Pioneer has long been one of the biggest names in aftermarket car audio, and the company’s lineup of NEX receivers offers a terrific option for adding CarPlay and other enhanced functionality to older cars or entry-level models that lack some of the latest technology.
Pioneer’s 2019 NEX lineup includes models at a range of price points offering varying feature sets. Several months ago, Pioneer offered me the opportunity to try out the top of the line AVIC-W8500NEX, which offers a nearly 7-inch capacitive touchscreen display with onboard HERE navigation, wired and wireless CarPlay support, a DVD/CD player, and more.
As the top-end model in the lineup, the AVIC-W8500NEX carries a list price of $1200, so it’s not necessarily for the budget-conscious customer. You can generally save hundreds of dollars by buying through Amazon sellers and other sources, but many of these are not authorized Pioneer dealers so you do want to be careful about where your unit is coming from.