Jeep finally made a system that's worth two grand.
When was the last time you rode in the back seat of a car with a rear entertainment system and thought "wow, I'd rather use this than my smartphone?" Unless you happen to have a binder full of DVDs on hand, the answer is probably not recently. Old-school rear entertainment systems are about as useful today as a cassette player, but we have recently noticed automakers making some huge strides in this area.
The upcoming BMW 7 Series includes a massive 31-inch theater screen and Bentley now offers an Airline Seat Specification with dual screens. Though these back seats are likely more luxurious, we think the best rear entertainment system on the market today comes from Jeep. We tested it on the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe but it's also available on the larger Grand Wagoner. Here's why the Jeep system is so outstanding:
The big issue with previous rear entertainment systems is they required some kind of physical media (typically a DVD), but Jeep's dual 10.1-inch high-definition displays each include their own built-in Fire TV. That means any format you can view on your Fire Stick at home, you can now watch on the go in your Jeep. Some examples include Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, YouTube, and even live streaming TV. Of course, you have to have a subscription to use those streaming services. Users can even download and play games from Amazon.
Since it's tied to the same streaming accounts, your kids can start watching a TV show or movie at home, then pick up exactly where they left off in the car. The screens are controlled via touch or the included Fire Sticks, which also include Amazon-powered voice controls. Jeep is not the only brand to include Fire TV integration, as Ford and Lincoln now offer it on their full-size SUVs as well.
Each rear screen is completely independent, meaning the right passenger can watch Stranger Things on Netflix while the left passenger can enjoy The Boys on Amazon Prime. Or, if everyone in the back can agree on what to watch, the screens can mirror the same image from one Fire Stick. Once something is playing on either side, that image can then be mirrored on the optional front passenger screen. Jeep told CarBuzz this feature works for most, but not all sources. The company is working to make sure every streaming service is compatible.
In addition to watching shows and movie on the Fire TV system, the screens also include HDMI ports, meaning you can plug in a gaming console and run it off the built-in Wi-Fi. The HDMI port also allows phone mirroring with an iPhone, while Android devices can cast wirelessly. Each screen can store up to nine gigabytes of data, meaning passengers can download content to watch later if you're driving somewhere remote where the internet connection will be spotty.
If this rear-seat entertainment package sounds like something you'd like to get for your children, it's currently available on the Grand Cherokee Limited, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve trims models for $1,995. Jeep recently made this feature available on the three-row 2023 Grand Cherokee L as well, meaning more passengers can enjoy the Fire TVs. The Grand Cherokee includes a 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot with a three-month trial that includes one GB of data. After the trial, unlimited data plans start at $20 per month through AT&T, or you can simply tether your smartphone and use the data you already paid for.