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...that are thinking about adding a portable Nav device, what are your thoughts? Consumer reports says the top overall is the Garmin 3790T.

And for those that have installed portables, do you mount on dash, or use the portable device holder that came with the car...

I'm partial to the Garmin Nuvi GPS units that I have been using for years in the cars I have owned that didn't have factory Nav. I also have a Garmin Zumo designed for motorcycles that I use on my Gold Wing.

While I have factory Nav in my '09 Lexus ES, I opted for a CT200 without navigation because my Garmin Nuvi has what I feel are more and better features. For one, it allows you to make changes to the menu by touch without having to pull to the side of the road, or learn a new vocabulary so the voice command in factory Navs can understand what you want to do. Somewhere between 2006 and 2009, the auto manufacturers' legal departments dictated that the touch screen on factory Navs cannot be used if the car is underway. I have full touch access to the menu in my '06 MDX, which is one of the reasons I keep it around. It's also a great SUV. Under certain conditions, I also use the Nuvi on occasion in my '09 ES350 that has factory Nav. Unlike factory navigation units, the Garmin Nuvi speaks the names of streets instead of just telling you to turn right or left at the next street in so many miles or feet.

I decided to treat myself to a new Garmin Nuvi when I bought the CT and opted for the $152 ( Nuvi 1300LM as it came with lifetime map updates. The same unit without the lifetime updates can be had at Amazon for $100. But don't rely solely on my advice if you decide to buy a portable GPS. While I favor Garmin over TomTom and the other brands, Garmin makes numerous models of the Nuvi, some with free traffic updates that inform you of traffic tie-ups so you can find a detour, but these come at the cost of advertisements. I purchased a Nuvi last year that had that traffic update feature. The downside was that it came with a relatively long and thick power cable that did double duty as an antenna so the Nuvi can receive the updates over the air. As a consequence, I seldom used the feature and ran the Nuvi on its own built-in batteries if I needed it for less than four hours or so. But I kept the power cable in the car if the trip was longer than expected and needed to power and charge the Nuvi.

As for the CT holder, it works as well for a portable GPS unit like the Garmin Nuvi as it does for an iPhone or iPod Touch. As I pointed out in another thread, the holder stores perfectly in the front of the left door map pocket if you want to save room in the center console storage unit and the glove box.

Reference the photos below:

1: Garmin Nuvi 1300 (1300LM) 4.3 inch portable GPS
2. Garmin Nuvi mounted in the holder
3. iPod Touch in holder connected to audio system via audio cable
4. iPod Touch in holder with a USB cable connection
5. Holder stored in the front of the left door pocket

Hope this info is helpful.

Bill in Fremont
2011 CT200h
2009 Lexus ES350
2006 Acura MDX
2001 Gold Wing

· Registered
98 Posts
Personally, I have good spacial memory. I can take one look at a map and know where I am and where I need to go. A voice-over nav system just makes things worse.
But can your "spacial memory" find an In-and-Out Burger that's a block or two off the main drag when you've got a case of the hungries? :D
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