The marketing dudes from Pioneer were good enough to drop by for a curbside demo of their new flagship in-dash navigation system. It’s called the AVIC-Z120BT…very consumer friendly and damn easy to remember if I do say so myself. But, as far as I’m concerned, the only name that really matters when it comes to this new piece of tech is Pandora. Yes, that’s right, the king of Internet radio has officially reached your dashboard. Well, if you have an iPhone that is.
When drivers launch the PandoraLink for Pioneer App, Pandora will be displayed as a dedicated source on the luscious 7-inch WVGA touch screen display and provides desktop functionality such as detailed track information and album art. In addition to the capability of rating a song with “thumbs up” or “thumbs down,” the dedicated interface provides easy navigation and allows users to bookmark a song or artist, skip the currently playing track, change stations and select Quickmix playback. The only thing it won’t do is allow you to create a new station as the engineers have deemed that one too distracting.
The AVIC-Z120BT is available now for a suggested retail price of $1,599. If that’s too rich for your blood, there’s a lower end offering called the AVIC-X920BT ($1,099). Less expensive still, Alpine offers a no frills head unit, also named with a bunch of awkward numbers and letters, that is equipped to stream Pandora minus the Navigation system and 7-inch fancy touch screen.