GPS, short for Global Positioning System, is a satellite-based navigation system of over 30 satellites circulating our planet. GPS uses an embedded receiver to calculate the distance between numerous satellites, which pinpoints your location. This incredible technology is useful in helping you get where you want to go without draining your smartphone’s battery.
Best of all, satellite-based GPS works in areas where your phone doesn’t.
We’ve reviewed some of the best truck GPS devices on the market. Keep reading to find out which one is right for you.
Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa
Editor’s Choice: Best Overall
Garmin’s best-in-class, voice-activated GPS tracker is our top pick for many reasons, namely its crisp 6.95″ edge display, wifi connectivity for updates, and built-in Alexa. You can use Alexa to navigate to your destination, find points-of-interest along the way, and check for weather and traffic updates.
Why We Love It
- Its plethora of features provide excellent value for money
- Allows you to navigate to your destination safely with hands-free, voice-activated control
- High-resolution, edge-to-edge display is easy to read
- Wifi connectivity effortlessly updates device software and North American maps
- Built-in Alexa makes it easy to create lists, control your music, check your calendar, and listen to the news on the go
Garmin Traffic helps you navigate congestion, avoid accidents, and suggest detours if ongoing construction delays you on your route. The use of a GPS device also makes for a safer driving experience. You can sync any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone to the Garmin DriveSmart 65 to enjoy hands-free phone calls. Alexa provides live traffic and weather reports, and TripAdvisor integration helps you find exciting new spots along your route.
Founded in Lenexa, Kansas by Gary Burrell and Min Kao in 1989, Garmin is an industry leader in the field of providing GPS technology for aviation, marine, outdoor, and automotive activities.
Manufactured by one of the most trusted names in the industry, the Garmin DriveSmart 65 makes navigating your route effortless and helps keep you safe while doing it.Check Price
TomTom Go 620
Editor’s Choice: Best for World Travelers
In addition to its crystal clear maps of the United States, Mexico, and Canada, the TomTom Go 620 offers world maps without having to buy an expensive add-on, making a great alternative to other GPS devices if you plan to travel outside North America. The TomTom Go 620 provides increased driving safety with hands-free calling, and it updates over wifi — no computer needed.
Why We Love It
- Connects to smartphones via Bluetooth for hands-free calling
- Lifetime maps with seasonal updates
- Updates software and maps over wifi, no additional equipment needed
- Compatible with Siri and Google Now
- Lifetime traffic updates in real-time
The TomTom Go 620 allows you to plan your routes intelligently with information updated in real-time. With lifetime maps, you never have to worry about using a paper map or frantically Googling directions if you get turned around during your drive. Fantastic for taking your truck off the beaten path, the 6″ display renders your route in sharp detail, so you’ll easily find your way back.
TomTom is a location technology expert founded in 1991 and headquartered in Amsterdam. The company has developed and created top-notch satellite navigation devices for the market since 2004. With over 4,5000 employees globally, TomTom operates in 29 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
The TomTom Go 620 with lifetime world maps is the perfect choice for motorists who enjoy cross-country drives, venturing into Canada and Mexico, and traveling internationally.Check Price
Garmin Drive 52
Editor’s Choice: Best Budget GPS
The Garmin Drive 52 has fewer features than the Garmin DriveSmart 65 for a lower price point. While it’s less robust than the DriveSmart 65, it offers the same intuitive user interface, up-to-date navigation, and useful travel data and driver alerts found on more expensive GPS models.
The Garmin Drive 52 offers detailed maps on a bright, 5 inch display. Access Garmin Traffic without a smartphone, and navigate to POIs on your route with The HISTORY Channel's database.
Why We Love It
- Offers access to the U.S. National Parks Registry
- Features the HISTORY Channel database of noteworthy historical sites
- Garmin Traffic works without a smartphone
- Device has an uncomplicated menu display and easy-to-read maps
- Provides accurate driver alerts and travel data in real-time
With state-of-the-art Garmin Traffic and an intuitive 5″ touchscreen display, the Garmin Drive 52 brings you all the features you need in a GPS device without the high price. Complete with rich, detailed maps of the United States and Canada, getting where you need to go is effortless with the Garmin Drive 52.
The device offers numerous POI databases, including The U.S. National Parks Registry, The HISTORY Channel, TripAdvisor, and Foursquare. The Garmin Drive 52 features spoken, turn-by-turn directions, so you can keep your eyes front and center while driving.
Providing excellent value for money, the Garmin Drive 52 offers the most exciting features found on other Garmin models at a lower price point.Check Price
How to Choose the Best GPS for Your Truck
Thanks to a thriving market of navigation-equipped smartphones, stand-alone GPS devices are priced more competitively than ever. Apart from your budget, there are several things you could keep in mind when choosing the best truck GPS: What size display screen do you need? Is Bluetooth connectivity vital to you? Do you want your GPS device to be able to download updates over wifi? Will you need global maps or only maps of the United States?
Display size is perhaps the most essential characteristic to consider when purchasing a GPS device for your truck. Most screens are around 5″ inches, but you may want to opt for a larger, 7″ model if you have difficulty reading small print. Keep in mind that larger display screens will take up more space on your dashboard and potentially create a blind spot on your windshield.
Not all GPS devices are equipped to download updates via wifi or sync to your smartphone using Bluetooth. You will have more options if these features aren’t relevant to you. Still, it is something to keep in mind if you don’t want to have to download updates to a computer and then install them onto your GPS device manually.
Similarly, all GPS devices come with maps preloaded, but they are often limited to the United States, Canada, and sometimes Mexico. While there are devices with worldwide maps available, many devices allow you to install an app with maps loaded onto it and download them onto your GPS for an additional cost.
3 Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a GPS
- Screen size
- Available features
Other GPS Devices You Might Consider
CARRVAS GPS Navigation
This massive, 9″ screen was designed for professional truckers but can work perfectly in trucks with large cabs. It makes up for taking up dashboard real estate with unique features you won’t find on other GPS devices. CARRVAS GPS Navigation’s offering comes with preloaded maps of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and you’ll get free map updates for life.
The CARRVAS GPS Navigation device helps you drive safely with voice navigation, driver alerts, and an easy-to-read, high-resolution display. It offers day and night mode and displays your current speed as you drive.
Why We Love It
- Alerts drivers of dangerous curves ahead, railroad crossings, speed changes, and speed cameras
- Voice navigation includes 30 language options
- Doubles as a gaming device and eBook reader
- Lifetime free map updates
- Durable touchscreen LCD
- The 9″ display screen is a little unwieldy no matter the size of your vehicle
- No Bluetooth connectivity
Despite the cumbersome display size and lack of Bluetooth connectivity, the CARRVAS GPS Navigation device is worthy of consideration due to its versatility. There’s no need to pack an additional eReader or gaming device when you go camping, as you can use your GPS device to read books and play games.
With more than 30 languages available for voice navigation, it’s also an excellent choice for those who aren’t as comfortable following directions in English. CARRVAS gives you free map updates for life, so there’s no subscription to renew to stay up-to-date on the latest detours.
You’ll be alerted to dangerous curves in the road and speed changes with CARRVAS, making your journey safer.Check Price
Leruox GPS Navigation
This GPS navigator supports over 40 languages, offers free lifetime map updates, and provides intelligent driver alerts. Leruox’s GPS device alerts motorists to upcoming intersections and railroad crossings and ensures you’re driving in the right lane.
Leruox makes driving easier and safer with its advanced lane guidance technology. Voice announcements notify you of railroad crossings, intersections, and potentially dangerous curves on your route.
Why We Love It
- Video player, audio player, and eBook capabilities
- Satellite search capabilities
- Over 40 languages available
- Free map updates for life
- Alerts driver to POIs along route
- Won’t charge with UBS connection; you must use a car charger
- No wifi connectivity to download updates
Leruox’s GPS device is capable of playing MP3 and MP4 files and doubling as an eReader. It has a 2-3 hour battery life, making it an excellent device for camping or strolling around a new city in search of POIs. The 7″, high-resolution touch screen makes it easy to see where you’re going, and voice navigation allows you to keep your eyes trained on the road while driving.
Its search capabilities are a fantastic bonus when you’re in an area with spotty cell phone coverage. You can search for nearby restaurants and hotels directly from your GPS device. Leruox will lead you safely there, warning you of any dangerous bends, animal roads, or speed traps.
Leruox GPS Navigation is an all-around fantastic device that offers a myriad of impressive features without breaking the bank.Check Price
EinCar Double Din Stereo GPS Navigator
If you’d rather have a built-in option without splurging on a new car, EinCar’s Double Din is the perfect choice. This GPS navigator replaces your factory-installed stereo system and serves as an all-in-one entertainment and navigation solution.
This double DIN design replaces your stereo system and integrates easily with Bluetooth. USB ports enable hard drive and digital player device connectivity.
Why We Love It
- Hands-free calling thanks to Bluetooth connectivity
- Plays music directly from your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled digital players
- Supports AM/FM radio, so you can listen while driving
- Different volume controls for voice navigation and music
- Built-in CD/DVD player
- Maps are available on an 8GB T.F. card, which can be lost or broken
- Only one size available, so it won’t fit all vehicles
EinCar’s Double Din Stereo GPS Navigator is a feature-packed powerhouse you can install in place of your factory-installed stereo. You’ll be able to listen to music directly from your phone, get up-to-date weather and traffic announcements, and even make hands-free phone calls through your stereo.
The 6.2″, high-resolution display is backlit and highly responsive, enabling you to enter locations and perform searches with ease. The built-in CD/DVD player allows you to keep your passengers happy as you drive. Because there are different controls for voice navigation and media, you’ll always hear your navigator give directions.
If keeping the kids occupied in the car is important to you, EinCar’s Double Din Stereo GPS Navigator is a truly fantastic all-in-one hybrid of navigation technology and entertainment value.Check Price
Aonerex GPS Navigation
Offering spoken, turn-by-turn navigation, and 2D/3D models, Aonerex GPS Navigation is a budget-friendly find backed by a lifetime warranty. This sleek, 7″ touchscreen device is preloaded with maps of North America with maps of South America, Europe, and Australia available for download.
This 7 inch GPS navigator features turn-by-turn navigation in over 40 languages. Aonerex GPS Navigation has an 8GB internal memory and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Why We Love It
- Supports MP3 and MP4 files
- Calculates remaining distance and estimated arrival time
- Search capabilities include zip codes, addresses, coordinates, and POIs
- Preloaded map of North America with free lifetime updates
- High-performance CPU with plenty of space for additional maps
- Not Bluetooth enabled
- No wifi capabilities
The Aonerex GPS Navigation device is one of the less feature-heavy models we’ve reviewed. Still, this inexpensive navigator offers plenty of features to help you get where you want to go. With its up-to-date, preloaded map of the United States, the ability to support media files, and lifetime warranty, this is a great GPS device if you only want the basics.
Aonerex can still support you on your journey if you plan to travel overseas thanks to the downloadable maps of South America, Australia, and Europe. You can search addresses, postal codes, points-of-interest, and coordinates directly on the device, so it will work even if you’re in an area where your phone doesn’t have a signal.
The Aonerex GPS Navigation device is an affordable-yet-powerful navigator for complete functionality without too much extra flash.Check Price
ATOTO A6 Double Din Navigation Stereo
This unique, voice-activated GPS comes with Google Maps preloaded. In addition to integrating wifi and dual Bluetooth capabilities, the ATOTO A6 can connect with your phone’s tethering internet.
This voice-enabled GPS device features a 7 inch H.D. touchscreen, preinstalled Google Maps, and dual Bluetooth connectivity. It has a 256GB micro S.D. and 1TB SSD drive.
Why We Love It
- Automatic firmware updates
- Dash and backup camera input capabilities
- Capable of tethering with your phone’s internet
- Nine system languages available
- Supports AM/FM radio
- Supports USB/wifi for Android but only offers AirPlay for iOS
- No CD/DVD player
The ATOTO A6 Double Din Navigation Stereo replaces your truck’s factory-installed stereo to provide entertainment and functionality. You can tether the stereo to your smartphone’s internet, enabling you to stream videos and music while on the go. (Keeping driving safety in mind, of course.)
You can also download maps for offline navigation, so your GPS will remain fully functional in areas without wifi or a strong data signal. ATOTO A6 also supports AM/FM radio, allowing you to listen to music or the news as you drive.
With preloaded Google Maps and other apps available for download in the Google Play Store, the ATOTO A6 provides all the navigation help you need with all the entertainment possibilities you want.Check Price
Did you know that thanks to a trilateration process, your truck is visible to at least four GPS satellites at any given time? Under ideal conditions, your GPS navigation device receives information from five or more satellites, enabling it to estimate your exact location within a few inches.
While many drivers rely solely on their cell phones for directions and navigation, we still believe a dedicated GPS device is an essential addition to your truck. A voice-activated GPS prevents driver distractions and is much safer than glancing down at your phone. Having a GPS installed also means you won’t run down your phone’s battery.
Most importantly, especially for offroading aficionados, a GPS doesn’t require a wifi connection or a data signal, so it will work even in locations where your cell phone won’t. Even with technological advancements and GPS available in most phones, we strongly recommend having a stand-alone GPS device in your truck.