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View Full Version : BMW Navigation system - Good? Bad?


bobbyjoe
10-15-2007, 12:19 AM
Hello,

I'm thinking of buying a 2008 X5 and would like to know more about the navigation system. Been reading some older reviews (2005) which do not think too highly of the system. Had Lexus RX330 before and found the touch screen input very intuitive.

Questions:
1. How are directions entered into the X5 navigation system?
2. What functions can the voice system control?
3. Are the directions provided generally correct?
4. Can you input multiple destinations (waypoints)?

Any other thoughts, opinions of the system would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

denaliman
10-15-2007, 11:31 AM
Hello,

I'm thinking of buying a 2008 X5 and would like to know more about the navigation system. Been reading some older reviews (2005) which do not think too highly of the system. Had Lexus RX330 before and found the touch screen input very intuitive.

Questions:
1. How are directions entered into the X5 navigation system?
2. What functions can the voice system control?
3. Are the directions provided generally correct?
4. Can you input multiple destinations (waypoints)?

Any other thoughts, opinions of the system would be much appreciated.

Thank you.


I would say the navigation system is good. I would rather have a factory system than an aftermarket unit. I like everything integrated and do not like clutter, messy installs, drilling holes and resale will be a feature when this comes to a decision. BMW upgrades the system with software as needed.

You enter the destinations through idrive. Fairly simple. Country, province/state, address. You can also add destinations with voice commands, but it is a little clumsy. Accuracy is very good. I would say on par with any other system out there. It won't tell you left or right side of the street.You can change waypoints through idrive during the course of travel. You can search for POI's at current location, destination or new location. You can store waypoints in the address book, I am not sure how many. Overall, I am satisfied with the system. It may be somewhat limited here in Canada for coverage out of major areas. In the USA it is excellent. If you get the HUD it shows the directions in the windshield and with voice prompt or you can turn both off. On the navi screen it shows the map, street and you can either choose direction of travel, North up or "birdseye" view. Navteq is the software provider. I think it is definitely worth the cost.

bobbyjoe
10-15-2007, 10:05 PM
Thanks for the reply denaliman,

I haven't really had a chance to play around with the navigation system at the dealership since all the demo cars there didn't have it. Based on descriptions of how the iDrive works the closest I can think of is the MDX/RDX system of turning a dial and pushing it to select something. If this is what you need to do to type a street number and then a street name and perhaps a city does it not end up taking a fair bit of time? Is there some kind of intelligence to the system that will cut down the amount of scrolling required?

You mentioned that destinations can be added via voice commands but a bit clumsy, could you elaborate on that? Is it theoretically possible to push a voice prompt button, say a number and say a street name? Is it clumsy because it is inaccurate?

Thanks.

strat15
10-16-2007, 09:31 AM
The BMW navigation system is based on Navteq maps, so the database is robust. The directions have been fine, although like any other map service, knowing the local shortcuts will help. We have been to some pretty hole in the wall places and some summer houses in the middle of nowhere and have been unable to stump the NVT database. The nav system also provides real time traffic.

It is voice activated, which is pretty easy. Direct entry using the iDrive dial is also easy and there is intelligence built in. For example, if I wanted to get to a location in Chicago, as I entered the 'C' a list of cities in Illinois starting with the letter 'C' will appear. From here I can scroll to the city, or continuing by adding the letter 'H,' at which time the list of cities is repopulated for 'Ch.' Takes no more than a minute once you do it a couple times.

You can drive and your spouse can enter destinations via iDrive. Some makes/models do not allow you to change the nav on the fly.

You can enter at least 6 destinations. I continually clean our nav up so we've never had more than that stored. Not sure how many but I would venture a guess that it can hold significantly more.

Bart001
10-19-2007, 01:18 PM
I spent some time in my friend's brand new top of the line 2007 Honda truck, and I prefer the BMW nav. The routing is better in the BMW (Honda does not have the 'shortest time' option, and seems to force routing either on a lot of back roads -or- way out of your way just to be on a highway), and I found the Honda interface too 'cartoony' for my liking. And it seemed slow to respond! People complain about the slowness of the iDrive based computers, but I think that mine responds faster.

I was prepared to see something much better than my BMW nav, but the Honda disappointed.