The Pros and Cons of In-Car Sat Nav

Despite the popularity of portable GPS units, installing in-car satellite navigation systems has many benefits, but only if it’s right for your lifestyle. Learn about the pros and cons to determine if an in-car GPS unit is a worthy investment for your set of wheels.

Reasons to Choose In-Car GPS

If you travel mostly in your personal car, whether around town or out of town, then you might consider in-car navigation. Since the sat nav is hardwired into your vehicle, it is always there to support you, without any charging or unsightly mounting bracket needed. In-car sat navs often have multiple uses, and they give your vehicle a luxurious look.

The Pros of In-Car Navigation

There are many benefits to built-in GPS navigation systems, namely:

  • In-car GPS units usually get better GPS reception, have greater memory capacity, and therefore, calculate routes faster.

  • Because the in-car GPS is hardwired into your vehicle, you will never accidentally leave it at home.

  • High-end in-car sat nav models also double as a multimedia player, with the capability to view DVD movies, play MP3, WMA and CDDA discs, and create and store your own digital library (depending on the model you choose).

  • The screen, either a built-in or motorized pop-out screen, on in-car sat navs is larger than a portable GPS and easier to read.

The Cons of In-Car Navigation

There are a few drawbacks to installing an in-car sat nav system, such as:

  • Price! An in-car GPS unit plus installation will almost always exceed $1,000.

  • You can’t bring your GPS unit with you on vacation or business trips unless you’re able to drive your personal vehicle. Renting a car with a satellite navigation system is expensive.

  • A safety feature present on some in-car GPS models necessitates you activating the parking brake to access certain features, ranging from programming navigation to watching DVDs. Unfortunately, this feature won’t recognize a passenger controlling the device; you will still need to stop the car.

If you want the look of an in-car sat nav, but still covet the convenience of a portable GPS unit, then you may soon be able to kill two birds with one stone.  The Euro-spec Toyota Yaris was recently outfitted with a completly integrated TomTom GPS unit that is also fully portable as well, and the trend may very well continue with other automakers in the future.


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