However, the features found in the very latest Garmin sat-navs haven’t made their way into the 860. It doesn’t have the lane guidance graphics or 3D landmark models found in the 765T. The lane guidance would be a handy addition. But the 3D models won’t be missed that much, as they’re still more of a novelty than a useful navigational tool in every device we’ve seen them in so far.
The 860 of course does come with the usual uncluttered Garmin interface. Some might find this a little bare, but the main information is available, and the map colours and layout are very clear indeed. The readily accessible trip meter is a particular highlight, providing statistics which could well be very handy if you need to keep track of your journey for company expenses or billing a client. You can set the Garmin to calculate routes for bicycles and pedestrians as well as cars, but not trucks. The routing can consider off road options, too, rather than calculating the fastest time or shortest distance.
After the excitement of TomTom LIVE, other sat-navs just don’t get the blood racing so much anymore. But that would be a little unfair on the Garmin nüvi 860, which is an extremely competent device. If you don’t drive enough to make the monthly subscription for TomTom LIVE worthwhile and want a device covering Europe, the 860 is worth considering. There are cheaper alternatives but its voice-activated navigation is the best implementation we’ve seen and if you would find that useful it could be worth paying the extra for.
Score in detail