A Guide to Finding the Best GPS For Car: Read this!

Nowadays, smartphone users could use Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing Maps and so on in order to get much needed directional guidance in a hurry. That being said, it’s not a good idea to depend on such tools for extended trips as they are mostly good of short travels. So if you want to reach far away locations while traveling by car, you have to think about getting a solid GPS device for your vehicle. With the best GPS for car by your side, you would be able to reach your destinations swiftly and safely. Nonetheless, with numerous models and brands on the market, it’s hard to make wise investments if you don’t know much about GPS devices.

Best GPS For Car to Buy Today

Feeling confused and overwhelmed by the number of market products? If that is so, this article got something for you. Right down below are some of the best GPS for car available for purchase along with their capabilities and reviews. Take a good look at the listed products to see if one of them matches your travel needs and requirements.

1. Garmin Drive 50LM – Best Of The Best

Why This Is The Best

Dependable and reliable, Garmin Drive 50LM is widely thought to be the best GPS for car regarding all-around performance. While the Garmin example seems to be pricey, its performance on the road more than justifies the steep acquisition cost.  Offering free lifetime updates as well as comprehensive road instructions, the system receives positive assessments from multiple car GPS reviews. Through the unit, you should be to reach unfamiliar and faraway location with relative ease.

best GPS for car
Garmin Drive 50LM

Designed to increase the situational awareness of the user, Garmin Drive 50LM is capable of delivering a lot of warnings. From sharp curves to railroad crossings, the Garmin GPS unit let you know exactly what to expect down the road. In extended trips, the system also presents break time suggestion so you don’t push your body over the limit. Thanks to the voice activation feature, you could casually interact with the unit while keeping your eyes on the road.


  • Well-built
  • Straightforward installation
  • Wireless camera compatible


  • Inconsistent performance
  • Quality control must be improved

2. Garmin Nuvi 2639LMT – Editor’s Choice

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

Have money to spare and really want to get something of high quality? If that is so, Garmin Nuvi 2639LMT is just what you need. The majority of Garmin Nuvi reviews are favorable as this model possesses a rather wide screen that simplifies the task of reading on-screen information. Due to the pin to zoom feature, people could quickly take a closer look at displayed details whenever they want. Furthermore, the system display screen is a dual orientation design, you could set it up vertically as well as horizontally.

Nuvi 2639LMT
Nuvi 2639LMT

Possessing a high capacity database, Garmin Nuvi 2639LMT contains millions of different point of interest along with the usual addresses. Considering the fact that the database receives frequent updates, the Garmin unit is able to provide accurate instruction and relevant information in times of need. In addition to that, the system also monitors the traffic condition in the vicinity to inform you of delays and devise alternative routes if possible. As a result, the unit is the best GPS for car if you want a lot of customizations while traveling.


  • Hand-free operation
  • Intuitive interface
  • Excellent map data


  • The price tag is expensive
  • Display defects are reported

3. TomTom GO 520 – Editor’s choice

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

For worldwide travelers, TomTom GO 520 would prove to be an excellent companion on the road. The TomTom unit offers data update for life and lets consumers download maps from around the world free of charge. As the device is equipped with onboard Wifi, there is no need for a computer when it comes to getting the latest maps and updates. Once the system notifies you about new data or software change, just connect to your preferred Wifi network and pick what you want to install.

best GPS for car
TomTom GO 520

One innovative feature of TomTom GO 520 is that it’s able to predict the place that you want to visit. By learning the habits of the driver, the TomTom model would deliver directional guidance before you even input the destination.  Generally speaking, the more you travel with the unit, the more precise its prediction gets.

Since the device receives real-time update regarding the traffic, you would be able to pick the best rote available at the moment without fail.


  • Easy to use
  • Simple setup
  • Fast reaction


  • Mediocre customer support
  • Occasional connecting errors

4. Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S

Why We Love It

In the case ease of use is your number one priority, you are going to love Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S. Featuring a large 6.95-inch display and a commendable resolution of 1024 x 600 pixel, the Garmin model possesses top-notch handling characteristics. Thanks to the built-in Wifi, you could pair the unit with your phone and make hand-free calls while traveling which is quite convenient. Although the 1-hour battery life of the device is not impressive, it’s pretty adequate for most of the time.

Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S
Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S

In its original configuration, Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S contains preloaded maps of United States, Canada Mexico and numerous points of interest you may come across. Hotels, gas stations, restaurant and many others, just pick the place you like and the system would take you there. Because the unit could accept Micro SD card, you could implement necessary changes to the GPS database as you wish. Moreover, it’s possible to set up custom waypoint such as your house, workplace, school,…

Keep In Mind


  • Frequent update
  • Wide display screen
  • User-friendly interface


  • Inaccurate time estimate
  • The alert stays for too long

5. TomTom VIA 1605M

Why We Love It

Providing users with ergonomic controls, sharp images and catchy alert icons, TomTom VIA 1605M is one of the best GPS models available on the market. As the TomTom system receive constant updates about road changes and traffic condition, its instructions are always up to date. All updates are free, you don’t have to pay additional costs which makes the unit a cost-effective investment. Given the fact that the display offer split screen function, you could observe the 3D view and the bird’s-eye view of the road.

Best GPS for car
TomTom VIA 1605M

Beside the model itself, the manufacturer also gives you a couple of handy accessories when you purchase TomTom VIA 1605M. Namely, the TomTom unit comes with an integrated mount, a traffic receiver, a charging cable and a Mini-USB cable. Thanks to that, you would be able to set up the system without much difficulty. Depending on your preference, you could attach the screen to the windshield or the dashboard. You don’t have to worry too much about the device orientation: when placed upside down, the screen automatically flips the display information to compensate.


  • Flexible installation
  • Great post-purchase support
  • Accurate directional guidance


  • Sluggish responses
  • Lackluster manual

6. Garmin Nuvi 57LMT

Why We Love It

Made to work independent of cellular signals, Garmin Nuvi 57LMT perform admirably in remote areas. People that tend to pass through cellular dead zones while traveling consider the model to be the best Garmin GPS the marker got to offer. Preloaded with accurate maps of multiple states in the U.S, the unit would help you reach your desired destination in the shortest time possible. As the maps receive updates from time to time, the database of the unit is always kept up to date.

Due to the intuitive lane assist feature, Garmin Nuvi 57LMT simplifies the task of navigating complex junctions in heavy traffic. Using colorful arrows, the Garmin system would show people which lane they need to follow. Through a combination of spoken messages and catchy alerts, you should have a rather firm grasp on the current situation. That means no more pent-up stress from trying to read tiny street names and building addresses along the road. The search function could be customized to only release relevant results which save precious time.


  • Boot up in no time
  • Work without data
  • Rugged suction mount


  • Installation errors are noted
  • Slightly complicated setup


7. Garmin DriveSmart 51 LMT-S

Why We Love It

Featuring straightforward controls as well as voice command interaction, Garmin DriveSmart 51 LMT-S is no-nonsense GPS unit for car. By taking a quick glance at the Garmin model periodically, you would be able to acquire essential information including nearby landmarks, lane changes, upcoming turns,… Real-time updates are also provided from traffic condition to available parking space which should keep your travel worry-free.

After several hours of continuous driving, the system even suggests potential break areas near you.

Since Garmin DriveSmart 51 LMT-S is Bluetooth compatible, you could pair it with your phone to read text messages and make/receive hand-free calls. As a result, you could interact with other people in times of need while keeping your hands on the wheel. In the case you wish to better monitor what in the back of your vehicle, you could consider grabbing the optional wireless BC-30 backup camera. Through that camera, you would be able to detect vehicles, pedestrians along with other obstacles.


  • Large memory
  • Stable connection
  • Responsive control


  • Kind of loud
  • Difficult to customize

Finding The Best Car GPS: What You Must Check

Considering the fact that the GPS market could offer multiple options for car, it’s strongly recommended that you don’t make you purchase randomly. You might waste a lot of money on a less than ideal product if you simply buy on a whim. In most of the case, you have to thoroughly assess the following criteria before you could make up your mind.  Different people would have different taste, the model that you feel to be the best GPS for car might seem mediocre in other people eyes.

1. Price

As always, the shopping budget plays a very important role. You need to keep your financial ability in mind no matter what while searching for the best GPS for car. Overall, it’s totally possible for you to get super cheap GPS devices but the rule “You get what you pay for”remains true here.  There is a noticeable link between the acquisition cost and the performance of a particular product, dirt cheap examples would not have top notch features. So if you want to get something that could hold itself together on the road, prepare to spend serious money. However, if you have rather simple travel demands, there is no need to go for top-of-the-line models.

2. Map

It goes without saying that the value of GPS devices would be largely decided by the accuracy of its map. Generally speaking, preloaded maps work great but remember that the road changes all the time and often without any warning.  Traveling with outdated maps would cause a lot of trouble to your trip planning so ensure that the model you get offers free regular updates. Moreover, you probably need to swap out maps every once in a while and that is why your GPS must accept SD/Micro SD cards. Such a feature would allow you to get around even when you are in areas with little to no signal.

3. Screen

The most common reason that makes people search for the best GPS to car is that they are tired of struggling with all the tiny icons/instructions on their phones.  As a result, the screen size of the GPS is among the first things you need to exam and inspect. The screen should be big enough to let you see the directional guidance with a glance but it must also not get in your way. Many modern-day GPS utilizes a 5-inch display but there are variants that have a 4-inch, 6-inch or 7-inch display. Aside from the size, pay attention to the screen brightness as well and determine whether it’s good enough for travels in low light conditions.

4. Battery

GPS for car often depend on the vehicle 12-Volt outlet for energy but you likely need the outlet for other tasks from time to time. It’s extremely frustrating to see your GPS to run out of juice all of the sudden when you are in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, the best GPS for car must be able to run for a reasonable amount of time on its own battery without any substantial interruption. For most of the time, you should prioritize models that employ lithium-ion batteries as they have excellent battery life compared to other market products. Certain examples are even capable of working for up to 6 hours with a full charge.

5. Feature

Aside from its primary guidance function, the best GPS for car need to make your travel smoother and more enjoyable. You should see able to see how the device accomplishes that simply by checking out the features that it possesses. Namely, the must-have features include voice-activated navigation, audible notification, wireless connectivity, hand-free control along with many others. In theory, the more features a model got, the more versatile it becomes but you should beware of complex examples. It’s useless to have so many redundant features that you could not fully utilize.

Integrated GPS Vs Standalone GPS

Don’t want to stick a blocky device to the windshield or the dash of your car? Then integrated GPS devices are definitely for you. Modern infotainment systems tend to feature excellent built-in GPS navigation but it’s also a choice when it comes to high-end aftermarket refit. That being said, integrated GPS devices are very expensive and they could not be readily removed without requiring specialized tools.  On the other hand, standalone GPS examples are fairly mobile and most of all, you could purchase them at a more or less acceptable price. Take your travel situation into account and you should be to decide which type of GPS device suits you more.

Benefits Of Having GPS Device

1. Access To Roadside Assistance Service

Have to travel through sparsely populated regions where auto shops are few and far between? If that is so then it’s handy to have a GPS that let you call roadside assistance if something goes wrong without any warning. Whether your gas tank is empty or you experience a flat tire, GPS devices could get you help in just a blink of an eye. Through the GPS device, people would be to get to you quickly and help you get back on the road.

For people that must travel long distance by themselves, such a benefit is highly appreciated.

2. Prevent Potential Break-Ins/Thefts

Car thieves is a constant worry for vehicle owner but with best GPS for car, you should be able to travel with peace of mind. Once criminals notice that your car is equipped with a solid GPS system, they tend to look for other targets. In the unlucky case that your car is nonetheless stolen, all you have to do is to get to the police station and require assistance. Through the onboard GPS, law enforcement officers could pinpoint the exact location of your car which facilitates the retrieval process. Outfitting your vehicle with a GPS device is a great way to ensure its safety.

3. Reduce Many Car Related Costs

No matter how careful you are, accidents might happen and that is why people often consider insurance to be essential. In most of the case, ordinary insurance providers offer a lower rate for vehicles that have a GPS device installed. As long as the system is legit, the vehicle should be substantially less vulnerable to illegal acts and so on. Therefore, you could save a lot of money when it comes to insurance expense by acquiring the best car GPS. Aside from that, since you could quickly get to your destination thanks to the GPS assistance, less money would be used on refueling the tank.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Best GPS For Car And Alike

1. Must I Use A GPS Device To Get Directional Guidance?  

Generally speaking, if you simply that your smartphone and tablet could get you to the place you want then use them by all mean. There is no need for you get a GPS system if you are satisfied with what you have on hand.

That being said, as mentioned above, purpose design products would always the best choices when it comes to GPS navigation.

2. What Is A Traffic Receiver?

A traffic receiver is a device that provides the GPS system with much-needed information about the surrounding traffic condition. Examples that have traffic receivers could give out more realistic and automatically updated instruction base on the flow of traffic. Moreover, traffic receivers don’t require data from your smartphone.

3. Are There Any Brands On The Market Should I Prioritize?  

As long as you are certain that a particular GPS unit suits your needs and requirement, you could grab it without caring about the brand. However, if you wish to get your device from reputable manufacturers, there are 2 names you should remember: Tomtom and Garmin. There are heated discussions/debates about who would win in a “Tomtom vs. Garmin” competition.

4. Is It Difficult To Mount A GPS System By Myself?

The majority of standalone GPS example could be installed within a blink of an eye. To get the GPS navigation up and running, only basic knowledge and skill are required. On the other hand, it’s wise to leave the installation to the professionals if people wish to use integrated GPS models on their car.

5. What Kind Of Accessory Should I Expect From GPS Devices?

The average GPS system could come with mounts that permit you to set up the unit on the windshield/dashboard. Besides that, the brand would also give the customer a power cable to connect the GPS to the lighter outlet.