So after a lot of deliberating, I finally decided to go with a name-brand 2DIN navi head unit as opposed to one of the Chinese direct-fit models. One of the reasons, for this was that I want to upgrade the sound system of my GV with an amp and speakers, and I was not able to find a Chinese unit that had a subwoofer pre-amp out. The other reason was that I wanted to have some apps like Pandora, HD radio, etc. available as a direct access. Despite this, I almost pulled the plug on a Chinese unit a couple of times.
What helped my decision was the redesign of the 2013 GV that now uses a 2DIN head unit. With this change came a new fascia panel and bracket that I used for this mod to update my 2010 to the 2013 style except with a vastly superior head unit compared to the 2013 Suzuki unit.
I looked at a few units, I like the new Alpine INS-920HD the best but at around $900 that was just too expensive. The Pioneer AVIC 940BT was my second choice and when it went on sale for around $520 at Christmas I picked one up, along with an iDatalink Maestro SW steering wheel interface. I was able to program the iDatalink module online at the iDatalink website, so everything worked once it was wired up (this unit connects to pins 19 and 20 of the OEM plug to access the steering wheel + and – signals).
There was a fair amount of wiring involved, I purchased a generic Suzuki radio plug adaptor that had everything except the speed signal and steering wheel output wires, however connecting the adaptor wires to the head unit output wires took some time along with getting the new OEM 2DIN fascia and OEM bracket set up with all the other parts swapped over. In addition, this mod eliminated the OEM Garmin navigation in the pop-up holder at the top of the dash, so I used a 2009MY 7-speaker-style replacement top panel which also allowed for convenient mounting of the navigation antenna below the now-present speaker grill opening. All in all, I figure I spent 5-6 hours doing this install.
Here are some pics of the install:
OEM radio/HVAC fascia (this is a single piece now). This part comes as a blank plastic panel, I had to move over all the switchgear and HVAC unit:
2013 2DIN radio bracket. Bolted up directly to the Pioneer and maintained all the OEM fitment:
Radio attached to the fascia and installed. As it happened, there were some gaps above and below the Pioneer head unit that allowed light to pass through. I later learned that the 2013 Garmin/Suzuki 2DIN unit has a flange that fills this space, and the Pioneer's existing flange was too small. I used black craft paper to make a "flange", it came out great and totally factory looking:
The end result came out pretty good I think. Although I am just powering the OEM speakers for now the sound quality is much better than the OEM radio. Having built-in navigation, HD radio and the other apps is also nice. Next up is installation of a new Alpine amp, speakers and a small subwoofer but that will have to wait until I can get some free time.