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Q5 MMI navigation vs. Garmin GPS

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Old 09-11-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
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Default Q5 MMI navigation vs. Garmin GPS

Hi,

I am planning to purchase a new Q5 soon (my first Audi) and was wondering how does the MMI navigation compare to an external GPS like the ones from Garmin? I have been a long time user of Garmin GPSs so a comparison between these would be great.

Note I am just interested in the standard maps and not the overlayed Google maps, since I do not plan on subscribing to audi connect.

Any info would be great.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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It sucks.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:44 AM   #3
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I bought the nav with '13 Q5 and I haven't use it much. The proposed routes generated from the system made no sense. I regularly use my iPhone apps (waze or google maps) for directions. Although with the package it came with back up camera and bumper sensors, which have been helpful. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably forgo the nav option. There has been a lot of construction and my maps are definitely out of date already.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
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This is disappointing to hear. I was kinda hoping it would be at least be somewhat decent. I can always go back to using Garmin or the iPhone apps but was trying to avoid needing to mount a device to the windshield.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #5
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I just bought a '14 with Nav and love it!
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:06 PM   #6
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My 2011 Q5 Nav directions were quite good. Never failed to get me to locations. I have not yet used it in my brand new 2014 but will do so next month to a trip out of state. I trust it. The only potential hiccup might be a newly constructed portion of a highway or the closing of some off-ramp unknown to the current software.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:08 PM   #7
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I don't find the directions to be bad. I actually like the nav. Just make sure to go into settings and tell it what transport ways you prefer to see or not show, ferry's, tollways, etc.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxchea View Post
This is disappointing to hear. I was kinda hoping it would be at least be somewhat decent. I can always go back to using Garmin or the iPhone apps but was trying to avoid needing to mount a device to the windshield.
I wouldn't say MMI 3G Nav Plus in the newer models is bad at all, especially if you have Audi Connect and Sirius Traffic activated. Google search uses the same data and is every bit as good at POIs as Google Maps online. Advantages over a portable GPS or phone are larger screen and full integration with the MMI voice control. It offers 3D building graphics in many cities plus all the extra features that Audi Connect provides including Google Earth overlay, gas prices, available parking lots, news, weather, events, etc.; all are tied into the nav, MMI and your Bluetooth phone for dialing through the car. Audi uses NavTeq for it's map data (as does Garmin).

While it's not perfect, and I'm sure a top model Garmin will have a feature or two missing from the car's nav, Audi has come a long way with integrated Nav over the last few years. I have three Garmins and an iPhone with Apple and Google maps and unlike earlier Audi nav systems, I don't use them at all for navigation.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
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Does it have 3D map capability and text to speech, meaning it will say the names of streets?
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxchea View Post
Does it have 3D map capability and text to speech, meaning it will say the names of streets?
Yes. 3D is an option in either the standard map or Google Earth overlay. Lots of street speech and vocal directions. Many MMI options on what and how to display and hear things.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info snagitseven (and everyone else). I plan to do a test drive at the dealership soon so hopefully I will be able to check things out.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:21 PM   #12
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Default I used a Garmin in Q5 for three weeks of Euro Delivery...

They don't turn on the factory Nav in Europe. Instead they give you a Garmin loaner to use touch screen w/ things like speed camera and other alerts, so a current model and not a stripper version. The Garmin was fine but nothing special. Candidly I thought the now clearly prior generation 2G MMI Nav system in my 2006 A8 was more useful. Thus, I'm definitely looking forward to the current gen system being enabled in Q5 when it gets here; I used it for a week in a current gen D4 A8 though that one was pre Audi Connect bells and whistles but also with scratch pad input (which I never used anyway). Factory Nav is also more expensive, but being in the cities in Europe a lot, it reminded me of the need to keep a Garmin (or phone) out of sight when parking on streets, etc. First break in to a vehicle with both the hassle and out of pockets, and any saving are out the (broken) window.

You have to be willing to use a dial oriented and click system like the Audi designs fundamentally are (putting voice control aside), but I thought for some basic things like zooming in and out, it is pretty easy to like compared to what I found with the Garmin (or an iPhone while actually moving and paying attention to the road). Data input was net similar in complexity--already knowing the Audi system generally--but somewhat different as far as specifics. But again, from six years experience w/ prior gen MMI and Nav, I'm a lot more comfortable using it on the road/driving than I was with the Garmin, especially in unfamiliar environments.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxchea View Post
Thanks for the info snagitseven (and everyone else). I plan to do a test drive at the dealership soon so hopefully I will be able to check things out.

Thanks again.
We got a good demo from the sales rep which helped us make up our mind. The car we wanted, and bought, was on the lot and had navigation and I'm glad we have it. Several of the reviews that I read when shopping said that it's one of the better systems available. But with these systems, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #14
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I am somewhat a techie, and had iPhones and now Galaxy S4, both with Google Maps. I had on my iPhone the Navigon app as well which makes it a hardware based navigation unit. Currently have a 2010 MMI+ Navigation. 2014 is on order.

I had no hesitation ordering navigation for the 2014 Q5 TDI. Nothing is worse than the user distraction of handheld units while driving. They aren't mounted in the right place, the user interface are flakey (small tiny controls). With the MMI Nav, you have integrated user control via the built in MMI and steering wheel controls as well as voice.

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Old 09-11-2013, 12:56 PM   #15
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I don't think I will have a problem with MMI control ****. I think I actually prefer this over cars with touch screens since the **** is conveniently located by the gear shift. Whereas a touch screen would require me to reach over to the dashboard.

I've also read many reviews for the Q5 praising the MMI navigation. But most of these reviews seemed to be heavily swayed by the Google Earth map overlay. While this feature does sound great, I just don't think I will continue the audi connect subscription. But then again, maybe this would change after I've actually driven the Q5 for awhile.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxchea View Post
I don't think I will have a problem with MMI control ****. I think I actually prefer this over cars with touch screens since the **** is conveniently located by the gear shift. Whereas a touch screen would require me to reach over to the dashboard.
You can do a lot of voice command navigating without using the control ****.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dxchea View Post
I've also read many reviews for the Q5 praising the MMI navigation. But most of these reviews seemed to be heavily swayed by the Google Earth map overlay. While this feature does sound great, I just don't think I will continue the audi connect subscription. But then again, maybe this would change after I've actually driven the Q5 for awhile.
You may think twice about Audi Connect after you've used it awhile. I rarely use the Earth overlay but use Google search many times a day. Some of the other things provided with AC are pretty useful as well.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:24 PM   #17
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I'm currently using both my Garmin and MMI Nav on this NC<->RI roadtrip to build trust in the MMI Nav. So far it's done very well and better than my pessimistic expectation. I don't expect them to be identical as I know Garmin is not perfect either. So far it's done very well. I only "use" the MMI Nav, but leab e the Garmin on, but muted, for reference.

Two things stood out:
1.) ETA on Garmin is amazing. I've always been overly impressed by how consistent and accurate its eta is from beginning to destination of trip. MMI Nav has been far off and varying. I expect it should do better as it should be capable of analyzing my driving all the time, not just when I'm using Nav (unlike the Garmin which would otherwise be powered off). Fingers crossed maybe it will get better. I knew this was an outstanding feature of Garmin so I didn't expect any competitor to be equal or better.
2.) In Queens NY, I used Nav to drive a few blocks and stop. When I started again and entered my next destination its routing was strange compared to Garmin. It turns out that's because it thought I was on as different street. That's pretty poor since it just routed me to my location. Hopefully just a one off issue.

Otherwise it's been doing quite well. I like the speed limit signs, online destinations, google street view to confirm location, and saving locations in Google Maps on my PC directly to my car (my wife could even do this so we don't have to add s destination while in car). That's better than I expected.

More as I think of it or experience more...
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark P View Post
I'm currently using both my Garmin and MMI Nav on this NC<->RI roadtrip to build trust in the MMI Nav. So far it's done very well and better than my pessimistic expectation. I don't expect them to be identical as I know Garmin is not perfect either. So far it's done very well. I only "use" the MMI Nav, but leab e the Garmin on, but muted, for reference.

Two things stood out:
1.) ETA on Garmin is amazing. I've always been overly impressed by how consistent and accurate its eta is from beginning to destination of trip. MMI Nav has been far off and varying. I expect it should do better as it should be capable of analyzing my driving all the time, not just when I'm using Nav (unlike the Garmin which would otherwise be powered off). Fingers crossed maybe it will get better. I knew this was an outstanding feature of Garmin so I didn't expect any competitor to be equal or better.
2.) In Queens NY, I used Nav to drive a few blocks and stop. When I started again and entered my next destination its routing was strange compared to Garmin. It turns out that's because it thought I was on as different street. That's pretty poor since it just routed me to my location. Hopefully just a one off issue.

Otherwise it's been doing quite well. I like the speed limit signs, online destinations, google street view to confirm location, and saving locations in Google Maps on my PC directly to my car (my wife could even do this so we don't have to add s destination while in car). That's better than I expected.

More as I think of it or experience more...
Thanks for this feedback! This is especially helpful as I will also be driving around Queens, NY. It is definitely true that not all GPS devices are perfect. I've been using Garmins and Google Maps for awhile now and have gotten used to their quirks, but for the most part they have been pretty good. I just wanted to see how MMI compared to them and judging by your description, it sounds like they are comparable.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
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You can do a lot of voice command navigating without using the control ****.



You may think twice about Audi Connect after you've used it awhile. I rarely use the Earth overlay but use Google search many times a day. Some of the other things provided with AC are pretty useful as well.
Why do you rarely use the Google Earth overlay? Is it just not as useful as the standard maps? I would've assumed Google Earth would be the preferred choice since the maps are up to date.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:24 PM   #20
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I've been a GPS owner for about 10 years, both vehicle and Garmin. My biggest complaint with vehicle systems is the cost of keeping the maps updated. My current Garmin has lifetime maps, gets updates about quarterly (as rapidly as the map creators can update their systems) for free. My last vehicle (MB ML550) navigation system had updates available sporadically, rarely more than once a year, and charged about $240 for just the map update (about what my Garmin with lifetime maps cost). Reading the Audi forums, the Q5 had no updates for multiple years. That alone has been enough to keep me skeptical of vehicle mounted systems. Have not gotten comfortable with voice navigation commands, so cannot comment on that, but the difference in ease of use between most vehicle systems and the touch screen Garmins (and other GPS's) is major.... As I said, I cannot judge the voice recognition, but with my Garmin I can put in an address simply and quickly that takes MUCH longer with my new MMI (2014 SQ5) system. I do like the ability to use Audi connect to send an address to the MMI system, and the ability to search Google for points of interest, but not sure it is worth $180 per year when my Garmin has most of those same POI's and the maps in my Garmin are pretty much as up to date as Google. Have 6 months to decide, but unlikely I will renew if they don't have a vastly less costly option. In our drive from TX to FL in our new SQ5 every 'traffic warning' that Google Maps sent us was gone before we got to the location, and a number of slowdowns that I would have expected to be in the navigation system were not.... The verdict is still out on Garmin vs MMI.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:24 PM
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