Arguably the most popular electronic devices for automotive use are the GPS navigation unit and the radar detector. The new Passport iQ from Escort combines both of these into one single device, and from what we’ve seen, it merges the functionality of both the radar detector and the GPS seamlessly.
Escort is known for their radar detectors, and at the core of this device is the top notch Escort 9500ix radar detection platform. They’ve done some significant engineering on the unit to get it to fit inside a 5″ GPS, but from what we are told, the radar detection performance is on par with the 9500ix.
On the radar detection functionality, this unit packs quite a punch. They’ve given you plenty of display options, including the new Expert mode, which is actually a combination of the previous Expert Meter and Spec Meter modes. This option displays up to four simultaneous radar alerts on any band along with the signal strength and numeric frequency. The iQ will also display your current speed, the posted speed limit on the street you are driving, and the direction you are heading with a digital compass. It’s loaded with Escort’s Defender database of speed traps, red light cameras, and speed camera locations for North America and will warn you if there are any on your route. When you pass by false alerts, the iQ will learn their locations and will reject them in the future.
On top of all that, the Passport iQ is also a fully featured GPS navigation system. It includes the latest NAVTEQ maps and will provide clear turn-by-turn voice guided directions. The unit will display 3D maps on the 5″ touchscreen monitor and includes lane assist functionality to help you know exactly where you need to turn or exit.
If you are like me and use a radar detector and a GPS navigation every day, this unit might be the solution to clutter on your dashboard. This unit truly provides an excellent combination of a GPS and a radar detector at a price that’s cheaper than buying the two separately.