Lexus IS Aftermarket IS (2006-2013) Infotaintment (stereo) replacement options & review of my install

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Below is a photo and short review of my 2007 Lexus IS-350 dashboard infotainment replacement using the Scosche Dash Replacement part ( Part # ITCLS01B ) with an Alpine ILX-107 Apple Carplay Stereo. This is followed by a short list of all the options (that I am familiar with) for replacing the car stereo dash unit for 2nd generation Lexus IS vehicles (2006-2013) .

Review of the Scosche Dash Replacement with Alpine ILX-107 Apple Carplay Stereo
IS-350_scosche_alpine107.jpg

Background:
  • My car is a 2007 Lexus IS350
  • The install was done by Al and Ed’s Auto in Lawndale/Hawthorne, California last April (i.e. April 2018)
  • The Scosche Dash replacement consists of a double din slot for the stereo , but comes with the LCD panel for climate controls and setting the Amp settings
  • The Scosche Dash unit only works for the Lexus IS options that DID NOT come with the Navigation System or the Marc Levinson audio system . Those units have back end electronics that are not compatible with the Schosche unit
  • The stereo I chose, as indicated in the title, is the Alpine ILX-107 that supports wired and wireless Carplay. I usually use wireless Carplay but for the wired Carplay, the installer ran the USB/lightening connection through the glove compartment .
  • All standard components nothing tailored made.

Quick Review:
  • I love the setup
  • I can control music, play list selection and volume through the factory steering wheel controls of my Lexus. I usually use those controls to set the volume .
  • The microphone for the Alpine ILX-107 is very good and Siri almost always hears me correctly. I typically rely on Siri to place my calls
  • The rear speaker response with this setup was a little weak compared to the factory setup. I found, however, if I set the Alpine unit to full forward speakers for the Alpine fader, the Scosche amplifier setting to near maximum, and the Scosche fader control to middle or R1, I get decent volume through the rear speakers. Strange setup, but that’s what worked for me.
  • For some reason, the fit with the vent grill is not perfect as you can see above . I also know depending on the Lexus IS year between 2006-2012 the size of the vent grill changed slightly .
  • One small issue I have, is the Scosche climate control LCD will sometimes delay turning on when I start the car if the interior of the car has gotten very hot while parked during summer months in the direct sun without a sun-shade or the like. As I understand it, this is by design in order to prevent damage to the Scosche LCD. The Alpine LCD never has this issue, however. The annoying thing with this Scosche LCD behavior is that the controls for operating the air conditioning are on the touch screen which is exactly what you need to use to cool the car down but you can’t since the LCD is off until cools.
  • The wireless and wired Apple Carplay performance with the Alpine ILX-107 has been near flawless with my iPhone X since upgrading from IOS 11 to IOS 12. Under IOS 11 , I experienced rather routine disconnects.
Overall: I am very happy with this dash replacement. This is a vast improvement over the original dash that I had with my 2007 Lexus IS 350 since the original dash is now quite dated.


The options I considered when I looked to replace the dashboard stereo with a more modern unit

GROM Audio VLINE units for Factory Navigation Lexus Models
(Option 1 (called VLine2) turns Factory dash into an Android Dash, Option 2 screen mirrors)
[Uses Factory Navigation Dash but converts the underlying system to Android by installing a new computer system]
Home Page: https://gromaudio.com/
Specific Part (Part # LEX5VL2 ): https://gromaudio.com/store/vline/lexus-2006-2009-vline-android-iphone-infotainment-system-navigation-upgrade.html
Comments: Looks like a nice option if you want the original dash and have a Factory navigation. This is not an Apple Carplay or an Android auto unit, but a separate Android instance with apps you can install. However, I am told that the vline2 may soon have support for Android Auto, but I have not confirmed that as I did not see it on their site.


Phoenix 10.4” Vertical Screen Android Navigation Radio for Lexus IS 300, 250, 350 2005-2012
[Replaces the entire dash for any model (Nav or Non Nav] with a single 10.4” Tesla style display]
Home Page : https://www.phoenixautomotiveinc.com/
Specific Part: https://www.phoenixautomotiveinc.com/products/10-4-tesla-style-android-navigation-radio-for-lexus-is-250-is-300-is-350-2005-2012
Comments: This is the nicest looking dash replacement I have seen. It is not Carplay or Android Auto. I thought I had heard though this unit has issues, but I am not sure if that is true.


Scosche Dash Replacement only for Non Factory Navigation and Non Mark Levinson Lexus Models 2006-2012 (2013?)
[Replaces Dash with Climate Control LCD and Double Din slot ]
Home Page : https://www.scosche.com/
Specific Part ( Part # ITCLS01B) : https://www.scosche.com/2006-to-2013-lexus-is-double-din-and-din-with-pocket-installation-kit (Note : If you see a video at the link, it is for the wrong part. The static rendered photo shown at that link however is the correct part)
Comments: This is the unit I reviewed above. I bought and installed this part and combined it with the Apple Wireless Carplay unit from Alpine called the ILX-107. I have been very happy with this setup


Metra Dash Replacement Only For Non Factory Navigation Models of Lexus Models 2006-2012 (2013?)
[Replaces Dash with Climate Control LCD and Double Din slot ]
Home Page: http://www.metraonline.com/
Specific Part ( Part # 99-8163) : http://www.metraonline.com/part/99-8163
Comments: I almost got this one except that it was not available at the time I was ready to buy.


BeatSonic Double Din Car Stereo Install for Lexus IS 2006-2009
(Separate Parts depending on whether or not you have the Factory Navigation or Non Navigation Option)
[For Non Nav option, The CD player is removed and the space from the CD player down is where the double din screen will sit.]
Home Page : http://www.beatsonicusa.com/
Specific Part : http://www.beatsonicusa.com/partfinder/product/list/?Make=Lexus&Model=IS+350&Year=2007&cat=22
Comments: I felt this screen sat too low for my liking.
 
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@EmceeBradC are you happy with your alpine? Would you recommend it?

Sorry for being off topic.

I'm looking for a new stereo and I'm leaning towards alpine.

The thing is I've read good and bad. Most review sites cover the good and downgrade the bad. I've read some buyer feedbacks as well and that put me on the fence. Do they ship real melons?

After searching the net I've found a better review. A bit harsh finally one that seems to tell it how it is. What do you think about this Alpine stereo? How bad are the drawbacks?

How hard is life with just one USB? What about the screen resolution is it a pixel war?

Tips?
 
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I have been very happy with my ILX-107.

The only issues I had with it was an iPhone issue whereby under the older IOS 11, connections were hit or miss. Sometimes the connection would be lost regardless of wired or wirelessly. After Apple released IOS 12 the connections have been rock solid. So when looking at reviews check the date of the review because if the review was while iPhones where on iOS 11 then I could understand a poor review.

Having said all this , keep in mind two things :
1. I upgraded my car stereo from a 2007 lexus is350 non-nav stereo to Apple Carplay. So I went from nothing to heaven !
2. At the time , the Alpine ILX-107 was the only after market wireless CarPlay unit available. I really wanted wanted wireless support so I went for that. I do not know if my opinion would change today now that there are other after market wireless CarPlay units available.

I will note a few downsides :

- It can take 25-30 seconds or so sometimes to boot up and wireless connect to my phone when I start the car.
- it does not have HD Radio
- it does not do Android Auto

On the positive side:
- very reliable since IOS 12
- it does not have the annoying click through banner warning you to keep your eyes on the road. I heard some other units from other manufacturers do this.

Brad
 
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The options I considered when I looked to replace the dashboard stereo with a more modern unit



Phoenix 10.4” Vertical Screen Android Navigation Radio for Lexus IS 300, 250, 350 2005-2012

[Replaces the entire dash for any model (Nav or Non Nav] with a single 10.4” Tesla style display]
Home Page : https://www.phoenixautomotiveinc.com/
Specific Part: https://www.phoenixautomotiveinc.com/products/10-4-tesla-style-android-navigation-radio-for-lexus-is-250-is-300-is-350-2005-2012
Comments: This is the nicest looking dash replacement I have seen. It is not Carplay or Android Auto. I thought I had heard though this unit has issues, but I am not sure if that is true.
I have this in my GS. Great unit, fit and finish is ok. I have it for a year now and it works wonderfully. A tad slow but I heard the PX6 unit just came out and is a bit more responsive. You can add carplay or AA. You just need a carplay/AA dongle. Carplay works find but AA will crash constantly.
 
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I have this in my GS. Great unit, fit and finish is ok. I have it for a year now and it works wonderfully. A tad slow but I heard the PX6 unit just came out and is a bit more responsive. You can add carplay or AA. You just need a carplay/AA dongle. Carplay works find but AA will crash constantly.
Yeah the CarPlay dongles for Android Head units came out some time (9 months or so?) after I purchased and installed the Scosche setup with the ILX-107. Indeed, at the time I wrote the original review I don’t think they were available yet.

I see on the Phoenix site, they will sell you either the wired or wireless CarPlay dongles directly from them. If these dongles had been available at the time I was looking to replace my stereo I would have gone with the Phoenix unit!! Glad to hear that the wireless CarPlay dongles works well with this setup. Unfortunately I will end up buying a new car within the next 1 - 2 years as my lexus has 293,000 miles on it and it is not worth putting any more serious money into it. Therefore I won’t get to experience the Pheonix PX6.

I will update my review shortly to include mentioning the CarPlay dongles.
 
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@EmceeBradC I'm looking for a new stereo and I'm leaning towards alpine.

How hard is life with just one USB? What about the screen resolution is it a pixel war?

Tips?
i just noticed I never answered your two questions above.

One USB port is not a problem for me. I almost always use the unit wirelessly and besides it mostly just me in the car except when my wife and I go some place together. We always cigarette light port charging if we need to charge multiple phones at the same time.

Screen Resolutuon is great. It looks clear crisp and the font sizes are perfectly fine even for my middle age eyes!!
 
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