Garmin nuvi 5000 - Super-size my GPS

    Consumer Reports News: January 10, 2008 01:03 PM

    Designed for drivers of trucks and RVs, whose distant windshields can make a small screen hard to see and even harder to reach, the new Garmin nuvi 5000's most notable feature is a large, 5.2-inch display.

    The nuvi 5000 offers other features of particular interest to drivers of larger vehicles, including a 3D elevation map to show upcoming grade changes and speed limits for highways. It has the capability to sort through multiple destinations to plot the most efficient route for deliveries, and it lets the driver enter custom points of interest, such as locations of school zones, for future trips. Alerts can be set to give sufficient notice of approaching points of interest, so drivers of large vehicles have time to plan accordingly. A video input is included for hooking up a rear-view camera, and an electronic breadcrumb trail lets you see where you've been.

    More conventional features include text-to-speech capability for announcing street names, an MP3 player and picture viewer, and an FM transmitter for broadcasting music through the vehicle's sound system. Garmin's "Where am I?" feature lets users press a button for immediate latitude and longitude, along with the locations of nearest fuel and emergency services. The nuvi 5000 can also provide MSN Direct content for weather, traffic, and other info, but that service requires both a separate receiver and a subscription.

    The nuvi 5000 is due in stores in February at a retail price of $799.

    Jim Travers

    For more information on portable GPS navigation systems, see our Ratings and buying advice and watch our video guide. Discuss GPS devices in the forums.

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