Is the carminat on the LAGII going to have europe (france/italy) maps as standard? what's the best way to get an update disk?
The disc that comes with the (UK spec) car has street level mapping of the UK and Ireland only. It has 'major routes' for Europe, but that's next to useless for actually getting from A to B.
If you're not planning on going soon, keep checking
. Second-hand discs for other countries pop up every now and again, and appear to sell for buttons. Alternatively, if you check the Laguna FAQ, there's a link to a cheap source of navigation discs in there. The supplier normally does the latest UK discs, but he may be able to assist with European ones.
As a last resort, it looks like VDO Dayton themselves have started to bend to the pressure of after-market navigation systems and data. The price of a full set of European discs is down to under 300 Euros (I think it was nearly 1000 last time I looked.) I don't know if this link will still be valid when you try to follow it. If it doesn't work, then go to VDO Dayton Shop
and look for update discs for the MS6000
They're offering both Navteq and Teleatlas maps at the same price. It might be worth getting an opinion on a sat-nav related forum to see which has the best street level coverage for the countries you're planning to visit.
Though at those prices, you could buy a TomTom (you'll need the 700 or better for full European mapping) and either sell it when you return, or keep it when you discover just how much better it is than Carminat
If you go for the 700 then you'll need the external antenna kit to 'see' through the athermic windscreen. The 710 and 910 don't have that problem. If you look at alternative navigation systems, ones with SirfStar III don't need an external antenna, but ones that are SirfStar II will need the antenna. They tend to brag about SirfStar III if they have it, so assume any that don't mention it will be SurfStar II.