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2015 Fiesta SEL
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For the record, this is NOT a bolt in piece for a fiesta and required a bit of trimming to make work, but I purchased this from Amazon: Tesla Style 9.7" Touch Screen Head Unit

A while back I started having issues with the SYNC system with bluetooth connectivity which is initially why I purchased the SE trim level for this car. Eventually, the bluetooth unit in the car failed and shortly after the head unit itself started giving me obscene popping and static through the speakers. Looking at the available options, I had certain criteria for the replacement unit which included the following:

  • Bluetooth capability
  • Navigation capability
  • Touch screen
  • Double DIN
  • Decent sound quality
  • Steering wheel button functionality retention

After receiving the unit ordered, I found there were several differences in the trim piece provided and determined that, despite being advertised for a Fiesta, this was in fact designed for the EcoSport which is only slightly different but enough so that trimming of the provided trim was required to make it fit flush to the dashboard. Even then, there are slight gaps and a missing trim peice along the bottom edge of the unit exclusive to the EcoSport. If you choose to follow my example, be prepared with a rotary tool to make the necessary adjustments.

998


In review, a lot of the installation of this piece is left up to the owner's imagination. The instructions weren't terribly helpful, but provided enough of a guideline to work your way through it if you're already fairly experienced with interior modification. All of the electronics provided are plug and play, which is nice, but the steering wheel button functionality is lost somewhere in the code. The menu options are there to relearn the buttons, but they simply won't take. Despite this, this did fulfill nearly all of my needs from it. I have a radio again, I have bluetooth connectivity. I have Google Maps which works flawlessly when connected to WiFi like your phone's hotspot, but is otherwise in offline mode and will not show real time traffic and will not determine a route or recalculate without reconnecting to WiFi. Sound quality is decent up to about 30 units of however they measure volume which is bordering on uncomfortably loud, but beyond that it starts to get muddy. The built in EQ is lacking features the Audiophile may find important, but for the average user, it will suffice. The built-in microphone is awful and trying to use this as a hands free device for the purpose of calls or voice commands is pointless. I don't recall if the additional input options allowed for an external mic to be used, but I would highly recommend one if so. The unit does include functionality for a reverse camera to be installed and used, and the unit will even recognize reverse gear and mute the audio and automatically switch inputs to the reverse camera even if you don't have one installed. A bit annoying at times, but a gripe I'm willing to live with. This unit DOES NOT come with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, and while it does have a small SSD in it to store a limited library of songs and images, the transfer software required is convoluted and not at all intuitive. This may just be because I have an iPhone that this process was so irritating, as I'm sure an Android phone would allow you to simply drag and drop files, but iPhones are notoriously awful with this transfer software as i found out through the comments and reviews on the AppStore.

My scores:

Ease of Installation: 6/10
Plug and play connectors made getting everything wired up a breeze, but extensive clearancing of the provided trim piece loses it points.

Material Quality: 7/10 This is certainly not the newest Android operating system, nor is it powerful hardware. The screen is comfortable enough to use and the plastic feels only slightly more cheap than Ford OEM plastics. I've noticed small glitches in the radio tuner and menus, but for a cheap touchscreen option, they are bearable.

Sound Quality: 8/10
Despite its fairly low profile, this unit drives the stock speakers quite well. Certainly good enough at normal listening volumes. My only qualms are the EQ lacking a bit of functionality for the more picky listeners and a noticeable dimming of signal when in areas with many tall buildings, despite that not being an issue with the original head unit.

Functionality: 5/10
This low score comes from many of the features advertised for the unit being unavailable to this vehicle. Menus exist for climate control and steering wheel relearn, but with my vehicle not being an EcoSport, yeah...thats a no go. The hardware is a bit sluggish and while the capacitive touch recognition is great and the screen acknowledges an input has been made, it may take a moment or two for it to catch up. I would barely consider the navigation real-time, but it exists. If you want something fast and responsive, this is not the product for you. Data transfer onto the onboard memory is the least intuitive process I've seen in a very long time and is not for the technically challenged.
 
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