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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The built-in radio on my 2013 ED Cabrio began to hang and reboot spontaneously so it was time to look for a replacement. At first I was looking at replacement GPS units with Carplay at around $500-$800, but the salesperson at Crutchfield asked if I cared about GPS and playing DVDs... well no. That opened the door to several under $400 units that were basically radios that do Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in addition to Bluetooth and phone. I zeroed in on the Sony XAV-AX500. So at $300 for the open box version plus $25 for the pre-built adapter cable I was all set.
I had intended to show a step by step of the installation, but that was beyond me. I did want to share a few tidbits that might make life easier.
  1. The Crutchfield kit includes a new fascia and brackets, The included screws were too short though. I had to make my own.
  2. Call Crutchfield Tech Support and request more detailed installation instructions. They have info on the smart w/nav specifically.
  3. When the old radio is removed and the new connectors are in place, you'll have 3 old connectors left over. This freaked me out until I figured out that #1 was the un-used GPS antenna, #2 was the old AUX IN, and #3 was the old USB port. So none were used any more.
  4. The Crutchfield instructions say to connect the hand brake wire to a pin on the old connector. The question is why they didn't just make the adapter cable that way originally. This is all about not-playing movies while driving, so perhaps there is a legality involved.
  5. The new radio has a blue & white wire for powering up the car's audio amplifier. This isn't used in the smart. The amp powers up automatically.
  6. Pry out the old USB/AUX plate and un-thread the old wires, you can run the two new USB wires back the same way into the glove box.
  7. Using slightly longer screws, the new unit fits perfectly, I wish I had taken a picture as there are several ways to attach the brackets. But only one configuration lets you put two screws along the top edge of each bracket. That is the correct position.
Once everything was done the new radio looks and works great. One subtlety they don't tell you, there are 2 USB connectors. When you dive into the manual you find that USB1 is for the smartphone or a USB stick with videos. The other is only for MP3 music files. Apple Carplay works fine (wired only) but you will find older reviews from Android users complaining. I don't have Android so can't add anything to that discussion.
So now my smart cabrio does one MORE thing no Tesla can!
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