With more new car models showcasing built-in navigation systems and almost everyone owning a smartphone, most of us have our navigation skills down pat.
With car navigation mapping at your fingertips, this begs the question, do we really need to be purchasing navigation systems?
If you don’t have a mapping system in your vehicle or switch between cars, then a portable navigation system will provide you with increased functionality.
We hear you, smartphone users, “But why can’t I just use my smartphone to navigate?”
While using your phone offers free (if you don’t count your phone plan bill) navigation, updating your mapping systems is a quick way to take up your storage space.
Taking up storage space isn’t very appealing to the average iPhone user, who undoubtedly downloads or updates different apps, not to mention stores a hoard of photos that’ll later make their way to Instagram.
Even with the most extensive data storage on your smartphone, mapping systems are much easier to navigate, as they have a larger screen with built-in systems and a sound that is loud and clear.
Many modern cars with in-built navigation offer live traffic updates, updating us on collisions and even police camera locations (thank you, modern technology). However, their downfall is that most still aren’t as nimble as smartphone navigation systems.
If you’re thinking about buying a new car with an in-built navigation system and wondering what recycling options there are for old vehicles, you can read our latest article here, which covers what type of car parts can be recycled!
Now that we’ve convinced you why you should purchase a navigation system, you never ought to get lost with our top pick of navigation devices!
5 of Australia’s Top GPS Systems
1. Best Overall GPS: TomTom GO 520 – $299
Giving the title for best overall GPS system is no walk in the park. However, if we had to crown one better than the rest, the TomTom GO 520 takes the cake.
With the travel bubble now open to New Zealand, road trippers rejoice – this is the system for you!
With this system, you are no longer limited to only navigating Australia, as this TomTom system allows you to download maps from around the world whenever you need them. So you can rest assured you’ll never get lost, even if you’re in a foreign country.
This TomTom system is a crowd favourite, earning ⅘ stars from over 750 Amazon reviews. This sat-nav system offers free lifetime access to maps from all around the world, and what’s best is that it is sold at an affordable price.
Since the car navigation system is connected to your phone through Bluetooth, it means you can get up-to-date traffic and hazard alerts.
While no device is perfect, weighing up the price and the strong customer reviews that the TomTom GO 520 has, it is our best overall GPS system you can get your hands on.
Specifications of the TomTom GO 520 are as follows:
- Dimensions: 5.6 x 3.3 x 0.7 inches
- Weight: 9.1 ounces
- Screen size: 5 inches
- The Bottom Line: If you’re a world traveller, then this GPS system is for you. With maps that you can use in hundreds of countries, this small and affordable device will prevent you from getting lost when you’re thousands of miles from home.
2. Easiest to Navigate GPS: The Garmin DriveSMart 51 LM
Technology isn’t everyone’s strong suit, which is why the Garmin DriveSmart 51 LM is our pick for straight forward car navigation.
If you just look at the reviews on Amazon (4.⅖) and Google (4.⅘), we really don’t need to convince you that much to purchase this navigation system if you’re a daily commuter because it’s a small and easy-to-use sat nav device.
Depending on your preferences, you can choose to have the 5-inch display in landscape or portrait mode, and the easy-to-understand voice can tell you where to go without any complications.
Avid travellers get excited, as this system also comes preloaded with maps for both Australia and New Zealand.
Not only does the Garmin DriveSmart 51 LM help you get to your destination, but the TripAdvisor integration also helps you find hotels, restaurants, and attractions in the area you are headed to!
3. Best Budget GPS: TomTom START 52
We understand that not everyone wants to have the bells and whistles when it comes to their car navigation system, which is why we’ve included the best budget GPS. And by no surprise, it’s TomTom taking the title yet again.
Again, this system received a ⅘ star rating; there’s proof in the pudding that buying a budget-friendly GPS doesn’t mean poor quality.
As well as receiving a ⅘ star rating, this fantastic GPS system has Wi-Fi connectivity, which means you can use it at home or off your phone’s hotspot to load up maps ahead of time!
Much like the Garmin DriveSmart 51 LM, the TomTom START 52 also has a small, easy-to-read 5-inch screen, making it the perfect travel companion that will help you stay on track.
And finally, probably one of the best and most helpful features of this car navigation system is the speed camera locations. If you connect your TomTom START 52 to your computer, you can see speed camera locations that are updated every 90 days!
4. Best GPS Money Can Buy: Garmin DriveSmart 65
Some tech lovers want their car navigation systems with all the bells and whistles available. So don’t worry, tech fiends, we’ve got you covered when it comes to the best GPS money can buy, and that is the Garmin DriveSmart 65.
This beauty of a navigation system boasts a 4.5-star rating from thousands of Amazon reviews around the world.
Whether you’re looking for a navigator for your next road trip or you’re commuting in unfamiliar territory, the Garmin DriveSmart 65 is the way to go. This system has built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to download map updates and utilises Bluetooth with your smartphone for live traffic and hazard updates, keeping you one step ahead of the game wherever you are.
If you’ve already started driving and forgot to turn on the maps, no need to take your hands off the wheel. You can turn on this navigation system with an easy “Okay Garmin”.
With the Garmin DriveSmart 65, you can attach the navigation system to your windscreen using their suction cup mount. For help with your windscreen, you can get your windscreen serviced by a Novus Autoglass professional, the windscreen specialists that always look to repair rather than replace unless it is not safe to do so.
5. The GPS For Motorcyclists: The TomTom Rider 550
Its compact size and unique features make the TomTom Rider 550 a favourite for motorcyclists.
There isn’t a lot of space on motorcycles when you think about it, so it’s best to choose the smallest yet most functional GPS system out there for bikies.
We all know that motorcyclists love to take the most exciting route possible, which is why the TomTom Rider 550 is so great. This GPS system has a Winding & Hilly Road function that allows you to choose more adventurous ways and maybe a little complicated, making the whole riding experience a lot more fun!
And with Wi-Fi updates and access to your smartphone to read off incoming messages, you’ll never be distracted while enjoying your ride.
This GPS was made with bikers in mind and designed with a screen that easily allows riders to use the device even when they have their gloves on.
If you’re a biker who lives for the thrill, or are looking for a good GPS, the TomTom Rider 550 is a great option.
Wrapping It Up
As mentioned earlier, with car navigation mapping so easily at your fingertips through your smartphone, do we really need to be buying car and motorcycle navigation systems?
After sharing with you the top five car navigation systems to suit every traveller, the answer to that question is yes, depending on your type of travel.
If you are changing between vehicles all the time or don’t have enough storage space on your phone, getting a GPS system is worth the investment because of the many different features and types to suit all of you daily commuters, road trippers, and international travellers.
Whether you’re on the lookout for the best, easiest to navigate, best budget, best GPS for motorcyclists, or best GPS money can buy, you now know where to look.
With so many different sat nav systems out there, it’s good to know which ones to look for that will suit your particular needs, preferences, and budget.
We’ll be happy to get you ready to go for your next big adventure.