Kia Wakes Up, Kills Off Cassette Player


I was just looking at the fact sheet on the 2008 Kia Rondo (introduced earlier this year as a 2007 model) and discovered that Kia has dumped the Rondo’s cassette player in favor of an MP3 jack. Progress! You may remember (or not) my thoughts on the 2007 Kia Sportage, when I told Kia to join the 21st century and get rid of the tape player, seeing as almost no one has used one in the past decade. Or you may remember the Suburban Dad Manifesto, in which I implored all automakers to make MP3 jacks standard in the face of more than 130 million MP3 players wandering the roads of America (the vast majority of which are iPods). Well, it seems the South Korean automaker, in its wisdom, has seen fit to embrace both concepts for the Rondo and the 2008 Optima. We haven’t heard yet about the Sportage.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for automatic windows everywhere. Take your time; we can wait.

By Suburban Dad | September 18, 2007 | Comments (14)



The funny thing is that in a car without an MP3 jack, a cassette adapter is by far the easiest and most reliable way to listen to an MP3 player. If my 2002 Chevy Malibu had a tape player I could actually listen to MP3s in it!

Tom L

The funny thing is, people should not have to pay for an tape player adapter to play MP3s in their car. I mean common, a tape deck costs how much more to manufacturer than a little headphone jack plug-in? Really now.

I'm siding on Tom on this one. Not only that a cassette adapter costs 4X what an AUX jack costs.


I agree, they should be in all cars. FM transmitters suck. I also agree with brent about the older car thing- if your car is 3-5 years old- it probably doesn't have a cassette player or an MP3 jack. Did I say how much FM transmitters suck, lol.

BTW- if anyone knows of a brand of FM transmitter that is worthwhile with a nano or zune please let me know.


casettes have been dead for a LONG time. even CD's are starting to die.

Troy in Ft Walton Beach

MP3 capable cd players should be standard in all vehicles. Not just aux jacks. IMO OEM audio units are overpriced low end, equipment. Paper coned tiny magnet so called "premium" speakers, IC chip amplifiers, poor sound quality and general lack of realism in the audio (especially in low frequencies).

Imagine the money you could save on your next vehicle purchase if you ordered the vehicle with the audio system deleted (not an option today is it?). You could install your own system and still pocket a wad of cash.


scions are like that i believe


To clarify, I didn't mean to say that I would prefer a cassette player to an auxiliary input, because I definitely would not. I actually hope that my next car will have full iPod integration. I only meant that in the absence of an aux input (such as the in '07 Sportage), a cassette player is still the next best thing.


My friend's 2005 Lexus GS430 has a cassette player too. As well as a built-in NAV system, and CD changer. Apparently Lexus believes its core client base still loves its cassettes...


The bad thing is that cassettes actually can melt down in the Texas sun. So you lose your music. I still have one in my 99 old faithful Escort, but I only listen to the radio.


The Civic used to come with no radio (but was prewired for one)--it was a dealer-installed option. Competition forced them to make it standard.

Some pickups offer a radio delete option, but I think you only pocket $100-200, which is probably enough for a head unit and two speakers from Wal-Mart.

Troy in Ft Walton Beach


You're probably right albeit the Walmart combo would probably sound much better in the process. Now, check the cost of the standard audio in a new car. Imagine saving that amount of money and how much better audio equipment you could buy with that amount.

Michael Del Borrell

I have to disagree with the removal of the tape cassette. I happily own a 95 Cobra Convertible with the old Mach 400 stereo. Yeah, it could be better, but I chose XM Satellite radio over a new deck. Point is, I have a CD player and a separate tape player. I've owned a tape cassette adapter for my portable CD player for years, which my MP3 uses just fine in the cars archiac tape player. It's sweet and cheap and effective.

Randall Smith

So, I have an AM/FM (including RDS) CD changer with an aux port in my 2008 Altima. And I have a 8GB mp3 player. But... I still have lots of custom recorded cassettes with medelies of music taken from CD and vinyl. I would kill for a cassette player that would work well on the aux port (power from the car, load in a slot).

I am actually considering ripping out the head unit and replacing it with this more-versatile Chrysler unit.

Stop trying to dictate the industry direction.

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