Staying connected in a new car is getting easier and cheaper. For instance, the new Ford Fiesta comes packaged with SYNC at the SEL and SES trim levels, starting at around $16,000. Even offerings from traditionally affordable brands like Kia and Suzuki now come with some sort of Bluetooth connectivity. But, what if you're not in the market for a brand new car? Thankfully, there are plenty of emerging aftermarket options to help keep you connected. As detailed in TRANSLOGIC 50, Pioneer's new AVIC-Z130BT in-car audio system offers some pretty compelling features without having to buy a new car. Installing the in-dash unit will instantly retrofit your car with a Bluetooth connection, navigation system (with built in traffic tuner), DVD player and HD radio tuner. Pioneer offers third-party apps to further enhance the functionality of the AVIC-Z130Bt, but they're currently only compatible with iOS. Company officials were quick to point out "other mobile platforms are being developed." Android anyone?

Still, iPhone users are plentiful and Pioneer's extra features are numerous. With the Pioneer AVIC system, iPhone users can download a free Aha Radio app, which provides access to podcasts, targeted traffic conditions, and even social network updates. The Facebook and Twitter functions work sort of like your own personal talk radio station; the system will audibly read FB updates and tweets to you, but you cannot post updates of your own.

Pioneer Avic-z130bt Facebook

Pioneer's App Mode is another way to stay connected. It lets users view a connected iPhone's video content from Safari and YouTube right on the AVIC's high resolution (WVGA) screen, but only when the car is in park and the hand brake is set. You can also access Pandora and even "Thumbs up" or "Thumbs down" a song right from the head unit.

There's also a dual zone function which means you can stream video to the rear seat screens, while the front seat passengers listen to a separate A/V feed of music. This feature is perfect for family road trips..,.......

Pioneer's newest AVIC system also includes an input for a backup camera, micro SD card slot, USB input, Bluetooth, plus it's HD and satellite radio ready.

The Pioneer AVIC-Z130BT is on sale now with an MSRP of $1499.

Click the image below to watch TRANSLOGIC 50, featuring the Pioneer AVIC-Z130BT system:

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