Ford Mondeo: Sat nav choices

Factory fit, or portable?

Many drivers are now familiar with satellite navigation systems whether they use them or have seen them used by others.

In some cars they are a useful addition, increasing value compared to a similar car without. In others they merely make the car easier to sell, and add no more value than the cost of a decent portable navigation system.

This leaves first owners with a dilemma: should they spend cash on a factory-fitted system when ordering a new car (which in some cases can be £2000), or should they leave it and use an aftermarket portable set-up?

Ford offers a choice of systems on the Mondeo. At the time of writing, an 'advanced navigation system' on the Mondeo cost £700 and comes with a six-CD autochanger. Alternatively customers can choose a touch-screen DVD-based system (covering most of Europe) without a CD changer for £1000 or with one for £1200.

My Mondeo has the latter, and to be fair, it is never going to be worth £1200 more than a similar car without navigation on the used market.

The slightly cheaper system works well enough, but has a smaller screen, so isn't quite as clear as the larger touch-screen system.

However, it is one of the best systems available. Touch-screen is so much more intuitive than those where you have to use a dial or controller on the centre console or dashboard.

And the touch-screen also accesses the audio system, climate control functions, and as someone pointed out to me, is better for security than a portable system.

Even the mark of the suction pad on the windscreen can be enough to tempt thieves to break into a car on the off chance that the navigation system is hidden away in the glovebox.

Current mileage: 10934

Average mpg: 47.0