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Ok, so got the Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX and Maestro installed in our 2015 Highlander XLE. Here's what factory settings were retained/gained/lost

Lost:
  • Cluster display turn-by-turn navigation
  • Compass with speed limit
  • Easy Speak
  • I think the color/theme settings for the cluster display (can't remember what capabilities were there before)
Retained:
  • Rear hatch door positions (5 total retained by Maestro)
  • Door lock settings (auto-lock, 2-stage, audio feedback, etc...)
  • DRL settings
  • Auto-light sensitivity settings
  • Steering wheel controls (and the ability to custom program the buttons through Maestro)
Gained:
  • Advanced vehicle information displayed on headhunt including
    • Tire psi and temperature readings (now I know which tire has triggered the low pressure alert!)
    • Engine temp
    • Coolant temp
    • Other visuals I haven't completely gone through yet.
    • Native Siri control with voice activation button on steering wheel
Honestly, for the few things we lost by going aftermarket with Maestro, the items retained/gained completely outweigh the lost list. We can live w/out Easy Speak and the pop-up turn-by-turn. With Wireless CarPlay with the new Pioneer HU and the native Siri controls in the steering wheel, we are happy campers!

Oh, you also get much more flexibility with different audio/video input devices including mirroring iPhones and Android phones. Pioneer also has a hidden feature to turn off the vehicle in motion safety feature so that video content can be viewed from the display while driving. You also get access to other buttons and features while driving that are usually greyed out. I'm not promoting watching movies while driving however, having the flexibility to mirror your phone for whatever informational value and allowing other features of the HU to be available while driving is a huge benefit especially if you have a passenger who needs to access these things.

I definitely think Maestro and the after market HU's are completely worth it for getting rid of the Entire garbage.

Oh, and quick tip, you can get a Maestro wire kit to utilize the factory GPS unit. The Pioneer W8500 incorporates wifi in the included GPS antenna I believe so I opted to use the new one. I simply attached it to the top of the HU with the provided tape and it works great. It's able to penetrate the top of the dash and connected with the GPS satellites even while sitting in my garage.

And lastly, if you're getting a Dash Kit... AVOID American International and go with the Metra version. American International completely failed with getting things to line up properly leaving a good sized gap at the top when trying to mount the HU back in. The Metra unit is much smarter and has a nicer finish AND fits together snug to give it as close a factory look as possible.
 

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2016 highlander XLE, 2012 highlander se, 2009 camry se
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All these things sound great to hear. I am in the middle of getting my entune replaced by another factory unit. I can't believe toyota charges over $5,578 for the entune radio with navigation. Since it is under warranty, that's all they are willing to put back in it. Good stuff if i decide to go aftermarket in the future.
 

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2016 highlander XLE, 2012 highlander se, 2009 camry se
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36 Posts
Ok, so got the Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX and Maestro installed in our 2015 Highlander XLE. Here's what factory settings were retained/gained/lost

Lost:
  • Cluster display turn-by-turn navigation
  • Compass with speed limit
  • Easy Speak
  • I think the color/theme settings for the cluster display (can't remember what capabilities were there before)
Retained:
  • Rear hatch door positions (5 total retained by Maestro)
  • Door lock settings (auto-lock, 2-stage, audio feedback, etc...)
  • DRL settings
  • Auto-light sensitivity settings
  • Steering wheel controls (and the ability to custom program the buttons through Maestro)
Gained:
  • Advanced vehicle information displayed on headhunt including
    • Tire psi and temperature readings (now I know which tire has triggered the low pressure alert!)
    • Engine temp
    • Coolant temp
    • Other visuals I haven't completely gone through yet.
    • Native Siri control with voice activation button on steering wheel
Honestly, for the few things we lost by going aftermarket with Maestro, the items retained/gained completely outweigh the lost list. We can live w/out Easy Speak and the pop-up turn-by-turn. With Wireless CarPlay with the new Pioneer HU and the native Siri controls in the steering wheel, we are happy campers!

Oh, you also get much more flexibility with different audio/video input devices including mirroring iPhones and Android phones. Pioneer also has a hidden feature to turn off the vehicle in motion safety feature so that video content can be viewed from the display while driving. You also get access to other buttons and features while driving that are usually greyed out. I'm not promoting watching movies while driving however, having the flexibility to mirror your phone for whatever informational value and allowing other features of the HU to be available while driving is a huge benefit especially if you have a passenger who needs to access these things.

I definitely think Maestro and the after market HU's are completely worth it for getting rid of the Entire garbage.

Oh, and quick tip, you can get a Maestro wire kit to utilize the factory GPS unit. The Pioneer W8500 incorporates wifi in the included GPS antenna I believe so I opted to use the new one. I simply attached it to the top of the HU with the provided tape and it works great. It's able to penetrate the top of the dash and connected with the GPS satellites even while sitting in my garage.

And lastly, if you're getting a Dash Kit... AVOID American International and go with the Metra version. American International completely failed with getting things to line up properly leaving a good sized gap at the top when trying to mount the HU back in. The Metra unit is much smarter and has a nicer finish AND fits together snug to give it as close a factory look as possible.
According to the idatalink maestro for the 2015 highlander, the second display is supposed to be able to display navigation. Can you verify this? Also audio information and hands free information. I'm very interested in this
 

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Ok, so got the Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX and Maestro installed in our 2015 Highlander XLE. Here's what factory settings were retained/gained/lost
Thanks for the detailed write-up! I am really leaning towards this same upgrade. Do you mind sharing who did your install (big box or local shop) and what you paid for the installation? Thanks!
 

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2016 highlander XLE, 2012 highlander se, 2009 camry se
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Thanks for the detailed write-up! I am really leaning towards this same upgrade. Do you mind sharing who did your install (big box or local shop) and what you paid for the installation? Thanks!
Idatalink Maestro Info

not a highlander but definitely the same system. Here you can see what they were able to figure out. The secondary display should at the very least display music. If you have factory nav, as long as you purchase and use the maestro plug for the factory GPS module your compass and next turn should continue to work according to what that group has been able to find. Hope that helps. Please let me know how your project turns out
 
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