Even the best radar detectors that we’ve reviewed tend to come with one complication: You have to set them up. Finding extra spots in your car for the readouts and installing detectors can easily be the most frustrating part of buying a radar detector…which is why it’s nice to see that K40 Electronics is doing away with it.
The solution is simple: An aftermarket installation of radar detection equipment that fits into your car like a hand in a glove, specifically for the RL360i and RL 2001 Expert models from K40. Take your car into the shop, have the detector installed, and you get a shiny new panel with built-in buttons and handy backlight so that it looks like every other part of your car. That alone makes these detectors interesting competition for the top radar detectors in 2016…so far.
The first model, RL360i Expert, comes with two different detectors, one for the front and one for the rear, which is designed to detect different types of radar from all directions more effectively. The second option, the RL200i Expert, only has a front-mounted receiver, but the cost is also lower. Customers have the option to add more functionality too, such as laser jammers also produced by K40. Of course, for any of these installations you’ll have to contact a dealer that is authorized to install K40 products, so prepare to make a few calls to find the best radar detectors this year.
There are, however, two downsides to the aftermarket approach that we need to talk about. First, the installation process attempts to make the radar detectors look like factory-produced features, which is great for appearances but makes the price hard to gauge. Even K40 says that you’ll need to visit a dealer and ask for an estimate for your vehicle model to find out how much these installations are going to cost: That’s a little offputting.
Second, one of the big advantages past radar detectors have is that you can detach them and switch them to another vehicle if you buy a new car, upgrade your delivery truck, and so on. Not so for these fully installed models, which are stuck in place and go with the vehicle if you decide to sell it.
For more information on what other types of detectors offer, check out our best radar detector reviews for 2016!