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Hi,

I am debating whether to get the navigation upgrade for 2018 Mazda 3 GTS

1. From what I can determine, the navigation is stored on an SD Card that you purchase. The card becomes VIN locked after 62 milies. Is it possible to backup the SD Card before installing it? This isn't because I want to pirate it but more to backup the card in case it fails or if I total the car and have to move to another Mazda 3.
2. The navigation system is suppose to show road information like speed limit in the HUD. However, I was under the impression that you would need the premium package. If you have the standard GTS and not the one with the premium package, do we get any road information in the HUD?
3. How is the navigation kept up to date? Does it use some sort of OTA update or do you have to download it and then update the SDcard?
4. Is the update lifetime or is there a time limit. It seems to be 3 years but I am not sure. What's the cost after that?
5. What are some viable alternatives? Other poster suggested CAR Play or Android. The Mazda does not appear to have those, is there a Car Play or Android update to the firmware. Would I be able to display google map on the screen. This may be a better alternative than the built-in nav. My concern is that Mazda stop offering update for a few years. I usually keep my cars for a long time. The car that this Mazda replace was from 1999.

Paul
 

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1) I'm not entirely sure about being able to back it up. I doubt it can be done however. I'll leave this one for someone to better inform you.

2) if you're talking about Traffic Sign Recognition, where it will display when you approach stop signs. You will need the Premium Equipment Package (PEP). I believe (Correct me if I'm wrong) if you have the Navigation SD card installed, it will show turn-by-turn information and how many feet before making the turn and the lane if on the freeway. So, if you decide to get the SD card from the Mazda Dealership ($399) it will show you turn-by-turn info like I said above without needing to add the PEP. However, the SD card can be purchased from eBay or Amazon for around $100. Be cautious about it though.

3) No OTA. Instead you have to check if there are any updates on the Mazda Infotainment page. Mazda Connect and connect the SDcard to the computer to update it. The link will show you instructions on how to update your system.

4) 3 years and it's done. I don't think we'll get anymore updates for Navigation after that. As far as I know, we can't purchase more.

5) Yes, AA/CP is a viable solution for this. It is not included on our Mazdas. Unless you purchased a 2018 Mazda 3 Touring or GT after October 1st. Not sure if your located in the states, but this info is only applicable if you're in the states.

However, I got good news. You can contact your local Dealership and ask them if they are installing AA/CP for your Mazda, and the price it'll cost. I've heard different dealers charging anywhere from $380 to $540. Pricing depends on the State and Dealer. So try different dealers.

Or, if you're not scared of possibly, and I mean possibly, bricking your Infotainment system, you can go to AIO tweaks,https://mazdatweaks.com and install it from there. If you're not tech savvy this may not be the route for you.
 

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1) at least on the ‘18 CX-5 Grand Touring loaner I’ve got right now, the nav does show some basic sign info, but it’s built into the maps and not recognizing live. Still it’s had speed limit information and red light camera info here in North Florida.
 

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1) at least on the ‘18 CX-5 Grand Touring loaner I’ve got right now, the nav does show some basic sign info, but it’s built into the maps and not recognizing live. Still it’s had speed limit information and red light camera info here in North Florida.
I use the system frequently but the biggest waste of time is the system no longer offers live traffic updates...that was short lived only in the 2014/15 models and Mazda was unable/unwilling to negotiate with the powers to be which control navigation. Regardless of what Mazda said years ago, it seems they have no intention to ever activate live traffic on the nav system. Traffic is based on historical data uploaded after each update based on days/time of the week so even that isn't really current. The system does offer 4 different route options along with selecting other sub options. You can delete roads and segments. Again, if you are used to live updates from your garmin then you should just expect to get AA/CP installed and go that route.

You can make back ups without any issues. I make 2 back ups after each semi annual update. There is no reason to wait for the 62 mile period. Back ups can't be made from the Mazda tool box, so you just copy the nav files from the SD to your computer desktop and then copy to a new SD. They are recognized by Mazda toolbox just as the original. It takes 15 to 20 minutes per copy. There is plenty of threads on this blog on how to specifically do it. You can also buy the SD cards on the ebay, etc. for considerably less and from what I have read they work as if you pay for the SD from Mazda. But don't expect to do any pirating beyond that...Mazda toolbox has the navigation function locked to the VIN, so when the subscription expires you will have to renew thru Mazda toolbox only.

Yes, after the 3 year period you can renew the subscription thru the Mazda toolbox application. I don't recall the cost but think it is around $120 for another 3 years.

There are other nice things about having the navigation card...Even if you don't have the navigation engaged, the Infoscreen will show you the name of the upcoming streets/roads on the top bar of the entertainment screen so you can be somewhat prepared. It will also remind you of speed cameras and red light cameras which is good constant reminder to slow down in certain areas...particularly in school zones. Here in NY for example, I spoke to someone just last week who doesn't have navigation, and he just received 3 tickets in the mail in one week for 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone.

The TSR and Nav work together in some ways and then conflict (not necessarily in a bad wsay) other times. If you have Nav engaged, the speed limit on the HUD is based on the Nav system, but if you reach a construction zone where the speed is reduced, then the TSR will pick up that lower speed then display on the HUD....However, 30 to 60 seconds later the Nav speed limit for the section of road will then appear again even if the actual speed limit is lower...this is where you have to be careful and be alert of actual speed limit signs so you don't get ticket for speeding. I've noticed in some of my long road trips, that some of the increased mph on the interstates isn't always correctly displayed in the nav.

Anyway, I'm glad I have it even with it's major live traffic limitation...Depending on where you live or where you are going, traffic isn't always an issue and just being able to punch in a quick address without plugging in your phone can be more convenient and safer.
 

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The Mazda nav is not worth the time it takes to enter a destination. Its route suggestions can be amusing...or infuriating, with no way to correct a silly route, since the waypoint commands are almost always grayed out. It often tells me to turn right, then make an illegal U-turn, rather than simply turn left. It has instructed me multiple times to exit a highway, then immediately re-enter it, presumably because it looks a few feet shorter in its tiny brain.

Learn to use a paper map, spend your money on CP/AA, or just buy a real GPS unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info. I am thinking money may be better spent on a AA/Carplay upgrade. With the amount of construction in my area, even a garmin with lifetime update have problems. The google map seems to work a bit better because it updates faster.

Unfortunately, I purchased the car in Aug, this mean I won't be eligible for the car play/AA update, but I haven't been able to find much information on how much it would cost to upgrade. I don't know the dealer and is not sure if they will try to overcharge me.

Paul
 
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