Pioneer’s New After-Market Car Audio and Navigation System

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In October I purchased a 2010 Prius with a basic radio instead of the factory navigation and audio system that would have cost about $2,000 extra.

At first I just used my Android phone, which has Google Maps Navigation and the ability to play audio through the car speakers. It worked OK but is a bit awkward to use in the car, so I decided to upgrade to an after-market system that would be built-into the dash yet be cheaper and have more features than Toyota’s premium entertainment and navigation system.


Pioneer AVIC-Z130BT Audio and Navigation System

I held off until I could see the 2011 systems at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, where Pioneer Electronics announced one that had all the features I was looking for, plus the ability to access and control an iPhone and stream Internet audio from Pandora and Aha Radio. A few weeks ago, Pioneer sent me an AVIC-Z130BT in-dash receiver and navigation system to test out for a review and arranged for installation from AMS Car Stereo in San Jose. I’ve decided to keep and pay for the unit because, despite some initial challenges with the user interface, I like its features and versatility. This model, which has a 7-inch touch screen, sells for $1,200, but installation and a custom car kit, steering wheel controller and cables will add to the cost. If you don’t care about the Internet streaming feature, you can get less expensive models from Pioneer and other companies. For more on Pioneer and car audio and navigation systems, click here.

Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safety advocate. He serves as on-air technology analyst for CBS News, is co-director of and founder of and He also writes columns that appear on CNET News,, Huffington Post and the San Jose Mercury News.

His technology reports can be heard daily on CBS News and CBS affiliates throughout the U.S. and he has a daily tech segment on KCBS radio in San Francisco. He’s a regular contributor to BBC World Service and an occasional guest on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation. He is often called upon for commentary by CBS television news, CNN and Fox News and has appeared on the CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, the Today Show and CBS Early Show. He has also been a frequent contributor to the New York Times and was, for 18 years, a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

He has written several books including the best-selling Little PC Book and is co-author (with Anne Collier) of MySpace Unraveled.

Larry served on the Obama Administration’s Online Technology Working Group and the Berkman Center’s Internet Safety Technology Task Force.
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One Response to Pioneer’s New After-Market Car Audio and Navigation System

  1. Chris Chandler December 15, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Wonderful Blog! I just want to add that I have found my favorite accessory to my cool car is great car audio. To enjoy your life, you absolutely need a awesome car stereo for cheap.

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