How to swap map discs in a 2011 Subaru Legacy – Click above to watch video after the jump

Pop quiz: Where's the slot to swap out DVD map discs for the 2010 Subaru Legacy's navigation system? No, it's not the one you can see with your eyes in the image above; that's the slot for audio CDs. The DVD drive is hidden. Answer: behind that blue plastic panel located directly beneath the CD slot.

Since the nav system in the 2010 Subaru legacy doesn't contain an entire atlas of North America on an internal hard drive, you'll sometimes have to change the map disc if where you're headed is on a different disc. I discovered this when having to make the trek from Ohio to Michigan because maps for the Wolverine State were on a different region disc than the one that was already loaded.

The manual, of course, makes the process of popping off this panel seem easy. Put your thumb on the top of the panel and lift the panel up from the bottom. In reality, the nearly invisible recess at the bottom of the panel is blocked by the buttons below it, and unless you have long and particularly strong fingernails, the tight-fitting pane is not coming off without some outside assistance. A pocket knife would work best, but all I had at the time was a small key. Since I didn't want to scratch the aforementioned buttons, I tried lifting the panel off a little to the right of the recess. With much effort and a grunt for good measure, the panel came flying off the console.

Most people won't be swapping map discs very often, as each one contains a large chunk of the country in which to navigate. But even if I had the fingernail length required for the job, I still wouldn't like having to pop off a cheap panel to do it. Follow the jump for video of a staged recreation of my first encounter with this panel.

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