Best Car GPS: Garmin vs. TomTom GPS Units

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Garmin and TomTom are two of the leading names in the GPS industry. If you’re in the market for a new car GPS unit, you might be having a tough time deciding which company’s offerings are better. And with multiple car GPS units available from each manufacturer, it can be tricky to sort through all the different models to find the solution that’s right for you.

Two of the best GPS models on the market today are the TomTom GO 60 S Portable Vehicle GPS and the Garmin Nuvi 58LMT 5-Inch GPS Navigator. Both models retail for $179.99, putting them squarely in the middle of the road in terms of price. If you’re looking for a premium GPS tracker, either of these two models should suit your needs. Read on to see how these two specific car GPS models stack up, and learn a bit about both Garmin and TomTom GPS units in the process. Want more advice? Check out our post on the best GPS navigation devices.


1. TomTom GO 60 S vs. Garmin Nuvi 58LMT: Price

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The TomTom GO 60 S. (TomTom)

We mentioned in our intro that both of these models cost the same. But that’s not exactly true. While both models have the same retail price, one model is easier to find online at a discount. As of this writing, Amazon has the Garmin Nuvi 58LMT on sale for the list price of $179.99. However, the TomTom GO 60 S (normally $179.99 as well) can be found on Amazon for $149.99, $30 off the list price. It’s not a huge savings, but sometimes every penny counts. Please note the Garmin’s price is based on the five inch model with lifetime maps and traffic. The price will vary slightly depending on the options you select. A 6-inch version of the Garmin Nuvi 58LMT is available for $209.99.

Both Garmin and TomTom have units that cost less than the two units we’re highlighting here. If price is an issue, consider some of the other options from these top-rated companies. Peruse Garmin‘s full range of GPS offerings, or see what TomTom has to offer.

Buy the Garmin Nuvi 58LMT 5-Inch GPS Navigator here.

Buy the TomTom GO 60 S Portable Vehicle GPS here.


2. TomTom GO 60 S vs. Garmin Nuvi 58LMT: Maps

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The Garmin Nuvi 58LMT. (Garmin)

The most important feature to consider when purchasing a new GPS unit is the quality of the maps. Without quality maps, even a top-notch car GPS unit is basically useless. The TomTom GO 60 S offers 3D maps, with lifetime North America map updates. You’ll also get lifetime traffic info via your smartphone. Maps here span the US, Canada, and Mexico.

The Garmin Nuvi 58LMT can be purchased as a base model, with lifetime maps, or with both lifetime maps and traffic. However, the maps here are just the US and Canada, so if your travel plans often include tips to Mexico, TomTom’s offering may be better suited to your needs.


3. TomTom GO 60 S vs. Garmin Nuvi 58LMT: Special Features

See the TomTom GO 60 S GPS unit in action in the video above.

Both the TomTom GO 60 S and Garmin Nuvi 58LMT offer lane assist/guidance. However, these units do have some special features that set them apart. Two of the most intriguing features on the Garmin unit are Foursquare integration and “Garmin Real Directions”. The latter feature aims to provide “friend-like” directions that are easier to understand, using landmarks and traffic lights to help guide the driver. The Garmin Nuvi 58LMT is also backup camera-compatible (sold separately).

The TomTom GO 60 S has some cool features as well, including IQ Routes. Billed as the “world’s largest database of real travel times”, this route calculator gives you faster routes and accurate arrival times. A handy parking assist feature makes finding the nearest parking garage or “on the way” parking quite simple.


4. TomTom GO 60 S vs. Garmin Nuvi 58LMT: Battery Life

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This friction mount from ChargerCity works with a wide array of Garmin GPS units. (ChargerCity)

When it comes to battery life, the TomTom GO 60 S and Garmin Nuvi 58LMT aren’t too different. That being said, one device definitely has the edge. The TomTom GO 60 S has an official battery life estimate of two and a half hours. In contrast, Garmin states that the battery life of the Nuvi 58LMT is only two hours. It’s close, but in those situations where you needed just a little bit more battery life, you’ll want to have the TomTom GO 60 S by your side.


5. TomTom GO 60 S vs. Garmin Nuvi 58LMT: Final Thoughts

gps app, gps unit, car gps

(Getty)

If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper GPS unit with enhanced battery life, and that also offers included maps for Mexico in the purchase price, we recommend going with the TomTom GO 60 S. However, if you are chronically lost and need special features like “Real Directions” (or just love the idea of Foursquare integration), the Garmin Nuvi 58LMT is probably a better fit. Both the TomTom GO 60 S and Garmin Nuvi 58LMT are backed by manufacturer’s warranties.

Need more gear for your ride? Check out our guide to the best car jump starters.

Buy the Garmin Nuvi 58LMT 5-Inch GPS Navigator here.

Buy the TomTom GO 60 S Portable Vehicle GPS here.

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.
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6 Comments

Richard

Garmin has been around a long time, with a trusted reputation. I loved the Garmin on my sailboat, so now I use one on my car.

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