Just been reading an interesting article in the latest edition of PC Pro magazine.
They tested four different stand-alone satnav solutions across a variety of destinations. Featured were Google Maps, Apple Maps, Tomtom and Nokia Drive+. Google Maps, probably predictably, came out top, closely followed by Tomtom. Drive+ and Apple Maps fought it out at the bottom.
What struck me reading it, however, was how few of the problems they experienced with these solutions I've had with my Audi system. There were numerous cases of inadequate directions, with motorway sliproads and junctions not being explained well enough, directions being given far too late, multiple roundabouts close together producing confusing directions, insufficient info being displayed and other problems which I can't remember off the top of my head.
Whilst no system is perfect and the Audi nav certainly has its foibles, as I read the article I kept thinking to myself "never had that problem". In light of this I'm struck by what a well thought-out system and interface the Audi nav has and how it's superior to the stand-alone alternatives in many ways. Yes it's hideously expensive compared to a stand-alone solution, especially when, in the case of things like Apple Maps or Google Maps, it's effectively free if you already have the phone, but I've sampled many different solutions over the years, both stand-alone and integrated from various manufacturers and the Audi system beats them all IMO. When you add in the inherent benefits of an integrated solution - always "just there" when you need it, no cables or mounts required, integrated into the dash display, turns music volume down when giving directions etc, I personally think it's worth every penny