Most car drivers these days navigate using map apps on their phones. However, many of these apps operate on data and tend to drain phone battery. GPS navigation devices function without a phone. They mount to your car’s dashboard or front window to provide you with traffic information and give you the most direct route to your destination. Plus, many of them feature downloadable maps that let you navigate without any cellular service.
When considering devices for this list, we took into account ease of use, accuracy, ability to update, and price. The highest-ranked devices are simple and take into account additional features that enhance the device’s overall functionality. Check out the 5 best GPS devices for your car:
1. Garmin DriveSmart 51 NA LMT-S
Daily commuters will greatly appreciate the Garmin DriveSmart 51 NA LMT-S. Its bright, easy-to-operate interface provides reliable directions and live traffic updates when linked to the free smartphone app, and responds to voice directions. It comes with a detailed map of North America and a lifetime of free updates available through built-in WiFi. The DriveSmart 51 is also compatible with smartphone features for Bluetooth calls and notifications. You can seek out stops along your route, near your destination, or based off your current location, and even search for parking availability and prices.
2. TomTom VIA 1515M
The go-to navigation device for finding points of interest, the TomTom VIA 1515M stores 10 million popular and sought-after destinations. It includes maps of the continental U.S., U.S. territories, Mexico, and Canada to let you roam the road without getting lost. It features top-notch GPS navigation with a split-screen function to let you view your progress along the route alongside your immediate surroundings so you’ll never miss an exit. With the longest-lasting battery on this list — 3 hours at full charge — you’ll have reliable coverage for extended periods of time and lifetime map updates
3. Rand McNally OverDryve 7
Standing out with its large screen, the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 features all the specs for effortlessly-followed directions and in-route entertainment — all in one navigation system. Voice activation lets you read and send messages and perform hands-free calls. It also lets you stream entertainment services to play through your car’s speakers. OverDryve incorporates up-to-date traffic information to alert you to potential delays, lane changes, and sharp turns. It comes preloaded with maps spanning North America as well as a list of points of interest you can add to. The OverDryve will automatically direct you along the most efficient route to your destination. Plus, it can double as a regular tablet once you’ve stopped driving.
4. Garmin Nuvi 57LM
The Garmin Nuvi 57LM comes with detailed, free lifetime-updated maps and provides easy-to-follow directions to popular locations, as well as highly-rated venues from the preloaded FourSquare app. It gives drivers alerts to upcoming roadway changes and slowdowns and will simplify navigating through complex areas like airports and shopping malls. Though it doesn’t have smartphone compatibility, its GPS guidance and spoken turn-by-turn directions make it a reliable and convenient source for getting to where you need to go.
5. Magellan RoadMate 5630T-LM
The Magellan RoadMate 5630T-LM makes sure you always have the most up-to-date maps by sending out up to 4 updates a year. You get a lifetime of map updates in addition to a lifetime of traffic alerts such as red-light and speed cameras and crowd-sourced data. It also emphasizes safe driving by locking menu screens while in motion. The RoadMate 5630T-LM can switch between portrait and landscape viewing modes depending on the driver’s preferences. It offers a safer driving experience while providing accurate directions.