Rear entertainment systems used to be cutting-edge automotive technology and the envy of minivan passengers everywhere. Early systems had VHS players, which evolved to play more modern forms of media. Now that we’re in the era of 3-row crossover SUVs like the Kia Telluride, you can’t get a VCR in a car anymore, but the …
Rear entertainment systems used to be cutting-edge automotive technology and the envy of minivan passengers everywhere. Early systems had VHS players, which evolved to play more modern forms of media. Now that we’re in the era of 3-row crossover SUVs like the Kia Telluride, you can’t get a VCR in a car anymore, but the rear entertainment system is still alive.
With the rising dominance of tablets and smartphones entertaining children, these rear-seat entertainment systems are becoming obsolete. However, the popular Kia Telluride still offers a rear entertainment system as a $1,500 option. That makes it the most expensive dealer option for the Telluride. Is it worth it?
Is the Kia Telluride rear entertainment system worth $1,500?
The optional rear entertainment system in the Kia Telluride consists of two screens mounted on the back of the front seats. These are essentially hard-wired tablets with some entertainment apps and games already installed. They also have various inputs, including a Micro SD card slot, an HDMI port, and a USB port.
You can also do screen mirroring from an Android device. If you have an Android smartphone, you could play a movie on the phone and have it also play on the screen in the Telluride. Unfortunately for Apple users, this setup has no screen mirroring for iOS.
Unlike entertainment systems that used to be common in minivans, there’s no DVD or Blu-Ray player in this entertainment system. Theoretically, you could hook up a Blu-Ray player to the screen via the HDMI port, but that would be pretty cumbersome.
A notable disadvantage of this system is that passengers in the third row don’t have a clear view of what’s on the screens. With a more traditional system where a screen folds down from the ceiling in the car (which is still available in the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna), all of the passengers can enjoy the media on the screen.
It’s worth it for the right family
The optional rear entertainment system could be worth the money for families that don’t have (or want) tablets. All kinds of negative consequences come with constant exposure to screens, especially for kids. Ironically, this tech feature could be suitable for families with a more low-tech lifestyle.
For parents who don’t want their kids permanently plugged into the Matrix, a rear entertainment system in the car could be a nice compromise between technological enslavement and Luddism. Depending on your priorities, the fact that you can’t take the screens out of the vehicle could be a feature, not a bug.
However, if you have no qualms about using a tablet, smartphone, or Nintendo Switch as a digital pacifier for your kids, then this option probably isn’t worth the cost. If your kids already have tablets, you can get generic tablet holders that attach to the back of a headrest for a much lower price than this $1,500 option.