Review: Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX - Connected Car Life

[Update] New model number but features stay the same as the AVIC-W8400NEX.

Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX
MRSP: $1,200

Pros: Wireless and wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, GPS Navigation included, a large 7” capacitive touchscreen, HDMI input, easy to retain your factory steering wheel controls and backup camera, HD Radio, dual camera input and a motorized display.

Cons: Since this the top-of-the-line model from Pioneer it has all the bells and whistles, as such it is also the most expensive. If you don’t need all of these features look into the AVH-W4500NEX instead.

First Impression: Being the flagship model for Pioneer the AVIC-W8500NEX has pretty much any feature you would want. The 7” capacitive touchscreen has one of the best looking displays we’ve used as well as the touch response being excellent. The feature we liked the most was the ability to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay wirelessly. Setting it up was a breeze and we were able to connect every single time we started the car with no issues. Wireless Android Auto or Apple CarPlay is one of those things that once you use, you will never want to go back to plugging in unless you’re going on a long trip. If that is the case, it’ll switch seamlessly from the wireless connection to a wired connection that will charge your phone.

The built-in GPS navigation also gets the premium treatment featuring distinct lane guidance, over 11 million points of interest, 3D City map view, speed limit indicators and free lifetime traffic alerts. If you’re looking to save on your data plan, instead of using Google Maps, Waze or Apple Maps the built-in navigation is a nice option.

On the audio side of things there are plenty of options on how to listen to music. We primarily use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay to stream music but the W8500NEX will play all the standard formats as well as FLAC for the audiophiles out there. Featuring a built-in 50W x 4 amp you will get a noticeable increase in sound quality, you will also get a customizable 13-Band graphic EQ.

When it comes to installing everything you’ll be able to keep your steering wheel controls and factory backup camera with either the iDatalink Maestro or you can use various aftermarket wiring harnesses depending on your make and model of vehicle.

The Verdict: If you’re looking to get the best-of-the-best the AVIC-W8500NEX is the way to go. With the addition of wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay this is a head unit that has features that can last longer then most people keep there cars for.

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