'06 Prius owner with new '12 III - Some disappointments

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by jhg, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. jhg

    jhg Junior Member

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    We have a beloved '06 Prius with just under 100K miles, going strong. We recently acquired a '12 Prius III and, while I'm generally extremely pleased with the car, there are two real disappointments.

    The following is going to sound like a rant, but remember it addresses only two very specific perceived flaws that, while disappointing, do not affect my overall satisfaction with the car.

    First, the GPS user interface is so bad I've decided to buy a Garmin like my wife uses. Maybe I'm spoiled by the Garmin unit -- the user interface on it is really well designed, and always has the information you need displayed. For example, on the Garmin in map mode (not navigating to a destination) it always tells you the upcoming cross-street name in large letters at the bottom of the screen. On the Prius GPS streets are identified by "callout" boxes with small text that is not readable for someone over 55 without reading glasses. Worse, only some streets are labeled, and how it chooses which labels to display is a mystery. The labels are often for streets not near the direction of travel. The large letter display at the bottom shows the street you're on, which is a lot less useful.

    The Prius GPS starts omitting streets at the first zoom-out level. You're driving in a city and want to zoom out a bit to see what's around you... half the streets vanish... totally.

    The icon showing your current position is so large that it often covers critical information. It's always in the same place on the screen... a simple, small colored arrow, like on the Garmin, would suffice and wouldn't get in the way.

    POI indicators obscure street names.

    Entering an address is incredibly tedious. First you have to enter it in "reverse" order: State, City, Street, House number. At each keypress it's looking in its database and enabling on the keyboard only the keys that match entries in the database. For example, say you've entered Oregon for the state, the keyboard for City shows only the initial letters for Oregon cities in its database. As you start to enter the city name various keys light up or go out depending on the possibilities it knows about. This might be cool if it didn't take nearly one second for it to figure out what's next at each keypress.

    The Garmin has NONE of these issues.

    On the plus side, the navigation voice has slightly better timing than the Garmin, but not enough to make up for the user interface. The only area in which both have difficulty is voice command. The Prius voice command is utterly useless for entering an address. It tells me to say the address in the "proper" sequence (number, street, city, state, zip) but whatever I start to say, it interprets as a state name (usually Missouri) and cuts me off before I can finish. In fact, voice recognition, even for simple tasks such as dialing the phone, is hit or miss, and very slow.

    My second disappointment has to do with polarized sunglasses. On the '06, all the displays emit light that matches the polarization of light transmitted by typical polarized sunglasses (i.e. vertical). You could see this effect if you tilted your head to one side... the displays would dim proportional to the tilt angle. On the '12, they seem to have forgotten about polarized sunglasses, because all the displays are dimmest when the glasses are normally oriented, and get brighter if you tilt your head to one side. In other words if you wear polarized sunglasses, all the displays are so dim they are almost unreadable in bright light... which is where you would be wearing sunglasses.

    To summarize:

    1. I love the '12 Prius as an automobile and have found nothing to complain about.
    2. The GPS user interface is awful; Toyota should do themselves a favor and just license the Garmin system... and make it possible to install the Garmin software on existing cars.
    3. I can't believe they've forgotten about polarized sunglasses.
     
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  2. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Rule of thumb if you're used to Garmin is don't ever be impressed by any factory NAV in any cars. Of course one day the NAV unit will be able to detect the pre-set address we have in our iPhone so we have a long way to go in terms of user-friendliness.
     
  3. MattPersman

    MattPersman Member

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    it would be nice if like Chrysler more companies used Garmin as the NAV software
     
  4. civicdriver06

    civicdriver06 Active Member

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    Are you sure you got the new 2012 ?
    I thought it had the Entune system which is supposed to be a good system !?
    The nav you describe sounds like the "old" 2010/11 nav .
    The new system Europe gets is called "Toyota Touch&go" which is similar to the Entune system you get in the US .
    It speaks out street names so you don´t have to read them and the voice recognition is very high advanced !
     
  5. Judgeless

    Judgeless Senior Member

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    I have a Prius IV without the GPS. I could have paid $2,000 for a crappy factory GPS or $100 for a Garmin. I decided to use the $1,900 for something else.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. AZGeek

    AZGeek Semi-informed Member

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    Just to be clear, are you saying that the GPS is worse on the 2012 from your 2006 with NAV? Or are you saying it doesn't compare to a Garmin GPS unit, and this is your first experience with the Toyota NAV? The latter is more of an apples to oranges (lemons?) comparison.

    I have NAV in my 2004 which is ok but not great and am expecting better with the NAV system on the 2012, especially with the Entune functionality.
     
  7. jcgee88

    jcgee88 Member

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    The good news is that Toyota no longer charges $2K for the options
    package that provides GPS. When we shopped for our 2012 Prius v,
    our original plan was to buy the Model II, which has the basic sound
    package. We decided to go with Model III, which has a much more
    full featured sound package (including Entune), and Model III comes
    with GPS. That option package cost roughly $800 more.

    I use a Garmin in my 2009 Prius, and I like it. I have not used the
    Prius v's GPS very much, but it seems reasonable. I like the fact that
    you can use its search engine (Bing) to find a store/restaurant/etc.,
    and then the found destination can be handed off seamlessly to the
    GPS. That feature is one reason I often still use my dinky Android cell
    phone's GPS over my fancier Garmin, because the former is much
    faster and more reliable than Garmin's destination Search feature.
     
  8. jhg

    jhg Junior Member

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    It's definitely a 2012 model, and has Entune. I've got the Entune app on my iPhone 4s and it's linked via bluetooth. The voice recognition is useless, and Entune doesn't seem to add anything.
     
  9. jhg

    jhg Junior Member

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    The '06 doesn't have nav. On the 2012 the III comes standard with nav and backup camera -- there was not an option package for it. So I guess I'm comparing the 2012 Toyota nav to Garmin (2595LMT).
     
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  10. DBV

    DBV New Member

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    I wonder if the 7 inch Nav is any better/easier? I would like to get that, but don't need the whole ATP.
     
  11. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    FYP. My 06 Prius has nav, yours doesn't. Nav could be had on all 2nd gens and above, and I believe was even available on all years of the 1st gen.

    Yeah, due to the way the models and packaging were done the '12 Prius, if you buy a Three, nav is "forced" on you. On the '11, nav was an additional package that required you to have a minimum of model Three.
     
  12. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    In your case, I'd put some of that $1,900 towards a set of Weathertech floor mats.

    I was very unimpressed by the gps in the 2010's, so I bought Prius II and installed my own in-dash unit. I love it.
     
  13. ursle

    ursle Gas miser

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    It's no secret the nav sucks, get a Garmin Nuvi

    Don't wear polarized sunglasses, yer not in water...

    How's the 56.6mpg treating ya?
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    interestingly, my 08 screens are unreadable with polarized sunglasses on.
     
  15. rogerv

    rogerv Senior Member

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    Hmmm..... I was about to order new sunglasses at Costco, and it seems to me they usually use polarized lenses. I have no problem with them in my '06, but will wait to get the new ones until I have a chance to see how the ones I have work in my PiP.
    The only time I have noticed any problem is seeing some of the gas pump digital readouts, although most of those are OK. Glad this was brought to my attention.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    but you really don't want non polarized sunglasses.
     
  17. HaveNoCents

    HaveNoCents Conservative Tree Hugger

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    I have a 2011 and 2012. IMO the 2011 voice recognition is far superior to the 2012. And on the 2012 you cannot enter anything while in motion, not even previous destinations. I cannot believe toyota allowed this onto the market in this condition.


    iPad ?
     
  18. Habiru

    Habiru Junior Member

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    oh great ... put money down on a 2012 III on Feb 1 & trading in my 2010 II. I had a pioneer navi installed in my 2010 & now i'm starting to regret having bought a 2012!! first i read about the noisemaker & now i read that you can't enter a destination while in motion?! like not even a voice command to find a location? i know my pioneer navi was way better than anything toyota will have intalled so i was willing to live with the factory navi of the 2012 but now i think i may have to call the dealer & ask where my car is & let them know to keep it there haha
     
  19. HaveNoCents

    HaveNoCents Conservative Tree Hugger

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    You can enter voice commands while in motion. It really gets some funny results. The chances of it finding the address you really wanted are about 1 in 10 from my experience and I can annunciate properly.


    iPad ?
     
  20. Garmy

    Garmy Junior Member

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    On my 2012 I used the voice command , "Go Home". It displayed a screen and asked if this way correct and gave the option Yes or No. After finally screaming "yes" about ten times, I finally screamed my normal explicative at the screen. After calming down, I just touched "yes" on the screen. Voice commands suck!
     
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