Can CD player play MP3 CDs?

I have a basic 2017 Subaru Outback. Can the CD player play MP3 CDs?

Call the dealer or read your manual.


Can not answer that question from here.
Different CD players have different playing capabilities.
Start with your owner’s manual .
Then try to play the CD in question.
Play / No play ? no problem. question answered.



The horror!
You actually expect somebody to open his/her glove compartment, take out the Owner’s Manual, and use the index to find the desired information?

Isn’t it easier to…cruise the internet…find a possibly appropriate forum…register for that forum…and then post this question in the hope of getting a correct answer from random strangers with unknown agendas?


Option #1, read the manual
Option #2, read the car reviews on the internet and see if they mention anything
Option #3, I assume you have an MP3 CD, just pop it in and see what happens. Maybe try a few of them just in case because the MP3 readers aren’t always very smart

I thought new cars were doing away with the CD player :slight_smile:

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I imagine it should not be a problem, but when you create the cd you will need to select the create an audio cd option in the program that writes the cd.

Plug one in and find out. If it doesn’t play, just eject it. The player won’t damage the CD.


Yes, read the manual and talk to the dealer. My wife’s 2012 Mazda will play both.

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Thanks. I did finally locate the information in the owner’s manual.

If I had a MP# CD I would not have had to ask the question. And, no, CD players are still available in new cars, but they can also come equipped with an SD card reader, aux. input, UBS, and Bluetooth. I presume that mid-level to higher end cars all offer quite sophisticated Audio/Informational systems as they can add quite a few dollars to the price of a car.

I’m not burning CDs, I’m playing audiobooks. The library in my city (San Francisco) has a large collection of audiobooks, but I’ve only run across one that was a MP3, and that was when I owned an older Camry, and the CD would not play.

You must have a heck of a lot of time on your hands if you can “cruise” the Car Talk forums to give a snarky answer to a question and at the same time denigrate users of the forum.


My 2010 Kia Forte will play both audio CDs and mp3 files on a data CD. I just use the USB port. I can put thousands of mp3 songs on a flash drive. All of these features were explained at the dealer when I purchased the car. They are also covered in the owner’s manual.

It’s not music but rather audiobooks that are my concern. My public library system (SFPL) does not put an emphasis on acquiring audiobooks. It’s acquiring ebooks and also providing services such as Hoopla, and the only way to listen to books from Hoopla and similar apps is to use an app such as FBReader which will read material but with a mechanical non-dramatic computer voice. I’m not opposed to buying standard audiobooks, but I’ve noticed that audiobooks using the MP3 format are a heck of a lot cheaper which is the reason I asked my original question.

Older CD players couldn’t. But anyone made in the past 10 years shouldn’t have a problem.

I’m not much help with audio book formats. The last one I listened to was on a cassette tape.

I sympathize! Same question. I was about to buy an audiobook on Amazon–MP3 CD–and I have a 2016 Subaru–missing manual AND it is Easter Sunday!! Like you, don’t need snarky replies! However, a couple of answers here were helpful and I am about to pull the trigger on–for me, anyway–an expensive MP3 CD! Thank you for asking the original question!

Fortunately the internet doesn’t take holidays. You can get the manual in PDF form directly from Subaru’s website…My guess, though, is given a 2016, you’ll likely fine playing an MP3 CD.

Will Kathryn consider telling her that she can down load the manual be a snarky reply.

They play just fine in my 2015 Forester, I test the ones I burn from a digital recording.