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Best In-Dash GPS Navigation 2016 | Top Rated GPS Units

by / / In-Dash Car Stereos & Receivers, Top Rated Products
Best In-Dash GPS Navigation Main

There are two main types of GPS Navigation units while navigating to a location in your car: Portable and In-Dash. Portable units can be moved from car to car whenever you like, however in most cases lack several features that an In-Dash Navigation Unit has. The Best In-Dash GPS Navigation will not only direct you to where you’d like to to go, it add several features to your stereo that a portable unit will not, including iPod/iPhone compatibility, Bluetooth, DVD and Video capability, and much more. A truly all-in-one unit, Double Din GPS Navigation units will get you to your destination safely, while adding a whole new level of entertainment to your ride there.

Here’s a list of the top rated car GPS navigation receivers of 2016. Click a unit to go to the full review, or just scroll down to view all of the reviews:

Best Car GPS Navigation Receivers | Top 7

Car GPS Navigation ReceiverPower HandlingEQScreen Size (in)NavigationBuy Now
1. Pioneer AVIC-8100NEXRMS: 14W x 4CH
Peak: 50W x 4CH
13 Band7"U.S., Canada,
Puerto Rico
Buy Now
2. Kenwood Excelon DNX893SRMS: 22W x 4CH
Peak: 50W x 4CH
13 Band6.95"U.S., Canada,
Puerto Rico
Buy Now
3. JVC KW-51BTRMS: 22W x 4CH
Peak: 50W x 4CH
3 Band7"iPhone Navigation
Connectivity
Buy Now
4. Pioneer AVIC-7100NEXRMS: 14W x 4CH
Peak: 50W x 4CH
13 Band7"U.S., Canada,
Puerto Rico
Buy Now
5. Alpine INE-W960RMS: 18W x 4CH
Peak: 50W x 4CH
9 Band6.1"U.S., Canada,
Puerto Rico
Buy Now
6. Clarion NX605RMS: 18W x 4CH
Peak: 50W x 4CH
6 Band6.2"U.S., Canada,
Puerto Rico
Buy Now
7. Jensen VX7022RMS: 13W x 4CH
Peak: 40W x 4CH
10 Band6.2"U.S., Canada,
U.S. Virgin Islands
Buy Now

Who Is This Review For?

There are many cases that can warrant upgrading your car stereo’s head unit. You may need to find a way of integrating Bluetooth calling and music streaming. Or you might want to be able to use Pandora or Spotify easily in your car to give you more control over your music. You might have just purchased a used car that doesn’t offer any integration with your smartphone at all, and needs an updated unit. Or you might just not like the features and functions of your car stereo’s current unit. In any case, upgrading your receiver can give you the latest technology and integrate with the most popular and user-friendly applications, improving your in-car experience. But just because you’d like upgrade your car’s stereo with a new and improved receiver doesn’t mean you can.
There are two types of head units on the market today: single-DIN and double-DIN. If your car’s dash has a double-DIN opening, you can fit both a single-DIN and double-DIN. However, if it is a single-DIN you can only fit a single-DIN receiver. You’ll need to find out which size your car can fit in order to choose the right one.
Also, for people who have cars that are newer than about 10 years, your car may have multiple screens in different places on your dash that are controlled by different systems (and not just your audio). This will complicate your installation and you might even lose functionality of the screens that are reliant on the head unit you’re looking to replace. But for those who have cars that are older than about 10 years that don’t have multiple screens with different systems powering them, your installation and upgrade is pretty straight forward.

How We Tested

In order to find the best in-dash GPS navigation receiver, CarAudioNow has combined several reviews across the industry with first-hand tests. There are many criteria that we take into consideration when rating and reviewing each car GPS unit, including:

  • Style (Looks, Design)
  • Display Type (LCD, Dotted, LCD Text, etc.)
  • Features (Bluetooth, GPS, Smartphone Compatibility, Equalizer, etc)
  • Power Ratings (Peak, RMS)
  • Price
  • Expandability (# of RCAs, XM/Sirius Read, Steering Wheel Control Ready, etc)
  • Quality (Materials used, manufacturer, etc)
  • Online Reviews (From multiple vendors such as Sonic Electronix, Crutchfield, Amazon and more)

The result from our combination of sources and testing is a list of the top rated and reviewed GPS Navigation units. And in addition to our compilation of best rated products, CarAudioNow also provides multiple comparisons of prices from vendors to try to get you the best price for all of your products. But in the end, the best car navigation is one that meets your specific needs and is compatible with your car.

The Best In-Dash GPS Navigation List

Editor's Rating:

5 Stars

- Double din GPS Navigation & DVD player
- 7" motorized touchscreen
- 13-band graphic equalizer
- Built-in iPod, iPhone, iPad and Android control

Amazon Logo$1,089.00

Sonic Logo$1394.95

Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX Quick Review:

The Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX is considered by many as the brand’s flagship and best car GPS navigation receiver because it offers a range of features that collectively outshine and outperform many others in the market. Aside from Apple CarPlay and its counterpart one-cable connection Android Auto, the AVOC-8200NEX also comes with a high-end capacitive 7-inch touchscreen, built-in Bluetooth technologies for streaming and hands-free calling, or messaging, and auto detection for smartphones.  It also features an intuitive and user-friendly interface that cannot be easily matched by other navigation receivers.

Some additional key features:

  • 13-band Graphic Equalizer equipped with the Easy EQ preset equalizer, Auto EQ
  • High and low-pass filters with adjustable crossover
  • MIXTRAX technology
  • Advanced Sound Retriever
  • Plays from DVDs, CDs, USBs, AM/FM, lossless FLAC files from flash drives, and has a built-in HD Radio
  • Compatible with Pandora, Aha Radio, Siri Eyes Free with built-in iPhone, iPod, and iPad controls, MirrorLink, AppRadio, Google Now voice control, SiriusXM
  • 2 rear USB, 2 rear A/V, two camera inputs
  • 6-channel preamp outputs
  • Remote control

If that’s not enough, the AVIC 8200NEX also has free traffic updates, text-to-speech GPS guidance, speed limit guidance, enhanced view and zoom plus maps of over 7.9 million areas. The catch for all these amazing features is the higher price tag, but if you happen to spend a lot of time in your car (long trips, traffic, bored children), the AVIC 8200NEX will be your best buddy on the road. The 8200NEX is the complete package.

Editor's Rating:

5 Stars

- Double din GPS Navigation & DVD receiver
- 6.95" touchscreen
- 13-band graphic equalizer
- Built-in iPod, iPhone, iPad and Android control

Amazon Logo$1,299.99

Kenwood Excelon DNX893S Quick Review:

The Kenwood DNX893S navigation receiver is bound to reinforce or revive your love for Kenwood products. It comes with the reliable Garmin system, Bluetooth technology, Apple CarPlay with Siri Eyes Free and voice control, a 6.95-inch resistive touch screen with VGA color LCD and backlight, and an HDMI input for Android devices. One of the features that clinched the title “Best GPS Nav for Cars” for this DNX893S is the lightning fast USB connection with no downtime or lagging experience with automatic pairing. Plus, you can use up to two phones simultaneously.

Additional key features include:

  • Compatible with Pandora, Internet Radio, Spotify, HD Radio, SiriusXM, iDatalink Maestro, and Miracast wireless mirroring technology
  • Plays CDs, DVDs, FLAC, WAV files and has an SD slot for digital music files
  • 3 programmable shortcuts to your favorite music sources
  • 13-band Equalizer with Drive EQ
  • High and low-pass filters, digital sound enhancer, bass boost
  • Option for 2 cameras and adjustable parking grids for rear-view camera
  • 7 input sources, 6-channel preamp output, rear A/V output
  • 2-year warranty

This model can even integrate the stealth K40 radar detector into the display. You also get two years free subscription to the INRIX traffic service and rapid charge for your Android phone using the USB port. A bonus to why this functional yet stylish navigation receiver gets the top score is the mid-range price that makes it an excellent value-for-money package on a product crafted to work hard and give you years of enjoyable use.

Editor's Rating:

4.8 Stars

- Double din GPS Navigation & DVD/CD receiver
- 7" motorized touchscreen
- 3-band graphic equalizer
-Pandora and iHeartRadio control with iPhone and Android

JVC KW-V51BT Quick Review:

Smartphone compatibility is a must for all in-dash receivers, which is why the JVC KW-V51BT was designed around the smartphone, offering a full list of features and compatibility for the ever growing list of phones. Its MirrorLink allows you to control most Android features, like scrolling through contacts and music or selecting apps while it's iPhone App Control gives Apple users full control of their phones and apps as well. Combined with it's built-in Bluetooth features, you'll never have to touch your phone while your in the car again.

Editor's Rating:

4.8 Stars

- Double din GPS Navigation & DVD/CD Unit
- 7" motorized touchscreen
- 13-band graphic equalizer
- Build-in iPhone, iPod, iPad and Android control

Sonic Logo$1194.95

Pioneer AVIC-7200NEX Quick Review:

The Pioneer AVIC 7200NEX is among the latest in-dash receivers with upgrades that came out early 2016. This 3rd gen model merits top choice in our list of best car GPS navigation receivers. From the moment you unbox the unit, you’ll love what it has to offer. As an in-car entertainment system, it lacks for nothing. It has the 7-inch resistive touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (Lollipop version or newer), auto phone switch, highly responsive screen with dark screen mode, and MirrorLink technology.

This model, which we gladly added to our list of best car GPS head units, may seem expensive at first. However, a closer review of the features will fully justify its price level. Here are just some of the features you can enjoy having with the AVIC 7200NEX:

  • Compatible with AppRadio, Siri Eyes Free, Google Now voice, Pandora, Aha Radio, Sirius XM, iDatalink Maestro
  • MIXTRAX technology for continuous music play and special effects
  • 13-band Graphic Equalizer with Easy EQ Preset, Auto EQ
  • Advanced Sound Retriever for compressed files
  • Plays from CDs, DVDs, AM/FM radio, and USB drives
  • High and low-pass filters with adjustable crossovers
  • 2 rear USB, 2 rear A/V, 2 camera option with dedicated screen icon, and an HDMI input
  • 6-channel preamp outputs
  • Door-to-door navigation, built-in traffic alerts and speed warnings, 3D views, lane guidance, and option to have street names spoken out loud

The AVIC 7200NEX transforms your car into an incredible theater with superb graphics and full audio. In fact, because of the dual zone A/V, the driver can listen to music while the passengers in the back seat can watch a movie or listen to something else.  Also, with the iDataLink, you can get a diagnostic report on your car from tire pressure to climate control.

The Pioneer AVIC 7200NEX, with all it has to offer, is easily one of the best GPS for your car in the marketplace. It has the reliable Pioneer quality in sound and video and looks absolutely beautiful.

Editor's Rating:

4.7 Stars

- Double din GPS Navigation & DVD/CD receiver
- 6.1" motorized touchscreen
- 9-band graphic equalizer
- Build-in iPhone, iPod, iPad and Android control

Alpine INE-W960 Quick Review:

While the Alpine INE W960 isn’t the absolute in navigation systems, it still falls on our list of best car GPS navigation receiver within the $500- $600 price range. It has everything you need in a navigation and music entertainment with its built-in Bluetooth technology, 6.1-inch touch screen with intuitive screen graphics, external microphone, and convenient pairing for your smartphone.

Admittedly, it is just a tad better than the basic package because it has a few extra functional features. Nonetheless, for what it offers and considering the entire package from price tag to performance, the INE W960 earns a place on our list of best GPS navs for car.  A few of the additional features added on to enhance the basic package are the 2D and 3D views, lane guidance, detailed maps of the US, Canada, and US territories, noise cancellation and Bluetooth streaming and hands-free use. It is also compatible with Android, Apple, and Blackberry.

Some of the features of the INE-W960 include:

  • Compatible with Pandora, SiriusXM, iTunes tagging
  • Has the MediaXpander Pro technology
  • Built-in preloaded NAVTEQ navigation system with AutoZoom and Alpine’s OnPoint Plus Advanced GPS Positioning and Text-to-Speech technology
  • 50 watts x 4 channels, 3 preamp outputs
  • Plays CDs, DVDs, MP3, AAC, and DivX Playback
  • Alphabet Search and Quick Search modes
  • 3 rear inputs (USB, A/V, and camera)
  • 6-channel preamp outputs
  • Options for front and rear cameras

Also, Alpine provides you with different upgrade kits or products that you can buy to enhance the INE W960 like the KTP 445A Head Unit Power Pack for more power and the PXA H800 with IMPRINT audio processor for a better sound boost.  However, on its own, the sound quality of the Alpine INE W960 is already full and vibrant since it has a well-balanced 9 –band parametric equalizer.  If you are looking for something of value with GPS navigation, excellent interface, and solid audio without spending a lot, then this is the one to get.

Editor's Rating:

4.7 Stars

- Double din GPS Navigation & DVD/CD receiver
- 6.2" motorized touchscreen
- 6-band graphic equalizer
- Build-in iPhone, iPod, iPad and Android control

Amazon LogoClick For Price

Clarion NX605 Quick Review:

Clarion's NX605 in-dash GPS navigation receiver looks great in your dash, and gives you tons of road-friendly features. Enjoy clear, crisp and bright features from a 6.2" touchscreen with a "flick" feature like your smartphone. Make hands-free phone calls, easily connect the smartphone of your choice, tune into Pandora Internet radio, and make traveling a breeze with easy-to-read maps. The NX605 is an excellent choice for all of your mobile entertainment and navigational needs.

Editor's Rating:

4.6 Stars

- Double din GPS Navigation & DVD/CD receiver
- 6.2" motorized touchscreen
- 10-band graphic equalizer
- Build-in iPhone, iPod, iPad and Android control

Alpine INE-W960 Quick Review:

While the Alpine INE W960 isn’t the absolute in navigation systems, it still falls on our list of best car GPS navigation receiver within the $500- $600 price range. It has everything you need in a navigation and music entertainment with its built-in Bluetooth technology, 6.1-inch touch screen with intuitive screen graphics, external microphone, and convenient pairing for your smartphone.

Admittedly, it is just a tad better than the basic package because it has a few extra functional features. Nonetheless, for what it offers and considering the entire package from price tag to performance, the INE W960 earns a place on our list of best GPS navs for car.  A few of the additional features added on to enhance the basic package are the 2D and 3D views, lane guidance, detailed maps of the US, Canada, and US territories, noise cancellation and Bluetooth streaming and hands-free use. It is also compatible with Android, Apple, and Blackberry.

Some of the features of the INE-W960 include:

  • Compatible with Pandora, SiriusXM, iTunes tagging
  • Has the MediaXpander Pro technology
  • Built-in preloaded NAVTEQ navigation system with AutoZoom and Alpine’s OnPoint Plus Advanced GPS Positioning and Text-to-Speech technology
  • 50 watts x 4 channels, 3 preamp outputs
  • Plays CDs, DVDs, MP3, AAC, and DivX Playback
  • Alphabet Search and Quick Search modes
  • 3 rear inputs (USB, A/V, and camera)
  • 6-channel preamp outputs
  • Options for front and rear cameras

Also, Alpine provides you with different upgrade kits or products that you can buy to enhance the INE W960 like the KTP 445A Head Unit Power Pack for more power and the PXA H800 with IMPRINT audio processor for a better sound boost.  However, on its own, the sound quality of the Alpine INE W960 is already full and vibrant since it has a well-balanced 9 –band parametric equalizer.  If you are looking for something of value with GPS navigation, excellent interface, and solid audio without spending a lot, then this is the one to get.

Best Car Stereos & Head Units: What To Look For

Every car requires a unique combination of car stereo components to sound great. A car stereo may sound excellent in one car, but sound terrible in another. Additionally, the limitations in size and wiring configuration make selecting the best car stereo even more difficult for you.
The best car stereos will give you the features you love while conforming to the environment of your car and create an excellent reproduction of the music that you love. With the right car stereo, you'll be able to custom tailor frequencies to your car, integrate your favorite music/media device, connect to your smartphone via bluetooth and much more.
At CarAudioNow, we use multiple key criteria when rating products in our top lists, including our Best In-Dash GPS Navigation Units. Below is a list of criteria that we take into consideration while choosing the best car stereos for your vehicle.

Power Ratings

Power ratings are extremely important feature to consider while choosing a car stereo. Without an external amplifier, the power output of the car stereo is what dictates the power of your speakers and ultimately the power of sound. There are typically two power output ratings that are given with car stereos:

Max Power Output: Max power rating is the maximum amount of power that the car stereo can emit for short periods of time. It is the maximum amount of power that will be sent to your speakers (without an external amplifier)
RMS (Continuous) Power Output: RMS power rating is the amount of power that the car stereo can emit at a constant or continuous rate. This is the most important power output rating.
Along with power handling and output, the level of control of the output sound's shape is also very important. This control is typically made through a built-in equalizer (EQ). It will allow you to tailor the shape of sound, raising or lowering the level of certain frequencies in order to best optimize the output sound for the environment of your car. The higher the number of bands that the car stereo's equalizer has, the more you will be able to customize the frequencies and shape of your music and sound.

Display

Display features play a huge role in how stylish and user-friendly car stereos are. High end car stereos will have a high LED pixel count, and give customizable features like color and brightness in order to match the color of your interior.

Playback

Playback can be defined as the methods that your car stereo is capable of playing back audio. CD, DVD, MP3, HD Radio, Pandora, Auxiliary (Aux) Ports, Bluetooth; these are all examples of playback types that the best car stereos will typically have.
You will want to make sure that the playback methods that you intend on using is consistent with the playback features of the car stereo, otherwise you may be stuck with a head unit that doesn't play your music in the format that you have it. Here is a breakdown of the most popular playback features in the best car stereos:

  • HD Radio: HD Radio is the same radio stations that you listen to, but with a higher audio quality and more metadata than tradition radio. Metadata includes titles, artists, albums and more.
  • CD Player: CD players will play your favorite CDs in multiple formats, including CD,CD-R/RW, MP3, AAC, WAV and WMA.
  • Auxiliary (Aux) Port: Auxiliary ports allow you to connect any music device that you may have using a headphone connector. Typically, the best car stereos will have an auxiliary port on the front of the unit.
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth music allows you to connect to your music on a smartphone or other bluetooth enabled device, playing all of your music wirelessly from your device via a Bluetooth connection.
  • USB Port: A USB port will allow you to connect your music devices via a USB connection. It will allow you to listen to your favorite music from your device, while charging it for endless listen time.
  • XM Radio: XM radio is satellite radio such as SiriusXM, that allows you to connect and listen to thousands of channels of radio via a satellite connection. This increases the coverage of radio that you have, however requires a paid subscription.

Smartphone Integration

All of the best car stereos allow you to fully integrate with your smartphone, enabling the best features such as Pandora and Spotify while allowing you to answer phone calls without touching your smartphone. With recent legislation prohibiting you from using your phones while driving, it is becoming increasingly important for the best car stereos to fully integrate with your smartphone. Additionally, they will come with microphones with noise-canceling technology that will hone in on your voice and eliminate road noise.

Expandability

Expandability is what allows you to connect external components to your car stereo. The best car stereos will have at least three 4volt RCA outputs (Front, Rear, Subwoofer), Audio/Video (AV) input/outputs, rear view camera inputs (with compatible displays) and a microphone input.

1 Comment to “Best In-Dash GPS Navigation 2016 | Top Rated GPS Units”

  1. Nice I like it very much

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