JD Power and Associates has just released a consumer survey that ranks on-board satellite navigation systems in various cars. The top of the heap was the Garmin system in the Dodge Charger.
Garmin makes two of three consumer favorites
According to USA Today, JD Power and Associates has released the annual survey of on-board satellite navigation systems in cars. The scores are tallied by surveying people who bought or leased one of a list of new cars with a bespoke sat-nav system last year and asking them whether they were satisfied with the system. JD Power surveyed 18,303 people.
Of the top three custom sat-nav systems in the 2011 U.S. Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study, two were from brands under the Chrysler umbrella, both by Garmin. The Garmin system in the Dodge Charger ranked first in customer satisfaction, followed by the Mobis system in the Hyundai Genesis. Third overall in customer satisfaction was the Garmin system in the Chrysler 300.
MyFord out of Touch
The three on-board sat-nav systems that ranked worst in customer satisfaction were the Denso, in the Toyota RAV-4, the TeleNav system in the Lincoln MKX and Melco, the system found in Volvo’s XC90. Toyota’s Denso was the lowest-rated sat-nav system of all.
According to AutoBlog, TeleNav is the sat-nav function found in the MyFord Touch “infotainment” system. Other cars equipped with MyFord Touch also landed at the bottom, including the Ford Edge and Explorer. However, Ford models that weren’t equipped with MyFord Touch such as the Fusion, Flex and the Lincoln MKS sedan, which have sat-nav systems by Clarion, ranked much higher than their Touch-equipped counterparts. No Clarion-equipped Ford or Lincoln scored less than four stars and no TeleNav-equipped Ford scored more than two stars.
Ease of use prized
Almost one-third of problems with sat-nav systems were caused by difficulties in using the navigation systems. Other causes of dissatisfaction included routes displayed by the sat-nav, the display screen, speed of the system, voice directions and recognition.
Part of the assessment was how many problems were encountered in every sample of 100 individual navigation units in cars. Far more problems per 100 units were observed in systems that customers deemed “more complex.”
Always have the phone
Though bespoke satellite navigation is nice, it may not be an incentive to pay more for a car that comes with it. Plenty of aftermarket units, such as Garmin and TomTom, are available and are of considerable quality.
Smartphone users also have sat-nav apps they can use. Android phones have a native GPS navigation function in Google Maps. Garmin, according to PC Magazine, released its StreetPilot app for iPhone this year and TomTom, according to PCWorld, has had an iPhone app since 2009.