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RX300 dragged into the 21st Century, CarPlay & Android Auto


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There are several options to get CarPlay into and old car, it seems I can't live without it these days (oh err Mrs....)

My favourite would have been Naviplus but at over £600 it seems a bit expensive on such an old car, it uses the original screen and keeps the car looking standard though.

https://www.naviplus.com.au/online-store/2003-05-LEXUS-RX-XU30-Apple-CarPlay-&-Android-Auto-Integration-p197160617

My original unit was showing signs of it's age, and I like the Tesla style so I plumbed for the Android Head unit replacement those clever Chinese chaps and lasses have come up with...

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002167375411.html?spm=a2g0o.order_list.0.0.21ef1802haF39R

Delivered, with VAT paid it comes to around £350. It came via Fedex and turned up quick.

They give you the WhatsApp number of their engineer to help if you have any problems, it doesn't come with any instructions but it's plug and play, no wires to cut or join. I had an issue with the steering wheel buttons not working but they immediately sent a replacement App that controls the canbus, this loaded and everything now works great.

A few pics of the install....

The new unit as sent, very well wrapped....

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Before

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Remove the radio and sat nav, just six screws and a few plugs..

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Remove the vents from the original unit, a little bit fiddly, easiest to start at the top and work down with the clips...

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Rear of new unit with vents fitted...

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Plug the loom into the car, just three plugs then plug the loom into the new head unit, connect the satnav aerial, radio aerial, 4G aerial, two USB cables and you are done, the unit fits very well with no gaps etc...

Turn it on and play....

Home screen, you can see the new touch screen heater controls at the bottom...

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Apps, you can add any you like obviously...

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Wireless CarPlay.

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Google maps via CarPlay

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It comes with two USB cables, I decided to replace the cigarette lighter with a double USB plug, the outer black circle is the Lexus original, it fitted perfectly and keeps the install neat....

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The fitment to the dash is very good, the colour is good and matches the original vents very well, they fitted perfectly and are still smooth to operate.

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The quality of the dedicated buttons is not up to Lexus originals but very acceptable and positive.

It looks nice at night, the buttons are backlit including the knobs, difficult to get a good picture though, the screen is dimmable as well.

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It has everything an Android tablet has plus extras it even gives you the MPG on the car App

A before and after...

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All in all I'm very pleased with it, it switches on very fast and CarPlay connects fast as well.

I've kept the old unit just in case....Lol...

If anyone is thinking of one then I can recommend this one, there are others with slightly different set ups of screen and buttons, I liked this one as it has dedicated buttons for the heater fan speed, annoyed me you had to press a button to get to that screen on the original unit.

The stainless steel emblem on the bottom of the unit does not come with it...

 

 

Screen Shot 04-22-22 at 03.28 PM.PNG

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Really useful to get see a review and get some feedback as I’m looking at doing this myself.
Does the rear view camera still work as with the original system? 
Do you also have a link to the usb sockets you got?

Edited by RxBandits
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Apparently it "might" work with the original, mine doesn't. They do send a free camera so you can change the original and use that, personally I don't find them very useful...

USB socket here...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/304096200240?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

(when the link expires search for "Car Dash Panel Flush Mount Dual USB 2.0 1m Male to Female Extension Cable" On Ebay)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/10/2022 at 11:55 AM, Haylands said:

Apparently it "might" work with the original, mine doesn't. They do send a free camera so you can change the original and use that, personally I don't find them very useful...

 

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How many Rams and Roms did you get? I can't imagine that I would need the ones with more, but I just don't know!

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2 hours ago, Gina Dee said:

How many Rams and Roms did you get? I can't imagine that I would need the ones with more, but I just don't know!

It's basically a computer, so just like any other computer, the more Rams and Roms, the better and the faster the unit will be.

My advice, therefore, would be to get the most you can afford. You may not need the higher processing power now but it may come in handy down the line so why not 'future-proof' yourself now, if you can afford to do it?

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As a car head unit you won't use much of the rams and roms, I have fitted many of these to all types of car and always go for the lowest spec one that has BUILT IN CarPlay. Unless you are going to do lots of gaming or run multiple apps the basic will be fine...

I appreciate what Herb says and I agree with him to a certain extent, it's always nice to have more than you need but I can't see what else you would want in a dedicated car unit that would use the extra capacity...

This unit starts very quickly when you turn the car on, it is up and running in a matter of seconds so any more ram or rom wouldn't be much benefit there either...

You have access to the boot loader so you can get it to automatically start CarPlay and up to four other apps on start up, it has enough speed and capacity for this as well...

So my advice is get the cheapest one that has built in CarPlay, in my experience the USB plug in CarPlay dongles do not work well....

 

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