Automobile GPS Navigation Units - Which Features to Look For When Purchasing a Satellite Navigation System

ShoppingProduct Reviews

  • Author George Dauberman
  • Published March 1, 2011
  • Word count 499

Do you ever end up driving through a new area and getting yourself totally lost? Yeah, I've been in that situation too, until I got my first a car sat nav unit. Deciding which one to buy can be confusing though, but that's where this article comes in.

Main Car GPS System Features

There are a bunch of feature which are standard in virtually all GPS units these days, and without which, the unit would be nearly useless. These include:

Touchscreen: When driving, ease of use is essential when operating your GPS unit. A touch screen is a must.

Built-in Route Maps: If your new Sat nav unit doesn’t know the area where you live, it would be rather useless woudn't it?

Voice Directions: You can't keep stopping and looking at where the Sat nav system says you should go, you need to be told out loud, "turn left", "turn right", etc.

Additional Automobile GPS Navigation System Features

Along with the usual Sat nav features mentioned above, there are a number of other features you might want to keep an eye out for, including:

Points of Interest: Sometimes knowing which way to turn isn't enough; you also want to know where the interesting sights are. For instance, if you’re on vacation in a particular area that you’ve never been to before, you’ll want to know the various important historical monuments, or you may just want to know where the best entertainment venues are.

Hands-free Calling: It's dangerous to talk on the phone while you are driving. Several GPS unit now come with the ability to be connected to your phone, letting you talk without having to touch your phone.

Lane Help: Some Sat nav systems these days have the ability to give you detailed help with navigating the lanes of busy roads. This means you won’t miss your exit.

The Major Automobile Sat Nav Makes and the GPS Systems they Offer

The other factor you need to consider when buying a new car Sat nav system is the brand. These are the major car Sat nav companies, along with a quick note on the range of GPS units they make:

Garmin: $60-$3,000. Chief Sat nav make. More than 200 gps units available. Very large range.

TomTom: $80-$1,000. Chief GPS company. Over 100 gps units available. Wide price range.

Kenwood: $320-$1,200. A pretty good range of gps units. Most of them are somewhat high end Sat nav units.

Pioneer: $350-$850. Again, a similar kind of product range to Kenwood. Decent range of top quality gps units.

JVC: $100-$1,000. Not many products, but covers a large price range.

Sony: $200-$840. Similar to JVC. Few sat navs, wide price range.

Boss Audio: $165-$195. Only a few models on the market, all of which are full-on in-car multimedia players with large screens, for instance for watching DVDs.

Audiovox: $80-$270. Not many products on the market.

Escort: $670. Only one product on the market, in the style of a replacement rear-view mirror.

Still not sure which car GPS system to purchase? At Top Rated Car GPS we evaluate all the major car Sat nav units, for example the Garmin nuvi 270

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