One of the best feelings is driving around Pittsburgh with the windows down and the stereo up. While we’re a few months away from a forecast that will allow such a joyride, it’s never too early to start planning the best car to star in that daydream. And, of course, finding one with a top-notch sound system is a requirement. In fact, our favorite local car dealerships say 70-80 percent of customers inquire about media and entertainment options when looking for a new vehicle! Find the answers to your questions — and a collection of the coolest cars for 2015 — right here.

By Rachel Jones

BOBBY RAHAL AUTOMOTIVE GROUP

Lee Laniewski, Bobby Rahal Automotive Group

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA, Bobby Rahal Jaguar Pittsburgh, 2015 Cars with the Best Sound Systems

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA. Photo: Mercedes-Benz.

How important are entertainment features to your customers?

I would say 75 percent of our customers ask about the audio/entertainment packages available in our models. If you enjoy listening to your favorite jam or radio talk show on your drive in to work, then a good audio system is a must. With all of the new technologies available, the sky is the limit on the number and variety of channels you can have at your fingertips.

What are some of the top features Mercedes-Benz offers?

Bluetooth streaming audio makes it easy to enjoy your digital music player. It allows our clients to connect their Bluetooth-equipped iPod or other MP3 player wirelessly to their vehicle’s audio system for convenient, cable-free playback. Another improvement would be the HD Radio receiver, which delivers crisp, clear audio for AM and FM radio. It can also increase the number of stations available to the customer with no subscription or fee.

Take it to the next level:

  • Freestanding color screen and intuitive central controller — puts a world of entertainment and information within reach. The 5.8-inch display is standard, but a 7-inch screen is available
  • Harman/Kardon LOGIC7® Sound System – features Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound technology
  • Multimedia Package — includes an 80 GB hard-drive navigation, in-dash SD card reader, Gracenote® Media Database, and more

Hottest Mercedes-Benz for 2015:

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA

  • Starting price: $33,000
  • 24 mpg city, 32 mpg hwy
  • 208 horsepower
  • 2.0L turbo injection
  • 4-cylinder engine
  • 7-speed dual clutch auto transmission
  • ECO start/stop system
  • 4MATIC® All-Wheel Drive
  • Most compact Mercedes SUV
:: Bobby Rahal Motorcar Company, 10701 Perry Hwy., Wexford. 724.935.9300. bobbyrahalmotorcars.com.
:: Mercedes-Benz of Pittsburgh, 4709 Baum Blvd., Shadyside. 877.606.5409. mercedesbenzofpittsburgh.com.

LEXUS OF NORTH HILLS

Ed Persinger, Lexus of North Hills

2015 Lexus NX 200t, Lexus of North Hills Pittsburgh, 2015 Cars with the Best Sound Systems

2015 Lexus NX 200t. Photo: Lexus.

How important are entertainment features to your customers?

Our prospective customers almost always inquire about the Lexus Premium Audio System and how good it is. The system is composed of Pioneer components, and the sound is top-notch. Many families also choose to go with the Dual Screen Rear Seat Entertainment System for the kids. This system can allow DVD playback along with options to hook up some video-gaming systems.

What are some of the top features Lexus offers?

With HD Radio, you’ll experience CD-quality sound on FM stations and improved, crystal-clear reception on AM stations. Like the song that’s playing but don’t know the artist or name? You can easily tag songs for consideration the next time you connect to iTunes.

Take it to the next level:

  • Mark Levinson® Premium Surround Sound Audio System — uses 7.1-channel architecture and pushes more power at less than 0.1% THD (20-20,000 Hz), enveloping the entire cabin in sound quality that was once only reserved for six-figure home audio systems
  • App Suite integration — whereby the listener can choose sources like iHeartRadio and Pandora Radio to stream onto their Lexus Premium Audio System from apps equipped via their smartphone
  • The Lexus Premium Audio System also features: Bluetooth audio profile, USB connectivity, auxiliary port connectivity, digital signal technology, an Automatic Sound Levelizer, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio availability

Hottest Lexus for 2015:

2015 Lexus NX 200t

  • Starting price: $35,880
  • 4-cylinder, 2.0L dual turbocharged engine
  • 22 mpg city, 28 mpg hwy
  • 235 horsepower
  • All-wheel drive
  • Lexus Premium Audio System
  • Iconic Lexus spindle grill
  • LED running lights
  • Remote Touchpad
2015 Maserati Ghibli, Lexus of North Hills Pittsburgh, 2015 Cars with the Best Sound Systems

2015 Maserati Ghibli. Photo: Maserati.

You want a Maserati?

The 2015 Maserati Ghibli roars in at $69,800 with 345-404 horsepower and 25 mpg hwy. Click here for more information.

:: Lexus of North Hills, 15025 Perry Hwy., Wexford. 724.940.1400. lexusofnorthhills.com.

DAY AUTOMOTIVE

Gary DeSanzo, Imports By Day

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro, Day Automotive Pittsburgh, 2015 Cars with the Best Sound Systems

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro. Photo: Audi.

Why do you think a good audio system is important in a car?

Advancements in technology are happening at a rapid pace and a lot of people are trading current vehicles, not because it didn’t run, but because it doesn’t have tech features. For a lot of people, a car is the place they go to unwind from a long day of work or get away from everyday stress. Having the ability to choose your own playlist, rather than settling for what’s on the radio, is liberating and makes the drive enjoyable. People feel safe in their cars, and next to the shower, it may be the only place they belt out lyrics to their favorite tune.

What are some of the top features Audi offers?

One of the best musical features in some Audi models is the 1,200-watt Bang & Olufsen stereo. When you start the vehicle, the tweeter speakers rise up from the dashboard, a la “Star Wars.” The sound is incredibly clear, and even at the highest volume level, it does not leave you deaf. B&O has developed an anti-fatiguing technology that allows you to listen to loud music without the ringing and loss of hearing you expect when you leave a concert.

Take it to the next level:

  • Audi Connect — allows up to six devices to connect to 4G LTE WiFi; introduces Google services to the Nav system; and provides updates for available parking spaces, weather, gas prices, social events, flight times, and more
  • Upgraded amplifiers, speakers, and wattage — available with BOSE® or Bang & Olufsen stereo
  • HUD (Heads Up Display) — provides speed limits, navigation prompts, and warnings

Hottest Audi for 2015:

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro

  • Starting Price: $34,645 (well equipped)
  • 24 mpg city, 33 mpg hwy
  • 2.0L Turbo Charged engine with 220 horsepower
  • All-wheel drive
  • Panoramic Sunroof Leather interior
  • Bi-Xenon Headlights
  • Bang & Olufsen Stereo
  • 14 speakers
  • MMI touch
2015 Corvette Stingray, Day Automotive, 2015 Cars with the Best Sound Systems

2015 Corvette Stingray. Photo: Day Automotive.

Ready to Strike

Cruise through the city in the 2015 Corvette Stingray, which starts at $54,995. Powered by a 6.2L LT1 V8 engine, this ride flies with 7-speed manual transmission, Active Rev Matching, and launch control.

:: Imports by Day, 1580 Golden Mile Hwy., Monroeville. 724.327.4900. importsbyday.com.
:: Day Chevrolet, 1600 Golden Mile Hwy., Monroeville. 724.327.0900. daychevrolet.net.

#1 COCHRAN

Brandee Stratigos, #1 Cochran Volkswagen

2015 Golf TDI SE, #1 Cochran Pittsburgh, 2015 Cars with the Best Sound Systems

2015 Golf TDI ® SE. Photo: Volkswagen.

Why do you think a good audio system is important in a car?

It makes the time in the car more enjoyable, and most consumers like having their music while they are driving. People want to be able to integrate their cell phone and media to remain connected. It will also aid with resale value down the road.

What are some of the top features Volkswagen offers?

Touch screen interfaces are pretty much the norm at this point, and customers seem to enjoy having the ability to access their music from their phone through the car’s interface. The standard equipment on the new VWs allows customers to access their music in multiple ways. There is Bluetooth streaming, an SD memory card slot, CD player, Satellite radio, HD radio (for those that enjoy local stations but want a better quality), and the Fender premium audio system gives you a concert feel right in your car.

Take it to the next level:

  • XM-Sirius Satellite radio — available for a 90-day free trial in most vehicles
  • The option of pairing a mobile device via the customer’s cell phone — gives the driver the ability to stream their audio wirelessly, whether it be from a third party app like Pandora or their personal music they have loaded onto the device
  • CarNet — allows the consumer to check on various vehicle statuses remotely. There is an option to lock the doors remotely, put the windows up, and use location assist. Parents can even monitor speed and boundary alerts with young drivers. The CarNet service also has a concierge service to dispatch out roadside assistance, emergency help, or to remotely send directions to a consumer’s navigation unit

Hottest VW for 2015:

2015 Golf TDI ® SE

  • Starting price: $26,595
  • 2.0L TDI ® Diesel, 4-cylinder engine
  • 31 mpg city, 43 mpg hwy
  • Vervotronic® speed-variable electro-mechanical power steering
  • 5.8-inch touchscreen
  • AM/FM/CD with MP3 playback
  • Fender Premium Audio System 8 speakers and subwoofer
  • Named North American Car of the Year!

To Infiniti, and beyond!

Check out the 2015 Q50 AWD Premium, boasting the 14-speaker BOSE® sound system that’s anchored by three, 10-inch wheel-woofers for a clearer sound. Starting at $41,800, this “studio on wheels” also offers a 3.7L V6 engine, 328 horsepower, and a combined 22 mpg.

2015 Q50 AWD Premium, #1 Cochran Infiniti Pittsburgh, 2015 Cars with the Best Sound Systems

2015 Q50 AWD Premium. Photo: Infiniti.

:: #1 Cochran Volkswagen, South Hills, 2755 W. Liberty Ave., Dormont. 877.262.4726. cochranvw.com.
:: #1 Cochran Volkswagen, North Hills, 11750 Rt. 19, Wexford. 724.940.1000. cochranvwnorth.com.
:: #1 Cochran Infiniti Gallery, North Hills, 11740 Rt. 19, Wexford. 724.933.2222. cochraninfiniti.com.
:: #1 Cochran Infiniti Gallery, South Hills, 3220 W. Liberty Ave., Dormont. 412.245.3636. cochraninfinitiofsouthhills.com.
Previous post

Pittsburgh Events Calendar 2015: February-July

Next post

It's Time to Dance with Purpose, All February Long