Product Reviews

Cobra RAD 480i Radar Detector

I recently received a Cobra RAD 480i radar detector to test out as an automotive influencer (thanks, guys!) and was pretty excited to check this out.

My last radar detector was an Escort Passport 8500 that was over ten years old, and I’d stopped using it as I got tired of the false alarms and wasn’t speeding that much, anyway…then after a while I forgot I had it, so whenever I wanted to use it for a road-trip I’d either leave it at home or forget to plug it in, rendering it pretty useless.

Surely, the technology has gotten a lot better in the last decade, right?

Yes…yes it has.

For starters, the radar detector pairs with a smartphone app that integrates a Waze-like feature of letting you know where cameras, speed traps, etc. are.

Next, and more importantly, the ability to filter out false positives and adjust the sensitivity is much better…I put it on it’s lowest sensitivity and I rarely get alerts, and those that I do get are typically legitimate. It also has filtring for Collision Avoidance Systems which I remember being an issue in the past.

Another cool feature is that when I shut the car off, the radar detector turns off automatically…no need to hard-wire it to get this functionality.

It also has a longer range, so in those cases where you maybe are a little carried away with speed, you have time to slow down before it’s too late.

It also has features to adjust the brightness, sensitivity, mark spots, mute, or adjust other settings like scanning certain frequencies.

The Cobra RAD 480i is a brand new product that is super budget friendly – just $150 new – and comes with lifetime software updates, too.

It’s available on Amazon here:

This price works out to less than even a modest speeding ticket (especially here in CA) but can also help prevent a number of other citations like red light cameras or just alerting you to nearby police to make sure you’re coming to a complete stop and avoiding other traffic violations.

While I don’t speed much to get to work (who is in a hurry for that?), it’s a great product to have on in the background on low sensitivity and low volume just in case I lose track of my speed or need to stay more alert…and in those long road-trips where a more brisk pace is more intentional, I can adjust the sensitivity and volume to be more cautious.

The volume is really easy to adjust using the scroller above, so in either case it’s easy to go from passive monitoring to active alerts.

For just $150 I’m pretty impressed with this thing – it’s certainly light years better than my last one and something I doubt I’ll lose or forget I have.

Installation is super simple, just plug it in to any outlet in the car and decide whether you want to use a velcro mount or suction mount…I then tucked the wires through some crevices in the dash to make the install more stealthy.

While I originally tested it out in my Cayenne, I’ve since moved it to my TTRS which is a much sportier car and is easier to lose track of how fast you’re going.

A big thanks to Cobra who sponsored the product for me to review.

That being said I truly think this is a solid product for anyone looking for a radar detector – no need to spend $400-500 on one when a $149.99 product will do – and if I were spending my own money this is the one I’d get.

If you’re looking to stay more alert, avoid speeding tickets, keep your insurance premiums down, or just have a more robust “watch-out” system for red light and traffic cameras, check out the Cobra RAD 480i!

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Nick Roshon

Nick has been an Audi owner and fanatic for the last 10 years, and started Nick's Car Blog in 2009 to share DIYs and pictures of his A4. Currently he drives a 2012 Audi TT-RS, and has previously owned a B7 S4, B7 A4, and an 82 Audi Coupe (GT) LeMons race car. In his day job, Nick is a digital marketer and lives in San Diego, CA, USA.


  1. No idea, sorry! Works great in the US though, just finished a 400 mile roadtrip and it alerted me of a few speed traps and traffic cameras I would have otherwise blown past 😉

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