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Technology.

1 September 2021

Top five best Garmin sat navs for 2021

The best Garmin sat navs save you headaches and fuel when you’re getting from A to B. These are our favourites from Garmin’s latest line-up.
FW
Felix Wilson
Best Garmin

Garmin has four different sat nav ranges, plus sat nav apps for iPhones and Android, but choosing a Garmin sat nav needn’t be daunting. Garmin’s latest range of devices go from the Drive series – the most basic model – through to the premium DriveLuxe series.

All of the models in the Drive range include free map updates for the lifetime of the device, and all but the basic Drive models include live traffic information. The latest additions to the series include driver awareness alerts, which will warn you of potential upcoming dangers such as sharp corners or level crossings, and Garmin Real Directions, which uses street view images to place recognisable landmarks on the screen.

You’ll still find some older Garmin sat navs in shops, but they aren’t available to buy directly from Garmin. These will often be cheaper than the newer models, but won’t have the same useful features. Here, we round up our favourite Garmin models from our testing, including devices for any budget.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

The best Garmin sat navs

  • 72%
    £240.00

    This Best Buy is one of the highest-scoring models we've tested. Although it's fairly pricey, it's particularly easy to use, very responsive and ideal for hands-free navigation. If you're willing to spend big, this is the one to go for.

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  • 71%
    £359.99

    This Best Buy sat nav is among the best we’ve seen for caravan and motor-home users. It’s expensive though, even for a camper sat nav.

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  • 71%
    £193.99

    While it’s not quite a Best Buy, this model is a reliable choice, combining clear instructions with useful features, including live traffic updates. Audio instructions don’t come as often as we’d like in urban areas, but the visual lane assistant is good.

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  • 71%
    £233.28

    This 6-inch sat nav comes with built-in traffic data - so unlike some models, you won't need to connect it to your phone to use this feature. Visual guidance is good, but it's not the best we've tested for audio instructions.

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  • 71%
    £130.76

    This feature packed device just fails to make Best Buy status, but offers a decent sat nav experience nonetheless. We did notice some occasional processing lag and the screen can reflect light badly.

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Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of September 2021.

Not found the product for you? Browse all of our sat nav reviews.

What about TomTom sat navs?

When it comes to sat navs, there are two big players - Garmin and TomTom. The two brands dominate the sat navs market, and it can be difficult to choose between them. We’ve found plenty of models from both brands that do a great job of navigation, so it’s difficult to recommend one over the other.

The best devices offer solid audio and visual instructions, as well as useful features such as built-in wi-fi or Bluetooth for hands-free calling. The lower-scoring models in our tests still perform well, but will often lack the smooth experience and premium features. We’ve found some that are tricky to install and set up, too.

To see our pick of the bunch, see our top five sat navs guide. Some Which? members have told us they have a preference for one system due to the style of the interface and mapping, though. We’d recommend trying Garmin and TomTom sat navs in store if you’re buying your first sat nav or thinking of swapping systems to see which you prefer.