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Discussion Starter #1
Looking over the trim levels the main reason I need to jump up to a RTL-T is because of CarPlay - my wife and I have had it in her RAV4 (Alpine ILX-007) for almost 2 years and it has been great. Crutchfield believes that the Metra Kit for the 2016 Pilot will fit the 2017 Ridgeline, one option would be to swap an aftermarket system in. However they are unable to tell me what features would be lost.

Question for those who have an RT/RTS/RTL, are there any features other than audio (like MPG readouts etc) that are controlled or display only on the radio?
 

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Quick answer: No you lose nothing in that radio by going to an aftermarket unit.

I am in the process of getting all the items needed to install an aftermarket head unit in an RTL myself. Been reading the Pilot, civic and Fit forums as that same radio is used in all of those LX trims. The 5" radio has NO extra functionality in the vehicle aside from bluetooth phone, a display for the backup camera, one USB jack for a phone or memory stick, and the stereo itself.

The stereo I am getting is a Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX and it was last year's top of the line unit. It can be had on the net for about $900 and with all the steering wheel control interface and plug wiring plus dask mount kit, you are in at $1100. I will be installing this myself so no other costs involved.You lose zero of the Honda features.

To me this gives a much nicer 7" touchscreen stereo with all the cool android auto, navigation, voice control, apps, and much better sound than the Honda unit. Not to mention the display face pivots to give a better view, it plays CD's and DVD's, accepts SD cards, has dual zone rear video and sound outputs to a rear monitor for my kid, it has less glare and does not retain fingerprints.

I did not need the LED daytime running lights, side camera nor the lighted vanity mirrors that are the only real extras you pay for to get the RTL-T. I will have more stereo technology in my RTL for less money that those with any of the higher trims, and I will have less issues as reported by users here with their buggy Honda head unit.
 

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You will also have a more direct opportunity to replace your head unit in 5 years, when the RL2 7" units will be ancient.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
fraugher, I agree, the main reason I traded my TL was due to the (at that point) 9 year old head unit technology. Like my Accord, there wasn't a simple aftermarket solution.

RZRPilot, thanks for the information. On my 2013 Accord the base model head unit controls the i-Mid and various other functions of the car. Glad to hear that isn't the case with the base radio in the RL.

So a little research has come up with a mix of Civic and Pilot Metra parts - are these the part numbers you are using as well?

95-7811HG Install kit, XSVI-1731-NAV Harness, ASWC-1 steering wheel control adapter, and 40-HD11 antenna adapter
 

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Quick answer: No you lose nothing in that radio by going to an aftermarket unit.

I am in the process of getting all the items needed to install an aftermarket head unit in an RTL myself. Been reading the Pilot, civic and Fit forums as that same radio is used in all of those LX trims. The 5" radio has NO extra functionality in the vehicle aside from bluetooth phone, a display for the backup camera, one USB jack for a phone or memory stick, and the stereo itself.

The stereo I am getting is a Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX and it was last year's top of the line unit. It can be had on the net for about $900 and with all the steering wheel control interface and plug wiring plus dask mount kit, you are in at $1100. I will be installing this myself so no other costs involved.You lose zero of the Honda features.

To me this gives a much nicer 7" touchscreen stereo with all the cool android auto, navigation, voice control, apps, and much better sound than the Honda unit. Not to mention the display face pivots to give a better view, it plays CD's and DVD's, accepts SD cards, has dual zone rear video and sound outputs to a rear monitor for my kid, it has less glare and does not retain fingerprints.

I did not need the LED daytime running lights, side camera nor the lighted vanity mirrors that are the only real extras you pay for to get the RTL-T. I will have more stereo technology in my RTL for less money that those with any of the higher trims, and I will have less issues as reported by users here with their buggy Honda head unit.
Got any links to a good thread in the Pilot forum? I'm interested in this as well. I've got no problem tearing up my car and installing aftermarket gear, but I need to retain the backup camera functionality. The larger backup camera is the only reason I'm interested in an RTL-T actually.
 

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*sigh* another "Joe fact"

I can't speak for the RL or Pilot yet, but I have a 2015 Accord Sport. Many of the systems are integrated on the display such as MPG readout, backup camera, maintenance minder info, etc... You CAN ditch the screen just fine. I've driven around without it connected (for weeks) while working on my aftermarket stereo and everything works fine. You lose some information (display only), but the MM is still available on the gauges and functions perfectly.

Unless Honda decided to do something different with the Pilot/RL, then it might be possible. It will take some first hand experience to verify though, so proceed with caution.

Joe provides no elaboration. Says he's "read the specifications" but gives no details as usual. Not saying he's not right, but given the lack of evidence, I'd take Joe's post with a grain of salt.
 

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I had a hard time believing that the rt would be different than the rts, rtl, or sport. But if joe is corrct, i would assume that it would have something to do with the tri-zone climate control, remote start, and/or the smart entry (none that the rt has).

Not sure why any of those things would be integrated into the head unit, but i really have no idea.

Noticed in the pilot forum that people were blaming the ANC (noise canceling system) for poor audio sound (particularly poor sub performance). Does the ANC actually use the sub to do whatever it does?

There are several threads on piloteers forum about disabling the ANC. I'll probably look into it more if/when i buy a G2. One method was unhooking the two mic's in the ceiling. And another was unhooking the ANC unit behind the glove box. Sounds like a cheap and easy way to (hopefully) improve the sound quality. Probably not by a lot, but any improvement would be nice. I dont think i want to hassle with (or pay for) swapping out the head unit or speakers. I would have in my younger days. Still love loud music and bass, but just not as big of a priority for me as it used to be. Hey, maybe I'll even slow down my hearing loss a little bit. I'm personally not all that concerned about a super-quiet cabin. I guess I'd have to see how much of a difference it makes.
 

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Quick answer: No you lose nothing in that radio by going to an aftermarket unit.

I am in the process of getting all the items needed to install an aftermarket head unit in an RTL myself. Been reading the Pilot, civic and Fit forums as that same radio is used in all of those LX trims. The 5" radio has NO extra functionality in the vehicle aside from bluetooth phone, a display for the backup camera, one USB jack for a phone or memory stick, and the stereo itself.

The stereo I am getting is a Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX and it was last year's top of the line unit. It can be had on the net for about $900 and with all the steering wheel control interface and plug wiring plus dask mount kit, you are in at $1100. I will be installing this myself so no other costs involved.You lose zero of the Honda features.

To me this gives a much nicer 7" touchscreen stereo with all the cool android auto, navigation, voice control, apps, and much better sound than the Honda unit. Not to mention the display face pivots to give a better view, it plays CD's and DVD's, accepts SD cards, has dual zone rear video and sound outputs to a rear monitor for my kid, it has less glare and does not retain fingerprints.

I did not need the LED daytime running lights, side camera nor the lighted vanity mirrors that are the only real extras you pay for to get the RTL-T. I will have more stereo technology in my RTL for less money that those with any of the higher trims, and I will have less issues as reported by users here with their buggy Honda head unit.
Awesome! I'm sure a few of us would chip in $5 a piece for your R&D, and the benefits you could provide the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Most of what Joe makes says makes sense if he would limit it to RTL-T and above - there are specific features that are available only on those models that are controlled through Display Audio.

A search through the Bernardi online parts catalog show the same panel/head unit part number for the RT and RTS, but a slightly different part number for the head unit itself (not the panel) for the RTL. I can't find a feature that seems to be only on the RTL that would be audio system related so maybe there is a small programming change or feature that makes it different. Although the panels and head units are similar in looks, neither the Civic or Pilot share part numbers at all.

I too have driven with my audio system out on my 2013 Accord Sport. Other than the loss of the i-Mid I couldn't find anything that didn't work.
 

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I had a hard time believing that the rt would be different than the rts, rtl, or sport. But if joe is corrct, i would assume that it would have something to do with the tri-zone climate control, remote start, and/or the smart entry (none that the rt has).

Not sure why any of those things would be integrated into the head unit, but i really have no idea.

Noticed in the pilot forum that people were blaming the ANC (noise canceling system) for poor audio sound (particularly poor sub performance). Does the ANC actually use the sub to do whatever it does?

There are several threads on piloteers forum about disabling the ANC. I'll probably look into it more if/when i buy a G2. One method was unhooking the two mic's in the ceiling. And another was unhooking the ANC unit behind the glove box. Sounds like a cheap and easy way to (hopefully) improve the sound quality. Probably not by a lot, but any improvement would be nice. I dont think i want to hassle with (or pay for) swapping out the head unit or speakers. I would have in my younger days. Still love loud music and bass, but just not as big of a priority for me as it used to be. Hey, maybe I'll even slow down my hearing loss a little bit. I'm personally not all that concerned about a super-quiet cabin. I guess I'd have to see how much of a difference it makes.
The ANC works by outputting a cancelling (180 out of phase) frequency vs the engine noise. These are lower frequencies. So if you amp these through some big ol subs you're going to get some weird stuff, not like the Honda engineers intended. I haven't experienced it first hand because I've always disconnected the ANC as instructed (behind the center console on the accord and apparently the glovebox on the Pilot). It's very easy to do, don't mess with the mics in the headliner. No issues once it's disconnected and it can be reconnected just as easily to return to stock.
 

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That's a little scary that the rtl has a different part number. Could it be because of heated seats? I can't imagine why some of these systems are "integrated", but im sure honda has it's reasons.

I'm still confused, though, because if things like heated seats, remote start, and/or smart entry are integrated into the base head unit (for no apparent reason), then wouldn't it be safe to assume that there is a bunch of other stuff integrated into the rt's head unit (again, for no apparent reason), and that removing, or swapping out, the head unit in an rt would also cause a bunch of problems? Something just doesn't seem to add up. I will gladly let someone braver and much more experienced with this stuff figure it out.
 

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That's a little scary that the rtl has a different part number. Could it be because of heated seats? I can't imagine why some of these systems are "integrated", but im sure honda has it's reasons.

I'm still confused, though, because if things like heated seats, remote start, and/or smart entry are integrated into the base head unit (for no apparent reason), then wouldn't it be safe to assume that there is a bunch of other stuff integrated into the rt's head unit (again, for no apparent reason), and that removing, or swapping out, the head unit in an rt would also cause a bunch of problems? Something just doesn't seem to add up. I will gladly let someone braver and much more experienced with this stuff figure it out.
May be but there is no heated seats, smart entry, or remote start in the RT. RTS gets smart entry and remote start but no heated seats. If the head unit part # is the same on the RT and RTS then those two models may be safe for swapping in aftermarket head unit etc.
 

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fraugher, I agree, the main reason I traded my TL was due to the (at that point) 9 year old head unit technology. Like my Accord, there wasn't a simple aftermarket solution.

RZRPilot, thanks for the information. On my 2013 Accord the base model head unit controls the i-Mid and various other functions of the car. Glad to hear that isn't the case with the base radio in the RL.

So a little research has come up with a mix of Civic and Pilot Metra parts - are these the part numbers you are using as well?

95-7811HG Install kit, XSVI-1731-NAV Harness, ASWC-1 steering wheel control adapter, and 40-HD11 antenna adapter


So, did you swap out the base radio? I am dieing to do this and looking for some input. Some pics and verifed part numbers would be awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So, did you swap out the base radio? I am dieing to do this and looking for some input. Some pics and verifed part numbers would be awesome.
I haven't - got caught up with some unexpected projects around the house. I did order both of the metra install kits which is 99-7811HG (glossy black radio trim) and the 99-7811B (matte black radio trim) and pulled the radio to confirm that mounting tabs and everything line up.

What is holding me back is time and that there isn't a comprehensive wiring kit available (that includes camera/aux etc). There is one for the 2016 Civic with a similar radio, so its only a matter of time. I'd rather wait then cut into the harness on a 2 month old truck.
 
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