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  #1  
Old 07-24-2005, 11:17 AM
justchecking justchecking is offline
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BMW navigation for 330i

Folks,

I am getting a quote of 35500 for 330i with auto and leather and sparkling graphite. I guess if I go for the whole premium package it might come down to somewhere 36000.
And I still do not get navigation. Somebody got 325i (auto+pp+xenon+navigation) for ED at 33750 that looked more valuable to me. What would I do with an additional 40 HP on 330i, without full premium package and navigation.

So my question is: How is the navigation system on the 330i. They say it is dvd based.
What does that mean. I was thinking of ordering garmin c340 which I can use in whatever car I like and also it will have text to speech technology, i.e. to say instead of saying turn right at 30 feet, it would say turn right on "street name". Does BMW navigation offer that.

Also the price I am quoting is for EU delivery. Not sure if it is worth it. Because with car so new over there I cannot do 140mph on autobahn anyways. But since I have already done that in past on rentals, guess I can live without that this time.

Your suggestions on BMW navigation versus garmin c340 appreciated.

-Thanks.
JC.

Last edited by justchecking; 07-24-2005 at 11:24 AM. Reason: navigation
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2005, 11:27 AM
Alex Baumann Alex Baumann is offline
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Hello and welcome to the Bimmerfest

Please get accustomed with the Search feature. I've just used Garmin as keyword and there are over 100 threads about that.

Here's a couple of them

Garmin 320

GPS options

Another Garmin 320/330
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Old 07-24-2005, 11:35 AM
justchecking justchecking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Baumann
Hello and welcome to the Bimmerfest

Please get accustomed with the Search feature. I've just used Garmin as keyword and there are over 100 threads about that.

Here's a couple of them

Garmin 320

GPS options

Another Garmin 320/330

I know Garmin. My question was how do you compare it with the BMW navigation ?
or rather how do you compare bmw navigation system with Garmin.
Do you have BMW navigation. Does it tell street name for turning on to, or just "turn
at 100 feet". ?


Thanks.
jc

BTW: I am waiting for garmin c340 because besides what c330 does, it can also tell street names rather just giving distance before turning.

Last edited by justchecking; 07-24-2005 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 07-24-2005, 12:00 PM
1bmwe90 1bmwe90 is offline
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I dont think any GPS would clearly pronounce the street names as that requires lots of audio data to be stored for all the unique street names in the USA. Most just display the street name and say something like "In about 1/4 mile make a right turn".

I would go with the ones that come with the car. They are linked to the cars speedometer and work in parking structures and other enclosed places where satellites are not reachable.

Also the integrated ones give a cleaner look to the car and usually have larger screens. You dont need to worry about keeping them charged, changing batteries etc.

I had a garmin that works on a laptop. I even bought a car charger for my laptop to keep it charged. Never really used it. I like the one that is integrated in my Murano and I am ordering my E90 with one.
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Last edited by 1bmwe90; 07-24-2005 at 12:14 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2005, 12:05 PM
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I have to say I love it. The look in the dash is clean. It turns down the radio for instructions. It knows how fast you are going to figure out when you'll be there.

I also think it's more intructive than the e46, though as many have said if you like to drive couches, the Lexus is the best. With i-drive I don't think a touch screen is vital. I WOULD like to see street labels in the 'perspective view' though... without it all I can do is watch the little clouds go by....
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Old 07-24-2005, 12:53 PM
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With iDrive you have a lot of other functions made available (Like setting auto-lock door options and stuff like that), the only drawback is you lose MP3-playing capabilities, but that can be fixed with an external player dumped in the armrest.

One thing with the Garmin, where would you put it? I'd have a hard time screwing in the dash a mount for this item. And it's not like the e90 has that much good spots to place it around the center console.

The iDrive offers different views (Top, top facing north, perspective - nifty) and options like avoid highways or choose toll-free routes, avoid ferrys, so you can customize how you want your path selected and I tried the dead-reckoning feature of the guidance system, it worked well in a tunnel.

The map on the iDrive screen uses about two-thirds of the left portion of the screen, the right portion is used to display instructions like where to turn when arriving at an exit or intersection, or optionally your trip computer info and things like that. It also calculates your expected time of arrival based on speed limits and how much of the trip you have done, and I find this to be quite accurate.

It is more integrated into the car systems, it can display alerts, oil level and so on... Plus you get voice recognition. I didn't think I'd use it so much but now that I have it, I think it's a must. Plus it makes the dash look much better, you have a much higher display for radio stations and stuff like that, you don't have to take your eyes too far off the road.
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Old 07-24-2005, 01:01 PM
justchecking justchecking is offline
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So should I conclude:

1. BMW navigation means idrive (that is to say you cannot have BMW navigation
without idrive and not that they are same things).
2. BMW navigation will only tell you the distance before one makes a turn and not
the street name to turn to.


BTW c340 does not have to keep so many audio files for each street name, the way
they do it is by having "text to speech" technology.

http://www.garmin.com/products/sp340/

-Thanks.
JC

Last edited by justchecking; 07-24-2005 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 07-24-2005, 01:08 PM
Alex Baumann Alex Baumann is offline
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What's the street name good for if you are already in unknown waters?

"turn right on Main St." implies that you already know where Main St is.

But what if I don't know where it is?
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2005, 01:08 PM
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OEM navigation systems tend not to have all the bells and whistles of the portable units. In addition, they can obviously only be used in one vehicle. No doubt OEM offers a cleaner look. Need to balance the pluses of the clean look against what the Garmin has to offer.
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Old 07-24-2005, 01:11 PM
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Why the fuss over saying the name of the street? A good navigation system will give you clear directions, which is all you want. The name of the street isn't relevant. If you're in an unfamiliar neighborhood (which is when you'll be using the nav the most), the navigation system's goal is to get you there without having to search for a specific street name in the middle of the night on a dark road.

The bottom line for me is, there is no substitute for a well integrated nav system.
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Old 07-24-2005, 02:02 PM
1bmwe90 1bmwe90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justchecking
So should I conclude:

1. BMW navigation means idrive (that is to say you cannot have BMW navigation
without idrive and not that they are same things).
2. BMW navigation will only tell you the distance before one makes a turn and not
the street name to turn to.


BTW c340 does not have to keep so many audio files for each street name, the way
they do it is by having "text to speech" technology.

http://www.garmin.com/products/sp340/

-Thanks.
Praveen
The garmin I had for laptop has this "text to speech" technology. It wasn't amazing or anything. It sounded too robotic. What I meant was in order to pronounce names correctly, you need to store the pronounciation of each individual street.

The advantage of built-in navigation is that it can continue to function even when satellites are not available, using the vehicle's speed and direction and it does not have the initial booting time and lag to establish communication with the satellites. These are more important to me than the ability of the system to pronounce street names in a funny way
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Last edited by 1bmwe90; 07-24-2005 at 02:07 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2005, 03:20 PM
justchecking justchecking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Baumann
What's the street name good for if you are already in unknown waters?

"turn right on Main St." implies that you already know where Main St is.

But what if I don't know where it is?
Well that is the feedback I got from a happy c330 customer. They said it would have
been nice if it could tell the street name too. Because if you are driving and lets say you have 2 upcoming right turns, if the unit tells you to take right turn at 300 feet, then you have to keep track of this 300 feet distance. If it can tell the street name and distance,
you have less chance of making a wrong turn.

That was the time I was shopping around the internet for c330 then I looked at Garmin website and they just released 340 with this same exact feature. It would be coming out in August.

Thanks everyone for all the info. I am most likely going in the direction of 2006 330i with steptronic, premium package and sparkling graphite with (gray-poplar or terra leather-aluminium).

-Thanks.
JC.
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  #13  
Old 07-24-2005, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justchecking
Because if you are driving and lets say you have 2 upcoming right turns, if the unit tells you to take right turn at 300 feet, then you have to keep track of this 300 feet distance. If it can tell the street name and distance,
you have less chance of making a wrong turn.
In practice, you'll find you'll never make this mistake... even without street names.
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  #14  
Old 07-24-2005, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justchecking
Well that is the feedback I got from a happy c330 customer. They said it would have
been nice if it could tell the street name too. Because if you are driving and lets say you have 2 upcoming right turns, if the unit tells you to take right turn at 300 feet, then you have to keep track of this 300 feet distance. If it can tell the street name and distance,
you have less chance of making a wrong turn.
.

better... it tells you to make the right at the second street AND draws a picture with the right turn whited out through the intersectio (with the label of the street name, btw, and includes the earlier turn in the picture so you don't take it.
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2005, 03:47 PM
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PCStuff PCStuff is offline
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I have an E46 with the Magellan Roadmate 700. From my experience the aftermarket models use a windshield mount on top of the dash. Given the shape of the E90's dash, it's mountable. However, if I am in the market for a new car, I would definately get the Nav, as this gets you I-Drive, with all sorts of fun options (but then I'm a computer guy, so that appeals to me)

As for pronouncing the street names - the rationale for having the names pronounced is so that as you're approaching a turn, you can look at the street signs and know how to turn, right? Well as stated earlier the screen already tells you what the street is called.

[shameless plug] The Magellan actually has a great usability feature here. Depending on the speed you're traveling, the nav chimes at the moment where you're supposed to turn. So say you're supposed to turn right on a certain street. Well the nav chimes about 1 meter before you hit the apex of the turn so you know it's this one. It also gives you a little bit more leeway if you're traveling at freeway speeds. After a while you get conditioned so that whenever you hear the nav chime, you know you screwed up if you're not turning right then and there [/shameless plug]

In conclusion, get the I-Drive, and don't worry too much about the voice synethizer.
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Old 07-24-2005, 04:30 PM
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Wolf359 Wolf359 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justchecking
1. BMW navigation means idrive (that is to say you cannot have BMW navigation without idrive and not that they are same things).
Correct, Navi comes with iDrive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by justchecking
2. BMW navigation will only tell you the distance before one makes a turn and not the street name to turn to.
It will not say out loud but you will see it written on the rightmost part of the screen, which is much faster to read than wait for a synthetised speech to finish reading (Some names are pretty long). Anyways, a tree could hide the street name or it could have been wrecked from the pole (That happens), so I don't see any advantage to having the names read out to the driver, unless he is blind and then I question even more what he would be doing behind a steering wheel.

There is a meter going down with units decreasing as you approach the intersection, it's working very well and because of all the other systems integrated into iDrive, if you really want navi, it is definitely worth considering. Just ask your dealer a demo.


Quote:
Originally Posted by justchecking
They said it would have been nice if it could tell the street name too. Because if you are driving and lets say you have 2 upcoming right turns, if the unit tells you to take right turn at 300 feet, then you have to keep track of this 300 feet distance. If it can tell the street name and distance, you have less chance of making a wrong turn.
The system will tell you things like "Turn left, and then turn right at the second street." or "Please bear left, and then take the second exit." It really is hard to get lost with it and if you miss a direction, the recomputation time for a new path is rather short. You can even have the last command repeated at the press of a steering wheel button, and by pressing another button, you can actually give vocal commands to the car. Now try doing all that with a Garmin...
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Old 07-24-2005, 05:37 PM
tksung tksung is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf359
The system will tell you things like "Turn left, and then turn right at the second street." or "Please bear left, and then take the second exit." It really is hard to get lost with it and if you miss a direction, the recomputation time for a new path is rather short.
Well, I wouldn't solely rely on the spoken directions. It occasionally told me too late or not at all. And the new path is not a consolation if it cost you 30 min in the city traffic as it did when I took a wrong onramp off Avignon. I keep an eye on the arrow map which, btw, will tell you the name of the street that you are supposed to turn into as well as the distance to it. Even then, it's a good idea to apply a common sense to the direction and figure out what it really meant rather than blindedly following it. (I'd still be in an infinite loop in Aix-en-Provence if I followed it blindedly!)
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Old 07-24-2005, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justchecking
Well that is the feedback I got from a happy c330 customer. They said it would have
been nice if it could tell the street name too. Because if you are driving and lets say you have 2 upcoming right turns, if the unit tells you to take right turn at 300 feet, then you have to keep track of this 300 feet distance. If it can tell the street name and distance,
you have less chance of making a wrong turn.

JC.
Just like Wolf359 said, the BMW nav unit constantly updates the position before your turn. So you hear the audio prompt to turn, then if you set up arrow displays on your assistance window, you will see the turn directions and the distance counting down : 300ft, 100ft.. 50ft etc. Of course, you can always verify the street name and position on your map screen as well.

One other thing, the BMW nav system uses Navteq map software, which is exactly the same as Yahoo! maps. I have been using that for ages, so the transition to BMW nav is seamless.
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Old 07-24-2005, 10:38 PM
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I was really happy with the built in nav on My ED trip. I did take wrong turns a couple of times but it was generally my fault. I would have made much worse mistakes if I were following a paper map. I am sure that some of the dedicated GPS manufactures better equipment that the built in BMW nav, but what they can't do is integrate it into the car. I really like the I-drive control of the Nav. It is just so much nicer than a laptop sitting on the passenger seat or some PDA thing stuck to the dash with a suction cup. I also like that it is tied into the speed and direction of the car. I just think integrated is better from a human interface perspective and that for me trumps a few extra bells and whistles like a computer mispronouncing street names.
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Old 07-24-2005, 11:13 PM
1st time bimmer 1st time bimmer is offline
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alternative nav

Pic of my cheap pocket pc nav with gps receiver. I would recommend it over garmin units
Advanges:
1. cheap ($300 total)
2. touch screen so data entry is much faster
3. can bring it to a different car or carry it on a hiking trip

Disadvanges:
1. not built in
2. no voice recognition.
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  #21  
Old 07-25-2005, 12:11 AM
justchecking justchecking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st time bimmer
Pic of my cheap pocket pc nav with gps receiver. I would recommend it over garmin units
Advanges:
1. cheap ($300 total)
2. touch screen so data entry is much faster
3. can bring it to a different car or carry it on a hiking trip

Disadvanges:
1. not built in
2. no voice recognition.
FYI: Garmin C330/C340 are touch screen too.

-JC
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Old 07-25-2005, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st time bimmer
Pic of my cheap pocket pc nav with gps receiver. I would recommend it over garmin units
Advanges:
1. cheap ($300 total)
2. touch screen so data entry is much faster
3. can bring it to a different car or carry it on a hiking trip

Disadvanges:
1. not built in
2. no voice recognition.
What is the combination you are using.

I have been thinking of the new Garmin iQue M3 which is due to hit the stores soon..........
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  #23  
Old 07-25-2005, 08:15 PM
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If you don't want to block the air vents, you have this alternative...
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Old 07-25-2005, 08:40 PM
1st time bimmer 1st time bimmer is offline
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf359
If you don't want to block the air vents, you have this alternative...
True and of course it's the best but if you don't want to spend $2000 then aftermarket units are reasonable options. If you happen to own a pocket pc already, you could get GPS receiver via compact flash or bluetooth on ebay for less than $100. Fortunately, I got a very good map software with voice promt directions, quick rerouting if you make a wrong turn (less than 1 second) from a friend for free otherwise the software/GPS receiver such as Pharos could cost more than $200. In that case, a Garmin unit is probably cheaper and simpler if you don't have a pocket pc already. A decent garmin nav costs more than $500?

Pocket PC also has same resolution (320x240) and colors (64K) at least compared with Garmin units in the $600-800 range (C330). Anyone knows the Resolution/color of BMW built in unit?

In my case, I used my old Pocket Pc (toshiba E750) and bought the compactflash Pretec GPS for $90 on ebay 2 years ago and that has worked well for me so I didn't feel the need for the built-in GPS for $2000.

Last edited by 1st time bimmer; 07-25-2005 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 07-25-2005, 08:42 PM
1st time bimmer 1st time bimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justchecking
FYI: Garmin C330/C340 are touch screen too.

-JC
I meant Advantages over BMW built-in Nav.
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