View Full Version : 2009 Honda Pilot has a USB interface...
Jul 15, 2008, 04:14 PM
The 2009 Honda Pilot Touring model includes a USB interface for connecting your iPod and iPhone... has anyone tried this? How well does it (not) work? Is it better than the Honda Music Link for iPod that they used to offer as an accessory?
Here's the direct link (http://automobiles.honda.com/pilot/features.aspx?Feature=usbaudio).
I also believe that the 2009 Nissan Murano LE offers something similar, but it's specific to iPods (http://www.nissanusa.com/murano/#/key-features/entertainment/) (it's a dock connector).
Any one have any experience with either of these?
Jul 15, 2008, 04:39 PM
I hope this isn't the deciding factor in your purchase...
Jul 15, 2008, 04:58 PM
I hope this isn't the deciding factor in your purchase...
Nope, the Murano is cheaper... I also have to wonder if Honda will push it down to other vehicles, such as the CR-V, Civic, etc.
Jul 15, 2008, 06:56 PM
From the demo on the US Honda site, it appears that the new Pilot's audio connectivity is quite a bit more advanced than the Honda (or non-OEM) iPod interfaces.
Other manufacturers are starting to offer USB interfaces as well. I read a recent review on a new BMW and they have at least had the sense to include it as an option on some models, standard on others. It only makes sense IMO -- I don't know many music players that don't have a USB cable after all. As with most other options (such as air bags and ABS initially, and now traction/stability control systems and keyless starting along with many other things) will eventually trickle down the line to other models.
One thing to be wary of is that the features offered by the OEM and non-OEM iPod interfaces are limited by various vehicle electronics (features and capabilities of the head unit, steering wheel controls, etc.). I have an XCarLink iPod interface in my '06 CR-V EX-L (the Canadian model with leather) that works perfectly fine with my steering wheel controls. However, my steering wheel only has "mode" (which does track advance only) and "volume up/down" (which is obvious). The standard head unit (which has a non-MP3/WMA 6-disc changer and an "AUX" port where the iPod interface connects) allows me to do previous track and track advance with the "+" and "-" buttons. Similar handicaps exist with head unit digital displays that cannot display track/playlist/song duration from the iPod's display (which is the case with mine as well). First generation iPod interfaces merely treated iPods like external disc changers, and simply cannot handle things like playlists, songs by artist, etc. that most of us use everyday with our iPods. It is only recently that the automakers have realized that buyers demand these types of features in our OEM audio systems.... thankfully, their engineers are thinking and marketing weenies are listening when conducting customer focus groups.
All of the iPod interfaces I have seen, used or read about charge the iPod whenever it is connected and pause the iPod once the battery charges. Mine (for example) has a 1/8" microphone jack as well for connecting other audio devices or PDAs.
Mar 6, 2009, 04:18 PM
Just got a 2009 Pilot with the USB interface. We have two first gen iPhones (16GB for me and 8GB for her) both on 2.2.1 firmware. Her iPhone works somewhat (refuses to play Mamas and Papas songs, hides others) but my iPhone only gets "incompatible" message.
Mar 6, 2009, 04:52 PM
Nope, the Murano is cheaper...
You're right! Nissan does make a cheaper car.
Mar 6, 2009, 04:59 PM
I just got my 2009 Toyota Rav4 Limited with an ipod interface and rear entertainment unit. It already came standard with an audio miniplug jack, but I wanted the additional functionality of a dedicated link. It works perfectly. Track info displayed on stereo (no gps screen) including track name and artist. Steering wheel controls track up and down as well as 'mode' which switches from ipod to radio to satellite, etc. Can even switch from playlists.
With the rear entertainment also came an additional AV minijack that allows me to play movies through my ipod touch (or my son's ipod nano) to the rear screen. Pretty cool.
To comment on an earlier post, this was not necessarily my deciding factor, however its nice to have a car that is up to speed on technology.
Mar 6, 2009, 11:34 PM
It only makes sense IMO -- I don't know many music players that don't have a USB cable after all. As with most other options (such as air bags and ABS initially, and now traction/stability control systems and keyless starting along with many other things) will eventually trickle down the line to other models.
The nice thing about some USB enabled stereos is that you do not NEED an iPod or other player at all with them. Instead, you can use a micro-sized USB flash drive loaded with your music (I have a Kingston model not much larger than my thumbnail that holds 16GB and even smaller model by another company that is chrome, water-proof (hot coffee proof too, it seems) and holds a still handy 8GB. Given my iPod Touch is 16GB, I have absolutely NO NEED for it in my car now (despite the fact my JVC stereo has an auxillary input jack as well and an optional iPod compatible cable...the USB jack does NOT work with the iPod standard). The stereo plays AAC MP4, MP3 and WMA files from either the aforementioned USB sticks (or any other one with a card reader attached to the port) or such files recorded on CD-R discs in its slot-loaded CD player. That 16GB USB stick cost $38 shipped from NewEgg, which is a fair bit cheaper than an iPod Touch with 16GB and I no longer have to worry about leaving it in the car or taking it with me when I do leave the car or it getting stolen in the car in general. Those USB sticks can fit into a wallet sleeve or the ash tray for that matter. It's so small, though I just leave it plugged in most of the time.
Loading up those USB sticks is as easy as dragging the songs I want from iTunes onto the drive, although it works best from Windows because the Mac puts ".name" files on the drive which confuses the player into thinking incompatible files are on the stick (Windows leaves it clean which plays perfectly).
In any case, I no longer worry about iPod support with stereos available like that. I leave the iPod Touch for controlling my whole house audio system or playing music on an airplane, etc.