2002-2010 MINI Navigation Systems Lose Ability to Update

It’s not totally unexpected it’s still rather alarming. The CD and DVD based navigation systems found in MINIs from 2002 to 2010 can no longer updated after 2015. This is due to the mapping company that provides the data no longer supporting physical media. What about 2011 MINI and onward? Those systems are all solid state systems that will likely be supported for much longer due to software being much easier to update without the process of producing physical media to go along it it.

Would we still recommend used pre-2010 MINIs with Nav systems? Absolutely. In fact many of us at MF specifically prefer them. While roads change over the years, the magnitude of additions to the software isn’t dramatic enough to make the systems less useful. And the cool factor of a screen in the center of the dash and the access to options within the car (on the R56 generation) makes them a plus in our book.

MINI Navigation Updates / Official

Hat tip to Richard Woo

  • Lee

    Seems pretty crazy that what is potentially a 4 year old car is not going to be able to update maps any more. If you live in a growing and changing area or will visit or move there, this definitely not a cool situation or good customer service. Then again, it certainly makes the decision to on whether to buy the next update an easy one.

  • Mysticeti

    While not specifically related to this bonehead move, I’ll not be ordering a MINI with nav ever again. It’s way overpriced to begin with, the UI sucks, updating maps is expensive and painful, and the features/capabilities are always at least year behind what a $150 to $250 Nuvi can do (and that Nuvi comes with lifetime traffic/map updates).

    • Forget about the Nuvi. Any iPhone or decent Android phone has a better maps experience than anything found in a stand-alone GPS. A great windshield mount is about $40 and best of all it puts the phone to use while driving, making it less distracting. But your main point is something I agree with 100%. The in-car nav experience in the MINI, while one of the best in the industry, is still so comparatively awful it ought to be free on a car like the MINI – as basic as power windows.

      • Here here. Btw I just invested in an iOttie Easy Flex 3 Mount for my winter beater that doesn’t have nav. It’s very small and extremely versatile. Highly recommended.

        • lavardera

          is the suction cup on that iOttie soft enough to stick to the deep texture on an R56 dash?

        • You can get little adhesive pucks that provide a smooth surface.

        • lavardera

          Yes, but I don’t want to put an adhesive on my dash because it will never come off clean. The iOttie has a gel like suction cup unlike the stiff vinyl typical on suction mounts. So will that conform enough to stick to the heavy texture on the Mini dash?

        • Doubt it.

        • lavardera

          They claim it will.

        • It will make you a believer.

        • lavardera

          I’m happy to report that the iOttie stuck readily to the R56 dash, surprisingly close to the curved edge, close enough to hang the phone down in front of the vent if you wanted to, and it stuck in 20deg weather the cold morning when I stuck it in place.

          For those curious about the industrial design details, the suction cup is the same stiff vinyl but it has a gooey gel layer on the bottom which is what makes the airtight seal on the bumpy surface.

          (and as a side note the packaging for the thing has a photo of one stuck to an R56 dash)

        • Good to know.

        • Yes

        • lavardera

          I’m going to try it. Sick of putting the phone in the cup holder.

      • Mysticeti

        The built-in maps apps on my phone don’t do well when I’m in areas without cell coverage.

        I’ve heard of GPS apps that include the full maps locally on your phone but I’ve not yet pulled the trigger on any of those? Has anyone else?

        • Yes I have Navigon. The software suffers from some of the same user flow issues as all automotive grade nav systems do but is still easier since it’s on your phone. It’s much less than it used to be and thing like red light cameras and speed cameras can be added on. Fyi Navigon handles maps for BMW and MINI. They were bought by Garmin a few years ago.

        • Mysticeti

          Thanks for the info. It’s been a while since I surveyed the landscape of offline GPS apps and it looks like the new (-ish) Garmin ViaGo might meet my needs (once I do the in-app purchase and the download of the North America apps).

        • AdamEmanoff

          With a little planning Google Maps will let you download areas of your choice while you have coverage. Sadly, turn by turn is not available if you’re using your downloaded map.


    • I was playing with a 2014 with nav and I was able to do just about everything I wanted with voice control from the phone. “Ok Google, navigate to MINI Vaughn West” bink “send to car” and bam it was on the screen and the HUD.

      That said, I am super excited to see what Navdy has to offer.

    • Kevin Stephenson

      I agree the mapping abilities are far behind any phone app or standalone gps as most in-car systems will always be. But I will continue to look for that package on MINIs or at least MINI Connected to get the graphical interface for the radio, TPS, Settings, Bluetooth, and so forth. I love the interface as compared to the stock radio tiny screen and its worth the upgrade to be for that. But I know others may prefer a more historic look.

      • Mysticeti

        True. I do like the display that comes with MINI connected.

        A useful feature would be to just clone the my phone’s screen (and audio) onto the MINI connected display.

        Essentially this… http://i.imgur.com/NGcUN.jpg

        …but for video as well as audio.

  • lavardera

    Sounds ridiculous. If they don’t want to distribute discs, then make a downloadable disc image available. Anybody can burn a DVD.

    • nrdsrfr

      Indeed…don’t you still have to produce a physical USB stick to update? If they are just providing a download it’s only different for how the owner has to copy the file to the car, not how it’s provided

  • Stephen Curry

    And another argument for still-missing CarPlay…

  • fishbert

    I have nav on my 2009 R56, and I find it frequently useful as just a handy, glance-able map of nearby roads. Helps me find my own way around traffic issues when I’m not using guided navigation, and on a screen that’s much larger than my phone (also a plus that I don’t have to keep waking it up or switch apps on it).

  • Jeoffrey Bertout

    To keep it up-to-date, download and burn “BMW PROFESSIONAL 2016” ISO files, it’s the same system cartography 😉