Garmin Nuv 1310
Price £109.99 (Play.com)
For Great value; easy to use;
lots of features
Against No Euro maps; monotone voice
There's little point in spending hundreds of pounds if you only occasionally need directions. That said, some cheaper units will leave you feeling distinctly short-changed with their clunky menus, undersized screens and shortage of features.
Plump for Garmin’s nüvi 1310, though, and you won’t be disappointed. Although
it’s not the cheapest unit we tested, it’s reasonably priced and boasts a user-friendly menu system, easy-to-read maps and a 4.3-inch widescreen. You also get Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to wirelessly link your mobile phone with the sat-nav to make handsfree calls on the move.
You don’t have to compromise on build quality, either. Some budget sat-navs feel
a bit flimsy, but the 1310 is reassuringly solid, with a bright display and a speaker that remains audible at motorway speeds – although you might find the monotone voice irritating on long trips. As if that’s not enough, for a shade over £100 you also get a sturdy and easily adjustable windscreen mount, and a clever piece of software called ecoRoute, which can work out the most eco-friendly way to get where you’re going.
You do miss out on maps for the rest of Europe, though. If you plan to drive
abroad, you could consider the nüvi 1240 (£82.98 from Amazon.co.uk), but the
cheaper unit has a smaller 3.5-inch screen and no Bluetooth.
Navigon 1410 Europe 22
Price £119.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
For Detailed maps; bright screen;
great when on foot
Against Small screen size; menu system could be more user-friendly
Navigon's maps are detailed, and the 1410 comes pre-loaded with coverage of Europe. The windscreen mount is a bit of a faff to put together, but it is stable once secured.
The screen is only 3.5 inches wide, but the display is bright and the elongated windscreen mount holds the unit closer to your eyes than most rivals. However, the 1410 is more expensive than the Garmin, has a smaller screen and misses out on Bluetooth. Its menu system isn’t as user-friendly, either.
The 1410 is handy when you’re on foot, though. The display rotates according to whether you’re holding the unit horizontally or vertically.
Mio Navman 475
Price £109.45 (Play.com)
For Loads of features for the money; idiot-proof menu system
Against Flimsy casing; windscreen mount should be more secure
The Navman 475 is well specced for the cash. It gets a 4.3-inch display, traffic monitoring and even comes pre-loaded with maps of Europe. It also has a very simple menu system and clear maps, although it can be slow to keep up with the car’s progress.
The plastic casing feels flimsy, too, and the screen mount wobbles on bumpy roads.