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Cost of map update on built-in GPS


My wife and I recently decided to update the map on our 2 year old Subaru Outback. I went on line was was taken aback at the quoted price of $290 for three years of updates. Taken aback in the sense that I could buy a TomTom with lifetime maps and speed cameras for around that price.

Anyway, as we don’t have an option, I went ahead - to discover the AUD290 was an estimate as we were actually being billed in what I gather is Hungarian currency. Not great, but I proceeded - to find the Outback wouldn’t recognise the new map.

I’d taken the option of backing up the old map, so I recovered it and loaded it into the Outback, and then went to the help page. The only option was to detail the problem and they’d get back to me. No response overnight, so I followed exactly the same process and this time the new map took.

Eleven (11) days later, I received an email from “Naviextras® Support” with instructions which don’t really make sense. Just as well the system was working because otherwise, I might still have no GPS, despite forking out around AUD290.

I love my Subaru, but this just isn’t good enough.


When you consider the cost of an aftermarket GPS, it’s disappointing to see such shoddiness from a ‘genuine’ component. Let us know how you progress with the issue @ShaneB :+1:


I feel for you. We have an external Navman, and we have the same situation. They want far more to update the maps than it would cost for a current model with lifetime maps.

This is one reason we now use Google Maps whenever in mobile reception areas. Outside mobile reception areas, the roads aren’t modified as much.


I shall, Brendan - although where I can go from here remains to be seen. It is what it is, unfortunately.


A good point, though I believe the integration into the car of the built-in GPS provides some benefits.

That said, my “cheap”, regularly updated TomTom which is used on my other, older car (and on trips using hire cars) is a very reliable, easy to use unit.


Manufacturers treat map updates like OEM parts. Profit centers, big time. As a salesman told me, “that is why you will almost never see a vehicle with a built-in GPS having a newer map than the vehicles’ age.” The map is usually updated at delivery, then no more.

Another reason updates can be handy is the databases of shops, services, speed limits, and such, (although failing the test of accuracy as often as not) get updated. Now where was the closest petrol again?


You can always use the offline maps option on Google Maps to download the relevant sections you want before you travel there. They are good for about a month before you are required to update them or they expire.


If you have an android device, there is Map Factor Navigator.

It uses data from Open Street, is free and has mapping for most countries. We have used it in Australia and Asia (and more recently in Chile in 2018) and have found it quite good.

It also pushes updates regularly…every few months.


Thanks. I haven’t tried that yet. I will have a look.


I agree wholeheartedly that built-in GPS maps are a ripoff. I can only dream of AUD 290 for three years. The cost to update my Subaru Forester maps is AUD 300 for the one DVD. Given that they update them annually (maybe? see below), that’s effectively one year’s worth.

Added to the financial misery, it was like pulling teeth for the provider of the maps, TomTom, to give information on when the currently available DVD was published, and when the latest version would be released.
They eventually told me when the old one came out, but only gave vague guestimates as to when the latest version would be available. Given that it’s $300 I didn’t want to buy an 11 month old disk, even if it was current (in the loosest meaning of the word).
It’s obviously a Company policy of not providing release dates to potential customers.


For whatever reason all (most?) auto companies sell GPS maps as an auto part and price them accordingly.

Many of the built-in GPS are customised Tomtom Carminats or Garmin’s equivalent. Tomtom sells updates for Carminats in cooperation with the auto manufacturers, so back to the concept of an auto part, at least in Australia.

My vehicle came with a utility that supposedly would allow purchasing maps and updating firmware via a PC and it apparently works a treat in the EU, but in Australia it only goes to the main vehicle marketing page because (I presume) supporting the maps and software online for mere customers is in the too hard/expensive basket for our small numbers. In 2014 there was a promise to get the online service up and running but it didn’t happen.


Sounds like yet another Australia tax to me! Has anyone tried to find out the cost in Europe for the same thing?


I know what you mean about out of date maps. My TomTom provides four updates a year and it remains to be seen how often this crowd will update the Subaru geodata. I would hope they match the TomTom regime, but I’m not planning my days around it.

FWIW, the Outback is a couple of years old and the map data are held on a micro-SD card which plugs into the dash. When it works, it seems like a good system.


Given that I was billed in Hungarian currency, I would hope everyone gets the same price.

I could be wrong, of course!


Sadly it is the same with Toyota, we need to purchase a map DVD for a cost of $250. What a ripoff! These vehicle companies need to have a look at what they are charging for! Don’t get me started on Service Costs!


Same with me I just had my six year old Camry Hybrid serviced and asked them why for some two or three years my inbuilt GPS is always wanting to send my away from where I need to go. They told me I needed an updated disk for $350. I told them to forget it. Doesn’t explain why it sends me away from where I need to go. And speaking of service costs every time I get my car serviced I get phone calls saying extra work needs doing. My car hasn’t even reached 70,000Km.


As an aside, you won’t necessarily be any better off if you try to replace your OEM unit with an aftermarket one. I have a Pioneer AVIC Bluetooth/CD/DVD/radio/GPS that was top-of-the-line when I purchased it several years ago. Pioneer release map updates in the USA and Europe, but not Australia. Needless to say, I won’t ever purchase another Pioneer.


Tomtom introduced a portable range with lifetime world maps originally from $329, now $399.


Hi Shane, I agree with you cost is a rip off and the same applies to updating portable GPS such as Navman etc. This won’t help you by the sound of your story, but my Forester came with a free service deal that runs a couple of years. The update is supposed to be done at the service, but after a year I noticed that the maps were unchanged. So took it back and the service bloke updated the card in about 10 minutes. It might be worth ringing a dealer.
We love our Subarus this being the third and the inbuilt device has larger screen than most of the portable units and this makes it easier to use.


Gidday “GOM”. I notice that Subaru is now offering “free” map updates for two years. We missed out on this deal by about a month. :disappointed: