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What is the best upgrade 2015 GX radio to include GPS

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  • What is the best upgrade 2015 GX radio to include GPS


    I am looking at upgrading the display in my 2015 GX prado to include gps navigation preferably with on and off road capability, preferably OZi or Hema for off road use. I currently have a VMS 700 portable unit that I used in my cruiser previously, but with the dash layout it blocks a more of the windscreen then i am happy with, otherwise it works very well with a great screen for viewing even in full sun light. The factory screen doesn't seem to handle full sun light very well, so not sure how it goes with mapping.

    I have read through the various threads on this forum and others and can't seem to get a definitive opinion on the best option.

    The seems to be good, if pricey but not sure if it uses the factory screen or not, and as noted previously it doesn't seem to handle full sun well.

    The VMS unit looks good, and if the screen is similar to the portable model it should handle the sun light well, but there have been some bad reviews of previous in dash units from them. But it does appear to have all the right options included.

    There is also the Digoptions and parrot models that also appear good but I can't find anything confirming the screen quality in full sun light.

    So if anyone can recommend a unit that will meet the following requirements, or at least most of them:
    Off road GPS mapping, either Ozi or Hema.
    On road mapping
    Good screen quality which can be viewed in full sun light
    Good quality Bluetooth for phone
    USB for music playing
    Good quality radio reception
    Use factory reverse camera
    Factory look when fitted with fill in panels if needed.
    Preferably use the steering wheel controls
    Would be nice to have the factory fuel use graph and distance to empty, as I like them.
    CD/DVD is optional, as I don't use it any way.
    Plug and play wiring would be nice

    So any suggestions as to the best unit and how the screen handles full sun would be good.

    I am not interested in portable solutions and have posted the same question in the GPS section over 2 weeks ago without much feed back so trying here.


    2015 GX Prado 3L Auto, in the process of being fitted out.

  • #2
    You may have seen my posts moaning about my out of date maps in my 2015 GXL.
    I want to upgrade my system as well, the most important thing for me is to be able to use whatever maps I want, not to be limited to the out of date Toyota ones.
    I must admit that I am surprised that your screen isn't too good in sunshine. for all my complaints about the factory navigation the screen quality isn't one of them.

    If I owned the non nav unit like you I would try a Chinese video interface, there are several available similar if not identical to the one in your first link but at a fraction of the price. As you probably know the later factory nav head units like mine cannot have this interface fitted. I have been told that this is because a video input has been removed from the rear. I do not know if this is true as several interfaces I have read about actually go in the ribbon cable between the screen and unit.
    There is an alternative if you are willing to spend a fortune, (which I would be) as Alpine make a unit for the Prado, however I am not sure that this would allow you to run your own maps. Another problem with an after market unit is that the vehicle looks modified, as the buttons at the side are attached to the head unit.
    Does your GX head unit have the same apps as the GXL unit including Toyota link, search, weather etc? Have you removed it from your dash yet? I could upload a picture of the rear of my unit to see what difference there is re sockets.


    • #3

      It might be the screen is different in the non nav models, as it is hard to see the image in full sun when using the reversing camera. Yes the GX model doesn't have Toyota link r any of the other features.

      I have not removed it yet, but might see if I get time over the weekend to see what is at the back.

      The Alpine models look nice so might have to go have a look at them, I don't really want to buy something that I am not happy with, or has a poor quality screen, so I would prefer to buy something good rather then something cheap, but also don't really want to spend more then I need to.


      Last edited by MYT150; 24-04-2016, 04:36 PM.
      2015 GX Prado 3L Auto, in the process of being fitted out.


      • #4
        My December 2015 2.8 GX does have the Toyota Link functionality, plus the fuel economy and other functions. You need to install the App on your phone, and away it goes- weather and fuel nearby/fuel prices. I have installed my Hema HN7 into the slot above the cupholders (home made solution- foam pieces wedged into the slot, holding the HN7 windscreen mount in place). Low down it is shaded from the sun but still has perfect reception. Screen is about the same size as the Toyota screen. Looks like a nice 2 screen installation as long as you don't look too closely.


        • #5
          Thanks for posting this information, I know that new apps can be downloaded and installed on models like my 2015 GXL with navigation using Toyota Link. I have also read that if the apps are deleted they can be re-installed the same way.
          So just to confirm you now have the same apps as a navigation equipped vehicle?
          This is interesting to me as one alternative to get current maps which is never going to happen using Toyota's offerings is to revert to a non navigation version then use a video interface so that I can use whatever software I want.


          • #6
            Mine has the fuel economy display, but I haven't seen anything about the Toyota link software on it when looking around on the stereo, so I don't think I can add it on.
            2015 GX Prado 3L Auto, in the process of being fitted out.


            • #7

              sent you a P.M., but did not include that the unit has a fuel economy page. I don't use it, don't care about economy, just fill up when the gauge tells me it's getting thirsty.


              • #8
                Thanks for the PM, all useful info.
                2015 GX Prado 3L Auto, in the process of being fitted out.


                • #9
                  Well after some more research it appears Alpine are just about to release an 8" unit for the facelift Prado 150 that is fully integrated, and a hefty price of a bit over $3K. Which I am not sure how they justify but it does look good in the picture I saw.

                  Clarion and Pioneer also have solutions but not fully integrated, the facias are separate and are 7" screens, but also closer to $2K.

                  Then there are the Chinese imports that are $800-1,500 depending on who is selling it, but appear to be complete units running WinCE in most cases, from what I can tell, but designed for left hand drive so hazard switch is moved there with a new on supplied to match the curves.

                  Other options include Android screens, up to 10.2" at about $5-600 form China, but all designed for left hand drive model only, so would need to get a left hand drive hazard light switch, from what I can tell. Most appear to be 1024x600 resolution while most of the WinCE models are 800x480 and seem to max out at a 9" screen. The hazard switch can be bought on ebay so not a big deal.

                  All units appear to be plug and play with the factory wiring.

                  So now I just need to make the decision as to which way to go. as the price difference is significant and I could replace the cheap chinese unit 4 or 5 times and still be in front of the Alpine unit on cost, and I would expect them to last at least a few years.
                  2015 GX Prado 3L Auto, in the process of being fitted out.


                  • #10
                    The alpine units look good, for sure, but $$$$$!!

                    How integrated with your phone are you? I'm looking to at some stage down the line replace my gxl's head unit witha decent alpine/don't/pioneer one that has android auto for general driving, and preferably mirror link. The reason is that I expect hema/memorymap to work over mirror link, and android auto for daily use. Swap android auto with apple car play if youre an apple fan. Jm2c, I'd be interested to know your thoughts for +/-.

                    I like built in map capability but I've found they're just not current enough after a year or so in the past (I bought the gxl without the GPS upgrade for that reason), and I haven't found enough info on where the alpine units 4wd maps are sourced from - happy to know where if you have that info though!


                    • #11

                      From what I have been able to divine form the internet and various forums and some communication with members on here, the Alpine/Pioneer.Clarion units all use there own mapping software with included off road mapping, so would need to be updated by them. Some get it from HEMA as far as I can work out, but they are only database entries, not the actual hema maps that up can use in the hema navigator or app, or in Oziexplorer. So you are stuck with that they provide, and unable to add your own maps. I like Oziexplorer and have been using it for quite a few years now and like to change between different maps from different companies, which gives you the option to change scale and detail at easily.

                      My preference for phones is actually Windows, so there currently isn't any mirror link support for it, that I am aware of. But i am currently leaning towards the Android powered units from China, as they will do most of what I want, form what I can tell, just getting confirmation form some of the vendors that they will fit, as they are all left hand drive models.
                      2015 GX Prado 3L Auto, in the process of being fitted out.


                      • #12
                        Well I have had a parrot in my GXL for over a year now . If you do some looking through the posts you will find a write up on one and from that write I got mine. I will advise to shop around for one I bought mine from the US saved about 300 on prices here. I use it for maps plus the phone setup is excellent if you pair it with your phone holds all your numbers contacts and so on plus crystal clear when talking . I also hot spot it from my phone and because the parrot is a android computer you can add apps and just do any thing you can with a computer search the web, face book and any thing else you wish to do. I also have my ipod connected you can push a button the voice button and say out a song or artist and it finds it in under 2 seconds. There is only one thing I have found that I don't like is it takes about a minute to warm up after being off for a while. I also had my reversing camera connected to and the steering wheel controls good thing is they all work camera is in colour and bigger screen to see it all. I have had no issue with sunlight or not being able to see the screen and I have spent 6 weeks in the Kimberly's and no issues at all.. Hope that helps a little ....


                        • #13
                          Has anyone made a decision and bought a unit or interface yet?
                          I am keen on retaining the original look and functions of the factory unit but would love to be able to interface a phone or gps unit to the screen to run what software I want.
                          Has anyone heard of or bought from a company in Australia called Naviplus?
                          They claim to have a solution for vehicles manufactured from late 2015. However they want me to pay for a unit before sending me the installation manual and my questions about how the interface works are met with vague replies:
                          I sent pictures of the rear of my head unit showing no video input, the response was "As you don't have video input, you have to split monitor from head unit but it is hold by 4 screws."
                          Further requests for a link to the interface for details resulted in them sending me a link to a unit for a Kluger.
                          I have emailed again with pictures of the ribbon cable between the unit and screen asking if the interface will fit a Prado and am awaiting a response.


                          • #14
                            Received a reply:

                            Hi John.

                            The Toyota nav system we provide for those vehicles without video input is compatible among Prado / Kluger and Hilux from 2015 July.

                            Hence in terms of compatibility you won't need to concerned.

                            Those ribbon cables will be connected to the audio with bypass daughter board along with its own ribbon cables, and those are designed for to be fitted to the existing socket from head unit.

                            Thank you.


                            If I were not in the UK I would order one to give it a go. Anyone else interested in trying an interface?


                            • #15
                              Well after a lot of thinking and research I went with a unit form china,

                              It fits well and reasonably straight forward to fit, as no instructions were provided. It takes all the factory connections and feeds from the reversing camera and usb. Will see how it goes over the next few months as I get to play with it and get used to using the android operating system.

                              2015 GX Prado 3L Auto, in the process of being fitted out.