• Chrysler customers can choose to add navigation after the new-car sale.
  • The system offers voice-activated functionality and turn-by-turn directions.
  • It uses the same map data as pre-ordered in-car navigation systems.

For some new-car shoppers, making decisions about which options to include can be tough. Is that high-tech extra worth the money? Will it be a convenience that you can't live without or an unnecessary expense that you'll eventually regret?

With Chrysler's new dealer-activated navigation system, shoppers don't have to make a final decision about that feature at the time of purchase. Instead, the Uconnect telematics system can be upgraded to include navigation long after a buyer drives a new vehicle off the lot.

Introduced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Chrysler's Uconnect with dealer-activated navigation -- an industry first -- will be available soon on such Chrysler vehicles as the 2013 RAM 1500 pickup, the SRT Viper and the 2014 FIAT 500L.

Marios Zenios, Chrysler's vice president for Uconnect systems and services, explained why a dealer-activated in-car navigation system makes sense for new-car buyers.

"Sometimes customers don't realize what they want until they need it," said Zenios. "That's fine. We can help. With dealer-activated navigation, we are adopting a 'no-customer-left-behind' attitude."

Not only will the dealer-activated navigation for Uconnect allow new-car owners to add navigation, but the feature will likely be popular for used-car buyers, too. When models equipped with the capability reach the used car market, shoppers who want navigation can simply have a Chrysler dealer activate the system.

As versatile display screens become commonplace even on vehicles without navigation, automakers will be able to offer buyers more functionality without having to add additional hardware. For drivers, this means more equipment options and more time to decide which are best suited to their needs and worth the premium.

What it means to you: Chrysler has a solution for drivers who didn't opt for navigation on their new vehicle and now regret it. Dealer-activated navigation on the RAM 1500, SRT Viper and upcoming FIAT 500L means you can always add the feature down the road.

What do you think of the deal Chrysler is offering? Let us know in the comments below. 

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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