Infotainment systems in vehicles have come a long way with technological advancements in the auto industry. An infotainment system lets you get the most out of your car in terms of media.
Old cars had a basic cassette player and FM/AM Radio for entertainment. Automakers started adding auxiliary ports to their vehicles to provide users with more entertainment options.
An auxiliary port allows you to connect devices that provide audio signals to the car. Furthermore, they are mostly used for audio equipment such as a sound source.
In this article, we’ll look at popular cars that still have aux ports instead of modern infotainment systems without ports.
With that said, let’s get started with a list of cars priced from lowest to highest.
Chevrolet Spark LS ($15,195)
In the 2020 Chevrolet Spark LS, the Aux port is situated on the dashboard right next to the USB port. It can usually be missed because it is just a small hole where you insert the jack.
On a Chevy Spark, the aux port is a yellow color so that it stands out even in the dark. This is important because when in the dark, the small hole for the auxiliary is easy to miss and might affect driving.
It’s possible that most cars are now moving away from aux ports because of the risk of affecting driver focus. For example, a Bluetooth connection is much more convenient.
We can see this in modern Bluetooth connections, which rarely need you to connect and set up again. Specifically, a Bluetooth connection automatically connects to the car when in close range.
Furthermore, a Bluetooth connection will connect and play media from where you left off. Even more important is that you can use the media control button on your steering wheel to control the media.
Unfortunately, an aux connection will rarely play media from where you left off when leaving the vehicle. This is because the connection is entirely severed when the aux cable is removed.
The Chevy Spark LS is a really affordable city car and the aux port works great for media syncing. Not only is the sound crisp and clean, but it does not sound muddy coming out of the car’s speakers.
Later models of the Spark now offer modern infotainment systems which allow for seamless smartphone integration. These are also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Honda Accord ($11,373)
In the 2010 Honda Accord, you can easily find the AUX port in the center console near the back. It is situated right next to the 12V power outlet, which is bigger and therefore harder to miss.
The Accord has established itself as one of the best family sedans on the market. As such, it is great for all-family long-distance trips and highway driving.
It has a spacious cabin with plenty of headroom and legroom for tall adults. The exterior has a classic, but modern and stylish design.
If the Honda Accord has Bluetooth connectivity, all you have to do is search for it on your smartphone. When successfully connected, the sounds played from the smartphone will come from the car’s speakers.
Without Bluetooth, you can press the “Mode” button on the radio interface to choose the AUX input. With the phone or media player connected by auxiliary cable, the sound should come from the car’s speakers.
Since the Honda Accord is a large sedan, the roomy cabin makes for a great-sounding speaker system. It’s equipped with up to 6 speakers for the base models and more premium speakers in higher-spec models.
Large sedans make for great long-distance trips and driving on the highway. This is more entertaining when the car has good music and media playing.
Music and other multimedia files can be played from the AUX port, CD player, or Bluetooth in some models.
Note, very few new SUVs have CD players.
Jeep Compass ($14,800)
The 2013 Jeep Compass also has an audio jack that can connect media devices such as MP3 players, iPods, or smartphones. The connection is seamless, and the port is easy to find and connect to.
The Jeep Compass also includes a USB port for playing from a thumb drive, FM/AM Radio, and a CD player.
On the Compass, you can easily find the aux input right on the radio faceplate where you can insert the auxiliary cable. This is where you’ll also find the controls for the other media preferences, such as the CD player and USB port.
Because the Jeep Compass is a rather large SUV, you can also find the aux port in the center armrest area. It allows for easier access to passengers sitting in the back.
If an aux port is only in the front radio faceplate, this will mean a longer auxiliary cable will be needed. This will then hinder the driver because a long cable might get tangled with their arms while driving.
It may be that manufacturers that install multiple aux inputs see safety as a good reason. Safety is a huge concern in a vehicle, and the less hindrance to the driver, the better.
Media players offer great entertainment for long trips and highway driving. This is why car makers try to install as many ways to play music as possible.
This is apparent in the Jeep Compass and other Jeep models that are mostly used for long-distance and off-road driving.
Nowadays, Jeeps and other car manufacturers offer modern infotainment systems. These can be compatible with a wide variety of media players without the hassle of bringing along wires.
Bluetooth was a great way for manufacturers to provide compatibility to various multi-media players. We now have seamless integration between the car and the smartphone.
Infotainment systems can now synchronize your smartphone to almost all the different components of the car. This means you can control temperature, media, and the car’s in-built navigation system.
Related: Jeep Compass Problems: 8 Common Issues (Explained)
Chevrolet Malibu ($18,550)
In the 2013 Chevy Malibu, the aux jack is situated in the center of the dash console. To use the aux input, just look for the 3.5mm jack input where you can insert the pin for media playing.
Chevrolets have always had up-to-date infotainment systems that allow for seamless integration with various media players. The 2013 model provided just that with the ability to play CDs, Radio, AUX, and USB ports.
The USB port is also situated where you’d find the AUX port in the center of the dashboard. The USB port allows for inputting thumb drives with media files on them.
When using a USB port, you’ll find that just like the AUX port, you can’t continue media playing from where you left off. This is because it is a physical connection rather than a digital connection.
A digital connection such as Bluetooth allows the connection from being severed entirely. This allows Bluetooth connections to carry on playing music where the user left off without any hassle.
To play music or pick calls with the aux connection, you’ll need a smartphone and an auxiliary cable. The cable will have both ends as a pin for inserting into the aux jack of the phone and the car.
After connecting both ends to the phone and the car, you’ll have to find the “SRCE” button on the car’s radio. This button indicates that the media will be played from the auxiliary source or port.
Having pressed the button, you can then go ahead and play music or an audio file from the phone. The sound will come from the phone, but will now be using the car’s in-built speakers.
This method is also great for taking calls while driving, using a GPS navigation system on the phone, or playing the FM radio from the phone. All the sounds from the phone will be heard in the car’s speakers.
This works just as well as with Bluetooth, without the hassle of cables when connected via Bluetooth. It is not only convenient but also safe for hands-free driving so the driver can focus.
Later models of this Chevy, like the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu, are at the top of their game when it comes to in-car infotainment systems. Drivers are now able to use premium technology from the car with their smartphones or other devices seamlessly.
The 2021 Malibu is now equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen that integrates with all the various apps on your smartphone. The myChevrolet App adds further features and is available for both Android and Apple app stores.
Smartphone integration makes it convenient to access different features available in your car from the comfort of your home.
Related: 11 Chevrolet Malibu Facts & Statistics You Should Know
Nissan Rogue ($21,000)
Nissan Rogues from 2014 to 2017 are fitted with the AUX Port for an alternative way to connect media devices. These are often really responsive and well-made when used with smartphones or media players.
Nissan is a huge player in the automaker industry and makes sure they have the best media players. The Rogue was one of the few models to get an upgraded infotainment system that did not have an aux port.
In the Nissan Rogue, the aux port is situated inside the center area armrest in the front passenger area. Similarly, other models have the aux port right in the media player/Radio interface itself for easily inserting the aux pin.
These areas are quite easy to find and situated where a cable won’t hinder the driver from operating the vehicle. In most cases, they are marked with the ‘AUX’ to indicate where to insert the pin.
It is not uncommon to find multiple aux ports in a single car, with one in the center console and one in the armrest area. This is to provide access to it for passengers both at the back and the front of the vehicle.
The Nissan Rogue is a great SUV that sports a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and seats up to seven passengers. The interior is built solid and roomy, with safety features and outdoor-driving capabilities.
SUVs of this size are excellent for long road trips and frequent highway trips. This is why it was also fitted with multiple aux ports and Bluetooth capability.
This media capability allows for seamless integration with media devices and good hands-free capability for phone calls.
Related: How Long Do Nissan Rogues Last? (9 Important Facts)