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For anyone that don’t know there is a dash kit available for the Ascent...finally!

I personally haven’t seen anyone go aftermarket with the HU or maybe I did not look hard enough (if there are please post the install).

Equipment needed:
*HU that will work with a iDatalink module plus the wiring harness
*Dash kit - some online stores will throw in this kit complete with radio harness & antenna adapter

It will take a lot of work,patience & some knowledge in car audio.Now how far one wants to go with their install it can get very time consuming and complicated.I don’t mean to sound discouraging but I’m just keeping it in perspective.I’ve been doing this for about 25yrs and looking at this Ascent I don’t even want to touch it.Maybe in the distant future a aftermarket sub,maybe.
 

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From my understanding, reading about swapping out the factory radio with an aftermarket for my Crosstrek, you may lose control of the car functions that are controlled by the head unit. Even with the the datalink module they stated that they lose control of the interior light time in control, turn signal 4 seconds, etc. Granted these might not be professional installers. I would assume the same to be true for the Ascent. Newer cars seem to be integrating a lot of the car functions within their head units. The Outback is a prime example of that. The HVAC and seat warmer controls all accessed via the head unit.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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I wouldn't even consider trying to do this with most vehicles today for the reason that the previous poster stated...there is a huge amount of integration between the head unit and vehicle functions well beyond entertainment. These things are not "radios" like back in the day. They are computers that do a lot of things, only a portion of which includes making pleasant noises.

You can add NAV without spending a penny if you have a smart phone. CarPlay and AndroidAuto are supported on the Subaru head units and that means you can use your choice of map/NAV applications. That's actually a better, more current solution than the out-of-date-even-when-new NAV data in native NAV on head units.
 

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Besides what @ATXV18&Ascent19 and @Jim_in_PA mentioned, remember that some of the diagnostic functions the service center uses are accessed via the two hidden menu systems in the head unit.
 

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Besides what @ATXV18&Ascent19 and @Jim_in_PA mentioned, remember that some of the diagnostic functions the service center uses are accessed via the two hidden menu systems in the head unit.
Correct Robert ,the diagnostics need to be accessible to a technician as well.Don’t know if using the module I mentioned will also display the diagnostic screen.
Another alternative would be a aftermarket processor and build from that.

Oh how I miss the good ole days.
 

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I would send the output from your oem headunit into a DSP unit and then out to a multichannel amp, and then to the speakers. If you use a good DSP with the ability to time align the signal, the sound will be infinitely better. The stock soundstage is all messed up. It sounds like it's behind the driver's position. A properly time aligned soundstage will present the musicians in a stage area in front of you.
 

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Curious is anyone has replaced their radio with an aftermarket stereo? I would like to upgrade the stereo to include navigation.
If I were you I would put a pioneer head unit in the storage cubby under the stock head unit and wire a switch you can toggle to switch between our puts so you would not loose all the functionality of the stock one but that’s just a theory a totally uneducated without any substantial evidence theory
 
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