.:2013 Sonata Limited:. – Radio Upgrade

A buddy of mine recently picked up a 2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited. From the day it was purchased, he knew a full system HAD to be done to this car to make it complete. No color display means no navigation or backup camera. Something had to be done.


Every audio upgrade starts somewhere. For this car it was a simple decision, the radio had to go. The lack of features listed above made the stock radio outright boring. Lets take a look at the criteria our Sonata was looking for:

  • Bluetooth
  • Backup Camera
  • Navigation
  • iPhone 5 integration
  • RCA outputs

Plenty of touchscreen units today can meet those demands but what were the additional features that would make one the winner? How about App Mode and a simple clean looking interface? The Pioneer App Radio 2 happens to have all of that plus Pandora controls. Great! Now what does the dash kit look like for a radio that appears to flow seamlessly with the rest of the dash? Have a look.


Stock radio and dash kit removed

With the stock radio and dash kit out, we can see what needs to be transferred onto the new dash kit. This was more then just an adapter to make the new radio fit. The A/C vents, temperature/fan controls, hazard button, and clock needed to move over to our new kit which was easy enough.


New dash kit (left) vs old dash kit (right).

Perfect now we can install the radio! Well… first we need to sort some things out. Our Sonata owner wants to keep the factory tech integrated into the steering wheel and rear view mirror. The Sonata comes with a feature that I still don’t understand called BlueLink. Its some kind of diagnostic or roadside assistance but either way we needed to make it work after our upgrade. On top of the steering wheel control adapter and the two boxes to keep the BlueLink, we also needed to wire up the video bypass so movies could be watched at any time. No, of course not while driving! Jeez… 😉


App Radio 2 harness with a temporary connection to the two BlueLink boxes, steering wheel adapter, and video bypass for testing


Several minutes later we could finally start putting the car back together.

App Radio 2

All mounted and powered on for one last test run


Finished product

So step 1 to the Sonata project completed. We successfully installed a new radio and kept all of the factory controls plus added the video bypass.  Additional cables for devices to connect to the headunit will be routed to the glove box and the small cubby below the radio.  There is still plenty more in store for this car which will be worked on all summer long.