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Toyota Avalon Navigation System



  • larrymitlarrymit Posts: 80
    After reading all the comments on the usability of the Avalon nav system, I decided to give it a try myself at the local dealer.

    I have a 2004 Camry Solara with the touch screen nav. It works well and is relatively easy to program.

    The Avalon system seems to be based on the same software as the Camry system. The menus are the same. The only real difference is that you must highlight a choice with a joystick and press a button on the Avalon, rather than touch the screen as on the Camry. The Camry is easier to use, but the Avalon is not that much more difficult. I suspect that people who find the joystick interface unusable are (no offense) less coordinated or less familiar with non-keyboard interfaces. On the positive side, the nav screen is not smudged with fingerprints, which sometimes obscure the view. Given the configuration of the Avalon instrument panel, the nav screen would be a long reach for a touch screen, which is probably why this control interface was chosen.

    I made no attempt to test the voice recognition functions, so I can't comment on that.

    The database did include the street my home is on. The two year old database in my Camry does not.

    I've never had the problems with my Camry nav taking me on long circuitous (sp?) routes, so I would be surprised if the Avalon did so. There are options for preferred road types, etc. Perhaps people with such problems should check and see if any of these options have been changed from the defaults.

    I began the test expecting the worst. I didn't find the problems to be nearly as terrible as described by some here. I will give it a more thorough test before deciding whether to buy the Avalon nav, but, at this point, I'm inclined to buy it.
  • niteoneniteone Posts: 41
    correct, it really isn't that bad, but for somewhere around $1900.00, you should expect something along the lines of the Pioneer AVIC-Z1, which has it's own built in hard drive, and it's a much better Nav and music device for around $1500.00.
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    larrymit: Our points are that the Avy's Navy System is an antiquated system in a $35K car and that is inexcusable. Toyita uses the same 3.5 V6 in the Lexus, Camry and Avy--same 6 speed tranny--seems reasonable to use the same Touch Screen Nav System. Much easier to "wipe off" finger prints on the screen than constantly having to cancel out an entry due to a "fat finger" mistake. All I can say is---I wish I'd saved the $1,900 and bought a $800-$900 Garmin that works better and is more accurate. First test at the dealer--see if it can locate your home--ours has been here almost 30 years--can't find it or the main road leading to it--duh?!! My buddy's kids gave him an $800 portable garmin---AWESOME--use in the car, boat etc----BEST DEAL!

  • larrymitlarrymit Posts: 80
    No arguments here. My point is basically: Try before you buy. See if you like the system before putting out the money. Some like the looks and convenience of a built-in system, even if it is a little less capable than an add-on system you have to stick to the windshield. (A recent issue of Consumer Reports tested navigation systems. While cheaper than OEM systems, they had drawbacks and few had the large screens of an OEM system.)

    Incidentally, not long after we bought our 2004 Solara, Toyota recalled the nav DVD "because it wasn't up to Toyota's standards for accuracy." If enough Avalon owners complain to Toyota about the inaccuracy of their nav, perhaps Toyota will replace the DVD at no cost too.
  • niteoneniteone Posts: 41
    "(A recent issue of Consumer Reports tested navigation systems. While cheaper than OEM systems, they had drawbacks and few had the large screens of an OEM system.)"

    did they test a Pioneer AVIC Z-1? Cause that's one good system. I purchased one for my 2003 Explorer, it's an in-dash unit that replaces the oem headunit, with a 7 inch screen, build in 30 gig harddrive, 10 gig for music that you store on it, 20 gig for the Nav maps. It's one very good aftermarket system.

    I thought about replacing the OEM Nav on my 2006 XLS Avalon, but I'll live with what I got on the Avalon. I just wish that maybe Toyota would take into account what aftermarket Nav system have and do, and at least have the same or better capabilities in their system.
  • larrymitlarrymit Posts: 80
    No, they didn't test any Pioneer systems. The most expensive system they tested was a Clarion Nice @ $1200. None were built-in systems.

    See Consumer Reports though you'll need a username and password to see the ratings.
  • larrymitlarrymit Posts: 80
    Buick includes two updates with their touchscreen navigation system in the Lucerne. I wish Toyota did this as updates are $200-$300 each.
  • jrjhmjrjhm Posts: 26
    As far as I know, the Lucerne doesn't have a navigation screen.
  • larrymitlarrymit Posts: 80
    Yes it does. A touch-screen nav is an option. I drove a demonstrator with one the other day.
  • jrjhmjrjhm Posts: 26
    I didn't know that. All the info I've read indicated it was strictly voice operated.
  • neil5neil5 Posts: 118
    I have doscussed with friend that has Limited AV with NAV like myself. The NAV is set for highway setting at default, therefore it often will take you out of the way and appears strange at times. If you amend the route to quickest or fastest route it will give you the smaller less traveled routes and will work efficiently...I have re-read the manual and it also states guys be careful once programming a destination set it to fastest or shortest route and you will be fine!!!!
  • dclkdclk Posts: 8
    early 30's, long time toyota driver/supporter, very critical person here,
    been a while since i've visited the forums but if i may i'd like to share a few points:
    OEM car audio/visual products rarely have as many features or are as user friendly as after market (pioneer, alpine, etc) products. for the after market folks, the a/v product is their bread and butter; for the auto makers the a/v is just something to help try and push their primary product (the vehicle), thus the R&D isn't as great. That's also part of reason why OEM a/v systems lag behind on offering features like mp3 input or DVD entertainment systems. traditionally the auto makers always "follow" in these areas and never lead (my opinion).
    even though toyota gets its nav sys from a supplier, that supplier isn't a front runner like many popular after marketers. consider the ac-delco/gm partnership.
    i'm no fan of the non-touchscreen ability of the avalon system. i think the primary reason why avalons have this set-up is because toyota decided to place it in the retro styled dash instead of the traditional upper center console area and it simply is just too far away for the driver/passenger to reach the screen. otherwise it probably would have a camry touchscreen nav sys.
    i bought a new authentic toyota camry touchscreen nav sys last year ($1575) from an e-business and installed it myself in my '03 sequoia (wasn't offered as option in the vehicle until '05). In short, we love it. no it doesn't have every location under the sun, even ones you think should be there since the business has been around for ages, but it may be because the older biz isn't listed in the phonebook (i think many nav disks entries come from this source, but i could be wrong). we travel a lot and our touchscreen sys is invaluable! we haven't used a road atlas since we installed it. it also always doesn't know the shortest route, but as mentioned by another submission, some defaults are set to keep you on major roads and i suspect (like mapquest, et al) it trys to send you through vender heavy tourist areas. and, it is likely impossible for it to know every local shortcut. but when you're in an area that you don't know, are shortcuts important?
    as a sidenote: there is a bypass on the touchscreen systems so that data can be entered while the vehicle is moving. it is part of a hidden service/diagnostic menu (requires touching the screen in a pattern). we use this feature occasionally as the steps have to be performed everytime the vehicle is started. i would think that this capability would be built into the non-touchscreens screens somehow. now i can figure how to get the rear seat dvd to play on the nav screen when in park/emergency brake we'll be even better!
    i've been lusting for an avalon since the redesign. the non-touchscreen and lack of scrolling music info are some of the reasons why i haven't purchased yet (waiting for improvements). but my 4cyl '97 camry is over 107k and still doing well.

  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    If you are as critical as you say, I would keep the 97 Camry, put on new shocks, bushings, etc. buy a LARGE print atlas at AAA, and save a whole boat load of money. The construct of your 97 Camry is far better than anything Toyota is putting out these days unless you have to have all the elctronic gizmos.

  • algeealgee Posts: 78
    Would be nice if you could share the typed instructions.


  • I recently purchased an '06 Avalon w/12,000 mi. with Nav system. The only instructions the dealer had with it is the "Quick Ref Guide." Is it safe to assume there is a more comprehensive manual for the system? If so, any idea what it would cost me via the dealer or if there is a better source?
  • Sounds like a nice purchase! Toyota i-Guide will provide you with an explaination of your cars unique features and technology. Just use the top menu and select cars... it should be pretty easy from there.

    Hope that helps,

  • m8trix--there's a whole book just on the Nav System--dealer should provide. Have fun--I HATE the system--too quirky--sorry I got it
  • gn0me1gn0me1 Posts: 2

    I just bought a new 2007 Avalon Limited this week with the navigation system as an option. I became very irritated when I found out that it is impossible to have the passenger access most of the system while I am driving. I searched all forums I could find but no seemed to have a solution. The only thing I could find was the "Service" menu and the "override" option that works for the touch screen version of the navigation system. I have the "joystick" version so it is no good for me.
    After reading all the posts I could find, I started experimenting with a lot of button combinations trying to find how to access the service menu and eventually I succeded!!!

    I have version 6.1 of the DVD and the "joystick" version (i.e. not touch screen) of the Nav. system.

    Here is how you do it:

    You have to accept the initial warning first, then you follow the steps below (at any time, even while driving).

    1. Press "Menu" button
    2. Select "DVD", this will show you the version of the DVD.
    3. In the joystick, press the arrows in this sequence.
    a. Up
    b. Down
    c. Up
    d. Down
    e. Left
    f. Right
    4. You should now have the "Service" menu on the screen.
    5. Go to override and HOLD the select button down until it changes color (maybe it beeps too, I have sound turned off so I don't know).
    6. Press the "Back" button

    This will allow you to enter addresses while driving and all other options normally greyed out. The procedure must be repeated every time you start the car, but it only takes a few seconds. :-)

    I hope someone finds this information useful, just remember, dont do this while driving, it is for the passenger. ;-)

    (If this has already been posted I apologize, but I really could not find it anywhere else.)
  • niteoneniteone Posts: 41
    thank you thank you..I've been looking for that for months.

    haven't tried it yet, but as soon as I get home, I'l try it.

    thanks again !!
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