Not So Serious Traffic - 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Long-Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger Long Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger R/T: Not So Serious Traffic

December 03, 2009

DSC02777.jpg Driving to the L.A. Auto Show yesterday in the 2009 Dodge Challenger I hit stop-and-go traffic on the 10 freeway. No surprise there. But while sitting still with everyone else I noticed the real-time traffic icon on the top right corner of the screen and thought I'd get a report. As you can see from the photo above, there was plenty of congestion all around me, and on both sides of the freeway.

But you'd never know it from the Sirius Traffic service that's part of the Challenger's nav system.

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As James Riswick pointed out in a post yesterday (and his commenters confirmed), it's almost expected that subscription-based "real-time traffic" services don't always operate in real time. That's because the service aggregates traffic info from multiple sources. So there's usually a significant lag time. And aggravation if you're relying on it for accurate info.

While I didn't have a route programmed (the Challenger's nav system is configurable so you can get general traffic messages or ones specific to your route), not reporting on the traffic all around me -- and in a spot that's typically bottleneck-prone -- is inexcusable.

A one-year subscription to Sirius Traffic is included when you pop for the $1,390 uconnectGPS option on the Challenger, and after that it costs $16.94 a month or $190.33 annually. Save your money and listen to local radio traffic reports instead. Or get it free from Google.

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Speaking of which, I was also testing Google Maps Navigation (Beta) on the Verizon DROID as a follow up to an Edmunds road test on iPhone nav apps. After several unsuccessful attempts at programming a route to the L.A. Convention Center on the fly just to see if the Sirius Traffic reports would change -- and being stymied by the Challenger's system since you can't punch in a route while the car is in motion, which is probably a good thing -- I hit an icon on the DROID and said "Navigate to the LA Convention Center."

Within seconds the DROID plotted my route. And showed traffic along the way.

No wonder in-dash nav is going the way of the dinosaurs.

-- Doug Newcomb, Senior Editor, Technology,

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