Cheap / Effective Portable GPS for Cars?


Somewhat eXPerienced
24 Dec 2001
Hey guys,

I'm beginning to look into getting a GPS device for my car. I would prefer one that is portable for my car. Price tag is really a downfall... I think I would like to limit myself to say, max $250 (preferably $200). I've been looking so far at some Garmin's and TomTom's (being the way more expensive) and have been reading reviews on epinions. I'm looking for some input here.

What GPS device to you guys recommend?
Any positive / negative experiences with the one you have?
What is the price range of the device?

The garmin nuvi series seems to be ok with their price range. Some complaints about the device taking users off of main arteries and onto rural routes, which is a bit of a concern for me. Another complaint is that Garmin only provides "1 free map update" and then you have to buy them. How frequently are the maps updated, and if I have to buy how expensive is the update?

I am in the Uk, I have a Garmin nuvi 250, which I purchased 9 months ago.
I have just updated the maps which was a 2.9Gb download.
I also had to update the firmware which is free.
When I brought it, only the UK maps were on it, but after the update (which was free), I had the uk & European maps, so that saved me some money, about £30.00, or $54.00.
I have a TomTom One 3rd Edition. It was $150CDN last Christmas, it's decent. Doesn't pronounce the street names but to be honest I have it on mute anyways.
It really seems to be a tossup between the Garmin and the TomTom. It does sound like I would like the feature about announcing the street names as I would be turning on them, so I know what I'm looking for... but I can't say for experience because I don't have any. $150 doesn't seem to be a bad deal either for the TomTom.
If it were me and I had the money (someday) I'd get one of the RX5915 PDA's with GPS bulit in. You can get the car mounts as well on ebay for under $250 (refurbished).

I can't give personal experiance yet, but it's one I have my eyes on

You can read more about it at
Garmin map updates are yearly and are $70-80 (depends when/how you get them). I've heard good things about Navigon but haven't tried them myself.
If you don't mind you can get some cheap and good refurbished GPS also, Magellan Maestro 4000 4.3in GPS (Refurb) is quite nice, has it for $90 now. And if you want to get a new one the Garmin nüvi 360 3.5-Inch Portable GPS is quite nice also, amazon has it for $190.

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