This is my first sat nav and it was selected after an extremely long research period where I never really reached a conclusion as to the TomTom vs Garmin debate. I chose Garmin mainly because of the looks and size of the unit.
My 'must haves' were (in order):
- Europe maps
- Good route finding (this information was not available for any sat-nav)
- Good sized screen
And my 'nice to haves' were:
- lifetime traffic (though based on RDS)
- Speaks street names
- stylish and small (thin)
- Pedestrian navigation (The Garmin came with an offer of free CityXplorer map download)
Apart from the 'good route finding', which my research could not ascertain, the Garmin met my perceived requirements.
As mentioned this is my first sat-nav so my review should be read on this understanding. I have had the Garmin for almost 2 months and have used it for about a dozen medium journeys (25-80 miles) as well as for testing on smaller local journeys. The unit has worked fine. To date I have not had any issues others have mentioned (i.e. slow in acquiring satellites, problems with downloading map update to the PC, unit freezing and needing a reset etc.).
The menu takes a bit of getting used to, but that is to be expected - I am still learning. I have not used all the features:
Route finding is generally fine. Some routes appeared poor where I knew the local roads, but I guess sat-nav's cannot really compete with decent local knowledge. However some routes given were potential alternatives to my usual routes, which is useful. On occasion the route wanted to take me off the main road at an underpass junction and then back on to the same road. This was easily noticed and ignored.
Also where a road follows the same route as an elevated road above (or vice versa) the unit got briefly confused. I am not sure if this is to be expected as the unit does have elevation information - in pedestrian mode it was a novelty to follow the height above sea level as I roamed around.
All speed cameras are noted which is useful, but it also warns of mobile speed camera areas which happens too frequently to be helpful.
Voice control has only been used to test out. Works fine but some addresses could not be found due to limitations. They could be resolved by text inputting the post code, which did not appear possible on the voice control.
Traffic - not used as I did not meet any major traffic problems.
Overall a competent and accomplished product with no significant issues to complain about.
I also bought the Garmin Universal Friction Mount for 700/600/300/200 series
to sit on the dashboard of my LR Discovery and it is as good as the reviews say.