• Nov 30, 2009
When navigation systems started showing up in the center stacks of luxury vehicles, the new (at the time) tech typically would set owners back a couple grand or more (and still does). As we gear up for 2010, mapping tech is everywhere from the most expensive luxury sleds to economical hatchbacks, but there is still one problem. If you want an LCD screen with navigation capability, the option will still set you back from over $1,000 to above and beyond $2,000 in most cases. The only exception is Suzuki, which includes its TRIP nav system as standard equipment on the sub-$20k SX4.

Nissan is looking to change the navi pricing paradigm by offering a $400 navigation system in some of its high volume 2010 MY products. That's $400, or the same price as Ford's LCD-less SYNC system. Or less than half the price of most options available in vehicles today. The nav system, which was developed by Nissan and Bosch, gives directions, integrates your tunes with USB and Aux inputs and has integrated Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling. The low cost system also connects with a backup camera and can help you save money by pointing out the route that will cost you the least fuel.

The Detroit News reviewed the nav system in 2010 Nissan Sentra and came away impressed with its overall operation, though the smallish five-inch LCD screen was reportedly a bit hard to read at times. We're hoping low cost navvies are here to stay, and with the ultra-competitive nature of the auto industry, we're thinking any automaker that doesn't follow Nissan's lead will be at a major competitive disadvantage.

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 29 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its about time. Good job Nissan. Theres no reason navigation has to be expensive anymore.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with you on one hand, but these days if you have a smart phone you pretty much have a GPS already.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, especially since you can get brand new 4.3" widescreen GPS units for less than $150 these days. OEMs are able to charge their premium because of the ease of integration, nothing more. Sad that they have to charge thousands extra just for a nicer interface and different plastic housing!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree, good job Nissan. Too bad Suzuki beat you to it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is a nice looking HU at the least.

      I wish aftermarket units, by and large, were that cleanly laid out, with nicely sized buttons (not ultra tiny, but not GM/Playskool, either...)

      I'd put an aftermarket unit that looked like that into my existing car, especially if I could find a way to inconspicuously integrate a rear view camera on that car, as well.

      I don't even need the NAV bit. The phone/aux in integration for my iPhone, and a rear-view camera, along with a good radio tuner, and I am good. It doesn't even need an optical disk transport for me. An iPod shuffle holds more, if it comes to that. (or external flash memory player of your choice...)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Stating the obvious here but manufacturers are starting to treat Nav as a commodity. I'm sure they're making the margin on some other component in the car. Plus it gives the salespeople (at least for Nissan) more ammunition to make a sale. This is good for the consumer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess the navigation scam is dying.
      Why would anyone pay $2,000 for the navigation option when you can buy a unit for $100 or get a cell phone with it like the Droid or one of the others?
      That has to be one of the most blatant options rip offs ever in automotive history, not including Porsche's long list of option rip offs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bravo Nissan.

      It's a damn joke that a ~$200 stand-alone GPS can be as good (or even better) than a $2000 built-in unit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      We agree with most of you. I don't know how the major manufactures could justify trying to pitch a two thosand dollar GPS unit when a TomTom or Garmin do just about the same thing and are usually easier to update the maps on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For now, I'll remain skeptical because Nissan is the worst when it comes to packaging. To even upgrade the stereo on the Altima Coupe 2.5S, it currently costs an additional $3,000 and requires the Convenience Package. To get the Nav "Technology Package" with the GPS costs an absurd $7,000 and requires getting leather and many other features that I don't want at all.

      While this may be a low cost option, does it still require that I purchase the sweaty leather, fancy hubcaps, and $800 mud flaps? Fact is, Nissan packaging, as well as too many other manufacturers, is way too bloated. Instead of nudging me to spend more, I am so turned off that I look to another brand of automobile altogether. Manufacturers must get back to the basics of offering most of these items as dealer installable, stand alone options. That makes the customer happy and also the dealer, because the dealer can make a few extra bucks during the install on otherwise low margin car sales. And also very important is the fact that simply packing more features into a package doesn't necessarily make it more desirable at any price. Here in Texas where it gets to 105 or 110 degrees in the summer, heated leather seats are not "luxurious" or desirable in any way. In fact, they are a deal breaker as I simply won't buy a vehicle with leather at any price.



      • 5 Years Ago
      Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is the standard generic term for satellite navigation systems that provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage.
      Nissar is offering Navigation systems at better price its a very good news for all. Mio Navman M305
      • 5 Years Ago
      I built out a Nissan Frontier on the site a couple weeks ago. They have the option to have a removable, off the shelf nav mounted in the truck. Its built into a slot in the dash up where you'd normally mount a windshield nav. Very nice option, and affordable. Hopefully other automakers will take both of these ideas and reduce cost.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a great idea. I'm guessing they will also offer a more expensive Nav option for those that want the bigger nicer screen though? Either way, its nice to see Nissan taking the initiative in bringing Nav prices down...
      Steven
      • 5 Years Ago
      The article's incorrect: Mazda debuted the built-in dinky nav concept in the new 3. I'd say that the unit cost for Mazda's unit is roughly the same as Nissan's, but the Mazda unit is bundled in a $1200 option package. From the looks of that first review, the Nissan system appears to offer a few more features (namely a backup camera), but I'd have to give Mazda the edge for execution. And from a business perspective, bundling that premium feature with others to get to a $1200 option price makes way more sense than offering the $400 unit as a stand-alone option.
      • 5 Years Ago
      finally. it's not a huge decrease but still, nav systems cost $200 standalone for a comparable feature set/screen size, there's no way adding a $200 worth of tech to a car costs $2k to add even with profits squeezed in there. $400 should be getting nice systems at this point.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well said. I just got my dad a tom tom 330xs with case and extra charger for 99 bucks...this was before black friday. Integrated gps should have been a standard about a year ago.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm still amazed when i see a/c or power windows as a "feature"
        • 5 Years Ago
        This shows you how backward auto industry really is, they still charge extra for A/C, as if someone out there is buying a car without one.
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