• May 9th 2007 at 4:33PM
  • 42
How's this - you pay a nearly ten percent premium to get a factory navigation system in your new whatever, and when it's replacement time, that very same nav system will cost you again, whacking 1% off the car's resale price. It makes perfect sense if you try to use some of the integrated nav setups in one- or two-year old used cars out there. Not only did they cost a fortune, they're not always terribly user friendly, and honestly, how often do most drivers need a nav system? Some at Autoblog love them in our review vehicles, but going the same route every day makes it virtually impossible to get lost. For people who travel a lot to areas they've never scouted, there's value in nav, but when you can get an aftermarket unit for far less, integrated nav starts to take on a pallid appearance.

Automakers are starting to get hip to this fact. Hyundai, while they're offering integrated nav on the Veracruz, sees no problem selling Garmin aftermarket units right off the showroom floor. The portables are a fast growing segment as consumers realize the value of third-party, portable nav systems. Portable navs are less expensive, offer features that cost a lot more on factory systems, and are upgraded far more regularly. For $1,000, you can get a system that offers real time traffic and weather data, works with bluetooth phones, and can be even more functional with the addition of optional software cards.

Not only are the aftermarket units cheaper, they're portable, so you can use them in whatever car you please. Of course, luxury buyers being who they are, there's a certain need to show off that a factory navigation system fulills, but puffery is costly. The quick path to obsolescence that all in-car electronics take means that very in short order, you've got an expensive, unfriendly, limited hunk of LCD-interfaced crap in your dash.

[Source USAToday via Kicking Tires]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Don't need it, never have.
      • 8 Years Ago
      in ten years every car will have nav and a hard drive
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nav is a great feature and my next car will have it. No Luddite here!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have a Lexus GS 350 and will tell you that the NAV nowadays is more than just a feature manufacturers add to cars its an integral part of the vehicle itself.

      For example in my car the A/C, audio system and NAV are run through the same touchscreen display system. When I first bought the car I thought the system was much less "organic" than the system in my previous car,Lexus IS 300.

      However after using it for a while I can say the LCD/NAV system really does allow auto manufacturers to pack alot of features into their cars outside of just pure navigation.

      Of course the real question is how well these display touchscreen systems hold up compared to conventional controls over 5-7 years.

      • 8 Years Ago
      In-dash navigation systems are destined for the same fate as in-car cell phones.

      Why would you want the complication and expense when for an extra $20 a month you can get the same service on a cell phone, or for $500 buy a portable unit?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Good. Imagine working on one of these pieces of crap 20 years from now? They'll be obsolete (already are six months later) and rediculously complicated for mechanics.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Portable GPS units do attract thieves--a friend had his stolen by a smash and grabber when his car was unattended for only a few minutes.

      But the Garmin NUVI is fantastic and works very well with a clear screen and audible instructions.

      I don't have one, but a friend does and it completely eliminated the need for maps I'd printed for us when we drove in unfamiliar territory.

      The NUVI is quite small and has a mounting bracket that can fit on a smooth surface about the size of a half-dollar (where did all the half-dollars go?).
      • 8 Years Ago
      #2: Ha ha okay thanks for the talk GRANDPA...did you walk uphill bothways in the snow 2 miles back and forth to school too?

      I used to travel alot for biz and rent cars all over the USA so my aftermarket unit was a life saver I plugged it into my laptop and uploaded new maps all the time and when I traveled in my area using my own car the in dash nav system was great so I could enjoy my car w/o the wires hanging all over and risking getting it stolen cause I lived in the city.

      I don't care what it does to the resale value 1% can eat my a$$ for not getting lost for the 3-5 years I own the car...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I also think a good compromise are the dual-din decks from Pioneer and Eclipse. They do give you the factory look and you can get them for under $1,000
      • 8 Years Ago
      I disagree with the post about aftermarket Nav. Aftermarket navigation systems are:

      * Easier to steal
      * Clunky and require ugly mounts
      * Have poorer reception, or require an additional ugly antenna wire thing
      * Have FAR LESS precision than OEM Navs, i.e. no steering position sensor, no wheel speed sensor
      * Because of the previous point, they whack out in parking garages, tunnels, forested areas, cities with tall buildings, etc.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I use my cell phone with a cradle installed in my car. The cradle interfaces with my audio system and an incar mic, and provides charging power. Since my nav is built into my phone, I never leave it in the car.

      If an automaker like Hyundai was really smart they would work with the industry on creating a universal mount that provides power and audio connections, so that the portable manufacturers can get the benefits of a factory-like level of integration while providing the benefits of portability and upgradability. A slam dunk, IMO.
      • 8 Years Ago

      If you don't understand the term "value-add" I can understand why you seem to have a hard time understanding the reason behind the trends in the auto industry, but then that's a different conversation (Thinking lean helps). But I guess your love of old, outdated, polluting technology with subpar quality (which classic cars essentially are)has stunted your ability to understand the advantages of the new over the old.

      As for technology, oddly enough I've worked in three industries that are relatively technologically conservative: Aviation (you wouldn't think so, but it's true), Medical equipment manufacturing, and the military, and guess what? They all embraced technology like moving map displays, GPS and other automated systems as soon as they became affordable. Why? Because nav systems are definitely superior to maps in most cases.

      Granted, there's no replacement for good-old fashioned skill in the older methods (e.g. a driver who can't brake well without ABS doesn't really know how to properly use it) which is why we still teach soldiers/Marines/Airmen/sailors to navigate with a compass, map, or a sextant. After the basics are mastered it's time to toss them into the re-certification box in favor of obviously superior technology.

      The estimated resale on my car (a 2001 model) went up when I installed an aftermarket nav system, ipod adapter and xm trafficnav system.
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