I picked up this unit because I wanted to be able to stash it in my glove box when I leave the jeep. I was considering the cobra but this one was at wallmart and I figured that if I didn't like it, i could return it.
Needless to say, the cig plug leaves for a lot of noise, and the rubber ducky that comes with it has a very short range. That didn't matter to me since I planned on adding a full size antenna anyway.
After some tinkering, I finally got it set up and "debugged" (user error when installing the antenna). I tested it out on a 9 hour drive from Houghton, MI to Detroit. My experience was pretty good. The speaker on the handset was adequate as long as the top is up or at lower speeds with the top down, but that's understandable. An external speaker would possibly fix this, but I think it's good enough as it stands (at least for me, for now) As I mentioned before, I still have some power noise to filter out and try to get my SWR a bit closer to 1 (or 1.5 for that matter), which added to not being able to hear people talk too well. That said, a good portion of the conversations came clear, and had no problem with not being able to hold up a chat.
So back to what i wanted and what I got. I wanted a radio I can stash away easily, and this is it. I knew ahead of time that I would wire in a bigger antenna and wasn't planning on using this as a pocket radio that I'll run on batt power and the rubber duck. If that's what you're looking for then you'll have to ask someone else. I suspect that with a cleaner power source this radio would be as good as the dash (or wherever) mounted boxes. The weather radio is nifty, but I usually check the forecast online before I make a trip so I don't really use it unless I'm dying to hear a human voice. The scan is works well and the quick 9/19 button works well as in a good position.
The downsides that i've noted were only those of other button placement. The "light" button for the display is just out of the reach of the index finger and thumb, so it requires some manhandling to use. The memory keys are a similar problem. The need to press the F button first makes it odd, but i'm sure with time I'll get used to it. Oh, also the light on the display turns off too fast. It would be nice to be able to keep it on (unless I didn't figure out how to do THAT yet
So all in all, performance wise I don't really see any issues as long as you do have a real antenna mounted. It's great for space and the cables are yours to run so you can make it as clean or messy as you want. Volume is acceptable but it all depends on the reception you get, which I wouldn't blame the unit for. I would recommend it for anyone that just wants a convenient CB. It's on the more expensive side compared to the 30 dollar ones available, but keep it hidden and it won't get stolen or attract thieves.
P.S. Sorry if i was redundant here, but I still haven't slept after my trip