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The best GPS devices for your car

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

The GPS navigation devices on our list offer advanced driver assistance features like Bluetooth connectivity, geo-based recommendations, voice commands, and much more on large HD displays. We’ve also included a GPS navigation tool for trucks, so if you drive a much larger vehicle for your business, you’ll know where the nicest routes are for you. Furthermore, the GPS tracking device on our list will monitor where your car is at the moment. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at your best options!

Garmin DriveSmart 65

Best Overall

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Why we picked the Garmin DriveSmart 65:

The Garmin DriveSmart 65 is packed with features to navigate the road ahead that can even help you find the best food in the city. The exemplary user interface can get you to your destination effortlessly with clear turn-by-turn instructions you can follow. Not to mention that this GPS device can also take commands with just your voice, so you can say where you need to go without the hassle of typing it.

The bright, 6.95-inch TFT navigation screen shows free lifetime traffic information. It also features a TripAdvisor that will help you find the points of interest, such as gas stations, hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. Best of all, with the help of the Garmin Drive App, you can have access to real-time information about weather, traffic, and parking, and you can also pair your smartphone using Bluetooth, so you won’t need to take your hands off of the steering wheel when answering calls.

Why we love it:

  • WiFi-connectivity for map updates
  • Allow voice commands for convenient use
  • Bluetooth compatible for hands-free calling
  • Easy-to-read maps

Why we don’t:

  • A detailed map is only limited to North America

Optimus Tracker

Best Value

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Why we picked the Optimum Tracker:

While most GPS devices on our list help you with route navigation, the Optimus Tracker will give you your car’s location when used by a family member or a friend. Its battery life can last for up to 2 weeks while reporting real-time data. You can even monitor your vehicle from any smartphone, tablet, or desktop.

With the help of the GPS Tracking App, you can customize notifications and receive driving reports. You can also set a speed limit alert to notify you about when and where your car went over the speed limit and at what speed. Best of all, you can use the Geofence alert, so you’ll be notified when your vehicle enters a pre-defined area.

Why we love it:

  • Easy to use and gives real-time data
  • Long battery life for convenient use
  • Can notify you of car location updates

Why we don’t:

  • Requires payment for monthly service

TomTom Go 520 GPS Navigator

Best for Travels

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Why we picked the TomTom Go 520 GPS Navigator:

It’s easy to get caught up in robust feature sets, but sometimes the essentials are all you need, especially when on the road. For that, we recommend TomTom’s Go 520 GPS Navigator—its smart mapping technology and intelligent features are difficult to ignore. It can provide free lifetime map updates regardless of where your next adventure takes you. 

Wherever you go, this GPS device can guide you through the entire world and not just in North America. You will love how you can listen to the text messages and answer calls from your phone with your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, thanks to the MyDrive App that you can download quickly. It can also run for about an hour on battery power before it will need a charge.

Why we love it:

  • Allows a hands-free calling while driving for safety
  • Compatible with Siri and Google Now
  • Has a world map and traffic for convenient travels

Why we don’t:

  • It doesn’t include an integrated traffic receiver; it only leverages your smartphone to update traffic conditions

Garmin dēzl GPS Navigator

Best for Trucks

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Why we picked the Garmin dēzl GPS Navigator:

Since trucks have different routes to go to than regular cars, the Garmin dēzl GPS Navigator is here to help. It will provide you with truck-preferred roads suitable for the size of your vehicle and the load it carries. This GPS device also features industry-best load-to-dock guidance that shows you potential loading zones or storage lots, so you’ll know where to go.

You can also receive alerts for upcoming bridge heights, railroad crossings, speed changes, and more for safety. The voice assistant will help with your verbal command requests, so you can keep your hands on the wheel while getting directions. Best of all, it allows Wi-Fi connectivity to keep your map up to date even without the use of computers.

Why we love it:

  • Offers a custom routing based on the size and weight of your truck
  • It has a voice assistant for effortless use
  • Can help you with preferred stops and parking

Why we don’t:

  • The price may be too expensive

How we test

The Digital Trends automotive team evaluates GPS systems in real-world conditions, such as in-town driving, freeway cruising, backroad excursions, trips to unfamiliar areas, and more. The units are scored based on ease of installation, interface usability, available additional features, demonstrable accuracy, and compatibility with smartphones, but appearance, durability, and pricing are all considerable factors as well.

About the Author:

Rusty Davis has been a tech lover for as long as he can remember. From the early days of gaming consoles to the introduction of the smartphone, portable computers, and more, he’s always wanted to get his hands on the latest and greatest. He has years upon years of experience reviewing and testing everything from phone cases to smartwatches, the latest phones and tablets to gaming computers, and even desks. If it’s a piece of tech or tech-adjacent, he’s interested in how it works and who it works best for. He’s now here sharing all of his knowledge with you to help you make the best decision for yourself.

Why You Should Trust Us:

The Digital Trends team prides itself in offering expert product recommendations in ways that everyone can understand. Our team of experts is constantly using and reviewing the latest and greatest consumer tech, smart home gadgets, televisions, and so much more to offer insights to help guide your purchasing decision. We have vigorously tested thousands of different products across these categories, and we’ve distilled our lists to bring you the best of the best. If we feel a product does not live up to our expectations, it doesn’t make the list. We are humans though, and realize that not every recommended product will be perfect for everyone, so we do our best to call out important features that may impact your choices. Below our top picks we’ve included additional product information to ensure that you are making the right choice for your unique needs. The products in this guide have been carefully curated by our team of experts and enthusiasts who understand the value and quality needed for the best options.

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…