What Car? test: road atlases - Introduction

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Many believed that the rise of the sat-nav would kill off the humble road atlas - but nothing could be further from the truth.

The atlas is alive and well - they have clear benefits: detailed overview maps help you plan journeys or take impromptu detours in a way that sat-navs simply can't do.

Better still, atlases typically cost one tenth of the price of a sat-nav, and never lose touch with overhead satellites at crucial moments.

We've examined 12 popular atlases in a variety of formats, ranging from roughly A5 to about A3 in size, and ranked the best.

We also checked the accuracy of the maps' speed camera markers at locations on the M25 and A303 - happily all maps that marked speed cameras passed this test.

It's worth remembering that many atlases are available in a variety of sizes and bindings, so you should be able to get the same information at a price and in a format you want.

What Car? Winners
Best overall Philip's Navigator Britain
Best large atlas A-Z SuperScale GB Road Atlas
Best mid-sized atlas Philip's Navigator Britain
Best small atlas Philip's Compact Atlas Britain

What Car? ranking
1 Philip's Navigator Britain
2 A-Z SuperScale GB Road Atlas
3 Collins Superscale Britain
4 AA 2008 Road Atlas Britain
5 RAC 2008 Road Atlas Britain
6 AA 2008 Easy Read Britain
7 Collins Road Atlas Britain
8 Philip's Compact Atlas Britain
9 Philip's Road Atlas Britain
10 Michelin Tourist & Motoring Atlas
11 A-Z Handy Road Atlas GB
12 Collins Handy Atlas Britain

What Car? test: road atlases - 1st Philips Navigator Britain £19.99


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