speakers in the front, middle, and back of the vehicle, you will never sacrifice sound no matter where you are sitting.

SUV audio system

Which Is The Best SUV Audio System

Tech like bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, auto volume that increases or decreases depending on your rate of speed, are all now common features.

Here now are the full audio specs for the three hottest Compact Utility Vehicles currently on the market.

2017 Honda CR-V

The 2017 Honda CR-V model is a hot mess of tech and audio. The 7 inch color touch screen display comes standard on the EX, EX-L and Touring models. It’s like having a built in tablet in your car. Giving you full access to Pandora, SiriusXM, HD Radio, and your phone, you’ll never be at a loss for music.

The bluetooth connection allows you to stream music from your phone. You can also plug your phone directly into the car. This allows you to access Apple CarPlay or Auto Android and all the music options that come with it.

The number of speakers you get is in direct relation to which model you get. The LX comes with a 160-Watt Audio System with 4 Speakers; upgrade to the EX and you get 180 watts with 6 speakers; the EX-L has 8 speakers.

But if you really want to rock down the highway, you’ll want to go all in and get the Touring. This comes with a 330-Watt Premium Audio System with 9 Speakers, including subwoofer. That subwoofer will make all the difference in the world to how bumpin’ your music will sound.

SUV audio system

2017 Mazda CX-5

The audio features of the 2017 Mazda CX-5 are similar to the Honda CRV, but there are some striking differences. For example, the base Sport model of the Mazda comes with the 7” touch screen display. Whereas with the CRV, you need to upgrade to at least the EX. However, you need to upgrade the Mazda to the Grand Touring to get all 10 speakers; and there is no mention of a subwoofer. As with the CRV, the CX-5 does offer bluetooth connection starting with the Sport model and comes with HD Radio and Pandora.

Mazda also offers Aha and Stitcher internet radio. If you decide on the Grand Touring, then you’ll also get a four month free trial subscription to SiriusXM. There’s also at least two USB inputs along with an auxiliary input jack for the Sport model and twice that number of ports with the Grand Touring.

SUV audio system

2017 Ford Escape

The 2017 Ford Escape, while very popular, comes with a bare bones audio system. The Ford site is short on specs and they don’t hype the tunes. For the base model S, the audio features make for a short list. It includes AM/FM single CD/MP3 with 6 speakers. It also has SYNC® Enhanced Voice Recognition Communication and Entertainment System.

However, the Titanium model, their top of the line, has a slightly longer list of features. It includes 10 speaker audio system from Sony, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and SYNC Connect. It also has an optional voice-activated touch screen capability with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link. The SYNC system is Ford’s way of connecting to Auto Android and Apple CarPlay.

In Conclusion...

Overall, if I were to base my buying decision for a new car solely on the SUV audio system, I’d have to go with the 2017 Honda CRV. The latest iteration of this line is revamped and looking and sounding sharp. The addition of a subwoofer in the Touring model closes the deal along with having Pandora baked in.

The Mazda CX-5 does have some tasty features. However, the lack of a real subwoofer and music options that I’ve never heard of did not help.

As for the Ford Escape, well, there’s a good reason why it’s one of the cheaper CUVs on the market–there’s just not that much to brag about for the audio system.

SUV audio system


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Over to You

What has your experience been with your CUV or SUV audio system? Does your car have a great stereo? What do you like or don’t like?