We are doing a comparison of Garmin Essential and TomTom START units here. The Garmin Essential GPS line includes the 42, 42LM, 44, 44LM, 52, 52LM, 54 and 54LM. The TomTom Start Series are the 45, 45M, 45TM, 55, 55M, and 55TM. The Essential and Start units are the lowest cost basic GPS that have at least 4.3” screen, spoken turn directions, lane change assistance, and at least built-in United States maps.
TomTom START series features
The Start series offers fuel price notifications, roadside assistance and the 45TM and 55TM units have lifetime map and traffic updating. The fuel price updates let drivers locate the lowest gas prices by location and price. Roadside assistance gives drivers peace of mind if they experience trouble with their vehicle while traveling. Lifetime traffic updates keeps the driver updated on traffic conditions to help them find the fastest routes to get home or to work. These units also have IQ Routes, which means the GPS has a built-in databank that gives the driver the quickest routes and the shortest arrival times. The units also offer speeding alerts, advice on when to take a break during a trip, and the fastest GPS satellite fixes. The units can even give drivers the most fuel-efficient route too.
Garmin Essential series features
The Garmin units offer spoken street names while it gives directions which makes it easier for a driver to know where they need to turn next. This series has a speed limit indicator to help the driver know exactly how fast they are going to be able to drive safely. During trips on multi-lane roads, these Garmin GPS units will use great graphics to show what lane to be traveling in as well advance notice when and how to change lanes to safely make a turn or get off on an exit.
Final thoughts on the comparison of Garmin Essential and TomTom START
The advantages in both lines they are the lowest priced yet quite capable units a driver would want to have on their dash to help them get to a new destination. Every unit has the very basic features a driver would want to be able to find their way to a new location. Drivers who often go to new places and don’t want to spend lots of money on a GPS unit will be well served. Since these units are the entry level for Garmin and TomTom they don’t have the more advanced features such voice commands, multi-touch screens, and the most realistic directions that can include famous and instantly recognized landmarks. The basic units will not have the more advanced options for getting better routes on a trip or access to social media and travel specials. The basic units get a driver from point A to point B using any reasonably accurate route. This comparison of Garmin Essential and TomTom START GPS devices has shown that they are very similar value priced solutions for drivers needing basic navigation capabilities.