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Old 02-25-2007, 06:53 PM   #1
aroxas
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Default Factory Nav vs. Portable NAv unit

At $2145, the factory installed Nav System seems to be too much. Any opinions out there as to whether this is worth the cost versus buying say a high-end Magellan portable?

What are the benefits of getting this built-in Nav system? Does the Outlook nav system come with real-time traffic updates?

For those who find the built-in inferior to portable units in the market, I would appreciate specific product suggestions.

By the way, if I get a unit with real-time traffic updates, do I have to subscribe to a monthly service?

Thanks again.
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Old 02-25-2007, 08:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Factory Nav vs. Portable NAv unit

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Originally Posted by aroxas View Post
At $2145, the factory installed Nav System seems to be too much. Any opinions out there as to whether this is worth the cost versus buying say a high-end Magellan portable?

What are the benefits of getting this built-in Nav system? Does the Outlook nav system come with real-time traffic updates?

For those who find the built-in inferior to portable units in the market, I would appreciate specific product suggestions.

By the way, if I get a unit with real-time traffic updates, do I have to subscribe to a monthly service?

Thanks again.
I have both. I had a portable Garmin before I bought my Outlook. I got tired of moving the thing from vehicle to vehicle. I have three vehicles and drive a different one to work each day to minimize wear and tear. So I set out from the beginning to buy and Outlook with built-in NAV. Since 2002, I have some personal deal-breakers when it comes to buying a new vehicle--van, SUV, or car: It must have built-in Nav and HIDs. And it must have a stick shifter, not a column shifter. Column shifters make me feel old-fashioned, like I'm living in the past.

Truthfully, I find my portable unit easier to use and just as accurate. But I'm not sorry in the least about getting the built-in Nav. For me it's a matter of convenience. I also don't have to worry about somebody busting my window and grabbing my portable Nav off the windshield or dashboard top in some parking lot someplace.

I also see it as a matter of better resale years down the road when almost every new car made will have a navigation system. American car makers are last (as usual) to giving consumers what they really want. They are stodgy, old-fashioned, and conservative. The Japanese and Germans have been producing cars for years with navigation systems. Could that be one of many reasons we trail our foreign competition in the auto biz?
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Factory Nav vs. Portable NAv unit

Thanks.

Out of curiosity - since some of you have had portable navigation units, would such a unit obstruct the driver view on the Outlook?
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Factory Nav vs. Portable NAv unit

I also wanted NAV, but I did not want to pay the 2K+ that the factory unit costs.

I have a Garmin Nuvi 660, and it works fine. I mounted it to the dash on lid the little storage compartment there.

Here are the pros of this portable unit in my mind:

1. In the mounting location I have used, it is well below my line of sight to the road (but less so than the factory unit would be) - I actually like that position - still out of the way, but easier to see than factory.

2. The 660 has an audio out that I have plugged into the accessory input on the stereo. Thus I hear the nav commands over the car stereo.

3. Also, the 660 has built-in bluetooth, so it works as a very good hands free kit for my cell phone.

4. The 660 has a built-in Audible audio book player (If you like books on tape, check out audible.com) and MP3 player. Again, with the aux input to the stereo, I hear the Audible and music content over the stereo.

5. I can move the 660 from car to car or to a rental car (or even use it on foot or a bike)

Here are the cons:

1. the cigarette lighter port seems to have constant retained power, even when the vehicle is turned off. This means that I feel like I have to unplug the GPS unit (easy to do - just pull the plug, but still a small hassle) every time I turn off the car to avoid draining the car battery.

2. Wires. I have the power cord from the lighter going up to the unit & the audio cord coming down from the unit. Now, I have bundled them together & generally minimized their appearance, but they are still there.

3. No backup camera. This would have been the killer app for me. I keep hearing rumors that a backaup camera will be available for factory GPS optioned vehicles in the future. If this were available now, I absolutely would have sprung for the factory GPS. The rear window of the Outlook does not come down very far. (now you can get a backup camera with some fancy aftermarket gps head units that are installed, but they are in the same 2K price range as the factory unit).

4. You need to pull the thing off the dash if you are going to park in an area you don't feel comfortable. Someone could indeed smash the window to get to one.

Last edited by ffballid; 02-26-2007 at 01:17 PM. Reason: wanted to add something
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Factory Nav vs. Portable NAv unit

If you have Verizon and one of the supported phones, I'd recommend VZNavigator. It's $10/month, or $3/use. I work in a similar biz and we've done some testing against built in Nav and have found it to be just as accurate. It may not have quite as many features built in, but close and it's easy to use and on your cell phone.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/s...turnbyturn.jsp

Sprint has a similar service, but I haven't tried it personally.

Just another option in the growing sea of GPS stuff.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Factory Nav vs. Portable NAv unit

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If you have Verizon and one of the supported phones, I'd recommend VZNavigator. It's $10/month, or $3/use. I work in a similar biz and we've done some testing against built in Nav and have found it to be just as accurate. It may not have quite as many features built in, but close and it's easy to use and on your cell phone.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/s...turnbyturn.jsp

Sprint has a similar service, but I haven't tried it personally.

Just another option in the growing sea of GPS stuff.
I have a Verizon VZ Nav phone but admit I never use it. I take my portable GPS with me when I fly somewhere on business or vacation.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Factory Nav vs. Portable NAv unit

I checked with a local place today about installing an in-dash Nav unit. They told me they sell two units. One is $2,500 and the other is $3,500. Wow.

I think I'll stick with my handheld Garmin for a while. It's not as fancy but it does the job.
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Factory Nav vs. Portable NAv unit

You need to check around more. There is a very nice Pioneer system for $1600 from Best Buy - and a new model coming out for approx $1000
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Factory Nav vs. Portable NAv unit

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Originally Posted by webhair View Post
You need to check around more. There is a very nice Pioneer system for $1600 from Best Buy - and a new model coming out for approx $1000
And Eclipse has about 3 models ranging in price. I'm sure Alpine is the same way.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Factory Nav vs. Portable NAv unit

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Originally Posted by mtsusean View Post
I checked with a local place today about installing an in-dash Nav unit. They told me they sell two units. One is $2,500 and the other is $3,500. Wow.

I think I'll stick with my handheld Garmin for a while. It's not as fancy but it does the job.
You might want to check with your Saturn dealership to see if this would effect your warranty.

As a former wiring harness engineer I try to avoid any aftermarket items that actually splice into the harness.
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