Why are built-in Sat Nav's so poor?

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
I've just bought a new VW Golf Mk7.5, hoping to avoid a windscreen plunger and dangling lead from my TomTom.

The built-in Sat Nav certainly looks much neater, but I've found it's totally useless and even dangerous!

(1) The live traffic feature only works if I pair it to a smart phone (which I don't have or want).

(2) There's something called a car stick, which will connect to the internet but requires a sim card with monthly cost.

(3) VW charge heavily for map updates after the first three years.

(4) Even if I get it to work, the screen is so low that I have to take my eyes completely off the road to look at it.

Compare all that to my TomTom, with lifetime maps, live traffic, speed camera warnings, etc which sits on top of the dash where I can glance at it with the road ahead still in my eye line.

All far superior apart from that wretched dangling lead!
 

Swaggga

Well-known Member
built in sat navs are only good for a few months after the latest map release/update. useless otherwise. has your car got apple/android play ? best way around using a traditional sat nav imo
 

152bobby

Active Member
Rip it out and either buy a stand alone Tom Tom (or similar) or put in a head unit which has Carplay and Android Auto built in. These units even now come with wireless AA and Carplay, just like the one I have had installed in my car, Kenwood DMX8020DAB.

It really all depends how often you use navigation in your car. If you have a decent data package, you could just use your phone.
 

psychopomp1

Member
No issues with the built-in sat nav on my Audi A6 (C8). To make things easier, i usually send the destinations from the MyAudi smartphone app to the car. Or if I'm feeling lazy the sat nav system also does voice recognition very well.

I also love the dual nav screen both on the main MMI screen and in the cockpit.
 

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
I’ve had built in satnav in three cars , now I have Apple CarPlay I use Waze , love it !!!!
 

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all the ideas, guys, but most rely on having a smart phone which, as I said in my initial post, I neither own nor want.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Did you not research this before buying the car? Most manufactures systems are designed some years ago and can never keep up, even a new model of car will have a system that was designed a couple of years ago. App based systems on smart phones will always be ahead of inbuilt systems and are easier and cheaper to update with the added benefit of multiple other choices if you don't like one. You have chosen not to go that route so you are stuck with the inbuilt system then.
 

Flynch191

Well-known Member
Cars are still playing catch-up with all the tech.. some cars do that stuff better than others and like the above post says they will always be behind phone apps... unfortunately smart phones are the future and you might have to start thinking about moving forward and getting one. Life’s too short to worry about not having a smart phone.. whatever your reasons are...but each to their own I guess.
 

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
Did you not research this before buying the car? Most manufactures systems are designed some years ago and can never keep up, even a new model of car will have a system that was designed a couple of years ago. App based systems on smart phones will always be ahead of inbuilt systems and are easier and cheaper to update with the added benefit of multiple other choices if you don't like one. You have chosen not to go that route so you are stuck with the inbuilt system then.

Kick him while has down why don’t you 🤣 , the only thing I would like to know is why the OP won’t entertain a smartphone ....
 

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
Kick him while has down why don’t you 🤣 , the only thing I would like to know is why the OP won’t entertain a smartphone ....

That's easy!

From my observations, smart phones are highly addictive.

Their owners simply can't put them down for more than a few seconds and spend their entire lives texting.

I've spent the last 75 years living in the real world and would like to keep it that way!

(Of course, as you probably own a smart phone yourself, you won't recognise your addiction? ;) )

As for why I bought the Golf (which is excellent, by the way), the brochure says nothing about having to use a smart phone to get the in-built sat nav to work properly.

Presumably they assume everybody has one...
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
The choice to stare continuously at a smartphone is in your hands. I own one but I do not stare at it unless there is something I need to read. It is perfectly possible not to be 'addicted', having a life in the real world helps.
 

Flynch191

Well-known Member
The golf’s sat nav works fine. You just have to pay a bit more to have the up to date traffic info. Just like everything now days..
.. which is sad but the way the world is going... you gotta pay more to get what you really want.. whether upfront or extra per month to keep it running. :(

Each car manufacturer will offer something different for their consumers.
BMW give you 3 years free updates on their live traffic info. After that you pay 120 a year or something... or use your phone and waze etc.
So the sat nav will always work but won’t have the live traffic info unless it’s a new car or you pay each year.
This doesn’t require a smart phone or monthly data usage. The car has a sim built in.

Re: using phones.
Yes more and more ppl are using mobile phones.. they have become more than just a phone whether you’re reading work emails, social media, talking to family... their uses are many and news does tend to go negative on them. My kids are hitting their teens and I’m starting to fall behind with all the social media stuff and I consider myself a techie person :smashin: but things move soo fast it’s hard to keep up with it all.
 

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
That's easy!

From my observations, smart phones are highly addictive.

Their owners simply can't put them down for more than a few seconds and spend their entire lives texting.

I've spent the last 75 years living in the real world and would like to keep it that way!

(Of course, as you probably own a smart phone yourself, you won't recognise your addiction? ;) )

As for why I bought the Golf (which is excellent, by the way), the brochure says nothing about having to use a smart phone to get the in-built sat nav to work properly.

Presumably they assume everybody has one...

Completely understand your reasoning , however they are so bloody useful I’m not sure I could live without one , ahh , maybe you have a point 🤣🤣🤣
 

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
It's the live traffic part that I need, not the maps, as these days I don't go anywhere I haven't been before!

My new TomTom Go Premium has everything I need, updated for life, and I can still keep an eye on the road ahead as it's mounted on top of the dashboard, not down by my knee.

I know it looks daft, but you don't reach nearly 60 accident-free years of driving without being artful! :lesson:

Thanks to everyone who's taken an interest.
 

Flynch191

Well-known Member
Well done getting 60 years without accident.:clap:
I hope to have the same stat when I’m older but as more cars hit the road... who knows..

Back to using your Tom Tom then.. shame but totally understand where you’re coming from. GL
 

Adrian E

Active Member
Cars like the Golf aren't premium enough to warrant having the manufacturer install a SIM and pay for it for the lifetime of the car. Even those that give you the option of adding a SIM usually don't work properly as the network providers in the UK are almost universally opposed to people buying cheap pay as you go SIMs to use for data only devices. I think JLR products are about the only ones where the service is live unless you ask them to switch it off.

My Mk7 Golf has what was the biggest touch screen you could spec for it - the nav worked well and during the 1st 3 years you got Google Earth mapping and the ability, like the Audi above, to set a destination from your PC/laptop etc to the car so it was ready to go when you got in the car. On ours it similarly timed out after 3 years and the renewal price is COMICAL! Something like £150 for a further 3 years of vaguely useful but definitely not value for money service.

I do update the factory nav (it's free to do on the Mk7 just stick an SD card in your PC and load DiscoverCare app) but find myself mainly plugging my iphone in and using CarPlay and Waze for traffic alerts which are far more real time.

My dad's 81 and wouldn't be without his iphone now - it's almost got to the point that not having one limits your choices in how to interact with some services and the ability to pay contactless with no wallet in your pocket is also worthwhile. I'm paying £3 a month on a SIM-only basis which includes all calls and 2GB of data for it, which is more than enough for his needs. At least on the Golf it can sit in the pocket in the dash and doesn't need to be on the windscreen.....
 

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