As we explained on our BMW i Drive page, the drill here is plotting a route on your PC or Mac using Google Maps and then firing it over the ether to your car via the internet.It's a seriously convenient way of planning routes.It's certainly early days for this kind of Google service.Another handy connected service (again, dependent on the presence of a connected i Phone) is Google Send to Car.Features such as voice control and DAB can add even more.If that sounds steep for cars with a base prices that start around £11,000, fortunately, one thing the modern MINI brand is big on is feature packs.You get crisp, easy to read map rendering thanks to support from parent company BMW and a quality, high-resolution LCD display. We did some pretty extensive driving across both Europe and the UK in tandem with a Tom Tom stand alone sat nav unit.As a general rule, the Tom Tom was better at adjusting to routing changes on the move and tended to deliver routes with shorter overall durations.
If you're familiar with BMW's i Drive, you won't struggle to find your way around MINI Connected.The navigation system also has support for Google-powered local searching, assuming you have an i Phone wired up (more on connecting a i Phone in the next section).It's definitely preferable to an old fashioned built-in POI database, but our impression of this particular Google service is that it's heavily filtered to the point where things you're looking for go missing.While that's restrictive, it does allow MINI to concentrate on honing and polishing the user experience. Highlights include piggybacking on the i Phone's internet connection in order to provide a number of online apps and services including internet radio, social networking and navigation send-to-car, as well as the ability to pipe parts of the i Phone interface directly onto the MINI's main LCD display.Part of the set up process involves downloading and installing the MINI Connected app for i Phone.
So, what do you get with MINI Connected and how much does it all cost? Exactly what you get with this solution, we're not sure, since it doesn't include the large central LCD display, the navigation or Bluetooth and USB connectivity.