Problem solved. I found a car walkman with 2 levels of Digital Bass Boost that sound really great in the car. It's thin and compact.
Fits in the stow away compartment at hands reach where all the USB, AUX, AC Plug, Lighter etc are.
Again, this was more for my other half than me, but after hearing it, now I'm glad I got it.
Thanks for the opinions,
Glad you solved your problem. But to continue a general discussion:
I can see why CDs are leaving cars. Car makers need space for touch screens with GPS and backup cameras. Our own car has an in-dash 6 CD player, and we haven't used it in years!
We listen to satellite radio most of the time (we haven't used the AM/FM in years, either). And I can play music directly from the iPhone through the car's USB port.
We have lots of music CDs, but I download them to the home computer. Or else buy new selections online from the iTunes store. On the computer is where I often listen to them, because I have my iMac's sound playing through an 8-speaker harmon/kardon system with a subwoofer, producing excellent sound. Then I copy the ones I want to my iPhone (and iPad, too, for headphone listening), from which the car can access them. I could use a thumb flashdrive, as well, but I want the music on my iPhone, too.
And I'll bet your car with "every bell and whistle" can store music downloaded to it. Many now can. Meaning you can have the songs you want, right at your fingertips (or by voice command, as our car does), in car memory without needing to carry CDs with you. And that's why car CD players are going the way of the 8-track and cassettes.