Best Car GPS Devices: Buyer Reviews 2023

Having one of the best GPS devices in your car will take the pressure off your journeys, whether you are taking a long trip cross country or whether you are trying to beat the traffic to work. These devices provide the clearest direction and quickest routes which help you to avoid construction work, accidents, and traffic hotspots. They direct you toward the traffic lanes that you need to be in. 

The best GPS devices also come with several strategic places like restaurants, hotels, and stations, along with some other places you might like to pay a visit to, such as museums, parks, and malls.

Garmin Drive Smart 61 LMT-S

Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S

This GPS device has all could wish for in a car navigation system. It is responsive, updated, and flawlessly completed by its easy and simple interface use. It also has an elegant and modern layout that will enrich any dashboard. The abundance of premium and essential features that this device carries will make your driving satisfying. 

The maps of Mexico, Canada, and the United States, that come preloaded in this brand of car GPS can be updated for free. It also has a space for an external memory card onto which maps from other countries can be downloaded and stored just in case you need navigation aid elsewhere.

Wherever you are heading, this device which has a giant 6.95-inch capacitive touchscreen and a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels with an edge-to-edge display will transmit all the directions you need with less eye strain and fuss.

This device also has inbuilt Wi-Fi that enables software updates, maps, and live traffic alerts to be transmitted to the device. It will also make you aware of changes in speed limits, toll roads, and upcoming turns. It also gives a sign you when to rest.

Specifications

Screen size - 6.95-inchesScreen resolution - 1024 x 600Touchscreen type - Capacitive Pre-loaded maps - North America Battery life - One hour

Pros

  • It has a massive responsive touch screen.
  • It has an easy-to-use interface.
  • Real-time update.
  • It has a high resolution and a captivating display.

Cons

  • Its battery life is low.
  • It is expensive.

TomTom GO 620

TomTom GO 620

The TomTom GO 620 GPS is laden with features that will make your car's dashboard look attractive. It comes with lifetime maps, speed cameras, My Drive, and traffic alerts to help you avoid the worst accidents and traffic jams. This device also has a voice control activation system that enables you to alter journeys and plan settings without taking your hands off the wheel.

The TomTom GO 620 GPS device has inbuilt Wi-Fi, smart message, and hand-free calling, and is also compatible with Google Now and Siri. It comes with an active magnetic mount, navigation device, micro USB, car charger, and cable. 

The software and map updates for this device are downloaded through Wi-Fi, meaning you won't need a computer before your data can be updated. TomTom GO 620 has a 6-inch high resolution (800 x 480 pixels) capacitive screen and a battery that can last up to an hour when not plugged in. This device is more expensive than other car GPS devices available in the market.

Specifications

Screen resolution - 800 x 480Preloaded maps - North America Touchscreen type - Capacitive Battery life - One hour Screen size - 6-inches

Pros

  • Has a high-resolution capacitive screen.
  • Can be updated through Wi-Fi.
  • Compatible with Google Now and Siri.
  • Has lifetime maps and alerts.

Cons

  • It is very expensive.
  • It has low battery life.

Rand McNally OverDryve 7 Pro

Rand McNally OverDryve 7 Pro

The Rand McNally Over Dryve 7 Pro is one of the largest GPS available in the market. It is also one of the most versatile brands. This GPS device is loaded with features built to help you enjoy a pleasurable and smooth trip that will enrich your connectivity and entertainment while driving. The Rand McNally OverDryve 7 Pro GPS device is great for long cross-country journeys or for short drives (either for pleasure or to work).

It has a massive and updated map library that will help you navigate unknown routes for your journey. Also present in this device are all the navigation aids such as speed notification, lane guidance, and line traffic alerts. This device also has two integrated cameras that enable you to record your journey and also take photos. It can function as a tablet and is compatible with both iOS and Android.

Specifications

Screen size - 8-inchesScreen resolution - 1280 x 800Touchscreen type - Capacitive Pre-loaded maps - USA, Canada

Pros

  • Has a large and high-resolution screen.
  • Can function as a tablet, and it's compatible with both iOS and Android.
  • Has a powerful navigation system.

Cons

  • The device is bulky.
  • It is expensive.

Garmin Drive 52

Garmin Drive 52

If you desire a simple and precise car navigation system to make your journey easy, the Garmin Drive 52 is a perfect choice. Everything about this GPS device is about simplicity, starting from the installation and setting up of the device to programming it with where you want to go.

The Garmin GPS device has all the navigation requirements such as bend alerts, speed alerts, and traffic data that can help you steer clear of obstructions up ahead. However, this device does not have Wi-Fi updates, hands-free calling, and voice activation. While this may look like a disadvantage, the absence of these options helps to keep the Garmin Drive 52 simple.

Specifications

Screen size - 5-inchesScreen resolution - 480 x 272Touchscreen type - Resistive Pre-loaded maps - US, Canada, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bahamas Battery life - 1 hour

Pros

  • It is very simple to use.
  • t has landmark-related guidance.

Cons

  • It has a low screen resolution.
  • It lacks top-end features.

TomTom VIA 1515M

TomTom VIA 1515M

This GPS device is excellent if you prefer an affordable GPS. It keeps you informed about the shopping malls, parks, hospitality venues, service stations, and other areas you might love to explore in your local vicinity.

The contact information of the various venues within the vicinity is also made available, making it easy for you to book a restaurant or hotel at short notice. The TomTom VIA 1515M GPS device also delivers favorable driving service features such as landmark recognition, lane change device, and split-screen views to enable you to know where you need to turn.

The details of blocked routes and speed limits are also flagged on this car GPS that covers Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the US, and the US Virgin Islands. The battery of this device can last up to 3 hours when unplugged.

Specifications

Screen size - 5-inchesPre-loaded maps - North America Touch screen type - Resistive Battery life - Three hours Screen resolution - 480 x 272

Pros

  • It has long battery life.
  • It is cheap and relatively affordable.

Cons

  • Its display can lack responsiveness.

AROVA GPS Navigation

This GPS device is an incredible choice if you need some GPS assistance on a budget. It will cost you a little more than $70. Though not expensive, this device will give you access to almost all the features of a standard car GPS. Features like camera alerts, speed alerts, and lane guidance are all present.

The AROVA GPS Navigation device has an awesome 7-inch touchscreen size with free map downloads and map updates for more than 40 countries.

However, this device does not have the premium features of a car GPS such as smartphone connectivity, voice activation, and live travel alert. If you want a GPS device that is not very expensive but that is reliable and that can get you where you want to go, consider the AROVA GPS Navigation device.

Specifications

Preloaded maps - Mexico, Canada, USA Screen size - 7-inchesScreen resolution - 800 x 480Battery life - One hour Touch screen type - Resistive

Pros

  • Gives you value for your money.
  • Has a large and bright display.
  • Comes with updates for more than 40 countries on its map.

Cons

  • Slow touchscreen response.
  • It has short battery life.

Important Features of a Car GPS

Important Features of a Car GPS

Below are some important features of a car GPS that you should consider when purchasing your car GPS.

  1.  Navigation

The best car GPS devices provide comprehensive step-by-step directions and will notify you on which of the lanes you need to be per time. The instructions will be audibly delivered and on the screen, making you focus on the wheel.

  1. Screen size

The average screen size for car GPS systems is between 3 to 7 inches when diagonally measured across the screen. Although, while it is easier to easily store smaller navigation devices in your bag or glovebox, devices with large screens also make it easier to see instructions and other on-screen selections.

  1. Screen resolution

The last screen resolution for the best car GPS screens is 480 x 272 pixels. Some other car GPS devices have higher resolutions like 800 x 480 pixels – this gives you a sharper and clearer picture that is easier to view at a glance.

  1. Touchscreen sensitivity

Best car GPS device often has capacitive screens. They are highly sensitive, and accurate, and enable pinch-to-zoom gestures, which is a feature similar to that of a smartphone. The pinch-to-zoom gestures cannot be done on a resistive touchscreen. These low-budget car GPS screens have slower reaction times, lower resolutions, and a smaller power brightness. However, resistive screens can be touched on the screen with any objects such as a gloved finger or stylus.

  1. Preloaded maps

All car GPS is preloaded with maps of the United States and other countries, that are ready to be used when the device is powered. The majority of them also have inbuilt micro SD card slots which you to store and download maps of other countries that are not preloaded. Having preloaded maps on your car GPS device means you have reliable navigation that can point you in the right way even when you are in an environment with no or little signal.

  1. Map updates

Ensure you have a car GPS with an updated free lifetime map so that you can have access to the latest landmarks, buildings, and road layouts. The updates may occur automatically in the background or require a manual update.

  1. Speed limit alert system

Most car GPS devices will display or communicate the speed you are traveling in connection to the road’s speed limit and notifies you if your speed is too high.

  1. Battery life

If there is a need for you to use your car’s DC portal to charge your phone, you will need to know how long your GPS can run unplugged. Most car GPS will last for at least one hour without charging, while some will stay for up to six hours. By the way, if you are looking for an off-road GPS then you definitely should check out our other blog post that reviews the best off-road GPS devices here.

Premium Car GPS Features

Premium Car GPS Features

Along with the important features a car GPS should have, some premium features are assigned to some (not all) specific car navigation systems. These premium features include Voice-activated navigation It is faster and safer to instruct your car GPS where you desire to go.

You can simply talk to your car GPS if there is a need to change your direction while you're driving.3D map function by recreating landmarks such as bridges, buildings, and monuments in 3D, GPS devices with this particular feature makes it easier to know where you are when traveling in large busy cities or unknown locations. 

Traffic alert systems good traffic alert system is an excellent way of staying updated about the current situations on road without the need of making use of your smartphone. If you already decided which GPS is the best for you then you can go ahead and learn how to set it up by watching this video:

Car GPS Devices vs. Smartphones

Car GPS Devices vs. Smartphones

Most smartphones today have an inbuilt GPS tracker. The use of either a smartphone GPS device or a dedicated car GPS device has its advantages and disadvantages. The choice of which of these devices to use is based on personal preference. You can learn about their differences here. If you still would like to use a phone app such as GPS, you can find our reviews of the best car phone holders here.

Final Thoughts

A car GPS device enables a smooth, smart, and safe journey either to work or during cross-country tours or journeys. It will keep you updated about the current conditions on the road, whether there is an accident, traffic, or road construction. 

Some GPS devices have premium features like voice-activated navigation. With this feature, you can give vocal instructions to your navigation system when you are driving. This is faster and safer than you having to type. There are other brands of car GPS devices, but the above-listed ones are some of the best you can use to keep track of your road journeys.

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