Best Aftermarket GPS?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by donarsman, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. donarsman

    donarsman New Member

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    Looking to buy a Gps system, and was wondering what you guys liked? Best place to mount?
     
  2. Dozzer

    Dozzer Prius Noob

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    I really like the Garmin units.. Nuvi models...
    I've tried a couple over the years and Garmin seem to stand out above the rest with regards to accuracy and easy of use.

    TomTom are also pretty good these days with the new map sharing system to distribute map updates.

    I mount mine with the provided suction cup on the flip up cup holder on the centre console and power it from the 12v socket in the centre arm rest.
    That way I can disconnect the whole unit and pop it under the arm rest. Plus it's not so obvious to a thief by leaving a suction cup mark on the screen.

    Here is a review of the top of the line model.. Nuvi 770W
    http://technical-itch.co.uk/2008/02/19/garmin-nuvi-770-sat-nav-review/

    I have the 300T model with the built in FM traffic report/divert feature.
    One thing though.. don't programme your home address into the GPS unit (any GPS) Just have it to the end of the street or something.. not accurate to your house.
    If someone nicks your keys.. they have your car, GPS and a route to your house!
     
  3. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    I'm guessing there are almost as many favorites as there are brands.
    My favorite is TomTom.
     
  4. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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    i have a tom-tom, the map share feature is nice

    the cons on map-share are:
    1) you have to connect it to a computer to get the updates
    2) repeated connecting and disconnecting of the traffic antenna might cause damage, i hear the more recent models have a redesigned traffic connector.
    3) if the street does not exist in the map, all you can do is report it, and wait for the next map update to see if it is there. missing streets are not in the download

    i do not like how you have to connect the device to a computer to get mapshare updates, when a tomtom can download some other stuff like gps quick fix data over a cell phone. it's only a meg or so, whats the big deal

    my six month or so old 920t is starting to show signs that the traffic connector is not connected when it is. has me worried

    as far as garmins go, the only thing i do not like about garmin units is they are shifting towards msn direct (Microsoft) for the provider of thier traffic info. msn direct has some nice advantages over rds-tmc, like the ability to download traffic info 24 hours a day for 3 days with no power required and no gps required, but it all depends on where Microsoft puts those transmitters. and if you want the rds-tmc receiver, expect to pay $100 more for the unit. rds-tmc has the advantage that the info is sent out over all the clear channel's fm radio stations. Microsoft uses repeaters afaik. rds-tmc requires that the gps be powered on to get the traffic information

    tom-tom offers traffic over your cell phone connection too. but unfortunately it cannot get traffic info from both sources at once. this would be neat, i think.

    there has been talk about tom-tom letting people get free maps for a year as a service. they normally do not offer free maps for a year, and if you actually do have a certificate that says it, they make you jump through hurdles to get it added to your account. so expect a new map to come out every 3 months and tom-tom wanting $100 for it. i read some reports that costco might still offer year of updates certificates.

    tom-tom has a 'latest map guarantee' but that relies on using their tom-tom home program to check for the latest map, problem with me is that it always said i had the latest map, but i found the latest map in their store and it was $100. i had to call and complain and jump through hurdles to get a new map for free. i had to explain that i have 4 or more computers and each one assured me that my map was the latest when it was not

    also recently tom-toms map share server was down for 3 weeks. and a lot of us was left with zero map share updates for the entire time. and tom-tom was not very upfront on their website that the servers were down.
     
  5. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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    final recommendation

    buy whatever interests you, is in your budget and read the reviews. but make sure you buy it from someplace that won't charge you a lot for returning it, if you find something in the 30 days that you cannot live with.

    if you are the type of person who gets lost a lot or does a lot of traveling, try to get a unit that pronounces the street names, instead of the generic ones that just say "turn right at 300 yards"

    the garmin units seem to show you the local traffic conditions, where tom-tom just shows the traffic conditions that just affect your route. you can get a local traffic conditions on a tom-tom but its a chore. garmin will just list them. but tom-tom makes you browse the map and then you have to use your finger to drag the map around to see where they are and click left and right arrows to the previous/next one
     
  6. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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    other thing i do not like about my tom-tom:

    example:

    your driving down the freeway.
    your exit is 25 miles away

    the tom-tom will say something like
    9 miles left, keep left, continue on freeway, 5 miles left, keep right, in 5 miles
    keep left, 6 miles to your exit

    instead of just being upfront and telling you that your exit is 25 miles away

    ( so the distance to go counter to next instruction is just a minor keep left/keep right )
     
  7. Blue

    Blue New Member

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    One of the best things you can do is go to Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. and try out the different models. Figure out which one you like best, and then buy it online.
     
  8. Silver 2008

    Silver 2008 Junior Member

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    The Garmin Nuvi series. Consumer Reports agrees with me. When I use my Nuvi in the Prius, I use a non-slip bean bag mount just to the right of the A-pillar (where the Tweeter is). There is a nice relatively flat surface there. The lack of a 12V outlet on the driver's side means you need to drape the cord over the top of the steering column to the other side.

    Mike
     
  9. Syclone

    Syclone Member

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    All of the top brands are pretty good - Garmin, Magellan, Tom Tom.

    Personally, I would never buy any brand but a Garmin. I have owned Garmin's for 9 - 10 years. The reason is Support. If you have a problem or a question, call 1-800-800-1020 and you get a knowledgeable techie, who's native language is English (U.S. Callers). These guys and gals will bend over backwards to assure customer satisfaction.

    I once had a unit that I screwed up replaced - no charge - with a refurb.
     
  10. beckerman

    beckerman Junior Member

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    Most reviewers prefer the Garmin Nuvi and did not like Tom-tom. I bought a Garmin Nuvi 300 series online for mid-$200s. It is great, much better than the Toyota nav system in my 2008 Prius.
     
  11. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    We have used: Mio, Siemens, Garmin, and Archos GPS.

    Garmin's the best in that bunch. As for mounting, I stick mine above the round vent on the driver side, and remove it when not in use but leaving the vent clip in place.
     
  12. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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    yeah thats another good thing about garmins is that they have more mounts, and its easier to buy different mounts at your local electronics store then other gps makers
     
  13. mrblaise

    mrblaise Go Lakers!!

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    I have a Garmin Nuvi 660 and love it. I also use the built in bluetooth feature with my blackberry and attached an extra speaker and an external microphone that works great. You can look at my profile to see where I mounted it. Some don't like the positioning, but I think it works great where it is! It's out of the way and out of sight, yet, I can see it when I need it and the extra speaker booms out the directions. I also connected an external amplifier to boost the volume of the bluetooth. All of those photos are in my profile as well.
     
  14. fernelius

    fernelius New Member

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    I have a TomTom 910 and have been very happy with it. I really like the ability to control my iPod through the TomTom. The GPS comes with a remote, so I can now control my iPod with a remote and scroll through all the options on the GPS display. The GPS will pause the iPod anytime it gives instructions.

    It results in a rather odd wiring arrangement, though. I keep the iPod in the console. Audio runs from there to the GPS, which is mounted in the very bottom left part of the front window with the included suction mount. Audio from the GPS then routes back to the console to plug into the aux port. All the GPS-connected wires (including power) are routed down the side of the dash (between the door and the dash), under the dash, and over to the aux power port on the passenger side (or to the console for audio).

    The only frustration I really have with the TomTom is that they did a software update recently that prevents the system from correctly switching between night/day modes. I'm guessing this is likely fixed on the newer 930 and am hoping they fix this also on the 910 software release.

    The 910 also comes with both US and Western European maps, so I'm also happy I can always take the GPS over to Europe and navigate there. It's also fun to pick some of the non-US voices or free ones you can download (consider the British Yoda). :)
     
  15. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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    i left out dash.net. they are sending me a test unit. they have sent out loaner units to commuters off and on for the last couple years. the unit sells on amazon for $299, it was recently on amazon for sale for $199

    the traffic service is 9.99 to 12.99 a month, depending if you are prepaying 2 years at a time or paying month to month.

    it uses its own cellular phone connection or WIFI, the cellular data is part of the fee you pay, so there is nothing extra to pay....

    dash gets its traffic information from other dash units, and when you drive around with it, it automatically sends your traffic information to other subscribers.

    this is something to look into.

    the other big plus about dash.net is that the your monthly fee includes map updates. maps are a big money maker for other gps units. toyota wants $250-$300 a year for new map discs, other gps makers want $125 every 90 days or so for a new map, if you want it.

    for as long as you subscribe to the dash.net service you will get free map updates...

    the dash service is not available outside of the united states, not sure if you can get other maps, like europe, etc


    the unit is called the dashexpress, and it comes with 4 months of free service

    it comes with yahoo related search. which includes gas prices.... and you can send addresses from any web browser.

    a lot of gps makers charge extra for gas prices like tom tom
     
  16. Rotorhead

    Rotorhead New Member

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    Garmin Nuvi with the Garmin beanbag mount.
     
  17. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    I use the bean bag mount tucked in by the A pillar and like the Garmin Nuvi. Having the posted speed limit always on the screen is a plus. Any unit worth considering should announce the streets.
     
  18. vanderhorstg

    vanderhorstg New Member

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    I too, am considering buying a portable GPS unit for my 2006 Prius. Are they any concerns with battery drain using aftermarket units? And how about bluetooth or hands-free cell phone technology?
     
  19. snead_c

    snead_c Jam Ma's Car

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    Garmin 765T
    beside A pilar on bean bag....10 oclock to my Prius Nav. :(
     
  20. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    I am looking for a unit for our '04. Is there any rhyme or reason to Garmin's model numbers? I know the W is for wide and T is for traffic. The guy at Best Buy this morning told me the numbers don't mean anything, not even between the 3 and 4 digit models. I'm guessing he isn't correct. Can any one fill me in? For a newbie to gps this feels a bit complicated.

    PA P
     
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