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Thread: BMW NAV System
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:13 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Location: New York, NY
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 10,550
Mein Auto: 528i
I leased my 2011 e92 w/ nav (basically the same system as the f30 has) coming from nav-less e46. I dealt with several portable systems and iphone apps and vowed to get a built-in nav the next time. I'd read all the negatives on the BMW nav system, but decided that it couldn't be worse. Plus, I wanted the BMW apps integration that only came w/ idrive.

So far, I haven't been disappointed. Sure, it sometimes has wonky routes, and it's annoying that it doesn't show the current street you're on. And I live in NYC, home of truly wonky roads. Just this weekend it told me to turn off of 87 to take some bizarre detour through the bronx. Leaned about a bridge i'd never been on though. The turn indicaion is a little annoying too as others have pointed out. Plus, it's POI database is some cases missing commuter rail statios that even my dad's 2001 bmw has! But honestly, that stuff pales in comparison with the frustrations I had with the various portable products:
-realizing that i'm lost then having to fumble to get it out, plug it in etc.
-taking 15 minutes to find a GPS signal or losing a data connection just when you need it
-momentarily losing a signal during complex merges and on-ramps and sending me in circles
-pain to use, small touch screens; no chance of adjusting without pulling over

I seriously wanted to throw my phone or my tom tom out the window at times. The BMW system is like a breath of fresh air. I struggle to understand how people get so annoyed with it unless they've had no prior experience with nav systems. The controller is vastly superior and so much easier to use than a touch screen..especially while driving. I have a hard time seeing how people prefer touch screens in cars. The fact that it always knows where you are is also very nice after my past experiences. Even the traffic integration has proven quite accurate so far. The screen is big and well positioned. And with the HUD that comes with your F30s, I can't imagine anything better. Even entering an address by voice is surprisingly accurate once you learn how to say the address in the way the system understands...I have about a 95% success rate. It can be slow to process sometimes, but it works better than otehr voice systems i've tried. And for missing POIs , i can always send the address to the car using google maps from BMW's remote app on my phone.

Have you guys tried out other manufacturer's systems? Talk about truly sucking. Mercedes command is awful and lacking in fucntionality (even the new one), Audi's MMI is ok but the newest idrive is still easier to use, and the various touch screen systems just plain suck including the much-vaunted Japanese car systems. I've used most of them in various rental cars or in friends cars. Ugly grahpics, smudged screen, can't enter while driving, have to take our eyes off the road for way too long etc. The main advantage that some of these systems have is that some have better is POI databases. That's nice, but I wouldn't be willing to trade all the convenience of my idrive system for a few extra POIs (that i can easily find using google maps and send to the car in a pinch). I think all GPS systems fall down on routing at one time or anther for various reasons. And yes, having to pay extortion prices for a map update is ridiculous but not something that bothers me too much as i only have the car for 3 years and will not likely bother. It's not like they build new roads all the time in the northeast anyway. Again, seems like a "throw the baby out w/ the bathwater" type of complaint.

Not trying to be a fan-boy, but trying to inject some perspective into an irrationally negative thread. Run-flat tires, on the other hand, get my blood boiling so to each his own.
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