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Mazda CX-9 GPS and Navigation



  • mkraus63mkraus63 Posts: 1
    I just bot a new CX-9 this week and I am currently stumbling through the NAV and the Audio set-ups. We were told that the CD player was able to hold six CDs, however, this does not seem to be the case. The NAV manual refers to a single disc player. Is that what one gives up by taking the NAV option?
  • spddare65spddare65 Posts: 7
    I was under the impression, when I got mine, that it was a six CD changer also. I'm not sure why I was under that impresion; I don't know if that's what I was told or if I just presumed it. In any case, I love the car but that voice activated navigation can drive you drink.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Read the website carefully.
    I am sorry but your impression was wrong.
    On 2009-2010 CX9, the NAVI came/come with 1-cd player.
    However, most people do MP3 now. The Player is capable of reading MP3. One CD with 7-800MB can handle about 200 songs. Sure, if you have 6-CDs player, you could have 1200 songs available to you, but do you really have that many you frequently play?
    I would say that that was the reasoning of Mazda.

    The navi system was moved from cargo area to the center stack. There is not enough room to accommodate both 6-CD player and the navi unit. Therefore, one has to go. Therefore, 6-CD player was reduced to a 1-CD player.
  • memasteracmemasterac Posts: 5
    edited June 2010
    The voice activation/voice command of the CX-9 is indeed a joke, useless piece of $hit. The general user interface of the OEM navigation is not much better. No one has yet to figured out how to successfully input the destination address while driving (by the passenger, for example) whether by cutting wires or a hybrid disc. Since you can't type the address on the go and the voice command is useless, then you are stuck and your only choice is to stop so your passenger can type the address for you? LMAO! My Lexus GS350, on the other hand, also a Denso, but I can do either a wire cutting or hybrid disc for the address input on the go. The Lexus voice command is also much better than the CX-9 because I actually can talk to the GPS for a destination address.

    I always bring my TomTom while go on a long trip to the unfamiliar places... The portable GPS is much easier to use. I am also thinking about to purchase the Caska unit to replace my POS Mazda BOSE navigation head unit.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    "No one has yet to figured out how to successfully input the destination address while driving (by the passenger, for example) whether by cutting wires or a hybrid disc."

    You know that because you have searched the entire internet?
    I know enough to do it, but I just haven't found the need to yet. ;)
    Not a problem for me. Pull over.
  • ceric, I searched enough to say at least no one has yet to put up a step-by-step written solution on the web. I read you have couple theories to cut speed wire and pulse-generator but to me they are not really helpful unless its a step-by-step. You mind to share? :)

    My lazy [non-permissible content removed] is too heavy to pull over, haha.
  • This Nav system is by far the WORST GPS I have ever used. The maps stink and are not synced to the direction of the car. IE south is down north it up so you are not oriented to the map like all common GPS units. I use my Garmin when I drive my wife's CX 9. IT is so easy and up to date. The Mazda attempt at GPS should have been to sub it someone who knew which end was up. Literally!!
  • You can change the orientation so it works "normally". Can't remember how but it's in this thread somewhere - I had the same problem at one point.
  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    Mazda does not make the GPS unit themselves, they do sub-contract it out. Which happens to be the same company that makes them for Toyota/Lexus vehicles. So if you are pissed off about the GPS unit, be pissed at yourself for not playing around with it or done research before purchasing the vehicle. Or be pissed at Denso which makes the GPS unit for Mazda.
  • I had the same problem. First calibrate the unit. Press MENU button, then go to Navigation Setup-->Calibration. Once done, go back to the Main map screen and click on the red compass in the top left corner.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    So, you are mad at the GPS because you did not read the manual?
    Press the compass at the upper-left corner. It toggles between north-oriented and heading-oriented. Same for Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus' GPS unit.
    As Davicho said, Denso makes GPS for Lexus/Toyota. Our GPS is closer to Lexus' ones than Toyota's, albeit some functions were removed. So, consider it a "stripped" version of Lexus GPS unit.

    Map stinks? Yes. Your map could be old.
    If your CX9 came with very old map, you should call Mazda corporate. They usually can reimburst you or send you a new disc. For example, if your 2010 came with a 2006.v1 map, you well-deserve a new disc. ;)
  • ditty4ditty4 Posts: 2
    Hey, Don't get me wrong, i love my CX9 and like everything about it other than the worse nav system on the market. It does have some nice features with integrating some other functions of the car, but the NAV portion is terrible (and yes, i have read the manual and i know everything about the system)
    1) I have a 2010 with the latest disks and it will route me out of the way by 20 miles on a 5 mile trip no matter what road preference I take. It is so unreliable, I can no longer use it for directions. I just use the map to watch where I am.
    2) the changes of scales is criptically slow, it takes for ever to change the screen. All other cars I have change immediately when zooming in or out
    3) How in the world can you turn off the annoying exit info on the right side of the screen when you are on an interstate.

    While you are at it, there is no quick way to turn off the Bluetooth speaker phone. It is terrible when you have a car full of people and want to instally shut off the BT speaker to have a private conversation.

    Does anyone know of a FW upgrade for the units that might fix these issues?
  • kbedwardskbedwards Posts: 41
    The only FW upgrade is to buy an easy-to-use, much faster, much more accurate MUCH cheaper Garmin unit unfortunately. Even the lowliest crappiest Garmin unit will be a major upgrade to the Denso. :)

    And no, you should NOT have to read the manual to change something as simple as the heading indicator/map view. Anyone that says that has not used a Garmin or similar unit, which is so intuitive, my 71 year old mother can figure it out (both directionally and electronically challenged to say the least) without reading a manual.

    Also love, LOVE the CX-9, but the whole nav/A/V system is horrific IMO. Truly an Achilles heel (though on the newer models, surely they fixed this?)
  • citivascitivas Posts: 144
    I'm bummed to hear the nav system hasn't improved in the last three years. This may really end up being the deal breaker for me and getting the CX9 as my next car.

    I did extensive research and test driving of pretty much every 3-row crossover SUV on the market 3 years ago before settling on the 2009 Pilot. I hated the exterior and interior of the Pilot and the drive is just ok. I loved driving the CX-9 and preferred the look. But I couldn’t get over the crappy tech. The nav system sucked then too, as did the inability to have both sat radio and use of the AUX port (without after-market solutions) and the inability to have real on-screen control of full iPod’s via direct UPS-connections at the time (have they at least fixed that?). The AC controls were limited too.

    Some people couldn’t believe I would chose my least favorite car by look or drive over tech, but I think the dealers who thing people only make decisions based on look and feel are living in the past. The Pilot had by far the best tech package in 2009 (it took until the next year even for the MDX to catch-up) and it was the deciding factor. Now I was hoping three years later I could have my cake and eat it too but maybe not.

    Let me just say I LOVE my nav system on the Pilot. I am a gadget-freak who has been using car GPS systems since the earliest days and still own a portable unit for my wife’s car and our traveling. I have used many built-in systems and won’t buy a car until I have extensively tested the nav system in real world conditions. And I have owned every major portable brand, usually the top-end unit. With all that, the nav system in the MDX/Pilot (and now the new Odyssey) is the best I have ever used. My wife, who is not a techie, loves it too and borrows my car whenever she has to go somewhere unfamiliar, despite having the latest Garmin after-market solution. It blows our Garmin away. I was skeptical that the navigation wheel (also used by BMW) would be better than the touch screen but now that I’ve used both it is clearly superior for most real-world use. And Honda doesn’t make the unit virtually useless by with the nanny-feature of locking it down while the car is in motion (hello, have you ever heard of a passenger being able to program it while the car is moving)?

    I guess the rant is I find it so disappointing that after three more years they haven’t prioritized fixing this. Honda licenses its nav from a third party too and there is nothing stopping other car brands from doing the same. Assuming Toyota stuck with the same system too, I’ll probably rule it out as well. I’ll test drive them both again of course, but they will have to be spectacular to cause me to given up my Honda/Acura nav system. Bummer, because I really liked the CX-9.
  • kikatkikat Posts: 4

    I agree, the CX-9 deserves a better navigation system. Mazda (or better Denso) had over three years now to get this straight, but miserably failed.

    What most people don't realize is that the touch screen can be used in map mode for data entry while driving!

    This works well (1) by selecting the icon of a stored address, or (2) when you quickly want to enter a far away destination. In any case, the map zooms in to 1/2 mile mode and you can confirm your data entry. Just try it.

    Ceric, if you read this, can you point me in the right direction where to install the switch for the speed sensor? How do I locate the sensor cable? (Now that the warranty is up, I'm going to tackle the hack...)
  • I am seriously considering a CX-9 GT AWD w/ NAV, but the dealer doesn't pre-load the NAV DVD into the vehicles till purchased. So I can't test the NAV - I was told it could not be used while the vehicle is in motion - you saying otherwise? Since I can't try it myself, can you explain how you access it?

    This is a deal breaker for me - I drive an Acura and my wife is always entering addresses or searching while in the passenger seat, and to lose that would not be acceptable.

  • If you disconnect the speed sensor cable you can use it while driving but, that's a hassle, could void your new vehicle warranty and seriously impacts the units ability to track movement when there is no clear satellite signal.. In addition, the voice recognition system is so poor that it is virtually useless. If the nav is a deal breaker go with the the cx9's cousin the ford edge. The two vehicles are built on the same platform and the navigation and voice recognition is outstanding.
  • citivascitivas Posts: 144
    The Edge isn't in the same category as the CX-9 because it is only a two row 5-seat vehicle.

    The comparable CUV's to the CX-9 would be the rjust re-designed Explorer or the quirky Flex. I just test drove the Explorer and played with the Microsoft Sync-based nav and tech system at CES this year and on a Lincoln rental for a week a couple months ago. The new Explorer has some sweet new tech and features. But the drive was just okay. And the Sync system was a double-edged sword. On paper it is really cool but the UI is very, very buggy. Just Google and see for yourself -- there are thousands of posts about it and I experienced it first-hand. I even sat in the demo next to the engineer at CES who was giving all the video interviews and made her red faced when I pointed out a bunch of bugs she couldn't explain (I wasn't trying to be mean, honestly, I really wanted to see if they had an explanation which they didn't other than to admit it was still a work in progress).

    More importantly, the Ford nav system has the same nanny-feature as the Mazda and Toyota and will disable most touch-input when moving. The voice commands are better than the Mazda/Toyota but still a far substitute from full menu control.

    Good luck with your search; it sounds like you are in the exact same boat I am. Have you not been happy with the MDX? I would definitely get it myself, and may still, if the third row and middle second row wasn’t so uncomfortable. I also don’t like the MPG. It does have the best nav system on the market though for certain. The Ford system has potential and may eventually be corrected with updates but I’m not sure I want to count on that.
  • tigger5753tigger5753 Posts: 43
    I have a TSX, and also considering the MDX as well. I do favor the MDX because of the brand, the SH-AWD, the NAV/Voice recognition, and service - but it's also the most $$$, and it lacks some key features as push button start, built in remote start, panoramic moonroof - all options that vehicles I am also cross shopping have (CX-9, Explorer, Sorento).

    I too find the Ford Sync impressive but quirky and buggy, but it has the roomiest and easiest to access 3rd row, yet I fear a 1st year vehicle. Acura's voice recognition is amazing... CX-9 has the best feature/value combo, but it's poor NAV, and lack of voice recognition doesn't make it a clear cut choice.
  • jake64jake64 Posts: 2
    The SUV is great, but The CX-9 NAV systemm is horrible.
  • Does any know how to have the Navigation system on my new Mazda CX-9 2011 display the current road speed limit? I read the manual, and could not find out how...
  • The GPS, among the many flaws, will not post speed. You can see your speed by pressing the INFO button, and the speed will display on the dash display with your AC information.
  • I agree the Navigation system is terrible. The cheapest portible on the market is better than this. The sad thing is that the system could be good. The system has most of the needed informations such as roads, points of interest, and towns. But the system refuses to give this information to the user. This was a wasted $1800, that annoys me every time I step in the vehicle.
  • mmsfrmmsfr Posts: 2
    my cx-9 came with map DVD from 2009. How do I update the inof and if I should look for a newer DVD or can download it? Also it seems that once loaded the car wants to have this DVD to be inserted all the time. Is this true?
  • ditty4ditty4 Posts: 2
    Mazda is no different than anyone else. You update your maps by ordering new DVDs. There is no down load fucntion like some stand-alone GPS units that you can hook up to a PC. I have not priced these but they are usually expensive (>$200). You should also check how often they actually update them as some car companines only update them every 3 years or so (so you may have the lastest one).

    THe DVD must stay in all the time (they have a 2 DVD set depending on which part of the country you are in). THe DVD is hidden behind the LCD screen. Somewhere in the menu is a fucntion to load the DVD that raised the display out of the way. It does not go into the same slot used for Audio CDs.
  • I just bought the 2011 and love the handling of the CX9, but the navigation system consistently is wrong. Indeed it will take you in a completely opposite direction to get where you are going. I had a 2006 Avalon, and although people say Toyota and Mazda are the same system, I never had this problem on the Avalon, and that five years older!

    The only other complaint is that the CX9 is a real gas guzzler. Mixed highway and city, the best I get is 17.8 mpg. Otherwise a very neat automobile.
  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    I have a 2007 CX-9 w/o Navi but I also have a 2006 Mazda5 w/Navi and mine was doing the same thing, until I realized that it was trying to avoid highways. I monkeyed around with the settings and it was set to avoid highways. So I don't know if these newer sytems have the same settings but if so, make sure that the Navi is set to "all major roads" under the settings.
  • So I have made all my selections for a new CX-9 but based on comments here I am undecided about going forward with the navigation system. I currently use a garmin portable which allows full access while under way ( my wife does the navigating). I assume all in dash systems restrict inputs to the screen. Does the voice command work well? How does Sirius convey traffic. Garmin shows a red line and an estimated time delay. Does Sirius just talk about it and if you don't know the local names for hotspots then your out of luck? Finally does it show speed limits? Any help much appreciated as this info not generally available and salesman talk around it.
  • sleepybubbasleepybubba Posts: 60
    edited February 2012
    So I had a stupidity to buy a Grand Touring CX-9 without technology package. 3 years past, I finally got around to decide on aftermarket GPS/DVD unit replacement.

    I have the following choices:
    • An original GPS/DVD Unit from salvaged 2008 CX-9 found on ebay
    • Clarion NX501 (got it fairly cheap and still can return to store)
    • Alpine INA-W900BT
    • A one of no-name chinese-made units: for example this one
    Any comments are very welcome. Also trying to decide whether to allow Best Buy installer service to abuse my car or send it to a local electronics store who charges 3 times as much
  • Sounds like you have already made up your mind about the Best buy installer.

    I would not recommend a built-in unit. a portable unit is much cheaper and can move from car to car. I have a 2009 CX-9 and I set my protable unit on the console just in from of the shifter. It is fairly stable and I can hear all the directions. My Garmin was less than $100, no installation, speaks directions and street names. It is all I need.

    However, you may want/need more.
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