The Rosen Navigation system for Volkswagen

There are those times when a you wish you could built your own car with just the options you want. Why can’t I order a CC Sport with a 6 speed manual and Nav? like really? come on VW! Or maybe you want a Jetta S with cloth seats and Nav! nope cant have that either. For times like this Rosen has an alternative. A nav unit that looks and fits as if it was factory installed and adds many cool features to your car such as:

-High resolution, touch-screen LCD display

– Navigation includes text-to-speech voice and visual turn-by-turnMillion+ Points-Of-Interest library, 3D route and building views for major cities, plus 3 language options (English, Spanish, French-Canadian)

– Play DVD movies, audio CDs or discs with MP3 music files

– AM-FM stereo tuner with 24 station presets (18 FM, 6 AM

– Bluetooth Hands-Free interface with built-in microphone

– iPod interface

– XM Satellite Radio ready

– Supports the vehicle’s steering wheel controls

– USB & SD Card ports for multi-media playback (SD on some models)

– Back-Up Camera and/or sensor read

– Dual Zone interface for optional rear seat display

– Custom DVD Splash Screen capable

So if $2600 for an RNS-510 is a bit much for you, look into this unit or maybe ask your dealership, they just may have a car with it already installed. For more info on this unit check out this link

Posted on January 21, 2010, in aftermarket, bluetooth, CC, EOs, First look, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Navigation, Passat, Radio, Tech, Tiguan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. The Rosen unit is interesting. The nav part is very well done, but the radio/Sirius-XM part has lousy graphics that scream out “Chinese Sweatshop”!! How many dealers are installing this unit for those who want a nav system and are charging full bore RNS-510 prices?

  2. I am interested in this as well, but have read at least one review on Amazon that states that the many of the wheel controls no longer work and that the bluetooth does not allow for phone book dump and display through the dash lcd display. I have a 2010 VW CC sport and would LOVE to add Nav, instead of being stuck with a gian 7 inch LCD for just music. I am curious if anyone has direct experience with this Rosen unit.

  3. I just had this installed. Its pretty good all around, but I have been having trouble with the navigation because there seems to be no way to be able to have the navigation screen on and the music at the same time. Does anyone know how to solve this problem?

    • Hi Victoria. since you are one of the first people who has first hand knowledge of this sytem, I had a couple of questions. What model VW did you install it in? Regarding your problem, are you saying the musix if on cuts out when the nav goes active, or that once in nav mode you cannot access your music screens? Finally, do the buttons on your steering well work? Sorry for all the questions but I’ve heard such rasically different things about this system (from very good to very bad). Take care.


  4. I have just bought a 2010 Tiguan with a 9W3 hands free bluetooth system. I am considering switching out the factory CD/Satellite/Radio system for the Rosen Navigation system. I don’t want to lose my hands free dialing or my control of the system from the steering wheel buttons (the star and phone button to the left of the central column). I am not going to install the Rosen if I will lose these features. Do you know if I will lose this capability if I switch systems?

    • kenny Guarino

      Yes you will. I just purchased a VW cc Lux and upgraded to the Rosen Nav. system. You will not be able to use your steering wheel function.

      • you will lose steering wheel control function for the phone button (i don’t have the star button) but the radio control buttons (volume up/down and next/previous track) will function properly.

  5. I would also like to know if I will be able to see and access my full phone book with the Rosen system. I can with my current system.

  6. I have cancelled the installation of the Rosen system. There is literally no way to reach anyone at Rosen except by email, to which they did not respond. I spoke with a local company who sells the Rosen units and they tell me that the Rosen will not work with the 9W3 bluetooth system. They say that the hands free dialing and voice commands will not be recognized, that the steering wheel buttons will no longer work to trigger the voice command system and that the Rosen system will not upload my address book. The Rosen system only accomodates 1 CD at a time and does not indicate what disc or track of the disc is playing. On the Rosen system there is no way to see the Satellite stations by genre, which I can do on the factory-installed non-navigation system. The ONLY advantage to the Rosen system would be the navigation system and the IPod connection. It is a trade-off that everyone must personally decide about, but I think it is ridiculous that the Rosen system won’t do these very basic things through the 9W3 system. I’m sticking with the factory installed non-navigation system and asking for a refund on the Rosen install unless someone can tell me that I have been mis-informed. There is a posting on with similar frustrations re the Rosen.

    • Thanks Bob. What you say seems to be confirmed across several different parties I have contacted with experience with this unit. I agree with your statement that this is “ridiculous”. It’s too bad because I really like everything about the set-up with my VW CC except for the lack of nav in the model I have (Sport). I am wondering if there any other units that can be dropped in with the ease of the Rosen (that is one apparent advantage—ease of install) but that maintains the functionality of the stock bluetooth, steering wheel inputs, etc..

  7. i have the Rosen system installed in my 2010 VW CC. the steering wheel buttons do work to control the audio and video system (changing stations/tracks and volume up and down). the factory bluetooth doesn’t work but the Rosen has it’s own bluetooth installed in the head unit. it also supports bluetooth streaming audio. another benefit besides navigation is the ability to play dvd movies and if you have an older iPod, play video off your iPod and have it displayed on the screen.

    playing music while in the navigation menu most certainly does work. the only annoying thing about it is every time you push a navigation button, like inserting a POI or address or switching between menus, the audio cuts out for some reason.

    i haven’t used the navi at all yet to route me anywhere so i’m not sure what navigating through audio is like while it’s routing. i’ll be sure to give this a try though to see what happens.

  8. Note; you do lose your phone book capabilities with the Rosen nav system. I was not told this when I decided to have it instead and was very upset. I’m thinking of switching back to my old system minus nav or finding a dealer to install a real factory unit.

  9. Just bought a 2010 Tiguan with the Rosen installed. So far pretty good. I am having issues with satellite radio reception in open areas. Other components are working fine. Just bought it in April so I’m still figuring it out.

  10. I have the rosen installed in my 2009 CC, which I boought just a few months ago. My feels on it are ambivalent. While it does add NAV, which is pretty good, you lose some functionality that I had in the factory radio.

    First off, the NAV is GOOD. I believe they OEMed it, cause when I was in Fry’s, I saw a standalone nav unit with identical GUI.

    I have had bad reception with the radio. On investigation, I noticed the installed snuck a little sirius antenna on my wishshield under the wipers… partially obstructed already.. so no wonder every time I went under a bridge, I lost the signal. FM doesn’t seem to come in very well at all, Stereo stations in my local city (San Jose) sometimes can’t even lock on both channels. My guess is that they didn’t hook up the EXT ANT when they put the radio in.

    Also, the Radio and Sat interface screens are pretty bad. You can’t even read the full names of stations and songs. The names get truncated after 8 or 10 characters, and the layout is just bad. I like the comment early, Chinese Sweatshop, and I fully agree.

    More on the radio, I had the VW factory installed, and the satellite worked really well. I think cause it had a hard disk in it, it would buffer 20-30 seconds of music so if you went under obstructions, it would keep playing.. I don’t think Rosen has a hard disk, or if it does have some buffering capabilities, its only a few seconds.

    As for the steering wheel buttons, some work, some don’t. The up and down change the volume, left and right change the channels… that reminds me , the way the Rosen guys setup the change channels is pretty screwy… left move the station up right moves the stations down, sounds normal right? but its very unintuitive they way they move channels across “screens”… hard to explain, but after 4 months, I still have a hard time navigating stations… ezier to just use the touchscreen.

    On the iPod, same deal, it works but the interface is pretty bad.

    One of the most frustrating, and annoying things about this radio is there is a 2 seconds of silence delay when you go from NAV to any other function. Along the same lines, when the voice-directions chime in, it completely mutes the radio, and doesn’t unmute until 2-3 seconds after the voice stops. Its really annoying and makes listening to music while getting directions impossible. What I’ve done is to turn off voice directions and just read the screen.

    On the NAV screen, with the voice off, I find it hard to know what direction to go. On the highway it shows you exit ramps in “ballons” above the map, but doesn’t really tell you which one to take. I’d think it would highlight the correct balloon, but it doesn’t — only if you have the voice on, will you know which way to go…. and trying to figure all this out while you are driving is not a good thing.

    The DVD is cool – but by default you can only watch it when your parking brake is on… I schmoozed the installer and he unlocked that for me… so beware if you see a 2009 CC on the road, with the driver staring at the radio 😉

    So overall, for me NAV is a must, and it was my only option. Most of my complaints are about the software, which I am hoping can be upgraded. I haven’t been able to find anything on the net about it yet, but I am hoping my dealer or installer can help out. (thats why i found this post in the first place)… I have seen the site, and the newer models seem to have and upgraded UI….

    The Good:

    The Bad:
    Poor UI
    NAV takes 1 minute to boot up… which is annoying if you want to get moving
    Voice NAV causes long moments of silence after the direction is vocalized
    Bad radio reception (could just be my installer’s mistake or lazyiness)
    UI doesn’t looks as cool as VW’s factory radio
    You loose Voice commands
    Microphone is on Unit, not in the roof like the factory default
    Bluetooth doesn’t have phonebook, just missed, receieved and dialed calls… again the display of names is limited to 7 characters, so it would say “Santa Cl” instead of Santa Claus.

    anyways, hope this helps those interested in the unit.


    • i can vouch for everything Kyle said. i trust my installer and i think it is the Rosen unit that is screwy with the radio. my radio reception is absolutely horrible and i know that is something my installer would not overlook. (plus the chances that both our installers botched this part up is pretty slim)

  11. has anyone have problems with iphone compatibility with the roesn unit? the bluetooth connects but no one can hear me talk. there is sound but it’s very low n barely can be heard. even when it does, it cuts in and out. i’ve already set the mic to high. it works find with other fones, just not the ifone. the ifone works find with the stock radio on my 2010 golf before it was replace with the rosen unit. thanks

  12. We purchased a 2010 Touareg in March. We do not have the NAV unit and so we are researching the best/most appropriate aftermarket unit (Rosen You-tube). We have looked at the Rosen unit heres what we learned: T-reg has voice recognition, Bluetooth, Menu controls, SAT radio, Steering wheel controls.

    Rosen unit has large LCD touchscreen, NAV, Bluetooth, equalizer ($1080). Add ons are SAT radio module ($289), iPOD connector w/charging plug-in ($100), back-up Camera ($150)

    What the installer couldn’t tell me was whether or not we would loose any of the voice control features, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth features. Does the current Rosen unit support the 2010 Touareg or will we loose some of these features. Also, does the NAV antenna look tacky bonded to the inside of the windshield, has anyone had this done?

    Any advice you can afford is greatly appreciated.

  13. Hey JohnB

    Yeah when you put the Rosen unit in, you lose the channel information on the Dashboard display. Also the “voice commands” goes away (its a steering wheel button).

    The Sirius antenna sucks (see my earlier post). The Bluetooth features all go through the phone, and the mic in on the radio unit, the Dome mic isn’t used (I believe its disconnected and not used by the new radio) which causes more static and background noise compared to when I used the original VM radio.

    If it weren’t for the NAV, I’d have ripped out the Rosen and put the old radio back in, but its a must-have for me.

    I am told there is a way to hook up the VW antenna and go around the aftermarket antenna (supposedly its hard to do but possible) — I haven’t taken it in yet — also there is supposedly a new firmware upgrade for the radio, which came out in June or July, but I haven’t flashed it yet.

    Good luck!

    • Kyle,

      Thanks for your input, . When we got the car back in March, part of the deal was to put a backup camera and display via the visor. However, no one makes the after market unit yet. We tried Mito/Gentex, but it didn’t work for the ’10 Touareg. The after market accessory shop suggested we put the Rosen unit which includes the GPS unit. GPS is not important for us, but the backup camera is. Even until today, we still haven’t heard if there is any Rosen unit made for 2010 Touareg. Based on your experience, maybe we shouldn’t put the Rosen unit. We would rather wait for the after market unit that supports GPS/Camera/Bluetooth/ as a replacement for factory unit in ’10 Touareg, the question is how long do you think that will be?

  14. sorry when I said “goes through the phone” above, I meant goes through the Rosen console unit.

  15. It is obvious many of the posters have not used other dvd/nav/sat systems. All systems on the market have different features. Pros and Cons. Clarion, Alpine, Kenwood top of the line products also fall short in some areas and excel in others. Overall the Rosen product is well rounded and offers a lot. Sure there are some things that I would ask to be added to this system too, but I have not owned any product that I didn’t desire other features added. Bottom Line

    Pros: DVD Player, Mp3 Player, Navigation, Bluetooth phone hook up, Ipod hook up, Siruis or XM Radio, AM/FM Radio. Rips up to 6 cd’s to internal storage, SD card reader, usb port for external hd, can hook up other video product to it such as WDTV through the Aux; can add on rear view camera, back up sensors, headrest monitors for rear seat w/ wireless head phones, gaming system add on, and the list goes on.

    Cons: Some buttons on the steering wheel don’t function the same as with the VW system. Radio station info is truncated.

    Any other problems then these then the tech who hooked your system up had to have done a poor job.

    Crutchfield and other companies rate the Rosen unit and the number 1 and 2 aftermarket system for the VW CC.

  16. This is my second Tiguan. The first one was a 2009 fully stocked from the factory. Perfect. This time I got suckered into after market everything. The rosen nav system with backup (crap) camera I have installed is horrible. I have to literaly scream towards the mic in my car and make sure all windows are up and air is off to use the blue tooth. The radio has THE worst reception. The hint of clouds or rain and its over…(so I say, “who cares about the radio….?”) Cds of any sort skip like mad….even fresh out the plastic brand spanking new ones…. Just purchased a nano 6 and sound only comes out of the front right speaker when hooking up an IPOD. Wow. Love the Tiguan so much I got a second. Now I hate this car just because of this after market bull. FYI…backup camera at night looks like craaaaaaaap. Fuzy and in black and white.

  17. Has anyone seen a firmware upgrade for the DS-VW0710? My wife bought a Jetta Feb 2010 and had the Rosen installed because she’s a road warrior and needed the Navigation. The craziest thing is that the Nav unit won’t remember that we live in the Pacific Timezone and keeps “reseting” itself to Reykjavik, Iceland.

    As an aside, i agree with all the shortcomings of the unit stated above – bad radio and Sirius reception, a mediocre UI, “noisy” blue tooth to the point that my wife can’t use it on highways – but the Nav is critical to her, so what’s a girl to do?

  18. I called my installer about flashing my 2010 radio with the new firmware that came out mid ’10. He said that other than updating the maps, the only way to update the firmware was to buy a new system.

    As a computer professional, I know this is probably untrue, but probably a Rosen policy.


    • I, too, am a computer professional, and that’s truly BS. Even my “ancient” CD-based 2003 Ford Expedition can have (and has had) the firmware updated. Even the crappy $200 radio I installed in my Rodeo can have the firmware udpated. I can’t believe a company as big as Rosen has such bad support. NO phone, don’t reply to emails and now i find they don’t provide firmware updates. I’m soooo sorry that VW has teamed up with them as the only choice for a Nav system.

  19. hi all.
    Well, i got Suburban 2007 with Rosen GM navi and must say, that i had no problem to call them. I talked to sells rep. and also tech support no problem. They gave me all info am asked for.
    here is a phone number 951-898-9808

    There is one thing, that pissing me off. Phone book cannot be downloaded in to a unit. Blah !!!

    Hmmm, i got feeling, that my next stage is Pioneer AVIC-F920BT

  20. rosen absolutely sucks!!!!!!i had instal it on my 2011 cc and i dont like it who ever saying its good system they r maybe a rosen salesman

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