is the Navigation in the x3 worth it vs a portable [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: is the Navigation in the x3 worth it vs a portable

01-23-2007, 08:45 PM
Not sure about the current car 06' Audi A4 has a great built in navigation system..but I'm not sure about the x3's navi.... isnt it just better to get a portable navi? or is the navi really good? any input will be appreciated especially from those who have used the audi navigation

01-23-2007, 09:49 PM
The various German systems (Audi, BMW, MBZ) are more alike than different, especially when compared to the Japanese or portable systems. Benefits of the factory X3 system include:
- servo to track you when out of satellite range
- always on, with split-screen mode so you can track location along with OBC readings
- integrated with BMW assist
- convenient location & viewing angle (my opinion).

Disadvantages include:
- price
- no touch-screen input
- single knob for input is on dash (right radio knob location) which is somewhat inconvenient
- not everyone likes the colors, scaling, POI selection, etc.

01-24-2007, 04:41 AM
I guess it comes down to your value of price/portability vs. the OEM integration.

For me, a portable $450.00 Garmin Nuvi 350 we got Mrs. Wingspan recently is fantastic; and we could not be happier.

If I did an ED this summer (under consideration) we'd probably just get the $165 Euro POI SD card for it.

I personally can't quite see how the OEM solutions are sold at the price they are (2-3K) given the price point that portable navigation systems are at. I would pay a premium over portable, but not that much. YMMV though.

Seems to me there was a recent poll and discussion on this very topic, you might find more info there.

Good Luck.

PS I have no experience with OEM BMW systems.

01-24-2007, 02:50 PM
Having the EOM Nav as an option when purchasing the car is about the only way that really makes sense. I didn't have the Nav when I bought my X3. To have it put in now the STealer couldn't give me a straight estimate and quoted anywhere from 6K to 8K to have them install it (final price I think depends on some planetary alignment). Pioneer has the slick hidden screen Nav Radio for under 2K, but for me, I rather just not do it as the color balance of the unit with respect to my interior as well as the blue lights is not for me personally. Who knows, I may have a change of heart later. I'm kinda leaning towards a Nuvi 350 as a temporary stop gap. I was planning on just using the proclip from EAS and be done with it. My other 2 cars don't have NAV either so I could just move the unit when needed. 6K to 8K is awfully steep for a function I only plan on using less times than I got fingers in any one year in this auto.

01-24-2007, 07:01 PM
does the navi come with a rear view cam? also does anyone have any nav screen pics?

01-24-2007, 07:12 PM
Not sure about the current car 06' Audi A4 has a great built in navigation system..but I'm not sure about the x3's navi.... isnt it just better to get a portable navi? or is the navi really good? any input will be appreciated especially from those who have used the audi navigation

I actually have a Garmin system (for rental car use) as well as BMW Navigation in and X3 and a 530i. When ordering the X3 I talked with our Dealer's Sales Manager and discussed which options would have value on later trade in. The Navigation system, he feels, is worth $700 on your trade in 3 years. The upgraded radio system, for example, might not bring any return.

01-24-2007, 07:17 PM
The nav will definitely give you an add when trading in.. also, the OEM systems are more accurate than the portable ones, and more elegant.

X3 Skier
01-25-2007, 01:24 PM
If you need one, which is questionable to me, portable is a better value for money.


01-25-2007, 05:29 PM
I did not buy the BMW Navigation, and the portable is much better. Touch-screen is so much better... Also, when you buy the Garmin Nuvi 360 (along with many other models) you get a suction cup thing included. What that basically does is that it attaches to the navigation system. Then it sticks to your windshield. So no reason to mount it in the car. Easy in, and out... You're welcome :-).

01-25-2007, 06:20 PM
I have NAV in my X3, and I recently used a Garmin portable while traveling on business in Europe. My dad also has NAV in his 5er.

Don't take these comments as overly significant. All of the systems are more than adequate to get you around, and have similar features.

The main differences/annoyances I've seen:

* The portable suffered from not knowing how fast the car was moving. Driving through Austria, the the frequent tunnels would send it into an annoying pattern of noisily complaining about losing satellite reception. The integrated systems handled these situations with none of these issues.

* The portable also suffered from not having an external antenna. We lost reception among buildings in urban environments. My X3 doesn't have that problem.

* IMO, all of the systems are easy to program. My vote for easiest would be iDrive, despite the disparaging remarks from the press. You can safely operate it while driving if your careful, due to the location of the display and controller.

* The BMW systems lack a bit of "intuitiveness" to their interfaces. Once you learn the interface, it is quite easy to use, however.

* I find the touch screens dangerous to use while driving, as they require more direct concentration, but faster when you are stopped. The X3 operates like iDrive, but you must reach for the controller, which is a disadvantage.

* The map quality on the Garmin and the X3 are equivalent, while the newer systems on the 3er and 5er are superior. All are inferior in display quality to the system on the Honda Accord, IMO. However, the Accord's is impossible to manipulate while moving.

* Our Garmin unit had a habit of falling of the windshield if you did not affix it properly.

01-25-2007, 07:01 PM
I have the factory Nav. Do not like it. I also have a Garmin 350... Best Nav I've ever used

01-25-2007, 08:41 PM
Although I love the intergrated look, I have to say the portable units are much better. For $400 you can get one with touchscreen (endless menu possibilities), better POI, features vs 1K-2K for the factory unit.

I have a Garmin SPC 340 that I use for work. $350 during a Xmas sale. Great value!

01-26-2007, 12:49 AM
i have a garmin nuvi 350 and its amazing. we love it and its been flawless in performance

01-26-2007, 06:54 AM
I have a very nice portable unit (Garmin StreetPilot 2720) and there are lots of advantages to such a unit:

1. Can be moved from car to car and taken on trips where you will have a rental.

2. Can be interfaced to your computer(s) for trip planning on a full sized screen.

3. Data from trips can be downloaded to your computer for subsequent data mining and reference (if you are into that sort of thing).

Having said that, I wish I had purchased the Nav system for our X3 when we ordered it 2 years ago. Why?

1. It's built in so you don't have to remember to bring it along all the time and if you want a quick peek at a map of where you are.

2. Integration with the car audio system for iPod and Satellite radio.

3. Less chance of someone breaking into your car to try to steal your portable unit. This is a new form of identity theft because thieves want to get your home address from the GPS unit and look for dash mounts and windshield suction cup marks that would indicate you have such a device in the car.

4. As mentioned above - it does play back into the resale value of the car later on.

I am just about to order a Z4 3.0si Coupe and will be getting the built in Nav in spite of having my StreetPilot.

01-26-2007, 04:36 PM
Here is one example that I was pleasantly surprised to experience. I was on a date and I wanted to be spontaneous and take her to a restaurant that I had heard about which was about 40 min away. I had never been there before, so I used my navigation system to see if it was listed in the computer. To my delight, it was listed, and after I clicked on the restaurant, I was given the one click option (i-drive wheel) to call the establishment, as they have the phone numbers of all the businesses/restuarants stored. With the press of a button, the call was made through the bluetooth interface, and without lifting a finger I spoke to the host and made a reservation. After I hung up, the i-drive screen gave me a further option to choose it as my active destination. Voila! I'm on my way to the restaurant. All of this was done so effortlessly, as if someone were there to serve me personally.

Yes, a Garmin, Tom Tom, Magellan, etc. has powerful navigation functions, but here is just one example of the powerful integration capabilities that the i-drive has to offer.

Also, I think I impressed my date! Sounds like a pretty worthwhile option to me....