Complaints About the Toyota Highlander Navigation System

As I’ve noted in the past, our Highlander is an XLE. This means, among other things, that we have the built-in Toyota navigation system. Given that we’ve never had a built-in NAV system, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The short version is that we went in with high hopes, but were somewhat underwhelmed. In the past, we’ve always relied on our trusty, standalone Garmin GPS unit, and it’s never let us down.

I’m also a big fan of Waze, though I do admit that most smartphone apps are only as good as the quality of your data connection. Thus, it’s easy to get left in the lurch when you’re out in the middle of nowhere.

Given our experiences with (and the prices of) standalone GPS units, we’ve never seen the point of a built-in NAV system. Are they good enough to justify their premium, as well as the costly map updates?

I have to admit that I’ve always been skeptical. But…

The XLE offered a number of other features that we wanted, so we took the plunge and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, as noted above, we’ve been somewhat underwhelmed due to limitations in several areas.

What follows is a rundown of our biggest disappointments when it comes to the Toyota Highlander’s GPS navigation system.

Inaccessible in motion

First and foremost, I hate (HATE!) being locked out of most of the touchscreen controls when the Highlander is in motion. I understand that this is a safety thing, but… Really?

Am I really supposed to believe that Toyota can’t add a sensor to unlock the controls when the passenger seat is occupied? This problem is made worse by the poor voice recognition, which means that I either have to stop the car or struggle to get the system to understand me.

Or, secret option #3… I could install an override to get around the problem. I’m starting to think that might be my best option though, in the short term, I’ve mostly avoided the problem by using my iPhone for navigation.

GPS lag

I’ve also noticed that the GPS tends to lag at least a bit behind reality. And no, I’m not alone. Several readers have reported the exact same thing.

The problem is most apparent when passing through an intersection. When I do so, my eyes tell me that I’ve cleared the intersection, while the GPS system often shows that I’m still approaching, about 100 ft behind reality.

This seems like a minor thing, but it can be a major annoyance when we’re driving through a complicated intersection or in areas with multiple roads intersecting within a short distance.

Recalculating…

Whenever you stray off course, pretty much any GPS system will recalculate to get you back on track. But Toyota’s system is frustratingly stubborn in that it keeps trying to get you to turn around and pick up the route where you left off, even if that’s not the best available option.

While many older GPS units shared this behavior, most modern devices are smarter. Sure, in some cases your best option will be to backtrack. But in most cases, the system calculates a new route that either (eventually) intersects with the original route, or it takes you a different way entirely.

Missing addresses

Last, but certainly not least (and, to be perfectly honest, this probably isn’t my last complaint)… I’ve been annoyed by the inability of the Toyota NAV system to find certain addresses.

There have been (at least) two or three cases in recent months where I’ve tried to program in an address, but wasn’t able to do so. The system uses a predictive text interface that restricts the available keyboard entries to make typing easier. Sounds great, but…

I’ve had instances where, for example, I needed to enter a four digit address and the system only allowed me to enter three digits. It’s as if the NAV maps didn’t include the full range of addresses along the road in question.

Given that I’ve never had trouble finding addresses with my Garmin GPS, Waze, Google Maps, etc., this struck me as really weird. Are the Toyota maps really that incomplete? It appears so.

Okay, dear readers. Now it’s your turn. What do you think of the Toyota navigation system? Are you happy with it? Or do you have some complaints? If so, what are they? Please leave a comment, below.

Get my free Highlander quick start guide.
Twelve great tips plus more via e-mail.
100% free. Unsubscribe anytime.
Complaints & Troubleshooting, Technology & Infotainment
204 comments… add one
  • jeff Nov 14, 2014

    You hit the nail on the head with your thoughts on the Nav system. A $200 Garmin unit (which I still have and will use on road trips) runs circles around the Toyota nav system.
    – speech recognition is a total failure, an embarassment for Toyota
    – lockout is frustrating, especially when paired with the atrocious voice recognition
    -even when it has the address, it is often inaccurate. I can count on getting to the right street, but the Toyota address is often 1/2 mile or more off.
    -poor database of pre-entered businesses
    -non-intuitive programming
    the list is endless.

  • Joanna Nov 15, 2014

    This navigation system, especially the speech recognition is terrible. I traded in my 2012 Sienna for my 2015 Highlander and the Sienna was SO much better :(. Such a bummer!

  • Steve Nov 16, 2014

    I agree- I have NOT had a positive experience with the voice recognition or navigation. Anger and frustration would be putting it lightly in dealing with the voice recognition (even after the extra “training” option in the software to understand your voice). I hope that Toyota offers a MAJOR update to the Entune software or allows users to download a 3rd party system (i.e., CarPlay).

  • Lan Nov 21, 2014

    Completely agree with everyone’s comments. And unlike Apple maps, there is no way that I have seen to report a miss-marked address. It appears that the only command that I can get recognized is “cancel navigation”.

    Also the traffic feature is useless where I live (Savannah, GA) and it was one of the things I was really looking forward to using. I find myself using my iPhone to navigate and get traffic reports.

    I’ve had my Highlander for just under a month and got my survey from Toyota yesterday and I really let them have it with both barrels as far as voice command, navigation, entune apps etc.

  • George Powell Dec 1, 2014

    Add the fact that the “Time to Arrive” is never accurate. Not even close.

  • Asheesh Dec 7, 2014

    I bought a 2015 Highlander XLE, and was extremely disappointed with the inbuilt navigation system. As you rightly put it, it reports multiple locations for a single address, and I on the very first day trying to use it found myself completely lost. I’ve used Garmin Nuvi 40LM for 3 years, and totally love it. It’s a great car but the navigation system totally sucks. I hope we can get an update soon, and the flaws in this are fixed. Until then, will continue to keep using the solid, and ever-dependable Garmin

  • Edwin Dec 12, 2014

    I may be in the minority but I don’t have that many issues with my Navigation. I think the issue is that many people are coming from Standalone GPS systems, which makes many of the complaints valid. The motion lockout has been a known issue with Toyota Navigation for years (I had a 2002 Camry with factory Nav, one of the first available, and it was the same issue). Buying the lockout cable solves the issue (all others solutions are not happening [like secret button presses, which once existed but have been removed or hoping Toyota changes it mind]).

    As for the address issue, it’s actually not Toyota’s issue. It’s the map vendor, Navteq. In fact, for those who used Nokia/HERE products, all the same address issues and weird routing issues occur. There really isn’t a way to submit updated addresses but I’ve found the yearly updates do a good job with adding roads and places, although if you buy a “2015” update, the map info is really from around early 2014.

    My current Highlander is my fourth Toyota with Navi but I’ve also had Audi and Ford systems and I still find the Toyota better in general. Those other systems allowed entry while driving but they lack small subtle things that the Toyota has (and standalone systems too), such as which side of the street the destination is on and accurate turn graphics relative to the road, not just Left or Right arrows.

    As for the routing and traffic, the Highlander uses the HD radio signal for traffic, which is limited in coverage. My 2014 Prius uses XM, which has better coverage but is a cost item after three years.

    I’m a loyal Waze user also, as all my other previous factory Navi systems didn’t have traffic integration, and at least for me in Seattle, the traffic routing, incident information, and ETAs are within a couple minutes of Waze.

    I think that many standalone GPS and cell phone based systems have advantages (input, updated information/maps, etch) but the Factory Navi works online or offline, in areas with poor GPS coverage using the car sensors (such as in cities with large buildings), and integration in the Console. I don’t think Factory Navi beats standalone or current gen Phone systems but I don’t think it really is designed to do so. The factory systems are generally 2-3 years behind in tech due to the need to design and build them into the cars. For me, it’s certainly good enough to use as a primary.

    • Ralph May 6, 2015

      “Buying the lockout cable solves the [motion lockout] issue…”
      What is a lockout cable and where do you get one?

    • Ralph May 6, 2015

      “As for the address issue, it’s actually not Toyota’s issue. It’s the map vendor, Navteq.”
      You should not let Toyota off the hook this easily. Toyota’s engineers chose the map vendor; Toyota is responsible for its choices.

    • Ralph May 6, 2015

      I will stipulate that the electronic hardware may be a bit behind the times because designs must be completed ahead of time. But there is no excuse for the software to be old. New software can be released and installed any time. It should always be up-to-date.

    • Dan Oct 2, 2015

      “Buying the lockout cable”

      How does one do that?

    • Raj Feb 14, 2016

      same with me…

  • AL Dec 24, 2014

    New 2015 Camry Nav doesn’t seem to recalculate route and show you how to get back on track if you are off course and lost.
    Also, there is no volume control icon on the nav setting, where is it??

  • Frank Jan 3, 2015

    The nav system in my 2014 Highlander would not load the map once out of ten times. I would have to stop, turn the engine off, and restart for the maps to load. Also, the information bar (that shows the current street name, etc.) disappeared. I took it into the dealer and they installed an update which fixed those problems. I agree with other that it is not a very good system. I use a Garmin when when the Highlander can’t find what I’m looking for.

    • Simon Aug 28, 2015

      Hi frank. Rather than stopping the. Car if you press and hold down the power button for approx 5 secs it resets the entire system. I found this out on my 2014 Prius which would lock up regularly.

  • Edwin Jan 5, 2015

    The recalculate option is turned off by default on some cars. It was in my wife’s Prius. Just go into the settings, Navigation to turn it on. On my Highlander, the navigation volume is controlled via the settings menu. On my wife’s Prius (2014 and 2009), it could be controlled via the steering wheel volume buttons, WHILE the navigation is speaking.

  • Lisa Moyles Jan 12, 2015

    Wow – I’m so glad to find this blog! I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong, and now I realize it’s a crappy system! BTW, we’ve used the Garmin NUVI for many years (owned 2 now), and hands-down it beats the Toyota NAV on my new 2015 Highlander Hybrid. What a huge disappointment! This is our first new car in 12 years (last new car was a 2003 Toyota 4Runner), so I figured we were just so far behind in the technology. Apparently that’s not the case at all.

    In addition to the items already discussed above, I’ve had it take me to the wrong address several times. We were recently driving from CT into NYC (I know, that was stupid – but there were 5 of us going in for a show and we missed the train we needed to take), and I still don’t know where it was taking me. We had entered a via address to the hotel just south of Central Park to drop luggage before going to the show, and next thing I know we were on the Whitestone Bridge – definitely not the right direction! As everyone else has said, we had to revert to our phone to find our way.

    But I have to say that the worst thing about it is the lack of directions. If you don’t have it on the full-screen mode and if it is also in the “muted” mode, (if you are on the phone, it speaks right over your conversation, so after much ado I found the “mute” button in the settings), you are lucky if it shows you the exit number, much less the road name when a turn is needed. In all my years of using the NUVI (and as I said, I’ve owned more than one), WAZE or Maps on my phone, I’ve never been so confused and disoriented! Are there any hints or settings I can adjust so that it gives me exit/street names either in the screen above the steering wheel, or in the half-screen mode on the main screen? I still can’t figure out what all the writing is when in full-screen mode, as it seems to show every exit as you are approaching it…so I find that confusing – I only want to see my exit name and how far before I reach it. Has anyone found a website that we can let Toyota know of our concerns? I obviously did the customer survey too soon!

  • Levi Cannon Jan 20, 2015

    2015 Highland Hybrid Platinum Navigation:
    Is there a way to adjust the route automatically selected by the navigation system? The route selections it offers are poor choices. Example: route to PDX by freeway uses 2 freeways through the heart of Portland rather than the by-pass freeway that leads directly to the airport. On Google maps & iPhone I can simply drag route marker on the map to my preferred freeway route & it quickly adjusts the route. I haven’t found a way on the Toyota system. When I leave my home Toyota system wants me back track through a residential neighborhood rather than the more direct route via an arterial. If this map doesn’t allow route adjustments, then I would like to know if there is a way to have my iPhone map display on the Toyota navigation screen?

  • Ron Jan 24, 2015

    I’ve had many of the same problems but assumed that I was overlooking something. My old Garmin Nuvi was better, or at least I was more familiar with it. But it did occasionally mislead me. I’ve only had my 2015 xle about four months and still learning. But I glad to know that not all my ignorance.

  • Mike Jan 25, 2015

    I haven’t had an issue with not finding an address, but I agree with most other comments: lockout while in motion which is my biggest peeve (and Toyota isn’t the only brand with this issue – blame litigation and lawsuits); truly lousy voice recognition (my kids have a blast listening to the ridiculous results); there is a location lag but it doesn’t always bother me; my old Garmin is more intuitive as is my iPhone’s map program. One other thing: there’s no simple button to cancel the route from the main screen.
    I now make a habit of checking out the route overview to see if it makes sense to me; but when I’m in unknown territory I may check it against my iphone to see if they are in agreement on the route.
    I like having the navigation system but am a bit disappointed in Toyota’s choice. However, I’m aware there are other systems in other manufacturer’s vehicles which are worse in other ways. I’m not an Apple devotee but have found myself impressed with Siri for voice recognition.

  • Back Roads Bob Feb 5, 2015

    I agree. I’ve had many GPS systems, Garmin being the best, but for the price of the my 2015 Highlander Limited coupled with the fact that is is three years newer than my newest Garmin, it is very disappointing. It may be less intuitive than my Tom Tom which was packaged with a $100,000 RV, but they both have missed the standards of a high tech luxury vehicle. Come on Toyota we expect you to be the best.

  • Darryl Feb 9, 2015

    I have an XLE Hybrid here in Canada. I can’t get the system to put the track up as I am able to do with almost all Nav systems. Is there a way?

    Best,

    Darryl

    • John Feb 19, 2015

      Yes you can change the track view. I have an XLE as well. I believe if you push the direction arrow, that will change the view to track up, or have north constantly at the top of the map.

    • Jeff Jun 10, 2015

      I find that I have to push the arrow each time I use the GPS, it does not stay up.

  • Bernie Feb 9, 2015

    I have most of the issues on my new Highlander Hybrid. Not being able to operate by passenger is across all Toyota models. Our other car is a new Lexus ES with the same problem. My issue is I can not set to just show the map. I always have a second or third screen option and so far not the dealer, Toyota or any forums on line and tell me how to rest to jut get main screen maps only. Does anyone know if there is a way to do a factory reset. It worked that way off the lot than changed. There is a section for one screen only, but lasts only 20 seconds or so.

    • Darrell Jul 17, 2015

      Just touch the map screen and it will go to full screen until you change it back by hitting the home button. Hope this helps. I have a 2015 Highlander Limited.

    • Darrell Jul 17, 2015

      Go to apps, setup, general, scroll down and uncheck the Auto Change to Home Screen. This will stop the change back to home screen.

  • Kathy Feb 11, 2015

    The voice recognition is the worst I’ve ever seen in my 2014. My 2011 was pretty good most of the time. As for keeping the iphone paired — or at least connected — forget about it. I lost connection with my 2011 maybe 3 times in 3 years. The 2015 is disconnected constantly. I have to fumble to reconnect at stop lights at least 2x/month, usually more. Last week in a rain storm, dead as a doornail. It took me 9 tries to reconnect that time, including deleting Toyota from my iphone settings and doing a complete re-pairing. Very disappointing on what is otherwise a great vehicle. I’m on my 3rd Highlander.

  • Cathy Hammer Feb 12, 2015

    Does anyone know of a 3rd party console replacement that’s good? (I.e. replace the audio, nav, everything)

  • Charles Murphy Feb 12, 2015

    these problems sound just like my 2005 toyota avalon. Voice recognition is so bad that we do not use it. also, instead of taking me home, it sometimes takes me to an address on another street. I,m really glad to find this as I have been thinking seriously about purchasing the 2015 highlander. thanks

  • Emile Subirana Feb 18, 2015

    I agree with all these expressions of frustration. My 2013 Highlander Limited’s nav system refuses to take expressways which are obviously the best route and keeps demandings u-turns. Fortunately, I also brought my Garmin on this trip. The system is a disgrace in a vehicle this new and expensive. Someone in Japan must surely realize that their nav system is a joke. Oh, did I mention the $1,000 sunglass holder replacement…

  • john Feb 19, 2015

    Like many others, not impressed with the navigation lockout. Our other problem is that being a Canadian with a wife who’s a Brit, I really can’t go through the voice training program as the system won’t recognize between two different accents. Also being in Canada, we have no access to many of the entune features such as traffic and many other apps, even those are often listed in the adverts. Hopefully Toyota is working on some solutions. Not holding my breath though.

    • Lil Sep 4, 2015

      That’s disappointing because I was really looking forward to those features. Expecting my HL in Nov 2015

  • rick Feb 22, 2015

    2015 XLE here. Exact same problem with everyone else. My wife and I just use our smart phones. Although the car is great, extremely disappointed With the nav. Anyone entertaining a class act option instead of just waiting for Toyota to do something?

  • Iain Feb 27, 2015

    I am from New Zealand have the limited zr which is the top of the line model. the head unit is hopeless. I used Mazda’s, Fords, GM\Holden, VW, Mercedes, Tom Toms, Garmin and Navmans, it would be on par with navman which I through in the bin after a single weekend.
    1) voice recognition does not work at all, yet to get one of American friends to try.
    2) does not recognise the outlying city suburbs or districts only suburbs which only a local might have heard of. Vast areas of the City are unreachable via the GPS. Google maps found the street in seconds, Toyota took 35 Minutes.
    3) does not mute the gps when a call comes through and you cant change the gps volume on the move as that would be “dangerous”.
    4) only one usb socket on the dash.
    5) Cant make a call when on the move or change address or route.

    I would not have bought this car had I seen the head units problems, I would have purchased the Santa Fe. I did not make any calls but played with gps, phone system but not on the move. Saving my dollars to replace the head unit but it is going to be around $4000.

    • Jeff Jun 10, 2015

      Save your time don’t bother trying an American friend it still won’t recognize the speech. I agree only 1 USB on dash, what’s with that. My $175 Gamin works much better.

  • Jim Feb 27, 2015

    the GPS Nav time is 70 mins behind current time. How do I correct that?

    • Scott Apr 30, 2015

      Are you using Km instead of miles? I am, being in Canada, and have discovered that the morons who programmed the GPS have made a mistake, and calculate your driving time as if the KM’s are miles! In other words, if you have 100 KM to travel (which at 100km/hr (roughly 60 mph) should take an hour) it calculates your time as 100 miles (which at 60 mph, should take a little over 90 minutes). 2012 Highlander.

  • Clare Mar 7, 2015

    The most annoying thing is on a freeway if you have a destination
    In it gives you every exit and tells you to exit turn right or left.
    Your not sure we’re you should exit to get to your destination.
    Voice activation is a joke
    A beautiful car to dad toyota could not fix the navigation

  • Emil Mar 9, 2015

    I agree 100% with everyone having a problem with their navigation system. The maps and addresses are completely lagging behind. I entered an address going to Oakland and once I was near my destination, it kept telling me to turn left which is a complete circle. It’s a complete waste. I really hope Toyota would do something to fix this major problem.

  • Yvonne kibg Mar 16, 2015

    I bought a 2015 Camry. I have the same problems you are having. The GPS does not take me to the address that is so supremely frustrating! I am so used to having a standalone GPS take me right to the front door and this thing can be a street or 2 over. If you don’t know where you are going, you are up a creek. Garmin, tom-tom spoiled me. Toyota needs to pay me for this sad piece of junk.
    My voice is not recognized. It does not anticipate traffic. That is a joke
    This is so sad.
    When will this junk be updated???

  • Yvonne king Mar 16, 2015

    I needed to find a chase bank today. The gps took me to one location that was defunct. The next attempt took me to the wrong place on the wrong side of the street as I passed the chase bank on the opposite side

  • Dave Mar 20, 2015

    Soooo frustrated. I punched out my nav, etc… Busted glass.
    Got a iPad mounted in its place. Problem solved!!

  • gary Mar 26, 2015

    bought new vinzalast year have had to dealer 4 times. they changed the head but still junk. did not know there were so many problems with nav system. should have stuck with honda.

  • Joey Apr 8, 2015

    Just chiming in to express my disappointment in the GPS on my Highlander. Agree with and have experienced everything posted here. Upgrade desperately needed!!!

  • Peter Apr 13, 2015

    Maps are extremely out of date.
    There are several one way streets near me (have been that way for at least 5 yrs) that it wants to go the wrong way down. I have had the problem of addresses not being in the system (have to plug numbers in that are close). I am an Australian living in Canada and have found the voice recognition a joke. It is no safer having the lockout while moving as to trying to use the voice recognition.
    Have also experienced the connection difficulties with the phone.
    Toyota definitely missed the mark with the nav system in the Highlander.

  • Paul K Apr 16, 2015

    Me to Highlander Nav system “Chicago, Illinois”

    Toyota: “North Dakota?”

    “C H I C A G O , I L L I N O I S”

    “New Orleans, Louisiana?”

    “CHICAGOILLINOIS”

    “Puerto Rico?”

    No, wasn’t planning on driving to Puerto Rico today, but thanks for trying.

    It is the WORST piece of crap navigation system ever. Ever.

    They claim they’ve replaced my entire unit.

    Still doesn’t work for shizzle.

    I will never buy another Toyota product again, simply because of the shear frustration of worthless navigation and voice recognition.

    Voice recognition is a nightmare and, even if you program the address in by hand, the guidance is atrocious.

    Sorry Toyota. As soon as my lease is up, adios!

  • Lynn Apr 16, 2015

    Great vehicle but the navigation system is as frustrating as trying to reach a human being at the phone company. It ruins your day every time.

  • Mike Smith Apr 18, 2015

    Just bought a new 2015 4Runner and I found the navigation system to be extremely confusing and hard to use. Hard to believe that in 2015 Toyota expects someone to read a 296 page user manual in order to use a navigation system! Not only that, but we used it on a recent 2000 mile trip and it badly misdirected us three times. Ended up just using Google maps on my smartphone. Really disappointing.

  • Isaiah Hughes Apr 24, 2015

    I have a 2015 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER LIMITED PLATINUM EDITION: RECALCULATION takes waaaaayy to long to recalculate when you have missed a turn. I would have to pull over and wait for it to recalculate. I really do love the truck but such a bummer!!

  • Paul May 5, 2015

    2013 Highlander Limited. Same complaints as others have noted. Toyota is really asking for a Class-Action suit. Total irresponsibility and care-less attitude. At some point a bad driver may end up wrong direction on a one-way street…could be disasterous!

    So frustrating this is definitely my LAST Toyota!

  • Ray May 5, 2015

    There is an adapter you can get in order to disable the speed sensor; it makes your car think that you’re in park. Here is a link to a forum that describes the mod and gives some pictures of the install. I looked it over and it didn’t seem ridiculous. It involves taking the trim pieces off the dash and pulling the radio out. The adapter you buy has wiring harnesses that plug into the factory wiring so you can easily unplug it if you ever need to.

    Forum link: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/333-3rd-generation-2014/701657-2014-highlander-nav-bypass-5.html

    Description of what it does (a few members of the forum above have done this mod):
    “This afternoon I installed my Crux AVITY-01 adapter in my limited platinum. The adapter works perfectly as advertised and gives me the ability to run A/V into the head unit. Also this adapter does INDEED BYPASS THE NAVI. Basically when its enabled the navigation unit stops as if it thinks the car is parked. At that point you can do anything to the head unit as if the car was parked (such as entering an address). After you are done you can then disable the bypass and the navigation will pick up where you left off. “

  • Ralph May 6, 2015

    Regarding your comment about “Inaccessible in motion” you said, “Am I really supposed to believe that Toyota can’t add a sensor to unlock the controls when the passenger seat is occupied?”
    Evidently, that sensor is already there; when nobody is sitting in the passenger seat, a light comes on saying that the airbag is off.
    Maybe Toyota is afraid somebody might put a heavy box in the passenger seat and override the lockout. In any event, the motion lockout is incredibly stupid given that the voice recognition is so poor.

  • Carl May 11, 2015

    You’re right. I’ve contacted Toyota a couple time to no avail. I’m tried to shame them. These complaints have prevailed since 2003. One guy did hack in the GPS in order to have access while in motion. Got a 2015 Avalon limited with a cheap Garmin in the dash. Oh how shameful. This is my 5th Toyota. I’m so ticked at this voice control: GPS, phone, etc. not working right, I will not buy another Toyota. My $14,000 Fiat 500 Bluetooth works better than my $45,000 Avalon.

  • Joseph huto May 12, 2015

    I have a 2015 Toyota 4 runner with the gps system . This has to be the worse next to none. Evey complaint that has been writen above I agree with. Hate the system wish I never wanted it… I like the 4 runner ,
    To bad the GPS system isn’t as good
    Joe huto

  • Pete May 19, 2015

    I hope Toyota is listening, UPGRADE THE SOFWARE!!!!!!

    • Brenda Jun 25, 2015

      I just got the Latest update and it still sucks!! Read my comments below please..

  • Mitch May 21, 2015

    Apparently Navteq no longer supports the nav system, they say to go to Toyota directly.

    My month old Camery XLE came with map s/w from June 2014, I live in a major metropolitan area, and my best guess is that 40% of the residential streets are missing.

    My TomTom on my iPhone is far superior and faster to program, too bad there’s no way to link to the Toyota nav system

  • Neil May 22, 2015

    I agree, the nav is terrible. Waze and google maps are much better. On my simple commute to work, the nav sends me 5 miles out of my way to be on a highway. I do use it to save the battery on my phone, but I always run Waze. Also, the builtin usb port does not supply enough current to charge well. I plugged in a 12v-5v usb adapter next to it and it works much better.

    As far as the bypass cable is concerned, I installed one the first week I had the Highlander. Works very well, especially for a $3 switch. You do have to cut a wire and splice in a switch, but its $182 cheaper they the bypass box.
    Link: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/333-3rd-generation-2014/904858-mod-2015-highlander-navi-phone-lockout-bypass.html

  • Bill May 22, 2015

    I’m not alone I see. I echo all the comments by others. Highly disappointed in the NAV system on a Car I paid nearly $40k for.
    Hey Toyota how about doing right by your customers and get us a software update that fixes this stinko NAV system!!! My $75 Garmin is way better. The Voice recognition is terrible even after training it.

  • Bernie K. May 22, 2015

    I too have experienced the could not find the address. Several of these were established at the locations for many years. Using a older Garmin along with my Android phone there was no hesitation finding those locations.
    So i tried a couple of things . The one that basically worked was to put in a neighboring town (the one closest to the address I was looking for). In every case it worked!
    So if you were travelling how would you even know what the closest town to the address is?
    My guess the problem is the postal zones verses the geographic locations. It would appear that all other GPS services rely on the postal address whereas Toyota GPS uses the geographic location.

    My 2015 is in for its 6 month service an I have requested a software update for the GPS. I have talked with a Electronics tech who physically witness this issue and agreed that we should try the latest software update.
    I do hope the software update works for the GPS, I also have door lock issues and the HVAC does it’s own thing with little regard to actually controlling the temperature. I have not been pleased.

    • Bernie K. Jun 27, 2015

      6/25 followup on navigation system. There is an update that is suppose to fix/improve the can’t find the address. So far it seems OK . Appears there were tons of complaints and now there is a fix.
      Dealer could not duplicate my rear hatch stuck in the open position and other door locks acting weird and my heat controls not controlling temperature. Have moved it up to Toyota and case manager has been assigned.

  • Deb May 28, 2015

    I am so disappointed in Toyota navigation system. I believe their navigation system is so bad that there should be a class action lawsuit. I use to have one in my 2006 Toyota Sienna. I now have one in my 2015 Highlander. I was assuming after all of these years and with all of the technology advancements, it would be a lot better. It’s not. It’s worst than the navigation system they had back in 2006. This new navigation system isn’t even Beta worthy. If it was free….I wouldn’t want it. But it wasn’t free. I had to pay $$$$ for it. It can’t even understand basic instructions. A lot of addresses won’t even show up when you type it in. I have to use my iphone or iPad for navigation. It would be a lot cheaper for people to go out and buy a new iPhone or iPad to use as their navigation system because they work! They work a million times better than what the piece of junk Toyota is trying to pass off. Don’t buy a Toyota navigation system….its a scam. Buyer Beware!

  • Debra Hughes May 29, 2015

    I was so thrilled to buy a 2015 Highlander after my Honda Odyssey (my kids are grown and didn’t need a mini van any more). After 6 months, I still hate the GPS and have to use WAZE. This unit is not intuitive and there are too many steps to go from one screen to the other. Now the 2016 Honda Pilot is being redesigned, I’m actually thinking of getting rid of the Highlander just because of the GPS. I am very dependent on navigation, I can’t believe this is what is in the Platinum $40+ Car.

  • larry barrett May 29, 2015

    I totally agree with the above comments. The 2015 XLE Hylander’s gps is the worst I have ever used. I have used aircraft Gramin GPS’s for navigaton for a number of years and never had one problem. It hard to imagine that Toyota uses this type of navigation system. I would gladly trade in my 2015 XLE Hylander (which I like, but not the nav system) for a new Honda Pilot if I didn’t lose any money on the deal – and just because of the nav ststem.

  • David Manus Jun 6, 2015

    I totally agree with all of the above complaints. I have a 2015 Avalon with the JBL premium nav system and it sucks. I had a 2010 Ford Fusion with their Sync Nav system and it was awesome. It also let me utilize the full infotainment suite from Serius/XM the provided excellent navigation and weather information. We could input specific cities for the weather and get it. In this system, you are limited to just the major cities already put in the system. I don’t use the phone apps, so this part of the system is a totally useless to me. Wish I could get the Ford Sync system for my Toyota.

  • Bert Jun 8, 2015

    I fell asleep while my wife was driving from Pittburgh to Sturbridge Massachusetts. That stupid navigation took us right through God forsaken New York city. If I could have returned this God fosaken 2015 Highlander Limited to the dealer I would have and bought back my 2006 Ford 500 with a way better navigation system. This one is clueless. We are now relying on our phones navigation systems to get us there. And how do you turn down the volume or mute the screaming voice. I hate this navigation!

  • Brenda Jun 23, 2015

    I also bought a 2015 Toyota Highlander Limited and took it on a month long vacation and My Trip was pretty much ruined because of the Navigation system.. I could not get it to find several towns, and even some points of interests ( Parks ect ).. I even stopped long enough to get it up graded and still the same! It couldn’t even get it to take us to one of the Toyota dealerships! We could see the dealership from the main highway but Navigation kept taking us in the wrong direction in circles, I finally turned right instead of left like the navigation wanted and drove right to it!!!! Another example on my way home I took I90 in NY and I was trying to use the voice command and I asked for Motels along my route and it comes back ” NO HOTELS ALONG MY ROUTE ” So I have my Husband pull over to the side of a Busy Highway to find Hotels / Motels would you call that SAFE?? I ended up having to use my Iphone to find a hotel.. This type of stuffed happened several times on my Vacation along with it not Allowing me to put in addresses by hand because it did not find the towns on it’s System. I was told the system does not even belong to Toyota and they can’t make changes to it only updates that come in from that company! I looked under the Options under data and looked and saw that the Coverage for the USA very very poor on coverage on this GPS about only 1/2 the maps showed coverage.. Oh! By the way the Hawaiian Islands have Excellent coverage and I am sure I am going to fly my car there to use the System! You will notice that for yourself if you take a look.. So today I just wanted to see how many towns it could not be found in the system.. I took my local phone book and tried to find the first 34 towns, only 19 could be found by the Navigation and I live in NY where the coverage showed up as good!! I live in the country and need for this system to be able to take me to address in some of these towns and the Navigation can’t take me there because it will NOT allow me to put in the Names of the town because it is NOT in the System! So I spend the MONEY for a good Car but I get a Really poor navigation System!! I have had my car back to the dealership and there is NOTHING that can be done till the next update comes out which I have to pay for!! This SUCKS!! Who wants to pay for something that works this poorly?!?!? Cheaper to buy another Garmin that does work! I think we need to start a group complaint and make Toyota and demand them to make things right or give us back MONEY for their cheap GPS System! Which I have to replace with a Garmin as far as I am concerned!

  • Clark Jun 27, 2015

    2015 Highlander XLE. What I love…the display showing the lane configuration of exits and splits along my route. Totally depend on this to know if I should be in left, right or middle lanes.
    What I hate: GPS is not intuitive…actually very confusing and difficult to figure out. In addition to listed complaints, I’m frustrated with inability to designate my route. Recently drove to daughter’s house in Ft. Worth for first time. Was told to take 121 thru Dallas to Ft. Worth. Hmmm… how to tell this GPS which route I wanted to take??? Well, I had her give me an address on 121 (in Frisco Tx) to force this piece of crap to the route I wanted, Then had to reset my destination to her home after getting on 121. Same thing on return going around St. Louis…how to specify I wanted to bypass around the south side rather than I-270 North. Had to plug in Columbia, Illinois the night before and then reset for home once I got there.
    I also wish there was an easy way to tell the distance to an upcoming city on a 12 hour trip without having to pull the atlas out.
    Wow this GPS is terrible… especially for a 40K vehicle! what a disappointment.
    HEY TOYOTA, ARE YOU LISTENING?? LOOK AT ALL THESE POSTS COVERING SEVERAL YEARS!!!

  • April Jun 28, 2015

    I have a 2014 Highlander and my navigation shuts down as I’m traveling down the road. Can anyone tell me why and what I can do to fix it??

    • Dave Oct 7, 2015

      I also have a 2014 Toyota Highlander xle that the navigation system periodically shuts down while driving down the road. Any suggestions?

  • Jeff Jul 3, 2015

    Does anyone have a problem with the nav/radio shutting down and restarting. Mine has done this at least 9 times and I don’t know why. The dealership says unless they see the problem they can’t fix it.

    • Denise Aug 19, 2015

      We had the same problem and dealership didn’t believe us. My husband brought the car in again yesterday with pictures of the screens that we took when it would shut off. They finally believed us and are replacing the entire NAV unit. Hopefully will be better. It was dangerous – shutting off in the middle of a late night drive when I really needed it. Worst system ever.

      • Mike Nov 7, 2016

        Shutdown problem just started last week on 2014 Highlander xle nav system. Going to dealer tomorrow hope they can provide a solution for problem lol. Toyota needs to do what is right.

  • Ram Jul 6, 2015

    I completely agree with all the critical remarks and would like to add several more, but I am not going to waste my time. Blaming Navteq or buying a lockout cable is not an answer for such a BAD PRODUCT.

    TOYOTA is CHEATING all CUSTOMERS by forcing this GPS on us. It is CRIMINAL. It is COSTING all of us valuable TIME, creating a LOT OF STRESS, is highly UNSAFE because we desperately have to find a reliable GPS while DRIVING. In the age of Smartphones and highly intuitive software, the user interface on the Highlander 2015 is HORRIBLE. Toyota is FORCING technology that belongs in 1900s on to its customers.

    TOYOTA is selling us a LEMON !!!

  • Catherine Jul 9, 2015

    I am reading all these comments with great interest since I am planning on buying a Highlander Limited when the 2016’s arrive. I use my Garmin or phone nav often even in the local area since I have no sense of direction and am not familiar with some of the nearby cities. Now I’m convinced I need to check out other models in the next few months of waiting. While there are workarounds to Toyota’s system with stand-alone units, at this price point there shouldn’t have to be.

    My question to the owners here… would you still have purchased the Highlander for its other good points if you knew then that the NAV/radio is so unreliable? Or would that have been a deal breaker?
    Thanks!

    • Brenda Jul 14, 2015

      I paid almost $5,000.00 dollars more for all the extra features and NO I would not spent the extra money on a UNUSEABLE system! It was suggested that I use a neighboring town for the address by Toyota (WHAT?? ) how stupid!! The place and address is NOT in a neighboring town!! And if I am out on the road with NO map to look up the Neighboring town How would I know what to put in? It is the worse system ever! the west and mid state are only 20% coverage.. I love the highlander but would never spent all that money for a BS NAV system when I could have bought a Garmin for $129.99 at Walmart or BJ’s

  • John Jul 10, 2015

    Agree with just about all the comments about the GPS on my 2015 XLE….horrible nav system! I’m shocked and very disappointed after spending that kind of money. My little Nuvi puts this unit to shame. Very disappointing coming from Toyota especially their decision to use Navteq over the superior Garmin which I also happen to have on my boat which I use in my charter fishing business so I know what a GOOD GPS system can be. I’ve since decided to go full screen with the audio and just stick my Nuvi on the windshield…..very sad. I’ve owned my Highlander, which I love to drive, for only a month now. I’ll be heading over to the dealer this morning and give the store manager an earful…take that to the bank.

  • Indiana Joe Jul 11, 2015

    I just bought a Highlander LE Plus (JULY 2015) – and the navigation will not link up and the weather is non-existent. Entune won’t let me create an account. I might have paid for it – but it lacks so bad – it should be included for free at this time. I noticed the Sales person didn’t spend alot of time on it once I purchased the vehicle…because I had not driven off the lot. Now, It’s worthless – maybe the “hands free” phone is ok – but I’ll stick with WAZE app and have a slim mount that sits off to my right hand for easy viewing and navigation. Pretty bad that a Samsung Galaxy 5 smartphone has more function than the big bulky Toyota digital screen that comes in this vehicle.

    Another note – has anyone found how to comfortably set the drivers seat where your shoulders and neck aren’t hurting to the point of passing out after driving 1 to 2 hrs? I have 76 miles on mine and my neck and shoulders feel like I’ve just smashed stones with a 25lb sledge hammer for the last 8 hrs….WOW!

  • Blair Jul 16, 2015

    I have a 2015 Avalon and the nav sucks it won’t recalculate . I have an old garmin 40 it works circles around this system. I am having the same problems as everyone else

  • WSC Jul 17, 2015

    2013 4Runner trail
    Same as all above & worse as have lost all history and my saved destinations
    Unbelievable that such a great vehicle has totally unusable primary nav system with all the simple systems available

    Anyone know how to get history back??

    Blank screen under saved destinations / previous

  • Debbie Jul 18, 2015

    I bought my 2015 Highlander in April. I spent over $40,000 thinking I was getting a great vehicle. Had I known how ridiculously poor the nav and infotainment are I would never have bought this car. I have all of the problems described above and more. I totally relate to the person who posted above about trying to get the voice recognition system to simply understand “Chicago, Illinois”. Infuriating. The nav tells me to make a turn right in the middle of the expressway, and sends me in circles. The lag time is so bad I pass the destination. I have a Samsung Note 4 Android phone and EVERY time I drive my car the audio system reboots in the middle of songs no less than half a dozen times in the first 10 minutes alone. When I am talking on the phone using the car’s voice system it switches on and off in the middle of the call. The system will not set up messaging. I feel cheated by Toyota and would gladly join in on a class action law suit.

  • ron vanderroest Jul 22, 2015

    I just purchased a new 2015 tundra, the navigation is crap, my 6 year old not updated tom tom is a far better choice, if there was a way to trade my Toyota navigation I would

  • Mac Jul 22, 2015

    2015 Highlander XLE, super vehicle, the worst GPS I’ve ever seen, and I’ve used dozens. Non-intuitive, terrible coverage outside of cities, poor directions inside cities, abysmal voice recognition, awful screen design, inconsistent touch controls, confusing and stupid manual. Just get garmin, tomtom or (god help us) magellan to put in a real unit, ok Toyota? Yours is embarrassingly bad.

  • Ed Jul 24, 2015

    I have a 2015 highlander XLS. Took delivery late Feb 2015.

    In March I noted the map date of the Highlander Nav. SYSTEM was 6/2014. Talked with Dealer about installing updated map considering the build date of the vehicle was early Feb 2015 and my Garmin can be updated annually without charge, acknowledgement of the problem and a fix was not forthcoming from Toyota.

    Current location of vehicle on my nav. System is the top of circle surrounding the pointer and still isn’t as accurate as the Garmin.

    Just returned from a 3200 mile trip to MN. I also have a Garmin GPS that I used in conjunction with the Highlander Nav. System. The Garmin always had earlier arrival time. On the Highlander couldn’t add destination while underway as I could with Garmin.

    While returning home to NC an accident shut down an Interstate I was routed over. The Garmin picked up the problem and rerouted me around the problem. No indication from the Highlander Nav. system of the problem nor was I given a reroute option.

    I won’t exclusively use the Highlander Nav system because I don’t think the system is as comprehensive as the Garmin. I plan to use both jointly when traveling.

  • carl Jul 24, 2015

    Well here we go 75% of drivers should be driving and not playing with gadgets. Why do you buy a car if you do not enjoy driving. If you want to play with gadgets take public transportation and play.
    I by automobile to drive for the joy of driving so I love the system, it means I can enjoy driving without worrying about some distracted person running me off the road.
    So I think your opinion stinks.

    • Mac Jul 27, 2015

      Carl, buddy, chill out. A gps is a tool we paid good money for. A tool, get it? Not a toy. Not intended or used for ‘play’. Nothing *at all* to do with enjoying driving.
      But if you want, you go ahead and drive, enjoy it, have fun, get lost, enjoy the crappy gps system, end up somewhere random, be late, run out of gas, whatever. I’ll continue to insist my tools work when I need them.

  • Andrea Aug 3, 2015

    I had a 2014 Highlander Limited. Navigation kept turning off, resetting radio settings, etc. Flashing blue light on cruise control knob. Hydraulic arm on tailgate fell off twice. Tailgate would sometimes not open or close. Rear passenger door locked and could not be unlocked unless it was done manually. In addition to all those issues, as you all said, the navigation/infotainment is crap! I was in and out of Toyota all the time. They told me the car was fine. I showed them videos of the issues because they didn’t believe me. They didn’t care about the videos…they needed to see it to do anything about it and they didn’t see it, so it was fine. Escalated to Toyota and they wouldn’t do anything about it. Finally had enough…I bought a new car so I didn’t have to worry about being at the shop all the time. Had an 8 year old Acura prior which as fantastic! Local Toyota dealership bought my 2014 and gave me a deal on a 2015. Have had the car 3 weeks and heard the navigation stutter today…the 2014 did this as well…this better not be the start of all the issues again. I am 100% on board with a class action law suit!! Where do I sign up?!?

  • Vince Burget Aug 10, 2015

    We bought the car off the lot (XLE), so it had the on board nav system. I’m addicted to my Garmin nuvi 3597, with free lifetime traffic and lifetime updates (up to 4 per year). I’ve only used the on board system once and it is kludgy compared to my nuvi. It’s ridiculous that Toyota charges $200 or so a pop to update the GPS. I’ll just use the nuvi. It fits fine on the dash with the sandbag holder.

  • Judith Wiegand Aug 13, 2015

    I agree with all of the above. The GPS in my 2015Toyota Highlander xle is a joke. Toyota has the nerve to charge a premium price for a worthless piece of garbage. They need to have a recall and fix these problems. I will not own another Toyota. I will not own a car without a GPS and have used many GPS systems, Toyota should be ashamed, it is all about the money and definitely not the customer. Toyota needs to step up to the plate and get this right for all their customers. I should be enjoying my new vehicle but I actually hate it. I rely on a GPS but don’t have one nice thing to say about it.

  • Paul+Dolores McGaffey Aug 21, 2015

    It appears Toyota NAV now quietly calculates a new route that either intersects with the original route, or takes you a different way entirely – at least our 2015 Limited does. As usual w/ Toyota Japan, changes are made w/o ANY admission that they are correcting a past mistake.

  • Don Aug 21, 2015

    I have a brand new 2015 Limited, fresh off the boat in July. Traded in an ’08 Highlander Hybrid Limited with 113,000 miles. I don’t know if that qualifies me as an expert, but I can assure you that I can tell GPS lag when it is staring me in the face. Loved the ’08 and never had a problem with GPS lag. (They did replace the head unit at about 30,000 miles).

    Our brand new Highlander has the red arrow cursor lagging by about 50 to 75 yards depending on vehicle speed. It gets a little dicey when you are looking for a turn and depending on the nav to properly guide you. It is so bad that I believe it is a safety hazard.

    Dealer created a TAS case with Toyota so they are aware of the problem. It is unclear as to whether or not they can or will ever fix it.

    I can’t understand how they created a problem where one did not previously exist, at least not on the ’08 Highlander. Utterly baffling!

    • Ralph Fluchel Sep 2, 2015

      If you can’t understand how they created new problems where they didn’t exist before consider every new version of Windows. I think Windows and Microsoft Word reached their pinnacle about 20 years ago and every update since has gotten worse.

  • AL Aug 22, 2015

    Looks like Toyota does not care about features and reliability of them.
    All they focus on is quality cars mechanically with really poor quality features.
    I have a 2015 Venza and do find the map is significantly outdated.

    They don’t really care….they keep selling their cars fro mechanical reliability and resale value of their vehicles. Their attitude is take it or leave it.

  • Vickie Aug 28, 2015

    I’m about to buy a highlander and not sure what model to get. Especially after reading all the posts about bad navigation! In that case, I shouldn’t get the XLE, right? Also, if you all want to tell me what you’ve found that I shouldn’t get, I’m all ears! I’ve been using WAZE on my iPhone but thought, ah at last, I’ll have on onboard, bigger screen navigation to look at but all these posts are telling me to stick to my iPhone! So please tell me what you wish you had known before you bought your highlander!

  • PHIL Aug 29, 2015

    I bought a 2015 highlander limited and so far my navigation system work well.On my last trip i double check with my garmin and supprisingly both gave me exact instruction.

    • Brenda Pardee Sep 5, 2015

      Phil; Do you work for Toyota? If not you must have only went around the block or only to the big Cities, or one of the States or an area that has half way descent coverage.. Try to put in a few small towns in N.D or S.D or and many other States.. Check your Data coverage in your Nav.. It will show you that about only 1/2 of the USA has coverage..

  • NeilB Aug 30, 2015

    RE” Don comment Aug 21,2015–
    Have new XLE (7/17/2015)–
    Don, your new car is not off the boat–I also had an 2008 Highlander THAT was off the boat, but your 2015 came from Princeton, Indiana.
    Nav voice is very bad–Have had luck with this–
    Ask for navigation-
    Ask for directions-
    Reply with city and state(NOT number & street as screen shows)
    Voice will respond-What street in that city
    You respond with street name-
    You respond with the address
    You respond with ” GO THERE”
    Try this 0r it’s back to Garmin—Neil

  • Mike in Monterey Aug 31, 2015

    Just purchased a 2015 XLE and discovered we’re moving to Germany. I called the local dealership above changing the chip from US to Western Europe. Not surprising, they want the vehicle for two hours and will upgrade the system ($270). Has anyone tried replacing the micro SD card? Seem like that would be the easiest answer.

    • Brenda Sep 5, 2015

      I have already asked about using a Garmin Chip in my Nave system and was told if I did that it would VOID my warrantee on the whole car!! I have a 2015 limited highlander with extra warrantee coverage!

  • Ralph Sep 2, 2015

    Everything about this car, other than the GPS and entune software, is really good. But the GPS and entune system are so bad that I doubt that I will buy another Toyota.
    There are only two commands the GPS voice recognition system understands: “Go home,” and “Stop navigating.” The response to everything else is ludicrous; you may as well not try any other command. I keep my old Garmin in the car and get it out whenever I need GPS. It doesn’t have the greatest voice recognition either, nowhere near as good as Siri on the iPhone, but at least my wife can type in an address while the car is moving.
    And let me just say that Toyota’s routing can sometimes be terrible. On a recent trip from mid-Nebraska to St. Louis, the GPS wanted to route me through Omaha, about 50 miles out of the way and about an hour longer than the obvious route, which required getting off the Interstate highway for a bit. I knew the right way, so I avoided the problem. If I had not known the right way, I would have taken a much longer route.
    I’m sure Toyota thinks it can make more money with their builtin GPS than they could if they would subcontract with Garmin (or Magellan or TomTom) to put in a decent system. But Toyota is fooling itself. The issues with this GPS system are so aggravating that Toyota’s car sales will be negatively affected. In 2015 there is just no excuse for having such a poor GPS navigation system.
    I will save my problems with entire for another rant.

    • Ralph Sep 2, 2015

      “entune” not “entire.” I hate auto-correct.

  • Lee Sep 4, 2015

    This built in navigation system in my 2006 solara is so different and so inferior in every way from Garmin products. For example, it says turn left in about 1/2 mile without naming the street. With Garmin you get the mileage and the name of the street. I’ve spent hours with the instruction manual and so far all I have figured out is how to enter an address. But even entering the address doesn’t seem to get me the directions to reach the destination. It seems from reading all the comments that the purchase of any Toyota product with a built in navigation system is a waste of money. Too bad since mechanically Toyota cars are a pleasure to drive. I just bought my car used and thought that the navigation system was a plus. The car had the 2004 cd so I bought the 2014 version thinking the problems would be solved. Of course they have not been, although now at least I can program in my home address. Too bad I did not use the system during my test rides, since I’m sure the presence of the navigation system added significantly to the price of the vehicle. The answer seems simple now that I’ve read all the posts- buy a car w/o the navigation system and continue to use your stand alone gps/phone for navigation.

  • Victor Manoli Sep 8, 2015

    2013 Highlander Limited. Probably the worst GUI in the history of GPS whether stand alone or built in. You would think that after all the years that this things have been around that they would have a firm starting point to take off from but not this thing. It almost seems that they did not want to follow any proven winning formula based on prior years of trial and error and went on their own to find a new route to the North Pole by dog sled without any charts, just follow your nose. Hello, it already been done and no need to start from scratch.
    Please if there is some way to get to the misfit Toyota engineering team that worked on this byzantine miserable train wreck of a GPS and let them know that Google Maps on my iPhone is 10 to the 5th power better, easier, intuitive, faster and most importantly, wholly more accurate of a navigation system, it would be a great favor to anyone considering buying their next Toyota with a factory GPS. For now it is now considered a libility and not an asset to have this thing in the car.

  • Harry Sep 13, 2015

    Couldn’t agree more about the Navigation issues. My 5 year old Garmin is far easier to use & updates are free forever.
    Had I researched the Navigation feature & Entune better, there’s a good chance I would’ve have purchased a 2015 SR5.

  • hal Sep 18, 2015

    Didn’t I see and hear that Elon Musk makes a car that has the ability to update the whole car electronic system via WiFI? Give me a break when we consider the size and resources of Toyota worldwide and they a given a pass by many of you. I am embarrassed for and by every onboard Navi System even on what Toyota calls its premium ride, my Lexus LS. Buy/Update the software some say, why? “To find a new gas station.” Again, don’t give any car manufacturer a break until you see a onboard unit you can compare to your Garmin. Do we also hear that Apple and Google are talking to Ford and GM? How many of you have reset your clock because the unit can’t? Let’s see, doesn’t the car have a GPS system?

  • Ashley Sep 29, 2015

    HORRIBLE! I agree 100% with everything to the point it’s turning me off of Toyota. Lock out is awful! The voice recognition… ‘Call Emily’…. ‘Did you say, ‘call Tom?’ What!?!
    I just can’t believe with how much people pay for these cars, the technology is so subpar at best.

  • Harry Oct 5, 2015

    I am very disappointed by my brand new 2015 highlander’s navigation system. I see many other owners are complaining and Toyota dealer and their customer service brash me off, like I am nobody, since day one I have been complaining about it, I paid for extra goodies, such as blue tooth and navigation system, and believe me it is garbage system, slow, can’t do anything while truck is moving and even my wife sitting beside me in the passenger seat can’t do anything, who give toyota this right, should it be up to the owner to have that safety feature on and off on owner’s risk, I thought I don’t speak clearly but I asked many my other friends to talk in to Navigation system to find places, nothing is working, if you are Vancouver, BC owner try this try putting address for Sheraton Hotel in Victory, if your navigation system can’t find Sheraton Hotel in Victoria then my friend you have bad system, if you take that system to USA, I am sure you will be lost or the Navigation system will make you going around around it happens to me. I think of us should put complain against toyota to fix this problem, individually we can’t resolve this problem but collectively we can, I am ready call Olsen on your side to get this story on Air so Toyota owner or Mr Pattison Dealer I hope one of your email sees these complaints and do something about Navigation system, otherwise I been owner of Toyota all my life and most my vehicles bought from Patterson dealer from Surrey Location, but I guess next time sale will not happened in Surrey location and for Toyoto.

  • Paul Oct 16, 2015

    I have a 2012 Hybrid XLE and have experienced may of the same problems others have noted above. Love my Highlander but would not buy the upgrade package again due to operational issues and map upgrade costs. Does anyone know where one can purchase the DVD upgrades for the GPS System other than from Toyota which are charging like bandits for them?

  • Ted Gaudette Oct 21, 2015

    Garmin is much better than the 2015 Highlander gps. I read most of the comments below and they are spot on. You can add the fact that Garmin is more accurate as you apprach exits on the highway and it states … “ln .5 miles take exit 42 B” where as Toyotas system will state … ” in approimately a half mile take the second right”. I set up my Garmin on all trips along with the Toyota system and in most cases put the Toyota on low volume.
    Shame pn Toyota for offering this system when there are excellent systems like Garmin available; for those of you frustrated with the Toyota system it is worth buying a $400 Garmin to supplement it Your passenger can use it to easily change routes whilst driving or search for gas stations, resturants and other stuff while you drive.

  • Blair Oct 21, 2015

    I have a 2015 Avalon the it won’t recalculate if you get off route very frustrating. Moving map lags . When traveling have to carry my garmin with me Went to dealer Toyota will not correct the problem

  • Eric Nov 3, 2015

    If you buy a Toyota with a Nav system, be sure to take a Garmin along on any road trips. You’ll need it!
    The crazy thing all but refuses to recalculate and can’t find many simple addresses. It’s beyond comprehension that Toyota lets this POS ship in it’s vehicles.

  • Steve Nov 12, 2015

    Toyota forced me into buying a sunroof (which I never use) in order to get a built in GPS (spending about $ 3000,- more than for a model without GPS). Three days after taking possession of my brand new 2014 Corolla I went back to the dealership and told them that I was extremely disappointed with the navigation system: it took me to wrong addresses, through a road which ended at a locked gate which was installed over 10 years ago, it tells me to make a turn after passing the intersection where I am supposed to make the turn, takes me in large circles back to the point where I started, tells me to go straight where there is only an option to go right or left…. etc. etc. The Toyota’s representative’s response: the car is designed like that and Toyota does not give a warranty on design defects. “Since all the 2014 Corollas have the same issues with the GPS, it is normal.” Then he said “All what you need is an update”. At each service I inquired about the update and I was told “you have the latest version.”
    At my last service about a week ago I was told “An update is available but updates are not covered under warranty, you have to pay for it.” So Toyota believes that they can sell a GPS system with defective software and outdated maps and that the one who spends about $ 3000 for this system still has to pay in order to get current maps. I have already talked to an attorney who is currently looking into the possibility of a class action. No matter what the outcome is: it was definitely my last Toyota. I am sick and tired of this company, they won’t get a penny from me anymore.

  • Don McCall Nov 21, 2015

    The navigation system is a major (and only) disappointment with our 2015 Prius, for all of the aforementioned reasons. Also, I have not yet found an equivalent to Garmin’s recently found feature. Minor correction to the original post – it WILL let you find most any address IF you first enter the correct zip code. And that requirement is beyond ridiculous.

  • Dennis Saunders Dec 1, 2015

    I went toy dealer ship today to see if they had the update for my 123 Highlander Limited. They did: $182 for the card or flash drive and the charge to install it in the unit brought the total to $400 (+ or -)
    I think I will rely on my 4 or 5 year Gamin. Feel like most of the other consumers, it much more dependable and updating is free on the Garmin web.

  • Gerald Coller Dec 13, 2015

    I didn’t want to buy a Highlander in 2012 because I knew Toyota quality was declining (I keep my eyes and ears open) – but my wife insisted on the Highlander!!
    Now we have $36,000 worth of cheap interior plastic, console controls out of the 1970’s, and a Nav System that is a disgrace to the Auto Industry. The Nav in the vehicle was delivered with an already out-of-date DVD and the cost of a new one a ‘Rip-Off’ at $169.32.
    Without exaggeration, Toyota has lost me as a future customer.

  • John Dec 20, 2015

    I hope this blog gets the publicity it deserves, because it took me several hours of searching to find it.
    I have just paid over $60,000 Australian for a new Prado only to discover that the estate where I have lived for over two years does not exist according to the navigation system.
    Toyota claim these are the most up to date maps. I know this is not the case as I own a stand alone unit running the same software, (iGO) with current maps.
    I had only patronising replies from Toyota, they say the maps take so long to update because “they are integrated into the vehicle” which I believe is rubbish as the only integration they can suggest is the speed sensor.
    I have begun a formal complaint to WA consumer protection who agree that over two years out of date maps in all new Australian Toyota vehicles is not acceptable.

  • Chris Dec 23, 2015

    I bought a 2015 Toyota Highlander LE PLUS without the expensive worthless Navigation system. I have my $200 Garmin which is always accurate and has never let me down. I would advise not paying the extra $3000 for a crappy navigation system.

  • Chris Dec 23, 2015

    Do not let dealer talk you into paying an extra $3000 to upgrade to the XLE model. The LE PLUS is a better buy and $3000 cheaper.

  • Harry Dec 24, 2015

    2015 Highlander hybrid, since we are all talking about GPS, did anybody notice that average range for km is also declining for hybrid, if you noticed, please share here with me. I own 2015 Highlander hybrid, when I bought it, range km was giving me that day 795km month later I noticed it gone down, then I start to write it down, after 8 months it gone down to 653km, I drive very safe and same distance etc and keep up with maintenance too, if you haven’t noticed then please start writing it down and share your tips, maybe there is problem with just my suv, or maybe factory default, I shared this with Toyota customer service again they brash me off and then I try with Toyota mechanic they told me if I am get 653 that is good enough, but when I bought my truck I thought there will be saving on the gas it is but not as much as I expected.

  • Rob Dec 24, 2015

    I have a 2015 Highlander XLE. Since I have had it, the GPS has had a 200-300 feet lag. I have talked to the dealership several times about it, finally last week, I was told there was a software update to correct the issue. However, the issue is not corrected. I spoke to Toyota corporate and the girl told me that it is working properly. Somewhere in the manual it states that there can be a lag time. I have spent time going through the manual to find this verbage and can not locate it. Prior to my highlander, I had a 2009 Venza and the Nav worked fine.

  • antoine huynh Dec 30, 2015

    I had a sienna XLE 2015 and no improvement on the navigator system. It still have same issues like Highlander.
    the system is a piece of SH*T!

  • Dave Jan 1, 2016

    I just bought a 2015 Highlander Limited Platinum in Canada and brought it here to the US. Like every one else here the nav system is terrible but I have a different issue. The manual says you can change the temperature from Celsius to Fahrenheit in settings but it is not even there as an option on mine. Anyone else had this problem?

  • Scott MacNeill Jan 25, 2016

    I have the 2015 Highlander Limited AWD and a pretty much underwhelmed by much of the electronics in it. The nav system is, as stated, poor at best.

    The “Voice Recognition” system will, after voice training, tune the radio but not do much else.

    The tire pressure warning system warns of a low tire but not which tire, as most other systems (Ford, Chevy) do, so you have to check them all.

    The “Auto Dim” high beam system kicks to low beams when you drop below 20 mph. Why is that? My driveway is long and I need the high beams, but I’m not driving at 20 mph.

    I have yet to find a volume control on the incredibly loud bong that signals the arrival of a text message. On my car it borders on the threshold of pain its so loud.

    All in all, the word that comes to mind regarding my 2015 Highlander is “disappointing”. I expected much, much more from Toyota.

  • Raj Feb 14, 2016

    I can’t depend on my 2014 camry xle navigation. It is not pointing to right address sometimes.

  • D Holmes Feb 24, 2016

    A couple of months ago we bought a brand new 2016 Highlander. The vehicle itself is wonderful … but… the navigation system sucks. Example… I am 10 miles from home headed west – direct shot to my house on a main county roadway. This nav system tells me to go 2 miles north to a Hwy… then go the 10 miles west … then 2 miles back south… 4 extra miles. No matter how I program the settings it always directs me to major hiways – even when I could continue straight to my location. The manual indicates that it only considers routes with traffic which apparently the county road does not have. I see no way to turn off traffic. Toyota has been of no help. Yes, it will eventually get you to your location but certainly not the most direct route no matter how you program it if it includes non-hiway roads… When you pay nearly 50k for a vehicle you don’t expect crap like this. I have filled out 2 surveys and mentioned this to Toyota and they apparently don’t care. Obviously, you don’t figure out this crap on a test drive – only when you have paid the big bucks then they don’t care. This alone could keep me from ever buying another Toyota even though the car itself is pretty nice.

  • Dennis Mar 5, 2016

    My Highlander navigator freezes and repair, but freezes again, never working again.

  • Louise Mar 7, 2016

    I am guessing that my new 2016 Lexus 460 has a similar navigation system. Not only does it have most of the problems reported above, but the directions it gives me are frequently horribly wrong. It may tell me to turn right to get onto the turnpike, when the turn is supposed to be to the left. It tells me I have arrived at my destination, when I am in the middle of US 1 on Miami and my destination is two blocks off to the left inside the UM campus. So far, the dealer has not been able to help. I cannot rely on the navigation system, and I would like to have my money refunded. I am using Google maps on my phone. Obviously that does not work one cell reception is bad. But it turns out that the navigation system is very poor anyway outside of major metropolitan areas. My non-updated 2004 Lexus navigation system in another car works 300% better. What has happened to Lexus and Toyota?

  • Fred Mar 8, 2016

    Bought a new Platinum Highlander with all the bells and whistles. The GOS system is the worst. I can’t type in a 5 digit address, much too costly to update card. Will use my old Garmin. Toyota should be made to fix this horrible excuse for a GPS on a $45,000 Highlander.

  • T Bone Mar 26, 2016

    Here is the best solution to the Toyota Navigation problem I have seen.
    http://youtu.be/qVv6g-D7unQ

  • Ray Hill Mar 29, 2016

    It appears that I am one of the minority, but I have not had an issue (yet) with the nav unit. When I fist drove the 2015 Highlander home about 6 weeks ago the location for my home was about 100 yards off, but I reset it to zero it in a bit better and from that point it has bee spot on. I will say that I do not like the lockout which prevents a passenger (wife/co-pilot) from making mods while in motion. However, as I said, other than that I get along fine with it.

  • Rick Simpson Apr 1, 2016

    We traded in our 2013 Limited for a 2016 XLE about a month ago. The entire electronics package on the ’16 is a big improvement over the ’13. The Nav package is much improved. I hated when “Hope” (we named the nav “Hope” since we ‘hoped’ it would reduce the number of arguments my wife and I had when she was “reading” a map and I was driving). Where was I? Oh, yes, when Hope would tell me to turn when I was already half way through the intersection, and the “recalculating” voice was not among my favorite experiences. But there are some nuisances with the new nav system, too. Since most of my navigating is within my hometown, I find reinputting the “city” each time quite silly. And I don’t like having to know the exact “city” either; it should give me a choice, IMHO. When we got the XLE we were told it was just like the older model Limiteds. Not true, kemosabe. In the showroom, I lamented to the salesman that our Limited didn’t do a good job of setting mirrors/seats according to whether it was my or my wife’s key fob that was used. He assured me the XLE did this function very well. Alas, we’ll never know since it’s an OPTION on the XLE and our didn’t have it (dummy me didn’t realize that until a couple of days later).

  • Mark Sanford Apr 1, 2016

    Junk and a huge waste of money. Makes the new Garmins look good and they too have fallen off my good graces list due to their insane routing and poor programming. I use my Iphone now for navigation at no charge and a lot more accuracy. POI’s fade out a just a couple miles on the Toyota, cant change system on the fly and its slower than molasses. I wish I had stood my ground and gotten rid of it for the chilled seats. I don’t use $14 a month joke commercial choked XM either. Pod casts are free and many streaming radio and music channels are free. You just need a good data plan, still cheaper than XM and with more variety.

  • joe Apr 4, 2016

    Yes, it is crap.

  • Disappointed Apr 4, 2016

    Why was I looking on -line for comments about Toyota’s GPS system in the first place? Answer: because it sucks and I wondered (oh yes!)if others had the same experience. Seems like lots of people do. Come on Toyota! You’re supposed to be a luxury brand, sales people comment on “brand loyalty” which we used to have until we bought a 2015 H/lander….awful suspension and the nav system is very, very, very unreliable. Traded it for a Ford Explorer and the nav system works great in it which kind of sinks the rationale of the guy who said it’s the supplier’s fault (he’s probably a Toyota exec anyway). I still have a stupid lease Rav 4 which a greedy, unethical Toyota salesman “cheated me in to” (yes, I take some responsibility). When we travel, though, we take the Explorer because we simply can’t rely on the Toyota nav system. Shame on them. My bucket list vehicle was going to be a new Highlander; I love so many things about the one I had. I have to have a good nav system, though, and it’s hard to read all of the “bought a new H/lander” stories above and realize those people spent alllllllll that money and get no help from Toyota for this major problem. Use my iphone? What? After spending all of that money, I shouldn’t have to. Plus, on my stupid Rav, the screen is tipped so it gets too much sun to see well even if it did work well; which it doesn’t. Did I mention that? If Ford can provide a good system in their vehicles, then so could Toyota. They just don’t want to because they’re making money anyway. Greedy, unethical dealerships in the SEast whose employees have a grudge against veterans. Believe me.

  • Jeremy Apr 5, 2016

    Toyota, I hope you are listening to this. You NAV system sucks. I have a 2016 XLE Highlander. Please roll out a software upgrade for Android Auto. My next car will NOT be a Toyota if you continue to be stupid.

  • Joe Shlabotnik Apr 10, 2016

    Entune is a piece of cr@p! Don’t put a $38 piece of garbage software into a $38K 4Runner and expect your customers to thank you for it. The Entune update in November of 2015 (that’s 5 solid months ago) busted my MP3 player and because Toyota has a proprietary monopoly on the in-dash system I just have to take it from them. I hate my 4Runner! Buyers beware!

  • Jill Turanto Apr 14, 2016

    I have no problem with the voice recognition, I guess I’m lucky. My problem is no one can tell me how much a map update will cost. Of course I think it should be free, like my TomTom is but Toyota will not tell me the cost until l I commit to updating it. Does anyone out there know the price to update the maps in a 2013 highlander limited?
    Thanks

    • Chris Jun 5, 2016

      They run about $169 from the dealership, but you can get them on line through ebay or amazon for about $19 to $45.

  • Joe Messier Apr 21, 2016

    I am also very disappointed in my 2015 Highlander navigation system for every reason mentioned in this thread. I use my IPhone a lot more than I should have too. Now that I know so many people are complaining about the problems I am having I wonder if a class action suit may have to be started to resolve these issues. I feel cheated paying good money for a substandard navigatio0n system.

  • Dan Bartie May 13, 2016

    My 2015 Highlander Hybrid XLE was leased in Canada and was provided with a US map and information database with extremely limited utility in Canada. It will only function properly in large urban areas. Outside of large cities, the database is pretty much useless.

  • Donna May 17, 2016

    I have the 4 runner 2015 and am having similar problems. In this day and age I thought for sure the Nav system coming from a technologically advanced country would look and behave better. It will not recognize my voice. Can’t add new address with speech and to top it off it will not recognize my Note 5 at the USB port and service people act like they don’t know what’s wrong.

  • Sharon May 26, 2016

    We sold our Tahoe and decided to buy the 2015 Highlander. First built in GPS system we have had. Salesman raved about it. This thing is horrible, horrible!!! Voice recognition is poor. 90% of the time, it can’t find an address. It often gives us informationit for another State. It is really next to useless and aggravating as heck to have to try repeating things over and over. Finding other features now we are not happy with. Exoected more for what we paid for this car!!! Give me my Tahoe back.

  • Tom Jun 1, 2016

    Bought my new 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited 2 years ago and I love the car even if the navigation system is lacking far behind many other vehicles such as Honda Pilot, Audi, BMW and Volvo to mention a few. In fact, when we moved to Europe 6 months ago, my wife insisted to take the car with us and so we did not realizing that the navigation system cannot be used in Europe. My bad as I thought it would be easy – just to buy a new map. But as the Highlander is for the American marked it has proven a challenge to convert the navigation system so it can be used in Europe. So, it is anybody out there who has a solution or can point me in the right direction.

    Lastly, Although I love the car, I still would think twice if I would buy a Highlander when we move back again simply because of the navigation system – it is not optimal and after all – I paid for the entire package and that includes a reliable and functional navigation system. Beside, if the nav system continue to “misbehave” it will reduce the value of the car if I decide to sell it on the open marked.

  • Andre Jun 3, 2016

    Sell your Highlander and buy a Kia Sorento. The UVO infotainment system is the best in the market by far.
    It is really amazing. Toyota’s infotainment systems look ooold…

  • JohnM Jun 12, 2016

    I bought a 2015 Highlander and the GPS came with the package. As others have pointed out, it is pathetic.

    I’m a software developer, and I can tell you that either this code is crap, or the hardware is underpowered. I think it is probably both. There is a lag from when you make any input until it reacts, and in this age, that is inexcusable.

    The nanny feature disabling functions while in motion is very annoying, but worse… it wasn’t obvious to me that it was doing it. I thought the thing was broken – menu items shown in the manual just didn’t appear. The industry standard is to gray out unusable options, not to simply remove them from the screen.

    One of the first time i used this, it routed me onto a freeway where traffic was completely stopped. Apparently, it hadn’t yet received traffic data when I started it and asked for the route, but it didn’t notify me of that – it just stupidly plotted a route onto a stopped freeway. Fortunately, I checked Google Maps before starting and figured it out.

    Also, when the map is zoomed out, it hardly shows any cities. Toyota take note: Texas has more cities than just Lubbock and Houston!

    Toyota should be ashamed. They should be ashamed of putting this garbage in expensive cars, and they should be a whole lot more ashamed of not doing anything about it after this time. And, they should really be ashamed of charging big bucks to update the maps. I can buy a new Garmin GPS for the price of updating their maps.

    So, my Highlander has a Garmin stuck to the windshield. I don’t used the lousy Toyota/JBL piece of junk except as a display of where I was a few seconds ago (due to its lag).

    TOYOTA: I have been a loyal customer for a long time. The next time I go to buy a car, I will remember this experience, and am a lot more likely to buy from a competitor – hopefully one that provides quality electronics and also respects customers enough to react properly to mistakes.

  • Jerry R Jun 13, 2016

    Everything you said is frustratingly accurate. It is a disappointing piece of junk. I will never ever buy another toyota unless they improve this system. In my humble opinion they should recall this junk system and invest in a proven system. Consumer Reports rated them very low and actually rated the Chrysler system easiest to use and best quality. Unfortunately, they could not say the same about the vehicles. Toyota would be wise to buy the Chrysler system or hire their developers.

  • Carol Berglund Jun 14, 2016

    The Highlander navigation is terrible. It’s more of a danger with all the mistakes it makes rather than being a safety feature. I want my money back on that feature. I would much rather have safety back up sensors.

  • Doug Tucker Jun 21, 2016

    You are completely correct. I use my android phone. Never have to repeat commands or address. Finds proper address almost every time.
    What a pain in the a@@ss not being able to access it while in motion. I grab my cell phone and tell it where I want to go and it navigates me without questions.
    If my Highlander could only link with my smart phone. Google maps is constantly being updates, unlike the antique version in my 2014 Highlander. I still have the covered wagon trails on my Highlander.

    Very disappointing.

  • Clint Jun 25, 2016

    The Toyota Navigation system is completely useless. I never trust it with any navigation. It is just for looks.

  • Milburn Taylor Jul 6, 2016

    We have a new 2016 Toyota 4Runner. On our first major trip the Navigation System couldn’t find some important cities, and it won’t let us enter our street address. The address “predictor” is a joke, and our dealership doesn’t have a clue as to how to get this resolved. I can’t believe that this issue hasn’t been solved… but if you have an answer, please post it.

  • Les Jul 12, 2016

    Love my new 2016 Limited but am getting frustrated with the sun on the nav screen. Made up a simple hood but its strictly temporary and would like a recommended hood I can mount. On the voice front I would like to lower “the voice” and change bitching Betty for something better. Suggestions please.

  • Bob McGowan Jul 26, 2016

    I agree! I have a 2015 4Runner and its is frustrating I usinging the nav system. Voice command are useless, not being able to put in the correct address, and the touch screen is now giving me problems. What gives . . . My free Waze program works better. Put in a Waze app!

  • Roberta Betts Aug 3, 2016

    We have 2016 Highlander hybrid & programmed it to go to our cabin in the Upper Peninsula. It will not recognize U.S. 2 along Lake Michigan. Instead it wants us to go up to Canada & back down which is just crazy. There are roads that are main thorofares it should recognize but dies not. Arghhh! If anyone has an idea, most willing to listen.

  • Yadi Aug 18, 2016

    defenetly, Toyota should be ashamed for not taking any action to rectify the problem on Highlander GPS screen freezing. I think we should write letter of complain to Toyota and ask them to recall highlander 2014,..and rectify the problem.

  • Brian Aug 20, 2016

    Both Toyota Navigation and voice recognition, are at best, one of the worst in the industry. I purchased a 2015 limited with every possible option, and I cannot tell you how disappointed I am. The voice recognition is a complete failure. The navigation remain behind any update for at least one and a half year. Yet to update (which mean getting an outdated update cost about $160. How embarrassing for me and for toyota, that I now have to purchase an standalone GPS and just let go of my expensive Toyota GPS. For voice recognition, it is so distractive and frustrating to operate handsfree, that I think it is safer not to use it. Shame on you Toyota. If I knew all that, I would have not even purchased the highlandr. I am so pissed.

  • Duane Sep 4, 2016

    2013 Highlander Limited (43,000 mls) navigation/radio system just refuses to turn on. Doesn’t make any difference if it’s the radio that’s wanted or something else. Just dead. Next time the car is started everything might work fine. Just started this about two weeks when tried to change stations on the radio. No button or touch screen will activate radio. Have to stop, turn the car off and pray. Next time it might turn on fine. Next time not. Anyone else having this problem?

  • Chris Sep 18, 2016

    I wish I’d read this page before buying a new Highlander 4 months ago: it would have made a significant impact on my decision, as to whether or not to purchase. (Like Brian above I would have decided against this purchase). Like just about everyone else I find the Toyota navigation system to be a disaster. It denies the existence of the address in a major suburb of Vancouver BC, of a relative, who has lived there for at least 10 years. This is absolutely unacceptable. My portable Garmin on the other hand updates every 4 months with all the latest suburban road changes.

    In addition, when Garmin and Magellan are now giving free life-time map updates, Toyota has the unmitigated gall to charge over $160 CAD – more than the cost of a brand new free-standing GPS unit.

    And it rubs salt into the wound that Canada is not acknowledged as being part of the north American continent. Do we simply not exist in the minds of the Japanese auto manufacturer?

    Aside from that I detest the obligatory dual or triple screen. I would prefer the option of having just the one item displayed, viz. the GPS/navigation system.

    I plan to disseminate my displeasure with Toyota to as wide an audience as possible.

    Chris.

  • george Oct 4, 2016

    Highlander nav is inaccurate and darn expensive to get updated. Garmin is a heck of a lot cheaper, more accurate, list many more street names, and the updates are free!

  • Peter Oct 22, 2016

    Regarding maps displayed by my 2015 Highlander GPS, I find that street detail disappears when zoomed out from 700 foot scale. The available resolution on this nice-sized screen is wasted on useless, confusing and distracting boxes while important map information is suppressed. Very frustrating.

  • Ellen Nov 2, 2016

    I couldn’t read every comment, however, I have not seen my issue discussed. I like to save addresses so I don’t need to put them in every time. With the Highlander gps, I am forced to sort addresses by the date I installed it or by icon. How ridiculous! My Garmin sorts them by the distance the address is from where where you are at that moment. So I’ve sorted them by icons, such as a Ferris wheel for my daughter in San Antonio, and a fish for addresses by a lake, etc. who would ever sort addresses by the date you entered it?

  • jim Nov 6, 2016

    We moved from NY to NC and our brand new neighborhood was not on the Toyota GPS so we updated. Everything was great! Then our battery died on vacation and we had it replaced– now we’re back to streets missing on the GPS even with the latest updated DVD… Toyota nav is CRAP!!

  • Elaine Nov 6, 2016

    I have a 2016 Highlander and the nav system is awful!!!! I can’t believe this is the best that Toyota can do. Hate it. Husband 2014 Chevy pu is soooooo much better. Fix it Toyota!!!

  • Bill Nov 18, 2016

    I agree with the complaints which I have read, but there is another that I found very disturbing. I pick the quickest route option and then start to drive. Knowing the quickest route for several trips I avoid going the route recommended by the GPS. After the diversion with delayed response, the GPS shows the new route AND shows the reduced amount of time. The system therefore does know the quickest route but does not pick it! For shame, Toyota!

    • Justin Crompton Jun 25, 2017

      Yes, rarely are ANY of the routes the GPS comes up with the best route. Hell, half the time I don’t know where I am (I travel for work) and I can guess using a sense of direction a better route than the GPS comes up with.

  • GTH Nov 19, 2016

    I’ve taken 2long trips from WA to CA in my folks Highlander and it is the worst GPS system I’ve encountered. Ditto on a lot of the comments given by others. I’m extremely tech savvy, but using this GPS system is so bad I’ve started telling my family members and friends not to buy Toyota for that reason. Luckily I had iPhone, iPad and laptop for backup. But couldn’t stop laughing at all the directional errors it continued to provide me on my travels. Sorry folks you are saddled w/Toyota’s poor product.

  • Maria Borges Nov 20, 2016

    You 100% rught! I’m frustrated with the navigation system. I live my Rav4 2016, but the gps sucks! Im a visiting nurse and I depend on gps for all my visits and time is very important factor for my work. The gps does not promot to return, does not bring you to or close to the final destination, brings me to street/road but never on the final destination or number. I have to look for the house number on my own.
    I mentioned this at dealer on I brought my car for the 5000 miles check up and i was told there no update available or no problem with system.
    Hello Toyota!!! Time to fix this problem!
    Maria

  • Gary Fidelman Nov 21, 2016

    I simply don’t trust the Toyota nav system information. We always have our Google Maps app active so that we can get to our destination. Toyota’s map are pretty and large map, but the info lets us down OFTEN.
    We just got back from a 4,200-mile road trip. It was and still is not uncommon for the Toyota nav to send us “left” while Google (correctly) sends us “right”.
    And Toyota’s usually tells us that we have arrived at our destination before we have actually arrived there.
    When will Toyota issue a SIM card to update and to correct their nav? We have new parkways and tollways in our area that the Toyota nav knows nothing about.
    That nav system was so disappointing that we lost confidence in Toyota, and were expecting other issues to surface. Fortunately, the car has otherwise been great.

  • Elliot Barber Nov 30, 2016

    I have a 2016 Highlander XLE and find I have all the same problems with the Nav system. Glad I didn’t ditch my Garmin Nuvi! Another problem I have run into is that I bought the car end of June ’16 and the Nav system was set for Daylight time. Now that we have switched to Standard time the time of arrival is 1 hour late. I haven’t found a workable way to fix the problem. Strike 420!!! Toyota Nav should be out by now.

    • Justin Crompton Jun 25, 2017

      Elliot.. there is a DIFFERENT clock for the Nav system.. it is in options.

      Stupid as it gets.

  • Yury Dec 9, 2016

    I have a 2017 Highlander XLE – same issues with NAV. It even can’t find the place where I live, apartment was built in 2005 though. Crap.

  • Louis St. Germain Dec 14, 2016

    There seems to be a predominance of Garmin users here. I am on my third Highlander and have experienced just about every complaint stated here. I do give Toyota credit for trying to rectify their error in judgment. They have changed Nav systems and updated software on two of the Highlanders and I haven’t had the 2016 for long enough yet. I have been using Garmin for years so my question is Garmin is an international company as is Toyota. When you buy a Garmin unit you get updates for the life of the unit and the updates come out two to three times per year and take an hour to install on a slow machine. Toyota’s nav system comes on an sd card and is downdated every two years and takes 4 hours to update. So why can’t Toyota and Garmin partner. Garmin puts GPS units in airplanes so it can’t be that big a stretch for them to supply a decent unit for a car especially considering the cost. Of course Toyota would lose money if they did this but they would gain the difference in customers. That would be a benefit for them as well as their customers.

  • Gary Dec 16, 2016

    2016 tundra navigation has me driving over mountains and rivers and has to be recalibrated almost every time I use it.
    Had it serviced and updated and the tech had no idea on how to fix it.
    Certainly an embarrassment for Toyota!!!

  • Gary Dec 16, 2016

    2016 tundra navigation has me driving over mountains and rivers and has to be recalibrated almost every time I use it.
    Had it serviced and updated and the tech had no idea on how to fix it.
    Certainly an embarrassment for Toyota!!!
    GPS for clock is non fictional!!

  • Gary Dec 16, 2016

    2016 tundra navigation has me driving over mountains and rivers and has to be recalibrated almost every time I use it.
    Had it serviced and updated and the tech had no idea on how to fix it.
    Certainly an embarrassment for Toyota!!!
    GPS for clock is non functional!!!

  • TBear Dec 24, 2016

    I have been keeping an eye on this blog for about a year knowing I planned to buy a 2017 Highlander when they came out. Well, now I have one with the Premium Version of Entune and contrary to all the negative comments, it works great. Although I haven’t gone on any long trips yet, driving to various local places hasn’t supported a lot of the complaints described in this blog.
    The voice recognition ( at least for me ) works great. Using the online Destination Search APP with voice recognition works great also.
    I was ready to just bite the bullet and use my trusty Garmin, but perhaps the 2017 Entune System has been improved without a lot of fanfare from Toyota.
    With all the negativism on this blog, I felt compelled to say I think it works great ( at least so far ). There are several ways to enter a destination when driving – a new address using the voice system; a previous destination using the touch screen; a saved destination in the address book using the touch screen; a synced destination from your phone using the touch screen. The only thing you can’t do is physically type in an address while driving – and quite franky you shouldn’t anyway.
    it would be nice if a passenger could type in a new address, but someone would probably find a way to simulate a passenger.
    For me so far, there is nothing to dislike about the system. Hope this helps a few of you considering buying a Highlander but were leary due to the history of the evolution of Entune.

  • VNVET Dec 25, 2016

    Wife and I are retired and travel frequently. Traded our Lexus for a Highlander and the navigation has worked great for us, though I share the frustration with the system lockout while moving.

  • Mike Jan 1, 2017

    I contacted Toyota about this when it got me lost in Arkansas. I t told me that there no more interstate and I must go into the hills for miles to get around. The interstate had been complete for more than three years. I contacted Toyota they did not care.

  • KaisoArt Jan 4, 2017

    I don’t own a highlander, but came across this page as I’m doing a little research re Toyota’s navigation/Audio/Entune system included in current models. It seems the same complaints are across all models in which the system is offered.

    I have a Rav4Hybrid with similarly poor navigation, bass-less audio from radio, (An aspect of JBL Greenedge) system reboots, and terrible voice control. Many owners including me have contacted Toyota with complaints. There is a thread on the Rav4 forum that runs over 19 pages.

    If people are finding their voice command have poor results, I am of the opinion that when the system crashes an reboots, is looses the voice training data and must be “trained” again. The crash/reboots are not always apparent.

  • Linda Jan 9, 2017

    I hate the navigation system on my Highlander!! It never gives me accurate directions. I sometimes use it just to see how it will take me even though I know the way and it’s always takes me a much longer route. The lockout feature is completely annoying! I wouldn’t use it while I’m driving but my passenger certainly should be able to. I end up using my Google Maps on my phone instead.

  • Paul Rawlings Jan 12, 2017

    Add me to the long list of dissatisfied customers. Google Maps which is free and my Garmin are so much better. Toyota should give a refund to owners of their defective nav. system.

  • brigitte stewart Jan 24, 2017

    I hate alot about this car 2015 highlander , navigation system and voice controls are horible! Most expensive car I’ve purchased so far and I’m not happy. I have always bought a Nissan and will go back

  • Marsha Jan 24, 2017

    As im driving down the road my direction just keeps changing even if i am going straight north its going S NE W SW E etc. good thing i know where im going!

  • Leslie Feb 2, 2017

    Ahhh!! I absolutely HATE my navigator. I get to intersections and it just shuts itself off leaving me to decide which way to go (maps are much more reliable!!!!!). It takes me the wrong direction when I know it is wrong. Toyota updated it two months ago and it is worse (embarrassing episode last week with other women in the car–almost late for an appt.), so they ordered a new system as I am under warranty. Guess what? They cannot guarantee it will work as it is NOT made by them. Well guess what, they sold it to me, in their Highlander and they should replace it with a working system!!! What recourse do I have besides never buying another Toyota (I have loved my other Highlanders)?

  • Steven Mar 3, 2017

    We have a 2015 Highlander and the maps were out of date when we picked up the vehicle. An update costs about $220 plus $60 for labour. Missing sections of maps that leave you guessing. The worst thing is the voice command/recognition. We had a software upgrade but that didn’t help. Compared to systems in my friend’s cars, less expensive and more expensive models, the Highlander is frustrating, inferior, has a serious lag time, and doesn’t work any better with different people. It simply is crap.

  • Henry Mar 6, 2017

    The Highlander’s navigation system is the worst GPS I have ever used. I tried to put in a town about 50 miles away and it would not allow me to spell the name of the town. I was trying to find an urgent care center and programed in the address. The navigation system to me almost a mile away and on the wrong side of the street from where the urgent care center was located. Stores, restaurants and shopping malls that have been open for 3 to 4 years are not found on the navigation system. A 10 year old Garmin would be better than the Highlander navigation system.

  • Norma Brandsberg Mar 13, 2017

    Bought a used 2015 Toyota Highlander LXE. Toyota navigation is shutting down and rebooting on their own or freezing. We bought a Platinum Extended Warranty from the dealer we bought the car. Taking it in this Thursday to fix USB and Navigation System and update mapping. Wonder if it really will be fixed and wonder if they will try to weasel out of fixing…stay tuned.

  • John Sorrentino Mar 27, 2017

    It’s just plain terrible.

  • Jerry Apr 7, 2017

    2017 Highlander with same nav problems. Why can’t Toyota listen to us and reprogram some fixes. Some problems like this and a few others keeps me from calling this the best car ever. A few updates would change everything.

  • carl Apr 21, 2017

    I have a 2016 XLE, am not satisfied with the voice system and hate the NAV system. Perhaps my issue is I became very accustomed to a Garmin and expected the same from Toyota. There is far too much missing data and the system clearly did not go thru a human factors evaluation. I drove from Vancouver Canada to Phoenix and my work around was to place a Garmin on my dash in front of the speedometer. By doing this I had a very user friendly nav system that had current data and also gave me the speed I was travelling in miles per hour. The vehicle nav screen was then used to display music.

  • carl Apr 21, 2017

    I must say I am so frustrated by the NAV system I tell people to check out Honda or Acura before they purchase Toyota or Lexus. I also hate the blind spot created by the positioning and design of the Highlander side mirrors.

  • Sheila Jun 18, 2017

    I bought my 2017 XLE Camry mainly for the navigation system. I hate it! Poorest nav ever. Pretty sad I have to depend on google maps to get me where I need to go after buying a brand new car. Really Toyota? Surely you can do better. Listen to your loyal customers…google blows you out of the water. So disappointing.

  • Justin Crompton Jun 25, 2017

    It is 3 years after this article was posted and Toyota’s GPS STILL does the same crappy things! It is really maddening that a built in GPS can be so awful.

    Sin #1:
    Whenever you stray off course, pretty much any GPS system will recalculate to get you back on track. But Toyota’s system is frustratingly stubborn in that it keeps trying to get you to turn around and pick up the route where you left off, even if that’s not the best available option. (yes on 2016 models- brand new Prius same behavior)

    Sin #2: Absolute obsession on using freeway routes even if they are 10-20 miles OUT of the way to get to. Rarely is driving 10 miles a different direction to get to the freeway the best route.

    Sin #3: Poor voice controls that make trying to speak an address into the system nearly impossible.

    Sin #4: Patheticly bad speed limit data. How the hell does the speed limit go from 60 to 55 to 60 to 55 to 65 in 1/2 mile Toyota??

    This nav system sucks. Google Maps FTW.

  • Greg Benoit Jun 30, 2017

    I learned to curse as a young Ensign in the Navy. I was getting a bit rusty until I purchased a 2015 Toyota XLE with 4 wheel drive and a Navigation system. My cursing skills have been actively updated by two years of frustration in dealing with the nav system. While driving from Wrightsville Beach back to Greensboro, NC on 6/29/2017, I believe I set an all time record for stringing together expletives that have a certain rhythm and euphony. I finally turned the unit off and put my iPhone 6 to use, setting it horizontally in the speedometer cluster. There should be a recall.

  • Ron Cook Jul 25, 2017

    Have a 13 day old Tacoma. Went on a 59 minute trip. Came back 4 hrs and 45 min later and did not reach my destination. Could not put in the address. Entered 3 letters and it hold me I had 3 choices, none of which was what I wanted. Looked at google maps before I left and had an idea of where I was. Scrolled all over the Nav system and no where could I find 101 Hannon Crescent Ontario. This subdivision is over 10 years old. WTF. Next time I will print out from google maps at home and think twice before I buy from toyota again.

  • HERB Sep 12, 2017

    Well i should have read the negatives before spending money to update the Navigation system on my Sienna. surely after a couple years and thousands of negative comments Toyota would learn to do better. WRONG ! Worst navigation system ever for a road trip. Please investigate the coverage before you invest in the Nav or updates.

  • Lou Oct 10, 2017

    Horrible system for both the navigation and the voice recognition for the hands free phone.
    Why isn’t Toyota doing something about it?
    Great car horrible system.
    My Hyundai was 1000 percent better!!!!!!

  • Jeff rankin Oct 13, 2017

    My complaint is with the Toyota 4Runner 2015 and now I the 2017 Nav System. For the most part it works ok locally with the same issues of lag time and some addresses can’t be found. But I big issue is when driving a hour or longer it goes crazy. It stops working and doesn’t know where I am. So you don’t get any directions and you can’t even use the map. Then this is what I love not it starts telling me to turn here and there and onto roads that don’t exist. Totally unreliable. Even turning the car off and then back on doesn’t fix the problem. Even after driving for several more hours through populated areas the Nav system is dead. It’s like it doesn’t have anymore memory to do anything. The only way the Nav system fixes itself is when you start the car the next day everything works as avertised as if you had no problems. What the Hell!! Very angery with Toyota and horrible Nav system. It’s dangerous when relying on a device that’s gives you wrong information or no info at all when you need it most.

    I’m going back to my Garmin

Leave a Comment