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    Thread: VW car stereo upgrade (GPS+satellite)

    1. Member Nightfox's Avatar
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      01-02-2009 02:00 PM #1
      I recently bought a 2009 VW Rabbit and opted to go with the basic stereo for now (no satellite, just AM/FM/CD changer/iPod), but at some point I'd like to upgrade the stereo to something that tunes in satellite radio, and maybe one that has GPS navigation too. I've seen some pictures online of VW car stereos that do all this (and have the standard VW 6 CD changer and have the iPod connection too). I like the VW stereos and their feature set, and I'm wondering how easy it would be to have my car stereo upgraded to one of these higher-end VW stereo models? Would a VW dealership be able to order one & install it for me? And what model should I be looking for that has those features? I haven't seen too much info online about VW stereos. Or, is there another brand that might be less expensive/better? I saw a couple of satellite/navigation stereos at Best Buy yesterday, but they seemed to only hold one CD (I like having the in-dash CD changer), and I'm wondering if the factory VW iPod connector wouldn't work with a different brand stereo.

    2. Member SpecialFX's Avatar
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      01-02-2009 02:19 PM #2
      aftermarket will get a LOT more features for the same money, it just depends on if you want the OEM look. If you use the ipod cable, why do you need a CD changer too? Shouldn't all your CDs be on the ipod anyway? You can pick up a premium 7 cheap that can do all of that except the GPS. I have mine sitting in the box my touchscreen nav came in.
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    3. Member Nightfox's Avatar
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      01-02-2009 02:24 PM #3
      Quote, originally posted by SpecialFX »
      If you use the ipod cable, why do you need a CD changer too? Shouldn't all your CDs be on the ipod anyway?

      Even though VW stereos support iPods, the iPod support & controls suck, and I've found that it's a little buggy too, so I haven't used the iPod connector very much. I'd like to still be able to use it though. My concern with getting a different brand stereo is that I have the factory VW iPod cable, and it might not work with a different brand stereo. But I suppose I could get a different iPod cable. And I suppose a different brand might have better iPod controls.

    4. Member GreasyCarni's Avatar
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      01-02-2009 04:59 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by Nightfox »

      Even though VW stereos support iPods, the iPod support & controls suck, and I've found that it's a little buggy too, so I haven't used the iPod connector very much. I'd like to still be able to use it though. My concern with getting a different brand stereo is that I have the factory VW iPod cable, and it might not work with a different brand stereo. But I suppose I could get a different iPod cable. And I suppose a different brand might have better iPod controls.

      If its the same as mine its a universal cable. You should be fine hooking into an aftermarket system. The controls on the stock one are non-existant, you cant even change the track. I was considering the next gen rabbit just for that but when I looked into after market systems it makes much more sense, at least in my case.


    5. Member Nightfox's Avatar
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      01-02-2009 08:17 PM #5
      Quote, originally posted by GreasyCarni »

      If its the same as mine its a universal cable. You should be fine hooking into an aftermarket system. The controls on the stock one are non-existant, you cant even change the track. I was considering the next gen rabbit just for that but when I looked into after market systems it makes much more sense, at least in my case.

      If I can use the same cable, that would be good.

      The stereo in my Rabbit can change the tracks on the iPod, but that's about it besides choosing a playlist (up to 5). I am disappointed in VW's iPod controls. I'm not sure if I should wait a while for VW to improve their iPod controls or just get a different brand stereo.


    6. Member darkk's Avatar
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      01-03-2009 01:58 PM #6
      if you don't mind spending the money,Kenwood makes a very nice unit that has everything you want. the DNX8120.
      the link is just for reference:
      http://www.topchoicedigital.co...oogle

    7. 01-03-2009 02:57 PM #7
      I am not sure what kind of MFD you have--half or full. But the new RNS 510 is an amazing unit. It has GPS/SAT included in the unit. Its also a DVD player. Its not particularly a plug and play. I dont think you have SAT, correct? IF thats the case you will need to add an antenna for both the GPS and Sat. If your car has a Sharkfin antenna its a little easier. The VW dealer can do the install but be ready to pay over $3500. You can find the unit for sale on here or other pacs for between 1800 and 2300 depending on what comes with it. If you are interested in the RNS there is penty of into on here about it or you can check out http://www.vwnavi.com or http://www.rns510.com

    8. 01-03-2009 03:45 PM #8
      You can have the whole kit and kaboodle for a good price - the Kenwood DNX 5120 cost me $500 new - then I added the bluetooth and sirius. The boys at enfig fitted it for me - all in about a grand but I have a GPS, touchscreen ipod player, CD and DVD player, sirius, handsfree phone, steering wheel controls for volume, mute, tracks etc...also FWIW the improvement in sound is significant over the premium 7.

      Edit - Trying to post pics but photobucket isn't letting me copy the image code

      Modified by wilks at 3:56 PM 1-3-2009


      Modified by wilks at 3:58 PM 1-3-2009


      Modified by wilks at 3:59 PM 1-3-2009


      Modified by wilks at 4:12 PM 1-3-2009


    9. Member Nightfox's Avatar
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      01-03-2009 04:37 PM #9
      Thanks for the posts. I have the regular AM/FM antenna, since I don't have the satellite tuner.

      I figured it would cost some significant money for an upgrade like this, but wow, $3500 at the dealer to have it all installed seems pretty spendy.


    10. 01-03-2009 04:56 PM #10
      I think the unit itself lists for 3499. You can find them for around 2k and then install it yourself.

    11. 01-03-2009 05:02 PM #11
      Is the install fully integrated with an "OEM look"? e.g. What radio were you coming from? Did you already have SAT and/or NAV? Where and how did they install the SAT/NAV antennas? Does the BT phone system auto-mute the radio, download phonebook, etc? Does the steering wheel phone button work?


      Modified by noka648 at 10:12 PM 1-3-2009

    12. Member Nightfox's Avatar
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      01-03-2009 05:03 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by WOB PB 377 »
      I think the unit itself lists for 3499. You can find them for around 2k and then install it yourself.

      That seems a bit crazy for a stereo. One reason I was leaning toward the VW stereo is that if I ever resell my car, some people will question why there's a non-factory stereo in it. But I've seen navigation stereos for much less than that, so I guess it eliminates the VW option if I want a navigation stereo.

    13. 01-03-2009 07:14 PM #13
      "Is the install fully integrated with an "OEM look"? e.g. What radio were you coming from? Did you already have SAT and/or NAV? Where and how did they install the SAT/NAV antennas? Does the BT phone system auto-mute the radio, download phonebook, etc? Does the steering wheel phone button work?"

      Answers are:

      I came from a premium 7 so no nav but had srius - in a jetta GLI - you can see what the unit looks like installed from pics and I think it looks good - you can change the colour of the buttons and user interface if you want - you need to buy kenwood sirius and bluetooth plus the steering wheel control hookup - we took the vw sirius out and put the kenwood in where it came from (trunk) and used the oem shark fin roof antenna - GPS antenna is under the thing on the dashboard that looks like a big vent but isn't - some people convert it to a open tray but it's a great hiding place for a GPS antenna (reception is excellent) The bluetooth downloads the phonebook from your mobile - and of course you hear the call via your speakers - so if you receive a call or want to dial the stereo mutes automatically - you can even program your phonebook via voice command and just yell "home" or whatever and it makes the call. I don't have the steering wheel phone button programmed but you could - I just press the tel button on my screen to make a call - and again if you receive a call it automatically mutes it. The microphone is by the light switch - you can see any wires just the microphone itself. You can download the manual from the kenwood website for info too. Hopefully that helps.


    14. Member shutin's Avatar
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      07-14-2009 02:36 AM #14
      How hard or easy is it to remove the HU?

    15. Member Snow-Jet-MK5's Avatar
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      07-14-2009 02:42 AM #15
      Quote, originally posted by shutin »
      How hard or easy is it to remove the HU?

      its very easy to do. i am a mecp certified installer at best buy and i did a double din radio and sub/amp setup in a gti in less than 30min. it also helps that i own the car.v


    16. Member shutin's Avatar
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      07-14-2009 02:46 AM #16
      Thanks for replying so quickly. I had a DNX5140 installed recently with the adapter kit and now what to access the back of the unit. How do you remove the HU. Does the adapter kit come off pretty easily?

    17. Member Snow-Jet-MK5's Avatar
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      07-14-2009 03:08 AM #17
      Quote, originally posted by shutin »
      Thanks for replying so quickly. I had a DNX5140 installed recently with the adapter kit and now what to access the back of the unit. How do you remove the HU. Does the adapter kit come off pretty easily?

      which adapter are you taking about?


    18. Member shutin's Avatar
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      07-14-2009 12:04 PM #18
      Sorry. I mean the plastic trim ring around the mounting kit. Does this make sense?

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