Garmin's upping the ante in the local GPS space; instead of a limited time "free maps" offer, its latest range will come with map upgrades for the entire life of the product. One of the more irksome factors when buying a GPS is that, historically speaking, map upgrades have been horrendously expensive things. I've long held that (unless you're a taxi driver) you probably don't need to update your maps every single quarter -- errors in the original maps notwithstanding -- but it's undeniable that driving along a road that your GPS insists isn't there is weird, as well as unsettling as it scrambles to put you back on track.
We've seen GPS makers offer limited time "lifetime" map upgrades in the past, but Garmin's latest offer relates to its entire 2012 nüvi 2000/3000 ranges. Buy one, and Garmin will supply Navteq maps for the life of the product, or whenever Navteq stops supplying them with map data, according to the terms and conditions. The nüvi range this year runs from $249 for the nüvi 2455LM up to $549 for the nüvi 3590LMT. [Garmin]