Best sat nav 2015: which GPS navigation option should you buy?

The hardware and app cream of the new UK and Europe sat navs

TomTom Go 5000 review

1. TomTom Go 5000

The 5-inch member of TomTom's latest range is pure sat nav at its best

Unless you desperately need a screen an inch bigger, in which case try the Go 6000, we'd say this 5-incher is the sweet spot in TomTom's sat nav range. The essential difference between TomTom's devices and Garmins is that TomTom's are a little more stripped back, with fewer smartphone-style features. In our opinion, that's a better route to go down, excellent though Garmin's sat navs are.

You get traffic updates for life here, but you will have to pay an extra £20 per year for updates to keep you safe from safety cameras.

Read: TomTom Go 5000 review

Best satnav 2014

2. Garmin Nuvi 3598LMT-D

Slickness and features abound on this winner from Garmin

Another top-of-the-range GPS box, this has a five-inch screen and offers smartphone-like smoothness, excellent mapping and can be relied on to get you from A to B with plenty of points of interest and smart traffic-evading services that don't require a SIM or data connection – your car's DAB connectivity is used instead.

As you'd expect at the price, luxe features abound, including Real Directions, which dispenses with abstract lefts or rights after hard-to-estimate distances, instead using landmarks: "turn left at Starbucks."

The quality does cost, and you'll need to pay an extra £17 per year for UK camera info. However, it's an excellent device and whether you prefer this or the TomTom 6000 or TomTom 5000 largely comes down to whether you want lots of features (Garmin) or more of a concentration on core sat nav abilities (TomTom).

Read: Garmin nuvi 3598LMT-D review

TomTom Go 6000

3. TomTom Go 6000

The big brother of the Go 5000 offers more screen but less value

The TomTom Go 6000 is an impressive piece of kit. The interface is intuitive, with TomTom's excellent routing benefiting from being able to draw on live traffic data to make for incredibly accurate journey times as well. The fact that it includes lifetime map and journey updates for 45 countries in Europe make it all the sat nav you should ever need.

The 6-inch screen is bright and clear and easy to see whatever the lighting outside, and the voices are clear and precise too. The new mounting system is solid, yet it's easy to remove the sat nav from its cradle if you need to. You can charge the sat nav from a standard micro-USB connector, if you're away from your car too, which adds to its flexibility.

You have to pay extra for camera data, but the £20 a year cost is not prohibitive. However for us, the six-inch screen is overkill, so we recommend the cheaper, 5-inch Go 5000 over this. If you're all about screen real estate, feel free to ignore us on that one.

Read: TomTom Go 6000 review

Garmin Nuvi 3490

4. Garmin nuvi 3490LMT

Another smartphone-like sat nav offering from Garmin

This was among the first sat navs to take design cues from smartphones. To that end it's got a capacitive touchscreen, increased slimness and decreased thickness, live services via a connected smartphone app, and looks and feels great.

Elsewhere, the admittedly steep sticker price buys you UK and Euro maps with updates for life, Bluetooth and voice control. You have to pay £17 for camera updates.

This has been largely superseded by the Nuvi 3598LMT but remains available and a viable option. Its price hasn't come down as much as you might think, though.

Read: Garmin nuvi 3490LMT review

TomTom Go 60

5. TomTom Go 60

Very strong budget sat nav option

The best alternative to these high-end sat navs, other than using your phone, is to ignore the mid-range entirely and go for a cheap and cheerful device like this one or the Garmin Nuvi 2699.

Giving you 6 inches of screen for around £120, this will get you from A to B safely. So long as you can get over the rather olde worlde resistive touchscreen and don't expect much beyond the navigation essentials, it's a solid effort.

Read: TomTom Go 60 review