There are many factors in choosing an GPS for your auto. Most depend on personal likes, dislikes and wants. Some factors do boil down to hard points.
· The receiver.
· The number of points of interest.
· Quality of the routes.
The receiver you want is the SiRF’s high performance. SiRF Star III chipset is a must have. This receiver enables you to get reception in areas you have not in the past, like behind tall buildings and in canyons. Reviewers have praised the SiRFstarIII chipset for its superior sensitivity and tracking capabilities. GPS receivers based on this chipset have routinely performed better than receivers based on other chipsets. All the models form the top manufactures utilize this receiver. However you co need to be careful. There are GPS units from top manufactures without this chipset still in the market place. Also some units with this receiver have been discontinued. Check out my blog to see a list of GPS units to avoid.
The next feature is the number of points of interest the unit comes with. This varies from a few hundred thousand to several million. These points of interest are important when you need to find a gas station fast. A general rule is the more expensive the GPS the more points of interest it will have. Points of Interests can also be added. The process varies by GPS. I know with some TomTom units you can add your own from your computer.
The quality of the routes is the heart of the GPS. The routes are why we buy and use GPS’s. Even with the same receiver and maps the routes will vary between units because of the algorisms used the route will vary. Garmin is ranked by most as the best. Magellan is ranked a close seconded. TomTom is ranked third among the top the manufactures.
Price is a factor because it affects the features you will be able to get. There are many excellent base units the do the basic GPS job. The base models are hundreds of dollars less than the top end models. For example, if you are willing to give up a FM transmitter and MSN for live traffic and you could save as much as $400.00.
The process of choosing a GPS for your auto should look like this:
· Set a maximum price to spend.
· Make sure you are getting the SiRF Star III chipset.
· Review the customer ratings. Every manufacture is capable of producing a poor model.
· Look at the number of points of interest included. Also research the cost of adding more points of interest to the unit.
Do these things and you should be able to find the best auto GPS for you.