PDB Tested: Magellan RoadMate

September 2013 PDB Tested

Magellan RoadMate-Portable GPS

Years ago I got my hands on the Magellan CrossoverGPS that completely changed the way I travel. You could send me anywhere and this little unit would help me find my way back. Since then, similar products have been developed and smartphone apps have evolved. So when Magellan released its new RoadMate Pro 9165T, a portable GPS navigator specially designed for recreational vehicle enthusiasts, curiosity got the best of me. I had to find out if it was truly worth the upgrade.

Simply put, this new Magellan is amazing, and heading into the test I didn't think I'd feel this way. I've become comfortable with the CrossoverGPS and never thought I'd ever find anything better to fit my travel needs. But this new feature-rich unit is capable of so much more and even with a smartphone, this is my only choice when it comes to travel navigation.

For starters the screen is huge. If it wasn't dangerous I could probably drive by only looking at the detailed screen because it really is that accurate. The 7-inch high-res touch screen automatically zooms in when you're getting close to an exit and I love the posted speed limit graphic. I was in the middle of Indiana in a small rural town when I went past a speed limit sign and my screen icon instantly went from 25 mph to 35 mph. It's amazing how accurate this new RoadMate really is.   

Designed to enhance driver safety and enable easy viewing, the Pro 9165T provides free lifetime traffic alerts that warn you of delays and suggest alternative routes. Magellan's exclusive OneTouch user interface, highway lane assist and Bluetooth connectivity to mobile devices, also make it hard to beat. Because it does do so many different functions it has to be plugged into your 12-volt outlet at all times. You can charge the battery, but it won't last very long. I don't see this as a big deal at all since I only use it when I'm in my truck or in a rental vehicle anyway.   

With a retail price of $399.99, the unit comes with a specialized heavy-duty extension mount that brings the GPS up close and personal. Just make sure you mount it tightly to the windshield to avoid drops. With so many other features and menus not even mentioned, I would highly recommend this new Magellan RoadMate for anyone who spends a lot of time on the road.  

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