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LS NAV System Updating - Some actual Facts ..... and Costs

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Old 02-08-12, 03:50 PM   #1
Mikey100
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Exclamation LS NAV System Updating - Some actual Facts ..... and Costs

Many people join Club Lexus and ask about updating their NAV system. There has occasionally been some mis-information communicated regarding this situation. So I figgered with a little time to spare, I'ld do sumptin' interesting and "study" it to gather some facts. Also, please realize that YOU may have some “special” arrangement with your dealer or Service Advisor. This thread however is written to address the rest of us, the norm, and what we should expect from a servicing Lexus dealer. And any opinions expressed are mine alone ... altho from comments received previously, many LS owners (and Service Advisers) feel similarly.

First of all, let's start by stating that I DO !!!!! feel anyone purchasing an LS 460 SHOULD purchase an LS WITH the NAV system. There are many reasons, but to summarize, it looks good (a LOT better than not having it), the map is "cute' altho rarely useful whatsoever, and when playing music or listening to kewl Country XM stations, you know the song title and artist. !

BUT ! ...... The real question is SHOULD you spend your money ($$$) to get it updated ?


Let me also state that I personally feel the LS suffers from mis-engineering is only 2 really important areas: 1) It SHOULD come from the factory, at this price point, equipped WITH AKEBONO ceramic brake pads. The fact it does not is actually a travesty of mis-engineering; and 2) The NAV system which was originally designed to 1998 or 1999 standards. Period !

How much does this "UPDATE" cost ? Well, here are the facts: First, you do NOT get, nor can you sign up for, any form of automatic updates from Lexus.

NOTE: If you have not yet purchased your LS, (in virtually all cases) and your LS has gone through a Lexus dealer CPO process, the NAV system SHOULD have been updated to whatever update level was in effect at that time, prior to you taking possession of the car.

NAV updates MUST be performed by a dealer. And generally, a dealer wants you to call, make an appointment, drive in, leave your LS, and then return later with a wad of cash to pay for this. Lastly, the NAV System UPDATE was recently “reduced” to only $169.00. But that price, it turns out, is only part of the story.

Because the update must be done and loaded onto the hard drive (your Lexus LS460 HAS a hard drive, regardless of whether your LS came with the Mark Levinson audio option). Dealers are asking for labor factors (to load the update software disk) of either 0.5 hour, 0.75 hour or 1.0 hour, and the hourly rates differ amongst the dealers. (Please note that in the year 2012 it is virtually unheard of to engineer a system that requires dealer intervention to update). An update process for the Lexus NAV system by the LS owner should have been a standard feature, even if Lexus still wanted you to pay $169 + applicable sales taxes for the update disk.

So today I telephoned Lexus ELITE Dealers across the US, and spoke to various Service Advisers. I told them what I wanted, and AFTER they gave me a drive-out price, I did tell them why I was asking. I will tell you I surveyed ELITE Dealers in Fla, 2 in Georgia, Texas, Colorado, and California. Here are the “Drive Out” prices ( which includes applicable taxes). The prices ranged from a LOW of $225, $243, $ 277, $302, $ 315, and $325. The applicable dealer names/locations will not be disclosed here.

The point is THIS: An Update to a POORLY DESIGNED SYSTEM still results in a POORLY DESIGNED SYSTEM !@

So is there an acceptable alternative ? Let’s look at what we have and where we are …….

When the LS "NAV" system was engineered, it appears to have been engineered to 1999 or 1998 standards. It is simply outdated today ... and was never that useful to begin with. Why do we say that ? Because it's hard to make choices, difficult to change your mind/location, and in many/most times it won't get your there easily. Not whatsoever.

Is it a kewl looking map ? Yeah ... Kinda. Is it better than not having it at all ? YES !!!. Is it worth having "updated?" ...... Well ....... Heck No !

But what is that alternative ? Let's again look at the facts. The NAV "system" is OK (just "OK" - never "good!"), UNLESS you need to get you somewhere EASILY, CORRECTLY, and in a HURRY.

So ask yourself this question: How often do you need help getting somewhere ? Once a week ? Once a month ?

So wut's an alternative ? There are 2 GOOD choices: (1) The GPS built into your SmartPhone or (2) A Garmin GPS ... say a 1350 or later model. The Garmin will cost you from NewEgg or Amazon (if you take the time to look a little) maybe $100 WITH LIFETIME UPDATES and/or LIFETIME TRAFFIC !!!! Yeah @ When you don't need it, it stores easily in your center console. And it works like a dream and is far more flexible in alternative routes, not even including looking for Restaurants, banks, gas stations etc !!! And the $100 Garmin solution is DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME. No need to make an appointment, drive to a dealer and leave your LS. Today, 2-8-2012, on NewEgg.com, with an optional discount code, a Garmin 1350T with the most recent MAP system, AND Lifetime Traffic INCLUDED !!! costs about $95 ! Delivered to your door. NOTE: The LS "Traffic feature" is an optional extra you must pay for !)

It’s your choice as an owner ..... But keep in mind there are GOOD alternatives to a Lexus "NAV update."

Laslty, please consider this : An Update to a POORLY DESIGNED SYSTEM still results in a POORLY DESIGNED SYSTEM !@ If I can help further, please PM me.

Wishing everyone a Great Week !
Mikey Lulejian - Lake Oconee, GA
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Last edited by Mikey100; 02-08-12 at 08:03 PM..
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Old 02-08-12, 04:26 PM   #2
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actually, the lexus nav system is way better than the nav in my mom's w221 or my old man's d3 audi a8. it's simply more intuitive to use.

i don't understand all the bashing of it. i've used an aftermarket garmin before too, and that had issues too. the lexus is legible, reliable, intuitive to use, and integrated and it's good enough for me *shrugs*
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Old 02-08-12, 04:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cheez80 View Post
i don't understand all the bashing of it.
Please note this was not written to bash the NAV system. It was written to address a commonly asked question here; How do I get my NAV updated and what does it cost ?

It is my humble opinion, altho quite possible I did not address this nicely enough, that an LS owner should enjoy his NAV system but NOT spend any money on any updates whatsoever.

I may edit my post above to address this. And I sincerely thank you for bringing it up. Mikey Lulejian - Lake Oconee, GA
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Old 02-08-12, 05:01 PM   #4
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Mikey, you seem upset that (i) your navigation system was/is not being updated for a reasonable price, and(ii) you just plain don't like it. As quick as you are to make a posting about your likes and dislikes (as we all know you're Akebono's No. 1 Fan); I believe a disclaimer to your post should be that this is merely your OPINION of the Lexus Navigation, and a personal preference.

In my own opinion, the Lexus Navigation Systems is HEAD AND SHOULDERS much easier to use than the likes of their european competitors (BMW, BMZ, Audi, Aston, Porsche). As cheez80 stated above, his experience with his Lexus Navigation is preferred to those aforementioned.

My personal experience is that my updated 11.1 navigation has all the updated maps around my (Los Angeles/Orange County) area that I need and works MUCH better than my mom's E70, my friend's Porsche, and another friend's Aston. We don't even need to compare pricing on how much these navigation systems would cost to update. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to update the navigation systems in our cars.

From a strictly aesthetic standpoint, if I were to step into a vehicle equipped with an OEM navigation system installed, only to see a suction-cupped portable navigation on the windshield as well, the first thing I personally would think would be, "How did this guy find an LS460 rental?"
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Old 02-08-12, 05:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianlin87 View Post
From a strictly aesthetic standpoint, if I were to step into a vehicle equipped with an OEM navigation system installed, only to see a suction-cupped portable navigation on the windshield as well, the first thing I personally would think would be, "How did this guy find an LS460 rental?"
LOL (message length)
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Old 02-08-12, 05:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianlin87 View Post
I believe a disclaimer to your post should be that this is merely your OPINION of the Lexus Navigation, and a personal preference.

From a strictly aesthetic standpoint, if I were to step into a vehicle equipped with an OEM navigation system installed, only to see a suction-cupped portable navigation on the windshield as well, the first thing I personally would think would be, "How did this guy find an LS460 rental?"
Gee ....... maybe there's something wrong with my English. In my first paragraph I wrote, and I quote: "And any opinions expressed are mine alone."

Second: I addressed WHEN you might actually use the NAVIGATION system on an LS to get somewhere. First I asked ........ "So ask yourself this question: How often do you need help getting somewhere ? Once a week ? Once a month ?"

Then I went on in the following paragraph to say ...... "Yeah @ When you don't need it, it stores easily in your center console." I do not think I ever suggested leaving a Garmin on a windshield. At least I cannot see where I have ever said that nor suggested that.

I guess I am really confused by your remarks. I was not attacking how YOU FELT .... I attempted to provide an alternative thought process to help new comers here look at significant additional repair dollars and how they might wish to address the UPDATE issue.

Thank you for your reply. Mikey Lulejian - Lake Oconee, GA
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Old 02-08-12, 07:40 PM   #7
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I feel we've gone through this before..

Updating my factory Nav version this spring!
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Old 02-08-12, 08:08 PM   #8
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Mikey is good people y'all..this forum allows people to express their opinions which is why I love CL and other forums I deal with. The system is not as advanced as it could be and I agree with him that the update process is some straight BS. My 2003 Acura was DVD Rom based and cost about $149 and i popped the DVD in..it flashed and I was good to go. I use my LS Nav screen for nav traffic which works well but I use my Telenav app on my Android phone for actual navigation. The NAV system is certainly better than others but for a car as advanced as the LS, the update process is a disappointment for sure. An LS without Nav is just a fail, so it is what it is. Thank goodness for Telenav
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Old 02-08-12, 09:18 PM   #9
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While agree this is a heavily opinionated thread. He is right in some parts and that is why we our here to express our opinions. I personally won't upgrade it until they take off the locking feature while the car is in motion. All navs have their pro's and con's. I just whip out the iphone if I need an adress on the go.
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Old 02-08-12, 09:34 PM   #10
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Lexus currently pushes on enform update. I think it is also worthless.
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Old 02-09-12, 04:12 AM   #11
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While agree this is a heavily opinionated thread. He is right in some parts and that is why we our here to express our opinions. I personally won't upgrade it until they take off the locking feature while the car is in motion. All navs have their pro's and con's. I just whip out the iphone if I need an adress on the go.
I agree they should remove the safety feature of not being able to control it while the vehicle is in motion. For that we have this http://www.prestigioussociety.com/
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Old 02-09-12, 07:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey100 View Post
I guess I am really confused by your remarks. I was not attacking how YOU FELT .... I attempted to provide an alternative thought process to help new comers here look at significant additional repair dollars and how they might wish to address the UPDATE issue.
No personal vendetta with your opinion Mikey, I reiterated the fact that your post is merely an opinion; granted it's one I disagree with, but that is my opinion as well. I use my navigation system every time I'm in the vehicle, whether it be for nav traffic or for directions. Guess that's what I get for living in Southern CA where the traffic is perpetual.
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Updating my factory Nav version this spring!
Well worth it in my opinion. If there's any newer developments around your area, the fact that you get updated maps and don't have to push "OK" every time you start up your car is worth it enough for me.
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I personally won't upgrade it until they take off the locking feature while the car is in motion.
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QFT. The first week I took delivery on my car this was ordered and I never looked back. In my opinion, this is one of the essentials and must haves for our cars.
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Old 02-09-12, 10:56 AM   #13
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Mikey100, thanks for all the info. I agree that it is simply not worth paying to update the NAV. I suspect in major metropolitan areas (I live in LA), the NAV is unreliable about 10-15% of the time. When you're in a hurry, type in an address and the NAV says it doesn't exist, that is the worst. In those cases, I pull out my phone and use Google maps. The other annoying feature on the NAV is that it takes forever to type in anything in. Address, destination, etc.
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Old 02-09-12, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRSUIT460 View Post
I agree they should remove the safety feature of not being able to control it while the vehicle is in motion. For that we have this http://www.prestigioussociety.com/
you can also buy the data systems box directly from japan that prestigious resells without paying prestigious' markup. i saved almost 40% sourcing it myself
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Old 02-09-12, 01:03 PM   #15
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here is my opinion -

the upgrade for just maps (i have a 2010) is worthless. If they upgraded the os also, and included 3d graphics, speed, what is playing on the stereo system, and etc, I would be willing to buy an upgrade. But just to get a few more streets when there is basically no building going on in the us, is a total waste.

want to see a very good nav system - get navigon or roadmate on your iphone or ipad or itouch and you will see how antiquated the lexus system is. From what i can see of the new 2013 gs - its the same 1998 lexus nav crap. On an LS, one would thing that at $70-$80,000 one would get a great nav system. Hell the dam thing doesn't even lower the music volume when it's giving it's turn directions.

also, as part of the stereo system, try finding a song on your ipod or a playlist. I have 3000 songs and 110 playlists. That's why i stream the music rather than play music via the usb input.

i sent lexus an email telling them that they should be ashamed of themselves for putting 1999 technology on a 2010 LS 460. they sent me a form email - saying thanks!!

my next door neighbor receintely bought a bmw 550 with all the bells and whistles. His nav is much better looking than ours. I have never played with it, but it is appealing.
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