On the higher specification Japanese models like the Leaf X & G or the e-NV200 G, the original audio/navigation unit cannot be easily replaced without losing some significant functionality. This includes control of the clock, indication of climate control settings and electric vehicle usage data and settings (such as charge timers and climate timers). Removal of the original audio/navigation unit also confuses the instrument cluster into incorrectly displaying some settings that don’t function correctly. For these reasons we don’t recommend fitting an aftermarket head unit to these models unless it has specifically designed for this application meaning that it will correctly communicate with the rest of the car over CAN bus. We aren’t aware of any units that currently do this for the Leaf X/G or e-NV200 G. Until a suitable aftermarket replacement unit is available, the only options are converting the original audio/navigation unit or replacing it with a suitable unit from a US or European spec Leaf or e-NV200 of the same type era.
Clarion manufactured the audio/navigation units for all Leaf X/G and e-NV200 G vehicles. While firmware updates over OBD2 were never an option, Clarion did leave in a provision for firmware updates via an SD card. An aftermarket firmware update solution has recently been made available, so we now have the ability to firmware update one of these units and convert it to English without even removing it from the vehicle. These conversions maintain full compatibility with the CAN bus to retain all original features while updating aspects such local GPS maps and FM band frequencies. We can now offer this solution including local NZ maps via our Christchurch service centre as well as selected partners around New Zealand. Aside from this, there are other aftermarket English conversion options that are well proven, but require removal and complete disassembly of the units to reprogram them at a circuit board level. The later option will always be a more time consuming process which makes the firmware update over SD so appealing.
Replacement with a US or European unit is another option, but supply of good units from damaged vehicles is very limited and with high demand finding one can be a problem. It is also important to get the right version for your vehicle because although these all look very similar, there are some important differences to be aware of. While units of the same ‘type’ can generally be swapped with its equivalent from another market, a unit from one type should not be fitted to another – for example a non-BOSE unit fitting to a BOSE car etc.
When seeking an English head unit to fit a Japanese model Nissan Leaf, the European version is our preferred over the US version for several reasons. Unfortunately, a used European version must be re-programmed before it can fitted to a different car. Typically the cost of purchasing a used European unit + cost of unlocking is more than the cost to convert a Japanese unit. Brand new European Carwings units are typically extraordinarily expensive (thousands of dollars).
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