Even the most dedicated General Motors enthusiast might have trouble answering this question: how many GM vehicles on sale in the U.S. today offer a CD player? The answer is that almost none of them do, with the exceptions of the 2021 Chevy Express van and its corporate twin, the 2021 GMC Savana. For all their qualities, neither is a state-of-the-art vehicle, so it’s not surprising that they can be ordered with a CD player.
This does not apply to any other GM model. No other Chevy, no other GMC and no Buick or Cadillac models of any kind has a CD player, even as an option. The assumption held by GM and most (if not all) other automakers must surely be that owners nowadays prefer to connect their smartphones to their vehicles’ onboard entertainment systems – whether by Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or a humble USB cable – and listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks or any other type of content that way.
But this does not apply to everyone. To start with, some people do not own a smartphone. Others have a lot of CDs and would like to play them in their car. In a new GM vehicle, other than an Express or a Savana, they can’t. There may be other reasons too.
The point is that there is a demand for modern GM models to be fitted with a CD player, as attested by readers of both GM Authority and of our sister publication, Cadillac Society. Below are some examples.
“A tremendous dislike and disappointment because I cannot enjoy the vehicle as I really like the inability to play my extensive collection of music CDs. A car with 14 speakers is designed to sound great but not this car because there is no CD player made to install and there is no factory installed version in this vehicle.” – Donna (Cadillac XT6)
“When will Cadillac put back the CD players in the vehicles?. My last purchase was an SRX that had it… disappointed to find out my 2021 XT5 doesn’t have it.” – B.R.T
“I would have liked to have the option for a CD player. I realize many use their phone for music but I still want to play my CDs on this Bose Panaray system.” – Glenn (Cadillac CT6)
“Why isn‘t there a CD player? The sound system in this car is incredible when I play radio but would be better if I could play CDs. I don‘t want to use a phone.” – Chuck A. (Chevy Corvette C8)
“I have a large CD collection that I carried with me in my old Sierra. I just got a brand new 2020 Sierra and disappointed to realize a CD player isn‘t offered.” – Steve (2020 GMC Sierra 1500)
Smartphones are undoubtedly the music devices of choice these days for the overwhelming majority, but perhaps GM could satisfy the demand demonstrated here by making CD players available as accessories and fitting in them in the glovebox, or under a seat, or in the trunk, just like in the old days. Doing so would satisfy an admittedly small portion of the market, but it would also provide a new source of revenue for The General.
This post was created in collaboration with our sister publication, Cadillac Society.