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Hi,
I am currently deciding on what options to get and wanted to get the consensus on Safety 2. Does it actually work and have you found it useful?

As far as NAV is concerned, how good is it compared to a Garmin? I am trying to weigh the convenience of not having to mount/unmount the Garmin every time I get in the car.

One feature I really like about the Garmin is that it takes into consideration the speed limit on the street/highway and traffic on a route to calculate ETA. Does the Nav in the Volt do this?
 

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Greetings,
.
And welcome to the forum.

Let me first preface this by explaining that I'm not the primary driver of our Volt. It's my wife's. But when I do get behind the wheel, I particularly love the features of SP2 - even though the lane departure feature get's me comments from the right-hand seat about not having used my turn signal before changing lanes. Now that I'm done with the excuses to her, I have to admit that it's making me a better driver. I'm now more aware of my driving habits in our other vehicles.

I've set the collision alert feature to its most sensitive setting. To date, while I was driving, I've not had any false-positive alerts. I like it for highway driving in particular. There's an icon on the dash that changes colors when someone either changes lanes too closely in front of you or you close that distance inadvertently - but not at a harmful speed. Again, helpful in changing my habits globally.

We own a couple of Garmins and have the lifetime updates for one of them. In reading the comments of others on this forum, I have to agree that this is the biggest knock on the Volt's Nav package. Had the updates been included, I'd be a bit happier. And yes, the Volt's Nav has posted speed limits in one of its display modes. The ETA is a little small (for my senior eyes) to read though.

Our primary Garmin is the Nuvi 5000, which, you've already noticed doesn't have the "T" in it's name to denote the Traffic feature. I'm currently torn over whether to continue the XM subscription which includes Traffic info in the trial package. Again, since I only get to drive the Volt on weekends and trips, I can't tell whether the traffic alert feature is accurate. I'll leave that to others. The part about traffic that, if it does work as advertised, I believe I want to keep is being able to zoom out and see conditions of entire freeway systems off in the distance of major cities - in vivid color.

During a recent trip I was able to zoom out and see the entire freeway system of San Antonio and whether it was flowing normally from 50 mile out. Adjusting the zoom a touch more and I could also see the freeways in other cities as well. I've not tried this during the day but, at night, the display shows county borders at one or two zoom levels with the major roads that get you there.

Other comparisons:

1. I bought the Nuvi 5000 for the ability to incorporate a backup camera and its large screen. The Volt's Nav is better in both regards.

2. The Nuvi can play its audio via your vehicle's FM radio. No need for that with the built-in unit.

3. I had planned to subscribe to Audio Books that the Nuvi plays from SD cards. Never found a "Round-To-it" in my pocket.

4. We still sometimes take the Nuvi with us so that my wife can play some of the games (mostly solitair) on it.

5. The zoom feature on the Volt is faster and easier to use than the Nuvi.

6. My wife likes the turn-by-turn voice and street pronunciations on her Volt's Nav better than those available on the Nuvi. Many of the major streets of San Antonio are named for the early settlers of the region who were German, Polish, Czechs, French and, of course, Spanish. The Garmin butchers them all.

7. There are a few voice-control commands (read about them but haven't tried them) available for the Volt's Nav. Our Nuvi doesn't have that.

8. Again, since I don't have the traffic feature on my Nuvi, I can get "nearest gas stations" on it but not prices like the XM package provides.

9. One thing that I'm not sure is possible on the Volt's Nav that I love on the Nuvi is the ability to input Points Of Interest (POI) via downloads. Since we're empty-nesters, we rarely go anywhere in a straight line any more. The Garmin lets us divert to those points of interest nearby our intended route. Case in point - just east of St. Louis on one trip, we took a vote as to whether to sightsee in Chicago or continue to Indianapolis - our intended waypoint. Two minutes of debate and enabling the preloaded POIs and Chicago it was.

10. You can have a passenger input routes and lookups on the Garmin while you're driving. Can't do that in the Volt or any vehicle with built-in Nav that I know of.

So you can see that we'd love to have a few features back so that we don't have to take the Garmin along.
 

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I have a 2013 Volt with NAV and I prefer my Garmin. I think you can skip the NAV. I have SP1 but not SP2 so I can not comment on that aspect but I think the must haves for the Volt are the comfort package if you do not get leather (so you have heated seats sits to avoid using the battery draining heaters much as possible) and SP1 for the backup camera and backup sensors. Other than those 2, the rest are just extras that many may not need.
 

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I have a 2013 with both the NAV and SP2.

My opinion is that it could be argued that the NAV that comes build into the dash is not as good as "portable nav system x" (insert Garmin or Magellan, etc) Or that it's too costly. I can buy "portable nav system x for only $y and the build in nav is way more money than that". But the real thing here is that the build in nav is just that... built in. It's always there it's always ready it's always installed. I don't have to worry about putting it in and out. I don't need to deal with cables or charging the portable unit. It's in, and it's ready to go all the time. And it can't be stolen. Well I guess it could be, but portable units are a little more stealable.

The nav system might not be the best nav system I have ever seen. But it's pretty decent. I like it. I think it's worth buying the built in nav. I use a nav most often when I'm driving in an unfamiliar area and want to know when the "next right turn" is coming. And I can easily hit the nav button on the dash and see it instead of having to pull over and break out the garmin. And just for the convenience of not having to install a portable one and take it down, I say the built in one is worth it.

Personally I like Waze as a free portable GPS that runs on a smart phone. Not only does it have nav/directions/traffic but shows where cops and speed traps are. So I think that now with smartphones gaining in popularity, and these free nav systems for phones, I would NEVER buy a portable stand alone unit again. That and the ProClip mounting system and I'm great. But I still got the built in nav.


As for SP2. Honestly it's kind of cool. I show people that it works. And it does work. But it's more annoying than anything else. It's never "saved" me and is more of a "it bugs me" more than it saves me. Someone cuts me off and pulls in front of me and the collision alert goes off saying I'm following too close. Really? Yes I see that car there. And I turned off the lane departure warning. I would turn it on and then show people it works, but I usually turn it off. I got this cause I figured if I was this far in, it's the last option, might as well get my volt fully loaded. But I didn't care if I had it or not. And now that I have it, if it magically disappeared I wouldn't care. I would care more about what color the dealer had and less about SP2.
 

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The front ultrasonic park assist sensors are now part of SP2 and I highly recommend them. You can't see the front of the car past the bottom of the windshield so the front sensors very helpful pulling into tight spaces.
 

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I have the built in Nav. One Feature I like, but rarely used, is calling OnStar and have the directions sent down to me. I know you don't have to have Nav to get directions but on the Nav it is mapped for you. Of course Nav is pricey, but it is nice not having to deal with cords, etc...
 

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I have safety package 1 and do not have NAV. For NAV, I use CoPilot Premium on my Android phone. It cost $10 and has the advantage of a complete download of North America so I do not need a data connection to use it. Maps updates are quarterly and included. CoPilot gives speed limit alerts as well (although I've found several errors in what it thinks the speed limit is). I am remote enough that I drive in areas where I do not have any cell coverage so having maps downloaded to my phone all the time is a big selling feature for me. Also, since I always have my phone with me, I do not have to worry about leaving my stand-alone GPS receiver behind when I leave the house.

The Volt comes with three years of OnStar Navigation as well. You do not need NAV to use this. I have experimented with it quite successfully. It is turn-by-turn and you do not get a visual of the map of roads around you but it has been accurate and easy to use. I've both pre-loaded destinations and called in for directions. It's quite simple. Press the blue OnStar button and tell the operator where you would like to go. I've given both addresses or intersections and have received courteous and fast service. I don't know that I would pay the premium to have this service after my three years are up or not -- we'll see how much I continue to use it. It does work, however, and I recommend that all Volt owners try it a couple of times in their three years of service to see what it is like.

I do regret not getting safety package 2 every time I try to parallel park. I have a parking phobia as it is. I must have been traumatized parking at a young age. Anyway, I don't think I would get much value out of the collision avoidance or lane change warning when driving but I would like the front sensor for parking assistance. I love my Volt, though, and I will be just fine without it.

The leather package/heated seats make the car very nice on the inside. Get that package for sure.
 

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The front ultrasonic park assist sensors are now part of SP2 and I highly recommend them. You can't see the front of the car past the bottom of the windshield so the front sensors very helpful pulling into tight spaces.
For this reason, sometimes now I wish that I had waited to find a 2013 Volt with the SP2 package and the other features I wanted, instead of going with the one available that had only SP1.
 

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The front ultrasonic park assist sensors are now part of SP2 and I highly recommend them. You can't see the front of the car past the bottom of the windshield so the front sensors very helpful pulling into tight spaces.
My observation is that the front park assist does not turn on until you shift into Reverse. That makes it... useless. I have never had it turn on when pulling into a parking space forward, or getting up close to my garage, unless I put it in reverse first.

For the smartphone reasons mentioned above I did not get the built in NAV. I prefer a pro-clip mount and the Waze app. Bluetooth audio prompts come right through the MyLink radio as long as I'm already listening to bluetooth audio from my phone, which I usually am. I also will NEVER plug my phone in to the built in USB port again. What a horrible interface. It basically locks out any of the audio apps on my phone that they are being controlled by an outside source, and you are forced to use the Volt's radio, which is not good at navigating the phone IMO. (I use an iPhone 4S, full disclosure).

I would not look for Safety 2 or the NAV system. My requirements when I was shopping was Premium Trim and Safety 1. The car I found the best deal on happened to have Safety 2. First thing I did was to turn off Lane Departure and Follow Distance warnings! they know nothing about Boston traffic!!! I've already mentioned how unsatisfied with the front bumper proximity sensors I am above.

Onstar will work as a voice-prompting NAV system if you are really in a NAV bind and need directions.

Hope this helps!
 

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I seriously regret not getting the Nav. I'm going to trade mine in for one with Nav. I also really miss the front parking sensors.

Nate
 

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To me, the Volt is the perfect commuter car - back and forth to work daily (all on electric) with an occasional trip involved.

I don't need NAV to get to work and back. When I go on a trip - I have a Garmin and the Onstar directions. I can't remember the last time I had to parallel park - so Safety 2 isn't going to do me any good either. It took me a little while to find the Volt with the right options.

Now, if I couldn't remember the last time I had to parallel park and it was yesterday, I would probably need both Safety 2 and Navigation! :)
 

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My observation is that the front park assist does not turn on until you shift into Reverse. That makes it... useless. I have never had it turn on when pulling into a parking space forward, or getting up close to my garage, unless I put it in reverse first.
I have SP2 but not NAV. Yes - it is somewhat annoying that the front parking assist automatically turns on whenever you shift into R (usually with the loud warning if you're parked against a curb or wall). However, there is a "park assist on/off" button on the overhead console; I've gotten in the habit of turning the system on before I park. I'm coming from a car that had a very visible hood, so still am not totally comfortable parking without knowing how close I am to crunching in the front bumper.:) I've come to rely on the FPA system!

I also like having the front collision avoidance system. There have been a couple of times when someone cut into my lane very close to me, and the FCA triggered. I was in cruise control and "L"; the FCA kicked me out of CC and the car started to slow with the regen braking. I won't claim it "saved my bacon" - but I liked the way it worked.

I'm a bit ambivalent about the lane departure warning system. It does "nag" a lot (probably a comment on my driving, according to my wife!), but it also can provide some useful alerts. There's heavy construction along my drive home, where the shoulders have been replaced with concrete barricades. The LDW does trigger if I drift a bit close to the "shoulder line", which I appreciate.

All in all - I'm glad I got SP2. There are some annoyances, but you can always choose to turn the systems off. All in all, I think the positives outweigh the negatives.

Other than that, I'd also recommend the Comfort Package if you opt for cloth seats. The heated seats are very nice on cold Colorado mornings!
 

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I will say, having FCA is nice when you're a bit distracted by looking at your current mileage on the touchscreen.:/ There's been more than one occasion where it improved my response time. I need to look at the voice commands and see if it has one to read off your current stats.:)
 

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I have nav and sp2.

The nav is okay. Not as good as a garmin and much harder to use than a droid. But it's built in and that part is pretty nice. One big issue, the numbers on the GPS display are too small to read without my glasses, while I can read my garmins numbers fine. On road trips, I would definitely prefer the farming, but the volt isn't my road trip car anyway.

Sp2 has one major flaw that in my opinion makes it worth seeking out a car without it - it beeps incessantly when backing out of a garage or parking space because it turns on the front sensors when in reverse. Quickly it becomes just a ****load of noise each time you put the car in reverse, and there's no way to turn it off or reduce the volume. Okay, yes you can turn it off one time by pressing the ceiling button, but its back on again the next time. Honestly, I would PAY to have the front sensors removed, or made to activate in forward gear only.

Oh also, sp2 does not include blind spot warning. I didn't study ahead and thought "lane departure" might be that, but its not. It just beeps when you get close to the lane line. It has an off button that stays off, and that's where mine is set.
 
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