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Navigation GPS Systems



  • Would anyone know how I can determine what makes/models offer Navigation Systems? Ideally, I'd like to find a tool that would allow me to check the options I want then provide a list of cars that offer those options. Thanks.
  • nv32nv32 Posts: 35
    I, for one don't know of any tool like that, and it sure would be useful. could do it I bet.

    As far as navigation systems specifically, I think that virtually every maker has at least one model that has navigation as an option.

    Better to ask, I think, which is the better navigation system[s]. This seems to be the consensus from what I and JP Powers have picked up: Alpine, Xanavi and Denso are evidently the best brands. Alpine is used by Acura and probably Honda, and maybe some others. Xanavi, so far as I know, is used only in Nissan and Infinity. Denso is used in Lexus and probably Toyota, and maybe others.

    Some of the features that you might want to look for, they say, are: voice (will it give verbal directions, and can you give it voice commands?), the so-called bird's eye view together with (but only one at a time) the regular flat map view, touch-screen rather than joystick, and number of points of interest included in the system (which seem to range up to about 10 million for the best systems).

    Another thing is whether Navitech, who makes the actual maps for all systems I've heard, has finally mapped the smaller cities and towns in the U.S., not to mention Canada.

    There are updated DVDs that you can buy, about once a year I think, which reflect the additional mapping done if you're not satisfied with the DVD that comes with the car.

    Hope this helps.
  • sledsfosledsfo Posts: 17
    I think you might find the answers to your questions at the following links:

    -which cars offers which NAV systems:

    -what features come with which NAV systems:

    Good luck!
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    It is an incomplete list. Right away, I noticed it didn't even include the Honda Accord, so I wonder which other cars are also missing?
    Didn't realize the Infiniti I35 had a CD-based system.
  • sledsfosledsfo Posts: 17
    I think the chart isn't updated but its the best one I've found on the net so far. Let me know you find a better one.

    I've seen and tested the 2004 Accord NAV. Its on par with the 2004 MDX NAV and should be considering its Honda top of the line sedan. Its got the same size screen, voice activation, 12 million POI, etc. Its improved from the 2003 Accord NAV. As to why Honda didn't put the same system on the their top of the line SUV, beats me except they make more money by including an older Alpine gps and old mapping/POI database.
  • I have just compiled this. If you or others have later info please post. I used Feb 2004 ConsumerGuide Car & Truck Test; Buying Guide 2004. I do not claim to cover trucks. I may have missed some special vehicles.

    Acura TL
    Buick Rendezvous
    Cadillac CTS
    Chrysler 300M
    Chrysler Town & Country
    Ford Expedition
    Honda Accord
    Honda Odyssey
    Honda Pilot
    Infiniti (All)
    Lexus (All)
    Lincoln LS
    Lincoln Navigator
    Mazda 3
    Mercedes Benz (All exc SLK-Class)
    Mini Cooper
    Nissan 350Z
    Nissan Maxima
    Nissan Murano
    Nissan Pathfinder Armada
    Nissan Quest
    Pontiac Vibe
    Porsche (All)
    Toyota 4Runner
    Toyota Avalon
    Toyota Camry
    Toyota Highlander
    Toyota Land Cruiser
    Toyota Matrix
    Toyota Prius
    Toyota Sienna
    Toyota Solara
    Volkswagen Phaeton
    Volkswager Touareg
    Volvo S60
    Volvo S80
    Volvo V70/XC70
    Volvo XC90
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    I am against putting these in least in their current configurations. I think they have the potential to be far more dangerous to other drivers than cell phones. Can you imagine driving down the interstate at 75MPH while the clown next to you is playing with his nav system and taking his eyes off the road? Or, how about the wizard who runs a red light while he is fiddling with his display?? If manufacturers are going to make these things, they need to incorporate a heads up display, or put the LCD right in the drivers line of sight..not in the middle of the dashboard.
    Presently, auto makers are pushing these things because they are making a ridiculous profit on them. Analyze just what your $2000 is really buying. First, there is a $50 microprocessor, a $30 DVD or CD/rom, a small $85 LCD screen,, and a $150 GPS. For a real cost of 3 to 4 hundred dollars, they can make 400% profit...a wildly good deal for them!
    If I am going on a trip, I can map out my route in advance with my $10 Rand and McNalley computer program, and toss my $5 R and M atlas in the car if I want to take a side trip. If I am going someplace in a strange city, I can map that out in advance using Yahoo or Mapquest. I can see a few specific uses for these systems..the real estate saleslady, for example, but for the vast majority of people, they are just another that may someday put them in a serious accident.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    You're missing many cars. For starters, you don't list the Acura TSX or any BMWs.
  • I thought when I started I would capture names of all of them, but I skipped a bunch as I went along and forgot about that.
  • If you drive a 2004 car with a navigation system built-in by the manufacturer, would you please answer until we have the models accounted for which I will list after the question. I am not trying to find this for after-market systems

    Q: Can you force your NAV system to follow you without a)prompting, b) guiding, or c) establishing any destinations? Further explanation: this would just be showing the map, just showing where the car is located on the map and allowing you to glance at it to see current location and direction.

    Acura TL
    Cadillac CTS
    Honda Accord
    Honda Odyssey
    Infiniti G35
    Lexus ES330
    Toyota Avalon
    Toyota Camry
  • Deminin, I agree with your cost breakdown but I don't think Navi systems will be the next hula hoop. I actually think they'll be the next air conditioning or power windows or cruise control, or in other words, a feature that 10 years from now will probably be standard on every car.

    Once I tried one I was hooked and came close to buying an Accord just for this feature, but then luckily I stumbled upon these messages that talked about less expensive Navi options, so now that's the direction I'm heading in.

    I think that anyone who ever grew up watching Batman, Knight Rider or James Bond movies would go ga-ga over Navi. Talk about the ultimate grown up toy! Like any toy, Navi is fun and cool for the kid in us, but practical for the grown-up who hates asking for directions or thumbing through a road map book. I think it will be that way for at least a few more years until the next gizmo comes a long (anti-gravity cars I hope).

    Now I have a question for the board: does anyone know if another company makes something like Honda's voice activation Navi? The idea of just speaking "find me a Chinese restaurant" and having the system come up with the info is just too cool for words.
  • Here's another question: a few people mentioned the idea of just buying a laptop or PDA with a built in GPS and Navigation software. Can anyone suggest some specific models & brands for this sort of thing?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,671
    I opted for the laptop and purchased the Delorme software with Earthmate GPS. I've been really disappointed in it. It doesn't automatically reroute (other than to tell you "Off route!" and "Turn back on" followed by the name of the street you are already on). And I have never had it actually take me to the exact location up to this point. So, needless to say, we still use maps and plan our trips ahead of time.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    The PDA system I was looking into was the Garmin Ique 3600. It has the built in GPS, and it is a Palm v.5.1(?), so you have the best of both worlds. I ended up going with the Garmin Streetpilot 2610, a stand alone GPS sysytem, as I figured in the long run it will benefit me more.

  • The Garmin iQue3600 is definitely the best bargain for a beginner GPS driver that wants versatility and convenience. RadioShack carries them and they are on sell for $550. It’s a big purchase, but it is a PDA/GPS & MP3 Player all in one!!! This thing is awesome and the guys at RadioShack were the best. It’s so fun and easy to use. Turn by turn voice guided directions. It’s easy to justify spending that much when you think about how much a PDA, GPS, & Mp3 player would cost separately. Plus, it has Palm OS so it’s a proven product. Garmin is highly recognizable as the leader in the industry. RadioShack has lots of cool GPS products from Garmin AND Magellan. They have the Roadmate on the web with a really cool demo. Go to RadioShack and buy an iQue3600, you won’t be disappointed.
  • I know that I went a little RS crazy there for a minute, bu they offered me the best deal & they know thier GPS stuff!!!
  • Dont you realize that these systems are like having Yahoo maps or MapQuest in your car, and yes it is illegal to be playing with the GPS while in motion.
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Actually, if you want any of these aftermarket systems shop around. You could get the Ique for around $460-470 online, and the other units are discounted as well. Radio Shack is good for learning, but they charge list.

    BTW-the Garmin 2610 prevents you from doing any route changes while the car is in motion. The most you can do is change from map to text.

  • but do you know or trust these little web dealers? My extra $50 I paid to RadioShack made me confident that I chose the right unit and gave me piece of mind.
  • Thanks for that Garmin info! If I buy one I would probably get it from Radio Shack because they are one of the stores I like to support. Can you imagine a world where there wasn't a Radio Shack down the street?
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Actually, I have bought items over the internet, but only from reputable dealers. Look for a vendor that has a good bizrate rating (kind of the internets BBB). Like anything else, you have to be careful. Radio Shack is great for accessories, batteries, Directv, stuff like that, but in my opinion for a GPS system you should look around; especially since they do not offer most models.
  • pegleggerpeglegger Posts: 40
    I would recommend GPS Outfitters as a place for reference if you go with the Garmin iQue 3600. I love my unit, but I have to admit that I stumbled through map installation, etc. GPS Outfitters sells a tutorial CD-Rom that would have really helped me up-front, but I still have found a lot of value in it. is there website.

    I love the portability, the size, and the convenience of having all my Palm stuff in the same unit (plus you can link your existing contacts to their map locations!). It's awesome. You will have to buy additional stuff to make it really work (memory, for sure....512 MB SD card for about $140 or so; travel kit for about $80, etc.)

    MP3 not sure about yet...I'll probably just use a stand-alone MP3 versus tying up this unit with music (which would probably justify another SD card).

    Just my two cents....
  • I have learned from responses that the Honda Accord nav system will simply follow, showing vehicle location and direction.

    I was assured that the Toyota Camry will also.

    The system on Lexus cars will also do this.

    I think there is a very good chance that all of them will operate without forcing you to accept "guidance." My quest is over.
  • mushroommushroom Posts: 6
    Because I know little about GPS nav systems, I need some advice. Here is what I need:

    *Simplicity: not so many little buttons, I don't want to spend alot of time learning the thing.

    *Something with few bugs.

    *Accuracy: Closest approximation of your exact location as possible. I don't know if they differ on this...

    *Not handheld, and screen big enough to easily read whatever's on it.

    The ones that come with new cars are nice, just how they are built-in. I'd prefer to have one built-in, but if there is a good one that I can buy separately, that's fine too. Does anyone know the name of the manufacturers for car makers? Like GM, Mercedes, or any company you know of. Either that or does anyone know where to find this info besides bugging the salesmen about it when i don't intend to buy their car?

    I don't care about price.

    I hope some of you can help me out. Thanks for reading.
  • cwalker29cwalker29 Posts: 20
    I am your GPS expert. You have many great options because price is not an option.

    Auto Handheld: Garmin iQue3600
    Sports Handheld: Magellan SporTrak

    Since you have requested no handheld, I suggest:

    Magellan Roadmate 700 - $1200
    (works outta the box, all NA)
    Magellan Roadmate 500 - $900
    (you have to download)

    Garmin StreetPilot 2620 - $1500
    (works outta the box, all NA)
    Garmin StreetPilot 2610 - $1100
    (have to download)

    Both have turn-by-turn voice guided directions, and a full database of restaurants, landmarks, and personal saved waypoints.

    Basically it will all come down to which form factor, screen, control, brand use prefer. I like the Magellan form factor and control better but prefer the Garmin software and brand. Your choice. If money really isnt an option I suggest you purchase both, for trial and error to see which unit best suits your needs. Any other questions? oh yeah RadioShack has them all.

    Oh yeah and I wouldnt knock the iQue just yet, until you try it, enormous value at $550. It uses the same software as the ones double the price.
  • mushroommushroom Posts: 6
    That's exactly what I was looking for. I'll check out all of them. Thanks!
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Have any of you that have or have used a car navigation system found that placement of homes in some neighborhoods is incorrect?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    There is an excellant article in the current Scientific American on the GPS system and upgrades they are doing to it. We will see the results in 2005. GPS systems (receivers) will have to be replaced to benefit from these vast improvements.
  • cwalker29cwalker29 Posts: 20
    Has dropped the price of the Garmin iQue3600 to only $499 on the web at
  • swingerjayswingerjay Posts: 22
    I need to know HOW MANY waypoints specific brands & models of cars allow you to set for their guidance system (audio and video). For example, 2004 Lexus 330 allows a total of FIVE (5). Lexus calls them destinations. For example, how many waypoints or destinations, for GUIDANCE, does a 2004 Toyota Camry (with its factory option nav system) allow you to set? Only owners are going to be able to find this out. Please see if you can find out for any model and post here. I need year, brand, model number and then how many waypoints or destinations its system will GUIDE you to. Thanks.
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