Satellite radio

I just bought a 2009 Subaru Impreza hatchback (they’re back!!). Included in the package there is an audio system that is listed having “satellite radio capability”. I asked how much it would be to have the full Sirius installation (I already subscribe to Sirius) and was told it would cost over $500. Since receivers with car kits cost around $200 at most I didn’t think this was reasonable.

I’ve been poking around the all-knowing Internet and found a document that said integrating a Sirius receiver with this radio could only be done by “Port or Dealer”.

Does anyone know if there is a way around this? Can I just go to an audio or electronics store and get it installed, hopefully at a lower price?


Yes, you can have a cheaper one installed that isn’t controlled through your factory radio. If you don’t want something stuck on the dash or windshield, but instead want a module controlled through the factory radio, then you’re stuck with the $500+ option. You may be able to buy the module and harness and install it yourself to save some money.

I’m not sure which radio manufacturer Subaru is now using to supply them radios. I know they used Clarion in the past. Whoever it is, perhaps you can get the interface kit through them, instead of the dealer. You might try checking with Crutchfield and see if they can help you with this.

Since your car is very new the online resources may not be up to date with information. Do you know if the stereo in your car is similar to the 2008 models? If not, then it may be some time before the aftermarket catches up, but if it’s the same radio as last year then Crutchfield has several options.

I notice for 2009 they don’t even list the Impreza yet, but the 2008 model is listed and does have some options from about $50 to $179. I hate to sound like a shill, but Crutchfield has always given me very good service and advice. Check them out at

Have you given your owner’s manual a read? Or possibly the separate stereo manual that comes with some cars?

Often times “satellite radio capability” means that the stock radio is a satellite receiver, but it doesn’t come with any free service and so it needs to be activated and possibly an antenna installed. At any rate, the relevant manual should explain exactly what has to be done.

Contact Sirius. I just renewed my contract (XM - what’s the dif now?) and they tried to sell me another unit (portable) for $20. You still pay the $6 or so per month for a second unit, but the hardware price can’t be beat.

First, havng been a customer of Sirius, which now also owns XM, I can tell you the customer service is terrible. Do yourself a favor and get an iPod instead.

Just last week Sirius cancelled my favorite station. No warning or anything. I got into my car and started it up, only to discover my favorite station was gone. I also had a defective part. It was an electrical cord for a car kit. Sirius wanted me to pay for a whole new kit, including shipping, swap out the bad power cord for the good one, and pay to ship the whole kit back to them. Then after paying for a whole new kit and paying for shipping TWICE, they would refund the price of the kit, but not the cost of shipping the whole kit twice.

Save your money and get an iPod. Satellite radio is losing money and soon they will go out of business completely.

I’m sorry you had problems. I’ve been happy with XM.

I have had zero problems with XM.

so ditto.