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Discussion Starter #1
Let me make it plain and simple. The Lexus Nav has usability problems that clearly were not resolved from the design phase. I have the Lexus Nav in my 2001 RX300. It was the cheapest SUV with navigation that I could buy for my wife at that time. The only other choice was the MDX ($3K markup and 7 mo. wait list).

Prior to the RX, we had an Acura TL with Nav (the Alpine unit that has received Highest Customer Satisfaction With Factory Installed Navigation Systems by J.D. Power Associates). My wife used the TL Nav all the time as she was new to the area. I used it all the time when we travel outside the Washington, DC region.

When we switched to the Lexus Nav (a Denso unit?), we found it troublesome to use. For example, when you input the address, you'll need to use the touch screen to choose until the last letter of the street name. Unlike Lexus, the TL system intelligently matches the sub-string of street name you have entered against what's left in the database to save you some time. The Lexus Nav doesn't allow you to save past destinations into individual profiles. (Acura has two user profiles). Without this feature, my destinations can get erased to accomodate my wife's destinations as she drives that car more often.

When actually travelling, we found the Lexus sytem often gave dubious at best directions or road choices. As my wife painfully found out, she had been travelling longer distance by following the Nav, when a shorter distance road is apparent and readily available to us locals. The Lexus system would tell you to get off at a highway exit just to take a side trip to the Local Lanes and then swerve back out to the Express Lanes. ( Those who're familiar with the I-270 in MD know what I'm talking about). One time, my wife chose shortest distance and no toll, but found herself paying the 50 cents toll (on Dulles Toll Road to get to Tysons Corner). I tested the system repeatedly and concluded the software has logic bugs. Acura rarely made these kinds of mistakes.

The bottom line is that you spend $2K on a feature that needs to be used, not looked at. The motorized screen may look cool, but please don't buy it because of that. Take some time to use the Nav when you test drive the car. For me, I went back to printing out Mapquest directions, but as secondary reference. I know I can't depend exclusively on the Lexus Nav to travel to unfamiliar cities... But I could on the Acura one.
 

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Originally posted by S20002IS300:
Let me make it plain and simple. The Lexus Nav has usability problems that clearly were not resolved from the design phase. Associates). My wife used the TL Nav all the time as she was new to the area. I used it all the time when we travel outside the Washington, DC region.
Acura rarely made these kinds of mistakes.

The bottom line is that you spend $2K on a feature that needs to be used, not looked at. The motorized screen may look cool, but
That's a good comparison.. So actually the acura unit is an alpine?? then I will go for alpine dvd nav system..

thanks for the review
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know I can't include all the problems I have encountered in one post
When I missed a turn in the Acura, it starts to compute an alternative route with the upcoming cross streets. Lexus, in many cases, just kept telling me to make a U turn. WTF? Why would I need the Nav if I still have to make a reverse when I missed a street? An U turn is a more dangerous maneuver than left or right turns when you're almost lost and in a unfamiliar town. And try to make a damn U turn in NJ when you don't know all U turns are prohibited unless you use the special turn back lane to the right. Man..I wanted to strangle that composite voice keep saying, "make a u turn when possible."
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by El Chino:
That's a good comparison.. So actually the acura unit is an alpine?? then I will go for alpine dvd nav system..

thanks for the review
Go for the Alpine aftermarket. The disadvantage is that you can't get everything installed for under $2K, which is the cost for the OEM system. (At least I couldn't when I added them all up on paper). But there is an advantage - being able to play DVD movies with the screen
 

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Originally posted by S20002IS300:
I know I can't include all the problems I have encountered in one post
When I missed a turn in the Acura, it starts to compute an alternative route with the upcoming cross streets. Lexus, in many cases, just kept telling me to make a U turn. WTF? Why would I need the Nav if I still have to make a reverse when I missed a street? An U turn is a more dangerous maneuver than left or right turns when you're almost lost and in a unfamiliar town. And try to make a damn U turn in NJ when you don't know all U turns are prohibited unless you use the special turn back lane to the right. Man..I wanted to strangle that composite voice keep saying, "make a u turn when possible."
when i was out test driving the SC430 from my fathers dealership, i slapped on the NAV and i missed a turn, and it said make u - turn if possible, and after about 10-15 seconds of driving, it computed a new route...i didnt think the NAV system was all that bad...jsut my 2¢
 

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Yup. I made the same observations...and opted for a non-NAV Lexus. I have friends that have NAV units in their Lexi - the novelty seems to run out after a month.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Originally posted by El Chino:
so is the acura unit an alpine nav??
can someone confirm this??
Yes yes yes. It says so in the manual. Want more confirmation? Do a search on Acura-tl.com or JDPower.com

[ August 08, 2001: Message edited by: S20002IS300 ]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Originally posted by scoot557:
when i was out test driving the SC430 from my fathers dealership, i slapped on the NAV and i missed a turn, and it said make u - turn if possible, and after about 10-15 seconds of driving, it computed a new route...i didnt think the NAV system was all that bad...jsut my 2¢
Yes, half the time it did come up with a new route, I agree. But other times, it doesn't. I have even seen the computer trying to compute a new route repeatedly for 15 minutes and resulted in nothing. All that time I kept driving straight and waiting. And then suddenly all activities stopped. No more voice prompts. The screen just showed the car moving in its direction.
 

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I have a gs with nav. I beleive fujitsu Ten manufactures not Denso but.. I had no major disapointments from the system. If I missed a turn it would ask to make a u-turn however if I needed I could hit detour and 1 mile and get a reasonable route. 90% of the time the directions agreed with what I knew to be correct. There will always be database issues with these systems until dynamic updates are available. The RX is a cheaper system compared to t e gs, probably like the proposed IS system, but we will just have to see. Also the 2k can probably be talked down a bit, on the gs it is a 5k option, 2.5k invoice. Nav is an extra that can only be appreciated when you need directions to that party in the middle of the night and all you have is an address.


fig
 

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The Acura does use the Alpine nav set up. You cannot get the Alpine aftermarhet though with touch screen. Screw the remotes and such as the touch screen is by far the quickest and coolest to use. Check out the new Kenwood unit as it is touch screen, DVD based(same soft-ware as Alpine), and it is the quickest CPU on the market to date. It refreshes almost 3 X's the speed as other systems. It is a little more costly, but it is not already out dated.
 

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Wow.... S2002IS300, i've never had any of those problems on my 1999 GS400 navigation system.. When i enter a destination it autocompletes it for you and it has actually found shorter routes than ones i currently take. In addition to that it lets you add destinations to only one profile but it has memory for i think over 100 destinations...I'm surprised the IS300 has a nav system that isn't as good..

-Chris Y.
 

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Chris Y, it's not confirmed yet that the IS300 nav is the same as the 2001 RX300. S20002IS300 is commenting on the 2001 RX300 Nav system!
 

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S20002IS300, how much are we looking at for the Alpine DVD system including installation too.

What is JDPower.com anyways? I always hear people mentioning them while advertising their products.

I also wonder what the IS Nav will be like. Is the RX one identical to the GS400 one? Only time can tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The RX unit stores at most 20 (I really want to say 15) past destinations.

Originally posted by Chris Y:
Wow.... S2002IS300, i've never had any of those problems on my 1999 GS400 navigation system.. When i enter a destination it autocompletes it for you and it has actually found shorter routes than ones i currently take. In addition to that it lets you add destinations to only one profile but it has memory for i think over 100 destinations...I'm surprised the IS300 has a nav system that isn't as good..

-Chris Y.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That sounds very promising. Thanks for the great info, Todd. I didn't realize there are different manufacturers and models of navigation systems within the same car brand. My manual says the RX Nav is made by Denso. Now I know the GS Nav is made by Fujitsu Ten. Maybe the LS has one from yet another manufacturer


Originally posted by Todd:
If you goto www.insidelexus.com, there is a section on the nav system. Appearently, it is new and improved for 2002. I can't copy the text, so I'll post a link to it below.

DVD Navigation

[ August 08, 2001: Message edited by: Todd ]
 

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The LS430's navigation system works perfectly, after about 5 seconds of driving the U-turn sign disappears and a new route is calculated in 2-3 seconds. It tells you everything by audio and even has a little speech recognition button. It is all touch screen and the directions are accurate...at least in Southern California..
 

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This thread needs a disclaimer:

"The assessment of the navigation system is based purely on the experiences using the RX300's system, not the ones found in the other Lexus vehicles."
 
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