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Old 05-24-2011, 05:20 PM   #21
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Definitely external for me. I use my Garmin for travel within the state and also when I go on vacations elsewhere. Mine has the feature that will locate businesses (gas, food, auto repair) and resources (hospitals) and direct you to them. I haven't bothered to update the database.
I never mount it on the dash, too much of a visual distraction. I rest it in my lap and glance at it only when the vehicle is stopped. The voice feature annoys me, so I turn it off.
I learned how to use a marine GPS on eastern Lake Ontario when my late husband and I sailed there every other weekend for 3 years. The land database GPS models are very simple to use compared to marine navigation.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:48 PM   #22
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External - mostly Garmin nuvi. I like the nearest fast food feature. Sometimes I use google maps on my blackberry but glancing at a small screen can be dangerous while driving. Also use my ipad a little, but not as user friendly as the Garmin
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:03 PM   #23
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I guess I'm old fashioned.......I still us the atlas to plot my trips.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:32 PM   #24
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I use Motion X on my i phone, and it works like a champ. I take it with me, and use it on any car with my car charger. Costs about 25 a year, but updates are frequent, and it is very reliable for me...
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:43 PM   #25
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Nah, I can find those blindfolded.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:42 PM   #26
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I guess I'm old fashioned.......I still us the atlas to plot my trips.
Me too.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:13 PM   #27
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I like the external Garmin. I never mount it on the windshield, just keep it in the center console and positioned to pick up the signal. If we are going somewhere in the morning I can bring it in the night before and the battery power will allow me to enter the address(s) of our destination(s). Once that's in, I never look at the screen. I simply rely on the voice commands. It's never been wrong. Can't see the money for an indash unit.

My son uses his cell phone as a "Garmin". It's one of those fancy units called a Droid. DW has one also but doesn't know how to use that feature.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:41 AM   #28
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My 10 year old MDX came with an internal dash unit that is integral to the car's HVAC functions. I have updated the DVD for the system a few times but the basic system is so dated and slow it is more of an irritation than a benefit. I do have a couple of external units on is an older Garmin Street Pilot that I use mostly in the motor home and a combination unit that has a radar detector and GPS together on a dash mounted unit. It was a Christmas present from DW and it is OK for GPS; not as good as the Garmin but radar traps are everywhere around here and I like to be informed before I get nailed during lulls in situational awareness. And, I like to make good time with the 300 + miles between cities out here so the radar detector is a must...the GPS is nice in unfamiliar area, like when we travel in the motor home and use the car for sight seeing or exploration.

If I had a choice today between a car with or without a dash GPS and all else was the same, I would forgo the dash unit. They do not age gracefully.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:49 AM   #29
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After reading this thread, I'm glad that I didn't get the in-dash GPS option in my Venza. Apparently it isn't universally preferred among those who have posted.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:08 AM   #30
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I've had an external GPS for years and reading this thread has concinced me that I never need to pony up $ for a built in GPS.

I like being able to use it in the house and for long journeys I always plot the route on maps and compare it to what the GPS recommends. We can also hook it up via USB to our PC and download maps every year or so.

I find it most useful at journey's end with all the fiddly turns that are needed in city centers etc. Whoever is passenger has fun on multi-day trips looking ahead on the GPS while driving as to the location of hotels and motels, places to eat etc. We have used it in multiple countries and even though we sometimes get rental vehicles that have a built in GPS, having our own familiar model is great.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:02 AM   #31
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Like others, I wouldn't pay extra for it given that a new one can be had for ~$100. The built in ones cost at least ten times that much. Are they ten times better? Somehow I doubt it.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:35 AM   #32
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The internal GPS has one advantage: It may provide a smooth, flat spot on the dash where you can put the suction-cup mount for the newer, better, cheaper portable GPS. And for only $1000.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:38 AM   #33
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The internal GPS has one advantage: It may provide a smooth, flat spot on the dash where you can put the suction-cup mount for the newer, better, cheaper portable GPS. And for only $1000.
I could be wrong, but it may have been even $2000 extra for the GPS package that would give me that nice, flat spot on the dash plus a couple of other things I didn't want. Either way, that's a bit much, I agree.

Next time we go on a trip and I drive, I should get an external GPS. Sounds like fun!
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:04 AM   #34
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Definitely external, for all the reasons already mentioned.

If I were shopping for a car, I'd view the in-dash GPS the same way I view a house with a pool when house-shopping. As a major downside. The seller will overvalue it, it'll be expensive to repair and maintain, and I'll never use it (because I already have an external GPS unit). Any car with a GPS/house with a pool is automatically excluded from my list of candidates when shopping.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:47 PM   #35
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After reading the responses, I'm surprised that overwhelmingly the reponses favored an external gps. I thought maybe the responses would be more a 50-50 split. I guess to each their own. My sister has a car with a built-in gps and seems to love it. Perhaps one persons satisfaction is another person's pain in the butt.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:27 PM   #36
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FWIW, I think that the newer one's are better. The big problem is that you while you can update the maps you can't really update the functionality so the newer external ones run rings around a built in one that is several years old. If you keep your cars a long time (we do) then the GPS just gets more and more out of date compared to the external ones.

That said, I'm not sure that standalone external GPS units are long for this world. The smartphones and ipads usually have that functionality as well.

I recently was using my external Garmin which I love and it totally sent me to the wrong place for an address. I was the passenger and pulled out my ipad and it got me there with no problem. The main issue is that I can't see the ipad if I was the driver so the external is better for that.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:32 PM   #37
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We have an in-dash unit on the Hyundai which is superb. It also doubles as the audio system/iPod interface, phone manager via Bluetooth, reversing camera display, etc. It has features like being able to look up any business by phone number, which is actually quite useful out in the country where road names may not always work.

For travelling, we have a small Garmin Nüvi 1340. It cost just over $100 and saves us $50 on every car rental - DW is currently renting a car in the UK 3 or 4 days a month as she shuttles back and forth to visit aging parents. It's not as comprehensive as the in-car unit, but it weighs about 6 ounces and goes everywhere.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:36 PM   #38
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I have a Garmin 1490, with lifetime traffic updates. I love, it blows away the in-dash unit on our Odyssey. It even tracks mileage, tracks your driving habits, gives gas mileage estimates, plots nearby restaurants and gas stations on the road, etc. GREAT tool!!
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:47 AM   #39
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Based on reading this thread and I went out and bought a Garmin 1490. $140 at Costco seems like it will be very useful for this directionally challenged person.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:57 AM   #40
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My husband is lusting for that too.
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