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TomTom vs Garmin sat navs

By Tom Morgan

Should you buy a TomTom or Garmin sat nav in 2019? Our expert tests help you uncover the perfect sat nav for you, whatever your budget.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

If you're shopping for a sat nav for your car, caravan or motorhome, you'll see there's no shortage of TomTom or Garmin models. Both brands are well established, but not all the sat navs we've tested are good enough to be Which? Best Buys.

To earn the title of Which? Best Buy, the latest sat navs need to impress in our test lab with top marks for navigation quality and ease of use. After all, you want a sat nav that gets you from A to B without any hassle.

Find out which sat navs impressed in the Which? test lab - see our best sat navs.

TomTom and Garmin sat navs compared 

What's best - TomTom or Garmin? We run both cheap and premium sat navs from each brand through our rigorous lab tests, to help you choose wisely.

Our graphic below shows how our average test scores for TomTom and Garmin sat navs have changed over time.



Best TomTom and Garmin sat navs for 2019 

We've tested sat navs of all shapes and sizes in our lab. While the highest-rated models impressed us with clear and concise instructions, our selection of dreaded Don't Buy sat navs are let down by cramped, overly busy maps and slow route recalculation.

Below, we've rounded up the latest TomTom sat navs and Garmin sat navs to pass through our test lab. 

At the top of the table is a Best Buy that makes for a fantastic companion on the road, although the price may put you off if you want to keep costs low. If so, you'll be pleased to hear we've also uncovered a Best Buy sat nav for £100. 

79%
£226.90
Reviewed

This premium sat nav aced our tests thanks to its premium feel, ease of use and range of features. It gets live traffic data via a built-in sim card and features European mapping.

78%
£175.00
Reviewed

This five-inch model is one of the highest scoring we've tested. This is down to its high quality construction, excellent route guidance and additional features such as speed camera information and traffic monitoring.

73%
£161.27
Reviewed

Cheap and cheerful this model may be - with a lack of advanced features such as live traffic data - but it impressed in our test thanks to its excellent route guidance and ease of use. It's proof that you needn't spend a fortune to get a decent sat nav.

73%
£220.00
Reviewed

Big and bulky it may be, but there's plenty of features packed in this six-inch model. It's responsive, quick to calculate routes and comes with hand-free operation and lifetime map updates.

72%
£330.00
Reviewed

Here's a top-of-the-range sat nav that impressed us enough to be a Best Buy. It's packed full of features, including European maps as standard, and a digital traffic receiver for live traffic services. The 5-inch screen is particularly bright, and visual guidance is good, both on motorways and in cities.

Top sat nav apps for iPhone and Android 

The meteoric rise of sat nav apps has spurred on both TomTom and Garmin to create their own. Unlike rivals such as Google Maps, their offerings are paid-for downloads, rather than free. But both are fairly good at recreating the sat nav experience.

If you're happy to stick with a map app that comes pre-installed on iPhone or Android, see our guide to Apple Maps vs Google Maps for key features.

The best sat nav app for iPhone

75%
£0.00
Reviewed

This Best Buy sat nav app is free to download, and you get 50 miles of free navigation each month. Menus are easy to make sense of and audio guidance is good. You can also download it to an Android smartphone or tablet.

The best sat nav app for Android

76%
£0.00
Reviewed

If you're using an Android smartphone, we recommend this sat nav app. It's free to download, and you get 50 miles' worth of navigation free each month. Instructions are detailed, maps are clutter-free and vocal guidance is great, particularly on motorways.

Which? sat nav testing: how do we find the best? 

Unlike other websites, Which? tests sat navs and sat nav apps independently, paying for every product reviewed.

Our testing proves that spending over the odds on a sat nav doesn't always guarantee you a Best Buy. In fact, we've uncovered plenty of affordable models that soared through our tests, with clear maps and detailed vocal instructions. For each sat nav that passes through our test lab, we pay close attention to:

  • Sound - how clear are the audio instructions?
  • Video - how easy is it make sense sense of the on-screen icons and maps?
  • Speed - can the sat nav handle unexpected changes in direction with ease?
  • Ease of use - how simple is the process of fitting the sat nav in your car or motorhome?

For more details, head over to our how we test sat navs

Alternatively, see our full range of dedicated sat nav and sat nav app reviews.

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