"Great fun, took us to the beach out of the box."3.5 starson by siestas
Pros: AAA descriptions, nice display, intuitive controls
Cons: Could use more landmarks, POI's
Summary: I bought my Magellan Maestro 4000 and drove immediately to the beach. The unit worked well straight out of the box. Powered from the cigarette lighter it acquired a strong accurate signal through a rainstorm and quickly calculated a route to our destination, a beachside inn which was listed in the included AAA database. The unit’s screen was bright and readable even in direct sunlight (after the rain stopped). The family nicknamed the female voice Maggie as a derivative of Magellan. Along with the voice prompts at 2 miles, 0.5 miles, and about 300 yards before a maneuver, Maggie goes ding-dong to signal the moment a left turn should be made, and dong-ding to signal a right. Nice touch.
Halfway to the beach, while going through a speed-trap town, we threw Maggie a curve ball. We missed one of her ding-dong’s. Maggie quickly recalculated an alternate route which we followed. Maggie then seemed to get a little confused. She verbally told us to turn left when the map showed a right. Eventually we found our way out of the neighborhood and got back on track.
Along the way we listed all possible landmarks. The listing was by no means comprehensive, but we figured that we could always find gas, food, etc. in a pinch. The mapping and turns were accurate through almost 200 miles of two and four lane highways save for the above mentioned misstep. While traveling we attached the suction cup mount to the windshield and it worked fine. We were greeted at our destination with an amusingly expressive, “You have arrived.”
Here was the biggest problem we had. At dinner, we consulted the AAA listings from our room, and found a place to our liking. We took the unit back to the minivan and Maggie led us to the middle of a residential neighborhood instead of the intended restaurant. Using the AAA database to find the phone number, we called the restaurant to verify the address. I switched to the general non-AAA listing of the same restaurant, and we found our way with no problem. After further review, I found that the AAA listing for the restaurant was on River Dr., and the general non-AAA listing was on River Dr. SW. Same street number on both listings, but the absence or inclusion of the suffix SW defined two entirely different streets.
After dinner it was dark and Maggie’s display automatically changed to night mode. We routed a different way back to our inn using “most highways” instead of “shortest route” and liked the new way better.
It wasn’t hard to intuit all of Maggie’s functions. I only had to look at the included brief instructions once or twice to learn things like one needs to quit the route one is using in order to access the AAA database. Overall we think it’s pretty cool, works well, and was worth the $350 we paid for it. We will really enjoy the AAA database. I think we’ll keep Maggie.