Audi A3: MMI Navigation Plus in the Test

Internet and communication while driving? In the new A3 Sportback to thanks to the revised MMI system and “Audi connect” particularly be simple. We have tried it.

The car phone is the ancestor of all mobile communication systems. How massive it has changed in the last 50 years, is evident in comparison with the latest MMI navigation system plus and online services “Audi connect” in the Audi A3 Sportback. Including all necessary options, the total system cost the trifle 3560 EUR – ensures open mouths with his skills not only for lay people.

The MMI is the boss in the Audi

But first to build: does not allow himself to experiments in terms of Smartphone integration or on remote-controlled apps Audi. The MMI is the Central Intelligence in the A3, which has all the applications in the grip – of navigation over the media playback and communications.

The Smartphone will be here just phone. The NVIDIA Tegra 2 with 1.2 GHz dual core processor provides the liquid function, Rightware specialists responsible for the graphical display – and thanks to plug-in modules that all also is still upgradable.

But, the look and feel of the system that sets new standards with its circular main menu and the small preview displayed in real time each function is more impressive than the technical data. The graphics in the Audi is the hammer.

Huge range of functions

Also in features allows the MMI is not missing: telephone connection with your own SIM card or via Bluetooth, 10 gigabytes of memory for music, navigation with live traffic service and Google Earth display, WI-FI hotspot, USB port and two SD card slots.

In addition the “Audi connect” online service that can make access to Facebook and Twitter as well as travel information and configurable RSS feeds online.

A further highlight is the new dictation feature, with which you can completely enter SMS messages by voice – that worked perfectly in the test. The system, like all other information on request also reads the answers.

Little flexible Internet access

Small problems with Internet access, which manufactures the Audi system via the integrated 3 g modem and SIM card reader in the glove compartment – Bluetooth tethering is not possible.

Who connects his Bluetooth phone with the system still to be reached about the same number, must waive the Internet services during this time, the parallel operation does not work.

You can even switch: either you must log off the Bluetooth cell phone or eject the SIM card in the glove compartment. The variant “prepaid card for the Internet in the glove compartment, calling on your normal mobile phone” can be implemented here so only very awkward, especially since only the active phone’s address book is accessible.

The address book you can via a USB-stick fortunately and copy. Really reasonable, the system can be used but only with a multi-SIM.

All services are conveniently configured on a Web page, also the logins for Facebook and Twitter. In the car you then the entry of Central Audi connect accounts – and one is in there. For Facebook junkies they must not touch but times a true treat, in the car on the Smartphone.

Awkward however: For every single post from Facebook or Twitter on the non-slip controller constantly and much turn, press and also wait. The messages are not buffered, but each is loaded individually, what is annoying with time.

We also want a text-to-speech feature that reads all posts at once from top to bottom, to command “Next” or “Stop” may be with the option of using speech. There is need for improvement.

Navigation with weaknesses

Oddly enough also the navigation system showed – nomalerweise Audi domain – slight weaknesses. So we stumbled on our test drives sporadically through circuitous routes, to occasionally redundant announcements played.

And also the quality of the traffic reports has not significantly improved since our last big test about a year ago: several times the reported congestion was gone long again while the MMI in other cases announced free ride although it went forward in the course of the creep.

Also the storage processing is continued improvement; There is an overview of the current route and the exact location of jams including the delay to be expected. As the petrol price service part showed up to 30 or 40 hours old data, we could develop not same euphoria on these deals like the graphics and the hardware of the MMI.