How to Choose a Car GPS Unit

GPS devices have made life much easier for many of us who slide behind the wheel to go anywhere we've never been before. Garmin creates numerous GPS navigators packed with features that can lead even the most direction-challenged driver to his or her destination with ease.

What Are Some Features of a GPS Navigator?

Garmin GPS models offer so many features that navigation seems like the least that they do. When shopping, be sure to choose a model based on the features that you may find the most useful.

  • Lifetime Maps is an exclusive feature to these models that allows you to download updates to your GPS that include any changes to streets, highways, or destinations for the life of the device to keep your model up to date. Lifetime Map Updates usually happen every year.
  • Traffic Updates let you know as you travel to your destination whether you need to take an alternate route due to traffic, and the system guides you a different way, so you don't lose time looking for a detour or getting caught in traffic.
  • Turn-by-turn directions make it hassle-free to find even the most difficult-to-locate venues, homes, or landmarks.

Which Garmin Models Can You Select?

When you're looking for a model with a six-inch screen, there are plenty to choose from depending on several factors, including the type of unit and the specific features you want.

  • The nuviCam model LMTHD has a built-in dash camera. It's also Bluetooth-enabled for wireless capability and includes Garmin Real Vision, a feature that lets you see a camera view of your destination as you get closer to it, so you can get your bearings. You can even keep up with your speed limit.
  • The Garmin Drive 61 LM model offers a dual-orientation display that lets you know when you're near any type of curves, a speed-limit change, or anything else you need to be aware of. It uses landmarks to help you find your destination to make it less frustrating to look for certain places.
  • Check into the DriveSmart 61 LMT-S option for advanced, high-tech features. This model includes real-time features, such as parking guides and traffic. It also has built-in Bluetooth capability so you can keep up to date with current traffic, make calls, or get software updates.

What Are the GPS Unit Types?

Though there are many models to select from and multiple features, you must consider how and where you'll actually put your navigation device.

  • Some models mount in-dash for permanence.
  • There are other types that use magnets to mount onto your vehicle.
  • Suction cups are another way to provide temporary mounting for some devices.

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