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I recently experienced the Nav. in an '06 Lexus IS and noticed some features that it had. Like Points of Interests, you can find restaurants, ATMs, parks etc. by going through a catagorical list. I also got a chance to experience the nav. system in an Infiniti M45, and it was similar to the Lexus' in various features, also in the Lexus, you could touch the "home" button and it would direct you back to your house, or homebase. Does the RX8 nav. have these or some of these features? Is the RX8's a touchscreen? I know the RX8's nav. is by Navtech or at least has maps made by Navtech...who makes the Lexus and Infiniti system?
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I owned a 2004 Honda Accord EX w/ Nav prior to purchasing the 8, and all I have to say is that Mazda's NAV SUCKS. The touchscreen is the least of my complaints. The map software, POI database, and even the fact that it doesn't mute the front speakers when giving voice prompts are probably my biggest complaints. In retrospect I woud never purchase the Nav from the dealership again if given the choice. I would certainly buy an aftermarket system anyday.
Honda/Acura is by far the best in the business when it comes to Navigation systems. They were the first to introduce them and they are the best today in every facet of the system.
I owned a 2004 Honda Accord EX w/ Nav prior to purchasing the 8, and all I have to say is that Mazda's NAV SUCKS. The touchscreen is the least of my complaints. The map software, POI database, and even the fact that it doesn't mute the front speakers when giving voice prompts are probably my biggest complaints.
I haven't seen the Honda NAV system so I can't say how the Mazda NAV compares for software, user interface and POI database. I actually prefer the joystick (even though you need to develop a knack for pushing straight down to <click> without leaning the joystick in any direction) compared to a touchscreen because I would *hate* fingerprints on the screen and cleaning it all the time would anger me. Touchscreen also may not work well with gloves (worn 6 months of the year here in the frozen north) or respond well to cold. Poking a frozen screen is asking for trouble.
However, the main reason I reply is because the Mazda system *does* mute the front speakers. It's not complete - I tend to say 'dims' the front speakers. However, I do like to listen to my music rather loud and I've always found the reduction in music volume sufficient to understand the voice prompt, especially when I can confirm the correct instruction with a very brief glance at the (fingerprint-free) display.
I have the NAV and have been quite happy with it. But I also live in Atlanta so finding info isnt a problem. NAVTEQ does all the data gathering for just about every company out there. Its up to the manufacturers of the disk to decide how the Data is organized, used, etc. So while people may hate NAVTEQ, there is a VERY good chance they provide the data to the NAV systems in other cars. Other companies may just put more into making the disk than Panasonic does (who makes our system). I would always pick a factory NAV over aftermarket. I have yet to see an aftermarket than looks as clean in a car. If we had the abilty to change head units, that would be a different story, but I hate the ones that suction cup to windows or dashes.