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#1 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 06:42 PM
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aftermarket nav with JBL in 2011 Limited Rav4

Hi, I am purchasing a 2011 limited rav4 this week, and have it down to everything except to go with the nav package or the JBL system. I have read everything I can find and it sounds like most users find the OEM nav to be costly to maintain. etc. So I am leaning towards buying it with the JBL and then getting either a portable nav or paying for an in-dash aftermarket nav/stereo.

Some of my family/friends have the portable units and their complaint is that they loose connectivity too often and that they need to have a cord hanging down their dash, which would not be the case with an in-dash install.

It seems like a waste to take out the JBL 6 disc and then buy an aftermarket in-dash system (AMS) like Kenwood, Rosen or JVC but the Rav comes with it and you cannot get it without, to save any money. So it seems like it isn't helpful to go there.

I did search here before writing this post but if I missed where my questions below are already answered, please direct me and accept my apology for missing it.

questions: (I realize that some of the answers will depend on the quality/brand of the in-dish AMS I would get.)

If I take out the JBL and put in a quality aftermarket system, can i use the steering wheel controls and the bluetooth? I set up my phone on my test drive and it works really well with very good sound.

Do I have buy a lot of extra things beyond the AMS to get it to work in my Rav4 or will whatever comes with the JBL plug in with a good quality AMS?

Since the JBL seems to be a good stereo system, with bluetooth and streaming, is there a good portable nav system that I could have installed with wires behind the dash so it just plugs in for most of the time, but could come out for a walking trip?

If I got an in-dash AMSm, I would like one that would allow me to give voice commands as well as touch. Is this possible. The salesperson said the OEM nav in the rav 4 allows this so I would think an AMS could too.

And I would really like access to traffic maps and I am not interested in sirius satelite radio. Can I get traffic without buying satelite radio? I was at cartoys and they said msn is cutting their free traffic maps as of Jan 2011.

Thank you for any help, I've got to decide quickly.


michelle
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 09:09 PM
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If you go aftermarket nav to replace the JBL, you can get the steering wheels to work though a wonky aftermarket part that emulates an infrared remote... You'll also lose the factory bluetooth, so you'll have to use the bluetooth system (and mic) from the aftermarket radio.
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 09:38 PM
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Hi, thanks for taking the time to reply. Is this info true regardless of who manufactures the AMS?

Michelle

Quote:
Originally Posted by eitingon
If you go aftermarket nav to replace the JBL, you can get the steering wheels to work though a wonky aftermarket part that emulates an infrared remote... You'll also lose the factory bluetooth, so you'll have to use the bluetooth system (and mic) from the aftermarket radio.

michelle
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-13-2010, 09:22 AM
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I had the same decision to make: JBL or oem Nav. I chose the JBL. It had the integrated bluetooth with steering wheel controls. The factory nav (I think) required a separate bluetooth purchase which didn't have steering wheel controls. Also, the 9 speaker JBL's seemed a better overall audio system than that which came with the nav. If the nav was a superset, that had the JBL's, and also the nav, then it would have been an easy decision -- I'd get the nav as a top end option. But, it's pluses and minuses -- you gain the nav and then lose in other ways.

What tipped the scales is that the nav is locked out when driving. I have no problem with safety features, but this is over-reaching. It means a passenger can't use the nav, and that's often the case. We'll be driving along on a trip and my gf will look up a McDonalds to use the restroom. It's just not convenient (nor safe) to be stopping along an interstate to do this.

I also wasn't impressed by the screen resolution of the nav (or the nav in the CRV). It was clear, but fuzzy, meaning low resolution. Technology is changing rapidly and higher resolution screens are appearing (such as the iPhone "retina" display).

So, I chose the JBL and use my few years' old Nuvi. A built-in nav would be nice -- always available and it should be the touchscreen control center for audio and bluetooth and so on. But, the oem nav that's available with the 2011 Limited's, seems too hobbled with too many attendant minuses.

Having read threads on aftermarket navs, none of them appear to work seamlessly. The JBL (in my opinion) sounds very good and the bluetooth works well. I don't feel like ripping it out and losing functionality and creating issues.

I've decided to look for (or wait for) a portable nav solution. Ideally, as the op wrote, I'd like it to be easily plugged-in (with wires and maybe a gps antenna, hidden). I'd like a larger screen than the 4.3" garmin's -- a 7" or so, like an oem nav. In the meantime, I'll use my nuvi. I may get an iPad 2 this Spring, and so will consider having some cradle and plug-in set-up for it. I don't have any better solution at this time, but am interested in other's ideas, just as the op.

Rav4, 2011, Limited, V6, Blizzard, JBL
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-13-2010, 09:39 AM
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Thanks Rconn2, I appreciate hearing your experience with the stereo. it sounded good on my test drives but it is a permanant decision, at least as far as OEM goes, as once it comes off the lot with either the JBL or the Nav minus bluetooth, it is what it is :P

I found a consumer reports article on the portable navs and will check them out for now. I can try and find someone to install it behind the dash once I find one I like.

If anyone has recommendations for the portable navs, I'd appreciate hearing them. I've heard the Garmin system is highly rated.

m

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#6 (permalink) Old 12-13-2010, 06:43 PM
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The Garmin's are good -- you can't go wrong with one. As for a mount, the beanbag mount works well sitting on the dash. I put mine in the middle storage compartment when not used or when parked. Depending on your area, having a mount that's visible is an invitation for someone to try a smash and grab thinking you have a portable gps (it's happened to me). I think the suction mount's are too noticeable and too troublesome to move.

Let us know what you decide for your RAV4 and any ideas you come up with... there's probably a lot of us thinking the same things...

Rav4, 2011, Limited, V6, Blizzard, JBL
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 11:13 AM
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Since I was buying used I didn't have a much choice when I bought my RAV in the fall of 2009. Had to fly from CT to FL as it was to get the car and price I wanted. I have the JBL. Actually I'm not even sure NAV was an option in 2006. I simply went to Best Buy and picked up another new Garmin and radar detector for the trip home.

When I bought my 2006 Accord Hybrid last fall I did have a choice of NAV or not since I was doing a nationwide search. The pros were having everything in-dash and all integrated. The cons were the integrated functions can get complex to operate, another thing to learn while Garmins are second nature, and the real killer, the map updates cost about three new Garmins. So I skipped the NAV on the Accord too.

On the Garmins my newest is a Nuvi 255WT. The W is for wide which I'd really prefer was a T for tall since I'd rather see farther ahead than to the side. But at around $100+ I can live with it. The T is for traffic which is done free thru the antenna built into the power cord. I find the traffic info hit or miss on I-95 in CT. If it says a few minutes delay I pretty much ignore it. Longer delays usually turn out to be real.

I've used both the bean bag and the suction cup mounts and am favoring the smaller suction mount in the cars since its easier to stow. In the trucks I just toss the bag from the floor to the dash and back - pretty easy. BTW, I permanent mount my radar detectors upside down above the rearview mirror.

Fred
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 12:07 AM
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Tough decision. I just went through this myself, as did a friend of mine. We both got 2011 Rav4 V6 Limiteds, he got the JBL with bluetooth steering controls and no Nav., I got the Nav. (so no JBL and no Bluetooth steering controls). I'm getting the blue logic bluetooth installed next month (long story - I thought it was supposed to be included, dealer said it wasn't, Toyota HQ said it should have been, so they're installing it for me for free). However, as mentioned/alluded to, it's not possible to have JBL + Nav. + Bluetooth steering controls - something I didn't realize prior to purchasing. It is an extremely bizarre situation that the top-of-the line package actually requires you to downgrade the stereo and the bluetooth options, but that's how it is. Most of the salespeople I've talked to did not realize (or at least did not tell me) this, so be warned, this is how it works. I found the different packages to be quite confusing and illogical - for instance, you wouldn't expect to NOT get the trial XM subscription with the navigation package, but that's how it works...

But anyway, my opinions on the navigation system for what it's worth. I really like it. It's the first Nav. system I've had, so perhaps I'm just excited to have any navigation period, that could be the case. It works very well, I have no issues with it. It is annoying that you can't "play" with it while you're driving, that is for sure annoying, but for trips around town it hasn't been an issue for me so far, but I could see it being more of an annoyance than anything else in the future. I also got the iPod accessory kit that lets you put the iPod in the glove box and control it with the steering wheel controls and the navigation system. This works well. It kind of pisses me off that I had to pay extra for this as it seems like this should be standard functionality, especially at this price point given that it's the limited, but that's how it is. Again, it's not as fancy as an after-market system, but it works as you would expect, you can play different play lists, play by artists, albums, etc. The iPod itself is not functional once you connect it, so you have to navigate through your music library via the stereo/navigation system. This is a bit annoying. The other annoying thing is that the iPod kit uses the sat. radio input on the stereo, so if you want sat. radio AND iPod steering wheel control this is not possible - at least not via the factory set-up. There are 3 sat. "channels/modes" on the stereo, but they all just play the iPod since I have the kit installed - really dumb, but not a huge deal to me as I wasn't interested in paying monthly fees for sat. radio anyway.

I haven't got the blue logic yet, so I can't say how good/bad that is. Hopefully it will work well. Of course, I'd love to have the steering wheel controls for that, but you can't have that + the Nav., which is why my buddy went for the JBL because the blue tooth steering controls was very important to him. So, as you probably already gathered, the navigation system and stereo work well, but perhaps do not have all the bells and whistles of an after-market system. I wish it did more, I wish you could watch TV/movies on it, change the navigation en route, etc., etc., but that would have meant ripping out the stereo and all that goes along with that and I just didn't have the appetite for it so I'm happy with my decision. Good luck with it! It really comes down to what is most important to you. The cost difference was about $600 something extra for the navigation package.
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#9 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 12:46 PM
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Hi Springwater. I'm just looking back at some topics I started earlier, trying to sort through things I have not yet settled on and say your post. Have you gotten your bluetooth installed? How is your setup working now?

I have not bought an aftermarket nav system yet. I was close to buying a garmin one that I could taken on walking/hiking, etc. But the one I wanted was about $400 and I wasn't sure I wanted to spend that much so I sat on it for a time. Then my daughter told me she uses an app on her iphone for traffic and maps and is very happy with it. So I am exploring upgrading to an iphone, which is something I wanted to do anyway and was waiting for the 2nd carrier to come on board, as I hope the competition will bring the rates down a bit. I went to the apple store yesterday to ask some questions but ran out of time with too many things on my to do list. Maybe later today.

My daughter gave me a small ipod for christmas so I can take my favorite music and/or ebooks in the car with me. I think I read that there is some kind of kit we can purchase and run from the top/small glove box, wires behind the dash, that would allow me to run the ipod through my jbl without having to use the ipod to change the song. etc. Can any one tell me what I should look for/ask for? If this question gets lost here, I will start a new thread.

thanks!

michelle
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#10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 08:55 PM
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I chose the JBL for the bluetooth controls on the wheel. If I were to get another unit it would be the Rosen as it can retain full steering wheel controls, and no annoying lock out.
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