Which GPS for older driver?
December 11, 2008 7:45 AM   Subscribe

Navigation system recommendations for my 70-something mom.

My wife and I are considering giving my mom a navigation system for Christmas; we both have factory installed navigation in our cars and love it. Although my mom is in her seventies she still makes regular cross-country trips; she just drove from GA to TX and back, for example. She is reasonably tech-savvy for someone her age, but in the past if a electronic gadget has too many features and/or a difficult learning curve she tends not to use it. What are your suggestions for a simple to use portable GPS navigation system? Budget is not a major concern, although I don't see us buying one of the top of the line unit costing over $1000. My wife was looking at a Tom-Tom One 125 but I wonder if that is a little too basic. Thanks for your suggestions.
posted by TedW to Technology (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I and some of my older family members have Garmin nuvis and we all love them. The user interface is extremely simple (big icons, large text, etc.) and the performance is rock-solid.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:10 AM on December 11, 2008

If she not using any of the bells and whistles anyway, just buy a basic one like TomTom one 125.
posted by WizKid at 8:11 AM on December 11, 2008

Get the Garmin Nuvis 350. Its is basic enough- and for driving around it just works. It gets raving reviews, like"one of the best selling in the world for good reason." And its hugely popular, EASY to use and not expensive ~$150 (Amazon: note - 1,799 5 star reviews!) . And you can update it later, it has text to voice, and the voice can be loud.
posted by zenon at 8:50 AM on December 11, 2008

I would suggest the Garmin Nuvi 260w for a few reasons:
  • It has a larger 4.3" screen which makes it easier to read at a glance if your eyesight isn't so hot anymore.
  • It has full text to speech, which means instead of saying "turn right in one-half mile" it also tells you the name of the street to turn on, so you can keep your eyes on the road.
  • It's relatively inexpensive, at $200 or less street price.
  • It's a Garmin Nuvi, which means it's easy to use and gets rave reviews, as mentioned above.

posted by SteveInMaine at 10:18 AM on December 11, 2008

I'll add another vote for the Nuvi's. Excellent navigation (do remember to update via the web on occassion) and you can take it walking about as well.

Don't bother with the phone bluetooth feature, however, as Garmin has a pathetically short list of supported phones -- a thing I absolutely cannot fathom.
posted by trinity8-director at 12:16 PM on December 11, 2008

Adding another vote for the Garmin Nuvis! I recently got one (yay black friday!) and absolutely love it. I went for the most basic model, but if I could upgrade, I'd go for Text to Speech (where they'll actually read out the street names/freeway you're supposed to turn on) and spring for the larger screen, especially for an older driver whose eyesight might not be as sharp.
posted by mittenedsex at 1:05 AM on December 12, 2008

er, upon preview, seconding steveinmaine
posted by mittenedsex at 1:05 AM on December 12, 2008

Well xmas has come and gone - which one did you get and did she like it?
posted by zenon at 9:10 AM on January 22, 2009

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