As not all vehicles incorporate a standard browser, the user has two options: choose one of the different existing navigation applications or use a car gps navigator. Although the popularity of the latter is not as great as that acquired a few years ago, they continue to be an interesting option and a very complete driving assistant.

Also, keep in mind that this way you avoid consuming data on your mobile phone and that the coverage is much better: remember that a GPS navigator connects via satellite and the smartphone to a telephone tower, so if the coverage is not good there is little you can do.

GPS navigators What models have we tested?

The chosen devices are the following: Awesafe GPS for cars (7), Garmin DriveSmart 55 & Digital Traffic (8.75) and TomTom GO Essential (8). These are the criteria taken into account in each analysis:

– Materials: the quality of your build is important. Especially since this type of device is designed to be used for a long time, hence the resistance and durability of these materials is essential.

– Screen: how is this screen, its quality and readability so that there is no confusion when interpreting the information displayed.

– Maps: how is the cartography offered by the GPS navigator and how it is represented.

– User experience: if the GPS serves its purpose, the range it offers, what driving assistance functions it provides …

What is the best car GPS? This is how we have tested them

Each of these three GPS navigators has been tested on different outputs, for example, to the mountain. This has allowed us to see how they work and how useful they are to plan the routes we had planned. We have also been able to check what their maps are like and the driving aids they provide.

The winning device has been the model Garmin DriveSmart 55 & Digital Traffic. This complete driving assistant has offered the best user experience thanks to its various driving aids.

Garmin DriveSmart 55 GPS Navigator & Digital Traffic

This car GPS model meets what one expects to obtain from a product of this type in general, and from a brand like Garmin in particular, As with any other device reviewed, the first thing you look at is the design. With a weight of 150 grams, feels comfortable in hand and has dimensions of 137.2 x 76.2 x 17.8 millimeters. The suction cup mount included for the car guarantees good adhesion on the dashboard.

The use of the margins is good and the feeling is that the screen is a bit larger than it seems. They are 5.5 inches and 1,200 x 720 pixels of resolution. To the touch, the response is impeccable, although You also have the option of interacting with the device through its voice assistant.

With pre-installed maps of Europe, and Wi-Fi technology so that future updates are made without any type of cable, we liked how it represents the cartography and the way it shows the information that the driver needs on his journey: speed limit indicator, the view of junctions, alerts driving if we approach a sharp curve, speed camera warnings, alternative routes …

Our choice

One of the coolest extra features is the Garmin Drive app. You install the app on your phone and then link it to the GPS: you receive traffic information, weather information or help if you are looking for parking.

Buy for € 173 on Amazon

TomTom GO Essential GPS Navigator

Provided with a movable magnetic holder which makes the device dock instantly and available in two screen sizes (5 and 6 inches), this TomTom navigator offers a user experience that, without being bad, leaves a bittersweet taste at certain moments because you expect more. For example, voice control can be improved and sometimes, and for no apparent reason, the traffic information it displays does not fully correspond to reality.

However, it has other details that have convinced us: Wi-Fi updates of your European cartography are completed quickly, the tactile response of your display It is effective, the control it performs of the average speed in those sections of road that use these radars is effective (it includes six months of traffic radars), it quickly captures the GPS signal …

Shares with the Garmin model the Check the ratings of the points of interest collected on the TripAdvisor page, useful if you are looking for a place to spend the night or eat. As with its adversaries, the battery life is not long, so it is advisable not to leave the charging cable at home.

The alternative and best value for money

If you download the MyDrive application and pair the GPS with your mobile phone, you can, for example, add favorite destinations or receive important notifications related to the trip we prepare.

Buy for € 148 on Amazon

Awesafe GPS Navigator

If your budget is tight, or you don’t want to spend a large sum on a GPS navigator, there are proposals like this Awesafe model that It comes with a rear parking camera. The quality of its materials is somewhat adjusted and, although it offers the minimum for users to plan their trips, some of the basic characteristics in this class of devices such as the speed warnings, the signaling of the next exit or the points of interest that may be useful to the driver during their journeys.

Captures the GPS signal better than we thought and during the days that we have tried it we did not lose the positioning. There is also no lack of 2D and 3D maps, and the seven inches of its screen are appreciated when displaying its cartography (it is European) given its breadth. However, its quality and response to touch could be better. Like his opponents, via Bluetooth, it is possible to connect it to the mobile phone to, for example, respond safely to phone calls. The quality of the audio is amplified when using the speakers of our vehicle through the radio. GPS updates force us to use the computer because does not incorporate Wi-Fi technology.


The quality of the audio is amplified when using the speakers of our vehicle through the radio. GPS updates force you to use your computer because it does not incorporate Wi-Fi technology.

Buy for € 79.99 on Amazon

* All purchase prices included in this article are current as of June 3, 2021.

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