Not only does Ford rank number one on J.D. Power and Associate's 2009 navigation system survey, it ranks number two as well. The top ranking system, according to Power's study, is the one found in the Lincoln MKS, followed by a nearly identical system (if not 100% identical) in the Ford Flex. And get this, Ford took down five of the top ten spots with the F-150 coming in fourth and the Escape and Edge taking seventh and eighth place, respectively.

To anyone that's driven a modern Sync-equipped Ford with navigation, these survey results probably won't come as any sort of shock, as FoMoCo has been making some of the best systems in the business ever since they released Sync with Sirius Travel Link. Here's what Ford user interface design engineer Jason Johnson had to tell us about why Ford got ranked tops:
"I think what really makes our system stand out is the fact it's designed with the user in mind. Yes, it has all the features you'd expect from a high-level navigation system -- the 3-D maps, the digital jukebox, the customizable home screens, and of course we pride ourselves on SYNC and SIRIUS Travel Link -- but it's more than that. This system is easy to use. It's intuitive. The buttons are where you'd expect them to be, the grouping is logical and the graphics are bright and easy to read. Everything is integrated, so it all works together, simply and easily."
Non-Ford top ten nav-system finishers include the Acura TL (third), Porsche 911 (fifth), Cadillac CTS (sixth), Hyundai Genesis (ninth) and Infiniti FX-series (tenth). Interestingly, Ford is the only non-luxury/premium brand to make it into the top ten. If you were wondering, seven of the bottom ten nav-systems were made by Toyota, with the Avalon finishing dead last. Complete results list and official press release available after the jump.
[Source: J.D. Power]



PRESS RELEASE:

J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Popularity of Real-Time Traffic and Voice Recognition Features in Navigation Systems Increases

The Clarion Navigation System Supplied to the Lincoln MKS
Ranks Highest among Factory-Installed Navigation Systems

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 1 December 2009 - Real-time traffic and voice recognition are becoming increasingly popular features among factory-installed navigation system owners, compared with 2008, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Navigation Usage and Satisfaction StudySM released today.

The study finds that 26 percent of owners report having a factory-installed navigation system equipped with real-time traffic capabilities-twice the proportion of owners in 2008 who said the same. Among owners whose systems do not currently have the real-time traffic feature, nearly 80 percent report interest in having the option in the future. Real-time traffic capability has a considerable impact on overall navigation system satisfaction, as satisfaction averages 8.1 (on a 10-point scale) among owners with the feature, compared with 7.3 among those without.

Approximately 60 percent of owners report having voice recognition on their factory-installed navigation system. Among those owners who do not currently have the feature, two-thirds of respondents express an interest in having it in the future. Overall navigation system satisfaction is positively impacted by the presence of voice recognition. Among owners who report having the feature, satisfaction averages 7.7 compared with an average of 7.2 among owners of systems without voice recognition technology.

"Among the 10 navigation systems with the highest levels of customer satisfaction, all of them have real-time traffic capabilities, and a majority are equipped with voice recognition-underlining the positive effect these advanced features have on overall navigation system satisfaction," said Mike Marshall, director of automotive emerging technologies at J.D. Power and Associates. "With 39 percent of consumers in the study reporting that they would have purchased another vehicle if navigation wasn't available (up from 31 percent in 2006) there is a growing segment of automotive consumers who are driven by technology. Integrating and delivering advanced user-facing technology in vehicles will continue to gain importance among manufacturers fighting for market share."

Now in its 11th year, the study identifies six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction. In order of importance, they are: ease of use; system routing; system appearance; voice directions; navigation display screen; and speed of system. The study also measures quality by examining problems per 100 (PP100) navigation systems, in which a lower score reflects higher quality.

The Clarion navigation system supplied to the Lincoln MKS ranks highest in consumer satisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems and performs particularly well with the ease of use factor. The Clarion navigation system supplied to the Ford Flex follows in the rankings, while the Pioneer navigation system in the Acura TL ranks third.

The study also finds the following navigation system trends:

* More than one-half of respondents report using their system on a regular basis (at least one to two times per week).
* Among consumers who have previously owned a vehicle equipped with a factory-installed navigation system, approximately 80 percent say that their current system is performing at the same level or better than their previous system.
* Approximately one-fourth of consumers say they believe that an annual update for mapping software is necessary and would be willing to pay an average price of $57 for updates.

The 2009 Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 16,939 owners who recently purchased or leased new 2009 model-year vehicles with factory-installed navigation systems. The study was fielded in October 2009.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, Capital IQ, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

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