Please recommend portable GPS for auto use

Not open for further replies.
Oct 22, 2008
Sunny Calif
I'm looking for a portable navigation under $200. I've used some crummy units in the past. One of them would tell me to turn the wrong way into a street, and its directions were very confusing. With another one, if you missed your exit it would recalculate a new route but it was so slow that you missed the next exit before it figured out the new route, then it would recalculate again, and again, and again.

What's a good unit?
I have a garmin, just the cheapest wide screen...

The key IMO, is to get the biggest screen, widescreen preferable.
GARMIN and nothing else... We own 6 of them in our family and have virtually every model they make. Can't kill 'em, very easy to use and for $120 you can get lifetime map updates from their website!

Want to know anything let me know!
Originally Posted By: StevieC
GARMIN and nothing else... We own 6 of them in our family and have virtually every model they make. Can't kill 'em, very easy to use and for $120 you can get lifetime map updates from their website!

Want to know anything let me know!

What do you think about the Garmin 255 and 260? do they give accurate and easy-to-follow directions?
The 260 would be my pick out of those two. All the Garmin models I have tried and that we own in the family have all been great, and very accurate. There is the odd address that isn't accurate but it gets you to the street, it just may not know the exact spot of where the # you are looking for is. This is nothing compared to the problems my aunts Magellen has. It makes you turn the wrong way down one way streets and on to dirt roads that really don't exist!

Plus you can report bugs to Garmin via e-mail and they will check it out on the maps and include it in future updates which I think is a real plus.

My address didn't exist in the older Garmin revision that came with my Garmin, and I reported it and they included it in the next release. It wasn't their fault it was Canada-Post had the numbers registered wrong in their system because the land we live on used to be a farm and then was divided for the farm and 3 houses (one of which we now live in) and this info somehow made it to NAVTEQ who does the Map Data for Garmin.
I got a refurbished Garmin Nuvi 200 for $89/free shipping from Newegg a month ago. We're very pleased with it.

Currently, its 99, but they put it on sale frequently.
Oh, and when I called Garmin tech support to ask a question... Not only is it domestic (Olathe Kansas), but I instantly got a real person, and within a couple minutes I was talking to a file system developer.
I've owned a Garmin c330 for nearly 3 years now. It's money. Even when the battery went bad they covered it for free, no questions asked for the most part. Just diagnosed it over the phone. I bet you could find one cheap and update it and it will be just fine.
I personally use the C330 in my SUV and have had it for 4 years. The battery still works fine and it is one tough GPS as I have dropped it quite a few times carrying it in the house in the winter/summer to keep it out of the extreme temperatures.

It's bulky, but I love it!
In many ways I prefer the Garmins but the biggest downside is searching/inputting the addresses compared to a TomTom. The TomTom is much easier since from the first letter you put in it starts pulling up a list of names that match in alpabetical order. The Garmin needs to have most of the name in before it will pull it up. That has been my experience. I think the accuracy of time to arrival is better with the Garmin. My TomTom is pretty inaccurate unless you are on an expressway. If you are on a backroad it thinks it takes twice as long to get there than it really does.

If ease of use is important then get a TomTom. If you don't mind that then Garmin's are very good.
I found the Garmins much easier to use than TomToms. With the Garmin, you enter the state your destination is in first. It has the state you live in as the default so you can select it easily. The you select the city. Since you already selected the state, it already has the cities narrowed down. You usually only need to enter the first few letters of the city before it automatically knows which city you want.

The TomTom on the other hand, makes you select the city first, before the state. So, if I wanted to select Clinton, CT, I would have to type in C-L-I-N-T-O-N (note- the entire city, not the first few letters like the Garmin) and it would list Clinton AZ, Clinton NM, and a whole bunch of Clintons across the country. It's a very poor system IMO.

I have a Garmin Nuvi 350 and I'm very happy with it.
I have the Garmin 660 and I love it, easy to use and pretty accurate. Lord knows I'd be very lost going through the back roads of Georgia if I didn't have my garmin.
Gotta say, I don't have any experience with Garmin auto units b/c I was never fond of their handhelds. I have a TomTom One 3rd edition and love it for a basic auto gps. I probably won;t upgrade until I can get something with XM NavWeather or something like that....
I use and really like a Tom Tom One.

It gets me to new york, Outter banks NC, I have used it in Orlando Fl, and I have used it all over the southern part (including Dublin) of Ireland.

Best thing I have bought for the car.
I never need directions......I just keep driving until I find where I am going. Someday I hope to be reunited with my family as well.
Just as soon as they find me.
Garmin is my recommendation. I believe they all have the same routing software and maps which seem to be the best. I read a lot of reviews of functionality and routing for different makes and models.

You just need to decide on the screen size and what bells and whistles you need. I went with a fancier one which was like $300 bucks at Costco last year. Has bluetooth, traffic info and all that stuff. I can count the number of times I've used the extra features on my hand. 0.
Not open for further replies.