The Escort Passport iQ promises to tidy up your windshield: It's a GPS navigator and radar/laser detector all in one. Experts and owners agree that it does a great job of detecting radar and laser speed traps, and it alerts drivers to upcoming speed/red-light cameras, too -- just like the top-rated Escort Passport 9500ix (Est. $470) .
That said, the iQ's GPS feature gets mixed reviews; expert testers say it looks and navigates just like a Garmin, but owners don't always agree. Several complain that the iQ picks poor routes, omits known roads and doesn't speak up quickly enough about upcoming turns. Others say its bulky, heavy case vibrates on its mount and is awkward to take out of the car and carry. It's not Mac-compatible, and it lacks the live traffic updates and Bluetooth hands-free calling that most GPS units now offer for a much lower price. And although the iQ is stealthy in one respect -- it looks just like regular GPS unit -- it's not invisible to police radar-detector detectors (RDDs) like the Escort RedLine (Est. $500) is.
SpeedZones.com doesn't include the Escort Passport iQ in its head-to-head radar detector shootout, but experts here do test the iQ separately on a 3,000-mile road trip. Motor Trend's Frank Markus also tests the iQ's GPS navigation prowess, as well as its radar and laser detection. CNET's Antuan Goodwin analyzes the iQ's features and offers buying advice. Owner reviews at Amazon.com uncover some problems with the iQ that don't show up in expert tests.
The Escort Passport iQ reports all red-light cameras in SpeedZones.com's 2011 test city (El Paso). During a 3,000-mile test drive, it also navigates just as well as a Garmin and detects radar just as well as other Escort radar detectors.
Review: Red Light Camera Locations, Editors of SpeedZones.com
2. Motor Trend
Frank Markus finds both pros and cons as he tests the Escort Passport iQ in suburban Detroit. It has no problem detecting radar and laser speed traps, but it has some drawbacks as a GPS unit, such as a muffled-sounding speaker and no live traffic information.
Review: Escort Passport iQ Review, Frank Markus, Nov. 9, 2010
Although he doesn't mention testing the unit, Antuan Goodwin does a good job explaining the Escort Passport iQ's features. Goodwin notes that it doesn't yet offer Bluetooth hands-free calling or live traffic information. He says that at this price, he'd wait until Escort adds these features.
Review: Escort Passport iQ, Antuan Goodwin, Oct. 27, 2010
The Escort Passport iQ gets very mixed owner reviews here. It gets as many 1-star reviews as 4- and 5-star reviews. Several complain that it's bulky, heavy and doesn't navigate well.
Review: Escort Passport iQ Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator with Radar/Laser Detector, Contributors to Amazon.com