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Which Apple/Android Unit Best Updates Your Aging Toyota Prius

Have an older Toyota Prius that seems to have been built in the stone age? Maybe it is time for an update that will make your driving experience much more enjoyable.

I have owned and driven many cars over the years. One of my favorite vehicles has been the Toyota Prius. My personal favorite is the second-generation Prius, with the touring package. It had features that were relatively new for cars back then, including things like BlueTooth and the infamous AUX port.

As the wheels of innovation have pushed the evolution of Prius forward, more features became standard that the aging generation did not have. In a similar article, 2 Simple Updates to Make Your 2004-2009 Toyota Prius Feel Modern, I cover two inexpensive ways that you can achieve a modern feel on a budget.

What happens though when you want to have more than just Bluetooth and a USB charge port? Well, you can do that if you are willing to spend a few more dollars to get what you want. Take a look at a couple of options to give your Prius everything you want in a stereo unit.

To know what unit is best, we need to look at price, features, and installation requirements.

Pioneer For Your Prius
When it comes to aftermarket stereo units, Pioneer has been making replacements for quite some time. Pioneer usually has an affordable option for just about any personal budget. I have used quite a few Pioneer units over the years and have never had any issues with owning them. That being said, let us take a look at the Pioneer AVH-1300NEX.

Pioneer 1300NEX with apple car play and android auto for your Toyota Prius

The Pioneer unit comes standard with Apple Car play and is an Amazons Choice Product. Priced reasonably well at a mere $219, this unit gives you everything you want, that is, if you are an iPhone user. The 1300NEX will do Andriod devices, but that will come at an extra cost, a cable is needed that is sold separately.

You do get modern navigation, a nice feature, also DVD, Pandora, Sirius XM, and a host of other options. Most consumers that have taken the time to give feedback on the unit have reported high levels of joy and pleasure. A backup camera is also an option for a few extra dollars.

Here are some essential things to remember if you are installing yourself. Make sure you have the appropriate harnesses to pair up to your Prius standard wiring harness, you will also need an installation kit as well to fit the unit into your dash. Be prepared to spend right around $280 if you are installing the unit this will allow you to get wire connectors, shrink tube, wire strippers and electrical tape as well if you do not have these items already.

The Pioneer AVH-1300NEX is an excellent and inexpensive choice when it comes to updating that older Prius. Is it the best option, though? Let us take a look at a couple more and see.

Sony For Your Prius
The Sony XAVAX1000. Loaded with features including touch screen and navigation. Rearview camera is also available to make backing in a breeze, although the camera is an additional cost. There is no DVD option with this unit, and you can also kiss Android capability goodbye as well.

Sony XAVAX1000 Upgrade for your Toyota Prius with Apple Car Play

Plan to spend about $300 + after getting your install kit with wiring harnesses and more if you do not have the required connectors to do the job. This unit is great if you only want to have your iPhone be compatible. For the money, I think there are other units out there for less with more options.

Hikity For Your Toyota Prius
Yes, this is a Chinese option. Yes, it is $69, yes it seems like there is nothing that could be this cheap that would even compete with the other two options. Or could it? The unit is a touchscreen, it does support both Android and iOS options, although it only supports up to iPhone 7 and 4.0-7.0.

Toyota Prius cheap stereo upgrade with apple car play

The unit does support a rearview camera, which is included and comes with a remote to boot. You are not paying for a brand name with this unit, but the reviews on Amazon clearly state that the majority of people buying this unit are happy with the product,

I think that the Hikity unit is worth a shot. For $69 plus install kit and supplies, this is one of the best deals for an upgrade you can find. Even if you are completely unsatisfied with the unit, you can still send it back.

Go ahead and treat your Prius to a nice upgrade. Your car and your pocketbook will thank you for it.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to seeing you in the next story. 3 Ways Toyota Prius Is Still The Best Hybrid

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.


John Goreham    February 6, 2020 - 2:55PM

Fantastic story Peter! I have a 2007 Highlander that I updated with a new head unit. It has an iPod connection, Sat Rad, and HD radio. None of which I use! I need Android Auto and Apple Car Play integration. I'm hoping when I update next these will be wireless.

Christopher Smith (not verified)    August 1, 2021 - 7:52AM

Hi I have previously a Honda civic 2014 Sr.the premium head audio unit in it gave unbelievable sound quality.the sound system must have used some kind of clever sound sampler as it sounded like it was coming from all angles..i have now gone green and bought a 2012 Toyota prius.the sound system just does not compare.a challenge for you who makes the Honda premium audio unit and what does it use to get such good sound.and what for a good price can I buy as an after unit for the prius? As I said a challenge