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J.D. Power Says Navigation Systems Frustrate Owners

As new cars continue to add more gadgetry, the bulk of consumers find the man-machine interface more frustrating, at least according to a new study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates. “Vehicle owners are continuing to experience a high number of problems with factory-installed navigation systems, primarily with routing quality and system usability,” says J.D. Power.

The study says that the most frequently reported issues with vehicle navigation systems include “Address/street/city not found”, followed by difficulty inputting destination, indirect routing, difficulty with voice controls and maps that don’t show enough street names. The study also cites difficulty finding the correct screen/menu, missing points of interest and screen glare as top complaints.

Some critics note that incorporating so many vehicle functions may be to blame. Autoblog says that “with a growing number of automakers combining climate controls into the touchscreen, these systems are adding another layer of complexity with few tangible benefits.”

For those of us who can’t do without a navigation system, J.D. Power says that the Dodge Charger’s Garmin-based navigation system ranks the highest in customer satisfaction. “The Mobis navi in Hyundai's Genesis coupe is second, and the Garmin similar to the Charger's that's installed in the Chrysler 300 was third,” writes USA Today.

Bottom feeders include the Mercedes GL-Class, Jaguar XJ, Lincoln MKX, Volvo XC90 and the Toyota RAV4. The MyFord Touch-equipped Ford Edge and Explorer also ranked poorly. However, Autoblog notes that many issues associated with MyFord Touch “should be rectified with the 2013 update, which includes faster response, better voice recognition and a mild UI overhaul.”

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