Changing Times, Cheaper Rides
If we roll back the clock one decade, you wouldn't find a single car available with satellite radio or iPod connectors. Reason? Neither technology had been invented yet. Satellite radio showed up on the scene in September of 2001 and the already iconic iPod first made its way into consumers' eager hands one month later. Roll that clock forward a couple of years and some cars were capable of playing satellite radio and/or connecting to your iPod, but they were very expensive high end models. As time marched on, both technologies began to trickle down to cheaper cars, but both Satellite Radio and iPod connectivity remained expensive options. As we make our way into 2010, both are now cheap and commonplace in cars of all stripes and sizes. Here's some of the cheapest cars with one or the other – or both!
The Kia Forte starts at just $13,695, or roughly the price you'd pay for a set of carbon ceramic brakes on a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. Despite the Kia Forte's low price, you get quite a bit of kit, pardon the British expression. For our purposes, one of America's least expensive cars comes with both Sirius XM satellite radio and iPod integration. Bonus: the Kia Forte also comes with a USB input so you can rock your MP3s without the need for an iPod.
Starting at just $12,355, the Toyota Yaris is one of the cheapest new cars you can buy. However, getting your hands on one equipped with satellite radio and iPod connectivity is going to raise the price a little bit. Sirius XM radio is available, but Toyota makes you pony up an extra $890 for the privilege as part of their "convenience package." That money also nets you 15" wheels and and auxiliary input jack for your run of the mill MP3 player. Should you want an iPod connector, you need to cough up $299 more. That raises the cheapest possible satellite radio and iPod integrated Yaris's price to $14,364.
The lone American car on the list is actually built in Korea (remember Daihatsu?) and might actually be the cheapest car on sale today with satellite radio and iPod connections. This Chevy Aveo costs just $13,520, beating the Kia Forte's price by $175. However, that price is based on a Chevy's Total Cash package, which gives you $1,500 cash back (or 0% financing). Those with less than stellar credit may not qualify for the Total Cash discount, raising the Aveo's price to $15,020 when outfitted with the $200 satellite radio option.
When it comes to Scions, people often overlook the kinda generic looking xD for the most dashing (and boxier) xB. However, when it comes to bang for one's buck, the $15,470 iPod ready xD is hard to look past. You can think of the xD as a Yaris (the two cars share a lot of parts, and a little bit of style). Best of all, for that low price you get a Pioneer stereo system capable of hooking up to your iPod or other MP3 playing device. Satellite radio however, is going to cost you. Thankfully not by much – just $449, raising the Scion xD's price to $15,919. Not too bad.
In Japan, Nissan's iconic Cube has always been a great value proposition. Long story short, you get a lot of design for not a lot of yen. 2009 saw the release of the Cube in America, and for just $13,990 you can scoot around town in a funky, boxy, fun car. However, you can not listen to satellite radio or jam out on your iPod for that low price. You have to skip up two trim levels to the $16,790 Cube SL, which comes equipped with both satellite radio and iPod connectivity. Audio driving pleasure has its (nearly $3,000) price. Oddly, the Versa-based Cube is actually cheaper to get with satellite radio and iPod connections than the Nissan Versa, though by just a few hundred dollars.