infiniti qx4 : The QX4 navigation system has a color touch screen so you can rapidly selectoptions and enter alphabetical letters by touching the screen rather thanhaving to use a joystick to scroll a cursor around through menus and graphicalkeyboards. This is a major advantage that the QX4 system has over itscompetitors. The screen is larger than those in most other cars and ispositioned fairly high on the instrument panel. You can manually dim thedisplay for night driving.There are many setup options available (it has a scroll bar), but once you setthem they are retained for future trips, so you don't have to mess with setupevery time. For example, you can chose fastest route or shortest route, avoidexpressways, avoid toll roads and avoid ferries. I selected the fastest routeand allowed all modes of travel (we don't have many toll roads in the South,thank God). You can also choose whether the map display has North at the topor whether it should rotate to show your current direction at the top. Anotherscreen shows information about the number and location of GPS satellites thatare available for navigation. In addition, it provides your latitude, longitudeand altitude. The latitude/longitude information could be useful if you brokedown or got stuck in a snowdrift somewhere and were calling for assistance.
infiniti qx4 : After I finished going through the setup options, I pressed the "Dest" buttonlocated next to the screen to call up the destination selection screen. Thereare quite a few ways to specify your destination: street address, address book,street intersections and point of interest -- gas station, ATM, Infinitidealers, hospitals, universities, bowling allies, ice skating rinks (I kid younot), and many other categories. If your location can't be found by any otherAww, that's no fun. It's a source of considerable amusement to me,listening to Etak SkyMap's attempts to pronounce the names of streets. Like"emm cee carthy boulevard", instead of McCarthy blvd and "uh SPEN ridgdrive" instead of Aspenridge drive. I think I'd really miss the attempts atpronounciation, if they weren't there.Navtech does have detailed data for the entire country, they just don't wantto use anything except the most up to date data. If a customer spends thekind of money that this system costs, they'll probably be happier with"major streets only" data, than they will be with out of date, detaileddata. Witness, the continual complaints on this newsgroup about out of datedata, such as missing streets etc, for mapping products that cost only $40or so. If you're spending 1 to 2 thousand dollars, you're going to bereally upset at those sort of errors. So, better to not pretend that theyhave up to date detailed data for other than major metro areas. Thecustomer will be somewhat dissapointed, but not as much as if they dopretend to have up to date data and the street the customer is looking for,isn't shown.
infiniti qx4 : Are you sure about this? Since most existing residential streets rarely changeposition or direction, I would much prefer to have 5-year-old data for mysuburb rather than just having information about a couple of major roads. Heck, the city map I have in my glove compartment is probably more than 5 yearsold, and it gets me where I want to go 99% of the time.I am sure that Navtech has detailed data for the entire country, because Ihave a complete set of 9 CDs containing Navtech coverage for the wholecountry. This set of CDs is not identical to what comes with the various incar Navigation systems. As with all data sets (Etak, Tiger, etc) some of itis out of date. I'm only speculating, that Navtech does not provide dataoutside major metro areas, for the in car navigation systems, because ofconcern over customer dissatisfaction at innaccuracy due to out of datedata. They probably keep data for the major metro areas, much more up todate.As for your stated preference to have old data instead of no data, you SAYthat's what you prefer, but I rather think that most folks would becomplaining much more loudly about out of date data, than they are about nodata.
infiniti qx4 : Hi John,My Datus Routefinder came with a "complete set of NavTech street mapsfor the USA". Yet it has residential level street level maps only forthe major cities and suburbs. When I asked about this, Datus told methat NavTech expected it would be six or more years before the would beable to offer "complete" residential level street level maps for theentire USA.If this information is NOT correct, please let me know as this is whatI have been telling those who ask about NavTech map data as used in manyfixed mount automobile navigation systems.I stand corrected. You guys are right. Major streets only, outside majormetro areas and suburbs. I guess out here in California, most of the statequalifies as a metro area or suburb thereof. I've driven for more than 70miles without losing the detailed street coverage, even into areas that Iconsider fairly rural. Looking at some of the examples you cited, fromother parts of the country, it is easy to see places that do not havedetailed coverage.This sheds a whole new light on Navtech, for me anyway. DeLorme does theentire country (albeit with tiger data) in full detail and it all fits onone CD. Etak's SkyMap does the whole country in full detail with at leastas good a quality as Navtech, on 3 CDs (nearly 2). Rand McNallyStreetfinder has a very slightly different version of the Etak databasecovering the entire country in detail and it fits on 2 CDs. Navtech'sincomplete detailed coverage takes up 9 CDs. It's not like the CDs onlyhave 50 meg each, or anything. 300 to 400 megabytes each, is typical of the9 CDs. This seems awfully inefficient. It is my understanding that thecost for each CD a customer buys, for the in car navigation systems is about$100. What a deal!
infiniti qx4 : I'm seriously considering buying a new Infiniti QX4, but I would like toexchange messages with a few current owners to get some feedback on how wellthey like this car.I definitely want a SUV, and I have been researching them for several months. My two favorites are the QX4 and the Mercedes ML-320. The main advantage theQX4 has over the ML320 is reliability: Consumers Reports rates the QX4 near thetop for reliability (above the Lexus RX300) whereas the ML320 is second fromthe bottom (only the Jeep Grand Cherokee is less reliable). Since I tend tokeep my cars for a long time, and I hate to spend time taking them into theshop, this is a very significant factor for me.The main advantages that the ML-320 has are: True full-time, all-wheel-drive,sophisticated traction control and stability control systems, 6 airbags, betterride, tighter turning radius (10 feet smaller), more legroom and headroom, more cargo capacity behind rear seat, better depreciation and better ride andhandling.If any of you own a QX4, I would appreciate some comments to these questions:
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