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Mini offers pint-sized portable Garmin navigation system

Garmin Mini Portable XLMini is offering a new satellite navigation system from Garmin. The well-known makers of GPS will produce an integrated portable navigation systems for Mini vehicles.

The Mini Navigation Portable XL won’t be built into a car’s dashboard, but it will look a little classier than a store-bought GPS attached to the windshield with suction cups.

The Portable XL, which will be installed by Mini dealers, comes with a custom mount that places it near the driver’s line of sight, and hides all of the cables behind the dashboard. The device itself has a four-inch touch screen.

Garmin says the Portable XL won’t make a mess of a Mini’s interior, but still has the advantage of being removable, making software and map updates easier.

The system will do more than look good, of course. Included is Garmin’s Real Directions, which uses landmarks like buildings and traffic lights to give directions, and Active Lane Guidance, which steers drivers through complicated exits and interchanges. We’re not sure if it can offer any help if the Mini leaves the road.

Other features include the mandatory list of points of interest, speed limit warnings, voice command, and free map updates.

Mini drivers can also link their smartphones to their GPS through Bluetooth. Garmin’s Smartphone Link app provides traffic updates, parking and weather information, local search, and can even show traffic camera images.

The app is free to download, and is available to both iOS and Android users. Some content requires a one-time, in-app purchase.

The Garmin Mini Portable XL is available now as an accessory at all Mini dealers.

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