Best Touch Screen Car Stereos of 2017 (Buying Guide & Reviews)

touch screen car stereo reviewsEvery device, appliance, and gadget you use nowadays has a touchscreen, so why should your car stereo be any different? Having a touchscreen car stereo actually has many advantages, and it’s not only the screen that makes them better.

Touchscreen stereos use more recent technologies than other models, and they are Bluetooth compatible. The stereos can connect to your phone or tablet, and they can act as a hands-free accessory. Since they are connected to your phone via Bluetooth, why not use the connection to stream media to your stereo?

Finding the best touch screen car stereo can be difficult if you don’t know exactly what to look for. That’s why we decided to make these short touch screen car stereo reviews and a comprehensive buying guide. We’re certain that after reading this article, you will be able to determine which model is the right one for your car.

Top Rated Touch Screen Car Stereos

  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • Pioneer AVHX3800BHS 2-DIN Receiver with 6.2" Display/Built-In Bluetooth/AppRadio One/HD/RadioSiri Eyes Free/
  • PRICE $$$
  • Dimensions : 11 x 9.5 x 6 inches
  • Weight : 4.8 pounds
  • Display Size : 6.2 inches
  • Display Resolution : 800 x 480
  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • Sony XAV-AX100 6.4" Car Play/Android Auto Media Receiver with Bluetooth
  • PRICE $$$$
  • Dimensions : 9 x 8.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Weight : 2.4 pounds
  • Display Size : 6.4 inches
  • Display Resolution : 800 × 480
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • Henhaoro 7" Android Car Stereo Gps Navigation Lollipop 5.1 Touch Screen Radio No DVD 2 DIN Resolution 1024x600 Head unit
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 7 x 2.9 x 4 inches
  • Weight : 1.5 pounds
  • Display Size : 7 inches
  • Display Resolution : 1024*600
  • 3.9 Customer Rating
  • ATOTO 7"HD Touchscreen 2Din Android Car Navigation Stereo
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 6.3 x 4.1 x 7.1 inches
  • Weight : 4.2 pounds
  • Display Size : 7 inches
  • Display Resolution : 1024×600
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • JVC KW-V130BT Double DIN Bluetooth In-Dash DVD/CD/AM/FM Car Stereo w/ 6.2" Clear Resistive Touchscreen
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 6 x 8 x 8 inches
  • Weight : 4.7 pounds
  • Display Size : 6.2 inches
  • Display Resolution : N / A
  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • Pioneer AVH-290BT Multimedia DVD Receiver with 6.2" WVGA Display and Built-in Bluetooth
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 6.8 x 7 x 4 inches
  • Weight : 4.2 pounds
  • Display Size : 6.2 inches
  • Display Resolution : 800 x 400

Pioneer AVHX3800BHS 6.2″ Touch Screen Car Stereo

Pioneer is a world renowned audio systems manufacturer, so you shouldn’t be surprised to find one of their products on our list. The Pioneer AVHX3800BHS is a 2-DIN receiver that has a 6.2” screen. The receiver is Bluetooth compatible, and it can be paired with both Android and iOS devices.

If you’re using an Android device that runs an operating system more recent than the 4.0 version can be paired with the receiver without using an app. For other phone models, you will have to install the free Pandora app.

Pros

  • Voice Recognition – The AVHX3800BHS has a voice recognition feature that will allow you to control your phone without taking your eyes off the road. This feature is compatible with all iOS devices that come with voice recognition abilities
  • Nice Screen – This 2-DIN receiver has a 6.2” screen that has an aspect ratio of 16:9. The screen has a clean resolution of 800 x 480, and it has 13 changeable backgrounds.

Con

  • Difficult To Control The Library – Even though it looks fancy, scrolling through your library to find a song can be dangerous while driving. The manufacturer should improve the receiver’s scrolling system.

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Sony XAV-AX100 6.4″ Touch Screen Car Stereo

If you’re looking for a media receiver that has a large screen and an ergonomic design, then the Sony XAV-AX100 is the right model for you. The XAV-AX100 comes with a 6.4” screen, and it has a rotary dial operation that allows you to control the receiver without taking your eyes off the road.

The head unit has a built-in Bluetooth receiver, and it can connect to both Android and iOS devices. If you install the free Apple Carplay or Android Auto apps, you will be able to command your phone’s contacts, navigation, and media playback with voice commands.

Pros

  • Graphic Equalizer – This media receiver comes with a built-in graphic equalizer. The equalizer provides a great way to adjust the sound to the way you like it.
  • Compatible With Rear Cameras – You can connect the receiver to a rear camera if you have one. The camera’s feed will appear on the screen whenever you put the car in reverse, or when you touch the rear camera icon.

Con

  • Annoying Warning – Every time you start the car, a warning pops up on the screen, telling you it’s not safe to watch videos while driving. This warning can become annoying over time.

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Henhaoro 7″ Touch Screen Radio No DVD Head unit

If you’re in the market for a car stereo that has a touch screen and comes at a decent price, you should take a closer look at the Henhaoro 7”. This car stereo is Bluetooth compatible, and it will connect to any Android device without any problem.

The stereo has a thin body and it’s easy to install. It can also connect to your rear camera if you have one, and it can also connect to your navigation device. The stereo can act as a hands-free device when it’s connected to compatible smartphones.

Pros

  • USB Port – The stereo has a built-in USB port. You can use the port to connect the receiver to a flash drive or an MP3 player. The stereo can only detect USB compatible devices that are smaller than 64 GB.
  • Great Value – This model has a great value. It has the same technical specs as other, more expensive models, and it will improve your driving experience.

Con

  • Not Compatible With iOS Devices – This unit is not compatible with iOS devices. You won’t be able to connect your iPhone to it via Bluetooth.

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ATOTO 7″HD Touchscreen Car Stereo

Car touchscreen stereos are not necessarily expensive. You can buy good units at a decent price, and this ATOTO model is a good example of that. This 2-DIN head unit comes with a 7” touchscreen. It can connect to your steering wheel control keys, and it can also connect to your rear and dash cameras.

The stereo is Bluetooth compatible, and it can be paired with all Android devices. The stereo has a built-in GPS module, and you can use the GPS offline if you download the area map beforehand.

Pros

  • Cheap – This touchscreen stereo is really cheap for what it offers. If you’re looking for a cheap unit that can stream media through Bluetooth and act as a hands-free device, this model is a great choice
  • Wi-Fi Antenna – The stereo comes with a Wi-Fi antenna. This allows you to install different apps directly from Google Play Store. You can drastically improve your driving experience using certain apps.

Con

  • No CD/DVD Compatibility – This device does not come with a built-in CD/DVD reader. This can be a problem for some users, especially for those who already have an extensive CD collection

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JVC KW-V130BT 6.2″ Clear Resistive Touch Screen Car Stereo

If you’re looking for a touchscreen head unit that can play any kind of media you want, you should take a closer look at the JVC KW-V130BT. The KW-V130BT is a 2-DIN head unit that has a 6.2” touchscreen. This device can connect to your iOS and Android devices using Bluetooth, but it can also play CDs, DVDs, and read data through its USB port. The stereo is compatible with most type of media types, and it’s very easy to use.

Pros

  • Graphic Equalizer – This head unit has a graphic equalizer feature. This feature allows you to make the necessary adjustments to the audio system, so your favorite songs will always sound great.
  • Siri Eyes Free – This stereo is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, but it works better with Apple. If you have an iPhone, you can pair it with the stereo, and use voice commands to control the phone.

Con

  • Works Well With Recent Phone Models – This head unit works well with recent phone models, but you might need some adapters if you have an older phone. Some adapters can be really expensive, and they can take up a lot of storage space.

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Pioneer AVH-290BT 6.2″ Touch Screen Car Stereo

The Pioneer AVH-290BT is a great choice if you like listening to the music you have stored on your phone while driving. This receiver comes with a 6.2” touchscreen, and it has a built-in Bluetooth that connects to your phone.

The head unit is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, and it can mirror your Apple products if you connect them through the USB port. The USB port can also be used to recharge your smartphone. This stereo comes with a CD/DVD reader, and it can stream all types of media files, from simple audio files to videos.

Pros

  • Good Bluetooth Connection – Once this stereo connects to your device, it will maintain a good connection ensuring a flawless stream. The stereo doesn’t take long to connect to new devices and works well for hands-free calling.
  • Improves Your Car’s Sound – This head unit is more powerful than factory ones, and you will notice an improvement in your car’s sound after the installation. This model will enhance your factory speakers, making them sound better.

Con

  • USB Interface Cable Costs Extra – If you use an iOS device, you might have to buy an additional interface cable to connect it to the stereo.

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What Is a Touch Screen Car Stereo?

Nowadays, everything has a touchscreen, from ATM machines to laptops, tablets, and even washing machines. It’s about time your car’s stereo had one as well, don’t you think?

Now, you might be thinking that a touchscreen is not a big improvement for car head units. Well, the truth is that if a stereo has a touchscreen, it will also have other new features. For instance, most touchscreen stereos also have a Bluetooth receiver, so you can connect them to your phone, tablet, or to another Bluetooth compatible device. Besides a Bluetooth connection, these models also come with USB ports, flash card readers, and 3.5 mm AUX jacks.

Why Should You Buy One?

If you’re still not impressed by these stereos’ capabilities, you should know that most of them come with CD/DVD readers, and they’re not limited to playing music. Most are also capable of streaming videos and some even come with highly accurate GPS navigation.

Once you pair your phone with the stereo, you will also be able to use it as a hands-free device. You will be able to hear the person you’re talking to through the car’s speakers and speak through the stereo’s microphone. If the stereo doesn’t come with a microphone, you can use the phone’s.

Another advantage of using touchscreen stereos is that they come with large displays. The displays will show the caller’s ID in large characters, and it will also display the song’s title and artist whenever you stream music.

Touch Screen Car Stereo Buying Guide / Features

best touch screen car stereoFinding the best touch screen stereo for your car might not be very easy if you don’t know what to look for in one. In the following section, we present the must-have features for a car stereo, and how to find the right one for your vehicle.

  1. Compatibility –
    If you want to buy a touchscreen stereo, you have to make sure it will be compatible with your phone and other devices. You might be a fan of Android or iOS at the moment, but you never know when you decide to change sides. You should also take into consideration whether the stereo will be able to connect to the devices of other members of your household.
    Most touchscreen stereos are compatible with both operating systems, and you can connect them to any type of phone or tablet. Others are only compatible with one operating system or another, so you might want to think twice before buying them.
  2. Connectivity –
    Touchscreen car stereos are more likely to offer more connection possibilities than other models. Most of them have built-in Bluetooth receivers you can use to connect to your phone. Most manufacturers design these units to have CD/DVD readers, so you will be able to play music or even videos from them.
    Some manufacturers also include USB ports for their units. The USB ports not only connect the phone or tablet to the stereo, they can also be used to recharge your device.3.5 mm AUX jacks are included by most manufacturers in their stereos. The AUX jack will allow you to connect your older MP3 player or tablet to the stereo, but if the device is USB compatible, you should connect it using the USB port. Unlike AUX connections, USB ones don’t experience any interference, so the sound quality will be superior.
    Some stereos even have flash card readers, so you can insert the cards directly in them and play music or videos.
  3. Type Of Files Read –
    A touchscreen head unit can act as more than a stereo. These units are capable of reading both audio and video files, they can connect to HD radio stations, and they can also stream media you have stored on other Bluetooth capable devices. The more types of files a stereo can read, the better. Even though you might not be a fan of playing movies in your car at the moment, you never know when such a thing will come in handy.
  4. Voice Commands Feature –
    Every time you use a gadget while you’re driving, you have to make sure it’s safe to do it. If you buy a touchscreen head unit that has a voice commands feature, you will be able to control your phone by giving it voice commands. This is a great feature to have, as it will lower the chances of you taking your eyes off the road to change the song or to engage in a phone call.
  5. Steering Wheel Controls –
    Recent car models come with quick controls on the steering wheel. If your car has steering wheel controls, you should buy a stereo that’s capable of connecting to them. Using the steering wheel controls is a very efficient and safe way to control your phone conversations and media stream.
    If the stereo’s specifications don’t mention if it’s capable of connecting to the steering wheel controls, contact the manufacturer’s customer support service to make sure they do before buying a stereo.
  6. Equalizer –
    Touchscreen stereos are more recent than other models, and that makes them perform better than other units in the same price range. If you want to always listen to high-quality music, you should buy a touchscreen head unit that comes with a built-in equalizer. The equalizer will allow you to make the necessary adjustments to make the song you’re listening to sound better.
  7. WiFi Antenna –
    Having a touchscreen stereo that comes with a WiFi antenna opens up many possibilities. If you find a WiFi connection, you will be able to download and install new apps and you can improve your navigation system.
    Using the WiFi connection, you can download maps for your GPS. The maps are usually large, but once you download an area’s map you will be able to access it offline without any problems.
  8. Rear View Camera –
    If you already have a rear camera installed, you can use the touchscreen stereo to watch the camera’s feed. If you don’t have a rear view camera and you’re thinking about getting a touchscreen stereo, consider installing one for your car.
    Rear view cameras can be of a lot of help when you’re parking, and they are not as expensive as they used to be. Some camera models use sensors to let you know when an object is close to your rear bumper, and some can even have a parking feature that uses guidelines to help you park.

How To Find The Right Touchscreen Stereo For Your Car

  • Check The Dash Kit’s Size –
    The first thing you have to find out is if your current dash kit configuration can support a touchscreen stereo. To do this, you have to measure your current head unit. If the unit is roughly 7 inches by 2, it’s a single DIN unit, and you will need to install a new dash kit.The good thing is that dash kits are not very expensive, and they can really improve your car’s interior. A new dash kit can include new buttons and functions, and even though dash kits come in various finishes, they will still match the interior of your car.
    You will have to be very careful when changing your dash kit. You don’t want to damage the original one when you’re taking it out, and you certainly don’t want to scratch the new one when you’re installing it. If you don’t have any previous experience with this kind of operations, you could watch an online video tutorial before you start. You might even be lucky enough to find a car enthusiast that removes the dash kit from a car similar to yours. That can be a big advantage, as experienced car enthusiasts sometimes give valuable tips that can shorten the whole process.
    Once you change the dash kit to one that supports 2-DIN head units, installing the new head unit will be possible.
  • Finding The Right Unit –
    Now that you know for certain your car can support a double DIN head unit, let’s see how you can find the right unit for your car.
  • Make Sure It Has The Functions You’re Looking For –
    Well, it’s safe to assume you’re looking for a touchscreen stereo for a certain reason. Some people might want one because they can use it to stream media. Others might want to use it as a hands-free accessory. A few might even look for one because they want to use the built-in equalizers touchscreen stereos come with.No matter the reason, you have to make sure the stereo you’re buying uses the function you’re looking for.
  • Think About How You’re Most Likely To Use It –
    You might want a touchscreen stereo for a reason, but you should also take into consideration other functions that might come in handy at some point. Let’s say you buy a new head unit because you frequently talk on the phone while driving, and you want to use it as a hands-free accessory. Well, if you talk on the phone for a long time, chances are your phone will need frequent recharges. If this is the case, a stereo that comes with a USB port will serve you better than one that doesn’t.
    If on the other hand, you’re buying a new head unit for its navigation features because you frequently travel in new areas, you might want to consider one that comes with a WiFi antenna. This will allow you to connect to the Internet and see the traffic in real time. Once you see which route is more crowded, you can take side roads that will allow you to make a better time.
    It doesn’t really matter why you’re buying a new head unit, as long as you make sure the one you’re getting has all the features you might want to use.
  • Think About What The Other Members Of The Household Want –
    If you’re buying a new device for the family car, you might want to check with the other family members before deciding on a certain model. Some members of your household might want a new head unit, but for different reasons altogether.
    While you might want a new head unit for its hands-free feature, someone else might want one for its video streaming capabilities. It’s always better to discuss these matters with the other household members before buying a new gadget.
  • Set Up A Budget Before Looking For A New Stereo –
    Think about how much you’re willing to spend before you start looking for a new head unit. If you have to change your dash kit to make the new unit fit in your car, make sure you have a budget for that as well. You might want to set some money aside for a professional installation as well. Installing a head unit is not very easy, and it might even be a daunting task if you don’t have any previous experience with electronics and wiring.
    Once you know how much you’re willing to spend on a new touchscreen stereo, you can start searching for one. However, your budget should be a little flexible, and you should buy units that are 10% more expensive than you initially decided if they’re good enough.

The Advantages Of a Touchscreen Stereo In Your Car

Installing a new touchscreen stereo in your car can have multiple advantages.

  • touch screen car stereoSafer Than Regular Stereos – Touchscreen stereos are safer to use than regular ones. Unlike regular stereos, touchscreen models are more user-friendly, and they can be controlled easier.
  • Work As A Hands-Free Accessory – Touchscreen stereos connect to your phone and work as a hands-free accessory. This is one of the most important features of these gadgets. When you use the stereo as a hands-free gadget, you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to make or receive phone calls,
  • Large Displays – All the touchscreen stereos we presented are 2-DIN models. They are larger than single DIN models, and most of the space is taken up by the display. Having a large display is always an advantage, as you won’t have to concentrate on the stereo to see who’s calling or to see what song is playing.
  • Media Streaming – Touchscreen stereos can be used as media receivers. You can stream media over the Bluetooth connection, or you can use the AUX and USB ports to connect the stereo to media devices. This is a great way to make sure you always have your favorite podcasts, music, and videos close at hand, and it can really improve your driving experience.
  • HD Radio – Even if you might not know it yet, there is such thing as HD radio. When using a touchscreen stereo, you will be able to connect to the HD radio stations available in your area. Unlike regular radio stations, HD ones have a better signal, and all the music they play has a better sound quality.
  • Powerful – Aftermarket touchscreen stereos are almost always more powerful than the stock model your car’s manufacturer provided. Thanks to the extra power they bring into the fold, these models will make your stock stereos sound better. The improved sound might even make your friends think you changed the whole audio system altogether.
  • Compatible With Video Files – Watching a video while driving sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s definitely not safe when you’re actually driving, but if you live in a crowded urban area, most of the time you spend in traffic is actually spent waiting in line. And since you have nowhere to go, what’s wrong in watching one of your favorite TV series?
  • Navigation Feature – Most touch screen stereos come with a built-in navigation feature. Even if your stereo doesn’t have one, it might come with a WiFi antenna. If the stereo has WiFi, you can install apps that act as a navigation feature. Some apps will allow you to download the area’s map and use them when you’re offline as well.
  • Rear Camera Compatibility – You can use the touchscreen stereo’s display to show the feed of the rear camera. Some people might even buy a touchscreen stereo because they need a display for their rear camera.
  • CD/DVD Reader – Some people might be reluctant to give up their extensive CD/DVD collection. If you’re one of those people, you should know that you don’t have any reasons to worry. Most touchscreen stereos come with high-quality CD/DVD readers, so you won’t lose the data you collected for years.
  • App Control – Some touch screen stereos will allow you to take full control of your phone using a certain app. The apps are different for every manufacturer, but they will allow you to control the phone using the stereo’s touchscreen.

How To Install a Touch Screen Car Stereo

Now that you know which features to look for in a touchscreen car stereo, and you know how to choose the right one for your car, let’s see how to install one after you buy it.

You should know that replacing your car’s stereo is a difficult task, especially if you don’t have any previous experience. This operation will take up to several hours, so make sure you have enough time when you start.

To change your car’s stereo, you will need an adjustable wrench, a flathead screwdriver, a Phillips head screwdriver, the original stereo’s security keys, and a wiring harness. You can change your stereo without using a wiring harness, but you will need crimp connectors instead. If you don’t have the old stereo’s keys, you can buy them online or from your local electronics store. For this tutorial, we will explain how to install a touchscreen car stereo using a wiring harness.

You should always disconnect the battery before starting the replacement process. Not only will this be safer for you, it will also protect the car’s fuses from unwanted surges of power that might occur if you connect the cables wrongly.

  • Remove The Old Stereo – If you want to replace your car’s stereo, the first thing you have to do is to remove the old one. To do this, you will need to remove the stereo’s faceplate. Some stereos have a faceplate that can be removed by simply grasping it and pulling. Other models have a button in one of the corners that has to be pushed to push forward the faceplate. Be careful when removing the faceplate, you don’t want to damage it. Now that the faceplate is removed, you can see a plastic edge keeping the stereo’s body in place. That’s the trim ring. The trim ring has to be removed as well, and for most models is just a matter of grabbing and pulling.
    After you remove the trim ring, you will be able to see the stereo’s key holes. Most models come with two identical holes placed on either side of the stereo’s body. Insert the manufacturer specific keys in the key holes until they click in place and pull. This will pull the stereo’s body out of the dashboard.
    Now that the stereo is no longer inside the dashboard, you can see the wires behind it. You have to disconnect all the cables to complete the stereo’s removal.
  • Install The New Stereo – Now that the old stereo is out of the way, you can install the new one. To find the right wiring harness, you can either search for it online or in your local electronics store. The harnesses are different for every car and stereo manufacturer, and they have to be compatible with both. You need to make sure the harness you buy is compatible with your car model and with the stereo model at the same time. Connect the wiring harness to the car’s electrical wires first. When the cables are nicely arranged, connect the harness to the stereo’s wires. The harness simplifies the installation process drastically, making it similar to a plug-and-play installation. The wiring is the toughest part of the installation, so if you are not willing to use a harness, be prepared for hours of hard work.
    Now that the touchscreen stereo is properly connected to your car’s electrical circuit, install the universal collar it came with. The universal collar has to fit in your dashboard, and you will have to screw it in place. After the collar is safely screwed in place, mount the stereo in it.
    Just like your old stereo, the new one will use special keys to keep it in place as well. The keys also act as a protection against thievery. After you use the keys to lock the stereo in place, you will have to attach the trim ring as well. Put the trim ring onto the stereo and push it firmly in place.
    Now that the new stereo is firmly locked in place, you can mount the faceplate. After the faceplate is in its proper place, reconnect the car’s battery. Turn on the car and make sure the stereo runs as it should. Once the touchscreen stereo is installed, familiarize yourself with its menu before you start driving.

Touch Screen Car Stereo Comparison Chart

PRODUCTPRICEDIMENSIONSWEIGHTDISPLAY SIZERESOLUTION
Pioneer AVHX3800BHS 2-DIN Receiver with 6.2" Display/Built-In Bluetooth/AppRadio One/HD/RadioSiri Eyes Free/
$$$11 x 9.5 x 6 inches4.8 pounds6.2 inches800 x 480
Sony XAV-AX100 6.4" Car Play/Android Auto Media Receiver with Bluetooth
$$$$9 x 8.7 x 8.5 inches2.4 pounds6.4 inches800 x 480
Henhaoro 7" Android Car Stereo Gps Navigation Lollipop 5.1 Touch Screen Radio No DVD 2 DIN Resolution 1024x600 Head unit
$$7 x 2.9 x 4 inches1.5 pounds7 inches1024 x 600
ATOTO 7"HD Touchscreen 2Din Android Car Navigation Stereo
$$6.3 x 4.1 x 7.1 inches4.2 pounds7 inches1024×600
JVC KW-V130BT Double DIN Bluetooth In-Dash Car Stereo$$6 x 8 x 8 inches4.7 pounds6.2 inchesN / A
Pioneer AVH-290BT Multimedia DVD Receiver with 6.2" WVGA Display and Built-in Bluetooth
$$6.8 x 7 x 4 inches4.2 pounds6.2 inches800 x 400

Wrap Up

Touchscreen car stereos are very popular nowadays, and their popularity only seems to increase as time passes by. These units are Bluetooth compatible, and they can be used to mirror your phone. Once a stereo is paired with your phone, you can use the connection to stream media on the stereo’s display.

We’re certain that after reading our touch screen car stereo reviews you can make an informed decision about which model is the right model for your car. Keep in mind that when it comes to touchscreen stereos, you don’t have to break the bank to find the best models. Actually, the best touch screen car stereo for you might be one of the cheaper models if it offers all the features you like.

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