Aftermarket CarPlay units


I just bought a used car (a 2009 Mazda 3 to be exact) so might be looking at putting an aftermarket CarPlay unit in.

Anyone have any experiences/recommendations with them?

Looking at these two at the moment, I don’t really need a CD player so the Sony should do the trick

Guess I’ll need something like this too:

Also Brisbanites, car stereo installer recommendations would be handy!


DriveSound in Moorooka are really great.

You’ll get a better deal if you buy the unit from them + install.

Few other options, the Kenwood and Pioneer are popular these days.


I’ve had a play with the Sony and quite liked it. Only downside is the resistive low res screen (which seem to be standard for all Car audio products)


Cheers for that. Might be a Thursday night drop in. Their websites not great.


Pretty easy to DIY to be honest. Plenty of videos on YouTube.

Just get a high quality facia and all the various harness to retain Steering Wheel Controls etc.

Should be plug and play and around 30min of work…


I did a million and one of them in my late teens and early 20’s. But at this point in my life I’d rather pay someone more qualified and experienced than I am and have the peace of mind that the job’s done properly.


I’ve seen some shocking installs over the years from “professionals” that still makes me want to do my own work. But the older I get the less time I have and paying someone else starts to sound like a good idea.

In a slightly different (and possibly sacrilegious) direction… what about an Android based head unit instead? These tend to be much cheaper and being a full on Android environment can run anything. While it might not hook up to your phone exactly, it can run all the (types of) apps you’re likely to want directly itself. Add in a dedicated 3/4G connection if you don’t want to hotspot and it’s really got everything you want + a radio! (I also love Torque Pro which is sadly Android only).

If you didn’t have a colour touch screen already for me this would be high on the list of options. If you didn’t have Bluetooth even more so. In my VW I have the factory RNS510, bluetooth and reversing camera (all but the bluetooth installed by me). Back in 2011 this was a great option but if I was doing it over again it would be a very different story.


9 to 5 mac had an article on aftermarket head units. If you can wait a few months, alpine has a one with wireless car play coming out the year

However you may end up spending more than the car is worth


I have the Alpine. Love it. Screen isn’t an iPad quality, but it works a million times better than any other car radio I’ve ever had. (see my pic in the purchases thread). Was installed by SSV Thomastown.

I encounter occasional bugs with apps like PocketCast (usually when starting a podcast) but it’s generally rock solid. Siri can be a bit hit and miss (as she always is) but if I have strong cellular signal, the dictation is amazing.

Highly recommended. Has made an hour commute downright pleasurable. I love Podcasts in the car + Siri messages, and the calls interface is great, especially if you have Visual Voicemail on your phone plan. Seriously - if you spend a lot of time in the car, do it ASAP. You won’t regret it.


I don’t drive to work but my girlfriend and I intend on doing a lot of road trips. I also go scuba diving a lot and it’s not a short drive.

Managed to get some quotes. Best one seems to be JB Hifi for about $1350 including a Pioneer head unit (can’t remember the exact model, but it was a bit nicer than the Alpine). Called around a few places and that seems reasonable.

Edit: price includes all harnesses and adapters, steering wheel control adapter kit and USB port installation.


From memory mine was around $1200 installed with all the required VW bits, and also a rear camera.


That’s cheap. Including the head unit? Not going to bother with a rear camera.


Yeah, the head unit was around $699 from memory - they were on special $300 off at the time.


Just like the pioneer atm.


Interesting video. My experience with Apple Maps is similar, but I usually have the address predicted from diary or contact. I do have to use KB occasionally. The contact thing happens sometimes too, but it’s pretty often. I find the 4G connectivity is also an issue that affects accuracy, as is the road / aircon noise.


Think the problems moreso to do with Siri than Apple Maps or CarPlay.


Agree. But also, Siri seems to be more sensitive to 4G latency and sound quality too.


Siri is still shit. Siri still has a long way to go and Apple shouldn’t be proud of it.


CarPlay is amazing. Makes me wonder why it’s so hard for the automobile industry to get it right.


yep, I don’t think I could buy another car without it.

I like the way you can plan a trip on your Mac using maps, send it to your iPhone and then use carplay to get directions, with turn alerts on the iPhone.

i am also using Apple music in the car a lot more than I thought.