By Lucas Lazore – SonicElectronix Lead Installer

I finished installing the AVN-5510/AVN-52D with iPod and Bluetooth into a 2002 Toyota Rav4 today. The Bluetooth adapter (BTE-500) actually made the job quicker because the Fujitsu-son company includes a Toyota Proprietary plug that allowed me to quickly plug the AVN-5510/AVN-52D and the Bluetooth directly into the vehicle without using any connectors on the main Power/Speaker harness. I could have broken records for the fastest install of a head-unit and Bluetooth. However, to guarantee accuracy of the Navigation I was required to hunt three wires: the Speed Sensor (VSS), reverse and parking brake wire. Armed with my trusted multi-meter I was able to verify all three wires in their given locations in the matter of 15 minutes.
I had to remove the center console to get to the parking brake wire. I noticed that I had enough room to mount the Bluetooth Accept/Decline controller and iPod controller module here. This was great news because the center console is so close to the glove box that it made it easy to run the iPod cable. The good news continued as there was plenty of room to mount the NAV antenna on the dash using the supplied grounding pad. This was also a big plus because I didn’t have to run any cables to the exterior of the car. The Bluetooth microphone comes with 3 mounting adapters, so I was easily able to mount it. I decided to mount it in my gauge cluster housing, and I managed to do so without obstructing the view of my tach or speedometer.

The entire install, including a test drive, lasted 2 hours. The picture quality on the unit was amazing. Even though the DVD maps only allow 2-D viewing, the important thing was how spot on it was, even as I was making a U-turn thru the company’s parking lot. Selecting the destination was so simple that I didn’t even need to look in the owner’s manual for instruction. What impressed me the most was the responsiveness of both the touch-screen and motorized face. The screen reacted instantly, even to the softest touches of my fingertips. Boot-up time was quick, and source-source transition triggered without hesitation.

The BTE500 only provides audio over the factory radio, so the customer will still need to screen the calls by glancing at the phone. The audio was clear and the test call was successful with minimal background noise and zero echoing. The entire unit itself sounded great, as I didn’t get any hissing or high pitched buzzing out of the factory speakers. The auto radio-programming loaded up the best stations in my area.

For the price, it is definitely the best unit I’ve installed. The newer JVC KW-NX7000 has more detail with the navigation and blue-tooth, but the clarity, responsiveness, and price-tag of the Eclipse package definitely earns its spot on my “leader board.”