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2006 Vs. 2007 400h

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I've been driving my 2006 400h for about 18 months now; I took it in today for it's 25K mile service and a few minor issues. Much to my amazement, they had a hybrid available as a loaner. As I walked over to it, I realized it was a 2007 400h! Even better, when I got in, I realized that it only had 150 miles on it AND it had a full Nav/Bluetooth system.

So, I've been able to tool around in a new 400h for a day or so while mine is in the shop. I just thought I'd share a few details on some of the things I found:

1) Exterior - pretty much the same except the rear doors each have a "HYBRID" chrome badge mentioned in another thread.

2) Interior - again, mostly the same except that the steering wheel and the shift console and part of the center console have a lot of wood instead of leather on the 06. Looks nice - but the trim around the radio/nav is still aluminum.

3) Nav Upgrade - the new screen is gorgeous. The type is incredibly crisp and the picture is really sweet. This is a huge upgrade. Additionally, they've added an "Audio" button below the screen so you can see what is on the audio system - it looks very similar to the screens that are in the V3 nav systems so you can adjust all the settings visually (treble, bass, balance, "zones", ASL, etc.) rather than through clunkier push/turns. They have also gotten an upgraded database - two roads around my house that have been absent since at least 2002 are finally included on the new disc. I really like the integrated part with the audio system - when you change any settings it automatically fades in a bar above the nav system to show you what's happening. For example, if you change the volume, the bar comes up showing you the new volume level. If you change a radio station, it comes up showing you the numerical address and the RDS text from the station. I also noticed that when on the highway, there is a new feature that shows you upcoming exits and what POI's are off of those exits. All very nice upgrades.

4) Bluetooth. Since I have the car for a while, I went in and paired my Blackberry 7100 with the Bluetooth. Wow, they've really improved the interface with the phones. Still no phonebook transfer to the BB, but there are many improvements that make it really nice. First, the BT connection time is almost instant now - on my 2006, I sometimes watch it attempt to connect for 15-20, or even 30 seconds before successfully pairing. Once I registered my BB, it's connecting to the car in a second or two after ignition starts. Second, I really like the new connection protocol when making a call. In the 2006, when I dial a number on the BB, the phone is "cutoff" and the stereo continues until a connection is made to the other end of the call. When the receiving call picks up, there is then a second or two delay before the car transfers to the overhead speakers, meaning that I usually lose the first or second "hello" from their side. On the 2007, as soon as I dial, it connects to the car, and I can now hear the phone ringing on the speakers, and then when the receiver picks up, there is no loss or delay.

All in all, they seemed to have fixed most of the minor annoyances that I had with the car. I'm not planning to shell out to buy a new one anytime soon, but I really like what they did!


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