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I am excited for the navigation system, but I'm wondering if it is worth the hefty package price. I've noticed there are some good after market ones. Does anyone have experience with both? Is the Prius navigation system reliable...any problems?
 

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We have a factory GPS in our 05' Acura TSX, we also have a Garmin Handheld GPS. When compare the two, we like the accuracy of the Garmin better. Although it's more convinient to have one already installed like the Acura.

Somtimes the GPS in the Acura gives some rather silly routings. For example to go from point A to point B, it does not give you a direct route but rather go around in a circle for no reason. A lot of times the distance can be off by as much as 100-150 feet, or it tells you the destination is on the left when in fact it is on the right. Nevertheless it will eventually get you to your destination.

The Garmin GPS we have, it's a Street Pilot, is almost 3 years old. The accuracy is close to with 20-30 feet; when the car travels at around 25 to 30mph and the GPS anounces "arrives at destination" and you look up, it's there. Not too much guess here. The down side of this unit is the processing time- the time it takes to calculate the route, is long, due to the slow processor inside the unit.

Most of other people I know got the newer model with a much faster processor and they are all happy.

Don't know how the GPS in the Prius works, but I heard the GPS unit in Honda cars are better, can't confirm that either.
 

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I'm not sure what this new product is on the market but my son bought a new gadget this week which ties into his palm-pilot cellphone and with the use of an added "chip" and a small gps antenna and wireless transceiver that mounts on the dash gives him both the picture and aural diections of a Garmin "Street Pilot." He and his neighbors passed the cell-phone around in the car the other night as it guided them to a restuarant they were going to for the first time "out in the boondocks" of western Massachusetts. It was quite a bit less expensive than the new Street Pilot which I enjoy in my car.
 

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I like the big screen. But yes, I noticed the weird rerouting for silly stuff (had me go two miles one way and flip a U turn when I could of made an alternate route to begin with and not had that 4 miles detour).

I also got an additional 50-mile add on during a trip by going by the suggested route on screen, not realizing there were multiple options. So if that is the case, make sure you check the routes and choose the one you want (much better on the way home)
 

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I have the Garmin iQue 3600. It's a PDA and NAV. Works great in the Prius and my HiHy. I did purchase a remote antenna for it as I don't like to place the device on the dash.
 

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Yes it's very true that the big screen is indeed very nice, and you don't need to plug it in every time you want to use it. But somehow it's performance is rather disappointing. I'm happy with the Garmin GPS, so I ordered my Prius without the nav; planning to spend around $700 for a higher end, late model portable Garmin GPS.
 

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I'm very happy with the factory system and wouldn't trade it for an external one. Of course I place a high value on the integration which may not be the same for everyone.

About the routing algorithm, it is somewhat configurable meaning you can optimize for freeway use, freeway avoidance, etc. Also, you can hit a button that will show you 3 different routes, the 2 quickest and the shortest mileage routes. I used this extensively when driving across the country and feel it guided me very well.

I end up using the system every time I go somewhere that I have never been, even if I'm familiary with the area. In that case, it is good for knowing where on the street the place I'm looking for is. In those cases, where I know the area, the route given isn't always what I would have come up with but it always seems reasonable from a time perspective.
 

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kanne said:
I am excited for the navigation system, but I'm wondering if it is worth the hefty package price. I've noticed there are some good after market ones. Does anyone have experience with both? Is the Prius navigation system reliable...any problems?
Got a Garmin Nuvi and love it. Size of a deck of cards, yet with a great display, voice directions, very accurate, database of points of interest, restaurants; 4-6 hours of battery or lighter adapter; stick it in your pocket for pedestrian use; optional language and tourist guides; MPG player built in, etc. etc. Works great for me: $800 on the web. Suction cup on-dash mount and some wire channeling and it is perfect in my 06 Prius.
 

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I've got both.

Having come from using 3 Garmin's in my other vehicles and motocycles, I will say they are great units and better in function than the factory models. I especially love the little Garmin Quest which works on battery or car power and, as such, I can take into a motel and locate places with the phone book. Doing that with an in-dash factory unit is a pain. If you hike, there is nothing that will beat them.

That said, I'd never give up a factory in-dash unit. The convenience is too great. There is always the need to remove the Garmin and hide it everytime you exit the car else risking coming back to a busted window and/or a missing Garmin. Then there is the problem of plugging it in, sticking it onto the far-away windshield, reactiviating it, and setting up the route should it change when you replace it.

The re-install, seemingly simple, is a major pain over the factory unit. Sometimes I just don't do it.

If you're asking whether it is a worthy investment to buy a built-in over a add-on, I'd say yes. Convenience and it being there wins over the loss of vehicle damages from the theft of a portable.
 
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