We test car GPS navigation devices priced between $80 and $499 to find the best performing models with a range of basic and premium features. We also test a range of the most popular car GPS apps available from companies such as Apple, Google, TomTom and Waze, for iOS and Android devices.
Our experts test-drive every GPS unit and app to find the models and programs that:
We also look for important additional features such as live traffic updates, safety (speed and red light) camera and school zone alerts, Bluetooth for hands-free phone use, trip planning and public transport information.
List of brands we tested in this review.
Recommended retail pricing as of September 2018.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 499
We recommend any model that scores 80% or more overall, and is currently available.
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We assess the quality of the voice, timing of turn and other instructions, how clear the instructions are, and whether it's possible to rely on verbal instructions without looking at the screen.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0
We assesses: 1) map readability including route and road clarity, as well as text size 2) visibility in bright/daylight, 3) visibility at night/in low light. Extra points are also awarded if the unit automatically activates dimming when driving through a tunnel.
Our tester checks how long it takes the GPS to recover after a missed turn, and after coming out of a tunnel, with a planned turn-off immediately after the tunnel exit.
We assess how useful the GPS's instructions are, how easy it is to attach and remove the unit and whether it vibrates during travel. We look at how easy it is to use the menu structure on the touchscreen and, where supplied, whether it's necessary to use a stylus to navigate the menu.
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites, or in second hand dealers. Test methods may change over time, so criteria which can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.