2014 Forester Nav Display: Worst I Have Seen

An iPhone photo of the nav screen on my 2014 Forester 2.0XT Touring (deluxe Harmon Kardon audio) may be seen at <http://www.flickr.com/photos/primeval/8893582696/ .
I made this photo while the Forester was parked in my driveway. Yes, I live near Hog Farm Road. You got a problem with that, city slicker?
--
I agree with almost everything that you have said and almost everything that
you will say in your entire life.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Since I'll probably be in the market for a nav system soon, may I ask what you dislike about this one?
Also, do you know who makes it?
Patty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Davoud:

Patty Winter:

You didn't read the caption? Here it is:
"Worst vehicle navigation display that I have ever seen. The clutter on the display is irreducible; it can't be turned off. Further, there is a second, much smaller, LCD display, and the backup camera uses that instead of the main nav display. It's essentially useless, particularly in bright daylight. Note that the time is in 12-hour format. I prefer 24-hour format for the same reason that if one were to ask me to count to 24 I would do it sequantially [sic]; I would not count to 12 twice. In keeping with the spirit of display clutter, the small LCD has a clock as well, but it can be set to display the time in the 24-hour format. It is not tied to the GPS system and must be set manually."
It's a 6.1" display, BTW.

The nav system manual says, under End-user License Agreement "This Agreement has been entered into by and between NNG Kft. (registered seat: 23 Bérc utca, H-1016 Budapest, Hungary; Company reg.no.: 01-09-891838) as Licensor (hereinafter: Licensor) and You..." (!)
--
I agree with almost everything that you have said and almost everything that
you will say in your entire life.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh, sorry. I'm so used to Flickr pages that don't have captions that I'm not sure I even realized that they could have them. :-)

Okay, so your problems with the nav system are that the clock is on 12-hour time and there are graphics on the screen that can't be turned off. Nothing in the manual about the former?

Hmmm, weird. I thought it would be a recognizable GPS manufacturer.
Patty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Patty Winter:

Davoud:

Patty Winter:

Captions and explanatory note fields, plus room for comments and replies to comments. What kind of a person would publish a photograph without a caption? I was in a discussion--it almost became a flame war--on a Yahoo group about this. It drives me nuts to see someone publish a photo with the caption _IMG_0177, especially when the subject matter is not immediately identifiable. That would work for the Eiffel Tower, but it wouldn't work for an obscure stone bridge in the wilds of Provence, e.g. I want to know what I'm looking at, or I won't give it a second glance.

Patty Winter:

No. My main problem is not the silly and redundant clock. It is that the display, which is just 13.5 x 7.2 cm, or 97.2 sq cm (cm2), displays 27 cm2 of irreducible clutter in the form of text and icons. Irreducible in this context means "cannot be turned off." If you prefer English measure, the display is 5.3 x 2.8 in., or 6" diagonal. Fully 27% of the map is obscured. It might not be so bad if the obscuring data were all on the side of the display rather than at all four sides and in the corners, and large enough to intrude significantly into the map <http://www.flickr.com/photos/primeval/8893582696/ .
Forget the redundant GPS-accurate clock; I was wrong; it /can/ be turned off, though the manually set clock on the second display cannot be turned off. The elevation above mean sea level (wrongly identified as "altitude," which is usually applied to aircraft) cannot be turned off; accidentally touching the elevation box when the time is turned off causes the elevation to be displayed twice.
Executive summary: A large vehicle with a smaller-than-average GPS display of which more than 25% is permanently obscured. Thus I stand by my subject line: worst nav display I have seen. The Forester GPS will get you past the all-important "last mile" and put you at your destination reliably, but with much less convenience and user-friendliness than some other auto GPS systems. "Clueless" is not a favorite buzzword with me, but it certainly seems to apply to the designers of the Forester GPS system.
Did I mention that voice guidance may be tardy in issuing commands, and that at legal Interstate speeds, it can be too late to get into an exit lane except via a last-second swerve by the time the command to do so is received? This is not a problem with simple, isolated interchanges, but on a beltway, e.g., where there may be three or even more exit ramps stacked one right after the other, this can be is problematic. Also in city traffic if one doesn't have a companion to watch the display to see which lane one should be in. One can be entering, not approaching, an intersection in the right lane when the instruction to turn left is received.
I don't hold out any hope of fixing any of this, due to the integration of stereo, nav, and other features, but I will have a talk with my car stereo guy. There is also the possibility that hacks will emerge; on the Prius display, for example, there are invisible buttons and undocumented button combinations that will allow one to access hidden features.
One last feature I would like: the ability to turn the display off altogether, as I can with my Prius.
OK, I'm done whining about this. This wasn't meant to be a whine, anyway, but a notification.
--
I agree with almost everything that you have said and almost everything that
you will say in your entire life.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/30/2013 3:22 PM, Davoud wrote:

Living near a hog farm is your problem, not ours ;)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Davoud:

Frank:

But I don't live near a hog farm. I live near a road named Hog Farm Road. I live across the road from two horse farms, though.
--
I agree with almost everything that you have said and almost everything that
you will say in your entire life.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/30/2013 10:53 PM, Davoud wrote:

Oh, OK, that's funny. I do know what hog farms smell like and you don't want to be near them. Goad you don't. We have nearby mushroom houses and when they clean them out you can smell them for miles.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In Reston, Virginia there is a Temporary Road, which is paved and has curbs, while in upscale Great Falls, VA, they used Latin in naming Ad Hoc Road. My favorite is off of US 15 in southside Virginia: Mud Dusty Road. That name conjures images. Shakespeare couldn't have said more with so few words. The people who live there should all have Subarus.
How big is the nav display in the Forester? If it's at least 7 inches then it doesn't seem all that cluttered. I assume that there is a manual that explains all the icons and numbers, including the 280 and 281. They couldn't be headings, times, or distances, and it wouldn't make sense to put up two route numbers, so I don't know what they are. Are you asking us to guess at their meaning as some kind of test, or does the manual really not explain them? They could be the street numbers of the houses you are passing. I had an early Garmin navigator that had that feature, which was sometimes useful, but whose small display was worse than the one in your Subaru.
--
John Varela

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Davoud:

John Varela:

The nav display is 6.1", which feels small. /Very/ small with all of the irreducible clutter. There is a manual. I have it on paper and in PDF <http://www.subaru.com/owners/resource-center/owners-manuals/index.html> It's as disorganized as the rest of the system. There is a page that shows that part of the screen. An arrow points to the road icon with "N" under it and calls it "Direction Display." Fair enough. There is no explanation of the two numbers on either side of that display. They can't be headings (the car is facing NNE and the readings are 280 and 281 and in the manual they are displayed as 391 and 392. They can't be route numbers or house numbers (at least not correct route numbers or house numbers; I live at #1298). Perhaps I will see the numbers change and get an idea from that as to what they might signify. No, this was not a test to see if you're as smart as I am, but if you had known the answer we would have known that you are smarter than I am.
Later: Without moving the vehicle, I went and checked it and looked at the various map settings. The display now reads "W" (still facing NNE) and the numbers are 1210 and 1211. The latter numbers made me wonder if this is a crude attempt to identify house numbers. The nine houses in our little subdivision are on two-acre lots so the house numbers are non-sequential. That confuses all GPS systems that I have seen, including a high-precision USG system that was once in my care. There are no lots numbered 1210 and 1211, however. I give up for now.
--
I agree with almost everything that you have said and almost everything that
you will say in your entire life.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I read somewhere that (at lest some) navigators don't know the number of every house, they only know some numbers (or maybe which hundreds block this is) and interpolate.
--
John Varela

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had gramin 2610 and absolutely loved it. It made the best use of those not quite 4 inches and predated the latest and greatest navs (that stutter and hang which 2610 miraculously avoided).
If you want a simple clutter free system get a decade old garmin that predates nuvi. Read the reviews on amazon before you choose. Something that you can't do when buying a car with a built in nav system.
Buying a car with a built in nav system is idiotic. Buyting a car that can't be backed without a backup camera is equally idiotic in my book. (Gotta work those neck muscles every now and then)
But, then, electronics sells so what do I know. We are 10+ years into integrated nav systems and they are still crap
me thinks nasdaq valuation of garmin is a bit low
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had the same thing and was happy with it until they stopped making map updates available. That really soured me on Garmin.
I now use a TomTom XXL which has a larger, color screen and a better satellite receiver. It pulls in satellites in areas where the Garmin always lost contact even when I was using the external antenna. I assume that current Garmin models do as well as the TomTom.
Features that the Garmin had that I miss in the TomTom:
A computer program for planning routes with unlimited via points that could be downloaded to the navigator. I sometimes prefer to avoid the Interstates and take less hectic routes, which can only be done by forcing the machine to plot through via points. TomTom permits only one via point at a time and it's cumbersome to identify them on the little screen. (Garmin may no longer have that feature because the software only ran on Win95 and its descendents and -- as far as I know -- was never updated. Not to Mac, for sure. Garmin promised to port it to Mac but never did.)
Tracks are not often useful but when you want a track, you want a track.
That house number feature.
The Garmin also had multiple trip calculators, a feature I never had a use for.

I like the aftermarket GPS because it frees up real estate on the built-in display. Also, having the GPS in front of you on the dash is better than having to draw your view down to the console.
The built-ins have access to the car's computer data so they can (I don't know that they all do) dead-reckon when the satellite signal is lost. That's not much of a benefit because the modern GPSes seldom lose signal except in tunnels.

Backup cameras should prevent a few Moms from backing up over small children or their toys, especially on cars with less glass than the Forester. I find the backup camera's projection of future track useful when backing out of parking spaces, especially in crowded underground garages.

--
John Varela

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/31/2013 2:37 PM, John Varela wrote:

Somewhere in this ng, I mentioned my sons nav system going down in his Mercedes. It was repaired under warranty but he was told that if not for the warranty, it would have cost $3,000.
Also I don't believe you get map updates with these systems.
My Garmin Nuvi which has a 5 inch screen and cost less than $150 has lifetime map updates included in price. They have about 4 map updates a year. Roads don't change that frequently but businesses do. Seems like every time I go to the nearby shopping center there are different stores and businesses.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Somebody wrote:

Nonsense. My Prius has an excellent touch-screen factory nav system. Easy to use, easy to read at a glance, well protected from the sun.
My Avalon also has a good nav system, but it's not touch screen, so not as easy to enter addresses, etc. My friend's newer Avalon has an excellent touch-screen nav system.
--
I agree with almost everything that you have said and almost everything that
you will say in your entire life.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My 2007 chevy avalanche has a good display, but a couple times I had a communication error, which takes out, rear view, onstar, radio. Updates are $200 on DVD. When I enter my truck, the DVD starts up. Using the navigation is all different. Can't enter zip code. Must be in proper section of country. Once traveling to entered destination, it said, your pretty much on your own, !! Just when I was getting close. I have used it in the map mode to select location. Just point. DVD updates also loads from DVD each time, including operation system.
I would like rear monitors be in the right spot, in the rear, so you are looking back like a normal person.
Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frank:

That'll teach him to drive that overpriced stuff when he could have had a couple of Toyotas and change. But a failed factory nav system on just about any car will cost a couple of kilodollars.

Most factory systems do not include free map updates. I updated the Avalon after five years; the Prius is going on seven years and I plan to update it soon.
--
I agree with almost everything that you have said and almost everything that
you will say in your entire life.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/31/2013 9:31 PM, Davoud wrote:

I'm with you. Mercedes was about the price of 2 Foresters. His wife has a Forester and he likes it just as well.
His nav system is nice with Blue Tooth and voice commands. He makes phone calls and gets directions without taking his hands off the wheel.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frank:

Davoud:

Frank:

DavoudL

Frank:

You mean on your son's Benz? The nav systems on my '06 Prius and my Forester have Bluetooth phone and voice-controlled navigation. Additionally, the Forester has audio playback from an iThingie either wirelessly via Bluetooth or via a USB connection. In both cases the iThingie is controlled from the nav screen and the steering wheel.
--
I agree with almost everything that you have said and almost everything that
you will say in your entire life.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6/1/2013 6:44 PM, Davoud wrote:

Yes the Mercedes. His wife uses a Garmin Nuvi in her Forester. Your's sounds as good as his.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.