The Best Thing Ever Invented

by Alan J. Claffie

So we got a new ride a week or so back. The Missus grew tired of her former PUGGEDmobile and swapped it for a nice shiny new station wagon.

07 Santa Fe "Limited", FWD
3.3L 24-valve V6/5-speed auto
Slate blue exterior, black leather
only option: power moonroof

It's not bad, even if one doesn't really like this type of vehicle. For its size - and it seems to be quite a bit bigger than its predecessor - it gets going pretty good and even steers and stops adequately. The seats are comfie, the air conditioning cold, and it can haul quite a bit of stuff as we begin our move to a new place.

But the best part of the whole wagon sits right in the middle of the dashboard and only needs to be described with two letters: X and M.

Satellite radio is something we've kicked around getting for quite a while now, but never actually got around to. Some of that is due to an unwillingness to play with the car's electrical system, or hesitance to pay for radio which oughta be free, and waiting to see if XM and Sirius were ever going to go through with their merger.

That there was a choice in providers was probably the biggest impediment as both providers had attractive programming, and the nod was probably going to go to Sirius because it had NASCAR. But still we waited, and eventually the decision on which to go with was made for us by the good people at Hyundai.

And I'm glad the wagon has XM. Yeah, we don't get NASCAR, but instead we get (yes!) Major League Baseball. The more you think about it, we come out way better: NASCAR is a weekend thing while baseball is almost constantly happening somewhere. I don't think I've climbed into the wagon yet and not found a game going on, my 6 AM rides home from work not counting. The only thing we'd get from Sirius' NASCAR content aside from actual race broadcasts is racing talk shows, although there's a healthy amount of NASCAR talk on XM's channel 144 anyway.

I haven't even touched on all the news, talk, and music out there.

The best part? Say you're on a road trip and stumble on a decent AM or FM station that plays decent tunes or even a ballgame. Half an hour later you start hearing the station starting to get fuzzy, and ten minutes later it's nothing but static and you have to find something else and hope it's just as good, though you know better. With XM, the good stations never go away! That Alice Cooper song on "The Boneyard" isn't going to get interrupted by static, that game isn't going to leave you hanging right after the home team ties it up in the eighth inning. That takes some getting used to.

Is all that worth $12.95 a month? To me, it is.

Send Feedback Via Email

Return to Front Page