Older Vehicle Installation (2000 BMW 528i)
Our second test vehicle is a 2000 BMW 528i (E39) wagon, which comes from an era when the double-DIN form factor was fairly standard. The E39 doesn't have a double-DIN radio, though. BMW had a tendency to make differently-sized radios for every one of its models. However, the 528i does have steering wheel controls and an integrated factory amplifier we can use to test the head unit's pre-outs.
Creating the harness for the E39 was a lot easier this time around. After all, we already had half of the work done from our Routan install. We did need to use a harness to take the Asteroid Smart's pre-out and send a signal to the trunk-mounted factory amplifier.
The steering wheel adapter was a little more annoying. You see, BMW switched its radio wiring harness during the 2001 model year, and all of Parrot's instructions referred to the newer connector. Fortunately, after searching through a couple of online communities and cross-referencing other models, we found the wire we needed for the steering wheel controls. The harness we connected to the car did not pass-through the steering wheel control wire, so we had to tap it in the dash.
The installation kit was much more of a pain. Since our 528i came with the factory cassette deck and separate display panel, we had to remove the radio cage. BMW does not make this process easy. There were pieces of dash that had to come off. From there, it took about an hour to get everything lined up and looking good.
Luckily for you, our scenario is unique to BMWs of the time. If you have a Japanese, domestic, or other European car that stuck to the double-DIN form factor, this should be much easier. Plus, the Asteroid Smart's shallow depth means you shouldn't run into any trouble behind the head unit as you tuck extra wiring away.
This car doesn't have a back-up camera, so there's nothing to report back on that. The steering wheel controls work great, and even took advantage of the factory voice command button that was reserved for navigation systems our car never shipped with. Sound quality is a little better than the stock cassette and CD changer in terms of clarity, but the low-end falls out completely. In the end, we decided that the factory amp and sound system don't play nicely with Parrot's Asteroid. But we plan to replace all of those cheaper components anyway.