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Old 4th November 2012, 03:48   #1
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Talking ICE for 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor

It's been a while! How y'all been? :-)

I just recently picked up a 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor automatic. It's in top condition and I'm really happy with it, except for the audio system. I'm new to luxury cars, so please bear with me!

The speakers are great, but the HU is a basic 1-DIN one with just a CD and radio player, which is a problem. I believe it is the older Becker Audio 10 unit. It looks exactly like this:



I want to upgrade only the HU, but I want to keep the look and feel as stock as possible. I don't want a regular 2-DIN (like a Pioneer or JVC), because the shape won't match the original. I found a couple of aftermarket HUs which seem to be pretty perfect:



This one is similar, but it even runs Android!



They're all upwards of $600, so I need to know a bunch of things before I decide to order one...
  1. These specify compatibility with "Mercedes C-W203(2000-2005)" amongst others, which I'm assuing is compatible with my pre-facelift W203.
  2. These claim to be fully compatible with the steering controls and even display data on the dashboard LCD, but is there any kind of a loss of functionality that can arise out of replacing the stock HU?
  3. One of these also mentions compatibility with "Mercedes-Benz C-Class-comand 2.0-for W203(2000-2004.4)". Is the COMAND system present and/or retrofittable on my first-gen W203?
  4. India isn't in the list of maps available for the sat nav. Is it possible to install Indian maps by sourcing them from elsewhere? If the unit is Android based, this isn't a huge issue.
  5. Is there anyone in India, specifically Mumbai, stocking and selling these? It might be cheaper and/or safer to get it locally than some Chinese site online!
  6. Is there any other more reliable site to order this stuff from? There are hundreds of sites selling the same products and most of them even look the same.

Jesal mentioned a brand called Witson, but they don't seem to have a 00-05 W203 compatible model...



I have more questions, but I think these should help me get started in the right direction.

Thanks!
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Old 4th November 2012, 14:56   #2
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Default Re: ICE for 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor

Why don't you go for something like this???

http://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct...zs2IMRH7x15TnQ

Will save you the headache of upsetting stock looks and give you all the functionality of newer head units..
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Old 5th November 2012, 15:32   #3
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Default Re: ICE for 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by aalaap View Post
I just recently picked up a 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor automatic.
You sure? AFAIK, the C200K made its debut in 2005. There was a stop-gap C180 Kompressor model, but I don't think it was as early as 2003.

Quote:
The speakers are great
Your car might also have a nice sub-woofer at the back, something Mercedes removed in the facelift

Quote:
These specify compatibility with "Mercedes C-W203(2000-2005)" amongst others, which I'm assuing is compatible with my pre-facelift W203.
Yep.

Quote:
Is the COMAND system present
Nope.

Quote:
India isn't in the list of maps available for the sat nav.
Use your smartphone, Aalaap. These cars get troublesome in stock form itself; you don't want to be modifying the electric circuitry too much. That's precisely the reason I attach an FM radio transmitter on my iPod for long drives with the C220.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
Why don't you go for something like this???
Won't work because these cars don't have an AUX-in.
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Old 6th November 2012, 11:10   #4
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Default Re: ICE for 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor

Thanks for all the info and also the skepticism!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You sure? AFAIK, the C200K made its debut in 2005. There was a stop-gap C180 Kompressor model, but I don't think it was as early as 2003.
The facelifted C200K did come out in 2004-2005, but mine is the one prior to that, so it has no 2-DIN unit and the dash is slightly different. I'll drop by and you can check it out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Your car might also have a nice sub-woofer at the back, something Mercedes removed in the facelift
Ooo! It doesn't sound like it, but I haven't played anything other than FM on this thing yet and I've certainly not blasted it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Yep.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Nope.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Use your smartphone, Aalaap. These cars get troublesome in stock form itself; you don't want to be modifying the electric circuitry too much. That's precisely the reason I attach an FM radio transmitter on my iPod for long drives with the C220.
I've been using my phone all these years for navigation, but I'm tired of fiddling with it and other apps and all that. I just want something integrated that works without any fuss. I thought about the FM transmitter, but I'd really like the steering mounted controls to work..

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Won't work because these cars don't have an AUX-in.
Thanks again.. and I think we should go for a drive in both our Cs and figure out the rest!

Last edited by GTO : 7th November 2012 at 14:12. Reason: No more than 2 smilies per post please
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Old 6th November 2012, 12:25   #5
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Default Re: ICE for 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor

You can use the Blaupunkt New York 800 in your car. i had once asked rhyme and rhythm and they said they could do the install and even get an adapter for steering buttons to work.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 6th November 2012 at 12:42. Reason: typo
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Old 7th November 2012, 20:32   #6
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Default Re: ICE for 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
You can use the Blaupunkt New York 800 in your car. i had once asked rhyme and rhythm and they said they could do the install and even get an adapter for steering buttons to work.
This is what my car audio guy suggested, however, my issue is simply with the looks not matching the car's. It'll stick out like an iPod in a cassette player world.
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Old 7th November 2012, 20:46   #7
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Default Re: ICE for 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor

You get a fascia kit for it which covers the edges. This is your best bet and you get warrantee.
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Old 9th November 2012, 13:33   #8
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Default Re: ICE for 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by aalaap View Post
The speakers are great, but the HU is a basic 1-DIN one with just a CD and radio player, which is a problem. I believe it is the older Becker Audio 10 unit. I want to upgrade only the HU, but I want to keep the look and feel as stock as possible.
Why not look at Dension's Gateway kits. these allow you to add bluetooth, ipod, and other devices to legacy stereos like the one you have.

http://www.dension.com/sites/default...12_06_2012.pdf

http://www.dension.com/product/gateway-500s-bluetooth
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Old 3rd November 2013, 12:20   #9
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Smile Re: ICE for 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor

Just to update you guys: I finally ordered one unit off AliExpress. Along with the extras, shipping and duty, I ended up paying close to Rs. 45-50,000. I lost track of the cost and just gave up counting.

A quick round up...

Pros:
  • Perfect OEM look. You'll have to see it to believe how good the fit and finish is.
  • Steering mounted controls work just fine.
  • Runs Android 4.0.3, is rooted (so you can install scripts that run at start, etc.). Play Store and most apps work fine. Google Maps, TuneIn Radio, etc. Only 4GB built in, but that's sufficient for most apps.
  • WiFi works, so I turn on my phone's portable hotspot and the HU is online.
  • It has an AUX in for audio as well as rear-cam video.

Cons
  • Sound quality isn't up to expectations, but it's not unbearably bad.
  • The touch screen is resistive, so you'll need to use your fingernails or a stylus to use it and it's not convenient to type at all. No multi-touch either. This can be quite frustrating.
  • The color balance of the screen is off and it's not good for watching video, but the rest of the apps and UI works okay.
  • Takes a while to boot into Android, so if you shut off your car, you'll lose whatever is going on when you start the car back up again.
  • No USB OTG apparently, so Android can't access a connected USB drive or the memory card. You're stuck with the built-in 4GB local storage. But WiFi works, so you can play music off another device with the appropriate software.
  • Took me a while to get voice support added to Android, but it doesn't work because the mic doesn't seem to be connected internally.
  • The non-Android USB playback mode is primitive. It gives a full list of files with DOS 8.3 filenames, no tags, no folders, nothing. It's unusable.
  • The internal clock resets and starts at 5:30am (IST, so 00:00 GMT) everytime you turn this thing on. Workaround: use Smart Time Sync and set time via GPS or NTP over WiFi.

Anyway, after getting it fitted, I felt like it was the closest I was ever going to get to a near-factory OEM AND functional experience. Pics below.

Thanks, all!
Attached Images
       

Last edited by aalaap : 3rd November 2013 at 12:30.
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