Auto GPS: Ratings of Sources
Total of 16 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org buys products anonymously to ensure unbiased, objective tests. Editors rate and rank 137 portable GPS navigation systems in the most recent update, with results summarized in a detailed ratings chart. A one-page summary for each model includes pros, cons and user ratings, though discussion itself isn't especially detailed. ConsumerReports.org covers just about every current model from Garmin, TomTom and Magellan, plus a few from minor brands. Editors have left a lot of discontinued models in the chart -- which can be helpful, as you can often find recently discontinued models for sale at a discount.
Auto GPS Buyers Guide
by Rich Owings
Our AssessmentThis blog is operated by Rich Owings, who posts information about most major-brand GPS devices, personally reviews some of them and links to reviews and ratings by others. Site users add opinions and occasionally contribute reviews. This up-to-date buyer's guide lists Owings' picks in budget, midrange and high-end auto GPS units.
by Editors of PCMag.com
Our AssessmentPCMag.com regularly reviews new GPS units, identifying each product's place in the market and assigning an overall rating. Reviews are consistently high-quality and easy to read, even though they aren't as exhaustively detailed as those at dedicated GPS-review websites. PCMag lists its top 10 GPS units and gives three of them (all Garmins) an Editors' Choice award.
Best 5 GPS Navigation Systems
by Antuan Goodwin
Our AssessmentAlthough CNET has tested several of the latest auto GPS units from Garmin, TomTom and Magellan, editors haven't updated this top-5 list in almost a year -- and two of the models they pick have now been discontinued. A link leads to the latest reviews, which devote more attention to features than performance. Testing is typically limited to a couple of test drives around San Francisco. However, CNET's reviews are critical, often recommending good alternatives to poor-performing auto GPS units. The Garmin nuvi 3790T won CNET's Editors' Choice award a year ago, and no GPS unit has been able to beat it since.
GPSMagazine Recommended GPS Navigation Devices (PND)
by Editors of GPSMagazine.com
Our AssessmentThis site publishes incredibly comprehensive reviews (click on the Reviews tab to see them all). Every feature is tested, and the lavishly illustrated reviews conclude with long lists of pros and cons. Testing methodology is fully explained. The editor lists his top picks here in a handy chart with numeric scores and short descriptions of each model. However, a lot of the newest models from Garmin and TomTom haven't been tested here.
by Scott Martin
Our AssessmentBlogger Scott Martin does a great job keeping up with the latest GPS devices and apps, explaining their new features and how they fit into the marketplace. But Martin hasn't published any of his thorough, well-illustrated full reviews in nearly a year, and he hasn't updated the list of recommended models on his buying guide in two years. His last full test was of the Garmin Nuvi 3790T/3790LMT; in January 2011 he was still recommending it on his blog as "the best stand alone PND/GPS that I have ever used." In August 2011, he recommended the Garmin nuvi 1450LMT as a great choice for a more basic navigator, listing five reasons why.
In-Car Portable GPS
by Fred Zahradnik
Our AssessmentFred Zahradnik, About.com's guide to GPS, writes detailed reviews of GPS units with notes on features, pros and cons, and details of some performance testing. The Garmin nuvi 3790T earns 4.5 stars out of 5, making it Zahradnik's top choice among high-end GPS models. The cheaper Garmin nuvi 1390T and TomTom XL 350 TM both get 4 stars. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Top 10 GPS Devices
by Edited by Melissa J. Perenson and Craig Ellison
Our AssessmentPC World's reviews of auto GPS receivers offer clear buying advice, but editors don't test as many units as other publications. This "Top 10 GPS" list has not been updated in several months, although most of the models are still current.
GPS Reviews -- Car and Motorbike
by Chris Barnes
Our AssessmentChoice, an Australian consumer-testing organization, is similar to ConsumerReports.org. It doesn't accept freebies to test, and it accepts no advertising. Choice tests 23 car and motorcycle GPS systems in both the city and the country. Three of the top five car GPS units are widely available in the U.S.
Sat Nav Reviews
by Editors of Which? magazine
Our AssessmentWhich? is the U.K.'s answer to ConsumerReports.org. It tests 97 GPS (or sat nav) units on busy city streets, complicated highway intersections and roundabouts. Each is rated for ease of use, performance, versatility and features. Six of the 23 Best Buys are current U.S. models.
Smackdown: Which Garmin GPS Unit Is Best?
by Andrea Minarcek
Our AssessmentBudget Travel magazine readers rate Garmin their favorite GPS brand, so staffer Andrea Minarcek tests three Garmin units to find out which is the best. The Garmin nuvi 3750 wins, beating the top-of-the-line Garmin nuvi 3790T and now-discontinued bottom-of-the-line Garmin nuvi 205. Minarcek says the nuvi 3750 is easy to use with cool features (such as the ability to "learn" traffic trends) that really work. The nuvi 3790T charges extra for voice recognition, a feature that doesn't work well for Minarcek.
Best Sat Navs 2011
by David Gilbert
Our AssessmentThis U.K. website provides overly generous ratings in some product categories, but its GPS reviews and ratings are balanced. Reviewers drive many miles in England and France to test units. However, only one of the top-rated auto GPS units -- the Garmin nuvi 2460LT -- is a current U.S. model.
TomTom, GPS and Sat Nav
by Editors of TechRadar.com
Our AssessmentThis extensive British site conducts its own expert reviews of consumer tech products. The GPS reviews are well done and easy to read. Although many of the models reviewed aren't available in the U.S., one of the best-rated units is: the Garmin nuvi 3790T.
Portable Vehicle GPS
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com sells all the major brands of auto GPS units and encourages customers to submit ratings of products they've used. Garmin models dominate Amazon.com's bestseller list, and they earn the highest average ratings. The reviews don't offer the depth of those written by professional reviewers, but this is a good place to learn how auto GPS units work in everyday use. The website is easy to navigate, but discontinued models are mixed in with current ones.
by Contributors to Newegg.com
Our AssessmentNewegg.com encourages users to post reviews, but it doesn't attract as many consumer ratings as Amazon.com. One advantage over Amazon.com is that Newegg.com asks reviewers to rank their level of technical knowledge.
by Wilson Rothman
Our AssessmentGizmodo reviews all kinds of gadgets, and it has occasionally reviewed GPS units. But Wilson Rothman says the category has peaked with the affordable and very functional Garmin nuvi 1350T, "possibly the last [personal navigation device] we'll ever review." The smartphone will eventually take over car navigation, he says -- but not the Garmin nuvifone; he titles his review of that product "Do Not Buy."