Garmin 265W review

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GPS system - Garmin 265W

There have been others but the Garmin 265W has been the best portable GPS system we have used so far. Sure we could have bought the additional GPS module for the Sony stereo system but didn't due to cost and upgrade and compatibility issues we experienced with all Apple iPod/iPhone products. The 265W is the GPS unit we use for the Toyota Prado most of the time.

Note that we have replaced it with the 1390T for 2010 but the older unit still works perfectly and is now used as a modding platform to add other features like topographic data and POI updating.

The Garmin has lots of features but the key features we look for in a GPS system. They are a trip computer and on/off-road route tracking. Extra features we also like include simple bluetooth pairing with a mobile phone for hands free calling and free live traffic information.


 

Navigation

The Garmin has all the usual navigation options like avoid pay roads, quickest route, shortest route. So far there have only been a few instances where the route has been incorrect! It directed us to go via a road that was one way - the wrong way in the Grampians or the weird off-road course trying to exit Hobart. Overall though accuracy is spot on but route navigation 98%. 

We love the historical route mapping feature. It is great to be able to see where you've been before and very helpful when off road. In particular on Stockton beach where unfamiliarity gets you lost easily especially when you haven't taken the main entrance.  More telling you do not need to set a destination to see the route information.

 
Last known pricing (RRP)
LandCruiser Prado
NOT including on roads, discounts etc...
DECEMBER 2009

Petrol
5 door Kakadu - $87,990
5 door VX - $74,490
5 door GXL - $63,490

Diesel
5 door Kakadu - $88,990
5 door VX - $75,490
5 door GXL - $64,490
5 door GX - $58,490

Diesel (Only)
3 door ZR - $65,990
3 door SX - $55,990

3 door SX - $55,990

See Read Motorblog for more!

Other things.

Over time we noticed that the Garmin's initial quick satellite pickup has diminished. We don't now the reasons for it but we suspect because it has been dropped to the ground (tiles) on numerous occasions. Nonetheless it still works perfectly which impresses us on how tough the unit is made.

We think that GTM (SUNA) live traffic update system on all GPS units are still a bit of a gimmick since it rarely tells you anything important at the time. It is due to the slow updating of the traffic database currently managed by SUNA. Many occasions I've been stopped in traffic on the freeway while the traffic update system shows no traffic. It will be some time before this feature becomes really useful. 

The 265W was released in 2008 so has been around for over 12 months now and its getting old. Quite telling when you compare it to new models. However still works perfectly but there are better models out there now (2010). If you see one for a bargain price - get it!

Conclusion

The Garmin 265 is a great and tough GPS unit. It sells for a bargain price these days. For less than $180 AUD the last time I looked - if you can find one. 

There are better models - which we'll get to review but this is our current favorite on a price and feature basis.

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