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I have a friend who's interested in an SUV with a Navigation System, but may not want to go high end. The only ones I know of that offer Navs are Lexus, MB, BMW, and Acura, and I'm guessing that's not an all-inclusive list. Can anyone here help me out and let me know which other SUVs offer Navs as an option? For example, is it an option for the Highlander? Thanks!

Dana
 

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Nav Option

I wanted a NAV in my MDX but the dealer said it would be about 5 months before I could get one rather than take a touring model now. So I bought my MDX and went to a Sharper Image and saw a display for the Garmin Street Pilot III. I bought this GPS system and plugged it into my cigarette lighter and have been happy ever since plus it can share memory modules with other Garmin products. True it is not as large or as fancy as the factory option but it is affordable and very sophisticated considering it only cost abot $800.00 and can be upgraded over the internet. I has voice directions and a few other nice ioptions that make it a worthy consideration for any car ! City Navigator maps come with th unit and are excellent.
 

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Do not believe the Highlander has NAV, was not an option when I was looking a few months back. You also said "not high end", a loaded Highlander gets close in cost .....big reason I went with the MDX.

Alpine makes the unit in MDX, and an Alpine can be added to any car for some cost. Nav units are about $1300 to 2000 new, and the display is additional. Pioneer, Clarion, and Eclipse as a minimum also make units. I had the Alpine CD Rom based Nav with an Alpine indash receiver in my old Explorer, and it was great.

As Rick mentioned, the Streetpilot III is great as well. I have it for my motorcycle and am happy, but it is not cheap and you only get 1 software region, unlocks are additional. Also slow compared to the Alpines and no inertial based guidance. On plus side though, works well and can be moved. Am happy I bought it. There is also a Garmin 5 (I think the # is right) available for much less than the SP III, but it is not a color display.

Several options, depending on cost, and they all work
 

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Consider Nissan Pathfinder

Prior to getting our MDX we seriously considered purchasing a Nissan Pathfinder. It is essentially the same SUV as the Infinity QX4 without the price premium associated with the Infinity brand.

Pathfinder is a well-built, reliable SUV with a 240 hp engine. It does have an optional Navigation system, and in loaded LE trim (leather, side airbags, heated seats, Bose with CD changer, etc.) can be purchased in the low $30K range.

I researched the Pathfinder at the end of 2000 and was ready to buy a 2001 model, when I read about the MDX. Although the Pathfinder is a great SUV, I am glad I was able to convince my wife to wait for the MDX for 9+ months. It was definitely worth the wait.
 

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Pontiac Vibe will have this option when it is released. As this vehicle will be built in NUMI plant, I hope the quality will be better than other Pontiacs.
 

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GCK said:
Pontiac Vibe will have this option when it is released. As this vehicle will be built in NUMI plant, I hope the quality will be better than other Pontiacs.
I am told that the Ponitac Vibe will be MECHANICALLY IDENTICAL to the Toyota Matrix. While the Matrix comes out of Toyota's Ontario plant, the Vibe, as you said, will come out of the Fremont, California plant. If I'm not mistaken, the Toyota Corolla is also built there - this model has been rated outstanding for reliability and quality......so hopefully the Vibe will be too. The biggest difference between the Vibe and Matrix is the Vibe has substantially more ground clearance, and therefore better off-road capability, but note that the wimpy 123bhp 4-cylinder engine which I believe would have a tough time coping with the Matrix's 2800 pound weight will be even more taxed in the Vibe version which is about 100 to 150 pounds heavier than the Matrix due mainly to extra body cladding and a roof rack. Both models offer the excellent DVD-based Toyota/Lexus Navigation system made be Denso, which is second only to the ACURA unit!!

On another note the Navi offered by the Pathfinder is a USELESS CD-ROM version excuse for a Navigation system. The only model in the Nissan/Infiniti lineup which offers a really good Navi (DVD version) is the Infinity Q45. All other Navi systems found in the likes of Mercedes, BMW, Audi etc. are also useless pieces of cra* too - they're more like gimmicks. The only 2 Navi systems that are REALLY worth their salt are the DVD units from Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura.

Besides this, I don't think there is any other non-luxury SUV that offers a Navigation system!
 
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