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Toyota Avalon Navigation System

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Comments

  • jordanfljordanfl Posts: 10
    Can you install the DVD yourself or does the dealer do it as part of the $967 price?

    I just bought a 2008 Limited that had 5K miles...widow brought car back when husband died. It had the nav installed already. I didn't buy the car because it had nav...but it defintely influenced my decision. If I had read all of your notes, I would have bought a Limited without nav...my original intent...and used my Garmin Nuvi 350.

    I was flabbergasted when I tried to use the nav the first time. I just assumed Toyota would have the same quality in the nav that they have in everything else in the Limited. Not so! The experts at the dealer tried to demo the unit to me...and they could not get it to function right!

    I have used my Nuvi 350 for a year and love it. It works well even in rural areas on dirt roads. The Avalon nav can't find its way from my house to the next major road!
  • bobu1bobu1 Posts: 6
    Love my Nuvi 350 too! Agree Avalon nav system is very poor, voice recognition almost useless. Wife took her 2007 LTD in for service and complained about nav. Dealer changed a setting and "tweaked" something else in system and now nav works acceptably. I won't buy another Toyota nav system without a thorough test though.
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    jordanfl,

    The DVD player for the Nav is in the trunk by the tail lights, driver's side. You need to set aside portion of the trim cover in order to access the unit. Nothing complex here. Once you see the unit (player), find the eject button. This is like inserting/removing CDs/DVDs in any CD/DVD player.

    However, while doing this, juice has to be flowing in your avy; therefore, has the IG switch in the "acc" position. Once the new DVD is inserted, the Nav system will update itself within a few seconds.

    I still consider the NAV in the avy more superior and accurate than many other stuff I had seen (I have owned two GPS, laptop based, which are far more powerful than any 4" LCD unit). The true is that the voice recog really SUCKS big time. So I rely on the manual approach for all my inputs.

    Amaury
    '08 Limited
  • jordanfljordanfl Posts: 10
    amauhry,

    My issue with the nav is the ability...or lack of ability...to navigate within secondary roads. Apparently, the 6.1 ver of software in my unit does not have enough data to provide navigation in non-metro areas. I live in a community that has been here 20 years, but the nav only has data for the main highways that come through town.

    Does the 7.1 ver improve the data for secondary roads in non-metro areas?

    If not, I will have to haul my Nuvi 350 when driving in out-of-the-way places.
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    Still I haven’t encountered the situation where my GPS has gone solo (no road data available). But what you just mentioned is a fact of life; It is impractical (for the financial cost of double-checking or finding every geographical spot on the US) and physically impossible to jam-pack every street, road, alley, etc. on any CD or DVD (only so much 0’s and 1’s can be stored in these media).

    No matter which software one uses, these software are prone to go solo due to lack of map data. Heck even the laptop-based Navigation I own, powered by the laptop’s Pentium 3.2 GHz processor and having the laptop hard drive as storage, does not include every geographical point in the US.

    It is just pure luck that the other Nav system you use, which is cheaper than the Avalon’s, does have all the routes you need for navigation. I’m lucky, too, that for my navigation needs my Avy’s GPS has everything (and I have been to many rural areas in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts).

    Amaury
    '08 Limited
  • fmflfmfl Posts: 16
    Dear Mr Amaury. You are missing the point all of these folks are making, namely that the Toyota Avalon navigation system is a rotten design, both in content and function. The number of GPS points is secondary to the miserable design of this navigation system ... compare to Honda, or one of the other brands that are a joy to use ... and that work properly. This one stinks.
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    I am not missing the point. I'm fully aware that the system (hardware and software) is far from being user-friendly. The fact is, I kinda twisted Toyota's arm regarding one issue I had with the GPS. But don't forget that this is a two-way communication between the hardware/software and the user, which is us.

    Amaury
    '08 Limited
  • generosegenerose Posts: 35
    You are missing the point..Don't apologize for por design or coverage. This is a $2000 option, not a $200 discount store item. There is no excuse that anybody can offer that justifies the garbage system that has been marketed for years without major improvement or substitution.
    No reply is necessary, you just don't get it.
    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    Toyota is to be blamed for not providing an in-depth, comprehensive manual on the capabilities of the navigation system.

    Case in point: One major complaint about the system is its “apparent” inability to calculate an efficient route. The fact is you don’t need to accept the route (or any of the other “3rd Route options) the system gives you. You can force the system to take the route that you want (the system has tool for this). You can even see the entire route, street by street turn, at your own pace before putting the car in motion. This gives you time to examine the route for consistency (efficiency). If you don’t like what you see, drop it; take another one.

    You can save multiple routes along with all your preferences well in advance of your trip(s). This way when the trip day comes, you just jump in the car; your route(s) will be there waiting for you. With this I’m also implying that the system has the capability of saving multiple destinations from one single location in one step. For example, if you want to go from point A to point B, then C followed by D and ending in E, you can put all those destinations (along with routes) while you’re at point A. And, of course, you can re-order the priorities of these destinations at will. You can insert any stop, overnight stay, etc. into your route without changing the original route. And in case you make an “unprogrammed” deviation from your route, the system will still get you to your destination using your remaining road preferences. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    But, of course, most of this stuff is not in the manual. I found this out by playing with the system and making my own notes. This is way I said this system is a two-way communication; the user’s reaction counts a lot here.

    I understand people fustration about this but that does not necessarily mean I need to be fustrated as well. My view is that, as is the GPS on the Avalon should not be intended for mass market because it seems to be experimental even though it is not.

    Amaury
    '08 Limited
  • generosegenerose Posts: 35
    You obviously have a lot of patience with having been presented with an inaccurate, difficult to operate, undocumented and in some respects faulty system. To have paid the price of this system and be accepting of the incomplete product provided takes a lot more patience than I, and many others have.

    I have a tremendous level of patience if there is a reason to be so. However, if this GPS is experimental, I don't appreciate being used as a Guinea Pig.
    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    Another feature offered by this system is to find your way using the lat & long coordinates. With this info, even if there is no road data available the system will guide you to the road closet to your coordinate point (latitude and longitude). The system always provides you with the lat & long along any path you take on the map.

    When in route overview, the user have the option to either see the entire route by itself on the map, or a listing of the street turns involved, or both. This way the opportunity is given to explore your route before "lift-off".

    My findings are not a matter of patience. Being stuck with a $2K gadget that at first seemed to be a waste was not an option for me.

    Amaury
    '08 Limited
  • generosegenerose Posts: 35
    I disagree respectfully but Latitude and Longitude are not posted on roads, I have never seen this feature on my system on the 2007 Avalon Limited. If you are on remote, unfamiliar turf, the system does not always do its job and can, as I have experienced, take you astray or onto a route that adds many miles to your trip.
    In summary, the system is an inferior, difficult, overpriced, inconvenient and outrageous offering by Toyota.
    :lemon: :mad: :lemon: :mad:
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    Every point on earth has a latitude and longitude “address”, including your own house. This is how vessels can find spots on the ocean and missiles can find their targets on earth (sort of).

    While your car is parked in your garage, activate your Nav system:
    Hit “Destination” button.
    Choose the “By Emergency” option.

    Bingo! The screen provided by this option (latter) includes the Latitude and longitude of your garage. Now, you can find that spot once again in your system either by the common method of street by name or by the not so common method (among us civilians) of Cartesian way of Lat and Long.

    How can your find your spot in the middle of Interstate 95 or Route 66 or Coyote land? Not by street name my friend. Lat & Long is way more reliable.

    Amaury
    ’08 Limited
  • fmflfmfl Posts: 16
    Hi honey, I'll be right over ... what's your latitude and longitude!

    This junk sucks!
  • jordanfljordanfl Posts: 10
    My wife and I took the Limited to Tampa this weekend. During the trip, I had ample opportunity to test the GPS. I took my Garmin Nuvi 350 along as a backup and as a sanity check.

    Here are the results:
    Avalon contains navigation information for secondary roads/highways only in metropolitan areas. It worked fine in and around Tampa, but could not navigate anywhere near my house in central Florida. The system had most of the road locations and names right...it just would not use the information for navigation. (Nuvi had no problems anywhere along the route.)

    Avalon contains limited data for points of interest. It could not find a well-known seafood restaurant (Landry's Seafood) within 2 miles of my hotel. It could not find movie theaters anywhere in Tampa. (Nuvi found both and navigated us to them nicely.)

    I compared all of this to Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 that I use at home. It could navigate all of the roads in the routes and found all points of interest. I dare say the version that was available eight years ago could do so.

    Avalon's navigation system is at least 10 year old technology.

    Jordanfl
    '08 Limited with difficient navigation
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,059
    I am in the market for a portable GPS system and I have my eye on the brand new Garmin Nuvi 880. In addition to text-to-speech, it has voice recognition, traffic monitoring and blue tooth.

    Reviewers are saying this is the best portable GPS system on the market right now but it is pricey at $999 compared to the $349 Magellan Maestro 4250 that does essentially the same thing with AAA Tour book included.

    My wife has OnStar in her automobile and I just love the way everything is so integrated especially when the stereo is muted so you can hear the directions loud and clear on your car speakers rather than on the built-in speakers on the GPS units. Hands-free phone, XM radio, MP3 and OnStar turn-by-turn directions all work together so seamlessly.

    I know it is perhaps difficult to find a portable GPS that works with your stereo but I am not sure if the Garmin 880 or any other system can do that.

    So my question is: Are there any voice interface accessories, other than the FM transmitter, that can be used to integrate the sound system with the GPS?
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    Please do not misunderstand me. The Avalon’s GPS is not perfect, and the lack of proper documentation makes it even less perfect. If Toyota issues a good manual with everything there is to know about the GPS there will not be so much grievance about its performance.

    Any portable GPS like TomTom, Nuvi and the likes are not perfect either. If you want to see these devices fail miserably, try to find your way out of the Sumner Tunnel or Callahan Tunnel in Boston City, MA, (especially if you are heading to Logan International) assuming you don’t know your way around. All of these tiny devices go dead under the Lincoln and Holland tunnels in New York City as well; a weak point where the Avalon’s system excels. Again my point is, nothing is perfect. Many complaints about the Avalon’s GPS and I fully understand why. To me it is almost perfect because I understand it, and it has never failed me so far. Almost perfect because I did notice a glitch (no wonder Toyota honored my complaint to my full satisfaction).

    Amaury
    '08 Limited
  • fmflfmfl Posts: 16
    The more I read of these wonderful comments about the wonderful Toyota Avalon Navigation System the more The Emporer's Clothes come to mind.
  • pulonepulone Posts: 11
    I ought a TOMTOM because the better models have Europe in them. Mind has Bluetooth & an MP3 player, which was very useful in Italy.

    bob
  • jordanfljordanfl Posts: 10
    I complained to my dealer about the ver 6.1 nav software. They tell me they will sell me ver 7.1 for $299...no special deals just because I bought the car from them two weeks ago. Nice guys!

    The dealer says it has more secondary roads available for navigation...not just display. They cannot tell me specifics about the new roads added.

    I am tempted to upgrade...but I am wondering when the next version of the nav software/database will come out. It appears Toyota has released a new version almost every year. My ver 6.1 is dated 2006 and ver 7.1 was apparently released in Oct 2007.

    Will there be a Gen 3 ver 8.1 coming out in October of this year?

    Have any of you downloaded the Gen 2 & 3 ver 7.1 from the www.mininova.org site, created a DVD and successfully used it in an Avalon Limited to replace Gen 3 ver 6.1? Several folks on that site have apparently done so...but they appear to be super techies...that know DVD software and hardware inside and out.

    jordanfl
    Avalon Limited '08
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