David raises a very good point, and has highlighted a feature of the navigation system that is not well understood. Personally, I think that lack of understanding of this feature is behind a lot of the complaints that arise about the navigation system.
The 'default' presentation of the map on the big display between the two front seats (the Front Information Display Control Head, or J523 module, to use the proper name for it) is a full screen map. A full screen map is quite useful for overall situational awareness, but not very good at all for the purpose of telling you what you need to do next if you are actually navigating a route.
As David mentioned, you can toggle the display on the J523 between a full screen map and a split-screen map just by repeatedly pressing the MAP button. The split-screen view gives you much better specific guidance information - it shows the intersection layout where you will make your next turn (assuming you are within a few miles of your next turn) and it also shows the distance between the present position of the car and the next leg change maneuver.
The way the system was really intended to be used, though, is with the driver looking at the route guidance screen on the Display Unit in the Instrument Cluster - the Y24 screen. This screen always displays guidance information only. Further, it always displays the name of the street you are presently driving on at the bottom of the screen, and the name of the street you will make your next turn at up at the top of the screen. If you understand this, then most of the complaints about 'lack of street names' kind of don't matter anymore.
The route guidance screen on the display between the speedometer and tachometer does not come up automatically when a route is activated. Personally, I think this is an oversight in the programming of the system - it should appear if a route is activated - but it is possible, I suppose, that the lawyers at VW of A disabled automatic activation of this screen because they thought it would be a driver distraction. In any case, you can bring up this screen by pressing the buttons in the lower right corner of the steering wheel, directly above or below the knurled roller wheel.
There are some pictures of these three screens below.
Default screen that appears when the MAP button is pressed
This screen provides general situational awareness only - no guidance.
Alternate display of map screen
Just press the MAP button a second time to see this screen. Press it a third time to toggle back to the default map (full screen map, as shown in the picture above).
The road name at the top left corner is the road that you will be making your next turn onto. This allows a passenger to observe the road name, then look at street signs to help identify the correct road to turn at.
Navigation GUIDANCE screen that appears in the instrument cluster
Note that this screen will always display the name of the road you are presently driving on at the BOTTOM of the screen. This information is not presented on either of the two MAP screens on the big display between the front seats.
The road name at the TOP of this screen is the road that you will be making your next turn onto. This is consistent with the design of the display on the big screen, between the two front seats. Note also that the split-screen view on the middle display gives more detail at complex intersections such as this one. The intent of the designers was to present only the most important information on the instrument panel screen (below), and provide additional detail, if needed for complex manouvers, on the split screen.
Modified by PanEuropean at 7:15 PM 1-24-2008