Porsche Cayman 2.9 PDK - Navigation

As more and more test cars roll through the TR car park, our expectations for built-in navigation systems are, if anything, becoming more modest. The big manufacturers still lag behind the best aftermarket solutions for features and functionality. The simple, workman-like sat-nav that comes with the PCM platform does nothing to change that.

It’s an utterly conventional hard-drive based rig with RDS-TMC traffic data and a searchable Points of Interest (POI) database of typically dubious utility. Predictably, postcode support is limited to five digits, forcing users to manually add street data to get really close to their target destination. However, that’s not a massive chore given that the touch-screen makes typing out full addresses a fairly painless process.

Less satisfactory is the map rendering. That’s not a fault of the interface which offers both 2D top down and pseudo 3D viewing modes but rather of the aforementioned low resolution 6.5in display. It’s a particular problem when the system is offering you alternative routes. There’s simply not enough detail to make out the mapping data clearly. The low res also compromises the utility of the various split screen modes. The map isn’t exactly bursting with detail in full screen mode. Crushed into half of the panel in split screen, things only get worse.

Screen niggles aside, Porsche’s navigation is pretty much on a par with competing systems from the big German brands. It gets the job done efficiently enough and without the mess of wires and adapters that come with aftermarket systems. As we mentioned previously, voice control of the navigation system is an optional extra not fitted to our car, so we were unable to test it.