Tech Feature Friday: Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Radio Replay
Skipping back or forward while listening to satellite radio means you don’t miss anything.
As SUVs go, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most tech-laden vehicles available in the segment at any price. The Limited 4X4 model I drove had a sticker that totaled $42,080 and included as standard equipment such helpful technology as Chrysler’s highly accurate and easy-to-use Uconnect voice control/Bluetooth hands-free phone system and a great sounding 9-speaker/500-watt no-name audio system. Other helpful bells and whistles included in the base price are hill-descent control and hill-start assist, a backup camera and parking sensor system, remote start and heated front and rear seats.
The two options that bumped the base price up from $39,295 were a Rear DVD Entertainment Center at $1,495, and the 730N Media Center head unit, at $465. Chrysler has one of the best and most versatile rear entertainment systems in the business. In addition to video entertainment, it allows rear-seat passengers easy access to any audio source in the vehicle via the wireless remote and headphones. For a system with a single, small overhead screen, however, the price is steep.
But the Media Center head unit -- which adds a 40-gigabyte hard drive (20 GB of which is for music storage), a voice-activated navigation system (which, unlike some systems, actually works well for inputting destinations by simply speaking them) and a year's worth of Sirius XM Traffic -- is well worth the extra coin. And it has a cool feature that, while not unique, is only available because of the hard drive. It lets you rewind the radio.
It’s called Radio Replay and the system buffers content from the current Sirius XM channel you’re listening to on the hard drive. You can toggle between the live broadcast and buffered content by hitting the Live/Replay tab on the touch-screen, or just pause the current program if, for example, you can’t listen at the time and don’t want to miss something.
Once in Replay mode, you can also skip ahead or back one song at a time by hitting the back or forward buttons. Touching Scan previews each track stored in the buffer, while selecting List lets you see the tracks that are stored. A bar at the top of the screen indicates how much time has elapsed between the current play position in the buffer and the live broadcast, and it also moves incrementally when you skip back and forth between songs in the buffer. When the channel is changed, audio in the buffer is erased.
BMW and General Motors both have a similar radio rewind feature in some of their vehicles. Although GM’s is not as full-featured, it works with AM and FM, and will even continue to record for a time after the engine is turned off.
I earned the nickname “Flipper” as a kid on family road trips because I was constantly changing radio stations to see what was on other channels, afraid I was missing something. Except for the fact that the buffer is emptied each time you change stations in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4, I like that its radio Replay feature lets me skip back to see what I may have missed. Or just to hear something over again.
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at firstname.lastname@example.org.