From frequent contributor Ian Cull and

In the early days of the new MINI, with CD-based navigation, you could have directions spoken with a British voice which seemed to many owners to be rather appropriate. Later releases, and the DVD-based version, dispensed with British accents – supposedly because American drivers could not understand!

Today at MINI Peabody, I mentioned this to Brig and he very helpfully took me through the Navigation setup in a MINI Cooper Convertible in the showroom:

In the setup screen (above right) you'll notice we were able to select “GB” as the voice, instead of “USA”. And then the car was speaking with a female British accent – I recorded a few seconds of “her” saying “louder” and “quieter” to give you an idea!

So can you get this on your non-British DVD based Navigation system? Presumably – Scott at MINI Peabody tells me you can order the DVD (for $225!) but maybe you should instead make friends with someone with a very new MINI …

Great news Ian. You can read Ian's full report here.

It would seem this was just phased in as the most recent MINI equipped with NAV I had heard still had the American accent version. While this is sure to annoy many of those with '04 NAV equipped cars it'll most certainly please those with '05 MINI's on order.