Pioneer's flagship AVIC 8000NEX boasts dozens of media and navigation options -- including the first aftermarket appearance of Apple CarPlay -- but most users will find a better feature-to-cost balance lower in the brand's NEX lineup.
The Pioneer AppRadio 3 is significantly improved over the previous generation and one of the best choices for drivers wanting safe access to smartphone apps while on the road.
The Pioneer DEH-X9500BHS packs in a remarkably wide range of audio sources for a single-DIN receiver, including some rudimentary app integration.
For iPhone 4 and 4S lovers, the Pioneer AppRadio 2 is possibly the best aftermarket receiver that money can buy. For Android users, the choice isn't so obvious.
The Garmin Nuvi 3490 LMT packs every trick in Garmin's book into an ultra-thin chassis, but the high MSRP will deter some.
With its improved interface, the Garmin Nuvi 2495LMT (Advanced Series) is as easy to use as earlier models, while offering a good blend of advanced features at a reasonable price.
Garmin's formula for entry-level GPS devices doesn't change much with the new Nuvi 50, but small tweaks, a lower price, and a massive screen enhance value.
Pioneer's AppRadio has great potential as a cost-effective way to add touch-screen iPhone app control to a car's dashboard, but interface and multitasking issues will prove frustrating for early adopters.
For those wanting a large screen for DVD playback that can have an unobtrusive presence while not in use, the Pioneer AVH-P6300BT is a solidly performing option, especially for iPod/iPhone owners.
The Pioneer AVIC-U310BT isn't perfect, but it meets most people's needs for navigation, hands-free calling, and digital audio playback at a very affordable price.