Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why I won't upgrade my SUV's Navigation System

Last year, I bought an SUV (2007 Honda Pilot) and choose the Navigation System as an add-on. This added ~$2,000 to the cost of my vehicle. Even knowing that they made a huge margin on the nav system, I am quite happy with it. What I didn't ask about at the time, was upgrades to the system (new points of interest, new roads, upgraded features, etc.). A mistake.

The vehicle had been making a funny sound when I gently accelerated, and as the 10,000 mile mark had passed, I thought that a check-up was in order: oil change, rotate the tires, top off the car juices, etc. & also have the sound looked at/fixed. When I dropped off the vehicle, I also inquired if a Nav Update was available. A hesitant look and a quick response was given, "you'll have to speak to parts, they can tell you." It didn't seem to important to me at the time to do this, so I didn't. I went to work and returned around 5pm and all was in order (the sound was fixed, too!).

Today, while speaking to a colleague about nav systems (he just got a Dash Express), I queried him about updates. We googled and quickly found this site that show you if an update is available. One is...but only to dealers...and at a cost of, get this, $191 + tax. I called them for clarification. It will be available to consumers in July at the same price. Now...what do I get for this upgrade? Here's the list. Coverage was expanded (in places that I probably won't be driving to)...and here are the full list of new "features":
  • One way streets (indicated with arrows on the 1/20 mile scale - turn on in Icon Options - "Other icons")
  • Loss of male voice prompts (voice prompts revert to female - regardless of previous setup setting)
  • Additional brand icons for restaurants, motels and other POIs
  • Updated maps and POIs
I don't know about any of you...but how is this upgrade worth $191 + tax?

Tele you have an answer? (For those that don't know...Tele-Atlas is the supplier of this data to Alpine USA, the maker of my nav system.)

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