The Garmin pre-programmed micro SD data card, product 010-10755-00, is designed to work with Garmin GPS devices such as the nuvi 255W. Actual field testing in Mexico shows several shortcomings, but the combination also proves very helpful for tourist drivers. It is the best GPS for truck drivers.
Garmin nuvi 205 Series is best GPS for truck drivers
The nuvi 205 series of GPS devices from Garmin are reasonably priced, portable and pre-loaded with complete street map sets for the U.S. List prices range from $160-$270. The introductory model, 205, is preloaded with street maps for the lower 48 states plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Models 255 and above include street maps for all of North America, and add spoken directions. Higher level models provide Bluetooth connectivity and European maps. Models with a “W” are the widescreen versions.
For use in Mexico, model 255W is ideal, since widescreen is well worth the small additional cost and spoken directions are considered essential.
Garmin’s 010-10755-00 City Select Mexico Card
The 010-10755-00 is a pre-programmed micro secure digital card, available as NT V2 2008. An earlier version may also be for sale, which might not be as current as the V2. This card is not capable of being updated, and according to the manufacturer, there are no plans for a new release. The list price is $153, but it is available at Amazon and other retailers for less than $100. This too is best GPS for truck drivers.
Shortcomings of the Garmin 010-10755-00 Mexico Navigator Card in Mexico
Since the navigator card is not capable of updating and is several years old, newer highways and streets in Mexico are not included. This includes many of the newer toll roads (Cuotas), which are preferable to the libre (free) roads. Consequently, the GPS/card will sometimes direct the driver to a slower, less-preferred route. Tourist drivers should carry a current, comprehensive map of Mexico, and refer to it before undertaking any day’s drive. The best of these is the Guia Roji, a 150 page set of 49 maps, available at bookstores in the U.S. as well as in Mexico. This atlas is re-published annually, and drivers should purchase the latest issue.
Sometimes the GPS/card will direct the driver to an older, slower road even though road signs indicate a newer, more direct route is available. For example, the best GPS for truck drivers directs drivers approaching San Miguel de Allende from Celaya to turn off of the main highway to an older route, even though there are large signs clearly directing a driver to remain on the road in order to reach San Miguel. Drivers should take such confusing directions from the GPS with a grain of salt, and follow signs that are more likely to be correct.
In other cases, the GPS/card can give incorrect directions to an address, even though the street has not been changed, or, worse, actually direct the driver to make an illegal turn. In Malinalco, for example, the GPS/card directed a driver to turn the wrong way on a desired hotel’s street, and into oncoming one-way traffic. Again, the driver needs to pay attention to street signs while listening to the GPS and it is considered as the best GPS for truck drivers.
Another shortcoming of the GPS/card in Mexico is that the feature that locates the nearest gas station or other important destination is not accurate. Nearest gas stations, for example, were often shown to be more than 100 miles distant, even though one was clearly in sight.
Advantages of the Garmin 010-10755-00 Navigator Card in Mexico
Although there are some shortcomings of the card, there are also many, and more significant, advantages. Plotting arrival times are simple and surprisingly accurate, considering the unknowns of traffic and road construction. Even the arrival time for a 400 mile day’s drive (a long day’s drive in Mexico) is well-predicted by the GPS/card. Additionally, the card has surprisingly current information about speed limits, even in cases, such as suburban Cuernavaca, where limits change back and forth as you approach the city.
The spoken turn directions are quite accurate, as well, and usually direct the driver precisely. In addition, when a correct turn is missed, the GPS/card quickly compensates and helps the driver return to the proper location. This routine sometimes takes a driver through streets that one would think might not be mapped. During road tests, the GPS/card accurately found a small 4-room hotel in the center of Mexico’s second-largest city, Guadalajara, and quickly recovered from an important missed turn on the outskirts of Queretero.
Precise location and altitude is always available using the “Where am I?” feature.
In summary, tourists planning to drive through Mexico would be well-advised to purchase a Garmin nuvi 255W and accompanying Mexico navigator card, 010-10755-00. At the same time, they should not rely solely on the card’s directions, but use a good map and common sense as well.