So much of what we do at Tom's Hardware centers on benchmark results. As such, we've developed a test suite that covers some of the tasks and processes that are important to a driver using his car's technology package. The tasks that we're measuring include: boot-up time, time to connect to a paired phone, the time it takes to start music playback after booting the infotainment system, and lastly, how long it takes to actually add a phone to the system. We chose these measurements because they affect everyday use.
We perform the tests by recording video of each action and reviewing the footage in an editor to establish the exact point the system was turned on, and when the tasks are completed. The result is accurate; these aren't stop watch-timed tests. Our results from previous car reviews are included as well.
Our usual navigation route computation benchmark was not run on this vehicle, since we picked it up at Los Angeles International Airport, rather than driving around up in Tacoma, Washington. Since we were more than 1,000 miles away, we chose to forgo this metric, since it'd be incomparable.
Nissan's Hard Drive Navigation system booted up very quickly, showing us the user interface in a mere 9.1 seconds, which is just slightly slower than Subaru's Navigation system. Interestingly, the system in our GT-R booted five seconds faster than the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation package in the JX35, even though the Infiniti system is four years newer.
Starting music playback on the Nissan Hard Drive Navigation system happens just about as quickly as on the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation system. This leads us to believe the two systems share the same SiriusXM tuners, at the very least. Nissan's solution is still slower than other QNX-based packages, though it outpaces the Microsoft-based systems.
The time it takes to pair a phone with Nissan's Hard Drive Navigation system is more in line with other QNX-based systems from Hyundai and Toyota. Although it's slightly faster than those two implementations, it's not as fast as the Microsoft-based systems from Kia or Ford, and it can't come close to its luxury brethren.
The GT-R's back-up camera is a little slow. Though, seven seconds is still a reasonable amount of time to start the car and get situated. Nissan also uses a cool GT-R boot-up logo that looks cool as you're waiting.