Purists say the vehicle entertainment systems are an abomination, an unnecessary distraction from the unique art of driving, a lifeguard for lazy parents and a nuisance in the already chaotic environment of the car overloaded with extravagant aggregates.
Obviously, they never got caught in a traffic jam with a car full of screaming kids after a 15 hours marathon of driving. If they had been there, they would have liked to have a set of embedded LCD screens on the backs of the seats, integrated DVD players, satellite TV, 115-volt outlets to connect laptops and game consoles.
For those who love the idea of having a theater environment in your car, we compiled a list of vehicles that offer the best entertainment options.
Chrysler Town & Country
Let's start with the Chinese Theater from Hollywood of the entertainment systems for cars. Maybe the Chrysler production line is in severe trouble, but the company still knows how to make a super minivan. The Chrysler Town & Country, on sale from $26,010, can be equipped not with one but with two screens and DVD players (the dual system costs $2,200) and those who are on the second row of seats can see something different than the third. The equipment also comes with video input and output of 115 volts for consoles, 9 Infinity speakers of 506 watts and a TV for Sirius backrest (for $525 extra), receiving child satellite signals from Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network.
The DVD player in the Lincoln MKS sedan, which starts at $41,270, plays video only when the vehicle is parked, so that you'll wonder why, if you're not going anywhere, you would like to see a movie on the chair front of your car. Perhaps the reason to bring popcorn to the highway is that the surround equipment sound 5.1 THX II certified ($2,500) makes your room feel ashamed, with its 600 watt amplifier for 12 channels, 16 speakers and a sub-woofer of 10 inches. And it's not going to bother you that the seats are softer than a luxury sofa, upholstered in leather and 12-way power-adjustable heat and cold.
The Toyota Sienna minivan, from $24,260, comes with two options for fun in the back seat. The first is the touch-screen LCD ($1,999) that can be inserted into the headrests with integrated DVD player and headphones infrared, two independent players to entertain two children at once. The second option is a split-top screen that lets you view different content on each side, available as part of an entertainment package of $2,495. You could also equip the Toyota Sienna with both equipments and see four programs at once, what would make your car the most luminous of the road.
Many people love the Mazda Mazda5 because it is one of the best cheap car on the market: Three rows of seats from $18,510. And the optional DVD player for the rear seats is also a relative offer, at least compared to most manufacturers. Mazda avoids converting DVD player and 7-inch screen in a more expensive package and is offered separately at $1,200. The real bargain hunters will go for the portable DVD players from Walmart for $60, but an integrated head restraint system is more elegant than the individual small screens that end full of marks and bruises on the floor of the backseat.
The new Ford Edge 2011 from $27,220, will offer an optional dual DVD entertainment for the head restraints, similar to that installed in many other vehicles. But with the synchronization system of last generation of the Edge with MyFord Touch (optional for the SEL line , standard on Limited and Sport), your passengers can do all those things they do while watching DVDs on the couch in your house.