We used a 2014 Honda Civic SE sedan to test each of our best truck GPSs. Each truck GPS was installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We then tested its route planning by creating a path to a nearby location, taking note of which route it decided to take us on, the stops it offered, and other driver-oriented features.
Since truck GPSs come with various accessories designed to secure them to a vehicle’s windshield, we scored each one in our roundup on how well the accessories held together and whether or not they created a secure fit. GPSs that were installed with little hassle and did not swivel or fall at any point scored highest in this category.
Truckers may have to make on-the-go adjustments as they drive, so a responsive touchscreen display means the difference between seamless navigation and a troublesome distraction. Truck GPSs that responded to touch easily and were easy to navigate scored highest in this category.
Since large trucks have trouble navigating roads that may be otherwise suitable for cars, a truck GPS needs to be able to assess the best possible route to accommodate them. GPSs that found accessible truck routes with detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions scored higher in this section.
Because truckers spend most of their time on the road, knowing what’s nearby is essential. This includes the nearest gas or weigh station, when to avoid crowded highways, and even where a great restaurant is in an unfamiliar area. Truck GPSs should be able to provide this information, and those that had a greater number of helpful, easy-to-use features scored higher in this category.
How We Score Products
Every truck GPS we test is given a score between 1.0 and 5.0 stars in each category. Here’s what those star ratings mean in concrete terms:
- 5.0 Stars: A 5.0-star rating means a truck GPS is among the best in a category.
- Installation: The GPS installs quickly and seamlessly in under a minute with no difficulties.
- Touchscreen: The touchscreen is responsive and it is easy to navigate the menus.
- Route Planning: It is easy to plot routes with the GPS, which features pin drops, restaurant recommendations, rest stop locations, and truck-specific route information.
- Additional Features: The GPS offers a host of additional features that are useful for trucks such as gas information, truck-specific speed information, or a services directory.
- 4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating means a truck GPS performs better than average in a category.
- Installation: The GPS installs quickly in a few minutes, though may require some finagling.
- Touchscreen: The touchscreen is responsive with only minor lag.
- Route Planning: It is easy to plot routes with the GPS, though one or more convenience features may be lacking, such as pins or truck-specific route information.
- Additional Features: The GPS offers some additional features useful for trucks.
- 3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating indicates what is average or typical for a truck GPS, based on our testing experience.
- Installation: The GPS can be installed without too much difficulty, but this process may take some time or we have doubts about the ability of the mount to stay attached once installed.
- Touchscreen: The touchscreen works, though it is not always perfectly responsive. There is typically some lag between touch input and in-screen response.
- Route Planning: The GPS can plan a route but lacks truck-specific features.
- Additional Features: The GPS offers no additional features.
- 2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating indicates the truck GPS performs poorer than the average silicone wiper blade.
- Installation: The GPS is very difficult to install and/or does not seem stable once attached.
- Touchscreen: The touchscreen does not function properly and is frustrating to use.
- Route Planning: It is difficult to plot routes using this GPS.
- Additional Features: The GPS offers additional features that do not work.
- 1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating indicates that the truck GPS performs well below expectations in a category.
- Installation: It is impossible to install the GPS without advanced electrical know-how or the help of an expert.
- Touchscreen: There are no touchscreen features.
- Route Planning: This GPS fails to plot navigable routes.
- Additional Features: The GPS offers additional features that are prone to malfunction in a way that decreases driver safety.
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*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.