Pioneer Avic F500BT review


New Forum User
I've had this satnav fitted for a while now and felt it was about time i fed back to the community about it and to show that its a viable alternative to some of the other options out there.

I chose the Pioneer AVIC F500BT unit as it is double din in size but only as thick as your wallet. The original intention was to fit it behind a Satnav Cubby but the unit was a tad to wide, and i didn't want to cut the unit down as i wanted to use to be able to sell it on later. The first benefit i did find is that with the current mounting position i can now easily swap it between my car and my wifes.

So firstly the unit



I bought this over 12 months ago for about £330 they were originally about £500, cheapest i've just found them on a quick google is £250 at KTD UK Ltd - Van roof racks frails storage seating racking loading ramps security fleet management Gateshead

I then had the unit fitted by Dave Wallis Audio Dave Wallis Car Audio - 35 Years of Excellence Cost me £160; now at this point i'd like to point something out Dave wallis did a very good job of the electronics part of the install and for that i would like to thank them what i didn't appreciate was being overcharged for an hours labour that didn't happen and the fact that they butchered the £100 sat nav facia i bought off JDM performance to fit the nav in to the dash (this was on my original plan of the OEM look) what i learnt for future reference is be very clear in your instructions, they thought it was fine if they broke it and soldered it back together with a soldering iron stick it in the box and not tell me. any way thats another story which has since been dealt with.

So total install cost for me was about £500, but that was 12 months ago. on current price you should be able to get it done for around £400 easily.

So what did i get for my £500

I now have a sat nav that is hardwired through the bose system, it utilizes the front speakers so if i have music playing it sends the music to the rear and uses the fronts for nav voice. not only that but i'm now running an extremely competent Satnav.

some of my favourite features that it does are:

- full post code searches,
- has full POI database.
- Live traffic Update, that then automatically reroutes you to avoid it (only works if hard wired into the car)
- Live tracks; so if you go through the tunnel it uses the cars speed to judge position while satellites are out (only works when hard wired in)
- the navigation is faultless, always found a location even some really bizzare middle of the field locations.
- lets you set markers to navigate to (i found this useful as a D of E leader, i could match the map up with a OS map drop a pin on a bridal way exit and be within 10 feet of it for meeting the kids)
-full speed camera database (free for the first year, £12 every year after that)
- 2D and 3D maps 3D is pretty cool when your driving in the mountains you can see all the contours etc. will also show landmarks like london eye etc in 3D
- can flip between phone, nav, and movies with everything still running i.e. if you is the phone the nav is still visible. if you have the video playing or the Aux you can instantly flip to the Nav and its tracked you all the way, and it still gives directions while other functions are being used. i.e. if the video is playing it will tell you when to turn off (although its not legal to have a video when driving, I don't, but we tested it as a passenger in another car)
- in 2d mode i can zoom in very close, or zoom out to the point i can see the whole world :lol:
- in 3d mode i can tilt and rotate the map so i can see from different angles or track from different directions

This one is a Biggie

- Hands free through the satnav and the cars headunit, i scrapped the cars original BT car hands free to use this. the calls and the number flash up on the screen, the clarity is excellent, it automatically turns the music down, also stores my full phone book in the nav for simple press and dial. (i think it does voice activation but not had a play with that.) i prefer to see what i'm pressing.

Other advantages of the Unit:

- uses SD card i currently have an 8Gb one in it. makes for easy updates. just pop the card out, plug into my computer it updates and sticki t back in the nav
- it plays movies. i save them on the SD card
- it will save and play music as well
- has a Mini USB port, and an aux section so it could be used to run OBDII stuff, so you could have real time feedback of the car while you drive (would need to be a unit that needs a screen output and not something like OBDII PC software.)
- has an IPOD connection on it (but you'll need to get the cable separately ) Only downside is that it would only be out of the front speakers. thats why i use a tape converter.
- you can set your own flash screen (mine is the 350z logo) this is the screen you see when you first boot up.
- automatically switches on and off with the ignition, but can be over ridden with the power button on the front

Forgive the pictures as the unit is abit grubby, only realsied after i uploaded the pictures thatthe flash shows up all the finger prints :lol: which you can't see normally. :blush: will need to go give it a wipe.



Map screen

Front page

Nav options

3d map


playing a video

behind the unit, and showing the SD slot

unit out leaving the connector (so the cubby is still useable)

cubby closed with unit taken out (takes 3 seconds to remove, so if you don't want it on display you can take it in side or put it in the rear cubby)

unit in place but off

i have used alot of Nav units from PDA's running TomTom, Co pilot etc, to stand alones like the Garmins and tomtom Xl etc. i have to say, hands down this has been the best bit of nav equipment i have ever owned. its faultess, quick to load never got me lost yet, and seems to know the sensible routes to places. i've had nav units make me do huge 2 hour dogs leg journeys for no reason at all.

if your interested go and have a google for it, there are a range of reviews online as well as some youtube clips as well. and for £400 is a very affordable option for something that comes with a warranty and tried and tested quality Nav software.

any questions please ask away. also i think Rich has fitted this in his car as well now his is a facelift and i think it fits even better in that. mines a pre facelift and uses a small amount of velco to hold it in place.