Many people rely on the GPS apps on their phone to navigate around town or on long trips, but there are advantages to having an in-car GPS unit. They don't require the use of cellular data and you don't have to worry about losing signal. They're packed with features that make navigation a breeze.
Not all car GPS models are the same, since not all travel is the same. Whether you travel for work or for leisure, these top models will help you get where you're going.
Best Overall: Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S
The combination of affordability and features earn the Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S the top spot for reviewers. In particular, they like the large screen that is easy to see and voice navigation. Both features make it easy to use so you can keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Another bonus is that it updates through Wi-Fi, so you don't need to connect it to your computer for map updates.
Best Value: TomTom VIA 1625TM
Roads change and businesses close meaning frequent map updates are necessary to find the best routes. While some GPS units charge for each update, the TomTom VIA 1625TM offers them for free for life. Reviewers who prioritized affordability over multiple features found the best value in this model. It has all of the necessary features to get where you need to go at a budget-friendly price.
Best for Sightseeing: Garmin Drive 52 & Traffic
Reviewers like that the Garmin Drive 52 & Traffic offers clear, precise and simple directions, making getting around a breeze. The road-trip ready features, like The History Channel's database of historical markers and TripAdvisor ratings make it easy to find places to go and things to do when traveling.
Best for Detours: Garmin Nuvi 57LM
There's nothing worse than following GPS directions only to find out a road is closed or an accident has caused a major backup. People love the Garmin Nuvi 57LM because it provides real-time traffic updates and alerts. While on the road, you're alerted of anything affecting traffic and provided with an alternate route to avoid adding considerable time to your trip.
Best for Voice Commands: Garmin Nuvi 2589LMT
Voice command technology has improved greatly over the years, and that's apparent in the Garmin Nuvi 2589LMT users compliment this unit for how it easily and clearly understands their commands. Users also like the Bluetooth connectivity that allows them to make hands-free phone calls while on the road.
Best Large Screen GPS: Garmin Nuvi 2789LMT
The large 7-inch screen is one of the Garmin Nuvi 2789LMT's major selling points. Users don't have to squint to see the map or read the on-screen labels. If you still have trouble seeing a part of the map, you can pinch to zoom in and get a closer look.
Best for Hands-free Driving: TomTom GO 620
Reviewers note that the TomTom GO 620 is like a personal assistant. While many GPS units connect to a smartphone for voice calling, this GPS goes a step further and also reads text messages aloud. Voice commands are clear, so you don't have to worry about distractions while driving.
Best Dashcam: Garmin dezlCam LMTHD
A camera is handy on the road for recording traffic incidents. In addition to helping you find your way, the Garmin dezlCam LMTHD serves as your eyewitness. Reviewers noted that the picture was clear and the device could store up to a month's worth of data before needing to free up space. It's designed for anyone who's on the road a lot, including truck drivers.
Smallest Car GPS: Garmin Speak Plus
Users who don't want a bulky GPS unit taking up space on the dashboard prefer the Garmin Speak Plus. It doesn't have a screen, but offers turn by turn directions on the small display. In addition, users love that this unit brings Amazon Alexa along in the car to listen to music, get weather updates, check the news and more.