The nüvi 660 has a detour function for avoiding certain portions of your prescribed route, but the system also now comes with an FM traffic receiver that's integrated into the cigarette lighter adaptor, so you don't have to pay extra for an optional accessory. Traffic information is provided for free.
You get an audible warning every time you approach a speed camera, which changes in pitch if you're speeding. To keep the database up to date, you'll need to buy a subscription at £39 per year.
Maps are available in 2D and 3D view with day and night colours, and you can change your view so that either north or the direction in which you're driving is always at the top of your screen. Plus and minus icons on the map screen allow you to zoom in and out, and there's also a trip information page that displays your speed, direction, trip time and so forth. Finally, the nüvi 660 has a comprehensive POI database with all the major categories and more specific ones -- you can search for restaurants by type of cuisine, for example.
Among the greatest perks and differentiators on the Garmin nüvi 660 are its travel features. Like the nüvi 350, it has an onboard Travel Kit that includes an MP3 player, an Audible book player, a JPEG picture viewer with a slide-show function, a world clock, currency and measurement converters and a calculator. You can expand the device's capabilities with Garmin's software packages such as a Travel Guide to Europe (£65).
We took the Garmin nüvi 660 out for a test-drive around town and it performed wonderfully. The unit impressed us by acquiring a satellite fix in less than a minute, and subsequent starts were much faster. The system precisely tracked our location as we drove around running routine errands. We also entered a specific destination and the nüvi 660 quickly returned with a route. The directions were accurate and automatic route recalculation was also prompt after we got off track.
The multimedia experience was as expected for a portable navigation device -- it wasn't great, but it was fine for when you're in an absolute pinch. Music sounded okay through the system's speakers, though it was slightly muffled and soft -- we plugged in a pair of Shure E3cs, which improved the sound quality.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Kate Macefield