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DEL MAR, Calif. — I'm highly impressed by well thought-out technologies, but even more impressed when the inevitable glitches and shortcomings are quickly resolved. More than any company, Honda has made their reputation through their rapid improvements, not waiting for a major redesign or even a model year change to make something better.
Acura was one of the first companies to move their products upscale with the economy in the booming 1980s, and they did so by applying technology as well as opulent details. They were one of the first with a navigation system. While it worked well, it once placed our car on an access road rather than the freeway, and was cumbersome to program because it always required a complete destination address, plus its touch screen soon looked like a favorite playschool toy.
Improved programming and technical improvements resolved the first two issues, while the fingerprint smudging was addressed with a new screen surface and a cleaning cloth in the glove box. While the original version needed a pile of mapping CDs to drive across the nation, now the addition of a Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) database covers the whole country, and has eight times the points of interest.
2000 Acura RL interior
The new DVD-based navigation system (optional on RLs) dominates the center console.
The optional Acura Navigation System has its display screen high up in the center console. The map displays are bright and clear, and the GPS system is forgiving of driver decisions when we deviate from the outlined course.