Rating: 
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Get help getting there with the rugged and waterproof GPS V Personal Navigator. This compact, handheld unit looks up a location and automatically calculates a route, guiding you to your destination with turn-by-turn directions and audible beeps. Features a WAAS-enabled, 12 parallel channel GPS receiver that continually tracks and uses up to 12 satellites to compute and update your position, plus a trip computer with re-settable odometer, timers, and average and maximum speed indicators. Includes MapSource City Select CD that gives you access to detailed, street-level maps with locations of restaurants, hotels and other services in the U.S. and metro areas of Canada. 19 MB internal memory allows you to store data from this CD, plus information from optional MapSource CDs (sold separately). Also features variable screen orientation; dedicated zoom in/out keys; rocker pad designed for easy, one-hand operation; high-resolution screen with backlighting and built-in celestial tables. Stores 500 waypoints and 20 reversible routes. Includes a portable antenna, PC interface cable, 12V adapter cable and automotive mount. Weighs 9 oz. Imported. 5Lx2-1/3Wx1-3/5H".

Technical Details

  • Distance
  • ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival)
  • Speed
  • Time/date

Customer Reviews

Good hardware, mediocre maps

 December 7, 2002
By Giuseppe A. Paleologo "gappy"
This is the second Garmin GPS I own, the other being an eTrex Vista, and the first with road navigation capabilities. In my previous experience with Garmin, I was happy both with the product and the product support, and I was not disappointed this time. The user interface of the GPS is even more intuitive than the eTrex, and buttons and screen pass the test with flying colors. The software is robust, and it never crashed. Syncing with the PC is a piece of cake, and information such as waypoints can be transferred among different Garmin GPS.
The product is perfect for everyday use, but I have only three complaints. The first two are minor: the location of satellites when the GPS is “cold” can take 60-90 seconds, and the calculation of the best route eassily takes more than 60 seconds when the degree of accuracy is set to medium; much more when the level of accuracy is set to high. The two number could mean that the driver has to wait 2-3 minutes before getting any useful direction from the GPS.
The last gripe is much important: the maps are often inaccurate. Some roads have been permanently cut off at a major intersection; new houses have been built. As a result, the GPS might prescribe an incorrect route, or not be able to find a certain address. These accidents happen about 20% of the time in my area (NY city and surrounding counties). As a way of comparison, the GPS installed on Hertz rental machines, which uses Navtech maps, has never given me an incorrect route during my trips. I hope Garmin will provide better maps soon.

GPS V Deluxe experience from a NeverLost user

 September 8, 2002
By Wins
My first encounter with GPS is from Hertz car rental about 3 years ago. It helps me to navigate through the dark winding country road of New Jersey in the winter evenings. With turn-by turn voice prompt, it is an amazing tool. The only draw back is the [price] price tag, which is a lot more than I want to pay.
I always wanted a GPS with auto routing feature for my personal trip. The Never Lost cost too much. The Garmin Street Pilot III Deluxe with color screen and voice prompt is the closest alternative to Never Lost. Again it is too costly at $800US and it is too bulky to carry it around.
In Spring/Summer 2002, Garmin markets a GPS V Deluxe version, with all North America regions on CDROM unlocked and price is not much more than a eTrex. The GPS V unit is very similar to Street Pilot III (SPIII). The major difference is that GPS V has a smaller monochrome screen and beeps instead of voice prompt on SPIII.
I have had my GPS V for over 3 months now. I have used in Toronto, southern Ontario region, San Diego California, Cap Code, Boston, Newport Rhode Island, New Heaven Connecticut, Kittery Maine, Washington/Dulles area without major fault.
Over all, I am quite satisfy with the unit when taking price into consideration, but it is not as accurate or fast as Magellan Never Lost.
My GPS V locked up twice in NY State. I could not turn it off. I had to remove the power supply to turn on the unit again.
On I-90, around Albany, NY. The GPS V sensed the vehicle went off-course and recalculate the routing again on two occasions.
In Boston area, the text message instructed me to turn left, but the graphic arrow points to the opposite direction.
Recalculation speed is the major drawback for GPS V. When the vehicle goes off-course (missing a turn), GPS V has the option to automatically recalculate a new route. This can takes anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes depends on the distance to the destination. The Magellan Never Lost usually takes no more than a 5 seconds to put you back on route.
There is major difference between the two when comes to recalculation. Never Lost recalculates to the last point where you went off-course, so you can continue your original routing. Usually Never Lost would prompt you to make a U-turn to go back on the route.
On the other hand GPS V recalculates a new routing base on your current direction. Only on one occasion GPS V suggest making a U-turn to get back to the original routing. All other times, GPS V recalculates a new detour which could be a lot longer than the original route. In GPS V, there is a Setup screen to setup your routing preference such as to avoid U-turn, avoid Toll road and 5 levels of calculation detail. I suppose if you pick the ¡¥Best route¡¦ option, it would take longer to find the optimal route. I took the default setting which do not avoid U-turn, do not avoid Toll road, medium setting for calculating route.
Recalculation and redraw after a turn is very slow especially in Boston downtown where visibility to satellite signals could be very limited due high rise buildings and narrow streets. I often miss next turn because redraw was too slow. In situation like this, I suggest switching to text mode and following text instructions instead.
Both Never Lost and GPS V has excellent Hotel/Restaurant database. Never Lost¡¦s database is more up to date and accurate. Both found my favorite ¡¥Legal Seafood¡¦ and ¡¥McCormick & Schmick¡¦ restaurants and some shopping centres. GPS V has a large Asian restaurant database for Toronto area, restaurant such ¡¥Big Mouth Kee¡¦ and ¡¥Taste of Japan¡¦ can be found in GPS V database.
GPS V¡¦s memory is fixed at 19M which is big enough for the entire Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Fall, Mississauga, Pickering and North Bay area. But 19M is not big enough for Los Angeles region. To download 19M from PC to the GPS V through serial port at 11500 baud takes almost an hour.

Two Thumbs Up!

 August 15, 2002
By B. Kohler "bkohler2112"
For anyone who wrote a not so great review of the previous GPS V product, Garmin has just released the deluxe version of the GPS V. You get an unlock code for the entire country now (previously you only got to unlock certain areas and had to pay get additonal unlock codes).
I have found the 19mb memory to be more than sufficient for holding maps. I live near Washington DC and can fit the whole area into the unit. For long trips, you don’t need to download detailed maps of your entire route. The base map built into the GPS V deluxe is plenty good for navigating major interstates, exits, and services. You only need a detailed map(s) of your destination areas or specific areas where you will be travelling local secondary roads (like neighborhood streets or rural roads).
I recently took a 600 mile trip down to Georgia and all I needed were a few maps of my destination. All major roads and highways are included in the built in base map (a lot of people seem to not know this). I was able to navigate all of my gas, food, and logding stops along the way without detailed maps. The base map worked fine. No need for a detailed map just to make quick stop for gas and bite to eat.
There is a slight learning curve when using the GPS V Deluxe. But once you figure out all of the “bells and whistles” it’s easy to use. I am new to using a GPS and after purchasing this unit I am very satisfied. If you are the type of person who can’t find their way out of a paper bag – this unit is for you.
The included pc cable and software are pretty much idiot proof. I’m no pc whiz and didn’t need to be. Downloading maps is as simple as clicking the area you want to download and clicking the “download” icon. The GPS does the rest.
The unit works great in the car and while hiking. It also has a backlit screen for night use which is nice. Battery life is about 20 hrs (pretty good). Also comes with cigarette lighter car adapter.
I did have to purchase the “beanbag holder” for my dash since the included dash mount wouldn’t sit right on my SUV dash. So far, it hasn’t moved even on sharp turns.
All in all, this is an excellent GPS and has many added features that most cheaper units do not have. The autorouting feature is great and has saved me more than once late at night when I have been lost. Just tell the GPS where you want to go and it will start navigating you there with turn by turn directions, distance to the next turn, time to the next turn, etc.
Also, I never really knew how fast I was travelling in my SUV since I added larger off-road tires. The GPS now accurately calculates my true speed and I was able to get the dealer to adjust my spedometer (I was going way faster than what the spedometer in my dash said I was).

A very satisfied user

 September 3, 2002
By Seattle Reader
I purchased the Garmin GPS V in anticipation of two 3-day trips into areas I had never traveled. The detailed maps that were supplied on the CD were excellent and accurate. Before I left on the trips, I checked out the detail on the streets of Seattle, WA, because the many steep hills provide unusual angled streets with many turns. The map followed them all and accurately named them. I was impressed. I was even more impressed when I traveled into the back country of the Olympic peninsula and, arriving at an intersection of two country roads, found that the GPS V maps named both of them correctly. I’ll never travel without it again.

The 19mb of memory is a bit too small to hold the number of maps that I regularly need and there is no additional memory card available to augment the capacity. Erasing and downloading a new set of maps to the GPS from the computer is very easy and intuitive, but somewhat time consuming. Adding even one detailed map to the GPS V required more than 30 minutes of download time, this in addition to any computer time selecting the maps to use. Fortunately, the base map built into the GPS V good enough for the major interstate highways, exits, and services, so if you do not regularly travel to a number of large cities, the 19mb of memory may be ample for the detailed maps desired.

The dash mount supplied with the GPS V is excellent with locking angle adjustments and a quick-release. It lacks only one very important feature: it must be mounted on a flat surface. Try to find one of those on today’s curved dashboards, and in a place where the antenna can acquire the satellites and you can see the display. Fortunately, I was able to make an adapter plate that fit the dashboard and allowed the dash mount to be installed. I am very pleased with the clarity of the display.
The instruction book that comes with the GPS V is very complete and leads step-by-step through the more complicated processes. At the same time, the usual functions desired from a GPS are easy to set up and fairly intuitive by using the menu functions. The quick start guide is all most people will need to use the unit effectively.
Battery life from 4 AA cells is sufficient if the backlight feature is not used too much. Typically I found the batteries needed to be replaced after 18 to 20 hours. The GPS V also comes with a cigarette lighter cable for powering the unit in the car. A cable for hard wiring the GPS into the car’s electrical system is available but not supplied.
I especially like the option of “on-road,” which moves the cursor to the nearest road, or “off-road,” which will point your way to your destination or back home if you are hiking cross country. Several pages of display will give you more information than ever thought possible: accurate local time, speed, distance traveled, average speed, latitude and longitude, elevation, time and distance to destination, and the best time for fishing (no kidding) just to name a few.
The auto-routing feature is a real help when traveling in unfamiliar areas, but I have found that sometimes it has made less than optimum routing suggestions when I tested it to destinations I knew. Not a really big problem as it always directed me to the destination eventually. One really great feature of auto-routing is that if you miss a turn or get off the suggested track, the GPS V immediately recalculates the route and displays turn-by-turn directions to the destination from where you presently heading.
In conclusion, I can say I am completely pleased with the Garmin GPS V and that it has many of the features of more expensive units. I highly recommend it.

Garmin GPS V Deluxe

 June 5, 2003
By Tim C. Watson "tcwatson"
This is my 4th GPS unit and the most capable of the 4. Initially the GPS V is very similar to the GPS III Plus (I have a eTrex Legend and GPS 38 as well), the screen pages include satellite, map and position, the GPS III+ has a couple more. The thing that sets the GPS V apart is the City Select Map CD (included), which was designed for the GPS V. The GPS V has 19MB of user loadable map memory, be aware that the map loading is NOT a quick process. I selected about 18MB worth of maps and loading that to the GPS V took approx. 45 minutes; don’t start this on low batteries. Once maps are loaded the GPS V will display at the top the upcoming streets. If you ask the GPS V to “FIND” a waypoint it can give you turn by turn instructions. When a “FIND” is active you also get a 4th page that is just the next few “upcoming turns”. While the V has the look and feel of the III+ the internal software is more like the eTrex Legend I own, i.e. more icons and a few more features than the III+. The GPS V includes a car lighter adapter and PC Interface cable. In Summary I am VERY HAPPY with the V Deluxe, the only downside is the long map load time. I have loaded maps for the following areas; Cincinnat OH, Dayton OH, Columbus OH and Lexington KY so if I stay within that area I shouldn’t need to load maps often. My III+ now rides on my motorcycle and my Legend is my GeoCaching device. Things have come a long way since the GPS 38.

WONDERFUL NAVIGATION TOOL

 November 6, 2002
By AK
I installed this GPS in my car and use it daily. GPS’s have come a long way in the past couple of years. This unit has a rapid acquisition time and very good monochrome display. I drive through rural areas and as long as you load the detailed maps for that region, the GPS will do a great job of selecting a route and finding just about any address. It did well in the dense city too. If you use the GPS at night, you really need to use the car’s power instead of battery. You can do this by hardwiring the unit into the car or using the supplied cigarette lighter adapter. It is difficult to see the display in the evenings and at night without the background light. The refresh rate of the unit is acceptable, just barely though. Once you give the unit a destination, it does a wonderful job beeping and giving you ample warning that a turn is coming up. In future generations of this unit, it needs more RAM, larger display, and faster processor. But, I find it a great navigation tool and doubt that I will get lost using it.

Best of both!

 January 3, 2003
We love this gizmo! We use it both for its navigation capability and we also use it for geocaching – you get both options in one small, easy to use package.
We used the navigation on a recent vacation trip. The navigation helped us through several tricky turns and helped us avoid a lot of aggrevation. I found the maps to be accurate and complete and the refresh rates more than adequate.
When we are caching, the unit works just like any other portable gps complete with WAAS for precise location finding, and automatic tracking.
We found the handheld unit to be high quality, easy to use, with a crisp clear screen. The map software has a lot to be desired. It’s harder to search for a location with the PC software than it is on the handheld. Also, the handheld plots different routes than the software, fortunately, the handheld does a better job.
Our complaints are minor and similar to what others have noted – we’d like more memory to download additional detailed maps, the map download rate is slow and takes an hour for the full 19MB, the database of points of interest is incomplete and it would be nice to be able for the user to update the database. It would also be nice if the unit informed you when you were navigating outside the range of the detailed maps currently downloaded.
All in all, for the price, you can’t beat the GPS V.

expect the unexpected with the Garmin 5

 September 24, 2002
By Nathan Crook
I drive 40,000 miles a year and have had plenty of opportunities to use the GPS on the road, however the main use is for forestry related work (marking waypoints, measurements,roads,etc..) I believe it is most useful when PLANNING a trip, if you have a specific hotel you would like to stay at you can find the info, such as address and phone # in your GPS and call the hotel, same with national/state parks. There doesn’t seem to be a way to find any info at your destination site though, not until you reach the area at anyrate. So you can set your course to LA, but you can’t plan on what lodging is available or food until you get there.
The downside is that the software never seems to be current enough-(a problem w/roads near cities, worse w/ food/gas stops). Carry a map or a cellphone. In the city you can easily be left hanging for info from the GPS as it thinks (very slowly at times) where your route should be, also frustrating is that it does this whenever it thinks you turned the wrong way. My Garmin 5 has frozen on me on a few occasions on my way to Crater Lake Nat’l Park,(freezing near a dozen times in 2 hours) leaving me no options but to turn it off and on several times. Garmin has said it would like to the repair the unit. The GPS 5 also takes a while to start, as you must agree to the legal talk on each of the 3 screens before any satellite info is given, this gets old very quickly. I was told when purchasing the GPS 5 that it would have 20 hours of time on batteries, not so. The best I have seen it about half that time.
This is my first GPS purchase so I have nothing to compare it to. When the GPS is working the way it is suppose to then it is great to have. When in a big city it can be more stressful then being lost on your own.