Which car GPS to get?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by danny_w, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #1
    I'm new to the gps game and am looking for advice. I bought a Magellan Maestro 3100 (basic gps w/3.5" screen) for $200 to try and I like it a lot (very easy to read display and simple menu system), but was wondering what other's experiences are. I don't want to spend a lot, since I will probably not use it that much, but it could be nice for getting me to unfamiliar places even where I live. I also looked at the Garmin nuvi 200 and really liked its simple interface and detailed maps (the Magellan has no setting for map detail). I would really like a bigger screen and bluetooth speakerphone capability, but those really add a LOT to the price. The one real exception seems to be the Mio C520, but it just seems too "geeky" and difficult to use (but it has lots of options that nobody else seems to have at any price). The Maestro will not let you add stops (vias) to a simple route that is already generated, the Garmin lets you add 1, and the Mio lets you add an unlimited number; I don't know how useful this would be in real life, but it sounds useful to me. The Maestro also has a very limited POI database (75,000 I think) where most others have millions. What do people here use and why?
     
  2. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #2
    I have a Garmin Nuvi 660, which I've been using for about 6 months now. Granted, its not the cheapest one out there, but at the time it was exactly what I wanted. Garmin has great simple menu systems, very clear maps and excellent screens. Especially wide screen is worth the extra money.
    If I was in the market now I'd take a serious look at the Tom Tom options. They are very very good as far as interface goes and the form factor is getting smaller as well (like Garmin Nuvi). My suggestion is to go to a store and play around with them before you buy. Garmin and Tom Tom are both very mainstream, with lots of reviews and help online.
     
  3. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #3
    I have the same Magellan as you i think. I have good sense of direction so I use it more of a device to visually assist me then a device to tell me how to get somewhere. POI's are somewhat limited but I've always thought there are enough in there. I am a little annoyed with the Lady's voice, she gets annoying, but I did name her "Jan Magellan", it seems to fit her voice. No it doesn't verbally say street names but i don't find that to be an issue. It doesnt have BT, or an MP3 player either, but honestly, its a GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM. I already have iPod integration and a 6 disk CD player in my car and I would be skeptical of the BT quality.

    There are ways to plan stops I guess on the Magellan, I guess not that easily though. There are the in-route POI's options and the trip planner. A bigger screen would definitely be a good upgrade though.

    My mom's '05 Touareg has the factory navigation system. Its pretty stupid IMHO because it does not show street names on the map (there is like a 7" screen and it doesn't show street names!!!), making my base model $250 GPS look a lot more advanced then a $2000+ upgrade in a car.
     
  4. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    I have played with several models at both Best Buy and Circuit City. I really like the Garmins in general, but hate their exorbitant prices. The Nuvi 200W seems just perfect, but at $500 it does not seem like a good value for the money. the TomTom One XL is interesting at $350, but I haven't been able to figure out how to get to the base menu (there is no 'menu' key like on other units).

    EDIT: I looked at the TomTom manual and it looks like you can just touch the screen to bring up the menu. I guess you need to touch in the map area, because touching other areas does things based on what you touch. I'm going to BB to try it out.
     
  5. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #6
    I bought a Garmin Streetpilot c530 off of ebay for a fantastic price and my wife and I love it. Of course the one thing it doesn't have is text-to-speech navigation which the c550 does but Garmin's interface is the best out bar none. The UI is very simple to use and the street names are clear on the screen. I really don't see how it could be better with the current technology.
     
  6. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #7
    That H-K is interesting. I had never heard of it before, but will take a look. I already took back the Magellan after reading the TomTom XL's manual and seeing all of the things that it can do that the Magellan cannot do. I especially like the option to set a city center as an address instead of having to input an exact address.
     
  7. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #8
    Yea city center is a good idea.

    Sorry about the link, I accidentally used IMG tags instead of URL lol.

    Anyways I found that HK after I bought mine, it seems like a pretty good deal and HK is a reputable company, though they have no experience in navigation that I know of.
     
  8. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #9
    for anybody that has a Garmin, can they do city center as an address? Both the TomTom and the H-K have this feature, which seemms to make a lot of sense, especially when planning a trip and adding waypoints quickly to aid in setting the path that you want.
     
  9. Sutekidane macrumors 6502a

    Sutekidane

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    #10
    Get the Mio!! I had a $800 garmin from best buy like a month ago, and the FPS was so low, it was like looking at a slide show. The refresh rate was just awful, so I returned it for a $300 mio and it's sooo much better.
     
  10. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #11
    Which model was that? The C520?
     
  11. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #12
    i have the built in navi from lexus and i love having navigation :D only thing is i get stuck driving most of the time. I can't stand people who buy a luxury car then buy the dash mount GPS for their car...grrrr drives me mad. My friend has a garmin and its ok.. sometimes it gets a a little funky
     
  12. Sutekidane macrumors 6502a

    Sutekidane

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    #13
    C310X, but I wish I had the C520. Similar interface, I believe.
     
  13. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #14
    I think so, I don't remember which Garmin I have now, but both my current one and my old streetpilot i3 were able to use just cities as destinations. Now, just don't do it with a big city like Los Angeles. :p


    On a sidenote, it's illegal to have a windshield-mounted GPS in California although everyone does it. Is there any way short of like, glue or tape to make the stupid thing stay mounted in a legal position that's not on the windshield that isn't a complete ripoff? Nothing sticks, and I like to use the same GPS in multiple cars, so what usually ends up happening is the GPS sitting in a cupholder or bouncing around until it falls off and hits my knee :mad:
     
  14. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #15
    The Nuvi 660 I have does center center as a destination. It also has pretty much every feature you can think of. My favorite is the traffic receiver (I'm not sure that's available in the US), which picks up the latest traffic jams and finds the best route based on the congestion level. The bluetooth handsfree is pretty good too. It's not as good as a dedicated car-kit but it works and its cheaper.

    My Garmin came with a dashboard mount. Its basically a rubber pad that you can stick somewhere on top of your dashboard and then the regular suction cup mount sticks onto it.
     
  15. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #16
    Yeah, so did mine...it doesn't really stick, because there isn't a really flat convenient place on the dashboard I can stick it to without it falling off (which is what it currently does) and me still being able to read the display.
     
  16. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #17
    That's interesting, I was actually wondering whether that would work and was doubting it. Guess you need an 80s car interior with lots of flat surfaces for that to work.:rolleyes:
     
  17. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #18
    It's sort of sad that that was the "official" Garmin solution to the windshield issue. There aren't that many flat enough surfaces on any of the cars I drive for that to actually stick reliably...that aren't on the passenger side or something. Aaarrghhhh. :mad::mad:
     
  18. jczubach macrumors 6502

    jczubach

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    northwest
    #19
    :rolleyes:everybody knows, gps is for girls. real men don't ask for directions!:rolleyes:
     
  19. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #20
    Tom Tom Go910, we bought it a year ago and it was top of the market back then. Still haven't used half the features either. A great piece of kit and IMO Tom Tom make the best GPS systems.
     
  20. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #21
    The TomTom 910 is indeed a very good system although the added benefit above the 710 is not worth the extra cost. It uses a harddrive to store all the US and european maps simultaneously, but unless you use it on both continents frequently it isn't really worth the extra cash.
    My other annoyance with the 710/910 series is the size. THe new XL series is nice and slim and easy to store in a jacket pocket.


    To the OP:
    I don't know what kind of cell phone you're sporting, but have you considered checking out whether TomTom's mobile system works with your phone? Its reasonably priced and you'll have one less gadget to carry around.
     
  21. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    Bleurgh! I hate Sat-Nav systems. Where's the fun in travelling if you don't get lost occasionally?

    Anyway, if it helps, at work we get the most requests for, and best feedback from, Tom-Tom systems.
     
  22. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #23
    you have that backwards.
    GPS is for guys. Girls will ask for directions when lost. Guys will pretend to know where they are going.
    With GPS it is the best for the guys because now they can if they get lost they will really know where they are going.
     
  23. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #24
    Unfortunately the bluetooth in the TomTom XL is only for picking up traffic and other data via your phone's data connection, and not a speakerphone function as on the Garmin 660 and others. That is very misleading b/c when they advertise bluetooth I'm sure most people think speakerphone.

    I took back the Magellan to BB and they insisted on charging a restocking fee, even if I bought another gps right then (which I had planned to do). The salesman that sold it to me said that it was returnable (which it was) but didn't say anything about the restocking fee (which there was). So I'm a little teed off at BB right now.

    Anyway, I think I have narrowed it down to the Garmin Nuvi 200, TomTom XL, or Mio C520.
     
  24. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #25
    I wasn't quite clear in my message. What I meant was, have you checked whether TomTom Navigator for PDA/Smartphone is available for your phone?

    I also wasn't aware that TomTom's bluetooth function doesn't allow it to work as a speakerphone. That's pretty lame.:confused:
     

Share This Page