WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA – The Xanavi system in the Infiniti G35 ranks highest in new-vehicle owner satisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study, reported www.CNNMoney.com.

Now in its ninth year, the study identifies six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction. In order of importance, they are: ease of use, routing, system appearance, speed of system, voice directions, and navigation display screen.

For the first time since the study's inception, Xanavi ranks highest among factory-installed navigation systems, performing particularly well in the ease of use and speed of system factors. The Denso system supplied in the Lexus IS 250/350 and the Alpine system supplied to the Acura TL, respectively, follow Xanavi in the ranking.

The study finds that nearly 18 percent of navigation system owners report having real-time traffic capabilities, and 47 percent report having voice recognition. Consumers whose navigation system is equipped with these features report particularly higher satisfaction when compared with owners of navigation systems without real-time traffic and voice recognition capabilities. Additionally, consumers with off-board capabilities, which enables owners to provide a destination to a live operator and receive automated turn-by-turn directions, also have particularly higher overall satisfaction compared with those without the feature. In 2007, nearly one-half of owners report that their vehicle is also equipped with an Off-board navigation system.

"Although satisfaction is higher among owners of navigation systems where turn-by-turn assistance is also offered in the vehicle, these consumers still greatly value traditional full-screen capability," said Mike Marshall, director of automotive emerging technologies at J.D. Power and Associates. "When asked if they would give up the full-screen option and only use turn-by-turn assistance, more than four out of every five off-board system owners said they would not consider foregoing the full-screen option."

While technologies such as off-board, real-time traffic and voice recognition can enhance the overall navigation system experience, owner satisfaction with these specific technologies is relatively low, according to www.CNNMoney.com.

"In general, owners say that these new technologies tend to be problematic and somewhat difficult to use," said Marshall. "Despite this, owners still enjoy having more technologies within their system, as they feel these features add value. One way to ease the difficulty owners may experience in using these features is to enhance buyer education." The study also finds the following navigation system owner behavior patterns:

  • Nearly 60 percent of owners use their system at least once or twice perweek, with younger consumers being the most frequent system users. Additionally, consumers who use their systems more frequently tend to have higher levels of overall satisfaction.
  • While nearly 60 percent of owners experienced a problem with their navigation system, only 5 percent felt that their problem was troublesome enough to take their vehicle in for service. Accuracy of route, maps missing data points and accuracy of address information are the most frequently reported problems among system owners.
  • Consumers who report having real-time traffic capabilities most frequently use it for rerouting due to unexpected traffic events, weekend trips or for advanced route planning. Conversely, fewer than two in five owners report using the feature for actual traffic flow speed information or daily commuting.

    The 2007 Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 14,384 owners who recently purchased or leased new vehicles with factory-installed navigation systems.