The car manufacturer Volkswagen has been installing navigation devices in its cars for years, which have an SD card slot. In current models (2020), these have already been dropped and are often replaced by USB interfaces, but you can find many vehicles with a navigation system and SD card slot on the used market. Now the question arises, what this slot can be used for. We give you an overview of what you can do in a VW with an SD card and which SD cards we can recommend.
VW navigation system – SD card with music
In most Volkswagen models, it is possible to play music via the navigation system. The options for where the music comes from depend on the model and equipment. In many VW models, it is possible to insert an SD card with music into the navigation system and then play it. In many VWs, you can play music in MP3 and ACC format, and you can also access the folder structure. So it makes sense if you save the tracks by album, artist or playlists. Depending on the vehicle, the album cover can also be displayed in addition to the title, artist and album. This is especially possible with newer vehicles.
The name of the function varies in some cases, but the music on the SD card is usually located under “Media” -> “Sources” -> “SD card”. The folders of the SD card are displayed here, and the individual tracks are then located in the folders. In newer vehicles, the car also indexes the tracks and offers further sorting.
Note, there were navigation devices from VW where the maps for navigation are stored on an SD card. If your car has only one SD card slot, in which an SD card with VW logo is already inserted, it may be that the navigation no longer works when you remove the SD card. You can easily test this by removing the card and opening the Navi-Tab. If navigation is still possible, you can use an SD card with music. Some VW navis also have two SD card slots, one for the navi data and one for music data.
Which SD card is suitable for music?
Since music is a relatively undemanding medium, you can actually use all SD cards for music. So it is not the speed that is interesting here, but the capacity of the memory card. How many songs per GB fit on the card depends on the quality of the music. If the songs are 8 MB on average, about 125 songs will fit on one GB. We recommend that you buy at least 16 GB SD cards. With even larger memory cards, you will lose track in the Navi. Smaller SD cards are usually more expensive, since they are rarely produced anymore.
We have had very good experiences with SD cards from SanDisk. The prices are right and the life expectancy is very good. The card should not cost more than 10 €, then you have got one for other applications.
Can microSD cards also be used?
When asked whether microSD cards can also be used, the answer is clear: Yes, however. But you have to make sure that the microSD card comes with an adapter for normal SD cards, otherwise you cannot use the card in the car. Otherwise, microSD cards can be used without any problems.
VW – navigation system – SD card for navigation data
VW itself uses SD cards to store navigation data. The cards differ depending on which navigation system you have. In some cars, the data is stored on the navigation system, here the SD card is only needed for the update, in other systems, the data remains on the SD card, this is needed permanently.
Unfortunately, VW does not offer free map updates for many navis, you have to buy an official SD card from VW. These are available at every VW partner, as well as on the Internet. However, the cards are sold very expensive, sometimes the cards cost over 150 €. Here you should weigh whether it still makes sense to make such an expensive update on an old system. With some maps, the reuse is also excluded, a sale is not possible. For this reason, you should not buy a used map on Ebay and Co. because it could be rejected by your navigation system.
As a rule, VW also does not offer map updates on the Internet, so you can not save the data to any map.
When buying a map for the map update, also pay attention to the area, for Germany you need to choose the Western Europe map.
Conclusion about SD cards in VW navigation systems
VW navigation devices use SD cards either as media storage or as memory for navigation maps. If you want to play music files in your VW, you can use a SanDisk SD card for this, but SD cards from other manufacturers are usually also compatible. In addition, SD cards can be used to import map updates to your VW Navi. Here, only SD cards that come directly from Volkswagen can be used. You should not buy used VW SD cards for updates, because the cards can only be used once.[amazon bestseller=”SanDisk SD Karte 16 GB”]