2 Ways the Garmin Nuvi Is Better Than iDrive - 2009 Suzuki SX4 Long-Term Road Test

2009 Suzuki SX4: 2 Ways the Garmin Nuvi Is Better Than iDrive

May 29, 2009

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OK, let's clarify. Our long-term 2009 Suzuki SX4's built-in but portable Garmin Nuvi unit has nowhere near the features of the iDrive navigation system in our long-term 2009 BMW 750i. But this Garmin unit is better in two basic ways.

1. Unlike iDrive, the Nuvi tells me the side of the street on which I'll find my tall nonfat double latte fix. When driving in areas in which I'm truly unfamiliar, this is inherently safer, because (a) I'm not looking every which way to find my destination; and (b) I can get in the proper lane to turn into my destination.

2. I like voice instruction. I always turn it on when I use navigation systems. And I appreciate it when a system gives me directions in plain spoken English, pronouncing street and highway names pretty close to the way I'm used to hearing them. The Garmin does that well, even in the Australian male "Lee" narrator we've selected on ours -- he can even say "Starbucks." Not only is the 750i's iDrive unit too infrequent in providing voice prompts, it can't pronounce freeway names in typical American parlance.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 6,448 miles

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