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February 24, 2007

Magellan CrossoverGPS Review

Verdict: Versatile

Magellan CrossoverGPS

REVIEW UPDATE: This GPS model has been discontinued

With a suggested retail price of $549.99 (street price of around $450), Magellan's CrossoverGPS is the first rugged, IPX-4 waterproof device designed to provide both turn-by-turn driving guidance and navigation for outdoor adventures in the wilderness or on water.

The CrossoverGPS ships preloaded with street maps and topography maps, and additional memory cards can be purchased with maps of lakes and fishing-hot-spots, marine charts, and additional hiking topography maps.

This week I put the CrossoverGPS through the usual rigorous testing criteria and see how the CrossoverGPS stacks up against the competition.

When Magellan first released the RoadMate 2000 and 2200T last year, they also announced the RoadMate 2500T, all all purpose GPS designed for vehicle navigation as well as outdoor and marine use. Magellan subsequently pushed out the release date for the 2500T, and re-branded it the CrossoverGPS. I first saw the CrossoverGPS at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. I finally got my hands on the CrossoverGPS and have completed my in-depth review.

Table of Contents

  1. Features
  2. Specifications
  3. Magellan's New RoadMate Product Line
  4. Unboxing
  5. Installing the CrossoverGPS in the Car
  6. GPS Signal Strength - The Mighty SiRF
  7. Powering on the CrossoverGPS for the First Time
  8. Routing to a Street Address on the CrossoverGPS
  9. Address Book
  10. Routing to a POI (Point of Interest)
  11. Setting the Home Address
  12. Magellan's Handy Locate Screen
  13. Multi-Destination Trips
  14. Enhanced POIs
  15. Reduced POI Database - Does it Matter?
  16. Routing Engine Performance
  17. What About Real-Time Traffic?
  18. Music Player
  19. Photo Viewer
  20. Configuring Vehicle Navigation Options
  21. Marine Navigation
  22. Setting Marine Navigation Options
  23. Outdoor Navigation
  24. PROS
  25. CONS
  26. Conclusion

1. Features

  • Built-in street and topographic maps - Detailed street maps of United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and topographic maps of the 48 contiguous United States
  • 1.5 million points of interest (POI) - Easily find gas stations, restaurants, ATMs, airports, parks and more
  • Waterproof to IPX-4 - (unit can be subjected to the rain, but cannot be completely submerged in water)
  • Traffic upgradeable - Get LIVE traffic incident reports when you add the Magellan TrafficKit. (Requires service subscription after introductory period)
  • Turn-by-turn voice and visual guidance
  • Text-to-speech - Hear the street name of your next turn
  • Multi-destination Routing - Select up to 20 destinations
  • SmartDetour - Automatically routes you around sudden slow freeway traffic using your own custom settings
  • 3D map view
  • Digital Music Player
  • Photo Viewer
  • Auto re-route - if you miss a turn, the GPS will automatically re-calculate the route
  • Auto night view - Adjusts color and contrast for easy night viewing
  • QuickSpell™ - Easily enter addresses with efficient auto-complete feature
  • Interactive POI icons - Touch an onscreen icon for a nearby destination; see phone number and get an instant route
  • 4 routing methods available - Shortest time, shortest distance, least use or most use of freeways, avoid toll roads
  • Address Book and Favorites List - Create and store personal points of interest to easily route to places you go to often
  • Instant locate - One touch shows your location; quickly advise roadside assistance or emergency services
  • Compass
  • Speedometer
  • 1 year manufacturers warranty

2. Specifications


Case: High-impact plastic
Base Map: Pre-loaded with detailed street maps of 50 United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and topographic coverage of the 48 contiguous United States
Size: 3.4" H x 4.3" W x 1.1" D
Weight: 8.5 oz. with Sport Guard™ 9.4 oz.
Display: 3.5" color touch screen display, 2.11" x 2.81" (53.6mm x 71.5mm)
Memory: 4 GB hard drive pre-loaded with maps of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and topographic maps of the 48 contiguous states
Data Storage: Unlimited / Secure Digital (SD) Card compatible
Antenna: Built-in multidirectional patch
Operating Range: 14 to 140°F (-10 to 60°C) Battery charging temperature 32 to 113°F (0 to 45°C)


Receiver: 20 channels, SiRF Star III
Acquisition Time: Hot: 1 second, Cold: 40 seconds, Initial: 5 minutes
Accuracy: 3 to 5 meters (10 - 16 feet) - WAAS/EGNOS, < 7 meters (15 feet) - GPS only
Languages: English


Source: Li-Ion rechargeable 1900mA, 12 V AC or 12 vehicle adapter (sold separately)
Battery Life: Over 8 hours continuous use

3. Magellan's New RoadMate Product Line

Over the past 12 months, Magellan has completely updated it's popular RoadMate Series of GPS units. The RoadMate 800, 860T, 760, 700, 360, 300, 3000T, and 3050T are now discontinued, and although Magellan's website still lists those models, they should no longer be purchased. The RoadMate 6000T is still considered current, but it too will be replaced soon.

The new RoadMate lineup consists of the RoadMate 2000, 2200T, and most recently, the CrossoverGPS. Magellan introduced the 2000 last year, and released the 2200T several months later. Originally, the CrossoverGPS was called the RoadMate 2500T, but Magellan quietly removed all references to the 2500T and renamed the 2500T as the CrossoverGPS. The original product name made sense, as the CrossoverGPS shares the same base features and form factor as the 2000 and 2200T, but adds off road topo maps and a protective rubber sleeve for outdoor use. Magellan felt the 2500T name didn't accurately convey the fact that the CrossoverGPS is designed for roads, hiking, and boating, and thus changed the official product name.

Case High-impact plastic High-impact plastic High-impact plastic
Base Map Pre-loaded - 48 United States Pre-loaded - 50 United States, Canada and Puerto Rico Pre-loaded with detailed street maps of 50 United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and topographic coverage of the 48 contiguous United States
Size 4.28" W x 3.15" H x 1.12" D 4.28" W x 3.15" H x 1.12" D 4.3" W 3.4" H x 1.1" D
Weight 7.8 oz / 221 g 7.8 oz / 221 g 8.5 oz. (with Sport Guard™ 9.4 oz.)
Display 3.5" color touch screen display 3.5" color touch screen display 3.5" color touch screen display
Data Storage Secure Digital (SD) Card compatible Secure Digital (SD) Card compatible