Recommended GPS for Europe and USA

Feb 18th, 2007, 06:05 PM
  #1  
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Recommended GPS for Europe and USA

I'm going to be driving from Barcelona to Cannes this coming May and would like to take along a GPS device to help me with the drive.

Last year, we drove through Germany using the rental car provided GPS and it saved our trip. I think the only thing that preserved my relationship that trip was the GPS.

I know that a lot of the different systems will allow you to download maps of Europe, but I'm curious if anyone has any experience with taking a GPS to Europe and using it there.

Any recommended devices would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Bart
bartorlando is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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I use the Pharos GPS-360 Locator that came bundled with Microsoft AutoRoute (European maps). It plugs into a USB port on my laptop when I'm in the car, and into a CF slot on my iPAQ when I'm on foot. I have used it all over Europe with no problems except sometimes it can't "see" enough satellites when I'm in a city canyon. But on the open road, absolutely no complaints.

You can also get it with Microsoft Streets & Trips (North America maps). The Pocket Streets maps for several hundred cities are free.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 06:30 PM
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Ah yes, we have just gone through the same dilemma as we're travelling in Canada, the U.S. and then Europe. Decided on the TomTom GO910 - North American and European maps pre-installed on a 20Gb hard drive. Works straight out of the box. Tried it out over the weekend and so far it's been great in Canada but I can't comment on the European coverage yet. Check out http://www.tomtom.com/products/product.php?ID=212
starfish1 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 07:58 PM
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Hi Bartorlando

My vote goes to our Garmin - she's spot on every time!

One tip - when we park the car in a city, we plot our position on the GPS and use it hand-held when walking around. No need to keep your eye so conciencously on the local street layouts; as soon as you want to return to the car, just call up your position again, and she'll guide you back there.

We've used it in Aus, Europe and Canada, and like Robespierre, the only time we've had 'blackout' for coverage is in the narrow streets of large cities with tall buildings creating too much satelite shaddow.
Happy travels, Di
di2315 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 08:52 PM
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jrg
 
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I recently purchased a ViaMichelin X-930 for US$280; it has maps for the U.S. and Canada. You can get maps for France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal on a 1 GB SD card, with the rest of Europe on a DVD-Rom, all for €199. So total price is about US$540. Look at www.viamichelin.us (Don't know why that's repeated itself)

The big bonus is that hotel, restaurant and tourist site information from the Michelin Red and Green Guides is included with the maps, so you don't have to go looking for addresses.

I obviously haven't had any experience with it in Europe yet, but I have been getting comfortable with it here (in and around Toronto). It's a basic unit -- no Bluetooth or MP3s -- but it fits into my shirt pocket easily when it is not on its windshield bracket, and only weighs 5oz. It has a battery life of about 4 hours away from the car -- good for wandering on foot.

The GPS technology and maps are excellent. I gather the navigation software went through a number of upgrades after the model was launched in Europe a year ago, but they seem to have fixed whatever bugs it had.

I think I've made a good choice.
jrg is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 04:24 AM
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I have a Garmin StreetPilot C330 and have used it in Germany and Switzerland. Makes driving in Europe much more enjoyable, especially for my wife.

It's very portable, and we use it all the time when we travel anywhere in the States. For Europe you can purchase their City Navigator Europe V9 maps along with an SD card and download the Europe maps to your GPS. I got mine for Christmas 2005, and the prices have come down considerably.

Garmin is one of the leaders in the industry, and it is very user friendly. I would recommend going into a Circuit City, Best Buy, or the like and check them out, test drive one and see which version/model/brand best fits your needs.
Budman is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 04:45 AM
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On the most recent Consumer reports ratings I've seen the Magellan and Garmin models were rated as tops.
Dukey is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 05:37 AM
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Did they define "tops?"

For different users, it might mean different things: idiot-proofness, receiver sensitivity, ability to accessorize, price : performance ratio (to name a few).

Without qualification, any ratings are meaningless.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 06:42 AM
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The TomTom C910 is $512 from Amazon shipped. Packs a lot of features for that price, including Euro maps, 20GB HDD, big screen, text-to-speech, Bluetooth.

But it's big so for instance, it's not easy to carry around (and you wouldn't want to leave it in your car even if you don't use it on foot). And the car mount doesn't charge the thing, just prevents the charge from draining.

It's POI database has been criticized for being outdated. Not sure if that was for the NA maps or the Euro maps. You would think they know Europe better.
scrb is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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Has anyone used one in Croatia?

I had been thinking about buying a GPS unit for my travels in the US.

I just got a quote from AutoEurope on renting one. $84 a week for two weeks plus $35 to ship so the cost is over $200. For that price I can make a good dent in just buying one! And AutoEurope puts a $1,200 "hold" on my credit card. (The last part isn't a problem, but considering the cost of the units it seems that if I lose the stupid thing AutoEurope is going to want to bill be $1,200!)

I am leaning towards a Garmin.
CarolA is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 09:27 AM
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I just bought the Garmin Nuvi 370 and I love it. It's easy to use, small and portable, and has both American and European maps,
el344 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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Congratulations on the Garmin 370.

It gets raves for the NAVTEQ maps, which reviewers praise over the ones used by TomTom.

Did you get a good price for it?

Let us know how the Euro. maps work out.
scrb is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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That's great that the Nuvi 370 comes loaded with both North Am and Europe maps, because the Europe maps alone cost around $280-300. It's also nice because it's a great portable size. I see on line that you could get one for a little over $700. If you travel a lot, it's well worth it. We take our everywhere we travel in the U.S. where we get a rental car -- will be taking ours back to Europe this May.

If you can afford one, it's a great investment.
Budman is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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mobileplanet.com sells it for $609.95
Robespierre is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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That's a much better price than I paid, but unfortunately mobileplanet doesn't actually have them in stock.
el344 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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I called them. You can have it in 3 days. "Ordered on request" isn't the same as "out of stock."

mobileplanet.com/p.aspx?i=145434

But if you're looking to save money, why buy a dedicated GPS at all? A PDA with onboard GPS costs less and does more.
Robespierre is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 12:12 PM
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With shipping it comes to $622.90. That's a GREAT price. I'm sure next year it will be down to about $500.
Budman is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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That is a good price. I don't really need it until September so I think I am going to wait a few months. Thanks for the link!
CarolA is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 02:43 PM
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I echo Garmin from our experience in France and Germany. I must say, however, that the GPS in our rental Mercedes in Germany last year (through Avis) was superior to my Garmin 3600 in a side-byside comparison. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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I continue to use my Axim PDA with Holux card type GPS and Mapopolis maps. I am sure there are better set up as this is two year old technology.
Stupid question but does NA 12 volt plug in for GPS or laptop work seamlessly with cars produced for European market?
Obvious answer seems rto be "of course" but I thought I would ask...
robjame is offline  

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