Not since 8-track tapes to cassettes have cars seen as dramatic a shift in accompaniment than with paper maps or printed driving directions to GPS units.
They’ll get you where you have to go. They’ll show you where to eat, sleep, fill the tank, and bring the kids.
Blast teamed with Boston.com and tested nine of the latest, greatest portable car GPS units recently to see what the easiest way was to get from point A to point B. The results surprised us.
We tested the Garmin Nuvi 880 and TomTom Go 930. We paired those with the Garmin Nuvi 205 w and TomTom XL 330 S. We also tested the affordable Navigon 2100 max and pushed three Magellans to the limit: The Maestro 5310, Maestro 3250, and RoadMate 1430.
We also tested the cartoony Knight Rider GPS by Mio, featuring the voice of K.I.T.T., the talking car from the 80s television show that’s making a return to the airwaves.
We were ok with the blinking red lights and talking car voice of the Mio Knight Rider. What we couldn’t get past were the inaccurate maps and addresses. This surprised and disappointed because the Knight Rider GPS is brand new (actually it doesn’t come out for another week) and many maps in suburban Massachusetts needed updating.
Knight Rider by Mio
Pros: Fans of the 80s television show (new series premieres Sept. 24) will love it. It greets you by name and with blinky red lights. You can turn all that off if you want.
Cons: Outdated maps and poor directions mar the good visuals and intuitive destination searching. The Mio also has a poor docking cradle that doesn’t charge the unit and is bound to break on you. Awful battery life that crapped out in an hour.
Overall: It seems like the Knight Rider would have been better at $199. Mio makes a decent GPS though, and they offer great value, especially considering their Mio Moov 200 sells for under $150 and gets the job done.