What CarPlay head unit (late 2018)?


This post follows on from Aftermarket CarPlay units and other threads including CarPlay compatible head units in Australia?, CarPlay Questions and CarPlay recommendations?

The Wirecutter recommends the Sony XAV—AX100. which has controls (including a dial) on the left hand side (opposite side to the driver)

There is the AX3000 which has the controls (no dial) below the screen, so it is a little bigger (I am leaning towards this one)

The price difference locally is not that much. Anyone have experience with either of these units?

It is for a 2009 Hyundai i30, so will need a facia, harness, etc.


I’ve not had experience with the Sony, have always been a Pioneer man.

The Pioneer offerings are much the same sort of design, the AVH-Z3100DAB I have has controls on the left, which are a bit of a reach

Where the AVH-Z5100DAB has a slightly larger screen and has the on the bottom. This unit also has Android Auto support which the lower end model doesn’t have.

Both those units support DAB+ which is nice to have in theory, but for us the reception can be spotty so we are usually on FM (that’s not true, mostly we are on streaming music, but you get the point).

The slighly cheaper AVH-Z2150BT and AVH-Z5150BT are the same units without DAB+

If I had my time over I would get the larger screen with controls at the bottom since it’s much easier to reach them rather than across the other side. I’d also probably get the cheaper non DAB version too.

tl;dr Get the one with control on the bottom, over the other side is a bit of a pain.



This was also a question I was considering. I thought playing Double J via the ABC app and CarPlay(?) or Bluetooth(?) — the only digital station I currently listen to — would relegate DAB to limited use…


AI nearly bought a kenwood unit the other day. It was the capacitive screen and 20% off that attracted me. That 5100 pioneer was pretty tempting too as the alternative. Problem is one you had the harness, steering wheel control etc I was over $1000 for an eight year old car.


I own the Sony XAV-AX100 and it’s pretty OK. Capacitive screen is surprisingly better than I expected. Controls on the wrong side not much of a problem for me as my car is tiny (Daihatsu Copen). The only thing I would say about it is that it take a long time to boot up and when using maps voice directions, it “dips” the music a bit too much (but I’m not sure if this is Apple’s choice or Sony’s)


I’m looking to get a CarPlay head unit for my 2010 Corolla. I’ve recently had the steering wheel replaced with a higher grade one to get the steering wheel controls so having these working is important.

My needs are:

  • Carplay
  • CD
  • Radio
  • Reversing Camera

Would also love one that somehow also integrated a dash cam, but not sure thats gonna happen!


The reason I was looking at the kenwood DMX8018 is the capacitive screen and its ability to take two cameras. That would be a reversing camera and a dash cam that integrates with the head unit to give you lane departure, getting too close to the car in front, and the car in front has moved off warnings. This would be desirable as I have a brace of new drivers in the family.

The price I was looking at was $599 for the head unit, $100 odd for fascia, $250 for the steering wheel harness, $30 or so for the aerial connector, and $150 for the install.

The cameras were about $130 for reverse and $350 for the dash cam. I decided it was too much for an eight year old car.


I am looking at around $500 for the head unit. A local place will throw in a reversing camera. The Aepro harness (which includes steering controls) for Sony HU is listed at ~$20 (I should double check given the price you have — it seems they are cheaper for some cars).

I already ordered up a full facia (on sale and about 70% cheaper than I have seen them listed), rather than one that requires cutting a double din space in the existing one — that way if the car goes for some reason, it is an option to put the factory one back in. I do plan to have the car until effectively end of life.

Not thinking about a dash cam at this point. Might look into a HU that has the option to connect to one.


Hmm yeah that would be out of my budget. The Sony is attractive for the volume knob as I prefer that to push buttons. I’m in a bit of a quandary. I do have a dash cam, but would like something more integrated. On the other hand, I’d like a dual camera dash cam + reversing camera and it may be far more economical just to get a dual camera dash cam seperate to a receiver…