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Last week, Pioneer launched its 2013 car entertainment range in Damansara. There were plenty of new ICE products from the Japanese brand, including digital car amps, new A-Series speakers, CD receivers and a range of multimedia receivers. Pioneer also launched the Perfect Fit navigation system with 5.1-channel AV entertainment – this series caught our eye, more on it later.

Car stereos are so much more than CD/Radio players with USB/Bluetooth these days, and the Pioneer launch was rather eye-opening for yours truly, who is not an ICE junkie. Pioneer’s five new multimedia models – AVH-X8550BT, AVH-X5550BT, AVH-X2550BT and AVH-X1550DVD – feature “true connectivity” with compatible apps that can link your iPhone or Android phone with your car stereo.

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The new AppRadio Mode, previously known as Advanced App Mode, allows users to view compatible third-party smartphone apps directly via the head unit’s touch screen – the popular Waze app is one, as shown here. Other apps include those for navigation, Internet radio, and social media. Besides apps, music and videos on your phone can be played via the head unit.

Pioneer was also keen to highlight its Mixtrax App. The latest version has a Mix Creator function that simplifies the process of creating a nonstop music mix, club style. So while the DJ at your favourite club mixes on his Pioneer deck, you can do something like that in your car.

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Here’s something more mainstream – the Perfect Fit series, made to integrate nicely into your car for the OEM look. The range comes with built-in GPS navigation and upgradable 5.1-channel with Dolby Digital Decoder, without messy cabling.

Navigation is powered by Papago (version X8.5) so the maps come with 3D, junction view and split view. For the 5.1 upgrade, just add an amp, subwoofer and centre speaker to your car’s existing set of speakers.

There’s also Bluetooth, and if you have a compatible device, you can wirelessly stream (A2DP) and control audio (AVRCP). Currently, the Perfect Fit range has one for the Volkswagen Polo (AVIC-F7121, RM2,999), previous-gen Toyota Camry (AVIC-F7111, RM2,599), new Camry (AVIC-F7202D, RM2,999) and a generic 2-DIN unit for RM2,399.

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This could be a perfect fit (sorry!) for Polo Sedan owners who want to upgrade their tiny RCD 210 player to one that offers a more “full-spec look”. The same goes for Polo hatch owners who want more colour in their car. In any case, you can now retire that unsightly portable Garmin and its dangling wire.

For more info and specs, head to www.pioneer.my.