Sat Nav of the Year shortlist
While smartphone apps have made navigation easier, faster and cheaper than ever before, dedicated sat nav units are still important for a number of drivers who don't want to waste their phone's battery life or data on getting from A to B. There are the top 5 sat navs we tested over the last 12 months.
TomTom GO Essential
The TomTom GO Essential offers some excellent features - live traffic updates, speed camera warnings and genuinely helpful directions with clear advisories along the route. However, one of the biggest advantages this sat nav has over the Waze app is the Road Trips feature in the MyDrive app.
Priced well within the market, TomTom’s GO Essential with a five-inch screen has an RRP of £179.95. Opt for the six-inch version and the price increases by a further £40.00 to £219.95. We think it's good value for the unit if you're looking for a dedicated sat nav.
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TomTom Rider 550
TomTom’s latest motorcycle-specific sat nav ’is aimed at those who want to tour or take the long way home. It offers all of the usual sat nav ability to get you to your destination in the shortest possible time or most direct route, but it also comes with features that allow you select more scenic or challenging roads.
As you'd expect with a TomTom, there’s all the usual traffic and route information available to help you avoid jams. It tells you where safety cameras are positioned and, in most cases, if you’re in an average speed zone and what your calculated average speed is. Built-in WiFi also means you don’t need to faff around with wires when you want to update the Rider 550’s maps and software updates either.
Find it on Sports Bike Shop here
If you’re in the market for a sat nav and simply want something inexpensive and functional, then this is a sensible, straightforward option. It may have the odd glitch but it will get you from door to door without grief – and at a fraction of the cost of comparable sat navs.
Additionally, given that many rely on their phones for navigation these days, there’s something to be said for having a redundant navigation backup. Given the low price of this Shenen unit, it’s ideal for simply slinging in a glovebox and forgetting about until you need it.
Garmin Drive Assist 51 LMT-D
The Garmin DriveAssist 51 LMT-D is a sat nav unit that features an integrated dash cam, in an effort to cut down on windscreen clutter and fuss. You simply put it in your car, plot the route and set off; the dash cam will then capture any incidents along the way, which could make an insurance claim far easier to resolve.
If you need a new sat nav, and think that a dash cam would be beneficial on the trips you intend to take, then this Garmin is worth considering. It’s an excellent sat nav unit, for starters, and is easy to use. While the quality of the footage from the camera isn’t great, it serves its purpose.
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Mio Spirit 8670 LM
There’s a lot to like about this sat nav. It's simple to fit, straightforward and its guidance easy to follow. Once you’ve told it where you want to go, it then presents you with a series of route options – including ‘easiest’ and ‘fastest’. It’s not an uncommon feature but it’s an appreciated one. It’s not without its issues, however. It can be a little slow to respond to on-screen button presses, for starters.
Its voice instructions are easy to understand and hear, while the on-screen instructions are intuitive and clear. The display shows your current speed as well as the trip details, allowing you to quickly check your journey’s status at a glance.The audible speed limit warning isn’t overly sensitive or intrusive, either, politely reminding you that you’re exceeding the limit without being annoying. There is a range of other useful features, too, including a caravan and truck mode – and a host of route planning options.
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