Tom Tom Nav Inexpensive, But Also Rudimentary - 2014 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mazda CX-5: Tom Tom Nav Inexpensive, But Also Rudimentary

June 11, 2013

2014 Mazda CX-5

The navigation system in the 2014 Mazda CX-5 is sourced from Tom Tom and is included in the $1,625 Technology package along with keyless start, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, an auto-dimming mirror, Homelink and the Smart City brake support system. That's excellent value when you consider the going rate for many navigation systems is $2,000.

However, you largely get what you pay for with this Tom Tom nav. While I have little doubt it will get you where you want to go, I am unimpressed with its rather rudimentary graphics and the inability to scroll about its map as you can with virtually every other factory-installed navigation system.

For those, like me, who often use a navigation system as if it was a digital map, the CX-5's is not ideal. This was especially true during my recent San Diego trip when I wanted to do some exploring off the freeway. Simply entering in a destination and following its commands like a drone somewhat defeated the purpose.

As such, I happily broke out my trusty Roadmaster 2004 North American atlas that has traversed this country on several occasions. It provided the map and my wife provided any directions that were needed. I'd much rather listen to her than robo-voice anyway and frankly, I find such old-school navigating makes for a better, more involved trip.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 8,060 miles


  • yep, if you are trying to just get to a specific destination and don't care how you get there then Navigation systems are nice. If you want to explore or find other routes or see what other towns are within a reasonable distance then you can't beat a good old fashion paper map.

  • 7driver 7driver Posts:

    There's no substitute for paper (maps).

  • 7driver 7driver Posts:

    Speaking of paper, it seems all the traditional car/consumer magazines have done CRV vs. CX5 comparos. How about one here on Edmunds, even if it's just a long term road test blog entry? Having these two in the fleet at the same time, I'm very surprised how little they are compared against each other.

  • cx7lover cx7lover Posts:

    Actually, the navigation doesn't look too bad in 3D mode and furthermore you can access the map and pan around as you wish if you tap on the map and select "View Map"

  • irizer irizer Posts:

    It won't let you pan around when driving, also the map doesn't automatically center on where you currently are. So seeing a map of where I was 10 minutes ago doesn't really help. Then I have to go into find location and select find me. I also turned off auto-zoom. That way I can set it at a proper zoom level in both 2-d and 3-d and it will show a better level of detail. For some reason, the roads it chooses to label seems random at times. I swear it likes to label roads with funny names. So my CX-5 has a sense of humor. Actually a neat feature to try is say to the navigation "Where am I". It will tell you your location and the nearest cross streets. Not perfect, but it is useful. My 2009 Civic's nav was so much more useful to see where I was currently. Don't get me started about the safety lock-out! If you start a voice input using the voice button on the screen while driving and then come to a stop, you will lose all your input. Apparently safety is a two way street! Well at least I was able to download 90 Year old Hungarian Grandmother as a free voice for my nav.

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