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Automobile GPS

Old 03-20-2009, 05:55 AM
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Default Automobile GPS

A friend has one of the Garmin portable GPS systems that gives turn by turn directions. As anoying as this can be sometimes, it's pretty cool and does get you where you want to go.

I started looking at them (Garmin) and there was one for not much over $100.00 but it was a closeout. Then I got to looking at others and the price keeps going up. More features, bigger screen, etc.

For those who have already done the comparisons, what model do you feel has the best price/value and why?
Old 03-20-2009, 07:02 AM
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The most basic models will get you where you want to go. I have a Garmin Nuvi 200w and find it does everything I need. It was on sale for less than $200 a couple years ago. As price increases you get additional features. For example, my unit says "turn left in 1 mile" an additional feature might say "turn left on Elm street in 1 mile". I don't find the lack of audio street name annoying since the street name is displayed prominately on the display. You might want that feature. Additional features might include the ability to play MP3 music, store photos, push the audio through your car radio etc. More expensive units have bigger maps, too. If you drive outside the US that might be valuable.

Personally, I like to keep it simple but that's just me. Good luck with your purchase.
Old 03-20-2009, 09:03 AM
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I've got a 200W as well, and use it basically all day every day driving for work. Works well, do make sure you update it from time to time though. My brother got a higher end Garmin that has the text to speech which is nice, and also will display the current speed limit on most major roads, that is one feature I really like. His was in the neighborhood of 350 I believe, mine was just under 200.
Old 03-20-2009, 12:18 PM
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I bought myself a Magellan Maestro 4250 for Christmas. It was a special on Amazon for $120, it seems pretty decent and has a wide screen which I like.

The technology is changing so fast I would only buy a cheap model (~$100) and plan on upgrading every couple years.
Old 03-20-2009, 12:23 PM
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have 2 - XLTomTom and small Garmin -- love the Tom Tom--4.3 because has higher volume and can change voices ie mal vs female
Old 03-20-2009, 12:30 PM
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I am fortunate to get to use the most advanced auto nav system in the world. Nothing in the US compares, and won't until the cell infrastructure overhaul is completed. I would not invest serious coin in a car GPS until then.

At a min, 7-in screen. It allows reasonable zoom in/out to select destination, has enough space to show a reasonable wide view of where you are, and is the min size to display a usable street-level 3D graphics. Hi res is the way to go. Obviously, we are talking about a unit that mounts in the dash.

Fwiw, there is no "need" for an auto GPS in the US. Our roads are clearly marked or easy enough to get directions for. Other parts of the world are not that way, GPS in a car is a must to get around.
Old 03-20-2009, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Eyehooker View Post
have 2 - XLTomTom and small Garmin -- love the Tom Tom--4.3 because has higher volume and can change voices ie mal vs female
FYI, you can change volume and male/female on my 255W Garmin.
Old 03-20-2009, 04:57 PM
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I use the Garmin 265WT. I got it a Costco store for $249.00 in Feb. I didnt really get it for directions. The reason I got it was for the points of interest. If I need to find a resturant or gas station or a store, I can just ask the gps to find me the nearest one. The other feature this model has is a lifetime subscription to a traffic service. Once your route is programmed into the gps it will tell you if traffic is in your route and then you will beable to tell it to avoid tHe traffic.
Old 03-20-2009, 05:02 PM
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I'm another one that has a Nuvi 200W. I bought it on sale at West Marine for $119 (I think it's on sale now for $139) It's pretty basic, but as the others have mentioned it gets me where I want to go and it has the same points of interest feature as the more expensive models. I'd definitely call it a good value
Old 03-20-2009, 06:09 PM
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We have the Mio; best value 18 months ago when Radio Shack ran a special on the larger-screen model. We looked at, and tried, a number of brands, and the Mio was the best bet for us.
Old 03-20-2009, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fishnutz View Post
I'm another one that has a Nuvi 200W. I bought it on sale at West Marine for $119 (I think it's on sale now for $139) It's pretty basic, but as the others have mentioned it gets me where I want to go and it has the same points of interest feature as the more expensive models. I'd definitely call it a good value
Got the same one for $ 99 at west marine right before christmas

Good for what I use it for
Old 03-23-2009, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by paul100 View Post
I use the Garmin 265WT. I got it a Costco store for $249.00 in Feb. I didnt really get it for directions. The reason I got it was for the points of interest. If I need to find a resturant or gas station or a store, I can just ask the gps to find me the nearest one. The other feature this model has is a lifetime subscription to a traffic service. Once your route is programmed into the gps it will tell you if traffic is in your route and then you will beable to tell it to avoid tHe traffic.
That model is looking like a good price/value for me. It's about $240 at amazon.com or about $180 at someplace I've never heard of. It's the same thing in the same box but it makes me a little nervous.

Will that model let you download different chain locations like say, West Marine stores?
Old 03-23-2009, 12:44 PM
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For the 200W...use it for land, and the 276C for water...got both at a in store special at Best Buy in Bangor, ME a couple of years ago for $500.00.
Old 03-23-2009, 04:17 PM
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Got the Garmin 750 from Costco at about half price ($199). I think they still have them.

Mp3 capability, plugs into PC to upload routes and updates, has all the place features for restaurants, gas, shopping etc.

A key feature is that it says the name of the street/hwy you are turning onto instead of just "turn right in 300 meters". And the kids like that you can download different icons for the map, my son likes the monster truck and my daughter likes the helicopter. I haven't heard "are we there yet?" in a long time.
Old 03-23-2009, 04:29 PM
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I have a Mio and a Garmin Nuvi. I think any of the Garmin Nuvi widescreens are the best choice. Fewer features and less configurable than some, but stone simple to operate.
Old 03-23-2009, 04:42 PM
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I drive a big pick up and have my GPS setup in my laptop. I received a Garmin GPS MAP 76csx loaded with city navigator as a gift and found that at no extra charge you can download Garmin nRoute into your laptop. You can use a USB GPS antenna or the 76csx as an antenna for the laptop.

For me its great having a 15" screen on a Jotto Desk and much easier to punch in destinations. Loads of setup features and best of all no problem seeing it. This setup won't work in many other vehicles though. You could downsize with a smaller laptop or even a tablet PC.

The handheld GPS loaded with Bluechart makes a good backup on the boat too.


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Old 03-23-2009, 11:12 PM
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I've used a Garmin 760 and like it fairly well. But when you are in unfamiliar territory, most units don't give you quite enough info about interchanges to get you in the correct lane. I travel a lot, so I bought the 755 with lane assist. When you are approaching an interchange it gives you a view of the interchange with an arrow showing excactly the lane you want to be in. They are a bit more expensive,but more than worth it in saved frustration. They also come with a lifetime traffic subscription, so you get a warning far enough ahead to be able to route yourself arround traffic jams. I am a firm believer in the lane assist.
Old 03-24-2009, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Eyeball View Post
Fwiw, there is no "need" for an auto GPS in the US. Our roads are clearly marked or easy enough to get directions for. Other parts of the world are not that way, GPS in a car is a must to get around.



You must not drive much in Northern Virginia.
Old 03-24-2009, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cjd View Post
You must not drive much in Northern Virginia.
Ha, tell me about it! 3 more months then off to PA for me. Better or worse on a whole we have yet to see, but I know traffic will be better than here.
Old 03-24-2009, 09:19 AM
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Garmin 265WT is the way to go.

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