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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,097
    >backup camera that I can view even if I'm driving 70 mph down the highway. That's interesting. It turns on automatically whenever I shift into reverse,

    At first I had a picture of your shifting into reverse at 70 mph to turn on the camera! :confuse:

    What kind of process do you go through to download the updates for the system? This sounds like what's in a Town and Country a friend is thinking of buying and he's not very techcapable. Send email if you feel this is going off topic.
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    At first I had a picture of your shifting into reverse at 70 mph to turn on the camera!

    :D That did sound a bit misleading. I corrected the wording. You just have to be in FM mode and press the on/off button twice to turn it on whenever you want. It's part of an aftermarket kit called MyGIG Lockpick.

    Here's a site for MyGIG updates: Unofficial MyGIG Information Site

    To update the application software or Gracenotes you download the file to your PC. It can be as large as 370 MB or more. You then have to burn it to a DVD. The update installs automatically when you insert the DVD and takes around 15-20 minutes. Detailed instructions are on the website.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I may look at the 2009 Sonata, but since I would prefer factory installed bluetooth, it will put it lower on the list.
    So far, the likelihood is:

    2009 Malibu LT/LTZ 4 cylinder
    2009 Camry LE with VSC and JBL (JBL required for factory bluetooth)
    2009 Camry SE or XLE with VSC and JBL (less likely because no folding rear seat)
    2008/2009 Camry Hybrid with JBL. (less likely because I would prefer a full sized trunk).
    2008 Accord LX-P (less likely, because I would prefer something quieter and with integrated bluetooth)
    2009 Sonata 4 cylinder Limited or GLS (less likely because no fully integrated bluetooth and Hyundai resale might be worse than even the Malibu). I might still buy it for the right price.
    2009 Malibu Hybrid (less likely because the hybrid adds only a couple MPG and makes the trunk pass through a bit smaller, though much less of a problem than the Camry Hybrid's trunk). Why bother with it for 2 MPG?

    Not really considering any other sedans like Altima, Sebring, Galant, Legacy, Fusion etc because they have deal breaker issues that I will not compromise on, so I won't even bother to test drive them.

    The 2010 Fusion that comes out in January 2009 may be OK, but I may not wait that long before making a purchase.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Not really considering any other sedans like Altima, Sebring, Galant, Legacy, Fusion etc because they have deal breaker issues that I will not compromise on, so I won't even bother to test drive them.


    Not trying to change your mind, but I was wondering what your issues are with these vehicles...just curious, I guess...
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I must have stability control, and decent gas mileage and I prefer to have factory bluetooth and at least average cargo carrying ability.
    The regular 4 cylinder Altima isn't available with VSC, and the hybrid has a tiny trunk that doesn't even have a pass-through for long objects. At least the Camry Hybrid has a fold down rear seat with a small opening to allow you to car long objects that fit through the opening and you can stack more stuff on the fold down rear seats without damaging the cushions.
    Several of the cars like the Fusion and Galant don't have VSC and the Galant is too ugly anyway. I don't like the way the Sebring/Stratus looks inside or out and reviews are mostly bad and resale will probably be worse than even a Hyundai Sonata. I don't need all wheel drive especially with a 4-speed automatic and so-so gas mileage of the Legacy that's worse than a V6 in some other cars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    Given your stated requirements, I'm a little surprised the Sonata isn't higher on your list: standard ESC, excellent fuel economy for its class, quiet ride, and one of the biggest trunks (and interiors) in its class with a 60/40 rear seat. Having that factory Bluetooth vs. a dealer-installed unit must be very important to you?
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Maybe I might put the Sonata one level higher above the Accord LX-P because the Honda road noise is a big turn off and I'm pretty sure the Sonata will be quieter even if not as quiet as the Camry and Malibu. The high Honda resale and expected top reliability is mostly what's keeping the Accord off the bottom.

    I haven't test driven a 2009 4 cylinder Sonata yet, but it doesn't have full-integrated factory bluetooth and I will have to drive it to see how it compares to the others.
    I can "live with" the dealer-installed bluetooth, so it's still on the list, but it's lower down the list since both the Camry and Malibu have all the features I want.
    I won't use the back seat that often, so the advantage of a bigger back seat over the Malibu isn't a big plus and the Camry is quite roomy in the back, so the Sonata has no advantage over the Camry in that item. If I didn't have to order and wait 8 weeks to get an LE with VSC and JBL and it drove and handled as nicely as the Malibu, I would just get the Camry without hesitating or looking at anything else.
    I might have to order the Malibu to get the exact combination of features I want in a specific color, but there is probably at least a 50% chance they will be able to locate it in stock from another dealer.

    To get the Sonata, I will have to like it at least as much as the Camry and pay much less so the net after resale is still in it's favor.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    MyGig sounds a lot like Ford's SYNC. I guess one of the big differences is it costs about 3x as much.
    I still don't get the idea of having a hard drive in a car. I couldn't believe how long it took to copy a CD to the drive. You also couldn't listen to the CD or any audio source while it was doing it.
    One of the issues with all the systems is that they are very dependent on the meta-data associated with the audio file. When my friend put a burned CD, gracenotes couldn't find the songs.
    I was also very surprised at the number of features that are locked out while driving in MyGig (and if you look at my posts on the cell phone debate, I am pretty conservative). I can understand blocking streaming video or an address entry task, but it wouldn't let me select playlists. I also don't really care for the way it organizes music.
    SYNC doesn't organize anything it just uses the structure that is on your personal device (read: iPod).
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I have found that the usability of the built in integrated units is better. Most of the current OEM nav systems have relatively large screens that offer much larger on screen controls. Most of the newer ones offer voice activation and recognition as well as having voice prompts to the driver for when to turn, etc. The coolest of the OEM systems have real time traffic and some can re-route based on that information.
    Having a Garmin with a 3-4" display is helpful while traveling, but if you rely on a nav system a lot, I would think it would be worth the bucks for a simpler, easier to use interface.
    There are some other differences too, like the warranty on the hand held units is like a year, and the one built in is 3-10 years depending on the manufacturer. There are also federal requirements that apply to the built in systems (and some other industry guidelines) that the hand-helds don't need to worry about (well, at least until they start getting sued).
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I think the old Accord's touch screen nav may have been much easier to use, but the new 2008 Accord's nav with the the knob you twist and select menus and sub menus is pretty complicated. You have to study the manual to use. It has no traffic either.
    I bought a portable Garmin with traffic for less than $400 last fall and it was very simple to use. I could get a nicer unit for the same price this year.

    After seeing 2008 Accord's nav in action it wasn't worth the premium of jumping from an LX-P to an EX-L to get that system. That is several thousand dollars. Not worth that many bucks when you didn't want the EX-L trim's other extras and I would lose access to traffic service with it anyway. Then I was turned off by the EX-Ls many rattles and won't consider it with or without nav.

    One thing I was surprised to hear is that many of automobile systems that do have traffic only "show" you the traffic, they don't route around it automatically like the Garmin does. A new generation Acura nav is offering that as a new feature and I couldn't believe their current system wasn't doing that all along.

    I have never heard of any car that has a warranty on nav or even an extended warranty on it for 10 years. Not that you would want to be still using a 10-year old nav system anyway. It will be a very antiquated system in 10 years even if the manufacturer would still sell you updated maps for it after that period.
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    You might also consider the Saturn Aura. Its a kissing cousin to the Malibu. I just bought an Aura XE with the low tech 3.5V6 to use for my business travel. It offers good fuel economy and still makes 224 HP.
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    I couldn't believe how long it took to copy a CD to the drive.

    It takes around 10 minutes to copy an entire CD to the HD. I've been putting all my music CDs on the drive so I won't have to bother with carrying them around. The initial setup takes a bit of effort but then I have everything available in one place.

    When my friend put a burned CD, gracenotes couldn't find the songs.

    The Gracenote database is constantly being updated. Updates can be downloaded for free and burned to a DVD to update the MyGIG database. The dealer might charge to do this or I've heard Harman Becker (the MyGIG manufacturer) will mail out an update disc on request. I'm not sure if they charge for that.

    I can understand blocking streaming video or an address entry task, but it wouldn't let me select playlists. I also don't really care for the way it organizes music.

    Hmm...I don't have any trouble selecting albums from my playlist as I'm driving along. The only thing related to the playlist that it won't let me do while driving is to rename one. It has something to do with the keyboard screen being disabled while in motion. The same block also disables inputting street names while driving.

    I've gotten around that by installing a plug-in module called a MyGIG Lockpick. Like the name implies, it unlocks features that would normally only be accessible when in park. When it blocks me from renaming a playlist after I've copied a CD while driving I just toggle the on/off button twice and the Lockpick overrides any blocks.

    I can understand why it would block this feature. I'm surprised at how difficult it is to drive in a straight line while trying to type something on that screen. If a cop saw me I'd probably get pulled over, thinking I was drunk. :D I never use the keyboard when any other traffic is anywhere near me.

    The reason I don't think the playlist select option is blocked by default while in motion is that I never have to toggle the on/off button to select an album. Also, the playlists are arranged in alphabetical order. I group things together by artist. For instance, I'll name any Eagles CDs "Eagles Long Road Home" or "Eagles Greatest Hits", etc. You said something about not liking the way it organizes music.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I bought a portable Garmin with traffic for less than $400 last fall and it was very simple to use. I could get a nicer unit for the same price this year.

    Verzion just announced VZNAV v4 with traffic and a ton of other enhancements for the same $9.99/mo. And I don't have to worry about updating my maps. :surprise
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I tried the cell phone nav systems and it had several problems. You have to have an unlimited data plan, so add the cost is the data plan plus the $9.99 per month. It cannot be used when you are out of the cell coverage area because the maps are streamed wirelessly, and it would drop the connection to the navigation service whenever you had to make or receive a call. Even though they keep the data on their servers, they are very slow to update their points of interest database. I still had to lookup many stores and restaurants by other methods.
    Way too clunky.
  • motoguy128motoguy128 Posts: 146
    Built in navigaton isn't a great idea. In 6-10 years it will be obsolete like any computer based system. I wish there was an option of "navigation ready" with more stadardization in the handheld GPS market in terms of power connections and dimensions... similar to car stereos. Then you could have a well integrated GPS system WITH handsfree bluetooth for your phone.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Built in navigaton isn't a great idea. In 6-10 years it will be obsolete like any computer based system.

    Each to his own, I guess...However, I disagree with you on this one.

    To many, it makes a lot of sense. Built-in units are much more apt to remain in the vehicle (ie., not stolen), and quite convenient for those who use them in their everyday travels, such as salespeople. And, in many cars, they already provide the desire you stated above...a well integrated GPS system WITH handsfree bluetooth for your phone.

    As for being obsolete, you can also use that logic with almost anything electronic...even radios. In a few short years, all cars will have HD radio as standard, and just like digital TV is eliminating analog TV in 2009, the same will happen to radio later on down the line.

    I'm not trying to pick your opinion apart here, but attempting to show why, to many, a built-in system is "value-added".

    In my opinion, its an option that I chose to buy. Yes, I paid more for it than a portable unit, but I also got more...so, for me, it was the right choice.

    Its all in how you view it, I guess....
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    I just got back from a trip and saw about 4 or 5 new Accords on the expressway and followed a couple for awhile. I like the front and side views, in fact, when an Accord came up on me in my rear view mirror I was like, wow that is pretty cool looking. However, I have concluded that the rear view of the car is just plain ugly(IMHO). I found it so ugly that I have crossed it off my list of possibles. Mazda just increased their rebate to $2750 on the "6" so even though it is long in the tooth and is to be replaced by an all new model shortly, it is looking better and better.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    The truth is, nobody's going to break in to steal a TomTom that's scuffed and weathered after a few months of use(even new, they sell for $100 on Ebay)

    And you can just yank it from the cradle and drop it in your pocket or center console out of sight. 5 seconds.

    It amazes me that people spend $2000 for something that you can buy at Best Buy for $200.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Once again, you are entitled to your own opinion. And, I am sure that you also purchase things that others would be amazed by as well.

    However, I would hazard to guess that many of the readers on this forum would disagree about the theft assessment. Some folks will steal anything that they can get their hands on, valuable or not....

    You obviously have formulated the opinion that anyone who disagrees with you on this issue is automatically wrong and quite possibly somewhere between ignorant and stupid, and that is your right...so be it.

    In any case, you don't have to look beyond the NAV-equipped new car sales figures to see that a factory installed NAV system is popular. If it wasn't a desired option, those cars equipped with them would simply sit on a lot and not sell...

    So, I suggest that you enjoy your portable NAV system and let those who prefer a factory unit enjoy theirs....
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You have to have an unlimited data plan, so add the cost is the data plan plus the $9.99 per month.

    No you don't and for my usage it's all you can eat navigation and minutes free while I'm using the application. My plan is about 1 year old and I don't have a data plan.

    Cell phone navigation may not be for everybody, it works perfectly for me and I never have to worry about software updates. And my navigation device is always with me. :) And it supports bluetooth and mp3s.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Cell phone navigation may not be for everybody, it works perfectly for me and I never have to worry about software updates. And my navigation device is always with me. And it supports bluetooth and mp3s.

    I am glad to hear from someone who has used this service. I made sure both of my daughters had NAV compatible phones from Verizon, just in case they ever needed to use them.

    "Portability on the hip" is a definite advantage that this implementation offers...
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    I don't think the average dumb punk that is smashing and grabbing the portable navs is going up to the car window and taking the time to see just what model/brand the unit is. I think they just drive through lots and see one and jump out, smash the window, grab the unit and get out of of Dodge. They probably do this all the time and realize that some are not worth what others are worth but work the average.
    I have read that they are smart enough however to realize that the owners of these items just remove from the holder and put in the center console or glove compartment. So they are even going as far as looking for the telltale suction cup marks on the windshield and if they see it, they are breaking in to see if the unit is in the car. If not, they steal whatever else is available.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Its my opinion that anyone who thinks that crooks are stupid have that opinion at their own peril. Auto break-ins are the stuff of daily news shows here in South Carolina, and much more so in highly urbanized areas.

    I also have a portable Garmin,and there is NO WAY that I would leave it unattended in a car, even in my driveway, doors locked and all. I don't even leave coins out in the open...

    Why would anyone tempt a thief to break a window (or do much worse) by leaving an attractive device out in plain view? And, like you stated, even if all that is visible is the mount, a thief knows the unit is more than likely also in the vehicle...
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    In my area, they are breaking out windows of cars that have the telltale suction cup marks on the windshield. Doesn't matter if they can see the unit or not - nor does it matter how old it is. If the unit is with the owner and not in the car, obviously it doesn't get stolen, but the owner still needs to deal with the damage.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    You can't tell me "no you don't need an unlimited plan" because I have used it and seen the prices and got the bill. You need an unlimited plan one way of the other. Sprint has a Power Pack package that gives you unlimited data and unlimited for a fixed price, but it isn't $9.99 per month. It's $30 on top of the voice plan. AT&T charges $9.99 per month for navigation, but you need unlimited data plan or you will be charged per kb and it will get very expensive. It isn't practical to use it without an unlimited data plan.

    Even if you personally have a special deal, it isn't the norm and exceptions aren't helpful to most people.

    Regardless, even if it was only $9.99 on top of a standard voice plan and no extra cost data was needed, cost wasn't the major issue and wouldn't change the experience at a different price, so it doesn't matter now.

    Since it was a little bit of a hassle to hide the portable nav from theft, I decided to see if any alternatives would be worth it. I tried the cellphone based service and I lost access to navigation when I was out of the coverage area and I lost the navigation when I needed to answer or make a call. The database they use for business lookup was poor even though it's on their servers and they could update if they were inclined to, but have elected not to. That is too much inconvenience even for a cheap price.

    I then looked at the built-in navigation in the Accord EX-L Navi and it wasn't intuitive at all. I was able to use the Garmin out of the box without looking at any manuals.
    I could probably read the manual and figure out most the Honda's nav system in an hour, but the cost is ridiculous especially since I really only wanted an LX_P. It is at least $6K to upgrade from an LX-P to an EX-L with Navi. You get leather and other extras for the money, but I didn't want or need the other options.
    Also, both EX-L Accords I drove had rattles and the Navi model had an additional rattle around the Navi's disc drive, so I have been turned off from the EX-Ls for good.

    So, I am not so desperate to not have to hide the Garmin as to accept a cellphone nav or pay for an EX-L with nav.

    There is Garmin Nuvi cell phone coming
    image
    and maybe there will be an Apple iPhone with built-in gps nav in the future that will be great and I'll can always try those when the come out, but there is nothing available right now that's worth it to me.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You can't tell me "no you don't need an unlimited plan" because I have used it and seen the prices and got the bill. You need an unlimited plan one way of the other.

    You are incorrect on this one. I have a standard family share nationwide plan. A few months ago I headed out west. I was in the car a total of 15 hours r/t and had VZ Nav on 100% of the time. When I got my bill that month and the next month, Total was $9.99 and $9.99. This is Verizon Wireless not AT&T. You have to understand how Verizon charges. Last year around Sept. they made air-time and data usage of VZ Nav free and unlimited. Every month my bill for VZNav is the same: $9.99. While I may be a "special" person, I don't have a special deal. VZW mixes things constantly, but this is my current plan.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    but the owner still needs to deal with the damage.

    That's why I always use the bean bag type holder that just lays on the dash. I only use my Magellan on long trips where I don't know the area so I simply remove the unit(take with) and place the holder/mount down in the footwell or behind the front seat. My interior is black and the holder/mount are black so it is very difficult to even see it if one stops and peers into the car.

    You're both right about not leaving anything out in plain sight.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    I agree that there are some smart crooks out there but I don't really think they are the ones that are smash/grabbers. I think the smash/grabbers are just opportunistic....relying on the mistakes(spelled trusting) of others. It's sad that one can't leave anything of value in their car anymore without being labeled a dummy.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    From the Verizon VZ Navigator web-site...

    Getting Started
    Download VZ Navigator on your phone, and subscribe for a monthly rate of $9.99 or use it when needed for $2.99 a day. (Per Day option not available on BlackBerry devices) VZ Navigator is pre-installed on some Verizon Wireless phones, and some have a shortcut to the application from the phone's main menu called 'Navigation'. See Get VZ Navigator for further information and download instructions


    No where can I find that Verizon has any pre-conditions (other than a compatible phone) such as a special or unlimited minutes plan....

    From the Sprint web-site...

    Q: How do I find/purchase Sprint Navigation?
    A: Sprint users must subscribe to a data plan in order to use Sprint Navigation. If you already have a data plan, click here to learn how to download Sprint Navigation.

    If you do not already have a data plan, you can sign up for one by doing one of the following:

    Go to the www.sprint.com and sign in to "My Sprint Wireless" to upgrade to a Power Vision Data Plan that includes Navigation
    Call 1-800-SPRINT1 to upgrade to a Power Vision Data Plan or purchase Sprint Navigation for $9.99/month *
    Go to a store and ask to upgrade to a Power Vision Data Plan or purchase Sprint Navigation for $9.99/month *
    *Note: Without a data plan, Sprint Navigation will incur data usage costs.


    From the AT&T web-site...

    AT&T Navigator
    AT&T Navigator Basic: $5.99 per month per device for 10 routes*
    AT&T Navigator Premium: $9.99 per month per device for unlimited routes*

    *A route is determined when a user types in the address of their destination in the AT&T Navigator application. The route would be from their starting location to the address/destination they originally entered into the application. That would be considered 1 route. If you miss a turn, re-routes are automatically sent to your device and are still considered part of the original route.


    Don't know about any other carriers...

    Can you supply any info that contradicts this information? I would like to know, as my daughters may need to use this some day...
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I sat in a Malibu LTZ today. I'll make this quick-

    I liked the interior. The gauges seemed a little small (just because I'm used to my larger ones probably, not a biggie). There were some cheap touches inside. The door covering the cupholders was flimsy, the moonroof cover didn't seem to set it place well, and a $29k car with no rear-seat armrest? My $19k 12 year old Honda has one! C'mon Chevy, get with it! Overall though, it was a good effort.

    One problem? SIZE! The back seat of the Malibu was tighter on my legs than my 2006 Accord, which isn't a huge car in the first place. It had a claustrophobic feel all over, even though the front was plenty roomy.

    I'm trying to be objective towards the Malibu, but I must admit it was difficult. I was at my local Chevy dealer (Premiere Chevrolet in Bessemer, AL) redeeming a "free oil change" coupon which I used on my old '96 Accord. Unfortunately, I spent two hours waiting on my car to be serviced, and while I was there, roaming the lot and checking out cars, NOT ONE EMPLOYEE spoke to me. In fact, the only friendly people there were the cashier in the service dept, and the service tech who brought my car around. They covered my driver's seat in grease, but the service tech managed to get it out (thank you Scott!).

    I had forgotten how spoiled I am by two other dealers in my town (Serra Honda, and Town and Country Ford). Premiere Chevrolet simply sucks!

    EDIT: On a side note, the dealership (a large one along the interstate) only had 4 Malibus; two LTZ V6s and two LT1s. They had probably 3 dozen Cobalts and 70 Silverados, however.
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