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Auto nav systems
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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6075
Location: Maine

4/7/18 3:04 PM

Auto nav systems

I may be getting a new car and I'm wondering about nav systems, which I've come to rely on for anything unfamiliar. I currently use an ancient Garmin Nuvi with a windshield mount which works OK, but is a little clunky. A factory system would be more convenient, but I guess are more expensive and can be wonky to upgrade. Or you could use your phone with a holder. Or a more modern version of the portable system I have. What do you folks like?

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4189
Location: Nashua, NH

4/7/18 3:38 PM

Since I finally broke down and got a smart phone...

...I haven't even thought about using my old GPS. Google navigation works better and updates construction and traffic information constantly. The phone is more compact, plus it's paid for (it was cheaper than a GPS, too). I picked up a windshield mount for it at Marshall's for around five bucks and it works great.

I certainly wouldn't spend any money on upgrading a one-function device like a GPS. Mine still lives in the glove box, just in case, but it's unlikely to see the light of day again.


Last edited by Brian Nystrom on 4/8/18 4:48 AM; edited 1 time in total

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16860
Location: Portland, OR

4/7/18 4:24 PM

Everything Brian just said.

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Tom Price
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 430
Location: Rochester, NY

4/7/18 5:34 PM

I would pass on the factory nav because of updating. The factory units are not constantly updated and most of the factory update discs cost around $200. A phone is always reading the latest info and most new Garmins have lifetime updates. Also if your new car has Apple Carplay and or Android Auto you can send your phones nav program to the indash screen.

My memory says that you were/are a Saab person. What car are you leaning towards?

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6075
Location: Maine

4/7/18 5:51 PM

Car leanings

I drove a Saab for 10 years, and have had an A4 Avant for 7. I almost hesitate to say this, but I am thinking of an Alfa Stelvio. Life on the edge.

Hey, it's named after one of the greatest of cycling climbs, the scene of Fausto Coppi's epic attack!

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dfcas
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 2524
Location: hillbilly heaven

4/7/18 6:11 PM

If I had a local dealer I think I would consider it. What a cool car that would be.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16860
Location: Portland, OR

4/7/18 7:06 PM

Alfa Stelvio in red or blue, both awesome.

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Tom Price
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 430
Location: Rochester, NY

4/7/18 8:44 PM

A great bold choice. I love the Italian sense of design. It is great that the Stelvio added a cycling link to this tech/car thread.

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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1600

4/7/18 8:57 PM

I just was at the NY Auto show a few days ago, and even though I took my 4 year old son and mainly looked at what he wanted to see, I made sure to swing by the Alfa Romaio display to check out the Stelvio as I drive a similar sized compact SUV at the moment and it's on may radar, and I have to say it is one great looking car (suv), and the Blue is drop dead gorgeous in person, The Blue with black accents is sweet.

As far as GPS, I have a Garmin but use my phone 90% of the time (and I use GPS allot), but yeah if you don't get nav make sure you get Apple car play, I do however still keep the Garmin in the glove compartment as there have been times where I was up in the mountains (both in the Catskills and in Vermont) and didn't have cell reception, but the Garmin will work no matter where you are.

The one catch, sometimes they tie the nav into a package, where you might want other things in the package so they kind of force you to get the Nav. (I guess that varies from car to car).

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16860
Location: Portland, OR

4/7/18 9:39 PM

BTW, my Garmin with lifetime updates has not been updated in a few years. Last time I did it just to do it, and it has not left the house since.

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Steve B.
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Posts: 705
Location: Long Island, NY

4/8/18 1:28 PM

I dug out my 10 yr. old Garmin Nuvi something that never gets used, we took it to Europe twice in '06 and '09, so it has the Euro and NA maps. It was very useful then as I didn't want to pay for data on a sim card for Euro use and that's mostly required for Google maps.

I plugged in to Garmin Express to update and Voila !, it updated, even said "2018 European Maps". Now every time I turn it on it tells me that the maps are out of date. I'm assuming it is referring to the US map set but this is so Garmin.

I would never get a Nav system from a car manufacturer. I've got a Outback '17 with no nav. I subscribe to the Outback forum and there are pages after pages of navigation system issues that Subaru doesn't fix. Head unit issues as well, like you turn off the radio (with the power button), turn off car, come back, start car and the radio comes blasting on. Pages of complaints on this. Maybe it's just Subaru and they've been knows to just suck at their head unit electronics.

Before I buy, I research what folks have to say about this stuff. Generally and as stated, car manufacturers make you jump thru hoops to get map updates and/or charge a fortune. Sometimes with a car, if you want certain features the navigation is bundled, but nobody says you have to use it.

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Jesus Saves
Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 1131
Location: South of Heaven

4/8/18 2:05 PM

My ancient TomTom device is far superior to the built in satnavs I have used as well as phone gps plus maps. The usuability and software design is what sets it apart.

The nice thing about a built in unit is no wires, you do not have a projectile aimed at your face in a crash, less risk of smash glass theft of car interior items, and it is one less gotcha thing a cop can write you up (frivolously) for distracted driving.

The downside is that once the car is moving, the gps units go into lock down mode to minimize distracted driving and auto maker liability. That means no reroute selection, choosing another saved route, poi lookup, etc.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6075
Location: Maine

4/8/18 2:18 PM

Thanks all

Seems to be a pretty good consensus, at least to avoid the factory units. Interestingly, it seems many of the cars on the dealer lot don't have them, so I'm guessing most people don't want them. Not wanting one may a actually make it easier to find a car.

For those who've commented on the Stelvio, I also like the Montecarlo Blue which looks great in person, as Henoch said. I haven't driven one as they are frozen until 4/23 while they fix something with the hatch (which apparently can pop open). I sat in one and the seat and position felt great (which is a big factor for me).

If I get one I will probably lease it, which I have never done, and which presents a whole new set of issues. :)

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16860
Location: Portland, OR

4/8/18 2:38 PM

>If I get one I will probably lease it.

Heads up on OEM parts endorsement on your INS, and proper GAP and Diminished Values liability coverages.

Also think hard and long about how many miles a year to have built/bought into the lease. Cost per mile later is usually 2-3x more per [or similar exaggerated cost per mile upon return if over]

Know the lease termination fees etc as well.

On cars like that or BMWs/Merc etc best to have maintenance costs included in leased vehicle and not on your dime separately/additionally. Especially if the exotic 20k mile service is $3500.00 or some such... [example obviously].

Last point, understand clearly what normal wear and tear will constitute. Will you have to put 2500.00 of tires on it or get charged for worn tire if past a certain point of wear, etc. How many dings of what size per panel or bumper cover is acceptable.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6075
Location: Maine

4/8/18 3:22 PM

Thanks again

I'll get into the weeds on the lease if I decide to get one, but I know the leases they offer include all maintenance, and I put about 11,500 miles per year so I'd be comfortable with 12 but probably not with 10 ( which is the basis for the great rates they advertise). A lot of the leases are 24 months. Anyway, it would be a bit of a leap of faith to buy one of these outright...:)

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16860
Location: Portland, OR

4/8/18 3:23 PM

Well, lease straight write off VS depreciation. One over the other may be more advantage to you depending...

And depending on what the TAX 'reform' damage is. ;)

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6453
Location: Westchester/NYC

4/8/18 7:29 PM

Dan, I guess you got the information you needed already (gone skiing today, so late to the party).

When I was buying my current car 2 years ago, I was “forced” into an in car nav system because every single car in the lot had it. Back then, a few in this board defended the in car nav very enthusiastically. I’m glad everyone finally see the light.

That said, since I got it “for free”, I do use it, OFTEN. There’s no “lock down” while driving. I can change route while moving. And because it can take voice command, it’s actually working quite well.

I'd say these gizmo had improved quite a bit. I’ve recently rented a car that has it. It’s working even better than my 2 year old one!

Would I pay thousands for it? No. But I would say you would find it useful if it comes with the car. No need to avoid it either.

The best is an in car system that can communicate with your phone (via BT). Another car I rented has it. It’s the best of both world.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16860
Location: Portland, OR

4/8/18 7:54 PM

"The best is an in car system that can communicate with your phone (via BT). "

I hear that and agree.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6075
Location: Maine

4/10/18 4:15 AM

Making progress

Well I talked to my assistant who generally finds the efficient way of doing things, and she found it hilarious that I still used a gps unit. So I downloaded google maps and waze for my phone and I guess all I need is a holder and charger plug. Google can't find my house, which is a bit back in the woods, but at least I know where it is.

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Steve B.
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Posts: 705
Location: Long Island, NY

4/10/18 5:59 AM

@Dan

There are a LOT of areas in Maine where there's no cell service and where Google won't work. You can "cache" Google maps, never done it.

Instead I use a program called Co-Pilot, which has all the maps residing on the phone, so no data required. It's a one time $10 and worth it as they do free updates every couple of weeks. I find CoPilot easier to use the my Garmin, if only as the touch screen responds faster and the program is better thought out. It also has features that Google maps doesn't easily do. Doesn't have the Google database available to use though.

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dfcas
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 2524
Location: hillbilly heaven

4/10/18 6:34 AM

I prefer my Garmin since I'm out of cell service a lot and I like the voice programming it has. I find the text on my phone too small and difficult to read.

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Jesus Saves
Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 1131
Location: South of Heaven

4/10/18 10:13 AM

"Google can't find my house"

At least not, yet. ;-) That is another consideration (a con) to using a phone app.

Did anyone else get their Facebook/Cambridge notification today?

For in-car satnavs that I have used in the past and currently use, updating them is as easy as plugging in a new SD (picture) card that contains the updated map content.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16860
Location: Portland, OR

4/10/18 10:46 AM

Out of cell service.

I cycle in areas without and have DLed area map data for my phone with good success fyi.

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greglepore
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 1634
Location: SE Pa, USA

4/12/18 6:27 AM

For Waze, there's a free app called "talk for waze" that I find easier to use for voice commands than the voice search built into the waze app itself.

The only downside to using the phone for nav is that it relies on cell service-there are areas where you might be without, and its dead as mentioned. There are workarounds.

The other issue is like with everything google, you've surrendered your privacy about where you are etc. Not that we all haven't done that already...looks like Congress might fix it though (snickering).

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6453
Location: Westchester/NYC

4/12/18 6:48 AM

As pointed out in the other thread, it’s kind of a lost cause. Local municipality are putting where you live online. So NOT letting google collect your coming and going is such a pointless exercise.

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