Garmin nuvi 30 budget Sat Nav

Garmin Sat NavIf you’re holidaying in the UK or Europe and travelling by car, there’s a good chance you’ll be using a “sat nav”.

There are plenty to choose from on the UK market, but perhaps one of the more affordable is the  Garmin range of sat nav. Here we review the Garmin nuvi 30 as part of their Essential Range. It is their most basic, entry-level personal navigation device (PND) and retails around £79.99.

You will be surprised at how many features have been included in this budget PND. The nuvi 30 has Text-to-Speech (TTS) which means that road names are read out to you in full. The Garmin also has Lane Guidance meaning that on motorways and other large roads you know which lane to get into. It also features Junctions so you can get a photo-realistic view of the junction ahead.

You will also see a display of the current road speed limit, with NAVTEQ mapping. There is a micro SD slot for map updates and it also has the Cyclops speed camera database and millions of POIs for shops, restaurants, airports and other useful places.

Garmin Road View (1)Unfortunately there is no USB lead included, and no instruction manual. Although, you do get the windscreen mount, power lead and a basic quickstart guide.

Set up is simple. The nuvi 30 uses Garmin’s menu with 2 main options of “Where To?” and “View Map”. You can also access the settings from the main menu. When you have a route set you will have additional options on the main menu for generating an alternative route.

Other destinations become available under the ‘Where To’ option, this includes address, points of interest, home, recent destinations, favourites and coordinates. The address search includes full 7-digit UK postcodes.

Navigation options (Main menu, settings, navigation) include route preferences of faster time, shorter distance and off-road. When using the nuvi, you can drag your finger to scroll up and down the menus as well as tapping the up/down arrows. Unlike mobile phones, there is no pinch/pull though for zooming in or out of the map.

Garmin DisplayDuring navigation, your travel route is highlighted clearly. The nuvi 30 features a relatively small 3.5 inch screen the display is laid out well with clear information. In the bottom left has an arrow (for return to the main menu) as well as your arrival time. In the bottom right you will see your current speed, the top bar shows the next turn and current road and there are also plus and minus buttons for zooming in and out. The arrival time can be tapped to change what it displays from arrival time, distance, time to destination, direction of travel, elevation or current time.

If you tap the bottom right (current speed) you will see the trip computer where you can view various stats about your journey such as direction, distance to go, top speed, journey time etc.

The nuvi 30 has a useful feature named Lane Assist, as well as Junction View. This is useful as it shows you which lanes you need to be in to stay on your route, the Junction View is a ‘photo-realistic’ view of the junction, with signs, which provide an idea of what to expect ahead.

Audio is loud and clear with Text-to-Speech so road names are spoken if required.

The nuvi 30 is a very nice PND to use, particularly for the price.

This review is a sponsored post on behalf of the RAC who provide affordable car breakdown cover for the UK.

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