Skyman, from Iowa, can already see trouble ahead, He has a great driving record but is buying a 2018 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS. He wants help before his leadfoot gets him into serious trouble. “Picking up my Camaro tomorrow. I’ve been driving a VW Jetta TDI for the past ten years and perfectly clean driving record for the past ten years and want to keep it that way. That being said any suggestions on radar detectors. Looking at a Valentine or Escort iX. Most driving in town and occasionally go to CO or TN.”
Al, from Maryland, suggests another maker altogether. “Uniden R3. Research the comparisons with Escort and Valentine.”
An Alabama driver is happy with his Valentine. “My V1 is great. I would recommend it to everyone. I firmly believe that between it, and Waze, I've gotten myself out of a few situations that would have possibly not ended too cheaply.”
For people not familiar with the phone App Waze, it tells you the speed limit, no matter where you are.
Pang, from Oregon, loves his Escort. “I love the hell out of my Escort Max 360...the main benefit is the cloud-based database from all other users uploading police spotting, red light cams, speed traps, laser/KA hits in the last hour and false alarm spots. There are several models with better sensitivity but most of my driving is urban so I don't need extreme warning. What I do need is a detector that filters out all the falses (it doesn't beep for falses that are in the database or ones that you have driven by 3 times...for instance a supermarket door), tells me about things that people ahead of me have already detected and gives me a directional readout anything I am picking up...all of that is huge for situational awareness.”
Doing Away with False Alerts
The fact that the 360 eliminates most of the false readings sounds great. I hate when our old Escort keeps sounding off when we go by railroad signals. However, it still works well at alerting you to police.
Bit, seems very familiar with both of the more popular models. “I love my V1 but I know others with the Max360 that love it too so you really can't go wrong with either. It's getting difficult to use one in town with all the interference from lane departure warning and backup radar sensors on every car these days but, on the highway, I love the range on my V1. Paired with Waze you pretty much have the same thing as the Max360 but with more users and I think the V1 is a little less expensive.”
Pang says he hasn’t had any problems with his Escort. “I don't get any of the lane departure or backup radar falses on my Max 360...thank goodness!”
John, from Florida, says it is all about staying updated. “I have a V1 and don't get much in terms of interference like described above, however, I sent mine in for the current model upgrade in 2017. That upgrade did make a huge difference in cutting out false alarms. I've used a V1 for almost 20 years now and haven't had a single ticket. I don't think you can go wrong with either the V1 or 360 though.”
Rankin, from Ohio, is another vote for the Uniden. “Uniden R3 is the top performer these days. I did a ton of research prior to getting it a month ago. I was going to go with an Escort 360 until I dug into it.”
Buying the Ability to Upgrade Your Camaro
Pang says it really depends on what the driver wants. “The Uniden R3 performs better in regards to all-out range of detection. The Max 360C (the current model) has more features that make living with the detector easier and give you more situational awareness (knowing where the radar is can be helpful and being able to draw on other user's findings is EXTREMELY helpful). MY pick is still the Escort...anyone who goes with the Uniden or V1 is likely happy with their choice too. If Uniden started building in the features that Escort has, it might become a winner for me but right now the slightly less detection sensitivity is fine for me given all the other functions more than making up for it (in my driving situation).”
Al explains why he had to drop his old Escort model. “Nowadays filtering is just as important as sensitivity. Without adequate filtering a radar detector will constantly alert because of all of the blind spot monitoring out there - that can lead you to (1) go crazy, and (2) start to ignore your alerts. I used to have an Escort Redline - it was excellent until BSM became more common - I had to get rid of it.”
Fast, from Ohio, has definitely done his homework. “I called Escort and spoke to an engineer and he says when all the radar monitoring first came out the mfgs promised them they would use different frequencies than the bandwith used for police radar. Well, they didn't, and there is no way to upgrade software on older radar detectors to filter out the radar used on modern cars. He said as of now only the Max 360 can filter because it is the first one they made with all new software and filtering. None of their other detectors can filter yet, not until they trickle down their new software design to the cheaper detectors.”
It appears Valentine has made similar upgrades to its software and design. John says, “When I spoke to Valentine a while ago, they told me that it was more than just a software upgrade on their end for my aging V1; the reason that I had originally bought it besides its ability to detect was its ability to be upgraded without requiring a new detector every few years. I sent it in to have it upgraded when POP was released and on another occasion for one other upgrade that I don't recall at the moment. This last time, they had me send in my old detector and sent me a new model at a deeply discounted rate and the difference was night and day. That was probably a good thing since I now have the slimmer model which I prefer with the Camaro's lower interior profile. I'm guessing on the other brand older models, software alone won't solve the issue differentiating between BSM as was the case with my V1.”
It appears we are all learning something about the changes in radar detectors. Perhaps it is the Blind Spot Monitoring and Lane Alerts that are driving us crazy with our older radar detectors. As the technology in the vehicles continues to expand, it sounds like new radar detectors are in order. Of course, I would never encourage anyone to break the law!