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Frugal Shopper: Want To Save Thousands? Skip The Nav System Page 2

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CoPilot Live USA

CoPilot Live USA

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CoPilot Live USA

CoPilot Live USA

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ALK says that street-level maps are stored locally on the iPhone, so there's no need to have constant access to the mobile network for navigation. Just like OEM systems, CoPilot Live includes Lane Assist arrows to prompt you for proper lane positioning, and you can select between 2D and 3D maps or do multi-stop trips.

Map updates are provided monthly and downloaded automatically, though the price doesn't include spoken street names, real-time traffic, or fuel prices. But you can get all that for a modest additional fee.

Meanwhile, over the past several weeks, AT&T has begun offering its comparable ‘Navigator for iPhone’ service for just $6.99 per month.

Got an Android handset or just about any other smartphone? There are plenty of other inexpensive mapping or navigation apps that also might fit the bill.

Avoid the ‘Sell Up’ and save thousands

If you’re keeping the vehicle more than a few years, you should be aware that navigation systems won’t add much value to a used vehicle. You sure wouldn’t think that in the new-car lot, though, where salespeople will be especially eager to get you to consider nav. That’s because many automakers have positioned it so that you have to step up to more expensive options to even consider it.

For example, take a best-seller like the 2010 Honda Accord. The Accord LX, with an automatic transmission, costs just $22,605, including destination. But if you want the so-called Satellite Linked Navigation with voice recognition, you’ll have to move all the way up to the top EX-L model and pay $29,580. Of course, that model includes a vastly upgraded interior, with leather seats (heated in front), upgraded trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated power mirrors, Bluetooth, XM Satellite Radio, and a 270-watt premium sound system. But if you just want the nav system, not all those other items, you’re out nearly $7,000—or paying more than 30 percent more on the vehicle.

And on the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, if you really must have the nav system, you’ll need to skip the $24,095 SE model as well as the $25,795 Hero; it’s offered on the $27,995 SXT, though, as part of a $1,675 Media Center option package.

On luxury cars, the hit isn’t nearly as bad. If you want a nav system on a 2010 Lexus ES 350, for instance, it’s just a $2,085 standalone option, on top of a total that’s already $36,050 before options.

Some vehicles really are better without it

Besides, the navigation systems in some vehicles are obstinate and difficult to use; the interface, quality, and user-friendliness varies widely, even within models from the same automaker.


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Comments (10)
  1. Isn't this common sense?
     
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  2. Nav is over-bought and under-used. How many people really go to places they don't already know all the time?
     
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  3. couldn't agree more!! pretty clear to me that these screens will indeed be like the car phones after cell phones became ubiquitous.
     
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  4. Right now there's not much else tied into the nav system, but as the car moves into the future, won't we see more systems integration with the on-board screen? I don't mean merely radio and AC controls but true smart-car features such as auto-park/drive and others?
    Certainly there's merit to "building" your vehicle from cheaper components; it's something PC enthusiasts have been doing for decades. One great advantage is the ability to swap out a single component when something much better comes along.
     
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  5. I wonder, with more smart phones with new features rolling out every year, we would ever need Nav system any more in our cars.
     
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  6. After you save all this money - just go to Costco and buy one good GPS in less then 200$
     
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  7. My nav is a huge pain-really difficult to program. However, the app on my i-phone is way to small to read. We have a Garmin which I like a lot.
     
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  8. sshhhh.... don't tell the automakers
     
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  9. i like to have navigation but with a $4.99 app on my iphone totally agree that there is no need for the extra $$. Thanks Bengt for a great post
     
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  10. These built-in systems make a car feel somewhat luxurious, but I'd rather spend $5 for that iphone app and save that grand. Pretty obvious choice I'd say...
     
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