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Need advice for a good GPS

Hello, our family is considering purchasing our first GPS. We need a map for our use in the US, but we would also like the GPS to have current European maps as well (for a family holiday later this year). Ideally we can find a GPS with free updated maps for the lifetime of the unit. An added bonus would be if we could get a GPS where we could choose the voice of the unit. (I would love to find Jarvis from Iron Man) Thank you for your advice.


  • privet01 227 Points
    Give some details about how you intend to use the GPS. For automobile driving only? For fitness activities like running or biking? For off road uses like hiking out in the woods etc. For use on the water?

    Do you need something that's really easy to use or do you have some savvy with electronics and computers?

    And most important. How much do you want to spend. There are good units in many different price ranges depending on your needs.
  • Boyd 1992 Points
    edited November 2014
    Garmin has two automotive models that include both US and EU maps - the Nuvi 2475 and 2577

    These devices do not include lifetime maps but you can purchase subscriptions (one required for each map). It gets a little complicated with Garmin…. your other option is to buy a Nuvi with lifetime maps for whichever continent you prefer, then purchase a separate map for the other continent. If you do this, you MUST purchase the DVD version of the second map if you want the option to have lifetime maps - and even so, the lifetime subscription would be an additional cost. Garmin maps sold via download and SD card CANNOT be updated, they must be replaced completely when you want a newer map. But maps purchased on DVD are eligible for updates IF you purchase a subscription.

    But wait, it is even more complicated…. When you purchase a separate map (download, card or DVD), all you get is the map. You will not get special features like junction view, 3d buildings and other "eye candy". Those features are only available on maps that were pre-installed on the GPS at the time of purchase.

    So if you want all these features in both the US and EU, you would need to purchase one of the two models listed above, then purchase BOTH and EU and US lifetime subscription.
  • MissionaryAndy 0 Points
    edited November 2014
    Privet01 -Thanks for your advice. The GPS will be used in our automobile only. I am prepared to spend around $200 for this unit.

    Boyd - Thanks for your tips. I appreciated the link to compare the two models. I had found the 2577 on my own, but the 2475 I did not know about. Thanks for explaining about the maps too. I did not realize that there was such a difference. It seems that Garmin in a good brand. I have rented a car that had a tom tom and another that had a magellan and they both worked ok but they were older models.

    No luck on the Jarvis voice though? Too bad.
  • Boyd 1992 Points
    Personally I think a GPS should be seen and not heard. Mine is permanently on mute. There may be sources for other voices to download though. There is also this free software from Garmin for making your own:
  • privet01 227 Points
    edited November 2014
    I agree with the seen and not heard. It only takes a glance to see every bit of info you need while at the wheel. If voice were enabled on mine, I'd get too much information at a time when I don't want it.

    Voice commands might be nice, but I don't think they are quite there yet. Although I will admit my android smart phone does do a pretty good job for quick finds and routing to them with minimal touch or visual distraction to start it giving me navigation info.

    Maybe the dedicated "for the road" GPS's in the higher price point do this, but I've not looked and certainly wouldn't pay just to get that.

    FWIW..... I still use a circa 2008 nuvi 205W for road trips.
  • Boyd 1992 Points
    Not sure about the Android world, but voice recognition with Apple's "Siri" is done by powerful servers and not the iPhone. The phone digitizes your voice, sends it to Apple's servers where it is analyzed and the response is sent back to your phone.

    The Nuvi just doesn't have the processing power to do a good job at this kind of complex task. I tried voice recognition on my 3790 and gave up the first day. Haven't even tried on my newer devices. But I gather some people are happy with it, so I guess it comes down to personal preference.

    @MissionaryAndy, The $200 price point may be tough if you want lifetime map updates for both continents. I see the Nuvi 2577 for about $200 on Amazon, but it would be $75 each for the US and EU lifetime updates, for a total of $350. :|

    Now I see the Nuvi 3590LMT for $140 at GPSCity (factory refurb with same warranty as new). This would include lifetime US maps. But you'd then need the EU maps DVD for around $100 plus lifetime updates for $75, so you are back over $300 again.

    You could also go with a less expensive refurb unit that includes lifetime maps, I see them in the range of $80 to $130 but the cheaper ones don't have traffic receivers. You are still going to be over $250 . BTW, I'm pretty sure a US traffic receiver won't work in the EU.
  • Our trip to Europe will be a one time deal so I do not need lifetime for them. Are you comfortable with a factory refurb unit?
  • Boyd 1992 Points
    Why not? Same warranty as new. I have never personally bought one, but have seen many posts here from satisfied owners. Some people feel they may even be more reliable since they've gone through a whole series of tests during the refurb process.
  • Good reasoning. Thanks for the advice.
  • alanb 550 Points
    edited November 2014
    Since your Europe trip is a one time deal, you might want to give serious consideration to purchasng a US map device and add in the Europe map SD card. That way you can sell the Europe map card after your trip and recover part of your purchase cost.
  • Boyd 1992 Points
    True. Maps that are sold on data cards may be used on any GPS. Maps purchased by download or on DVD are locked to the the original GPS and can't be used on a different one.
  • Alanb - That is a really great idea that I had not considered. Thanks.
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