I recently bought a new-to-me car. It’s a 2006 Mini Cooper and it is desperate need of an entertainment system. 2006 was a strange year for car entertainment systems. The cassette player was obsolete, but BlueTooth was not prevalent. So that means I’m stuck with a CD player which for some reason has no auxiliary input. The problem is that ten years later, CDs and radio are obsolete (at least for me). It’s 2015 and I need a new entertainment system.
Looking around, there’s a variety of aftermarket and official Mini OEM systems, but I’m looking at about $100 to $800 in equipment and adapters. The purist in me wants to use OEM parts which gives me two options: Get a BlueTooth radio set for the 2006 model, or retrofit a newer one. The frugal part of me thinks that paying upwards of $400 for Mini branded stuff is just stupid when the aftermarket has much newer and better solutions for less.
While I love my car, I’m hesitant right now to put money into things that don’t improve its function. There’s far more non-car things I would like to save up for and buy. So maybe I should just get one of those cheap radio transmitter adapters, or better yet, drill a hole in the glove compartment and run a $30 AUX cable adapter kit to the entertainment system (which for some reason has an input inside the center console but not in front).
Or should I? I don’t plan to go on a ton of long boring road trips in the car. I live close to work and commute in the opposite direction of rush hour. Mini Coopers are a brand of BMW, a company whose slogan is “The Ultimate Driving Machine” and I bought the car for its manual transmission and its sport package. It has a fantastic-sounding supercharger and the sound of the engine alone makes me smile every day. Maybe that’s all the music I need to listen to right now.