May 3, 2009

(Mother's Day) GPS Sales, Steals and Deals

Springtime usually brings out the GPS buying public as they prepare for the summer driving season. This year though there's a bigger need for bargains and as the models evolve, a lot more capability at a lower price point. I saw a few bargains this week, and several folks sent some in this week specifically on Costco and REI that you'll see below. With Mother's Day coming up, you might just want to get one for dear old Mom from the list below.

I recommend some upgrades as your budget allows, Text to Speech, and a widescreen in that order. Other additions such as Traffic, Bluetooth Handsfree, etc. are definitely nice to have.

Standard Screen Units

  • Garmin Nuvi 270 - $139 - Has US and Western Euro Maps pre-loaded. No Text to Speech, but if you are heading to Europe and need a unit, this is a great deal.

  • Garmin Nuvi 250 - $109 - Has North American Maps pre-loaded. No Text to Speech, but is great deal for Garmin quality.

  • Garmin Nuvi 260 - $137 - Has North American Maps pre-loaded. Adds Text to Speech.

  • Garmin Nuvi 255 - $156 - Has North American Maps pre-loaded. Has Text to Speech. Adds new interface that updates the look and feel; significant usability upgrade in my mind. Supports ecoRoute gas saving driving routes.

  • TomTom ONE 130 - $108 this week, North American Maps, and a high quality TomTom Interface. Very easy to use at a low price. Does not have Text to Speech. Upgrade to the TomTom ONE 130-S for Text to speech at $128.
  • TomTom 140 - $146 only at Target as a burgundy colored - no text to speech, with Maps of US/Canada and Mexico.

Widescreen Units - 4.3-inch or larger

  • Garmin Nuvi 255W - $178 - Text to speech, improved interface, maps of North America. Supports ecoRoute gas saving driving routes. More Info - See my Full Review on the Nuvi 255W.
  • Garmin Nuvi 265WT - $219 - Text to speech, improved interface, maps of North America. Supports ecoRoute gas saving driving routes. Adds free lifetime TMC traffic to the base 255W model features. Very good buy here.
  • Nuvi 760 - $199 - Thin design with Text to Speech and Maps of North America. Route Optimization - plug in multiple stops and let the unit optimize the route for fastest planning, adds Bluetooth handsfree and built-in TMC traffic. Slightly older interface (still has updated maps though). See My Full Review of the Nuvi 760.
  • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $159 - Entry Level Widescreen - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 205W.

  • TomTom ONE XL 330S - $169- the new Basic Widescreen for the TomTom line, Maps of North America, new Easy Port fold flat mount, and text to speech. See my Full Review for more information.

  • Garmin Nuvi 855 - $299 after $200 off at Costco. This is a widescreen unit with Text to speech but also utilizes Voice Command capabilities that allow you to enter commands without having to tap the screen. Very good price for this highly capable unit.


There are some price drops on Garmin Handhelds out there that you should be checking out and looking into. REI; famous outfitters, and famous for maintaining a list price on GPS units, has dropped their price on Garmin Oregon 400t touchscreen units to $399; great deal if you can apply some of your member dividend against it. The list price on this is over $500. If you hurry, you can still get a $50 rebate too - see the current promotions page at Garmin - Rebate period ends 5/10!

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Posted by Scott Martin at May 3, 2009 9:36 AM

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