GPS advice

I’m buying a GPS for my son’s car, he’s 16. I know exactly nothing about them. Advice?

Thanks, Dopers.

Yes, get a Garmin Nuvi, any of them that meet his needs. They have lots of models and they are all affordable and good. Other brands can be good too but I have never heard anyone say anything bad about Garmin. They got into GPS through the aviation business and lots of experience with it. The main questions are screen size and other options like up to the minute traffic updates which you may or may not need based on your area. Some units can play MP3 files or show digital pictures but those are mostly add-on gimmicks.

The sub $200 models are still great for basic GPS navigation. You might want to buy a small memory card to go with it to make updates and you can buy those most anywhere for less than $20.

I second the Garmin Nuvi. If you want a deal on one check out your local craigslist or classifieds. There are tons of people getting rid of them since the current generation of smart phones have GPS built in.

Third Garmin.

Go with the classified or a recertified unit from any electronics store on line. Saves half the price in most cases.

How is he with hanging on to things? Lots of sixteen year olds “lose” stuff. Their things get it borrowed and then disappear. That’s my experience with my grandsons. Three out of four can. not. keep. anything - aarrrrggghhh! The youngest, nine, controls all the power as he alone manages to hang onto his gifts/presents.

We have a Garmin Nuvi, and it’s great (well, except for that “you’re-a-constant-disappointment-to-me” attitude it has when it occasionally emits that “recalculating” sound).

However, these days I tend to use the Google Navigation app that I downloaded for free into my smartphone instead. I mean, the smartphone is already on my hip…

(The app was free, but I have to admit that I have purchased a $40 cardock and a $10 car-recharger for the phone that makes using it as a navigation tool easier.)

I have an Android-based phone, but my iPhone-equipped buddy tells me that his built-in navigation app is just as good if not better. I can’t speak for the other types of smartphones out there.

Another vote for Garmin. I got some very nice third party Topo maps for mine, which are not so available for other brands, as the market is smaller.

Yet another Garmin vote.

My ex had a Tom Tom and I thought it sucked (the interface was a PIA).

A friend has a Magellan. Also a PIA.

Well, I find Tom Tom to work just fine,* and the interface to be pretty easy. (I didn’t use it before the 3rd Edition.)

The Garmin map for my area is missing some very minor roads that Tom Tom has.

  • Except for a limitation which I think is shared with all models in its range, and which isn’t relevant for most people anyway: there’s a limit on how many Favorites can be saved, and there’s no way to keep separate folders of Favorites. On the other hand, Points of Interest are unlimited (except by overall memory, which isn’t a problem) and in categories. The Favorites limit only comes into play in theory, because I’d like to be able to save potentially hundreds of customer locations that way. Tom Tom is easily compatible with a PoI file-making utility I have.

I like the Tomtoms and Magellans, but the Nuvi does have a nice interface. I used to dislike the Magellan but got used to my daughter’s and ended up preferring it. I returned my Nuvi because it wouldn’t let me replan my route to avoid a specific blockage. It would only replot a route in general, not let me avoid a specific area.