Any advice re: updating a stereo to an all-in-one in-dash unit?

I have a beloved 2003 VW GTI 1.8.
The original stereo has a tape deck (yes indeed!). I want to learn what, if any, options are available to improve my current cluttered portable gadgets and add a little 2014 flair within the dash. I wondered if there is a single unit that I could install that would offer an AUX port, am/fm, GPS, Bluetooth. I don’t need anything super fancy with disco lights, just something that’s reliable.

I’ve tried portable units, but the cords are becoming a safety issue.
I have a portable Garmin GPS, have a tape deck adapter for an AUX line to play music from my phone. I recently tried to improve the sound quality w/ a digital transmitter, but the sound was worse. I also tried replacing the tape converter, but the sound quality if fair at best. I replaced the cables to the phone, GPS and Bluetooth unit with retractable cords-it’s an improvement, but cumbersome.

Has anyone found a way to minimize electronic spaghetti clutter that needs to be stashed in the glove box?


Your best start would be Crutchfield, they will alert you to what extra parts or connectors may be needed, if you diy.

You should be able to get all you want. I also like the idea of a phone call to Crutchfield. You can then make the decision if it’s something you want to tackle yourself.

Crutchfield has a few choices for you on their website (navi/bluetooth) Some fit better than others but you should take a look for yourself and decide. Look on the lower left of the homepage for “find what fit’s your car”

Agree with Barkydog: While Crutchfield may have a little higher initial pricing on their stuff, if you order over $100 you typically get a free mounting kit/wiring harness. Stuff that other people charge $40 for. And their helpline is great–if you can’t get it to work, they can consult their notes and say something like: “for your car, you must also ground the blue wire for the power antenna for the unit to turn on” --this has happened to me.

I would look strongly at user reviews of any units you are considering for your car before buying.

Still, it would be good to search a model with a USB connection you could put in a glove box or center console to cleanup connections and distractions while driving. Should be doable. It is tough having after markets keep up with OEM installations in this respect. "time for a new car instead? "

Get one with a good radio maybe sirius included,with MP3 and digital media(love my CDs but they are a clutter) you can get a nice one pretty cheap and they are very light-Kevin(try Amazon)