Find the right sat nav for you
Get the low down on the best UK sat navs to buy in 2015 with our bite-sized reviews for the essential in-car navigation set-ups. From Garmin to TomTom, these are the best ways to ensure you find your way home this Christmas.
Buying a sat-nav today is a lot different to buying one a few years ago. These days most of us have basic navigation covered by Google Maps, Apple Maps or even Bing Maps on our smartphone, so splashing out for an extra unit is often only done for specific features. Maybe you're looking for more detailed maps, traffic tracking or speed camera identification, if so, your best bet is still a dedicated sat-nav unit.
Another thing to look out for when buying a sat-nav system is how it loads and updates its database of maps. You really don't want to be stuck with an out of date map set just a year or so after your purchase, do you?
For instance, the TomTom 6000 featured in this list will receive free map updates for the entire time you own the unit, along with free traffic updates. Some of them though get all of the maps through an SD card, this means to get an update you have to buy a completely new SD card, which likely won't be free or included in your original. Many cars that boast built-in navigation systems also suffer from this, as they often get maps from a disc, which can't be updated without picking up a new version.
Click through the slides to check out our favourite sat navs.
Possibly the current king sat-navs, the flagship 6000 benefits from exceptional routing thanks to the Live data from TomTom and includes lifetime updates from 45 European countries. The large, bright touch screen is perfectly readable under plenty of lighting conditions and the voice guidance is loud and clear.
Garmin Nuvi 2699
This feature packed sat-nav boasts a 6-inch display with pinch to zoom, Foursquare integration for POIs and Garmin's Real Directions, which aims to turn those robotic sounding navigation commands into something much more lifelike. There's Bluetooth support for linking up your smartphone, a full set of European maps and access to Garmin's safety camera service.
Strictly bike only, due to the lack of car charger or mount, the Rider lets you upload routes from other devices, so you don't have to fiddle about with the touchscreen. You'll have access to daily map updates, speed camera alerts and TomTom's huge store of interest points.
TomTom Go 5000
The latest dedicated system from Tom Tom boasts a 5-inch, 16:9 capacitive display, along with a slim build and constantly updating maps. Speaking of maps, they're 3D and look pretty impressive on that good screen. Smartphone stalwart feature pinch to zoom is here – making it easy to keep a track on your route, but the standout addition is the always connected Tom Tom Traffic – which means you'll always be up-to-date with the latest jams.
Mio Cycle 505 HC
If your heading out on your bike, this nifty Mio device will make sure you don't end up lost in the forest. Special bike routes are included and it can even alert you on ways to improve. Navigating aside, the Cycle is packed with heart monitors and it's water-resistant if you're on for some off-road action.
TomTom Start 60
At the lowest end of TomTom's catalogue is the Start series. Toting 6-inch displays, yet a lack of connected features you might find in the higher price brackets. One useful addition though is an integrated car-mount to streamline your set-up, while TomTom offer a lifetimes worth of map updates free to sweeten the deal.
TomTom Via 135
The teenager of the TomTom family may not have a classic feature set, yet its low-price and large screen make it a worthwhile car buddy. At 5-inches, the display is clearly visible and readable, even if the resistive touchscreen tech is a tad old-fashioned and finicky. The maps are strong, as with all TomTom devices, though you'll have to shell out extra if you're planning on touring Europe.