Why I Prefer Google Maps Over the Audi A7 GPS Navigation System

2017 Audi A7 Black

The only thing I like about the Audi A7 GPS navigation is the 3D view.  When driving through downtown Vancouver, it displays the buildings which are pretty cool.

But that’s where the cool/effective factor ends.

Other than that the Audi A7 (2017 model) GPS navigation isn’t anywhere nearly as good as Google Maps (or Apple Maps for that matter).

Should carmakers bother adding their own GPS systems?

IMO, no.

What carmakers should do is sell cars with Carplay and Android Auto by default.  This should be a standard offering such as air conditioning or power windows.

In other words, carmakers should leave software such as maps, music, etc. to the software companies (i.e. Apple and Google) instead of sourcing some third-rate third party software just so they can say the car has GPS.

For example, we bought a Toyota Highlander in 2019.  It doesn’t come with Carplay and that was almost a dealbreaker.  I think if I were buying a car today, it would be a dealbreaker.

Fortunately, the 2017 Audi A7 came with Carplay.

What don’t I like about the Audi GPS navigation system?

Lots.  Here they are.

Inputting addresses/locations is a hassle

This is my biggest beef.  It takes forever to type in or input an address or location.  You can use voice but that doesn’t always work either.

You can draw letters or numbers on the little pad or use a digit-by-digit keypad.  Both suck compared to using a smartphone connected to Carplay or Android Auto.

Updating software is a drag

Third-party GPS software is as good as the recent update.  That means it needs updating which is one of those tasks I never get to.  I don’t want to take the time figuring it out and doing it.

Google/Apple maps are always updated.  While they aren’t 100% perfect, they’re darn good.

Not based on current driving conditions

One of Apple’s and especially Google Maps advantages is they can provide realtime information such as construction and traffic jams because so many folks on the road use these devices.

This is invaluable because you get the fastest route based on current road conditions.  This alone has saved me many hours of driving time.

Audi’s GPS navigation system can’t do this.

Can you use Google Maps on Carplay?

Yes, you can.  I actually prefer Google Maps over Apple Maps.

Even though I have an iPhone and connect it to Carplay, I’m able to access Google Maps on Carplay and use that.

I find Google Maps to offer better current road conditions and better routes.  I’ve tried both extensively and overall Google Maps is a better mapping software.

What does the Audio GPS Navigation look like?

Here’s a series of photos showcasing screen and features.

Audi A7 GPS Navigation starting screen

Audi A7 console and touchpad
The touchpad is slow and clunky for inputting any kind of information including addresses. While addresses will auto-populate, I much prefer inputting addresses and locations in my smartphone connected to Carplay.

Below is a series of 3 photos showing the various Audi A7 GPS Navigation features you can set for how you like your navigation system to display and function:

Audi A7 GPS features and options for your GPS display

The one feature I do like is the how the 3D display looks on the screen.  Check it out in the following photos:

Audi A7 GPS Navigation in 3D view
Audi A7 GPS Navigation in 3D view.
Audi A7 GPS Navigation with direction instructions.
Audi A7 GPS Navigation with direction instructions.


While there are some nice features built into the Audi GPS navigation system, it’s simply not as easy or fast to deploy and use as Apple or Google Maps.

The first thing I do when I get into my car is plug my iPhone into Carplay and hit the road.  If I need to use GPS, I open my Google Maps, insert the address, tap “Directions” then tap “Start”.  Within a second or two, the Google Maps displays on the screen and I hit the road.

This process takes seconds.  Using Audi’s GPS takes minutes… not to mention Audi’s system does not have any current road conditions info that I can count on.

I’d rather carmakers invest in offering both Carplay and Android Auto than offer their own third-rate software.

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