Alpine i209-WRA and x209-WRA – Alpine finally gets all the features right for Jeep Wrangler owners

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Meet the Alpine i209-WRA – combining the perfect mix of features and value

Although I couldn’t make it to CES 2017, I was excited to see that Alpine finally appears to have the right combination of features and price point with at least one of their two brand new 2011 and up Jeep Wrangler dedicated head units. The Alpine i209-WRA and X209-WRA are both scheduled for release April 2017.

Alpine X209-WRA - Jeep Wrangler Head Unit 2017

Alpine X209-WRA – Jeep Wrangler Head Unit 2017

I think the bigger seller here, by far, will be the Alpine i209-WRA which is their new mechless 9″ stereo featuring Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Aside from being water resistant and dustproof*, this model adds a ton of features that were lacking in last year’s model i109-WRA such as:

  • iDatalink Maestro integration
  • SiriusXM capability (requires SXV300 tuner and possibly an iDatalink SAT1)
  • New high visibility WVGA capacitive touch screen
  • Bluetooth for handsfree calling and audio streaming
  • HD Radio
  • HDMI input**

*A note about the IP54 rating which is defined in two parts according to Wikipedia: Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect. Having said that, it’s kind of like dropping your iPhone in the snow – pick it up, dry it off and it will survive, but you probably wouldn’t have the same luck if you submerged it in water for an extended period of time. It’s not entirely infallible to the elements, but can withstand a decent bout of dust and rain which is inevitable for Jeep Wrangler owners.

**Correction 2/8/17 – a previous publication of this article stated this model lacked an HDMI input. After receiving some conflicting information, Alpine has clarified and confirmed HDMI input is a feature of the i209-WRA.

So what’s the Alpine i209-WRA going to cost you?

All this can be yours at a retail price of $1999.95**. Keep in mind, Alpine wants that price to be a fully installed price. So let’s compare that to a fully installed price on something like Pioneer’s AVH-4200NEX or Kenwood’s DDX9703s.

Both models feature a 7″ touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM capability, HD radio, Bluetooth plus an on board DVD/CD Player (which the Alpine i209-WRA lacks). Both models come with a 1 year warranty when purchased from an authorized retailer.

When you add the iDatalink Maestro module, the Maestro harness, the FM/AM antenna adapter, the dash kit, the USB flush mount/retention adapter and installation you’re looking close to $1150 installed for either one.

Alpine i209-WRA Jeep Wrangler Head Unit 2017

Alpine i209-WRA Jeep Wrangler Head Unit 2017

Spend an extra $850 on the Alpine i209-WRA you’ll get:

  • A much larger 9″ screen
  • A water resistant and dust proof WGVA high visibility capacitive touch screen that is designed to be visible even in bright sun (a screen designed for the Jeep Wrangler environment)
  • 3 year warranty (I’m assuming on this one – that was a feature of previous models, I don’t see why they wouldn’t carry that forward)
  • Bragging rights

Want an on board GPS navigation and a DVD player too?  That’ll cost you.

Alpine takes it one step further with the next model up, the Alpine X209-WRA. With a suggested retail price of $3499.95***, the Alpine X209-WRA adds:

  • On board GPS navigation
  • CD/DVD Player
  • Dual Zone – (DVD output from in dash unit to rear seat entertainment option like headrest screens with wireless headphones for example)
  • Alpine Connect infotainment service and companion smartphone app featuring in-dash content from iHeartRadio, Yelp, Glympse, and Spotify

How well these models sell will certainly depend on the market. I can tell you in our area, I can see Jeep Wrangler owners making the $850 leap from a 7″ Kenwood or Pioneer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto head unit to the Alpine i209-WRA. I’m not so sure about the X209-WRA, but time will tell.

What do the Jeep Wrangler owner’s out there think? Which model would you be more inclined to install in your Jeep Wrangler? The i209-WRA or X209-WRA?

***I corrected this article 2/3/17 to reflect the minimum advertised price. The original article stated the price of the i209-WRA was $2200 and the price for the X209-WRA was $4000. Despite obtaining those prices from Alpine’s CES press release, the minimum advertised price for the i209-WRA is actually only $1999.95 and the minimum advertised price for the X209-WRA is $3499.95.

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17 comments for “Alpine i209-WRA and x209-WRA – Alpine finally gets all the features right for Jeep Wrangler owners

  1. wolfbrian2@gmail.com
    January 20, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    I am leaning more towards the i209. $4000 seems a bit absurd. Jeep owners spend a lot on their jeeps so every purchase is calculated. That $2000 difference I could get new tires or something.

    • January 20, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      Thank you for the feedback. I agree, I think the non navigation model will outsell the more expensive nav model 4 to 1.

  2. January 28, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Probably the i209, although I wonder if there’s a simpler solution for a Wrangler. Really I’m just looking for something with decent sound that lets me use Waze from my iPhone.

    • February 3, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Hi Bruce – there is a way to use Waze with iPhones with certain Pioneer double din stereos – basically all AVH models that feature App Radio One connection. For example, it will work with the AVH-X2800BS. You need to uses an app called App Radio Live and standard USB to lightning cable. It’s not as seamless and intuitive to set up as Apple CarPlay, but it’s not that difficult to get going and control from the screen. Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll ever see Waze integrated through CarPlay since Google owns Waze.

  3. Sean
    June 13, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    It seems like the prior versions (x009/i009 & x109/i109) were pretty different when it can to the software. The “x” had accessory control, sensor data, EVIC integration – very Jeep. The “i” was basically a CarPlay system. Now, if I’m reading stuff right, it seems like they are virtually the same, but the “x” has mechanicals and independent NAV. So the “x” can do CarPlay when you plug the phone in and the “i” can do accessories, EVIC, etc. Do I have that right?

    • June 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Hi Sean, you got it right. Last year’s i109-WRA was really just an oversized iLX-007. Very limited in features and functionality. That’s why I feel like Alpine finally got it right this year. The i209-WRA has so much more to offer like the iDatalink Maestro integration (which gives you the on screen vehicle information like tire pressure, check/reset a check engine light error, etc). It’s also SiriusXM ready and has HD radio for FM/AM. The X209-WRA has the on board GPS navigation and the in dash DVD/CD player. Still waiting for them to ship though, last estimate I received from Alpine said mid June ship for end of month delivery, but I’m still waiting for shipment notification. Looks pretty cool though.

      • Rex
        June 22, 2017 at 3:51 pm

        Heard any updates on the shipping time? I ordered mine back in March and the latest I heard from Alpine was that it would ship in early July for mid-July delivery.

      • June 23, 2017 at 3:29 pm

        Hi Rex, I’m curious, when did you talk to Alpine last? I talked to my rep this week and he sounded very uncertain, they wouldn’t give me specifics, just said still waiting on Apple and should be this summer.

      • barry
        June 23, 2017 at 2:52 pm

        Hi Annie,

        enjoying the blog and just got a jeep. any word on these being available yet? Is the bezel surround as silver as it looks or does it match the more gunmetal color in most jeeps?

      • June 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm

        I just found out the other day that’s it been delayed yet again by Apple. They were hoping to get them released this week, but Apple still hasn’t signed off yet. At this point my rep is simply saying it will be some time this summer :( Same sort of thing happened to Kenwood last year. They had a March release date, got delayed by Apple and they ended up finally shipping in July so hopefully it will be something like that.

        I didn’t see the prototype at CES, but I think it’s designed to match the OEM trim. Like my 2014 Wrangler has a gun metalish silver trim around the A/C vents so I’m guessing it will have that appearance and texture to it.

  4. Ron
    July 4, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Hi Annie,
    Just wanted to give you and your readers a bit of news regarding the Alpine X209 WRA head unit and a very popular Jeep accessory the sPOD electrical 6 or 8 accessory switching systems.
    I contacted sPOD a couple months back to see if the the two units will work together? Alpines new unit has the ability to work with the same type of accessories as the sPOD does.
    I received an e mail from Josh at sPOD and he said that they had a meeting planned with Alpine that next week. I e mailed sPOD 2 weeks ago and Josh said that they were working on making the two product compatible. Josh informed me during my first e mail that the issue was the sPOD uses negative switching while the Alpine uses positive switching.
    This could be very beneficial for people living in states that have laws ( or future laws) that prohibit electronic devices (gps, phones, sPOD screens etc.) that may distract or obscure a drivers vision around the windshield area.
    Have a Great Fourth Weekend!! “Give thanks and remember all those who fought and continue to fight and die for this country”
    Ron

  5. Ron
    July 5, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Hi Annie,
    I too, am waiting on the arrival of Alpines new Jeep JK X 209 WRA head unit that has me still unsure if I want to drop so much money on this “Big Screen”well thought out tool.
    From the available spec. info for a multi cam setup using the add on
    KCX-C250MC($145.) you would think that you can setup a 4 camera system (front, rear, right and left side view cameras) using 1 camera port on the head unit and 3 more on the adding KCX? I contacted Alpines tech department and was told that you can only run 3 cameras??
    The head unit also can run up to 8 accessories ( lights, air compressor and more) using the KAC-001 ($ 200 to $250 ) add on.
    Many Jeep owners are very familiar with sPOD’s 6 and 8 circuit electrical accessory switching systems that have served many, many on and off road enthusiasts for several years.
    This new Alpine unit will do the same thing, but unlike sPOD’s 8 circuit system that uses mofset permanent circuit breakers/fuses the KCA doesn’t.
    I contacted sPOD a couple months ago after reading about this new Alpine feature loaded JK head unit to see if my new SE edition 8 circuit w/led screen would be compatible with the Alpine? Josh e mailed me from sPOD and said that they were going to meet ( in a week or two )with Alpines engineers to see if it would be possible or if it would be a waste of time. Josh stated that the Alpine uses positive switching and the sPOD uses negative switching.
    I e mailed sPOD about 1 1/2 or 2 weeks ago for an update and Josh informed me that they are working on a solution to make this great head unit work with the equally great sPOD system.
    As I’m sure your aware of new and pending legislation regarding electronic equipment ( phones, gps, cameras and other screens ) and distracted drivers in some states that might put and end or severely restrict use of these types of devices. If these two products can be made compatible, it could make these new laws a non issue by eliminating the sPOD LCD screen and or toggle switches from the drivers field of view and a ticket or a possible accident!
    I hope this info will help you and your subscribers with some info that might help in the decision process.
    Ron

    • July 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Thank you for all that helpful info! Yeah, I’m surprised it could only run 3 cameras. Unless it’s like other brands where there is a dedicated front camera input and dedicated rear camera input and the KCX-C250MC just splits the dedicated rear into two side cameras and the rear camera? I’d have to see the back of the radio or the install guide to determine if that’s true or not.

  6. Joe
    July 5, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Annie,
    Is the delay just for the i209-wra or is the X209 included? I ordered the X209, I know it’s pricy but I don’t have an iphone, I’m an android user. I use waze currently even though I have navigation but would love to integrate waze into the x209, is that possible? I brought the KAC-001 add on so that the Alpine can control the winch and hood lights. Can’t wait for the delivery, hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.

    • July 13, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Joe, yeah Apple is holding this up, not sure when they will allow release. Alpine said definitely this summer. With Android Auto you can use Google Maps. I heard that eventually Android wants to switch this over to Waze. You could always use the HDMI input to mirror Waze from your phone, but it just mirrors the audio and video, you still have to control everything from the phone itself. I agree, I hope it’s sooner than later!

  7. Danny
    July 18, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Annie,

    Your blog is really helpfull. Thank you.

    • July 22, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Glad I can help :)

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