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Customer Review

273 of 284 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, September 23, 2011
This review is from: Magellan RoadMate 2045T-LM Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps and Traffic (Wireless Phone Accessory)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
UPDATE follows this review

I've owned and used GPS units from all three of the major manufactuers - Garmin, TomTom and Magellan.

When it comes to interface Magellan units usually shine. The 2045T is no exception. However, as at least one reviewer noted, the edit function within the address book is not user friendly. That, however, is the least of my complaints about this unit. Before I get to my complaints, I want to mention the things that are great about this GPS.

Unlike my TomTom, Magellan GPS units are very logical as you enter in a destination. When you enter the first letter of the town or city it automatically starts to suggest places near your current location. If your near Bangor, Maine it doesn't suggest Boston. That's exactly what my TomTom does and it drives me insane. So Magellans are intuitive on this count.

Secondly, the AAA guidebook that comes with Megellan units is just great. It's perfect for finding stores, restaurants and attractions when you're in a place you don't already know. A major kudos for this.

Despite these great features, I have two major beefs.

One, there's something wrong with Magellan's software and how it determines fastest route. In the space of two days the unit failed to know the fastest route at least half a dozen times. These weren't just mapping errors, these were the unit's inability to just know that one route is faster than another. This is NOT a problem I've seen in any of the units I've used up until now, including older Magellans. These weren't major mistakes, but they added a minute here and there. On a long trip I could see them adding up.

The second beef I have is with the traffic function and estimated time of arrival. I'm self employed and part of my work is getting from place to place in a timely fashion. A few minutes late could actually result in lost income in my line of work. I was on my way to a business event and I followed the Magellan's suggested route that took me off the major highways. It was around 5pm in the Boston region so traffic was really bad. The Magellan gave me an ETA that indicated I'd only lose a couple of minutes due to traffic. So I followed its suggested route. It didn't work.

Instead of bumper to bumper traffic on the highway, I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on secondary roads. The ETA was off by almost 20 minutes. Thankfully I had built in enough buffer that this didn't harm my work. Nonetheless, it caused me to distrust the traffic function. There's no way I can know if it would have been faster to stay on the highway, the most direct route. All of which just creates more confusion.

I haven't used the traffic function on other GPS units so I can't compare the Magellan to other units. Fastest route, however, is something that's a glaring problem compared to other GPS units, including previous Magellan units I've used. I also have to be honest and say that the only GPS I've used that's just outright failed was a Magellan.

I like using a Magellan GPS and the 2045T is no exception. However, I have serious reservations about its usability. So with that I give it three stars.


After using this GPS on dozens of trips I now cannot recommend this GPS even for its good points.

Here's why: This GPS simply does not know the fastest route if it involves secondary roads. It's hardwired to assume that highways, no matter how many extra miles, are faster. And in turn it adds massive amount of travel time to secondary roads.

The most glaring example of this was on a trip in which the GPS added an entire hour(!!!) to a route that didn't involve highways. Because the calculations are so lopsided the GPS unit refuses to adapt as you drive. It will insist on telling you to do a U-turn to "save time" when you're already a half hour into the actual shorter route. All other brands of GPS I've used quickly (usually within a couple of minutes) realize you've chosen a different way and recalculate. Not this GPS. It insists you've taken the wrong way and wants you to go back to the highway.

I now only reluctantly use this GPS when I'm in an unfamiliar area. Based on multiple experiences on roads I know well I have to assume that this GPS is not giving me the fastest route to my destination.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 28, 2011 9:54:33 AM PST
K. Russ says:
Thank you for an excellent and helpful review. You are much appreciated. :)

Posted on Nov 28, 2011 10:16:49 AM PST
Joe says:
Great post, and I own a different, top of the line GPS from Magellan and it does the same thing. It will always tell me to turn around and I have to figure out the way until much later Magellan finally figures out I took a different way. This is aggravating to say the least. Another thing it will do is make you think it has recalculated and instead of a U-turn it has you go a round-about way to get back to where you came from and that has really made my distressed also. My in-laws have a garmin lower-line model and though it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles and over-all not user-friendly because I am so used to the Magellan interface, it gets them from pt A to pt B pretty efficiently with the minor hiccup...but nothing as bad as Magellan.

Posted on Feb 8, 2012 12:50:11 PM PST
DGV says:
I've had a similar issue with my Magellan (a diff model). I was dissapointed and was about to return it when i decided to plug it into my computer and check for firmware upgrades. I applied teh firmware and now it works like a charm. I've been using it for over a year and i absolutely love it. Did you try updating the firmware. I also hear Magellan moved to Tele Atlas maps. not sure if that has anything to do with it.

Posted on Apr 28, 2012 7:52:55 AM PDT
I own a business and we use Magellan exclusively for our trucks because of its easy to use interface. I wanted to respond to a few of your criticisms.

1) Magellans base their calculations on speed limits and traffic stops. The secondary roads almost always have lower speeds and more traffic stops which logically make them slower. When a computer is calculating a route it doesn't take into account that few people obey the speed limits or come to a complete stop at every stop sign.
2) The traffic system for all GPS navigators are based on a standard radio signal that comes from local municipalities. Basically that means when your city's traffic system notices a traffic problem it sends out an alert. Most cities only do that for highways and interstates, very few do it for secondary roads. A navigation system has no way of knowing about traffic jams that your city doesn't monitor and report.
3) As anyone who has driven in traffic knows, it can go from bad to worse. The GPS has no way of knowing that the traffic would go from slow to a crawl or complete stop when it is calculating your route.

Posted on Jul 18, 2012 6:13:49 PM PDT
sad says:
Thanks for that informative review. Maybe Magellan will take notice as I also really prefer magellan with the AAA info. Am rethinking my choice now.

Posted on Jul 29, 2012 3:10:23 PM PDT
Thanks for the tips, this is helpful. One thing that I'm noticing about this item: Amazon is really slashing the price, like they're really trying to unload this product. Hmmm....

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 8:31:52 PM PST
Pilgrim 7 says:
They're doing same thing with Garmin.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2013 4:22:16 AM PST
Capital Guy says:
Great review that is on target! I purchased another Magellan unit from at a really low price of $30. While it was refurbished, it worked flawlessly. As a Realtor however, one who needs accurate routing, I noticed exactly what you said. And while I, like you, love the logical, intuitive input process and the layout of the screen, the routing and timing issues make this a deal buster for me. I am glad a read this review because I thought that surely Magellan would take notice and do something about the issue, an issue that I did read about prior to purchasing my other unit, thinking that perhaps someone was just too critical and ignored. But unfortunately, here it pops up again. I do love the Magellan's based on my prior experience with Garmin, and will look for other units with the hope that the issue is limited to certain units, something that my instinct tells me, is probably not the case. So for the meantime, my wife is enjoying the unit as her needs are not as critical as mine.

Posted on Jul 7, 2013 1:56:13 PM PDT
Joe J G says:
My Garmin presents the identical problems.

Posted on Jan 20, 2014 7:59:03 AM PST
R. M. Eberly says:
Magellan RoadMate 2045T-LM Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps and Traffic
I would confirm everything this writer has said. Stay away from this GPS.
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