• Nov 5th 2007 at 11:33AM
  • 24
J.D. Power and Associates has polled owners of factory-nav equipped vehicles, and Infiniti's zippy-performing setup gets the nod for top honors from end users. Part of the win might be chalked up to the hard drive that the Infiniti system comes with, making it more responsive than a DVD based navigation system. Infiniti owners also tend to be more tech savvy than owners of other navigation-equipped vehicles, further contributing to the win. The study's results show that even after coming up with a few extra thousand dollars to get the fancy LCD in the dash, most drivers hardly scratch the surface of what the systems can do for them. Apparently, watching a little triangle follow an animated route is all many owners ever use their nav systems for, preferring to be even more helpless and use live operators to talk them in.
Ignorance leads to negative comments about maps that are out of date (easily rectified via updates), while actual technology gets in the way when it comes to wonky voice activation and real time traffic updates that have limited coverage in some areas. Despite the complaints, most owners declined to go back to the dealer for any kind of solution. Some owners apparently purchase navigation systems because they like the fancy cachet, while others actually use the systems. Those that use their nav more than twice a week tended to be more satisfied, pretty much proving that navigation systems are complex and take time to learn how to fully utilize before they're more than an expensive electronic bauble. Having used the Infiniti navigation system, we can say that it is among the best when it comes to ease of use and accuracy, but unfortunately, we're not junketing enough to far flung locales to actually need it.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Having spent alot of time in a G35 I don't care for it's Nav I found it a bit of a pain compared to say a GM Nav. It's just that the G35 unit is horribly similar to a Alpine after market one I had installed in a car nearly 10 years ago. The GM unit to me is the easiest to use, offers the best blend of graphics, functionality, and most importantly ease of use.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have never owned a GPS but I have often wondered why they use the DVD's to do this when flash memory or hard drives would be so much better and quicker. For those of you that do have DVD based nav, does the DVD player let you watch movies too, or play mp3's off of a DVD?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think the ones in Acuras let you play DVD-Audio.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I still think a high-end portable GPS unit from one of the well-known manufacturers (Garmin, TomTom, etc) is the best bang-for-performance/value right now for a GPS system.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I totally agree.

        I have a Treo 750 with Tomtom Nav installed....nothing beats a cell/pda/gps you can have with you at all times.

        Why spend the money on the NAV package and 3 years down the road you get rid of the car and start all over again? With the portable ones you can change cars and have GPS everywhere.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My best friend drives a Nav equipped '07 TSX. Though the interface is simple and intuitive, I completely dislike the results it throws out from time to time. For example, a quick search for "Jamba juice" usually shows a result 2000 miles away in CA.
      I concur with the opinion about most portable GPS systems being waaayyy better than their integrated counterparts. My nuvi 680 and 760 offer a cleaner UI, easier navigation controls and extra features (well, except Zagat ratings) compared to GPS units from say, Honda/Acura.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Don't forget poor user interface design as a possible barrier to the use of these systems. Neither the data medium nor the age of the maps matters so much if people find the controls and guide messaging too frustrating to use. The interfaces that are the most intuitive to the users buying that particular brand of car (not too difficult, considering automakers tend to know exactly who they are) will get used and rated higher.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Honda/Acura displays sufferes from low resolution compared to Infiniti and Lexus. They are easier to use but get killed on screen resolution. Infiniti and Lexus screens boost high resolution displays which are clearer, vivid and easy to see.
      • 7 Years Ago
      DVD based systems allow for easy upgrades.

      For instance, I own a 2005 TL with Navi, so in another year or so I will be the "new" DVD with all the new roads and stores and stuff for my ride.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The one available in Ford / Merc / Lincoln is DVD based and is pretty good. The big advantage over portables is that the screen is massive in comparison. Plus it is integrated into the stereo, which makes it more usable.

      All of the nav systems take time to learn. Two weeks of just messing with it before you are comfortable, we've found. Most people don't use it for longer commutes, either. A popular use was a < 1 hour drive, but it allowed the driver to not watch for turns or exits - the voice would announce those. The drivers reported being able to focus more on traffic and passengers, hence more relaxed. It was an interesting result.

      As for returning to the dealerships - duh. Those places all suck. And there really isn't crap we can do about it. Which really sucks.

      Flash drives will come down in price and become standard. Along with better real-time traffic, weather, and construction. Probably for a subscription that will include updates for road changes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Instead of spending a couple of grand on in car navigation, a portable one is a much better option. Ofcourse it doesn't look as good in your car but it's cheap & portable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Acura has the best navi.

      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not sure what Infiniti charges for updated Nav DVD's but Chrysler has a racket on the things! Like $120/each!

      • 7 Years Ago
      Acura and Infiniti touch navs are the best. The Inifiniti gets a slight nod in the better screen, and slightly faster response. BMW's is craap.
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