• Navigation app offered with HondaLink
  • Accessible through audio touchscreen
  • Uses smartphone for connectivity

The latest version of Honda's connectivity platform in its redesigned subcompact hatchback gives drivers an affordable alternative to pricey, optional navigation systems. Available for the 2015 Honda Fit, the navigation app for HondaLink uses the driver's smartphone to deliver cloud-based navigation through the vehicle's audio touchscreen. The $60 navigation app is compatible with any 2015 Fit with display audio.

Because so many drivers already have access to maps and directions through their smartphones, many are reluctant to pay $1,000 or more for an optional navigation system in a new car. And built-in navigation systems have other drawbacks compared to phone-based systems. The databases that power these systems, for example, may be updated less frequently than those that drive smartphone navigation apps. The experience of using such a system can become outdated, too. Older systems are typically slower and more cumbersome than the latest ones.

Cloud-based navigation, however, is constantly updated with the latest data. Not only does that mean better road information, but points of interest and search results are likely to be more up-to-date, too. The HondaLink navigation app even includes real-time traffic information.

Of course, using a smartphone for in-car navigation has its drawbacks. Entering addresses or following directions on a hand-held device while driving can be distracting and dangerous. The navigation app for HondaLink addresses this by allowing the driver to access the system's functions through the vehicle's 7-inch touchscreen.

The 2015 Honda Fit is slated to arrive in showrooms this spring. Models with the optional 7-in Display Audio system come standard with HondaLink, allowing drivers with smartphones to add the navigation app. iPhone users with a Siri-compatible device also get Apple's Siri Eyes Free, which lets drivers handle a range of functions using voice commands.

Technology is advancing quickly for both connected vehicles and mobile devices, and we expect to see further integration of the two soon. The latest version of HondaLink reveals how drivers can take advantage of technology that's both capable and affordable.

What it means to you: Want a navigation system without the steep price tag? Check out the available navigation app for HondaLink in the new 2015 Fit this spring. Can't wait? It's already available for the 2014 Honda Civic.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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