The 2007 Nissan Altima takes a step toward live traffic data for the masses as the least expensive car to offer XM NavTraffic from the factory. It's the first Nissan to offer NavTraffic though its cousin, the 2007 Infiniti G35, offers the system as well.
NavTraffic gathers traffic data from a hodgepodge of sources that vary by metro area, and the information is then beamed via XM satellite down to your car for display on its navigation screen. The quality of the info varies by market.
It's not free: First, you need to option your Altima with GPS nav, which comes in option packages ranging from $2,000 to $3,200. Next, you need to opt for XM satellite radio for another $350--if you prefer Sirius, no NavTraffic for you. Finally, you need to subscribe to either NavTraffic alone for $9.95 a month or add it to your XM Radio subscription for an additional $3.99 a month. All in, the least expensive Altima with NavTraffic runs about $28,200.
In a few years this option, and factory-installed nav rigs in general, may be as quaint as a Dodge Dart with a push-button transmission: Already a third of all cell phones offer navigation, and that number is going straight up.