It is very rare that you see the flashing lights of law enforcement in your rearview mirror and get a fuzzy feeling in your stomach. When most drivers see those lights behind them, the first thing they wonder is “what did I do wrong?” One of the most common driving offenses on roads across America is speeding. It is very easy to lose focus on the task at hand and find yourself speeding down the road. Most people do not intentionally speed with reckless abandon on the road. The average driver is more likely to push a few MPH over the speed limit because the kids are late for soccer practice or because work started 10 minutes ago.
Whatever the excuse is, police are often unmoved. Whether you are driving 2 MPH over the limit or 20 MPH over, law enforcement can pull your vehicle over to the site of the road to issue you a citation for speeding. Your only defense against speeding tickets is to prevent them in the first place with the help of a radar detector.
There are countless radar detectors available on the market today. Rather than spending your evening or weekend searching the web to compare reviews and read what other consumers have experienced with each model, you can trust us to do the legwork for you. We’ve already compiled all the information you need to make an informed purchase. In this review, we look at the Whistler XTR-265 radar detector.
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Features of the Whistler XTR-265
The feature list for the Whistler XTR-265 is impressive to say the least. It comes standard with total band protection, POP mode alerts, 360-degree protection, VG-2 cloaking, City/Highway modes, Auto Quiet mode, Stay Alert, and a Safety Warning System. These features all sound fantastic, but what do they really mean for you as a driver?
For starters, total band protection and 360-degree detection offer the first line of defense against law enforcement radar and laser signals. Whistler radar detectors are capable of detecting all laser and radar signals, such as X, K, and KA, that are in use by law enforcement in the United States and Canada. This means you have total protection whether you’re driving in Massachusetts or California. The added layer of 360-degree detection means your device will pick up these radar and laser signals whether they emanate from the front or rear of your car.
POP mode alert and VG-2 cloaking are relatively new features to all radar detectors. Police use their own radar detector-detectors to identify consumer devices in use. With VG-2 cloaking, your device will identify these law enforcement detectors and prevent them from locking on to your signal. POP mode is a new radar gun used by police that operates as an instant-on signal. Rather than constantly transmitting a signal that is easily detected by consumer radar detectors, POP mode guns turn on and off instantly to tag drivers. POP mode alert on the Whistler XTR-265 is capable of quick sweeps and detects the POP gun’s signal when it is turned on.
The City/Highway modes on the Whistler allow you to adjust the accuracy of your device so it operates more effectively in urban settings where multiple radar and laser signals are in use. Auto Quiet mode provides you with one audio alert at normal volume levels, and uses visual alerts and low-volume alerts for all subsequent identifications of the same radar or laser signal. Safety Warning Systems are among the latest advances in consumer radar detectors. This system is capable of detecting emergency vehicle signals and road hazard transmitters to provide you with a warning when you approach emergency situations or hazards ahead.
Pros of the Whistler XTR-265
The Whistler XTR-265 consistently alerts you to the presence of radar and laser signals in the area. Tests have shown the Whistler XTR-265 to reliably perform out to ¼ mile, providing instantaneous alerts with plenty of time to adjust your driving. The Quiet and Auto Quiet modes work perfectly to provide you with one audible alert before switching to visual alerts using the LED lights on the display.
A particularly helpful feature of this Whistler model is the ability to save your settings. As you adjust the various settings on your Whistler XTR-265, such as the volume, display, alert preferences, and even City/Highway mode, the Whistler has the ability to save those settings. This means you will spend less time resetting all your preferences each time you get in the car. Simply turn the unit on and go.
The biggest pro of the Whistler XTR-265 is probably its price. There are a lot of units to choose from, particularly on the lower end of the price scale. Many consumers are tempted to go with any cheap unit that promises to deliver results. The problem is that few of them actually work as advertised. The Whistler XTR-265 is one of the few devices that actually works as promised despite its affordable price.
Cons of the Whistler XTR-265
The Whistler’s ability to effectively sift through signals and avoid false alerts is questionable, both in the minds of professionals testing the device and consumers using it in the real world. Although it possesses a City/Highway mode option, it is not uncommon for the device to provide multiple false alerts in urban areas, even with the City mode engaged.
Another cause for concern with the Whistler XTR-265 is the lack of upgradable memory. Many modern devices offer consumers the option to upgrade the internal memory of the device, such as the bands it detects or its mapping of local traffic cams. The XTR-265 has no upgradeable memory options, so when new radar and laser signals are developed you’ll be left with little choice but to roll the dice or purchase a brand new unit.
Honest Assessment of the Whistler XTR-265
There are a lot of expensive radar detectors that would love to perform with the reliability of the Whistler XTR-265. While it does not offer the greatest coverage in terms of distance from your vehicle, the Whistler repeatedly provides drivers with a reliable alert in plenty of time to correct their speed. At the end of the day, a well-priced unit that lives up to its promises is hard to come by. The Whistler XTR-265 is one of the best values on the market today.
Whistler XTR 265 Alternatives
Best Bet: Whistler Z-11R+, Priced at $59.99
This Z-11R+ gives alerts verbally – and you can choose either English or Spanish language. The easy-to-understand icon display features a numeric signal strength indicator that goes from 1 to 9. The higher the number the closer you are to the signal.
The Z-11R+ also features Whistler’s FDSR (Field Disturbance Sensor Rejection), the most recent advancement to combat false alerts caused by new vehicles equipped with Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) K-band. These devices clutter nearly all of the K band causing a normal radar detector to alert continuously.
- High Performance
- Icon Display with Digital Strength Indicator
- Bilingual (English/Spanish) Real Voice Alerts
- Total Laser Detection
- Traffic Flow Signal Rejection (TFSR)
- Field Disturbance Sensor Rejection (FDSR)
- Total Band Protection
- POP Mode Detection
- Stay Alert
- Setting Saver
- Dim/Dark Mode
- Alert Periscopes
- 360 Max Coverage
- 3 City Modes
- Highway Mode
- Quiet/Auto Quiet
- Alert Priority
- High Gain Lens
- Vehicle Battery Saver
- Unit Dimensions 1.23 in. H x 2.85 in. W x 4.44 in. L
- Unit Weight .34 lbs
What’s in the box?
- Laser Radar Detector
- 12V Power Cord
- Windshield Bracket Kit
- User Guide
Check the Owner’s Manual here.
Other Available Products: