2008 SEMA – Nextar K4, I4-BC, Q4-MD - Budget navigation

    Consumer Reports News: November 07, 2008 12:42 PM

    A relative newcomer to the portable GPS navigation market, Nextar has only been in the business for about three years. But they've found a niche by marketing their units more as commodity pieces rather than specialty electronic devices. Their prices are low, and you're more likely to find a Nextar GPS device at Wal-Mart or Walgreen's than an electronics store.

    Priced at about $299, K4 model has a four-inch screen and FM transmitter (for playing navigation instructions or multimedia files through the car's audio system). Company officials openly say it can easily be found for less. Like every Nextar unit, it includes text-to-speech for spoken street names, and it has capability for audio and video playback, with files stored on an SD card.

    The recently announced Nextar I4-BC combines a navigation with a wireless backup camera, all for $249. At the SEMA show, Nextar showed their Q4-MD, due to be released early next year. Nextar says the new model will include free MSN Direct, including traffic and weather info, for one year. Re-upping for another year will cost  $59, or buyers can opt for a renewal good for the life of the unit for $89. It also has one cool feature we haven't seen before, a magnet to secure it to the windshield mount. You just snap it in, and you're good to go.

    All three units are quite aggressively priced based on their box specification. All that said, we have yet to test any of these units. But we're putting them on the fast track. Stay tuned.

    Jim Travers

    Read about more cars, gear, news, and views from SEMA.                   

    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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