Garmin c340 GPS For the last several months, I've been driving with a Garmin Streetpilot c340 GPS unit in my car. I first experienced the utility of this GPS when visiting Taiwan back in November. On the last day of the trip (a Saturday), my host picked me up in his car and had a multilingual C340 that he used to navigate the area.

I was impressed with the size, speed, accuracy, and functionality. It didn't take long before I decided it'd be far better than the navigation software I occasionally used on my iPAQ PDA. I've had it roughly two months and am still relatively pleased.

The Good:

  • excellent screen
  • easy to move into a second vehicle using the suction cup mount
  • internal battery that keep the unit working if you unplug it
  • voice navigation pronounces most names correctly (even in California)
  • satellite acquisition time is generally quick
  • USB connection and software to upgrade maps
  • route re-calculation is snappy
  • it's easy to store favorite location
  • many ways to find a destination (by name, address, intersection, etc.)
  • arrival time estimates are surprisingly good

The Bad:

  • it occasionally chooses bad routes for destinations I've driven to using it before
  • finding a business name in its database has been hit or miss in my experience
  • the traffic service costs extra (I don't have it)
  • there's no way to see an overview of a route before you begin driving it
  • it always crashes at one spot in Berkeley

In summary, it's a great GPS for most city driving. If you've ever used the GPS systems built into some rental cars, it'll take almost no time to get started with the Garmin c340.

Posted by jzawodn at January 31, 2006 07:18 AM

Reader Comments
# Tom Becker said:

Interesting entry. I work as a UI designer for one of the many companies building GPS apps for mobile phones. I know this isn't a forum but I'm wondering how many of Jeremy's readers would consider a handset GPS app over an in-dash or other portable?

on January 31, 2006 07:46 AM
# Matt said:

I recently purchased Garmin Streetpilot i3 (a cheaper version of the C340) and it works very well too. Good entry level GPS navigation system. The display is a little smaller than the C340, but is still easy to read.

on January 31, 2006 08:49 AM
# Tony said:

Jeremy--I work at Y! too...anyway, a couple of things to check:

--I have a Garmin i Series GPS (the little brother of the c series you have but otherwise similar) Both the i and c had crashing problems fixed by later firmware releases (downloadable from Garmin). Might want to see if you have the latest.
--If you want to see the route overview, once the C340 has calculated the route, touch the green text bar at the top of the display. You can get more details on any turn by selecting that turn. this is in the manual, btw! ;-)

on January 31, 2006 08:57 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Manual? People read those things?! ;-)

on January 31, 2006 09:01 AM
# AV said:

A handset GPS is a good option if you have two cars and would like to share the GPS between two cars. Not only is it the cheaper option, it helps to have access to your favorite locations in both cars.

Have you found the GPS loosing connection in downtown SF? I have a Garmin GPS V ( which keeps losing satellite connection in downtown SF.

on January 31, 2006 10:16 AM
# Matt said:

On the plus side of the GPS-in-phone apps, they wouldn't require me to use up my cigarette lighter plug the way GPS units designed specifically for mounting in the car do. Also, they're useful on foot.

On the minus side, using a GPS app on my phone while driving could look suspiciously like _talking_ on my phone while driving, to one of the cops I might pass...and I really don't want to go to prison. So I probably won't ever actually use a phone-based GPS navigation system in my car.

But it would nevertheless be really cool...and I would definitely be glad to have it when I'm on foot instead of behind the wheel.

on February 1, 2006 12:57 AM
# John Bush said:

Has anyone tried the Garmin Nuvi? As it happens, I've been looking at navigation systems and every review seems to rave about it.

on February 2, 2006 05:43 AM
# Jason said:

Did you use the c340 visiting Taiwan, didn't know it works in Asia.

on April 26, 2006 04:42 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Yes. It was bought in Taiwan, in fact. (Not *mine* but the one I witnessed in use.)

on April 26, 2006 09:47 PM
# dashabi said:

last week i got a new software called NAV4ALL which just need to install on you mobile, then everything comes easier. your cellphone could be gps reciever.The program is suitable for many different mobile phones of all popular brands. it's really make you journey easier. the price is 15 percent of TOMTOM

on May 23, 2006 03:52 PM
# andy said:

I have become real interested in these things and have been studying various brands and trying them out in the store. You all say that the i version of the c340 works like the c340. Does the i version speak street names as well as "turn left/right at xxx feet"? this feature is immportant to my wife and I have not been able to test that in the stores.

on November 23, 2006 07:56 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


Yes, it speaks street names.

on November 23, 2006 09:41 PM
# Murray Blandford said:

Are they any software enhancements to the C340 that are on a free or trial basis ?

on December 8, 2006 09:23 PM
# Alfred aight said:

My son gave me the C340 streetpilot for Christmas 2006.
I find the unit to be very functional in northern Virginia traffic.
I am wondering how I can get the GPS coordinates to show up on the screen just in case I need help in an emergency. I travel around the country with trailer and many times I am off the beaten track and might need help either for a Mechanic, Police or a medical emergency. Is their SD card that I can add these features if not avaiable on the c340 as purchased.

on January 15, 2007 07:18 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

I have been wondering that myself. So far I haven't figured out how to do it either. I'd also like to be able to key in a GPS location and navigate to it.

on January 15, 2007 03:47 PM
# Ron said:

I recently purchased a C-340 and the first time I used it, the text-to-speech (using street names) worked fine. The next day, however, it no longer would use street names ... just "Turn Right in .3 miles." What happened to text-to-speech and how can I restore it (without resetting the whole unit and losing all my stored locations)? Thanks!

on March 9, 2007 07:53 PM
# said:

I have a c340 onm order. Should i consider the optional antenna as well as a dash mount holder (to replace the windshield holder

on April 6, 2007 07:59 AM
# *** said:

I purchased a c340 and am having problems with the "voice". When first purchased it worked fine. Then on a trip I "lowered" the voice on volumn control and now she speaks at times, then she doesn't. The volumn control bar fashes and yellow then black. It looks like a short in the audio control. Has this been a problem. I am in Northern Virginia and this morning she took a while to find herself and then got mad and wouldn't talk. I call her Lola. Anyone else had these problems?

on May 1, 2007 05:16 AM
# said:

I just bought the Garmin C340 and for some reason it wont find my current location. It keep saying "locating satellites." It's almost a day and still showing Kansas. Is there anything else I need to do after removing it from the box? Thanks for any assistance.

on August 11, 2007 05:18 AM
# Bill said:

I have the exact same problem. Have you found a solution?

on October 17, 2007 05:43 PM
# drucker said:

Are you trying to locate it indoors?
If yes, first turn off GPS and then try the maps again.
Its difficult to get the signals indoors.

on October 23, 2007 08:08 PM
# Lisa said:

I purchased a Garmin Streetpilot C340 in Nov, I am unable to get the voice to say the street names, it will only state directions such as turn right in 0.4 miles. Does anyone know if there is anything I can do to fix this. I set the language at the text language option not the voice language option. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

on January 13, 2008 12:27 AM
# Will said:

on the c340, only voices with a name associated with it will read the street names. ex. American won't, but American - Jill, will read the street names

on January 15, 2008 10:31 AM
# Curt said:

The C340 StreetPilot comes with a power adapter for the cigarette lighter and the other end goes where?
I don't see where?


on January 26, 2008 07:13 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

It plugs into the suction cup mount.

on January 27, 2008 08:20 AM
# lee s. said:

Will the Garmin C340 Street Pilot display
latitude and longitude coordinates? If so how do I find
them on the display?

on March 31, 2008 06:54 AM
# Trenton said:

How can I view gps coordinates. I want to see latitude and longitude. Will this streetpilot c340 show this if so I need it bad I need for accident scene in case I need to give the info to Air Care medical helicopter. I am a firefighter.

on November 27, 2008 01:13 PM
# Ragi said:

My Garminc340 doesn't locate the satalite..........I tried and tried..but vaily
Please help me to solve this problem......................with best regards......Ragi

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on May 14, 2009 04:30 PM
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