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Chrysler launches 2011 media centers

by David Zatz on

Dropping the UConnect moniker from its stereos, Chrysler will soon launch a series of Media Center stereos in its Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, and Ram lines.

The Media Centers start with the traditional 130 and 230 models, the former having a CD player capable of MP3 playback, the latter having a six-CD/DVD changer. Both have an audio jack. The Media Center 130 (RES) is currently sold, and can be purchased with UConnect Voice Command (including USB jack, iPod connection, and more), and satellite radio. The Media Center 230 (REQ) will be dropped at the end of the 2010 model year.

The other three units all have 6.5 inch touch screens and 30 GB hard drives built in. These are the 430 (RBZ), 430N (RHB), and 730N (RER), and they differ more substantially than the numbers indicate. However, all include a single CD/DVD player capable of MP3 playback, an audio jack, album artwork, and the ability to copy from a qualifying USB player. With UConnect Voice Command (optional on 430, otherwise standard), the stereos have a remote USB port, hands-free texting (430 and 430N), Bluetooth streaming audio (430 and 430N), and iPod control.

The Media Center 430 does not have navigation; but the otherwise similar Media Center 430N includes Garmin GPS navigation, with the name brand clearly visible. It also includes UConnect Voice Command of the phone, radio, and music. This is already available on the 2011 Grand Cherokee and all full size Rams (including chassis cab), and will appear shortly on the 2011 Dakota, Liberty, and Nitro.

The Media Center 730N has features similar to the 430N, but uses Harmon GPS navigation instead of Garmin; it has iPod control, dead reckoning, split screen capability, satellite radio, and voice command of navigation. It is currently available on Ram full size pickups, Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, minivans, and LX cars.

The 730N includes an iPod control cable, allowing remote control of the iPod via radio or steering wheel audio controls. The dead reckoning system (a similar system has been used on past Chrysler units) helps navigation even when satellite signals are not available, and by remembering its last position, allows much faster startups. Voice command allows for speaking addresses. (Thanks, Moose Eater.)

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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