The Scirocco that VW supplied me came equipped with the top of the range infotainment system, the RNS 510. This is a beautifully integrated system with a large 6.5in touch-screen display that complements the car’s interior perfectly. But the RNS 510 doesn’t just look good, it’s also one of the most feature rich, easy to use and generally impressive in-car entertainment/navigation systems I’ve come across. What’s so special about it? Let’s start with the entertainment side of things.
First up, I should mention that this isn’t the basic RNS 510 system. The version that VW has included is the full fat £1,800 DynAudio version, which includes a 600W amplifier and no less than ten speakers. The result is the best in-car audio experience I have ever encountered from a factory fitted system. So powerful is the DynAudio setup that I seriously couldn’t push the volume above halfway – well, not without causing my ears to bleed anyway.
But this system isn’t just loud, it’s also very accomplished and clearly designed to make the very most of the cabin’s acoustics. No matter what style of music I threw at the Scirocco, it took it in its stride. If you’re a fan of heavy bass beats, the DynAudio system will accommodate with fulsome, low-end thump that literally rattles your bones, but without the slightest hint of distortion. If you prefer something more delicate, this system also has you covered, managing to bring out an almost unbelievable amount of clarity from source material, but not at the expense of bass response.
For anyone who’s serious about their digital music, the RNS 510 will be a dream come true. The real party piece is the 30GB integrated hard drive, allowing you to have an impressive amount of music in the car with you at all times. The quoted 30GB capacity is something of a misnomer though, since the maps, voices and everything else to do with the satellite navigation takes up a fair chunk of space. In reality you’re left with just under 20GB of space for music, which is still more than enough for a decent size library.
The RNS 510 doesn’t support CD ripping, so music is transferred to the hard drive via the integrated SD card slot. You can play music directly from an SD card too, so if you want to grab a few songs from your computer before you leave on a journey, you don’t need to wait for them to copy over before you can start listening.
The process of copying the files over is very simple, but it makes sense to have all your tracks in a useful file structure on the SD card before copying. The easiest method is to just copy the whole SD card in one go, but this will result in a new “copy of SD card” folder being created on the hard drive with all the songs in it. If you wanted to then arrange the tracks in different folders, you’d have to do it manually. Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out a way to copy multiple files simultaneously, without already having them grouped in a folder.