While most people rely on their smartphones and apps to get them places, you may have already realized that a proper GPS device is a much better option.
A vehicle GPS navigation system has numerous advantages over phones including the fact that they don’t require data connection and provide you with a greater amount of information.
So, with one of these devices on board, you can reassure yourself that you will get where you need to go as soon as possible.
The tricky part is figuring out what the best car GPS navigation systems are on the market. Well, you no longer need to worry because we have you covered.
In this guide, you will be able to find a number of GPS systems that will make travel much more straightforward. Please read our entire review in order to find out what car GPS system is best for your needs.
- Features to Consider in Good Car GPS Navigation System
- Top 10 Best Car GPS Navigation Systems 2020
- 1. Aonerex 7” Touchscreen GPS Navigatior
- 2. Garmin DriveSmart 60 NA LMT GPS Navigator System
- 3. JRCX 8GB Lifetime Map GPS Navigator
- 4. Garmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS Navigator System
- 5. OOTSUTU 7” Portable Touchscreen GPS
- 6. Garmin Nuvi 57LM GPS Navigator System
- 7. TomTom VIA 1515M GPS
- 8. Magellan RoadMate 1220 GPS Navigator
- 9. MingAo GPS Navigator System
- 10. TomTom VIA 1535TM GPS Navigator
- Guide to Buying the Best Car GPS Navigation System
Before we unveil the best GPS for your car, we would like to first walk you through the various features that qualify for making a GPS unit one of the best available:
- User-Friendly Features: When you are driving you need a GPS system that is as user-friendly as possible. As a result, you will not have to divert too much attention away from your driving while you receive driving instructions and directions.
- Map and Directions Clarity: The next feature that you should consider is how simple is it to comprehend the directions provided on the screen. What is the map clarity like? Is there an automated voice that provides oral instructions as well?
- Additional Alerts: The best GPS systems can provide drivers with other alerts such as traffic, speed warnings, red lights, school zones, etc. The additional alerts are a terrific feature as they allow the driver to get around town more carefully and safely.
- Update Features: The top GPS navigation systems provide consistent updates. Therefore, you can trust the accuracy of the information that is provided since updates reinforce maps with the latest road changes and/or construction.
Map and Directions Features
The Aonerex 7” Touchscreen GPS Navigator is really applauded for its crisp navigation system that produces reliable satellite connections in virtually any setting. Therefore, it is a really dependable GPS system that is good at keeping a connection and providing up to the second directions. It will quickly calculate the best route after a destination is established, then get you there without harm and on-time.
The device features a visual map, animation, and voice indication for your preferred way to receive directions. It is preinstalled with the latest 2020 maps of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Additionally, maps of the United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia are available. Updates are provided for the lifetime of the unit and at no additional cost.
The Aonerex 7” Touchscreen GPS Navigator delivers turn-by-turn voice navigation that is available in multiple languages. It also quickly corrects if you miss a turn and adjusts with the best alternative route in real-time. The voice prompts are very comprehensive and help get you to a destination safely.
The Aonerex 7” Touchscreen GPS Navigator features a vivid, 7 inch HD touchscreen. It is one of the most clear displays on the market for car GPS navigation systems. The touchscreen is very responsive and easy to use even with bigger fingers.
The unit is shipped with a sunshade so you can view the screen during intense daylight hours. The visual cues are simple with a map of the starting point, the final destination, as well as estimated time until arrival.
The system features several different Smart Reminders. Driver alerts include voice announcements or visual displays on enlarged maps that zoom into complex intersections and other troublesome areas. It also reminds you of the speed limit. Drivers may receive notifications of upcoming gas stations, stores, schools, red lights, or high speed cameras.
The Aonerex 7” Touchscreen GPS Navigator is shipped with a car charger, back bracket, car bracket, and sunshade. There is also a user manual to learn about anything regarding the device. It is also a portable unit that you can take with you if you don’t wish to store the device in your car.
Anorex features a really good warranty. The company will provide after-service care for five years of use in the United States. There is also a 90 day money back guarantee and 2 year full warranty.
Map and Directions Features
There is no denying that it is quite easy to take directions from the system. For starters, the graphics on the display are incredibly clear. The maps are shown in a way that it is easy for you to understand where you currently are and what you need to do next on the road.
There is also the fact that the Garmin DriveSmart 60 NA LMT GPS Navigator System offers directions in an easy to understand format. It uses landmarks and similar tactics to provide quick reference in real-time. The GPS device is equipped with detailed maps for all of North America.
One of the features that really sets the Garmin DriveSmart 60 NA LMT GPS Navigator System apart is the voice command option. It allows you to activate a number of features on the system by simply using your voice. Now, you should be aware that this technology hasn’t been perfected and therefore you may need to repeat commands on occasion. Still, it is a useful tool to have while driving and the Garmin DriveSmart appears to have mastered the technology as well as any device.
The Garmin DriveSmart 60 boasts a decent size display at six inches. The screen is also bright and easy to distinguish even in full sunlight. Users may also zoom in on various spots of the maps via the touchscreen.
There are a number of driver alerts available with the device. These include alerts for speed, when you are entering a school zone, traffic alerts, sharp curves, and other potential road hazards.
What’s great about the GPS unit is that it also has some of the features found on a smartphone. For instance, you can program the device so that you get text and phone call notifications while you are driving. You can even get app alerts.
Map and Directions Features
The JRCX 8GB Lifetime Map GPS Navigator is one of the finest GPS navigation systems designed for your car. The variety of features makes it easy to use for just about any type of driver – novice or seasoned travel pro. The JRCX 8GB GPS is preloaded with a number of maps across North America. Every purchase of the unit includes lifetime updates of its maps for free. All you need to do is contact the manufacturer and request an update.
The touchscreen is massive and very responsible. It is easy to read maps in places you are unfamiliar with and reach your destination without hassle and on-time. The GPS unit supports multiple languages for Spanish speaking drivers.
It is also possible to customize your route based on the height, length, or weight restrictions of the road. Ordinary drivers will not have a use for this road, however, if you haul big loads or trailers frequently it is extremely resourceful.
The display on the JRCX 8GB Lifetime Map GPS Navigator is outstanding. The 7” display is about as large of a screen as you will find on a car GPS as most manufacturers attempt to keep the units fairly compact and not too distracting to the road.
The GPS system has a number of alerts. It informs a driver of upcoming sharp curves, school zones, speed limit changes, nearby red lights, speed cameras, and more. The number of driver alerts is diverse, and competitive with any other navigator on the market.
The JRCX 8GB Lifetime Map GPS Navigator is sold with a car charger, sunshade, and back bracket mount. So you have everything needed to charge and mount the system wherever you so desire on the console of your car. The sunshade also helps you see the screen during the intense mid-day hours where the sun is really bright and distracting.
The product also has a 90 days money back guarantee in addition to its lifetime warranty. You can feel rest assured investing in this affordable GPS system with a stellar reputation.
Map and Directions Features
What is most noticeable about the Garmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS Navigator System is how easy it is to follow directions. The screen is clear and provides incredibly concise directions. The device gets rid of any unnecessary details so you will be able to focus on the road more easily. There are also voice directions if you don’t want the screen to serve as a distraction.
What really makes the Garmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS Navigator System so user-friendly is the way that it uses traffic signs and landmarks to give you an idea of where you are and where you need to go. So, if you aren’t used to traditional directions the feature comes in handy.
The navigation system is perfect for the modern user. The Garmin Drive 50 USA LM is compatible with Foursquare to create preloaded and updated maps. As a result, you will have no trouble at all finding popular hangouts.
The Direct Access feature also ensures that the airports and shopping malls in your area get located quickly. However, the navigator system has been knocked in the past for needing to get refreshed for longer routes as it sometimes gets confused after hours of driving.
The touchscreen on the display responds promptly to your commands. It also has the additional benefit of offering up a dual, split screen. The dual screen presents a way to simultaneously see where you are right now as well as the roads that await on your destination.
There are plenty of driver alerts available with the Garmin Drive 50 USA LM. You are given notice when there are sharp curves ahead, when you are transitioning into a zone with a different speed limit, and where there are red light cameras.
The maps on the GPS offers various updates so that the most accurate information about the roads is presented. However, some of these updates are known to lack critical updates in lesser visited, more rural locations.
Map and Directions Features
The OOTSUTU 7” Portable Touchscreen GPS is designed for a wide range of vehicles. There are seven different modes on the OOTSUTU depending on if you are using it in a car, bicycle, bus, truck, or taxi. The device is constructed to get used for a variety of different purposes.
The GPS unit features preloaded maps of the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Additionally, the device is supported by Lifetime Maps meaning you can update the system whenever you desire for free. You can depend on the device to deliver clear and accurate directions.
The GPS navigation system hooks up to the speakers of your vehicle making it easier to hear voice commands. The FM transmitter will also provide tunes for your speaker system when not receiving voice instructions from the automated voice. It is a nice feature where you don’t have to constantly adjust the volume between your music and GPS voice commands.
The OOTSUTU GPS is a good combination of portability and large display. GPS devices do not get much bigger than 7 inch screens so the unit is comparable to any other you will find on the market. The touchscreen is responsive. You can quickly glance at maps even while driving alone for accurate directions.
The system is installed with several different driver alerts. Users may receive real voice notification about school zones, upcoming sharp turns, and other road hazards. It helps reduce driver fatigue and improve road safety. The GPS can also notify drivers of approaching speed cameras with a unique sound.
Do you frequently travel long distances as in hundreds of miles? The OOTSUTU 7” Portable Touchscreen GPS is setup with music, photo viewing, movie streaming, and games to provide a necessary distraction and some relief when you make a pitstop on a long road trip.
The product is also shipped with a number of accessories. Customers receive a car charger, mini USB cable, car bracket, and back bracket. The unit is also easy to install either with the suction cup bracket or clip holder. The built-in battery lasts about 30 minutes so hook up the unit to the provided charger for longer distances.
Map and Directions Features
One of the things that really stands out about this navigation system is that it is very easy to follow the directions. The Garmin Nuvi 57LM GPS Navigator uses landmarks and traffic lights to guide you to where you need to go. It allows you to avoid examining the smaller details as well as the chance of getting lost.
The spoken directions are very clear and easy to understand. The system has preloaded maps for 49 different states. It is straightforward when you need to look up a destination. The Garmin Nuvi 57LM GPS has partnered with Foursquare to make it simpler to find popular stores and restaurants. The Direct Access feature of the system means that you will be able to find your local malls and airports a lot easier as well.
The display on the system is a little smaller so some people may find it a bit more difficult to see directions or use the touchscreen. There is also an issue some users have with the touchscreen not being fully responsive.
The good news is that the screen has a dual display which allows you to get two different views of the road you are traveling on simultaneously. The dual display helps notify you of immediate turns while preparing for directions in advance.
The Garmin Nuvi 57LM GPS Navigator continually informs you of the speed limits in any particular zone. It also warns you before you enter a school zone and tells you the speed that you need to lower to as well.
The GPS system offers updates quite often which means that you will continue to have reliable information for as long as you are using this device, free of charge.
Map and Directions Features
One of the features that is most noticeable with the TomTom VIA 1515 GPS is the IQ routes. The technology compiles information from numerous databases to provide you with accurate estimates about when you will arrive at the destination. At the same time, the IQ routes can identify the shortest commute to your arrival point. It can help assist those that travel a lot for their job make sure they reach business meetings and appointments on time.
Yet another great feature is the Advanced Lane Guidance. The feature is really beneficial when you reach a tricky junction or confusing street layout. The Advanced Lane Guidance quickly and clearly tells you when to turn so that you don’t take the wrong detour.
If you are someone that is out of town a lot you will find that the GPS is already preloaded with detailed maps of the United States, Mexico, and Canada. So it is compatible with foreign travel in other parts of North America.
While the touchscreen on this device is responsive and simple to use the total display area is small. It sometimes makes it a bit more difficult to see the directions, particularly when the split screen for the Advanced Lane Guidance is activated.
There aren’t too many driver alerts featured on the TomTom VIA 1515 GPS navigation system, but you can see the speed limit on each street and also get warned in advance of roads that are blocked or closed.
While the car GPS does allow you to update your system quite frequently, there are a few difficulties that have been reported. Some users complain about updates not automatically being made on the TomTom VIA 1515 GPS. Others have mentioned the device is not as durable as other units on the market.
Map and Directions Features
If you are looking for a navigator that is stress-free and simple to use, then the Magellan RoadMate 1200 GPS Navigator is for you. While the device itself is rather basic it does not distract you with unnecessary features. Instead, the Magellan RoadMate 1200 GPS will simply lay out exactly where it is that you want to go. If there are some places that you like to frequent more than others, you can simply use the OneTouch search icons for quicker results. The audible directions can help you avoid constantly glancing at the screen, ideal for beginner drivers or the elderly.
The Magellan RoadMate 1200 GPS Navigator features preloaded maps of the US, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. If you tend to travel from city to city quite often, you will find that the Smart City feature is useful. It allows you to quickly narrow down which destination you want to visit depending on the region. Drivers can also plan multiple stops along the way without experiencing any hassle.
The main problem with this navigation system is the fact that it doesn’t inform you when it has lost connection with the satellite. Instead, you will simply find the screen freezing on previous directions and may even not know that something is wrong until it is too late and you have missed a turn.
Now, the Magellan RoadMate is compact enough for you to slip it in your pocket. The problem with a company design is the screen is very narrow. When you are driving, it is difficult to accurately read the map without the assistance of a passenger.
There are no driver alerts available for the Magellan RoadMate 1200 GPS Navigator.
The Magellan RoadMate 1200 GPS is a very basic unit without any additional features. However, it will get you from point A to point B, and works really well for novice drivers as well as seniors.
Map and Directions Features
The MingAo GPS Navigator System already has pre-installed maps for both North and South America. As a result, it is effective in a variety of different countries. The navigation maps are also presented in an easy to understand way. The graphics are realistic and show close-ups of the roads ahead as you approach a turn.
There is also a voice function which clearly enunciates the names of streets and informs you of when you need to make a turn. You can adjust the volume according to what is comfortable for you. The only minor issue is that it can take some time for you to learn how to work the system.
The MingAo device has a large screen that makes it easy for you to see the roads and where you need to go with a quick glance. The touchscreen is very responsive so even if you were to make any changes, you can do so with very little delay. Additionally, the device is equipped with its own sunshade so you can see the screen in both bright and dim environments.
The device provides you with a lot of additional alerts while you are driving. For instance, it will keep track of the speed in the zones where you are driving and will tell you when you are entering an area with a school. The device will also alert you to sharp curves in the road up ahead and notify you of approaching red lights.
The GPS is equipped with Lifetime Maps which means that they will continue to update themselves regularly. The device will also play your music and store/share photos.
Map and Directions Features
If you are someone who doesn’t find traditional maps on GPS systems to serve much of a purpose, you are going to love how the TomTom VIA 1535TM GPS Navigator operates. Why? The VIA 1535TM GPS Navigator presents a realistic view of the road you are accessing compared to a virtual map. The system even advanced forward to show upcoming paths. It helps you determine which lane you need to be in or upcoming turn to take. It helps you avoid the chances of getting lost.
The device is also equipped with IQ routes which ensure that you are provided with up-to-date information on the availability of all roads. The GPS also calculates the fastest route to any particular destination making sure that your journey is as fluid as possible.
The navigator even contains points of interest based on the place you are visiting to make it even simpler for you to identify popular landmarks and attractions. If you are on a family vacation you just may stumble upon a place you didn’t even know existed.
The TomTom VIA 1535TM GPS is equipped with a voice activation feature. However, users have had different opinions on its accuracy. The unit has a tendency to get the address or other details of the destination mixed up. You may find the voice command not all that useful.
The screen on the device is a little small so you may find that it is difficult to discern smaller details. However, the touchscreen is fairly responsive and you can change the settings easily.
There are a few alerts available with the car GPS. It informs you of new speed limits. The device also alerts drivers when they approach roads that are not open and accessible.
This device has Bluetooth hands-free calling as it connects to your smartphone. It is a really great added feature so you can take hands-free calls. The system also provides road updates though some customers complain about the complicated nature of pulling up a new update.
Are you still not sure what car GPS navigation device is the best for your personal needs? Here is a more detailed buying guide to help you reach final verdict:
Your GPS is only as good as its ability to pick up your location and any other locations by connecting to a satellite. For the GPS to have a constant signal it needs to have a sensitive receiver.
Otherwise, you will find yourself losing the connection and waiting for the system to scramble to get its bearings.
It is worth noting that losing connection is nearly inevitable with any device, however, some are still stronger than others when it comes to receiving satellite transmissions.
Screen Size and Resolution
The screen size and resolution may seem like such a minor factor yet it is actually very important.
The size of the screen will determine just how well you can reference the map at any given moment. If the screen is large, the map is easier to read and decipher. A larger screen ensures that all the details on your map are not squeezed together. Instead the map details are spread out and more distinguishable. The resolution is also extremely important as you want a GPS device that is clear and vivid.
The vast majority of new GPS units feature a touchscreen. If you have larger fingers, you may find it difficult to press the right button on smaller screens.
The truth is that most people focus on the audible instructions issued by the GPS, and not the map. After all, if you are driving and lack a fellow navigator, it is difficult to glance at the screen frequently.
It is why you need to make sure that the audio is just as quick as the visual details. As a result, you will get issued directions well in advance of the actual turn. The oral instructions should also sound detailed and provide plenty of relevant information to the road and distance before your next turn.
Since drivers depend on audible direction it is very important that you understand what the computerized voice is saying at all times. Some of the cheaper, poorer quality devices mispronounce street names and present other confusing data.
Let’s face it, even with the best GPS system in your hands, you are bound to make a few false turns. When mistakes occur your GPS needs to reroute itself immediately.
The best GPS car navigation systems will quickly reconnect with the satellite and provide alternate directions. It will prevent you from getting more lost than you already are in a foreign place.
Route Planning and Popular Locations
It is a good idea to arm yourself with a GPS system that is able to plan the shortest route to any destination.
The system should be able to analyze all the routes that you can take and calculate which one will take you the least amount of time. It should factor in considerations such as road jams and construction.
Then over time you may learn the best route, or even good alternate routes (with less traffic) to popular destinations like your favorite restaurant.
Preloaded Maps and Updates
There are several GPS systems that are preloaded with maps that correspond to where you live. The main benefit of these maps is that they don’t take as long to load.
It helps you figure out just where you need to go sooner without waiting for the system to calculate a route. The problem with the preloaded maps is that they are only as good as the updated versions. So, you should look for a system that offers you frequent and free updates to keep it completely updated.
The great feature regarding modern GPS systems is that they are able to provide you with a whole lot of information. So, it is important to look for a device that can provide you with a variety of alerts.
Some drivers prefer to get alerted any time the speed limit changes from one zone to another. The alert is really helpful when navigating around schools. Meanwhile, other drives may prefer updates that notify them of traffic jams in busy, congested areas.
There is even the ability to get alerted when you reach the traffic lights with speed cameras or other updates that are very resourceful yet only available on select GPS devices.
Some of the newer models will brag about voice activation features. Voice activation is designed to let you issue audible instructions back to the GPS system.
It is a great idea in theory yet not all voice activation systems are effective. Some of them are highly unreliable and the system constantly misreads what you really need to happen.
Though you may get jazzed at the idea of a hands-free, voice activated GPS system double check reviews to make sure other customers have found the feature to work accurately and effectively. The technology is still relatively new and getting adjusted on brand new systems.
Who wants a little tunes while they cruise around town? You may have a car radio or other type of device, but some of the top car GPS navigation systems can actually play music, stream videos (for passengers, of course), as well as allow you to share photos.
These types of features are secondary for most customers yet can help keep little ones entertained during a trip.