A Text to Riswick from the i3 - 2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited June 2015 in BMW
imageA Text to Riswick from the i3 - 2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test

The 2014 BMW i3 does not have a CD player, which is just another reason it's very much a car of the 21st century.

Read the full story here


  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin Member Posts: 509
    There are a bunch of cars these days that don't have CD players or charge extra for one. Pretty crazy stuff! I still use mine occasionally. I don't want to sound like a CD fanatic but the truth is CD audio sounds better in my car than the AUX input from my iPod.
  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Member Posts: 863
    Well, I've got a TAPE DECK in my 2000 Miata (well into the internet era), so there's nothing unreasonable about having previous gen audio tech. Here's the thing. We still use the CD player in our 13 Pilot. Why? Books on CD, maybe pop in a kids CD or a Christmas CD during the holidays. You'd be surprised. I can't see how having a small, thin slot for a CD player would've costed BMW much of anything, but would've added value.
  • throwbackthrowback Member Posts: 445
    I feel you jriz, my wife's Mini does not have a CD player and she was more than little upset about it. I didn't realize Mini's don't come with CD players anymore, so.. it was clearly my fault for letting her test drive the car in the first place!
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Yeah - sure you could use USB, or SD, or files played from your phone. Now, where are you going to get those files to put on your USB, SD or phone/music player device - as good quality audio files as a CD (16bit/44.1kHz) has, that is?

    Well, duh - you can just download them, of course! Um, no you won't...while there are a few sources that sell downloads of that quality, they don't have anywhere near as large a catalog as iTunes, or Amazon, for example. But iTunes sells 256kbps compressed, and Amazon 320 kbps. Streaming audio? iTunes at 256kbps, Spotify at 320.

    If my okay-sized 800 CD collection disappeared tomorrow (it won't - it's all backed up losslessly...), I could replace it with new CDs...maybe 95% replaced, as there are a few I can't find anymore. If I wanted to replace that collection of music with CD-quality files via legal downloads...I don't think I could ever do it - that wide a variety of files of that quality is just not available for download.
  • schen72schen72 Member Posts: 433
    Audio is something that I just don't really care that much about. All of cars don't support audio streaming, but even if they did, I don't listen to much music in the car. I typically just listen to AM news radio, or often nothing at all.
  • subytrojansubytrojan Member Posts: 120
    Funny post, James! Nicely done!
  • socal_ericsocal_eric Member Posts: 189
    I can *almost* understand something like the Chevy Spark not coming with a CD player since they're really pushing that car towards a younger demographics that hasn't bought much physical media, but a recent 2015 Cadillac ATS I drove didn't have the optional glove box-mounted CD changer/single-disc (or whichever you can get in the already too small glove box). And that's a $45k+ luxury car.

    If memory serves me correctly, the old Lexus SC was the last car to come with a tape deck but even by that time the cassette was long since dead and hadn't been sold in countless years. The quality was poor and they don't age well. On the other hand, I can and still do buy CDs and my oldest ones from decades ago still sound the exact same.

    I've tried to load the music library I've purchased over the years onto my iPod but the flash memory based unit I have topped out at 64GB which isn't nearly enough to store everything I have in a decent bitrate. I did try putting my entire library on a 256GB USB memory stick, but has any of these automakers who are pushing USB-based digital media playback ever tried to index and sort through really big libraries? Some systems I've tried panic and give errors on libraries over 10k songs and even if I load up a memory stick, with the poor sorting and indexing you can never find anything.

    As an example, many systems don't appear to let you select an artist and then see their albums but instead display all songs from all albums by that artist. If I can't recall the name of the album I have to work my way through the menus, select the artist, find a song, start playing it to see the album name, then go back to the poor menu system to sort by albums just so I can do the equivalent of grabbing a CD and dropping it in.

    I'll stream sometimes but with data caps and poor cell reception on long commutes this isn't a solution. The heavily compression audio of streaming or satellite sounds pretty bad, even in an automotive environment with more background noise. Then you have some manufacturers promoting HD (hybrid-digital) Radio but neglect to build a good base AM/FM receiver.

    If automakers are dropping CD players because they think "millennials" don't want them, that's the equivalent of trying to build cars to chase younger markets. Even if you succeed you'll probably alienate and lose a lot of older people who still have money and want great cars. Also like the millennial generation it was long touted they didn't like driving as much as older generations but recent studies show this is turning out to be untrue. Makes you wonder if dropping CD players when you can still buy CD media might be a similar mistake.

    -end rant-
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I'm older and I'd rather have ten sticks than ten CDs. Not an album listener and resent having to buy a CD just to get a song or two I like.
Sign In or Register to comment.