Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT will keep you oriented and entertained. This flagship of Pioneer's in-dash navigation products has an intuitive multimedia interface along with an extensive map database. It also has a large easy-to-read touchscreen along with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a car receiver.
The navigational tools of the Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT seem almost secondary to all the multimedia features, but it is still a powerful GPS force to be reckoned with. This in-dash navigation system uses a Tele Atlas map database with over 12 million points of interest (POIs). A POI is a previously loaded location on a map. This means that you'll be able to find popular restaurants, gas stations, hotels and more on the AVIC-Z120BT just by typing in the name – no address required.
This double DIN receiver also has a 7-inch touchscreen, so you won't have a problem seeing the map or controls. This is one of the biggest screens we found in our review. A large screen is important in an in-dash navigation system because it will help you keep your eyes on the road instead of on your dashboard.
Another feature to help keep your eyes on the road is the voice guidance. This in-dash navigation unit will give you turn-by-turn instructions as you drive so you don't have to look down after you enter your destination. Voice guidance generally has a more appealing sound, because it's a pre-recorded voice with generic directions such as "turn left in 100 feet," but a text-to-speech function, which the AVIC-Z120BT also has, reads the text on screen so the directions will be more specific. Plus, you can talk back to this in-dash navigation system and control the GPS as well as your music or movies simply by giving simple commands.
You can also easily switch between an overhead map or a 3D map, depending on which you prefer. And you can switch the on-screen language to English, French or Spanish if needed. Plus, there is an AVIC FEED app that you can download to your iPhone or Blackberry which allows you to sync your directions from one device to the other. This personalization makes using the Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT a pleasant experience, tailored to your needs.
In addition to all this, this in-dash navigation unit is also eco-friendly. The ECO Driving function monitors your impact on the environment and allows for eco-friendly routing along with your estimated fuel costs, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. This can save you some money while saving the environment.
The touchscreen interface slides along with your finger much like an iPhone or iPod Touch. It's easy to switch between navigation and entertainment. There are two different speeds on the scroll function, too, so you can either move from song to song or spin the list down in one big motion. You can use the main screen to scroll through the artists individually, or just use the sidebar and slide through the alphabet to find them. It has a very quick response time to your touch as well, so you don't have to mash down on the buttons to get your point across.
The built-in Bluetooth lets you sync your in-dash navigation receiver to any Bluetooth-enabled device. For example, if you sync the Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT to your cell phone, you can make and accept hands-free calls. You can also use Bluetooth technology to stream music from your iPod or other MP3 player to your stereo.
A built-in AM/FM tuner lets you listen to your favorite radio stations, which you can easily preset into the in-dash navigation system. If you want to play satellite radio or HD Radio, you'll need to purchase an additional adapter. The unit is ready for these signals, but it needs the GEX-P920XM adapter for XM Satellite, the CD-SB10 and the SC-C1 adapter for SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and the GEX-P20HD for HD Radio. It would be better if these features were built into the unit, but until then the adaptive quality will have to do.
The AVIC-Z120BT can play CDs and DVDs, as well as CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW formats. It can also recognize MP3, WMA, iTunes AAC, DivX, WMV, H.264 and MPEG-4 formatting. Additionally, you will find an auxiliary input, RCA preouts and a USB connector on the receiver. This variety of media playback options ensures that you will be entertained, no matter what you're trying to watch or listen to.
More on Car Tech
If you have a rear camera on your vehicle, there is an input on the Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT specifically for it. This back-up camera input displays the images right on your built-in receiver, instead of on a separate on a suction cup on your windshield. This feature can help prevent accidents or even injury and it's another reason why we found this to be one of the best in-dash navigation systems on the market.
Getting help and support from Pioneer is almost as simple as using their product. While their FAQs page isn't as thorough as we'd like, you can search for your product specifically by model number, or use the links to find your product. On their support page for the AVIC-Z120BT you can find product information, firmware updates and an online manual. If you need additional support for this in-dash navigation system, you can contact Pioneer by telephone or by email. This receiver is covered by a one-year warranty.
This car GPS navigation unit will thoroughly satisfy any fan of auto technology. It has almost everything we could want in a GPS and even more than we could want in an in-dash car receiver. This Pioneer car receiver can play practically any type of media on its large touchscreen monitor and it can direct you to over 12 million different points of interest. The Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT is easy to use, and it is a giant step forward in the world of mobile entertainment.