Ford MirrorNavi: Sat-nav in your rear-view mirror
Get lost and take a long, hard look in the mirror. That's the message from Ford as it launches a new Garmin sat-nav integrated directly into your car's rear-view mirror.
The MirrorNavi, an after-market accessory that replaces your existing rear-view mirror, was designed and built by Garmin and Wollnikom. It consists of an ordinary mirror and a 320x240-pixel, 89mm (3.5-inch) touchscreen display nestling on the far left side.
The mirror is fairly ordinary. It lets you see what's going on behind you and dims automatically at night to reduce glare. The sat-nav portion is more impressive, though. The unit is based on Garmin's nuvi 265T, so, although it's tiny, it's packed with the features you'd expect from a larger model.
Voice prompts tell you where and when to turn; voice-recognition navigation lets you speak instructions aloud; lane assistance keeps you in the proper lane; 'trafficTrends' calculates routes based on predicted traffic levels; and FM traffic lets you know when there are accidents and roadworks.
The MirrorNavi features built-in solid-state memory, containing UK maps, and can be upgraded via a microSD card. You also get a built-in Bluetooth adaptor, which allows the driver to wirelessly connect the device to a mobile phone, placing and receiving calls over the unit's built-in speakers.
The MirrorNavi can be installed in any Ford car (except the Ranger and 2009 Ka) by local Ford garages for £300 plus installation charges.
That's pretty steep, especially when you consider that the nuvi 265T costs somewhere in the region of £130. The MirrorNavi does have its benefits, though: wires are neatly hidden, it leaves no tell-tale suction marks that might attract thieves, and it does at least require you to glance in the general direction of your rear-view mirror every now and then.
If all of this sounds appealing, then drive your Ford to a local dealer pronto.