I rarely drive any more. Now that the kids are grown and gone so are the daily trips to school, activities, and events. In addition, I no longer work full-time outside the home either so I rarely spend any time in the car these days. I rarely have reason to go more than 15 miles from home and I’ve lived in the same 15-mile radius area the last 42 years so I know the area pretty darn well. So why then would I need a GPS navigation unit? Oh, for so many reasons I didn’t even realize until I got my Magellan RoadMate 9055-LM GPS navigator. It’s my new fav piece of technology and I never leave home without it.
First I love it because it has real-time traffic information. Living near Seattle where rush hour starts at 6am and goes until 6pm, it’s great to know where the major backups are. My Magellan RoadMate 9055-LM GPS navigator can give me alternative ways home and it gives me expected arrival times plus actual mileage. I can also get information on local gas stations, places to eat, etc., quickly and easily. Sure, most of you have smart phones and they offer lots of these features, but I don’t because I don’t want to pay for one more data plan. With my Magellan RoadMate 9055-LM GPS navigator I get these features included in the purchase price – no monthly fees and no upgrade charges. Am I cheap? No, just frugal!
Strangely up until a month ago I’d never used a GPS navigator and in just this short amount of time I’ve used three. The first was the navigation system which came with the upgraded package on the 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid I did an extended test drive on last month. The benefit to the integrated system is that when the navigator is speaking, the front speakers of the car mute your music, so you won’t miss important voice instructions. The unit was also built into the dash and integrated into the steering wheel and voice activation systems. But right now a new car is not in the budget, so an add-on model is the only thing we could consider.
Next I used my son’s navigation system. I apologize for not knowing what brand his is and with the snow outside I’m not going to go look. It wasn’t very impressive and I wouldn’t recommend it anyway. It’s much smaller than the Magellan RoadMate 9055-LM GPS navigator which for me means it was a lot harder for me to use the touch screen. It also annoyingly says “recalculating” whenever I don’t make a turn it suggests. I do that a lot…I guess I’m a rouge that way :), so I just want it to find me a new route without telling me it is. His is an add-on and can be updated by bringing it into the house and connecting it to the computer – the same as the Magellan RoadMate 9055-LM GPS navigator, but the 9055-LM has free lifetime upgrades. I haven’t tried to update mine because it’s with my oldest son right now – his car was stolen weeks ago and he’s had my van and the navigator since then.
So I’ve told you what I liked and didn’t like about the other models, but now I want to tell you why the Magellan RoadMate 9055-LM GPS navigator is my choice. First the size – like I said, it’s large enough to make selections and see additional features easily. Granted, I have a large van so it doesn’t seem over-sized. Someone with a small car might feel differently. I love the 7″ touch screen and the amount of map I’m able to view at any given time. I also love that I was able to use the unit immediately; it’s very user-friendly and was so easy to figure out without a lot of assistance.
The unit comes with a suction cup deluxe windshield mount, but I found it placed the unit out of arms reach, so I’m replacing it with a dash mount. For a car the windshield mount makes sense, but for my big ol’ 7-passenger van it didn’t work. In my photos you’ll see it in several locations and you’ll likely notice another small dash mount – that mount was for satellite radio and it’s been removed. You’ll also see it just resting on the dashboard – that was me trying it out in several positions before I decided on going with a dash mount.
The unit plugs into the lighter fixture but can be wired in directly as well if cords bother you. We like the add-on unit feature in that we can remove it, put it in another car, bring it in to update it, or loan it to a friend, so we’re OK with the wires. The unit itself is crisp and bright and I love every thing about it. Granted, I’d love it if the voice could be louder as I prefer the voice directions, but I just adjust the volume on my radio to be sure I can hear it. I’m sure it has other features I’m not using or don’t know about yet, but for now of the 3 units I’ve tried, this is by far my favorite and it’s perfect for me.
What can make my Magellan RoadMate 9055-LM GPS navigator even better? A back-up camera and we installed one! I’ll let Steve tell you about it in the next day or two since he installed it, but just let me say that if I had my way, all cars would be required to have back-up cameras. That’s a sneak peek at that review but until then, I can’t wait to get my car and my RoadMate back. My son’s car has finally been recovered and now we wait to find out if the insurance is going to fix it or total it….it’s a 2012 car. Gah.
- Kia Optima Hybrid Extended Test Drive – Initial Reactions (miscfinds4u.com)
- My Week with the KIA Optima SX Turbo: Sexy, Sleek, and Stylish (lifewithlisa.com)