Hyundai's AM-FM radio doesn't live up to the hype
I haven't seen automakers take to new technology this quickly since Edsel Ford insisted all new models come with optional hi-fi phonographs and an eight-record set of the vocal tracks to "Birth of a Nation," which I still have and listen to often. A great example of this is the 2011 Hyundai Elantra, with its new AM-FM radio. It's a promise of a new tomorrow, but is the technology where our expectations are?
To test out this newfangled tech I spun the wheel on my brand new wireless rotary phoned, reached out to the local fleet manager to give me the fanciest car and he handed over an Elantra. Normally, I won't drive a Korean car — on account of the war — but I hear they'll be selling more and more of these cars here so I thought I'd give it a shot and jumped into the little thing with my trusty dog Buster, who is the more tech savvy of the two of us.
My friends in the industry, whom I dine with as often as they'll pick up the check at Andiamo's, tell me that the Elantra is roughly comparable to a new Buick Regal or Lincoln MKZ, which explains why it seems so roomy, attractive, and luxurious when compared to them. I was curious how, then Hyundai could price a car so low, but then these same friends explained the car's price was in Koreabucks, which are worth about $3 a piece.
Miraculously, there were somewhere between four-hundred and five-hundred buttons on the dash. Or at least that's what it felt like. How am I supposed to use such a system?
First, I pressed the "ENTER" button when I entered. Nothing happened. Then I put my finger on the "SAT" button when I sat down. Nothing happened. It was a remarkably bad start.
Sick of trying to push all these buttons, I hunted the dash for the dial, so I could tune in my favorite AM radio program "Chester Provingdon's Review" which offers a nice blend of lute-playing, hog commodity prices, and forward-thinking commentary on the gold standard. Alas. There was only one dial and every time I'd spin it cold air would fly into my face.
That's no the radio, that's a travesty!
Rather than miss old Chester spin yarns about his wily Filipino housekeeper Mr. Flippy, I pulled out my transistor radio. Alas, I'd forgotten my darn earphones. I thought I'd be okay because I found a cord that looked similar to the thin piece of black wire I use to get the tiny voices into my head, so I shoved it into the transistor. It worked!
I snagged the other end and shoved it directly into my ear… just call me Mr Digital!
Something didn't sound right and there was far more bleeding than I'd anticipated. I removed a hanky and swept up what blood there was and deposited into a bag for safekeeping (waste not, want not). But alas! Another good turn. I noticed there was a similar-sized hole on the dashboard. I removed the cord from my hearing hole and shoved it into the dash. It also fit.
Now, I'm fairly cutting edge, but I'm no Nikola Tesla. I understood there was a button somewhere I'd be able to use to hear sound but what was it? Tune didn't seem right. This isn't a piano. Just then my trusty dog Buster hit the AUX button with his nose.
"This AUX to work, I thought." And it did!
The sound wasn't as clear as I'd hoped, probably on account of all the blood, but I heard the entire program sitting there in my driveway. It was ok. Not as good as the trusty AM-FM on the Ranger I'd just reviewed, but still a full, loud, round sound.
Downsides? With the auto-locks I was trapped in the car for 16 hours and was forced to eat Buster.