Note: Discontinued. See reviews of the latest models.
Not everyone wants to advertise the presence of a radar detector. Aside from being irresistible to thieves, a detector dangling from the windshield invites disapproval from gents wearing guns and badges. In recent years there's another incentive to consider an alternative: some cars won't allow a radar detector to operate correctly. Several manufacturers' windshield solar tint contains a metal film that's invisible to the eye but which renders a detector nearly useless.
The traditional solution has been the custom-installed remote radar detector whose discreet components are built-in to the vehicle. Trouble is, these remotes are pricey. The Escort Passport Max ci 360 costs $3,499, for example, plus installation.
This makes the Escort Passport 8500ci Plus a comparative bargain. Like the others it has GPS to protect against red light and speed cameras. It can also be fitted with the Shifter Pack, dual front laser jammers to counter police lasers.
The Escort 8500CI radar antenna mounts in the grille area, linked to an interface box under the dash. A thumb-size control/display can be placed anywhere it's convenient to see and operate.
All of the BEL and Escort remote models, the Escort Passport 8500ci Plus included, have an additional attraction for those with leased vehicles—the display can be surface-mounted without drilling holes in the dash, damage certain to be noticed when the car comes off lease.
The Escort Passport 8500ci Plus has a small control/display module for power, volume, audio muting and display brightness. Two more buttons handle the GPS functions.
The Escort Passport 8500CI Plus has GPS and warns of red light and speed cameras.
With its modest price and stellar performance, the Escort Passsport 8500ci Plus remains one of the most desirable built-in radar detectors.