Pioneer Navigation System AVIC-5200NEX as CarPlay Alternative

It is no secret that Pioneer car stereo has a good reputation. Pioneer AVIC-5200NEX DVD CD navigation receiver is one of the best examples how to stay on the top of car infotainment systems market as competition is very tough.

Click on the pic to see details and STARS ✫✫✫✫


As I often say, nothing is perfect, and there are no car infotainment and GPS navigation system which include absolutely all available features. Even more, individual tastes and requirements sometimes differ. It can be sound quality or voice commands timbre from turn by turn navigation.

For example, I prefer Pioneer music center vs. Kenwood. Luckily, I have both in my house, and they are well-known Hi-Fi brands with top ratings on the market.

Let’s clarify what I want to say or the reason for creating this post. In short, one reader recently asks me to help him decide it worth to purchase Pioneer AVIC-5200NEX DVD CD Navigation Receiver w/ 6.2″ Touchscreen.

My answer is Yes. For today it is a great choice for the reasonable money.

This Pioneer in-dash unit intrigued me quite seriously.

I am not going to make a detailed and classic way product review as you can easily find it and I will occasionally drop direct links to get some technical details. Many folks copy-paste such info and sometimes just slightly rewrite the content. Is it good or not so valuable? I guess that devices creator does it in the best way.

I will provide some basic features to be clear what a device I am talking about.

It is not a secret that many latest car models are equipped with factory-installed infotainment systems which can be connected with Apple iPhones or Android smartphones. For Apple, it is Apple CarPlay but Android Auto.

Which one is better or pros and cons, it is not my task. Only I would like to mention that this car’s feature can make the buyer feel confused. For example, I like the 2017 Ford Mustang it has factory installed Android Auto, but you have just a couple of weeks back bought a brand-new iPhone 7 Plus.

Sorry, I was not right in my previous sentence. Latest cars, 2017 model year for sure, offers both systems you just need to mention it when making an order.

Note. Not every new car is equipped with the infotainment system, and as a rule, it is an extra.

It was about brand new cars, but what about oldest car models?

 I have Volvo XC70, 2009. It is a perfect car for my needs and in ideal condition. Just GPS navigation is outdated and sound quality could be better though Volvo claims that it is one of the best. Maybe, eight years ago. I am not talking about the latest Volvo Sensus Navigation; it is another theme for the next review.

I think that most of the drivers know what CarPlay or Android Auto is. For those who have missed the information the short explanation.

It is the best way to use your iPhone or Android smartphone without distracted driving. So, you can connect your phone with a car and enjoy music, podcasts, make phone calls, receive messages or use some GPS navigation while driving without touching a phone’s screen. All information is right on your car’s built-in display.

It is the cool solution, as almost everyone today has a smartphone with your favorite music, podcasts, and our favorite GPS navigation app.

Finally, I have reached the topic, for those who have not CarPlay or Android Auto built-in infotainment systems an alternative solution exists. Let’s look at Pioneer AVIC-5200NEX DVD CD Navigation Receiver w/ 6.2″ Touchscreen.

Honestly, after reading tech specs and user reviews, I like it even more than many factory-installed systems, but it is just my assumption. Only what I know for sure is that Pioneer sound quality is really great and this brand never makes poor quality things.

 Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. is the leader in in-dash navigation technology

Pioneer AVIC-5200NEX and some other models are Apple CarPlay compatible by connecting Lightning™-to-USB cable. Drivers can access Maps, Phone, Messages, Music, Now Playing, Podcasts and some streaming apps, like Pandora®, by touch, through Siri® voice control or knobs on steering wheel connected via adapter to retain those controls with this car stereo.

Downloading map updates from for free the first 45 days. The latest models, as AVIC-X940BT, map data software is provided by NAVTEQ®.

What else?

 Bluetooth to stay connected with hands-free calling and messaging but for Android users control your smartphone’s Pandora (with station creation) and Aha Radio apps,  so no cable needed.

If you have the great CD or DVD music collected for many years, then Pioneer sound quality convert your car to a concert hall.

Ready for SiriusXM satellite radio will allow listening to your chosen channel even in the remote desert road.

The really cool feature which is hard to find in many other aftermarket dashboard units is iDatalink Maestro which lets you keep your factory extras (Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, and VW). You can connect to the car OBD (on-board diagnostic port) to check out expanded functionality including gauges, climate controls, a distance sensor, and tire pressure monitor on the Pioneer’s screen. Such extras are available just for some luxury car models. iDatalink Maestro module is not included.

In conclusion, just one exception from Amazon customer’s review

„Awesome unit! I looked at quite a few different double din units before I decided to make my decision to go with this one… best decision I could have made!! I couldn’t be happier. One of my favorite features is in the navigation. When you are on the highway it will display the exit signs at the top just as you would see them above you as you drive down the highway.“  Read the entire review here

As ever not all customers are satisfied and searching for cons and a Pioneer AVIC-5200NEX DVD CD Navigation Receiver w/ 6.2″ Touchscreen device is not an exemption.

 All in all, I like this device and price in Amazon is very attractive compared with other resellers even Pioneer has listed higher price at the moment of writing.

Unfortunately for my Volvo XC70 and this unit does not fit and no real alternative for CarPlay solution. Need to think about a new car.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. Derek

    Thank you for this awesome review! I currently have an Apple CarPlay head unit in my car and it pairs flawlessly with my iPhone. I would recommend iPhone users who are in the market for a new head unit to purchase a CarPlay head unit.

    However, this may be a problem to those who use Androids. This is a great alternative because it provides Android owners a reliable head unit that they can comfortably set up and connect. I will recommend this to my friends!

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks Derek for stopping by.

      I just wanna add and say again that even the best GPS for cars never replace the human common sense. So, spend another minute and recheck your route visually on screen before hit the road in the totally unknown area.

      This way you could save tons of time, money and nerves.

  2. Laura

    You are right that not every car sold today has a default infotainment system. All the brands ask a very high price for this system to be included, if it is possible.

    I drive a car that’s 5-years old and this Pioneer system would be a great option for me, as my smartphone is too small and I don’t want to attach it to my dashboard.

    It’s good there are below $300 offerings, as I don’t want to pay too much for this. Thanks for the info!

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Laura and thanks for stopping by. Pioneer is one of the best brand when it comes to middle price range car stereo. Just make sure that it fits your car. 


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