Should I pay more for an optional navigation package in a new car?

Episode 951 (1:01:29)

David from Ann Arbor, MI

David is buying a new Chevy Volt car and it has an optional navigational package. It's about $1,000 and has an upgraded sound system. Is it worth getting considering smartphones have GPS?

There are pro's and con's to both options. The advantage to having the navigation system built in is that it will have a nice, big screen, and Chevy says Siri integration is coming. The disadvantage to it is that it may be more difficult to use, and updating the maps is cumbersome. It will require updating them through a USB stick or a burned DVD. Those updates can also be very expensive.

If he doesn't get the built-in navigation, he could use a tablet or a phone mounted in the car. The advantage of this is he can use MotionXGPS, which will cache the best maps locally so he doesn't even need to be connected to 3G to use it. He could also use Waze, which is crowd-sourced traffic and road conditions kept up to date by other Waze users. The disadvantage to this is that it will use his phone's bandwidth, and he may run into issues with state or local laws on using the phone or tablet while driving.

Leo says it is nice to have a built-in GPS in the car, but he also notices that some of the time he'll still use his smartphone or iPad's navigation. Leo says a lot fewer people get the in-car navigation now, since most people opt to use their phones now.

David also is wondering whether or not to have OnStar. Leo says that's for little old ladies who don't know where they're going. Getting the one built into the Chevy Volt isn't a bad idea though.