Here is a link to a write up about the unit that specifically talks about using it with Subarus..
Also on that site is a harness that you can get that has all the wiring pre-installed. This lets you not cut or splice any factory wires which is apparently a major no-no.
The other thing to know is that the opening in the wrx/sti for a stereo is TOO WIDE for a standard stereo that would otherwise drop in there -- so you need an adapter to turn the 8" frame inside the opening to a frame that you can drop the standard 7"
This 'too wide' opening results in 'gaps' on the right and left side of the opening which a frame appears that doesn't match the stereo or the car... some pictures are here:
It doesn't look all that bad in all the pictures so I am not sure if I will just live with it or...
If you want a super tight, factory look you can get a an official Subaru (or Japan) replacement bezel/fascia that an aftermarket company sells that replaces the entire font of your frame around your stereo (and a/c vents) that is designed to narrow the opening from the wider. (http://www.japanparts.com/images/Ima...ase=1&no=15881)
LASTLY, with all those variables worked out, there are TWO lingering (and disappointing to me) things that frustrate me about aftermarket installs.
1. There is no known way to connect the center-console USB/IPOD port to an aftermarket stereo. The cable ends behind the OEM head unit in a proprietary 'mystery plug' that plugs into the OWM stereo just fine but has everyone scratching their heads about how to convert the mystery plug to a more standard USB cable that all aftermarket units are expecting... (again.. WHY would Subaru do this?!?! grrrr...)
2. Similar the the USB mystery... there is also no known way to connect the overhead (in 2011) bluetooth microphone to the headunit. Again.. from what I understand, aftermarket headunits expect to have an external microphone plugged into them with a standard (semi-standard?) plug and the Subaru microphone doesn't provide this on the end of the cable that plugs into the OEM head unit.
So that's my LONG rambling summary..
There was actually a more detailed and specific overview of what you CAN do posted here:
If you read through it you can (I think) arrive at the conclusions I outlined above..
** I AM DEFINITELY NOT AN EXPERT ** and struggling to get my head around my options and current limitations -- so if I got ANYTHING wrong or anyone is aware of updates PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE correct me in a reply so I know and everyone that reads this isn't misinformed..!
For what it's worth here is my plan:
Order a car with just the STOCK standard stereo. I live on my iPhone and the stock stereo supports bluetooth calling well with the iphone and also supports bluetooth audio streaming so that is pretty damn convenient. The stock stereo also comes with the aforementioned USB port in the center console and does a pretty good job and letting you access and see on screen your iphone/ipods music -- songs, genres, podcasts, playlists etc. (unless you have a very large library -- then I read it kinda chokes).
Since I am quite proficient at using my iphone I am just going to get a nice ProClip mount (http://www.proclipusa.com and use my phone for audio control and just stream over bluetooth. For charging I'll probably just plug it into the USB in the center console and listen that way while it charges.. but for the most part I am planning on having it mounted on the dash while I drive. With the nice bluetooth features and integrated microphone having the phone in a mount on the dash will work nicely for phone calls. Also, I will probably get a mount that I can swivel so if I want/need navigation I can use my phone.
I would love to have purchased the OEM navigation unit because I like it when everything works together... BUT... like almost all OEM navigation units -- it's a little crufty. I would way rather than something from a company that provides a better experience. Also -- the 2011 OEM navigation doesn't support bluetooth streaming... this was kinda a deal breaker for me.
So I am just sticking with the stock unit which, while it isn't as nice as an aftermarket unit I prefer the integration with the everything in the care.. and since I am an iphone user I can get some of the nav and interface and easiness from my phone directly. Not ideal but the right thing for me to do now.
My hope is that in the next year or two someone has come along and solved the issues with getting BOTH the USB glove box connections AND the built-in overhead bluetooth microphone playing well an aftermarket head unit.
But I am not too frustrate.. I am actually pretty okay with the stock, basic unit! But I think if I didn't have an iPhone (or another nice smartphone) that I was comfortable with and that could provide GPS in a pinch... and a nice music selection and phone dialing interface... then I would definitely need to make some trade-offs with replacing the OEM stereo with an aftermarket head unit.
WOW... Did I just type a lot. I hope someone out there trying to decide what to do with their 2011 recent purchase or future 2011 order find it helpful! It'd tricky sorting through all the posts across multiple forums and info on the subaru website and conversations with dealers.. but I *THINK* this is a pretty good 'what you need to know' if you are a 2011 owner or to be owner..