Navigation system map updates - Acura MDX Forum : Acura MDX SUV Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Navigation system map updates

Just got my letter announcing reduced pricing ($99) for the 2017 map update. I have a 2015 MDX Advance that I have never updated maps on. So my maps are likely from 2014 or earlier. I have read all the negative posts on the Nav system, Infotainment system etc. I am not interested in getting into that discussion just opinions on whether or not to update maps periodically. I am thinking every 2 or 3 years it probably makes sense to spend the $99.
Thoughts please.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:18 AM
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I got my 2014 Advanced in 2013 and the maps were so old, circa 2012 that the major highway that was outside my house was not on the maps and so I was constantly driving off road and it was the biggest frustration - to the point of dumping the car. Took them a year and half to update the maps.

Other than that the NAV is a POS and I don't use it anymore and stick with Waze.

Don't bother wasting your $ and updating unless you are constantly driving off road.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:43 AM
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I've been using the Navi system in all three of my Acura since 2006. I still prefer using Acura navi compared to my iPhone 6S Plus; but, I still have my iPhone if I have an issue with navigation. I just update every 3rd year and wait until spring/summer when the prices drop to the $99 range (usually $199 in fall when new, $149 after the new year, and never below $99 until the new map is ready around Oct/Nov). I just updated my map in my 11 MDX for the second time last month.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:15 AM
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To OP - since you asked about whether is is worthwhile to update but dont want to discuss the pros and cons of the navi system, i can tell you it is hard to give an opinion of whether to update without the context of the navi system and expectations.

I will answer your questions with a noncommittal "it depends". And here is why.

On my 2008 it came with the 2008 navi dvd. I found out 2 weeks ago that the maps are severely out of date. Canadians buying the 2017 navi disc pay $179.99 cdn plus $32.00 shipping. Is it worth it?

At the time i bought it i would say yes. Because that way it does not eat up my phones data

But since i have updated it i have discovered, while sitting on a major Toronto clogged freeway artery heading downtown to the Bon Jovi concert last week, that there is no live traffic with the navi. I thought it was a given. I found out that live traffic can be bought separately with xm but it is not available in Canada. If i have to pay more i may as well just use my cell phone and google maps which i find is excellent

So in my view now, was the update worth it? I would say no based on the high cost but moreso based on what i now know are the limitations in the navi system itself


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:40 PM
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Since you're getting a lot of feedback from folks who don't have a 3G MDX or are on 2014s, I'll give you the perspective of a 2016 owner whose infotainment may be more similar to your 2015 than theirs (mainly because 2014s got a bit shafted on the software update and pre-2014 is still a slightly different system).

One thing that few people realize but forum member gargamel was kind enough to point out is that the navi updates also contain infotainment software updates. I do not know the extent of update for the 2015, but I can say for sure that 2016s are still experiencing software version upgrades with the update discs. We started out at software version 1.01.2501 and TSB 16-048 moved 2016s up to 2.01.2503 and gargamel confirmed that the 2016 update brought his infotainment software to 3.01.2514 version and addressed a number of bugs for him (e.g. the washed out black level on the upper screen problem, the backup camera problem). See the info here: Reverse camera intermittent

As a point of reference, 2017 models are already in the 4.xxxx software range, but the maps are likely back to 2014 era depending on where you live. HERE is rather slow on their updates. Also version 4 introduces a rather annoying screen dimming when using audio on both upper and lower screens. One of the forum members pointed it out a few weeks ago and an industry reviewer pointed it as well on their published review (makes you wonder how much the industry checks out forums).

So do I think it's worth it to get a disc every 3 years? Kind of, but I'll be honest that I'm most likely going to do it to fix bugs rather than updating my maps because I know HERE is ALWAYS behind. I'm still debating if I should do it on my 3rd year or my 4th year, right before warranty expires (there have been cases of the update bricking the unit).
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 04:10 PM
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I will very likely be getting a US spec 2014 MDX shortly and as I live in Europe, Acura customer support USA doesn't give any nav info, nor does it have maps for Europe.

I want to look into the possibility if any recent Honda maps for Europe will be compatible, but am as of yet unclear how updates are carried out on the MDX.

Is for the 2014 MDX w/Advance and Entertainment Package the cardmaterial on a DVD in the car or is it stored on the harddrive and just updated with a DVD? Where is this DVD in the car?

Am I correct in the assumption that Acura nav system is probably Alpine brand and is using Navtech maps?

If I cannot find out, the only thing left will be to use Phone navigation and connect it to the car, but would prefer to get the navi in the car working....
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 04:30 PM
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Does anyone know what the latest version is? I got my 2017 MDX a couple of weeks ago and want to make sure it is on the latest.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rsevo View Post
I will very likely be getting a US spec 2014 MDX shortly and as I live in Europe, Acura customer support USA doesn't give any nav info, nor does it have maps for Europe.

I want to look into the possibility if any recent Honda maps for Europe will be compatible, but am as of yet unclear how updates are carried out on the MDX.

Is for the 2014 MDX w/Advance and Entertainment Package the cardmaterial on a DVD in the car or is it stored on the harddrive and just updated with a DVD? Where is this DVD in the car?

Am I correct in the assumption that Acura nav system is probably Alpine brand and is using Navtech maps?

If I cannot find out, the only thing left will be to use Phone navigation and connect it to the car, but would prefer to get the navi in the car working....
The navi info is stored on the hard drive and updated via DVD. There is no DVD provided to owners at time of purchase. Updates are purchased here: The Official Acura Map Update Site | Home | HERE
They are usually $99 in the spring (sale) vs $149 normally. The infotainment is indeed manufactured by Alpine.


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Originally Posted by audionut21 View Post
Does anyone know what the latest version is? I got my 2017 MDX a couple of weeks ago and want to make sure it is on the latest.

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The 2017s I've seen thus far are either on database ST4.xxx and Firmware 4.xxxx or later. There is no place to look up the latest version, and I have only been able to gather such info from user reports on forums like this. I would not dwell on having the latest version if you just purchased it. Perhaps just plan on updating years down the line to keep current on the bug fixes and some navi updates. Either way, an update has NOT been released for 2017s to the public. This usually happens a year after.

I love the predicament that Honda put us in, where many 2016 Honda vehicles now receive free navi updates for 5 years from purchase along with new AA/CP capable Android based head units, while Acura owners are stuck in the past until the 2018 TLX comes around.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 06:12 PM
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Hey Neoshi, Sorry, I couldn't reply message directly because of my member status here.
For your question, Those disks are all DVD-ROMs, READ ONLY, no way to write or erase anything.
I checked through PC and all the files are readable.

Regards,
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gargamel View Post
Hey Neoshi, Sorry, I couldn't reply message directly because of my member status here.
For your question, Those disks are all DVD-ROMs, READ ONLY, no way to write or erase anything.
I checked through PC and all the files are readable.

Regards,
Haha no worries. Just glad you're able to respond! I knew it. They're full of BS at HERE.

Just as a FYI, HERE says 2017 BROWN DVD UPDATE V3 moves databases to version ST005.04.00 (as of today for my VIN under GB037480). However, they could not pull up info on the firmware version it would update vehicles to. 2016+ MDXes with VINs ending GB037480 or after are possibly on newer versions. There is also a hardware change on 2016s for VINs on or after GB037497 (not sure what changed, but the price of the unit went up $200+).
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Neoshi.
I did not realize that there were other software updates included with the map updates. I will probably update maps next spring as my maps have been very accurate to date. I am wondering though about these 'other' software updates. Are these other updates documented so I know what has changed (like new features) or are they primarily bug fixes that don't require me to do any thing?
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:54 PM
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I have a 2014 (purchased July 2013) and have no plans to do a map update.

Even though I live in an area with plenty of road construction the reality is that when I use the nav, which is actually unusual since over 90% of the time I know exactly what route I'm going to take (going to work, going to the beach, going downtown, etc.) I don't really need a nav for it, and the times I do use it, especially on cross country trips, it's going to work for well over 95% of the roads I'm on.

I don't think a map update is worth it from my perspective. On top of that I'm annoyed that Acura views map updates as a revenue source rather than providing no-cost updates like I've become accustomed to on my smart phone apps and Garmin, so I don't want to reinforce their poor behavior by buying this product.

I think you should just consider practically how a map update would really benefit you given that most likely over 95% of the roads you drive on have been there for 10 years or more and are already mapped in your nav and the ones that are newer you likely already know about. I can see corner cases that might benefit from an update but even then, don't assume that the update will have that new road that was built 3 years ago - it might not. I haven't checked but it's be nice if before buying an update one can check online to verify that the update has particular road information - which would be the impetus for the person to buy the product.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:24 AM
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POIs change more rapidly than roads, for the most part, but HERE isn't always trailblazing in that area either. We have a few road changes nearby, and it drove my wife nuts to be "offroad" in her new car, so we got an update ASAP ( meaning more than a year after the 2014 was purchased... ). On our other Alpine/Acura Nav system, we typically do updates every few years. Mostly so my teenage driver will keep his damn cell phone in his pocket when he is driving.

As for firmware updates, documentation of changes? That gave me the giggles. Not. And there seem to have been stealth hardware changes, so the applicable firmware versions are tied to a VIN range, and VIN is required when you order an update. Looks like they want to know "device ID" and current map database revision numbers too. This lends credence to the claim that the update is tied to a particular vehicle. And yes, our 2014 is an orphan for some software/hardware improvements in subsequent model years. So the basic concept is WYSIWYG. Don't expect meaningful improvements after purchase, aside from ( maybe ) stomping out major bugs.

There used to be a tool on the old Navteq site to preview the maps and see if they were up-to-date in areas of interest, but I can't find anything like that anymore.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:44 AM
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I just updated the map on my 2014 and the map seems to have more detail. Also, the joystick now moves the map crosshairs much better when driving. Before once moving you could not move the crosshairs with any precision.

The best navigation upgrade for me has been the addition of Acuralink Connect service. Now with the Acuralink app on my phone I can use a voice command to search for something i.e. Costco Irvine and it will show a listings that you could select from and send to the car. This make it much easier to search for destinations with multiple locations think McDonalds. Also now there is a routing option that connects to Acuralink automatically and offers the options of fastest, direct or economical routing options. It's not perfect but with Acuralink it now acts more like using a Goggle search with most up to date information and search capability.

So I would recommend the $99.00 upgrade and the paid subscription to Acuralink.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rka4570 View Post
I just updated the map on my 2014 and the map seems to have more detail. Also, the joystick now moves the map crosshairs much better when driving. Before once moving you could not move the crosshairs with any precision.

The best navigation upgrade for me has been the addition of Acuralink Connect service. Now with the Acuralink app on my phone I can use a voice command to search for something i.e. Costco Irvine and it will show a listings that you could select from and send to the car. This make it much easier to search for destinations with multiple locations think McDonalds. Also now there is a routing option that connects to Acuralink automatically and offers the options of fastest, direct or economical routing options. It's not perfect but with Acuralink it now acts more like using a Goggle search with most up to date information and search capability.

So I would recommend the $99.00 upgrade and the paid subscription to Acuralink.
And at the rate we build out new communities in Irvine, one can only hope that HERE is adding some of the roads at least amirite? Lol

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