The time has come for what you say? The time has come to give our Mazda 2 Project Car a real stereo.
Instead of going with the usual tunes only deck, we decided to give the Mazda 2 a really big upgrade. We chose the Pioneer AVH P3300BT which includes DVD video, MP3 playback, iPod/iPhone direct control, and the option to listen to Pandora using the iPhone Pandora app. This top of the line system includes a 5.8” wide screen size with a 16:9 aspect ratio, touch panel operation, built in amplifier, rear view camera input and dual zone audio/video.
To install the system in our project car, we went with the Japanese made Kanatechs Mazda 2, 2 din installation kit. The Kanatechs kit uses an OEM quality, exclusive panel, designed to fit the Mazda2’s unique dash and includes pre-formed steel mounting brackets. The other kit on the market, the Metra, uses plastic brackets for a rather flimsy installation and gives car stereo thieves easy access.
The installation kit from Kanatechs is thorough and very easy to follow. After giving the instructions a once over I was ready to get to work. The interior in the Mazda 2 is surprisingly easy to take apart and came out with a Philips screw driver and an M10 headed bolt. The harnesses for the installation kit and the pioneer are all color coded so that was a snap to get connected as well. Overall I spent 2 hours installing the new deck.
The installed unit looks like it belongs in the Mazda 2. Too bad it wasn’t an option when the car was purchased.
There are a few notes from installing the unit which I would keep in mind for future installs.
1st – If your original set-up has steering wheel volume controls, get the steering wheel adapter unit from Kanatechs. It allows you to retain the volume controls on the steering wheel if your new audio unit supports IR control.
2nd – The information display selector will be disabled when the original stereo is removed. I recommend you choose your favorite setting and leave it there. With the stock unit unplugged you will have it set forever.
After a few days driving around in the Mazda 2 with the new unit, I am really enjoying the features. I can just plug in a SD card or a USB flash drive with whatever music I want and I am down the road.