TomTom 5" GPS Navigator w/ Lifetime Maps

Be advised that lifetime does not mean lifetime. They have a different definition than you and i do of “lifetime”.

How so?

Here’s their fine print (emphasis added by me):

If you purchase a nüMaps Lifetime subscription (sold separately) or if your Garmin product comes bundled with a nüMaps Lifetime or other lifetime map subscription, you will receive map data updates when and as such updates are made available on during the useful life of 1 compatible Garmin product or as long as Garmin receives map data from a third party supplier, whichever is shorter. A product’s “useful life” means the period during which the product (a) has sufficient memory capacity and other required technical capabilities to utilize current map data and (b) is capable of operating as intended without major repairs. A product will be deemed to be out of service and its useful life to be ended if no updates have been downloaded for such product for a period of 24 months or more. Unless otherwise stated, the updates you receive under the subscription will be updates to the same geographic area included with your Garmin product when originally purchased. In some instances, your Garmin product might not have sufficient memory remaining for you to load an update to the map data, in which case you will need to either (a) select reduced map data coverage for your updates, or (b) purchase separately a microSD™/SD™ card (if and as applicable to your Garmin product) and load all or a portion of the map data coverage for your updates to the card and insert the card into the microSD/SD card slot contained in your Garmin product. If neither of the measures in (a) or (b) can be used to address your product’s lack of sufficient remaining memory, then Garmin may conclude that the “useful life” of your product has expired. Garmin may terminate your nüMaps Lifetime or other lifetime map subscription at any time if you violate any of the terms of this agreement or your subscription. Your nüMaps Lifetime subscription or other lifetime map subscription may not be transferred to another person or another Garmin product.

Bottom line, keep updating it regularly and you should be fine.

Once you have the Garmin Express app on your PC and update your device the first time - it’ll nag you every time an update comes out for your unit. When that happens, I retrieve my unit out of the vehicle and hook it up to do the update.

Last time I helped my father update his, the update was too big and I needed to get him a microSD card.

I’m sure he means not “your” lifetime, but only the life of the GPS unit itself

This from TomTom’s website:

If you buy a navigation device or smartphone app which includes Lifetime Maps, you can download 4 or more full updates of your map every year for the lifetime of your product. Lifetime Maps are available without additional charge and for as long as the product is supported.

The map updates are the full updates for the map that is preinstalled on your device or that is installed on your smartphone app. The geographical coverage and feature support in the map will continue to match the original version, as long as the original is commercially available. You will receive all available updates to road network, addresses and Points of Interest in these releases.

I suppose you may still be using the same device for years and years and reach the stage where it is no longer supported but in all the reviews I’ve ever read about these that is not something anyone was claiming.

These things are not perfect; I have one and I wish it were as fast as using Google Maps for entering a destination. That aside they’re not bad.

Apart from that my only real quibble would be how painfully slow their update process is even with a fast connection.

This is a Tom Tom product, not a Garmin.

That being said, I have a Tom Tom XXL 540M that I got nearly 7 years ago that is still getting regular updates. I get an email every quarter when the new map is available. The only change is that originally it held all of the US and Canada and now that the maps are bigger I can only get part of the US and Canada

Yes, if you try to update to a large enough map you may need to buy an SD card for it. While the instructions sound ominous, it’s really not that bad.
I’ve got a US & Canada map and it’s close to maxed out of internal memory on a new garmin.

I’m sure this has been asked a bazillion times but why do I need a GPS when my phone does this already?

I am in areas all the time that do not have cell service. In those areas I use a GPS. And sometimes I just like the way the GPS locates stuff, such as looking for a specific place(s) (restaurants for one example) as I drive. It auto updates with current places as I drive along.

My phone has struggled lately to locate GPS. I wonder if I should snag one of these and leave it in the glove box so if I’m traveling, I’m not left out with a struggling GPS connection.

This NY Times article may go some way to answering that question.

Personally I use both. Shorter trips I will usually use Google Maps but on longer trips I prefer the TomTom.

Cell service is really spotty where we live so sometimes the TomTom is the only choice. GPS you can connect to pretty much anywhere but there are still huge gaps in cell service all over the US.

Because there are some areas with poor cellular service (think of northwestern Arizona on the drive from Phoenix to Las Vegas).

And the GPS display and user interface is optimized for its one job. Sometimes the dedicated device is actually a better solution.

for myself, I always have my GPS connected in the car. I don’t want to use data on my phone or worry about areas that don’t have service. I don’t want to take my phone out of my pocket to mount it temporarily to the dash.

However Garmin offers maps in segments so you don’t have to load the entire US. It’s perfectly fine to get the East coast or even 48 states without having the entire US and Canada.

NO! Run away from this! TomTom is HORRIBLE! I bought one from Woot and it constantly told you to “keep right” and “stay in the right lane” - even when your left turn was coming up. Finally, within 500 feet, it would proudly proclaim “Keep right, and in 500 feet, turn LEFT!” WTF??? Scanned the online chats and saw this was a known problem. Tried reset. Tried deleting and reloading the maps. Even wasted an hour with their tech people. Same problem. Bought a Garmin (from Woot) ands LOVE it! No confusing directions. Stay away from TomTom!