So a few months ago, I started to save up money for my next car upgrade, a navigation system. I did alot of research on Alpine, Eclipse, and other navigation units and concluded that the Pioneer Avic-Z1 would be the best fit for me. So I waited and waited and finally it started to come on sale. An MSRP price tag of 2250 was a little too much for me but soon enough low prices on ebay started showing. Previously, I was using a Pioneer DEH-P860MP just for reference. Without further ado, let me begin the review, but first a couple facts.
What I paid: $1525 @ebay
Pioneer Ipod Adapter (CB-IB100ii): $94.99 @BestBuy
Installation: For me installation was pretty straightforward. The car I am installing it in is an 06 Scion tC. It already had a doubl-din opening and the stock brackets were used with some modifications. I already had a wire harness that was used with the 860MP. The only difficult part of the installation was finding the reverse signal wire as well as the VSS (speed sensor) wire but once these two were found everything else was just sort of "connect-the-dots" kind of thing.
Speakers: Stock 6 1/2"s
Subwoofer: 4 eD 9kv.2s
The sound quality on this unit is better than expected. Before I bought this unit, I asked for some opinions where some said it would be necessary to have an external sound processor for this unit to have abover average SQ. For me the SQ is great. I can turn the volume up very loud and hear no distortion with good quality recordings. The equalizer interface is very easy to use, actually much easier than the my old 860MP (but I shouldn't be comparing). The subwoofer settings can be controlled separatly also. Their are many different AV settings that can be used. Anyways compared to my stock stereo, I can hear things in songs that couldn't be heard before.
Here are a couple shots of the AV settings and Subwoofer settings...
The controls for the Avic-Z1 are pretty easy to use. Just point and touch. A slight tap is all thats needed. Or in some cases, such as when viewing maps, you can hold your finger on the map and it will drag along until you remove your finger. Instead of explaining let me just show you the interface of the controls for different AV modes.
Specifically for the IPod, you can search with artists, albums, ect. The speed of going page by page is descent. It isn't impressive but it isn't dissapointing either. A video of some of this is shown at the end of this review.
Re: Pioneer Avic-Z1
DVD Playback: The Avic-Z1 is also equipped with a DVD player that can play and show DVDs on this unit contrary to what others have said. Controlling it is easy as well and the quality of the DVDs are of great resolution. Video of this is also included at the end of this review.
Playing Batman Begins...
w out/ controls
Hard Drive: The Avic-Z1 also has a 30GB HDD. 20GB is used for the navigation. The other 10GB can be used to store your music. This can be done by ripping at 4x speed. I was able to rip a whole album in less than a half an hour which is pretty good. What is also stored in the HDD is the Gracenot database which will find the info for most of the albums you rip onto the HDD or play from CDs. The interface of the library has the same quickness as finding songs with the IPod. A pic of the library was already shown above.
Navigation: I have never owned a Navi before, so to me the Navi featues of the Avic-Z1 are awesome. The unit can find many POI's and addresses with different search methods. You could search with a telephone number if you didn't have the address. What I really like about the searching is that when you start inputting a name of a street or city, it will finish it off for you giving you a narrow list of choices to choose from. It has a few different maps views ranging from overheard 3-D to in car 3-D. Then their's a split screen interface where one half is the map, the other half is the street by street directions with length remaining. I haven't tested the exact accuracy of this unit since everyhwere I have gone so far is so close by but so far, it has done well. If you happend to miss a turn, it will re-route you within a few seconds. Below are a couple pics of the navi interface but I didn't show any maps just for my own personal security. :)
Misc: Other nifty features that are always nice to have are the voice recognition. The vioce recognition for the Z1 isn't too fancy but you can maneuver around from different AV sources to different Navi functions. I wish you could control the volume of change tracks with voice but I haven't been able to yet.The vehicle dynamics is another feature where the Z1 shows you your speed limit and the direction you are going in.
Their are many more potential features of this unit meaning you would need to by some add on accessories to use them. One I am really looking forward to is the bluetooth functionality in use with a phone. Then their is XM radio and NavTraffic which can be useful during those heavy traffic situations.
Overall, for the price I got it for, I am very happy with this unit and have no regrets. At $2250, it's a tad too pricey for me, but its still a good value compared to other Navi's out thier.
Here's two more random pics, one of the Z1 open and another of where my Ipod is located in the center console and then of course that video. :)
Post any thoughts, questions, ect. in this thread:
Re: Pioneer Avic-Z1