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· Registered
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I could really use some input from those that have gone before me.

During the recent problem with Best Buy screwing up my speaker install (and then later fixing it), I was fairly convinced that I was going to have to replace my OEM head unit...

The big mistake here is that I started looking at them. Even now that the system is working again, my mind is stuck on the idea of replacing the HU with something newer and more sound-worthy.

I've read the other threads here about HU installs, and I've got a list of all the adapters and cabling I'll need, but I can't seem to make up my mind...

Here's my list of needs;

  1. Not an Android guy, so want CarPlay.
  2. That being said, both would be nice if I make the switch to Android later
  3. Needs to be relatively easy to use outside of CarPlay mode.
  4. Not interested in no-name-brand knock off HU..
  5. XM Radio is a must
  6. Would like NAV but not 100% required with CarPlay. I just hate Apple Maps due to the no "avoid toll" option.
  7. must retain stock USB location in console
  8. must retain steering wheel controls
  9. must retain stock backup camera
  10. Would like to be able to add a front facing camera on the bumper for parking the beast.

To that end, if Kenwood had released their Excelon 893S model already (it's June.. WTH!?!), I would have already bought it because it meets the criteria. Alas, it hasn't -- reportedly (crutchfield) because of delays in getting Apple Carplay Certification...

I also love the fact that the Kenwood uses Garmin maps meaning that if I couldn't live with Apple Maps, I could at least have some level of usable GPS built in. Not sure of how good Pioneer built-in GPS is...

That leaves me with the older models such as the Pioneer NEX 8100 / 8200 (what's the difference???) and the Kenwood DNX 892 though the latter seems to be discontinued...

The trouble I have with either choice is that they use the "old" interface. The new Pioneers and Kenwoods are supposed to have "greatly improved" interfaces, and I'm just wanting "improved" (aka easier).

So, I guess my questions are,

- what's the difference between the Pioneer AVIC 8100 and 8200?
- does anyone here have any experience with either Pioneer AVIC or Kenwood Excelon Units?

· Registered
40 Posts
I recently installed an AVIC6100NEX and I think that the Pioneer AVIC series seems to meet all your needs. The 6100 can do everything on your list except Android Auto, although I believe the 7100 and 8100 both have Android auto. There is a thread here titled 2014 head unit install that discusses the issues you might encounter and describes how you can keep all your OEM functions.

I was a portable Garmin ( my unit is about 5 years old...) user so am familiar with that system. I recently took a long trip with my Pioneer Nav unit and found it excellent. It offers a great deal of information and integrates well with the music functions of the Pioneer unit. I find no need to go back to the Garmin unit and would not even bother with Apple maps. Although I personally think Google maps is the best, IMO the Pioneer NAV function is right up there. I did not have any traffic issues to avoid so I don't know if the Pioneer maps will handle that with suggestions like Google.

I am an Apple user and chose the Pioneer for the Car Play integration over Kenwood with Garmin. These modern HUs have a great deal of functionality so there is gonna be a learning curve to get the most from them but basic functionality is easy. I did look at the 6200 and didn't see anything that stood out as different worth the price, as the older units were discounted when I was shopping.

I'm not sure what you mean by "old" interface...

Good luck.

· Registered
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not sure what you mean by "old" interface...Good luck.
Thanks for the input. "old" interface, meaning the 2016 models (both Pioneer and Kenwood) are supposed to be better refined.

For example here's the "old" Kenwood Interface.

versus the "new" interface on the deck I'm waiting for;



· Registered
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think the problem might have sorted itself out. I can't find it now, but while looking around on the Web last night, I noticed that Amazon had the Kenwood Excelon 893s for sale with a note that it would be available on June 13th. A couple of weeks late for my birthday, but bleepit.., since I had to buy the truck as my own Valentine's Day gift to myself, I can wait and buy my own bleeping birthday present.. :)

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