Once again, the experts agree: If you're going to stick a portable GPS device to your car's windshield, your best bet is to go with a Garmin. The manufacturer's auto GPS units earn consistently high reviews from professionals and owners alike, thanks to their ease of use and attractive features such as free traffic information for the life of the device. The latter even applies to the budget-priced Garmin nuvi 265T (*Est. $185), a Best Reviewed pick in our latest report on portable automotive GPS devices.
A pair of other Garmins, the nuvi 765T (*Est. $270) and nuvi 855 (*Est. $245) round out the list of Best Reviewed models. The Garmin nuvi 765T is deemed the best GPS overall, with attractive features such as lane assist; three-dimensional building views; the ability to sort multiple destinations into a single, efficient route; MP3 and audiobook support; and integrated Bluetooth with an FM transmitter. Or, you can skip the Bluetooth, save a few bucks, and pick up the Garmin nuvi 755T (*Est $240) instead.
With distracted driving a hot topic of conversation both in the news and in statehouses around the country, the less physical interaction the driver needs to have with in-car devices, the better. To that end, the Garmin nuvi 855 can be controlled almost entirely via voice commands, allowing the driver to keep his eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Critics report that the voice-operation really works well, too. Be advised, however, that the nuvi 855 doesn't come with the free traffic alerts that help make some other Garmin models such attractive choices.
TomTom GPS devices are generally the top alternatives to models from Garmin, with several notable entries in the budget (under $200) category. You can read up on the latest reviewer feedback, as well as key aspects to look for when shopping for a portable auto GPS in our newly-updated report.