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Toyota Avalon Navigation System



  • neil5neil5 Posts: 118
    As another add-on Modification. Just installed Backup Camera like Lexus sells on to my NAV screen. For more info see Galleries Toyotanation 3rd gen Avalon pics and that forum. Tonight under evening lighting I could see behind me (20% TINT) perfectly.
  • dandydon2dandydon2 Posts: 77
    Hi Neil,

    I can't locate your reference. Can you provide a URL? I have a new Av Limited and want to add the BU camera. Which one did you choose and how did it go in?

  • dandydon2dandydon2 Posts: 77
    Hi Dzuba,

    I'm not familiar with Honda's nav, but I have used the Lexus system for the past two years and now have one in my new Limited. There have been a lot of complaints in this forum about the Avalon nav; most saying that it is not friendly to use. It's been my experience that you must spend a considerable amount of time learning to use any of these systems, regardless who makes them.

    I'm guessing that most of the Avalon complaints come from those who have never had one of any kind before. Lexus uses a touch screen and Avalon uses a button-joystick method. Believe me, both have their drawbacks and advantages. Others complain that the database doesn't include their local street even though the street has been in existence for several years. Blame the people who develop and update the software. It's a continuing process and will always be less than perfect.

    For those who opt to skip the factory nav and buy an after market variety, maybe it's the right choice for them, but I wouldn't care to stick one on top of my dashboard and have to squint at a tiny screen, plus see wires laying out in the open - not in a new car I just paid big bucks for. Nice to have choices, but mine goes for the factory version.

  • rsblaskirsblaski Posts: 68
    Your statement re the datatbase is correct. Toyota CHOSE to use a nav system with what I consider a very poor GUI. I have had three iterations of the Garmin StreetPilot as well as a 2005 Honda Odyssey with an Alpine based nav system. I used to complain about the Alpine in comparison with the Garmin UNTIL I got my 2006 Toyota Limited with nav. Now I would give my small left toe to get the Alpine based unit in my Ltd. Whereas the Alpine would give a rather tedious announcement about entering an area with unconfirmed mapping, it would at least let you program a destination from that area. With the Toyota, if you are in an unconfirmed area, you are told to drive to a confirmed area before street-by-street directions would begin.
    The Honda (Alpine) unit would also let you enter a destination and do searches while the car is in motion. All nav units that I have used give the generic warning at start-up, but the Toyota is the only one that has refused to let me (or a passneger) do a search or set a destination while under way. I could almost go along with a passenger interlock which would only allow operation if a passenger was on board.
    In summary, I don't fault Toyota for the poor database in the nav unit, I fault them for CHOOSING the nav system that uses that poor database.
    I think that my frustration is greater for having had other nav units. I'm guessing that others who haven't merely assume that these deficiencies are merely common to all nav systems. I and others know better.
  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159 if you had to do it all over again, would you have passed up the Toyota NAV and used a Garmin?

    That is where I am leaning (or towards an Acura TL) I too have an Odyssey w/NAV that I like. Not sure if I really want an external unit, and the wires, etc.........

    However the new Garmin unit not only works great for Navigation, but also includes Bluetooth - an option I desperatley want that is not available in the Midwest. Yes, Bluetooth is offered in the SE by Southeast Toyota (SET), but not in the Midwest.

  • neil5neil5 Posts: 118
    No I want the NAV. It allowed for Backup camera. Today I entered in Home directions while riding. I did not have to stop. Laser Cruise it a bit tricky
  • rsblaskirsblaski Posts: 68
    That's a tough question.
    The nav system is undoubtedly the biggest disappointment in terms of the features of the car. I just wish that a major manufacturer such as Toyota would have opted for a better featured nav system. I also wish that Toyota had given us an option for a factory installed XM/Sirius radio system. I was told by the saleman that the car was "XM-ready." I (mistakenly--and I'll accept blame for this) thought that this meant that a simple add-on of a satellite antenna for ~$50-$100 would provide me with the XM reception. Of course, we all know it's not as simple as that!! And don't get me started on the cheesy way the antenna is mounted...
    That being said, I really like the overall quality of construction as well as some of the "toys" found on the Limited. I especially like the keyless starting system and the laser cruise control. The automatic wiper system is also quite cool.
    So to answer your question, had I known about the absolute deficiency in the nav system, I probably would have looked into either an Acura or Lexus. It may have overcome the major reason I didn't stay with Honda, which is that I didn't like the fact you had to jump to their flagship line (Acura) in order to get something a little bigger in size than the Accord.
  • jwhagenjwhagen Posts: 4
    Are you saying you were able to change the Home Directions while driving a 2006 Avalon? If so, what did you do to allow it to work? Also, can you point me to the backup camera option? Thanks!

    John Hagen
  • topgeartopgear Posts: 111
    I have a white '06 Limited Avalon with the optional DVD Navigation of which I have complained about previously. I wish to amend my negative opinion. Although it is a pain to program, it did serve us well on our recent trip to Orlando Florida. I could find points of interest (of which there were plenty in the Orlando area) and it guided us beautifully. It even brought us "home" again to our hotel repeatedly from our local journies.
    I still wish one could program it while driving and not have to come to a full stop though, -and the joystick method of entering data is still a pain and prone to mistaken-entries. However, I just wanted to say the system served us well.
  • dandydon2dandydon2 Posts: 77
    Hi Topgear,

    Glad you're finding more to like about your Avi nav system, but you should be happy that the design will not let you program it while under way. That feature may very well save your life one day - or that of another motorist.

    Here's why: The National Highway Traffic Safety Assn. reports that "In-car technology like cell phones, mobile Internet access devices, road guidance and navigation systems (emphasis mine) are dangerous driver distractions that cause accidents. In practicality, anything that compels the driver to take his hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road can be a dangerous distraction."

    Another authority in this area, David J. Hanson, Ph.D., states that "Using a cell phone while driving is at least as dangerous as driving while intoxicated." And if A=B and B=C, then A=C, ergo, nav systems can be just as dangerous as cells.

    Some argue that a front seat passenger would be able to work the nav system safely if allowed, but it would be practically impossible to prevent a driver from also getting into the act in a system designed that way.

    On the positive side, here are a couple of tips you might find useful for your next trip: Go to the DESTINATION screen and note the 6 switches at the bottom. The left one is for getting you Home, but the other 5 can be handy, too. We'll be meeting some friends for a short vacation in Portland in a few weeks. We have decided to visit several restaurants and points of interest while there, but I don't know the town very well so I've programmed 4 of the 5 buttons with the addresses of my POIs. The sixth one I set with our hotel's address, so I can always find my way back to the starting point.

    Hope some of this helps.

  • melbcmelbc Posts: 31
    We also have the navigation system and the reason I have a problem with not being able to program it while the car is in motion is because I am usually in the front passenger seat when we are on extended car trips so I don't see why I cant program it..I am not driving so the safety issue would not be an issue at all...For this reason I wish that the passenger could overide the system somehow so that I could program it.
  • dandydon2dandydon2 Posts: 77
    Allowing the passenger to program the nav while under way would remain a safety issue for the simple reason that there is no practical way to prevent a driver from also getting into the act.

    It's too late for both of us, since we already own the factory nav systems, but there is an excellent alternative for others. It's a system sold by VCom for under $1,000 and it operates entirely by voice input, so you or the driver can use it while driving. You can ask for a gas station, or a specific address, without ever having to touch buttons or look at a screen. The unit is portable and can be hidden under the dash or seat.

    Go to and click on "Video Demonstration". They claim it's the world's only navigation system with no screen or buttons. Their ad states: "It uses advanced voice recognition software that actually works. Once VCom knows where you want to go, simply drive and listen to VCom give you super detailed, turn by turn instructions until you reach your destination. Includes millions of Points of Interests and a voice interactive game of Black Jack."

    VCom is very similar to the new OnStar Turn-by-turn screenless nav system. I think that both are the wave of the future for car navigation.

  • marunymaruny Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me if the navigation screen will split into two screens automatically when you get near where you have to make a left or right turn and after you complete the turn it will go back to full screen. The new screen will show an enlarge map of your current position and the road that you will turn to. I think I so that in a Lexus car.
  • topgeartopgear Posts: 111
    I just wanted to post this thought. The navigation system should have a single, dedicated enter button instead of the tricky multi-function one. That would speed things up.
    So...Toyota, if you ever read any of the owner's comments here and there, I think this is a good one for you to consider!

  • b1gatorb1gator Posts: 12
    I have a 2005 Avalon with the DVD navigation System. I inquired with the dealer about the update CD for the Nav data base and I believe they told me the cost was about $200. Does this seem right and/or is there a better source for the updates? :confuse:
  • tstrick320tstrick320 Posts: 64
    YES!!! I'm planning to take my Avalon by the dealer and ask them to "show me how to input an address" so that they'll have to explain why this thing is almost impossible to use.

    This is my biggest (and just about only) gripe about this car. Everything else is near-perfection but the NAV controller drives me nuts. The NAV is great once the data has been entered but the cheesy controller design is awful.
  • ny_avalonny_avalon Posts: 3
    Are there By-pass options that will allow the Navigation to be used while the car is moving ?
  • boone6boone6 Posts: 8
    My NAV GPS system on my 2006 Avalon leaves a lot to be desired.
    I live in Houston and have set my home address in the memory. Recently while downtown I programmed it to take me home. This is a 20 mile trip on loop 610 and then highway 290. Basically a straight shot with no exits from the freeway. This goofy system has me exit at every 290 exit ramp, go south, then north on the next road, then back under the freeway and back on at the next entrance ramp. Then immediately get off at the next exit ramp and repeat the process. I have noticed it also does not have many roads in my area on it that were built or extended over three years ago. Those should be on the current software.

    Was recently on a vacation the western US. On the trip back I set it to take me home. I asked it for the quickest and the shortest route. It told me both were the same route. This was a 1600 mile trip from Salt Lake to Houston. I make the trip I was on yearly so knew what it was telling me was not quickest or shortest. There was no way to change it.
    The route it wanted me to take was over 200 miles out of the way. It did refigure every time I varied from the route it calculated but as far as being an efficient gps worth 2000 dollars it is not.

    I would suggest that if you are buying a new Avalon you forego the gps system that is an option. Buy something aftermarket that works.

    I read a column detailing the electronics on the Avalon and specifically the gps problems at It is dead on to what I have experienced.
  • I plan on buying the avic z1 located here Avic Z1 photo and information here

    I was wondering was is there any way to install the avic z1, which again is a in-dash navigation system, into the avalon 06? Many tell me it may not be able to be done, so was just wondering is it possible? image
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