2011 Mitsubishi Outlander
The Outlander, an often-overlooked SUV by Mitsubishi, may be a surprise entry to this list. However, its optional 710-watt Rockford Fosgate Punch stereo is phenomenal for a car less than $30,000, so it's easily one of the best options at this price. This audio system features digital signal processing and gets the job done with just six speakers, including the 10-inch subwoofer, producing a sound worthy of a luxury car. No, we weren't expecting it either.
2012 Acura TL
Acura's excellent ELS audio system is available across the entire vehicle lineup (except on its flagship RL model, ironically, which still packs an underwhelming Bose setup). It sounded the best in the midrange TL luxury sedan. Designed by Grammy-winning sound engineer Elliot Scheiner, the 440-watt, 10-speaker surround-sound system aims to reproduce studio-quality sound, including the full 24-bit, 96-kHz audio found in DVD-A discs—the highest quality currently possible.
2011 Lexus LS
The Lexus LS was one of the first vehicles to truly advance the art of car stereos back in the '90s. Today, it continues to impress with a 7.1-channel surround-sound Mark Levinson Reference audio system. At 450 watts, it's far from the most powerful setup on the market, but it boasts less than 0.1 percent total harmonic distortion, 19 bespoke, metal-coned speakers and a range of 20 to 20,000 hertz