Tech Feature Friday: 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid helps find restaurants
Navigation system has Zagat ratings and information for restaurants, but it can be stale.
When navigation systems first became available, some people (usually males) would scoff at the technology. "If I know where I’m going almost every day, why would I need to spend money on a navigation system?" was often their response.
But in using those early systems, I discovered that they can come in handy on a daily basis -- not just to find out where you’re going, but to find things along the way. A classic example is the dilemma of finding a restaurant, especially when you’re with someone and the conversation goes like this: “Where do you want to eat?” “I don’t know, where do you want to eat?” I found early on that a navigation system easily lists restaurants in a given area and makes that daunting choice simpler and less time-consuming.
The 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid is one of several vehicles that add Zagat restaurant ratings to the navigation menu to help make choosing a restaurant even easier. Within the navigation menu, you can choose the Zagat option and it will list restaurants by vicinity, name, distance and rating, or you can search by keyword.
After choosing one of these search methods, you get a list of eateries with their Zagat rating, address and phone number. Click on one using the center controller and you can even have a review read back to you.
You can see how it works in the video below. While it’s a convenient feature, it’s also a bit antiquated now that more automakers offer smartphone applications and in-car 3G Internet connectivity built right into the navigation, such as Audi's Google search. Toyota’s Entune system finds restaurants and will even allow you to make reservations via OpenTable, while BMW Apps and Mercedes-Benz Apps can find restaurants using Yelp.
With connected services, you get current and constantly updated information, whereas the Zagat ratings in the Acura ILX Hybrid are based on info compiled in 2011. You also can't read user reviews.
So while the Acura ILX Hybrid can help you find a restaurant, the information about it could end up being a bit stale.
Not to be the guy described in the very first line of this article, but why would I need or want that in my car? Seems like extra crap just cluttering up a UI.
Isn't that why I pay over $1200 a year for service for my smart phone with nav and all that other crap? If I need to find a restaurant, I'll just use my phone. I don't need redundant devices that do the same thing. This is a waste of time for Acura.
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at email@example.com.