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Installed a 10-inch android screen in my 9-year-old XUV500: Impressions

This unit has picture-in-picture as well. So you can listen and watch a song while your maps are up.

BHPian triedeverything recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

So mine is a 9 year old XUV 500. One thing I've hated about most manufacturers is the backward compatibility of new features. I watched with envy as newer models came out with better head units. And I'm stuck with this puny head unit because of 'dependencies'

Enter the Canbus. This is a small piece of hardware that they install between the head unit and every other connection. This seems to ensure that functionality isn't lost.

My head unit was stock for so many years. The GPS conked out and stopped working at least 5 years ago. Since their stock maps were pathetic and I always had Google Maps on my mobile, I didn't miss much.

The car's done 93K km so far. No issues note mentioning. And the wait for the 700 is now almost 2 years!

So what do we do in the meantime?

How about looking up upgrades to the head unit and so my search started. I came across one vendor who seemed to have good reviews. I was always worried about lost functionality - since climate control, etc are all displayed on the screen. Plus I didn't want to lose the steering controls.

A few years back I had changed the speakers (Mahindra provides pathetic speakers for a premium car) and also added an Amp and a Sub with an inbuilt Amp. I faced the dreaded disturbance in sound and lived with it for a couple of years by keeping gain to the minimum.

The idiot who installed it didn't really know how to do the job. And a few weeks back, the amp blew.

That was the sign I was waiting for: to get it rewired and pimped up.

This particular vendor that I went to next - did a great job with the upgrade. (After the initial irritation at long wait times) I spent almost an entire day undoing the damage and wiping the slate clean. In the process of connecting my rear cam to the new head unit, the rear tail light has developed a huge crack.

I've not lost much functionality. From what I figured, it's only Tyre Tronics. And I still need to figure out where to access the fuel average. Otherwise, steering controls, climate control, everything else is seen and controlled on screen and in satisfying working condition.

This unit has picture-in-picture as well. So you can listen and watch a song while your maps are up. It has a slot for a sim - so it can have its own connection to the internet. If that's too much of a hassle, you can pair it with the hotspot and use the device like any other android touch screen. Download apps from the android store, etc.

Total damage - about Rs 37k.

Does not include the new amp. And the high-low converter (which I think can sort the dreaded hiss that many older XUVs have reported)

Cons so far:

  • Unit goes off for a short while (not as much as the OE unit turning off) while restarting the car.
  • No user manual. So it's mostly learn by trial and error.
  • Very high install time, but that's a one off.
  • Wasn't a thorough job - had to go back again to get the camera connected.
  • They don't test everything before letting you go
  • Don't expect undivided attention

Here's a short video.

Just been a week since install. So that's as much experience as I have with the unit. Need to go on a long drive to test it. Not sure about sharing vendor details here, so ping me and I'll be happy to share the phone number, etc. This dealer has a tie-up with vendors in other states as well. I've asked for Mumbai. Also know another vendor who has several YouTube videos for those in Hyderabad. But this particular vendor is in Bangalore.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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