Toyota Prius Navigation  
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Navigation

The navigation system on the Prius isn't cheap, but every Prius owner who has one seems to recommend it strongly. I haven't seen this very useful option offered on a car in this price range until now.

I've been using mine for a year, and will have difficulty adapting if my next car doesn't have one. I've used a different type of navigation system in a rental car before, and it doesn't hold a candle to the one that comes in the Prius.



Navigation Screen Shots

The difference is that the Prius navigation system is extremely well integrated with the touchscreen, making it much easier to control than other ones where you have to press tiny buttons on a control pad. Since the Prius navigation system is right in the center of the dashboard, it's easy to view and use while driving. In fact, Toyota seems worried that you'll watch it too much.

It would take a lot of explaining to do justice to all of the great features of the navigation system. Instead of trying to cover everything, I'll just throw down some interesting screen shots with a bit of explanation. If you get the chance to try one of these, go for it. I bet you wind up hooked too.

Another view of the map display. The colors and shading of the display can be controlled. There's also a "night mode" that dims the display at night while making it easy to read.

Tap the POI button on the bottom of the screen and you can choose among dozens of types of Points Of Interest in the surrounding area. These include everything from Restaurants and Parks to Emergency services. You can bring up the address and phone number, or tap a button to make the navigation system tell you how to get there.

The map can be fullscreen, which I prefer, or divided in half to show a close up view of where you are along with a larger, more detailed view. This screen allows the map appearance to be fine tuned.

Tap the DEST button on the dashboard, and this screen provides several ways to choose the destination. These include POI selection, typing in an address, major intersections, or selecting a spot on the map.

The navigation menu. Options include Route Preview and Overview, Editing the Route, and working with previously marked points.

You can mark a location on the map by touching a "Mark" button at the bottom of the display and touching anywhere on the currently displayed map. You can give it a distinctive icon. It will remember up to five of these, and you can select them for navigation with a single tap on the Destination display.

Once a destination has been selected, the system calculates three different ways to get to your destination. The first one displayed is the quickest.

Select the "3routes" button on the previous display, and you can choose from "Short" as well as "Alternative" routes. All three are shown on the map in different colors.

The navigation display setup screen, showing ways to customize the map appearance.


This navigation system isn't just extremely useful, it's a lot of fun. While sitting at lights or in traffic, I bring up the map and see how the area looks. I look at points of interest and note places I may want to visit.

How about a few other ways to have fun?

Next: Fun!