Most navigation systems with traffic-monitoring capabilities make you pay an extra $60 or so per year for the service. Not so the Navigon 5100: Its real-time traffic features are included subscription-free. Right now, Buy.com has the Navigon 5100 (refurbished) for just $129.99 shipped.
That's a decidedly entry-level price for a GPS, but this model goes way beyond entry-level features. In addition to the traffic service, which will advise you of trouble spots and suggest alternate routes, the Navigon offers text-to-speech capabilities (it announces actual street names) and a lane-assistant function that recommends the best lane to be in for your route.
Its Reality View presents a photo-realistic image of complex highway interchanges, with actual road signage and exit-ramp guidance.
CNET dinged the Navigon 5100 for its smallish screen (3.5 inches) and unusual dashboard mount. But the 20 user reviews at Buy.com averaged 4.5 stars out of 5. I think my sole complaint is with the 90-day warranty, but that's pretty typical for a refurbished unit. And, let's face it, $130 for a GPS with lifetime traffic is unheard of. Get one while you can.