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Magellan RoadMate 9055 GPS Review

by Ryan MatthewsMarch 14, 2011

MSRP $299.99

As a male member of the species, I am a little insulted by global positioning systems. I know my way around. I don’t need to ask for directions because I can’t get lost. Actually, that’s not true. I’m not too proud to rely on a GPS. This particular unit is great too. For one thing, it’s huge (for a GPS device anyway). In fact, it’s probably a little too big for use in my Honda Accord, but I do love the 7 inch screen. The 9055 was designed for use in larger cab vehicles like SUVs, RVs and roadsters but you can still use it in a smaller car.

The touch screen monitor is very easy to read. It’s a panoramic, high resolution, WVGA (wide video graphics array) display. There’s ample screen space and large easy to read icons. This is helpful if you position the monitor in a way that keeps it in your peripheral line of vision. This will help you stay focused on the road while still being able to read the screen easily. If you are going to use the 9055 in a smaller vehicle, there is an extendable arm that will allow you to position the system below dash level. This will save valuable windshield space.

The clarity of the display is pretty amazing too. It’s reputed to contain four times the detail found in standard GPS systems and I have no reason to doubt that claim. While standard GPS screens are just a little over four inches, at seven inches The RoadMate 9055 is one of the largest on the market.

The 9055 comes preloaded with maps of Canada, Puerto Rico and all 50 US States. There are over six million points of interest programmed into the unit as well. Can you imagine needing all six million on a single trip or even on a million trips? Of course, not, that’s why the OneTouch feature allows you to program your own points of interest. The system also has built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling.

Quick spell is another feature that can save you some time and trouble when typing in a city name. It helps narrow down your search by preventing misspellings. If you’re traveling with the kids or just a few bored adult passengers the unit features an A/V input so you can watch DVDs or plug in your iPod. There’s a live rear bumper feed so you know if you’re about to give the car behind you a love tap. This is also an important safety feature as you can check for children who may be crossing behind your car.

Another great added feature that come with this model is Lifetime Traffic. Lifetime keeps you informed of real-time traffic situations and recommends alternative routes to avoid potential traffic snarls. That’s pretty helpful. Not only that, it’s free advice. You will never have to subscribe. The unit also features Highway Lane Assist. This might be a bit of overkill in the driving advice category. Lane Assist will attempt to help you chose the best lane to drive in. Or the best lane not to drive in. I think the old rule is the best rule though: traffic in the other lane will slow down as soon as you change lanes. Lane Assist will also inform you what lane to get into get off at a particular exit. That’s useful information.

If you are a member of AAA, you can take advantage of the Where Am I feature. If you ever experience a breakdown on the side of the road, and you’re not quite sure what your exact location is, the Where Am I screen will tell you. It will let you know how far you are from both previous and upcoming exits. From this screen you need only touch a button to call AAA through Bluetooth. It also displays your AAA number along with your location. That’s all the information the AAA operator will need to send in the calvary.

If you are not  a member of AAA, you can still us the AAA TourBook feature. This is  exclusive to Magellan as part of their partnership with AAA. Use the guide to find ratings and write-ups of hundreds of restaurants and hotels as well as valuable discounts.

All in all, this system is very useful for any vehicle but it ideally suited for SUVs and RVs. The 50% more screen space and larger, easy to see and touch icons make navigation even easier. It’s also loaded with extra features like the AAA TourBook. Inputs that will give you audio/visual options and over 6 million programmed points of interest makes this one of the best Global Positioning systems on the market.

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