Suzuki to offer built-in Garmin infotainment system

Consumer Reports News: April 04, 2012 10:38 AM

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Suzuki and Garmin have teamed up to launch the automaker's first fully integrated, factory-installed navigation and infotainment system.

Scheduled to be available on most 2013 Suzuki vehicles, the system includes a 6.1-inch touch screen and features voice control, Garmin navigation, backup-camera compatibility, AM/FM radio, a CD player, USB and auxiliary ports, and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity.

Some Suzuki models will add steering-wheel-mounted buttons to activate voice control and operate basic functions, such as audio volume.

Pandora Internet radio is available through a compatible smart phone, along with live services including traffic, parking, weather information, and local gas prices. The system can also display and read text messages when the vehicle is stationary.

The navigation will be familiar to users of recent Garmin portable nav devices and apps, and the system will include the usual features such as spoken street names, junction view and lane guidance, and speed limit display.

Historically, Garmin has performed well in our portable nav device ratings, though recent changes to the software interface have garnered criticisms from our testers. In an effort to be more smart-phone like, the devices have compromised some easy of use. Much of the appeal for this system will depend on price (not yet announced), as we often find factory systems are much more costly than a portable device. We look forward to seeing how well Garmin is able to integrate within the cars.


Jim Travers


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