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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am new the forum and I am about to buy a New 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited.

I have a couple questions. Is the built-in navigation worth it? From what I read on this forum here and a couple other places is that the Navigation system is pretty much a pain in the rear or junk. I like the touch screen and its seems pretty easy to navigate through but what seems to be the positives and negatives of this. Also the backup camera seems to be a little clearer on the smaller non navigation version.

How easy is it to pair your Apple iPhone to a NON-Navigation Outback?

Thanks,
John
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,366 Posts
Everything I've seen and read about the current navigation system has been negative. I know for a fact that Subaru does not do "fun cabin" electronics very well. The simple stuff, the legally required stuff? it's nearly bulletproof. But stereos and navigation? Garbage. I wholeheartedly encourage you to get 3rd party gear. Consider getting a base model stereo with the express intention of replacing it with an aftermarket system. If you go aftermarket you open yourself to a lot of features- iOS connected stuff, android stuff, DVD playback, superior navigation, satellite and/or HD radio...

Look up Taiguy on this board and read his thread on aftermarket stereos. Even if you hire out the install to a pro, you'll get an idea for what is available.
 

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2013 Outback Limited, 2009 Forester
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7 Posts
I personally like the navigation system. It has worked well each time i have used it. I have had no problems with it.
 

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2013 Limited w/EyeSight
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352 Posts
Welcome.

As a technology pro I'd say the system could be better. I stopped complaining or wondering fter helping friends and family set up the nav and electronics in different new cars they just got because they too were not so great in some respects.

I ended up with it because my wife wanted EyeSight. EyeSight along is worth it. You can have the map there even if your phone is the navigation device.

My mother in law has a Limited without navigation. It works fine too but I would not be without EyeSight so take the navigation as a bonus.

It might be that you have to have the car for a while to really appreciate the EyeSight package that also gets you navigation.

All that said, I survived decades with out any of these modern features.
 

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2013 OB Limited, 2.5 w/Moonroof
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163 Posts
I test drive OBs both with and w/o the nav unit. Bought the limited w/o nav and the backup camera is indeed clearer in bright light.

My advice... Get a Garmin mounted with a quick release dash mount and hard wired by any decent auto electronics shop and send me a thousand dollars for the good advice. :) You will still be $500 or so better off and have a more capable nav system. And if theft is a worry, a new one is a hundred bucks on amazon.

The pace of audio electronics is staggering... In 3 years, the in dash nav unit would look so dated that friends might ask you where the 8-track player is!
 

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2013 Outback 3.6R Limited
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36 Posts
+1 edawg

I got sat nav with mine and I wish I wouldn't have. I'm getting more familiar with it but I still prefer the $150 Garmin I have in my work truck.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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474 Posts
I have a portable dedicated GPS and Garmin Navigator on my iPhone. Both are always up to do date and work substantially better than the factory NAV. If money is no object then do what you want but the factory NAV simply isn't worth what they charge for it.
 

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2019 2.5i Touring (Wilderness Green)
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376 Posts
I have a portable dedicated GPS and Garmin Navigator on my iPhone. Both are always up to do date and work substantially better than the factory NAV. If money is no object then do what you want but the factory NAV simply isn't worth what they charge for it.
This is the real problem with the factory NAV for those who use PNDs and Smartphone navigation apps. They always seem to be a few years out of date when it comes to features.

Taffic, live services, navigate to contacts, etc. I can get them on my other devices, but good luck finding them on head unit navigation in the US for the most part (I think the Kenwood's Garmin has traffic?).

The main advantage of having NAV in the head unit is that you get a nice big screen and you don't have to mount it. Even then, I'd prefer an aftermarket unit that is easier/cheaper to update the maps for. Kenwood's got their Garmin navigation that does pretty well on that front. Sony recently discontinued the TomTom module that they sold for the XAV-601/701s, unfortunately. Right after TomTom released a firmware update for the modules that made them pretty good, minus the lack of traffic.

Personally, I've gone with a Sony XAV-701HD which I need to get installed now. The head unit itself is still solid, even without the NAV, but I keep being told there will be stock of the "discontinued" TomTom 100T module in February. Makes me kinda curious if the 200TL (still sold in Europe) is coming to the US then. It'd be awesome if it was, since it'd add HD Traffic and Google Search. I wouldn't base a purchase on that possibility though. I'm probably gonna keep using my phone for navigation for the foreseeable future.
 

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2015 2.5i Limited Carbide Gray
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832 Posts
It's not a Subaru related issue, it's nearly all of the OEM's. It's due to the lead time associated with bringing a product to market within the required time frame. The aftermarket knows that x product will need to be debuted in January at CES. A car manufacturer will send out stuff for a new car three years in advance. Once the OEM agrees on what it wants it's generally difficult to change something or get the OEM to agree to additional monies for development. No more money makes me not want to continue to develop it.

As for the iPhone/dashmount idea. I prefer not having to hold something, and the larger screen of the dash mount versions. The idea of something else hanging off the windshield with extra wires is also something I try to stay away from, plus the theft opportunity.
 

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2013 Subaru Outback
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113 Posts
Bigger Screen Better

One of the regrets, probably the only regret I have after buying my 2013 less than a month ago is that I didn't go with navigation and the bigger screen. The smaller screen is fine, but it is a joke compared to other vehicles.
 

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2013 Limited w/EyeSight
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352 Posts
I test drive OBs both with and w/o the nav unit. Bought the limited w/o nav and the backup camera is indeed clearer in bright light.
My suggestion is make sure the test drive with navigation is also a car with EyeSight. Make sure you understand the basics and use adaptive cruise and within reason try the EyeSight features too.

Even if I use my phone for Navigation I still have that much larger map with 3 views in a better location to look at it, and my eyes are better aimed for safety.

I'm not so stupid to think I can count on EyeSight but two experiences in 2 years made it important. It was my wife who wanted it. A simple one was I was hit from behind by somebody and I've used the car enough to know it would not have happened if EyeSight was present. Same accident could have been me messing up.

The other experience is we lost a family member in an accident not their fault. With 4 months of EyeSight in the car we're convinced it and every possible safety feature could have helped. If nothing else I know EyeSight would have made a few beeps about the cars ahead. Now we have the loss of a family member, and via insurance companies and their lawyers some views from the person who was at fault.

Believe me from these two experiences that one should spend money on a safety system if they can afford it. I want it whether it's saving me or saving me from harming another.

Again, we're not so foolish as to think it's an end all, do all but EyeSight is a nice convenience every time you drive and could easily be SO much more at any moment. Even without EyeSight having the map and big radio controls are safety because they help you keep your eyes where they should be.
 
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