How To Choose A GPS Unit For Your Car
GPS(global positioning system) units have been in use since the cold war by the military, but the technology was made available for civilian use after the downing of a Korean airliner by the Soviets in 1983 when it strayed off course.
GPS has gone from being a novelty to standard equipment in many cars sold today and it is not hard to imagine the reasons for this.
We have all seen the television commercials where the stereotypical male refuses to ask for directions and gets lost ruining the trip in the process!
Automotive GPS will save the man’s ego and the woman’s nerves and ensure that no wrong turns are taken or exit ramps missed ever again.
In car GPS is also useful for plotting the most direct route enabling the conservation of time and fuel.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a GPS unit for your car. Here are a few of them.
- Audible Directions. Although most auto GPS units give audible directions, many of them are not equipped to give exact directions such as street names and just give general information.
- Receiver Sensitivity. The sensitivity of the receiver determines how well it will work in situations where there are tall buildings or mountains. If you are likely to need the unit in urban or mountainous terrain, this is an important consideration.
- Traffic Detection and Avoidance. If you frequently travel through cities or use busy roads or highways, this is a feature that you cannot live without!
- Hands free Bluetooth calling. Hands free Bluetooth calling is available on many car GPS units and if this feature is one that you think will be important to you then insist on it.
- Mp3 and/or Audio Book Player. While not good enough to replace dedicated Mp3 or audio book players, many GPS units include these functions and this can be a factor in deciding on a unit to buy.
In summary, the best choice in a GPS unit will be the one which has the features you want at the price you can are willing to pay. We have put together a comparison chart of some of the best auto gps units so that you can compare them side by side.
|Compare Some Favorite Units|
Garmin nüvi 1450LMT 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Map & Traffic Updates
Sale Price: $139.99
Magellan RoadMate 1700LM 7-Inch Portable GPS with Lifetime Maps
Sale Price: $149.99
Pioneer AVIC-U310BT 4.3-Inch In-Dash Navigation Receiver with CD Player and Bluetooth
Sale Price: $398.95
TomTom XL 350TM 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator (Lifetime Traffic and Maps Edition)
Sale Price: $94.99
|Availability||Usually ships in 24 hours||Usually ships in 24 hours|
|Key Features||Sunlight-readable, 5-inch backlit TFT color touchscreen display with 480 x 272 WQVGA pixel resolution||Free Lifetime Map Updates||AM/FM radio, CD, CD-R/RW, MP3/WMA/WAV/AAC receiver with GPS navigation||Preloaded with maps of the US, Canada, and Mexico, with Lifetime Map Updates (new editions four times a year) with 4.3 Inch LCD display|
|Preloaded City Navigator® NT North America (U.S. and Canada)||Magellan Wireless Back-Up Camera compatible||4 x 50 Watts maximum power with front/rear and two sets of preamp outputs||Lifetime Traffic Updates included--outsmart traffic and avoid delays for life with real-time information via your TomTom|
|Free lifetime map and traffic updates for the most up-to-date maps, POIs, and navigation info, along with constantly updated traffic information||AAA Tourbook||4.3-inch widescreen TFT LCD touchscreen with 480 x 272 resolution||More than 7 million points of interest in over 60 destination categories--gas stations, restaurants, hotels, ATMs and more|
|Advanced navigation features including voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions, lane assist with junction view, fuel-saving ecoRoute|
|Includes travel tools such as JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock, currency/measurement converters, calculator and more|