Yesterday I got to experience the Navigon GPS system first hand.

Let me start off by saying I usually stick to a brand that I think is best in its field. In this case, Garmin. I currently use a 5-year-old Garmin Nuvi 200, which is out-dated. Out-dated because I tried registering on the Garmin website but received an error, so I never bothered downloading a newer version of the map again.

Navigon invited me to a fun day, sort of like Amazing Race, where we were given clues and had to drive to the destination (Soccer City > Apartheid Museum > Botanical Gardens > Moyo – Zoo Lake > Wombles) using the Navigon GPS system.

Initially I took long to find a destination because the system was new to me – and quite advanced, compared to my entry level Garmin.

Once a destination has been found, you get an option of three different routes, colour-coded accordingly. The route that you choose most often – eg. shortest time – is what the device remembers about you when giving directions. I also found the directions to be more accurate. Instead of saying “turn left”, it says “turn left now”. I have missed turns in the past on my old GPS.

Another feature that I found handy, especially for me, is that the speed limit is always displayed on the map. (It may not be a killer feature, but if it’s not in front of me, I’m gonna get a ticket. Well, only when I’m rushing back from an event). There is a 2 second delay between the real time update as you cross over to zone with a different speed limit.

The GPS also has an “active lane assistant” feature which shows you which lane is best stick to – you don’t want to be on the far right on a 5-lane highway when your extreme left turn is approaching. The map highlights the lanes you should be in, so you can turn in time.

If you’re taking an extended journey and need to stop for food at some point, you are able to create a route within a route. You can do a local search for the nearest restaurant and add it on. Pretty cool. Once you’re done, navigation to your final destination will resume.

If you’re concerned about quality – Navigon is a German company, who follows standards set by BMW. Enough said. Right?

Hopefully I won’t be getting lost, missing turns or even have roads missing in my new Navigon 40 Premium, thanks to Nagivon.

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