A recent post on one of the forums I frequent has piqued my curiosity.
From my limited reading on the topic, widebands do a better job of quantifying air-fuel ratios than their narrowband counterparts, which are sufficient for simple, qualitative rich/lean condition detection.
Some widebands are capable of simulating narrowband output in addition to reporting AFR's, which means that they can replace narrowband sensors.
I have come across a few reasons why one might want to do this, but none of them seem compelling enough to warrant a switch over to widebands:
More accurate AFR measurements
For ECU's expecting narrowband output, the fuel management system is already set up to handle qualitative measurements, so I'm skeptical that more accurate AFR's would lead to reduced fuel emissions, crisper engine response, etc.
Better tuning & diagnostic capability
I'm not arguing with the benefits of using a wideband here, but I don't expect that tuning or diagnostics will be performed on a daily basis or whenever the engine is running.
So, in short, is there a compelling reason to go with a wideband sensor in a narrowband setup given that all else remains the same on the vehicle?