Best Navigation?

Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
213
Location
Central California
I'm doing my research for a new car, which I've decided must have navigation as one of my "must have" features. I've not seen a comprehensive review of the various navigation systems. I've only read bits and pieces about the pros and cons of various systems, such as how just every journalist dislikes BMW's iDrive system, especially when its used in conjunction with the navigation system. I've read that Mazda's is also not that user-friendly and that Lexus and Infiniti's Birdview is very well thought of. Any other observations from real world users? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2003
Messages
3,094
Location
Metro Detroit
OnStar has a new navigation system coming out shortly that's second to none in terms of ease of use. I don't know if this information is public yet, so I'll refrain from giving too much away, but all you do is press the blue OnStar button, say "directions" when prompted, then speak the place name (McDonalds) or address if you have it. The directions come over the speakers as you approach milestones, such as intersections, freeway ramps, etc. It's all extremely easy and natural to use and the voice recognition rate is very high. I've driven it several times and it beats the pants off any screen-based nav system.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
1,836
Location
Pac NW
The ability to read and understand a map, of course. What happens to the totally dependant when their "systems go down"? WAAAAAAAAA! I'm LOST! I'm a VICTIM (again)! Navigation systems, DVD auto theaters, rear view cameras, "intelligent" cruise controls, etc. are on my list of "must have-nots". Cheers! p.s. If the automakers thought they could bill you monthly to monitor the efficiency of your cabin filter, they would.
 

crw

Joined
May 31, 2005
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Pocatello, ID
There are occasions when it's a lifesaver. These times may be infrequent... but when I was driving through Brussels, Belgium a few years ago.... lets just say that I'd still be lost without it. Forget the map... the streets weren't labeled, or at least not in a way that drivers could see. Like I say, without my handheld GPS I'd still be driving around in circles somewhere in Belgium. If you travel a lot, it could be worth it. Then again, if you are in rental car, you need to either get one in the rental or have a GPS that can be taken with you.
 

totttalled

Thread starter
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
213
Location
Central California
Everyone has different needs. I can read, and fold, a map just fine, thank you, and have never gone "WAAA" behind the wheel. And I currently have about 6 maps in my car at all times. However, I do travel a lot to places I've never been before, and would rather keep my eyes on the road instead of looking out for street signs and slowing down at every intersection. And now that its mentioned, a back up camera would be handy too. Since my third neck surgery, wrenching my neck around backwards isn't all that comfortable. The DVD auto theater would be great too! Obviously not for the driver, but the passengers, but for my three kids. Thanks for the tips! Cheers!
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
416
Location
San Jose, CA (USA)
I have Infiniti's CD-based system (DVD-based systems are standard now). I like it, as it's nicely integrated with the stereo and it works pretty well. However, it is expensive to update ($120/year for a new CD to cover just CA and NV). Compared to the routing capibilities of a Garmin 76Cx, the Garmin gives better visual advanced notice of turns coming up. The Infiniti system relies on voice prompts to warn you of upcoming turns, but I usually have the voice off as it becomes tiresome quickly--it announces that you need to go straight past each major highway exit, for example. The birdseye view is neat, but it doesn't seem too useful--I usually navigate using the regular view. I don't regret having a nav system in my truck, but I would seriously compare the new Garmin units with dead-reckoning to any OEM system; I bet you'll get better bang for the buck with Garmin.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Messages
23,591
I never get lost. I may take the scenic route, but that's always on purpose. The copilot, if present, has to navigate.
 
Joined
May 23, 2005
Messages
547
Location
WI
Go for something that uses NAVTEQ maps, you will not be disapointed. Garmin units use them as does Acura and Honda OEM Nav Systems... not sure who else. If you like Honda, I will say that my father's Acura RL and my sister's TL are both very intuitive. The audio system is linked to the Nav System AND their Bluetooth phones which makes it a pretty sweet setup! I understand why you want OEM - it is against CA law to have ANYTHING mounted on the inside windshield.
 
Joined
May 27, 2002
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1,874
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Ocala, Florida
I drive d truck on occasion and have found the garmin c330 to work well for me. I have used it in chicago, Iowa,va, la, and texas. it has not let me down yet. the ease of use is very simple. it uses voice and or map directions. it only cost 450. and is worth every penny. the on star sounds like it might be better but I have never used it so don't know anything about it. the garmin has a battery unit as well as a power source. it is small and can be mounted anywhere. window or whatever. go to circuit city to see all of these. bob
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2002
Messages
12,849
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UT
quote:
Originally posted by BOBISTHEOILGUY: I drive d truck on occasion and have found the garmin c330 to work well for me. I have used it in chicago, Iowa,va, la, and texas. it has not let me down yet. the ease of use is very simple. it uses voice and or map directions. it only cost 450. and is worth every penny. the on star sounds like it might be better but I have never used it so don't know anything about it. the garmin has a battery unit as well as a power source. it is small and can be mounted anywhere. window or whatever. go to circuit city to see all of these. bob
[Off Topic!] Bob! How are you doing? Just wondering.. [Big Grin] Take care, Bill [coffee]
 
Joined
May 4, 2003
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6,614
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southeast US
quote:
Originally posted by oily boyd: Go for something that uses NAVTEQ maps, you will not be disapointed. Garmin units use them as does Acura and Honda OEM Nav Systems... not sure who else. If you like Honda, I will say that my father's Acura RL and my sister's TL are both very intuitive. The audio system is linked to the Nav System AND their Bluetooth phones which makes it a pretty sweet setup! I understand why you want OEM - it is against CA law to have ANYTHING mounted on the inside windshield.
This is exactly why garmin stand alone units mount on a dash. I used garmin IQue (combo with a palm Pilot) for a year and it's the best and most flexible solution in car navigation/GPS (except for geocaching: short battery life).
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
Messages
12,385
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Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by oily boyd: I understand why you want OEM - it is against CA law to have ANYTHING mounted on the inside windshield.
It's fairly restrictive, but it's a long ways from not anything.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
My new GM products has the built it GM Nav system. It's adequate, but that's about it. The interface is non-intuitive, it knows a lot more than it will tell you, things like altitude, road miles to destination, heading, etc. Sometimes I carry a Garmin handheld to fil in some of the blanks that the GM Nannies decided I shouldn't be allowed to see even though the Nav system knows them. It also has voice recogintion which is joke. Sometimes it works, but it frequently gives you nonsense responses. Sometimes they are funny enough to make it worth trying to use. The only thing good about it compared to most systems is that it projects upcoming turns on the windhield. If it weren't for it working through the heads up display I would have gotten a better aftermarket unit. It's about on par with the mediocre upgraded Blose sound system that came in the car.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
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9,427
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Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
My present car has built in NAV (Toyota version), and it's really good. I used a handheld Garmin, bracket mounted, before that. Let's not lose sight of what they really are -- maps taken to the next step of evolution. Norm, to answer your question about what happens if the nav goes down: the same thing that happens to the Luddite who loses or forgets his map, or doesn't have the right one in the first place. Both need to stop at the next gas station and get additional maps. Tottaled: I can read and fold maps too -- but now I don't have to. My map continually refolds itself to the optimum display at all times. If I want to look elsewhere, a finger stroke across the screen does the trick. Of course, while NAV systems are just the next step in map evolution, they do add one huge advantage that no paper map can match -- they tell you where you actually are on the map.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2003
Messages
3,094
Location
Metro Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by boxcartommie22: comment: in NO WAY will i ever have an onstar type of device where big brother takes control over even your car!!!
I work for OnStar and see what they do and will flatly tell you that you're wrong here. Nothing done to an OnStar equipped vehicle is done without the owner's knowledge or a court order.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
quote:
Originally posted by ChromiumSteel: We're men. Do we need nav systems to find our way?
Ahhhhh Chromium, you have failed to master the ultimate step in pulling off the "man" thing -- making it look totally effortless. Whilst you sit ruffling through your tattered paper maps, I shall glide on by, hands on the wheel, occupying a higher plane of situational awareness. . . [Wink] [Razz] [Cheers!]
 
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