Magellan Maestro 4040 GPS Review

Michael Posner
by Michael Posner
magellan maestro 4040 gps review

Given the changing pace of technology, the price of factory-fitted satellite navigation and the itinerant traveler's tendency to rent their chariot, a portable GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) navigation system is the ideal solution. When choosing an electronic pathfinder, map quality makes all the difference. Magellan (like Garmin) uses the premier map data supplier Navteq. The Magellan Maestro Series offers three models with a "just right" screen size (4.3"). The 4000 ($399) is the base model. The 4040 ($499) adds Canada (the maps, not the country) and Bluetooth, which lets you access addresses lurking inside your phone/palmtop. Although you can upgrade the 4040 to real-time traffic data for another hundred bucks, that same Franklin buys you the 4050 ($599) with a built-in traffic jam info receiver. On the road, the Magellan's 4040's geek fabulous 20-channel sirfsStarIII chipset instantly locked onto a GPS signal and updated quickly. The maps are pellucid, the voice prompts clear and the touch screen ergonomically sound. On the downside, the map disappears during recalculation and full-on sunlight is still a bugbear (a built-in visor would help). While RV-ing seniors might appreciate the AAA's TourBook info and roadside assistance (trip A members only), it would be nice to be able to choose a more (ahem) upmarket guide. Overall, the 4040 is a decent but not outstanding GPS device– at $499. But Costco's got 'em for $349 (in store price, call ahead). For that money, you're good to go.

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4 of 23 comments
  • Gottleib Gottleib on Nov 07, 2007

    this is great and your timing is excellent since I am going to purchase one of these gadgets this year for Xmas. I did have a nav system in my 04 Honda which I really did enjoy using, but like others the maps are not always up to date and sometimes you have to know where you want to go or it can take you on a very round about path to your destination. But they are great when you want to find an address you are not sure of.

  • Hansbos Hansbos on Nov 12, 2007

    excellent idea, these reviews. I rented a Garmin recently and found it very easy to use and I'm now considering buying one. I also was skeptical about the 3d view, but in practice it worked exceptionally well. I especially like the restraint of these things. They give just enough info so you know where you're going, but you're not stuck with a hyperactive chatterbox in the car. My best friend in Europe has one of those and it's annoying even in sexy French.

  • Shortthrowsixspeed Shortthrowsixspeed on Nov 13, 2007

    i love the idea of auto product reviews. just great. any possibility of older car reviews? i'm looking into buying an older collectible (personally thinking of a 73 firebird). i'd really like to hear what you guys think about the car in general, how it stacks up against similarly priced new vehicles and similar models from the 70s, and what commonly needs replacing. any of those reviews in my future?

  • Mrcknievel Mrcknievel on Nov 22, 2007

    This a great idea. Keep the reviews coming... I'd love to be able to compare a couple of these in one sitting without going to C-Net, where I'm starting to believe there isn't a reviewer there that has driven a real car..parking lot full of Segways and Vespas..