aka – automobile navigation systems.

In an amazing attack of guyness, my dear husband took delivery of his new car ordered without an installed GPS. The reason for the new car was simple – the old station wagon which has been serving us faithfully since 2005 is a diesel. The rules and emission standards have changed this year rendering our car no longer legal to drive in any major German city after 1 Jan 2013.

With remarkable thinking and clarity, he decided to beat the rush by selling off the car now as used (I am assuming that it has already been shipped east) and replacing it. All of this leads me to a car without a navigation system.

Why? I asked knowing well that certain people can’t read maps and, for that matter, no longer even own maps.

Well, you have one of those small portable ones.

Right, for the US. You want me to go ahead and buy the maps for Europe?

Oh, didn’t realize that it was geographic. (Hello? Why should you get more than the minimum without extra cost – these people are trying to make money – nuh?)

Have you ever driven with a portable system that isn’t mounted?


It means that you have put put a mount in the car. Then, each and every time you get out of the car you need to unplug the little box and take it with you so that it doesn’t get stolen. Do you normally carry a bag, briefcase, etc in which to place it?

[ringing silence]

Or did you think that I was going to carry it around for you? I can read maps and tell you where to go…. Oh, that is right, I do that already. Do you really think that trying to use the GPS function on your Blackberry while driving is going to work?

The very nice VW dealership provided a substitute car today so that I could run errands while an in-dash GPS is being fitted. It is something I happen to think will be more useful that a connector for an iPod. Music and podcasts are not as critical as being able to find alternative routes to Staus and construction…..

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5 Responses to GPS

  1. Ron says:

    I am afraid I have to disagree with you a little on this issue. In car mounted gps from the factory are usually using data from older map software. You will have to buy an upgrade dvd or cd very soon. The portable devices or the ones running off of a smartphone are more easily and frequently updated. They also provide you with direct cross reference phone numbers to certain addresses for businesses. The only in dashdevice that I have used recently which is as good as my portable devices is 1 that I installed into my car myself. It is a multi functional computer box that does the cd, radio, satellite, gps, backup camera, and dvd playing functions for me all on 1 screen. This jvc box has been very good in terms of being up to date with mapping functions.

    I find that the best option is to use an android based smartphone or I phone for gps capabilities you remember to take it with you because it’s your phone after all. And all you need is a reasonable suction cup mounting device and a cigarette lighter compatible power cord.

    My €0.02

    Sent from my Galaxy on Ice Cream Sandwich.

  2. Alison H says:

    When we went to our son’s wedding, I reserved a GPS unit to go with the
    rental car. My husband had previously thought it a scam of a waste of
    time–till that trip. After that he bought one himself–and, like your
    husband, it was after buying a car and not paying for an installed one.

    He can hear his phone’s GPS now and mostly uses that. I can’t hear
    either one, so forget that.

  3. Mark says:

    Wait for a $$ shock when you want to update the data on the build in GPS.

  4. Chere says:

    So true… Smart didn’t have GPS available in ’09s, so Brad has exactly that, and had to remember to put it away in this heat wave or it won’t work for 5+ minutes when he gets in the car again. Not nearly as bad as it could be though.

    I’ve noted a tendency for the gals to be more reality- connected than the guys… just saying.

  5. Bob says:

    My two cents worth: I think an in-dash GPS is the only way to go with a newer vehicle. We have a 2004 Ford Escape, with the center console between driver and front passenger. When not mounted on the dash and centered, canted toward the driver, my Tom-Tom resides in said console — out of sight and hidden from thieves. The next vehicle will definitely have in-dash GPS. You make a good point about maps, but doubt our vehicles are leaving CONUS any more in their lifetimes. Happy trails and enjoyable driving with the new car!

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