Pioneer's flagship AVIC 8000NEX boasts dozens of media and navigation options -- including the first aftermarket appearance of Apple CarPlay -- but most users will find a better feature-to-cost balance lower in the brand's NEX lineup.
The Pioneer AppRadio 3 is significantly improved over the previous generation and one of the best choices for drivers wanting safe access to smartphone apps while on the road.
The Alpine INA-W900 is a solid choice for most users' in-car entertainment and navigation needs, but it will require a few upgrades to match our current favorite in functionality.
The Garmin Nuvi 3490 LMT packs every trick in Garmin's book into an ultra-thin chassis, but the high MSRP will deter some.
With its improved interface, the Garmin Nuvi 2495LMT (Advanced Series) is as easy to use as earlier models, while offering a good blend of advanced features at a reasonable price.
Garmin's formula for entry-level GPS devices doesn't change much with the new Nuvi 50, but small tweaks, a lower price, and a massive screen enhance value.
For those wanting a large screen for DVD playback that can have an unobtrusive presence while not in use, the Pioneer AVH-P6300BT is a solidly performing option, especially for iPod/iPhone owners.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, Sony's newest all-in-one car audio receiver pairs a brilliant 7-inch display with GPS navigation powered by TomTom. The result is almost the best of both worlds, but we'd like to see a bit more integration.
For users who want to add GPS navigation to their iPod Touch, the Dual XGPS300 is a possible solution, if they can get over the sticker shock.
We're pleased with the Alpine iXA-W407's "less is more" approach to in-car entertainment. The interface is less cluttered, more responsive, and easier to navigate than the previous generation's.