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Navigon 5100 Review

marcura05 0 Points
edited November -1 in NAVIGON Forum
I'll start with my "qualifications." I have had experience with 5 brands in the last 6 years (Navman, Delphi, Garmin, Magellan and Mio). So I think I know what I'm talking about and I do know what I am looking for/like and dislike.

I bought the 5100 at Staples for $300. I purchased it for the traffic and text to speech.

I used it for 5 days in both the suburbs and city (NYC).

Physical Design: C
To start things off the power cord plugs in the bottom of the unit, I feel they should plug in the side. The mount is rather awkward. Every bump in the road made the whole unit bounce and shake.
The display is cluttered. Most things like speed and altitude can be turned off. However everything on the screen is difficult to read. I’m 31 and have good eyesight (I don’t wear glasses). I found the display hard to read, especially the speed and distance to destination.

Navigation: C
I read someone’s review saying it likes to use "U-turns." That’s a big YES. It wanted me to turn around on 11th street in Manhattan.
The routing makes no sense most of the time. However the rerouting is quick when you miss a turn.
Programming the unit was ok. I had no issues there.

-The unit crashed the first time I used it. I was on the highway and when it restarted my destination needed to be reset. I found that if you turn it off it does not hold the destination.
-The speaker SUCKS. It is not loud or clear enough with the windows up and the radio off. So it was awful with the windows cracked.
-For me the GPS connected in about 1-2 minutes. On other units it seems to take longer if you are moving, that was not an issue with this unit. I found the accuracy of this GPS to be close, maybe 30-40 feet, but I have experienced much, much better with other units.
-The POI’s seem to be up to date and are displayed nicely on the map.
-The Reality View is a nice touch for the more confusing exits in Manhattan and New Jersey. Its one of the few things I liked.
-The free traffic is a nice touch. I found the external antenna is unnecessary for my area. I never actually needed to be rerouted due to traffic. You can set what FM channel you pick the traffic up from. You can also see what song the station is playing at the time. I am not keeping it and do not recommend it unless you have a bionic ear and never play on driving with your windows down.

Break Down:
Display: C
Speaker: F
Mount: D
Navigation: C
Rerouting: B
Ease of Use: B
Features: A
Recommend: No


  • Boy, this is not good.

    I've been looking at the 2100 (smaller version of 5100). So unless the 2100 is the latest and greatest, might need to pass on this.
  • Boy, this is not good.

    I've been looking at the 2100 (smaller version of 5100). So unless the 2100 is the latest and greatest, might need to pass on this.
    Here is a review of the 2100 from another person. Not sure how i got to this site, it might have been from here. So if i'm repeating a link already posted im sorry.

    Also, if you go the the main page of that site and half way down, there is a listen button, but I have no idea what is says because I didn't listen before posting this :)

    Good luck
  • i like the look of the 2100 mount... the 5100 mount is ridiculous!
  • jetro 0 Points
    It has free traffic (the TMC) and built-in RF antenna, for which other companies are asking hard $$. The screen is great. Regarding the mount, is a matter of taste. Initially I doubted the utility of its mount, but is actually quite functional on the windshield, top-dash or lower-dash areas. It can bring the screen closer to the driver and, if placed near the wheel/cd-player is not even visible from outside.

    The routing algorithm is a bit weird, that's true. It takes some time to understand it, one has to experience several route options to get it right. For my taste, "fastest" and "optimal" routes aren't good enough. I had to switch to "shortest" without U-turns.
    I think the software engineers in Chicago twisted a bit too much the constraints in the programs. On fastest or optimal, it's always trying to get you back asap on the initial route. But hey, "fastest" shouldn't mean the fastest for Navigon to compute )

    The text-to-speech works fine, but Navigon could put some extra money and buy some decent sounds.

    I noticed a Navigon software engineer on the website. If this gets to his attention, few suggestions
    - open such a forum on Navigon website
    - when off-map, a dashed straight arrow to the nearest point on the route (like TomTom) would be great
    - not really important, but it would be cool to tune at will the simulation speed
    - when a menu is selected, it's impossible to switch back to another menu without first "unselecting" the current one (i hope i'm clear tap "my destinations" and than "new destination", doesn't work)
    - more POI and give a buck to Zagat to study more cities around! The POI includes bmw, mercedes, etc rep but no autozone or similar!

    there are always things to improve in such complicate systems, but I like my 5100 and I'll keep it; it made me switch from a tomtom.
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