In contrast to our neighbours in the South, Canada has fairly relaxed laws on importing foreign market vehicles. BC in particular has a huge number of JDM imports due to our proximity to the border so a lot of these vehicles come through our shop. Unfortunately, the JDM vehicles that arrive at our shores have infotainment systems that are incompatible with our radio frequencies and navigation that does not work outside of Japan. This particular customer brought us their E51 generation Nissan Elgrand for some updates that should thoroughly enhance their driving experience.
This Nissan was ahead of it's time and actually has an additional screen that is used for the reverse camera, climate controls, and other infotainment like the built-in TV. Luckily for us, these systems were separate from the car's audio receiver and everything functioned perfectly after the installation of the Sony XAV-AX5000. This is the latest double-din receiver from Sony which features Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and a 7" capacitive touchscreen. It's a thoroughly modern deck with all the connectivity and responsiveness you could ask for.
We were able to use the Metra wiring harnesses and antenna adapter for North American Nissan vehicles to get this system running on the Elgrand. With the CarPlay functionality, the driver can connect their iPhone through USB and have access to a growing number of CarPlay optimized apps such as messages, Google Maps, Waze, Podcasts, Spotify, and more. Needless to say, this advanced head unit also has your standard bluetooth connectivity for handsfree calling and music streaming.
Moving on from the AV side of the car, we tackled the lighting. For the front of the car we updated the old HID bulbs with a fresh pair of 6000K bulbs. The high beams were fitted with our Illumin X series bulbs featuring Philips LED chips. These bulbs differ from our D6 series LEDs as they can be fitted with a special yellow film to change the colour temperature thanks to a unique glass lens design. Lastly, we fitted an HID kit for the fog lights with 6000K bulbs that had a much higher lumens output than the factory halogens.
We also upgraded the interior lighting with Philips LED bulbs throughout. These carry an 8+ year warranty and have a cool colour temperature that feels a lot more modern than the old warm bulbs. With three rows of dome lights and an additional trunk light, the interior upgrade was quite thorough. Not only does it look more attractive but these brighter LEDs offer increased visibility at night within the cabin.
All-in-all it was a fun project for our team and we're glad to have had this experience. The Elgrand is a very unique car on Canadian roads and we feel that these upgrades modernize the car to feel as cool as it looks.