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Not sure about the GMC nav system, but my TomTom unit hasn't been used in the Acadia yet; the OnStar system has been good enough to get me to where I need to go, although the OnStar directions sometimes need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

When I navigate to my home address, OnStar directs me to take the turning before my road. Why? Don't know & I've never bothered to find out why as there's no way to get from there to my house. Also, OnStar has navigated me straight over on a junction when the road I need is actually a right turn. So, yes OnStar so far is "good enough" if you pay attention & don't blindly follow the directions. Mind you, you could say the same about any nav system. My TomTom used to try & send me the wrong way up a slip road off the motorway back in the UK.
 

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I have a Garmin in my Acadia, but i find myself using the Onstar TBT more often. If I'm going into an area that I'm completely unfamiliar with, I'll load up the View Map option on my Garmin just to see the road layout, but still use Onstar for the actual directions.

I guess if you're directionally-challenged like I am, you might want the Nav so that you have a physical map to look at too.
 

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As someone who just added the factory navigation system last week, my answer would have to be yes. But for me, the bigger reason is I discovered I really wanted a rear view camera due to the Acadia's poor rear visibility, and my wife didn't want a separate monitor "mucking up" her interior. I found the Onstar turn-by-turn to be just fine, but will not renew it now that I have the navigation system.
 

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Does the OnStar turn-by-turn integrate with the HUD as well as the factory Nav system does?
 

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Few questions to ask yourself or take into account:

(1) How often will you really use it? Do you travel that many places that you don't already know where you're going?

(2) Not sure how much the option is, but for $200, you can get a Garmin that does a relatively close job. No, the Garmin doesn't run through the speakers, and isn't built into the vehicle, and doestn' have the camera, but it's also not extremely expensive. And you can also move the Garmin from vehicle to vehicle (pro in my mind).

(3) If you really like the rear-view camera, then might be worth it....

(4) Do you plan on spending $400 or so after the 1st year of free Onstart for TBT directions? Cuz if my memory serves me, the Onstar TBT is only free for the first year, then you have to pay close to $400/year after that. If you want Onstar OR the indash NAV, 3 years of paying for Onstar may pay for the NAV system...?!

I personally opted OUT of this option for the following reasons: (1) the camera wasn't a huge option for me, (2) Onstar free for 1st year, (3) Garmin does pretty much the same job, and (4) I don't travel a ton outside of the metro.

Any NAV system (Garmin included) is really nice for finding nearby restaurants, ATM's, gas stations, etc. if you're in an area you're not familiar with, but the $200 Garmin does that well too. Yes, it's not "built in" to the vehicle, so small con there, but also a pro in that you can take it in your other family vehicle(s). Just my 2 cents!

Good luck! Deciding on options is never easy!
 

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jaweichert said:
(4) Do you plan on spending $400 or so after the 1st year of free Onstart for TBT directions? Cuz if my memory serves me, the Onstar TBT is only free for the first year, then you have to pay close to $400/year after that. If you want Onstar OR the indash NAV, 3 years of paying for Onstar may pay for the NAV system...?!
I'd have to question the $400 / yr that you're suggesting. I haven't checked recently, so maybe you're right on the mark, but that seems pretty expensive. Is it really $33 / month? Even at $400 / yr, the Nav. Option costs around $2300 - or SIX years before you make up for the annual cost of the monthly fees.

Smooth <><[/color]
 

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The price of on-star is $199 a year without Turn-by-turn directions and $299/year with TBT. I have the on-star TBT for the first year but we've yet to use it. We have the onboard nav and I like the way it works and is integrated into the car -- specifically the HUD.

For those that have used on-star turn by turn, what happens when you miss a needed turn? Does it recompute like any other nav system and get you back on track, or do you have to call up once more and get them to reroute you?
 

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On-Star is so good with giving perfect directions that you never miss a turn. :angel: Just kidding.

When you miss a turn with On-Star, it asks you if you want to get yourself back on route or if you want it to recalculate new directions. So if you get off the highway to get gas and you tell it not to recalculate, then when you get back on the highway, it will resume.

1 month ago I would have tried to tell you that On-star was just as good as any other device. The thing I like the most about it is how it turns the radio down and even turns the blowers down so you can hear the directions. It is integrated very nicely.

After this past weekend I learned what I don't like about On-Star. It relies on cell service and when in certain areas that you don't have that cell service, you no longer can use turn by turn directions.

I ordered a Garmin 660 for $314 shipped and figure I will not pay the $9.99 per month to On-Star.

For those who can afford to pay for the factory NAV, I think that is the best option as it is nicely integrated and I think is better than On-Star.
 

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One year of owning my Outlook and I have never used the Turn by turn so I cannot in honesty comment on its use.

I do however have the factory NAV and enjoy it greatly. It integrates very well with the vehicle both audibly and cosmetically.
By having a visual map in front of me, I'm able to have more control over my route. I can take a side road or other direction to avoid traffic or stop at a park, etc. along the way. A wealth of information such as distance, time, exits, points of interest are available for your route as well as route preferences. Because of this, I have found some "hidden" parks near our usual drives that our family enjoys.

The large display also doubles as a nice color screen for the radio/XM/CD/DVD. I like seeing song info all at once instead of having it scroll along.

An issue that may pop up and this depends on where you live, is the security of portable GPS units. Theft has increased considerably and thieves are breaking windows even if the unit is not visible. The mere indication such as a window mount or even suction cup residue is enough for a thief to break in.
 

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Yeah, now that I look, my $400 was actually $300 (close;)). I will agree that the NAV system is probably 100% times better than Onstar. And considering the Onstar is only free for 1 year, and pay $300/year after that, if you're debating between the 2 because you want one of them, NAV probably makes way more sense, as the features are WAY better than Onstar (being able to visualize turns is super helpful versus having someone "tell" you where to turn).

I agree that for $2300 (wasn't sure how much the NAV system was), the perks of the system will be SUPER nice. But for someone like myself, who was going with the more base model (SLE) model, NAV wasn't really an option. I wasn't up for having my payment go up $40 or so/month (financing the whole thing), but that is a personal preference.

I assume you're going with an SLT if you're considering NAV, so the question is two fold IMO:

(1) Is NAV worth it over Onstar? Probably yes!

(2) Is NAV worth it in general? That's the part where you have to overcome the cost factor to decide if you want the feature. As I stated before, if you don't do a ton of traveling where you would use the function that much (i.e. commuting a lot, not a lot of trips, etc.), a Garmin for $200 might be a more "economical" route and would have much of the same capability, but would not obviously be as "built-in."

To each his own, and at the end of the day, Onstar just doesn't seem to cut it in terms of TBT directions. So if you really want TBT, I would say the question is Garmin/TomTom vs. a NAV system.

Good luck!
 

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jaweichert said:
Yeah, now that I look, my $400 was actually $300 (close;)). I will agree that the NAV system is probably 100% times better than Onstar. And considering the Onstar is only free for 1 year, and pay $300/year after that, if you're debating between the 2 because you want one of them, NAV probably makes way more sense, as the features are WAY better than Onstar (being able to visualize turns is super helpful versus having someone "tell" you where to turn).
Of course, if you were planning on renewing Onstar for the Safe & Sound plan anyway, it's only an incremental $100/year to upgrade to the Directions & Connections plan.
 

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loach said:
jaweichert said:
Yeah, now that I look, my $400 was actually $300 (close;)). I will agree that the NAV system is probably 100% times better than Onstar. And considering the Onstar is only free for 1 year, and pay $300/year after that, if you're debating between the 2 because you want one of them, NAV probably makes way more sense, as the features are WAY better than Onstar (being able to visualize turns is super helpful versus having someone "tell" you where to turn).
Of course, if you were planning on renewing Onstar for the Safe & Sound plan anyway, it's only an incremental $100/year to upgrade to the Directions & Connections plan.
I was gonna say that, but then decided not to open up the debate. LOL :) I renewed both just because I was too lazy to call OnStar and cancel. They already had my CC and it was on auto-renew. I like my TBT Directions anyway, so it's all good. :thumb:

When I leave my neighborhood, it always tells me to take the first right... but since I don't like making a left onto the busy street, I take the second right that brings me to a stop light. Bob (my OnStar computerized voice guy) never asks me if I want to recalculate or whatever, he just automatically does it. He's all swift like that.

Now if I'm on the road and I pull off the route for a gas station, then the chick's voice comes on and asks me if I want new directions, etc. It's a nice feature, though it can sometimes get annoying.
 

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I have the factory NAV system, so I've been able to evaluate both alternatives.

FACTORY NAV OnSTAR

Advantages

- Onboard(in-car) system (no comm loss) - Monthly or per-usage charges only
- Visual information (also in HUD, if applicable)
- Easy to enter/change route info
- Instantly recalculates route if turn missed
- After purchase, free unlimited usage


Disadvantages

- Much higher upfront cost - High potential for comm loss
- More difficult to alter info
- No visual route informaton
- Slow, uncertain response to unanticipated course changes

To sum it up, I much prefer to have an onboard visual system than can easily make, and accept, course changes. Since the system is fully contained in the vehicle, I know that I can reliably count on it regardless of external conditions. This was worth the high up front cost to me.

Jim
 

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The one thing that I really really like about my OnStar is that no matter where I am, I can call up my Virtual Advisor and say "HOME" and it will guide me back home. That's one of my favorite features. :) I love that I can have up to 5 destinations saved on MapQuest at any time. I kinda wish it was a few more, but I get by with 5.
 

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Web Raven said:
The one thing that I really really like about my OnStar is that no matter where I am, I can call up my Virtual Advisor and say "HOME" and it will guide me back home. That's one of my favorite features. :) I love that I can have up to 5 destinations saved on MapQuest at any time. I kinda wish it was a few more, but I get by with 5.
I wish I could do that. OnStar are still investigating a "technical issue" which prevents me from sending anything from MapQuest to my Acadia :-[
 

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Web Raven said:
The one thing that I really really like about my OnStar is that no matter where I am, I can call up my Virtual Advisor and say "HOME" and it will guide me back home. That's one of my favorite features. :) I love that I can have up to 5 destinations saved on MapQuest at any time. I kinda wish it was a few more, but I get by with 5.
This is very nice. I have this on my cell phone too. It's a great feature for me as I am in DC or Baltimore often and just being able to not worry about how to get out of town is great. Unfortunately, as of Friday my On-Star just quit working and if I try to use "Virtual Advisor" to download directions to HOME, then I get the message telling me that this service is not available in my area. Technical support elevated the issue up and told me it would but 5-10 days for them to figure it out and get back to me. In hindsight, I probably would have still not have paid for the NAV as I am a tight wad, but knowing what I know now, it would have gotten more consideration. For sure if I did it again I would have ordered the HUD and the trailering package.
 

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I think it was also last Friday when I tried to enter a new address into the onstar.mapqest site but was unable to do so...some sort of message appeared regarding technical problems.

I have since replaced the factory radio with an aftermarket navigation system.
I have the base SLE and the order of consideration are as follows:
1. I replaced all stock speakers and added a 4 channel amp...the factory radio just does not do any justice to these new units. I believe the factory radio was "tuned" to make those stock speakers sound better. I have to get a unit that provides a decent sound quality.
2. I am able to add a video monitor for the 2nd row. Still debating whether to get a headrest or overhead monitor.
3. Onstar was okay for my needs but now being able to see the map (and some other functions that my SLE does not have, ie trip computer, elevation, compass among others) as I proceed with my trip is an added bonus.
4. I am able to add rear view camera and bluetooth. Sirius is available but not really a fan of it.
5. I am keeping the vechicle for at least 5 years :angel:
 

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One of the big complaints I've heard that people have with the factory NAV is that you can't program it while you are moving. That isn't a problem with TBT.

Also, I believe you can only get the NAV system if you are going for an SLT2. If you don't need or want all the rest of the goodies that come with an SLT2 over an SLE/SLT1, then the NAV system is MSRP $2340 + the difference between your favored package (SLE/SLT1) and the SLT2 cost. Of course if you are already interested in the SLT2, then this obviosly doesn't matter.

For me, I'm a tightwad. I liked all the geeky SLT2 gadgets, but couldn't bring myself to pony up the extra $7K for the SLT2 over an SLE + the $2340 for the NAV (all MSRP of course). So I'm currently using my free year of Onstar + TBT and will likely buy a reasonably priced Garmin (or similar) when my year is up.
 

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Kloogee - It sounds like you could write my book!! We are on the same page. Right now my TBT is broke and until they fix it I am using my VZ Navigator on my phone. :( It gives voice TBD and has maps but is a very small screen and for sure not integrated in the car like On-star's TBT.

I was going to wait until the 1 year was up with On-star, but since it broke I jumped the gun and got a Garmin 660 for $314 shipped and it is very nice. I would love to have the factory NAV, but it would have been more than 10X the price of the 660, and to me, it was just not worth it.

From one tightwad to another.
 
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