OK Boys and Girls, Here's the straight scoop on Sirius radio:
I ordered my E90 from the factory in early March with the Satellite Prep Pkg. but no radio since I wasn't sure I would really wanted it. I currently have an XM radio in my wife's car and have a portable unit that I really love. So, to get Sirius meant another $12.95 per month for their service.
To make a long story short by the time the car arrived early this month I had decided to go for the radio after all and had it installed by the dealer. It works great and here are the facts and details:
1. The Sat Pkg. contains ALL
the required wiring and antenna equip. (Shark fin) necessary. No additional wiring or antenna are necessay.
2. The radio unit is the same one used in the new 5 and 6 series cars so they are available even though the dealers may not realize this fact.
3. The radio consists of a metal box approx. 10" x 3" x 6" and is installed behind the left side panel of the trunk. It simply plugs into the wiring harness provided by the Sat Pkg. The only problem is that there wasn't a connector available to hook into the car's antenna system and there is still no BMW mounting bracket available to mount the system. The mechanic at my dealer was pretty sharp and fabricated the mount and procurred a connector from a 6 series parts bin.
4.All the functions of the radio are available through the radio in your car already so fortunately they don't have to pull the radio unit out at all. Everything hooks up through the wiring harness that is part of the Sat. Pkg.
5. The cost of the radio is $495 ( $100 less than factory installed unit) BUT
installation labor is extra and will be at least 2 to 3 hours since they have to fabricate the mount. There is also apparently some software updates that need to made as well. In the end the whole thing ended up costing me about $725. It's probably a good idea to make sure that there is a cap on the installation costs as some mechanics may not be as efficient as others and it's conceivable that the labor bill could end up being something outragious.
6. You get a one year free subscription to Sirius. No paperwork comes with the radio inatall kit since its operation is covered in your manuals. Therefore no info on how to get the free subscription. No one at the dealer or even BMW customer support knew how to go about getting the free sub. As it turns out the BMW OEM units have a serial number that is registered with Sirius so when you call them to activate the radio and give them the number that is displayed in your radio disolay panel it automatically shows up as a 1 yr free service unit. Considering this, it might be worth being cautious about buying any of these units other than from an authorized BMW dealer. They may possibly NOT
have the free years subscription which is worth about $155.
The radio works great, sounds great and is a real joy to have. If you have a choice, by all means order it from the factory rather than having the dealer instal it as it will almost surely cost less in the end and save some frustration.