Pros / This GPS device has the longest battery life of any product in our comparison.
Cons / It has the least intuitive interface of all the products we tested.
Verdict / The Rand McNally Road Explorer 5 is a basic GPS without premium features. Despite not having the friendliest interface, it’s got the best battery life and all of the important features, making it a decent choice for serious commuters.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Rand McNally Road Explorer 5 is a navigation GPS unit that comes with maps of Canada and the United States. It features a 5-inch color display and two different kinds of chargers. Though it lacks high-end functionality and an intuitive interface, it’s a solid car GPS with long battery life to keep up with your long adventures.
As with the best GPS systems, like the Rand McNally OverDryve, the Road Explorer 5 has 10 million points of interest built in. You can set up multiple destinations within your journey, and the device will automatically put them in order for easy navigation. Always on the display is the speed limit indicator so you can see how fast you’re supposed to be going. It also shows you which lane you’re supposed to be in, and gives you advance notice of upcoming turns. In case of traffic or other delays, it can suggest a different route if you want. However, it lacks voice-activated navigation software, which is both a convenience- and safety-related feature, aimed at keeping your eyes on the road.
The GPS navigator features a capacitive touchscreen, which allows you to pinch to zoom, and have more accurate and responsive interaction with the device. You can set up the device to look for toll roads and even avoid them, if you prefer. It features a built-in fuel log and trip planner, which can help you keep to your fuel budget and itinerary. You can save your favorite destinations to the address book, making them easier to navigate to in the future. For easy viewing, you can switch the map view between “North Up,” “Heading Up” and one featuring 3D buildings and landmarks so you can recognize when to make a turn.
You can contact Rand McNally’s customer service team via live chat, phone or email – whichever you prefer. Though we found it difficult to get connected to a rep via chat, a representative typically returned our emails within a matter of minutes and resolved our questions. The product ships with a one-year warranty.
The Rand McNally Road Explorer 5 is not for the driver who wants every premium convenience, though it has lifetime map updates and the longest battery life on our lineup. Despite its complex interface and lack of voice-activated navigation, the GPS unit has an abundance of basic features aimed at simplifying your commute as well as a budget-friendly price.