Highest Rated Truck GPS
1Garmin dezl 780 LMTS
2Garmin dezl 580
3Garmin dezl 770LMTHD
4Rand McNally TND 740
5Rand McNally TND 540

Cobra 8500 Review

Overall Rating
Cobra 8500 has an average rating of 2 out of 5 based on 5 user reviews.


Vendor Price
BestBuy $349.99
Walmart $371.99

The Cobra 8500 HD truck GPS is a touch screen unit designed with professional drivers in mind. Physically the unit looks and feels nice. It comes in at just under 1 inch thick, 7.2 inches wide, and 4.6 inches tall. The 7 inch high-definition display occupies most of the territory with only a small black bezel around the edge. Weighing in at 10.4 ounces it is lighter than comparable models, which is nice when using the included windshield mount. It has an internal battery and takes a 12 volt charger, which is also included.


The main function of any GPS providing routes to and from any location. The 8500 HD comes pre-loaded with maps of the lower 48 states and Canada. Lifetime map updates come included and Cobra usually puts out a full update about once a year. The maps are simple and easy to read. The software prioritizes simplicity of display over information, so using the zoom function is necessary when trying to find the names of small side streets and access roads.

Routing Options

It comes with all the options expected from a modern GPS. Routes can be selected by address, point of interest, coordinates, or intersection. The GPS features live traffic, construction, and weather updates with the option to route around possible delays. As a product designed for commercial use, it includes information on weight and clearance limits as well as commonly used transport routes. Frequently used routes can be saved as favorites for use later. Points of interest are searchable by name or type and include pretty much anything a driver could need while on the road. The information about what amenities are available at each is provided. This feature comes in handy when searching for a shower or Wi-Fi in a new area.

Trucker Tools

Good planning and accurate information can save a lot of time and money when making a run. The 8500 HD includes a rich set of tools to help do just that. Up to date fuel prices combined with a cost per mile calculator make selecting the right stops a simple task. All it needs is the highway and city miles per gallon for the truck and it will show the most cost effective timetables. Active time and mileage tracking uses the GPS tracking data to provide all the information necessary to keep log books up to spec with little effort. There is even a duty timer that keeps track of on duty and driving hours. Driver assist alerts provide ample warning of upcoming maneuvers allowing for smooth transitions.

User Experience

The unit provides user interface controls that are simple and intuitive. The touch screen does not support multi-touch which can at times make it feel sluggish in comparison with high-end smart phones and tablets. The Cobra makes up for it with easy to navigate menus and a responsive onscreen keyboard. Daytime visibility is no problem as the screen is amply bright. In fact it can be overly bright during nighttime driving if the brightness is not adjusted down a bit. Minimal distractions along with quick launch menu buttons along the right side make adjustments quick and simple enough that a traffic signal is plenty of time.

Final Thoughts

Priced in the mid 300s the Cobra 8500 PRO HD is middle of the field in price. It offers a full range of useful functions that are a boon to any commercial driver. The lightweight compact design make it easy to carry and mount. The included usb cable and software allow for full backups of user data. All things considered it is a solid GPS designed with the trucker in mind. You can get a great deal on Cobra 8500 here.


User Reviews

Posted by Nick

  • 3/5

I used to have Rand McNally but I wanted to upgrade to a seven inch screen. I got Cobra 8500. The accuracy is about the same as RM but it lacks several features. It doesn’t have speed limits, zooming on a particular area is awkward, it doesn’t have as many truck stops as RM, doesn’t have compass display, map display is not as crisp as RM. Overall it’s a decent GPS with some shortcomings.

Posted by Marian

  • 1/5

This was a total waste of money! Bought one for my boyfriend for Christmas and he has never been able to use it! Sent it to Cobra two times and still cannot use it! I will never buy a Cobra product again! Thanks Cobra for making this the worst Christmas ever!

Posted by samuel Gingerich

  • 3/5

My first one was a rand McNally did not like it because it would take me sometimes 10 miles past my exit then have me turn around and go back to the exit and it had problems freezing up so I called RM they had me sent it in so they can fix it so in the mean time I bought a garman had no problem with it so I kept using the garman till I dropped it broke it had to go back to the RM still the same as it was before I sent it in so I bought the cobra 8500 HD the worsed one yet freezes almost every time say I go off route like stop at a truck stop instead of rerouting and sometimes even in route it will freeze the first cobra I bought did that took it back got it replaced same thing took that one back got the third one now i hope i can get my money back for it because its worthless to me also for a four hr trip it tried to make it a six hr trip I NEED my money back so I can buy a garman that’s worth having

Posted by Karen Lamar

  • 2/5

HORRIBLE, passed truck route to shipper, tried to put me on no truck route. Sends me out of route all the time. Costing me lots of time and miles if it’s a new area to me. No way to update it when new roads replace old routes.

Posted by Bruno monteros


Cobra GPS am sorry but are the worst. I got lost couple of times and freezes when it most needed.

Posted by Wim VDM


They may have good CB’s but the one Cobra GPS I ever bought was CRAP ! It looks nice and there it ends.

Posted by D. Wedington-Clark


My unit was poor from day one. Returned for repair. Last I heard about it. Can’t get anyone at Cobra to do anymore than tell me it was received. Went to Garmin and find it a good tool.

Posted by David

  • 1/5

I bought the Cobra and had problems with routing me off truck routes, It was about a year after purchase and had issues with the touch screen not responding. It then started coming apart, then it would not start up other then 10 seconds of the home screen. Throwing it in the trash and looking to buy a Garmin or Rand Mcnally.

A road map and a call to the customer for directions is always my go to method, I just liked the features of GPS for on route info like truck stops, weigh stations, rest areas and such. Keep on trucking!

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