K40 RD 850 Radar Detector Reviews

K40 RD 850 Radar Detector

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K40 RD-850: Good Performer... High Price

Oct 19, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Effectiveness:
  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:

Pros:Good Performance, Ticket Guarantee

Cons:Expensive, Cheaper Yet Better Performers Out There

The Bottom Line: The K40 RD-850 is a solid performer, but there are cheaper units out there that perform better.


K40 is one of the hottest names on the radar detector market. They are known for making very expensive remote units that have fairly decent protection. The newest unit is the K40 RD-850 which is just about identical to the K40 RD-650VG2 on the site. The K40 RD-850 is quite a popular unit since it carries the K40 name and is considerably cheap for a K40 coming in at about ~$299. I do know a couple of youngin's who use these in their high-performance sports cars because they were sold on both the K40 name and the one-year ticket guarantee. I rode in a BMW M3 for most of the day with only the K40 RD-850 on the windsheild, then later asked if I could hook up my dad's Beltronics Vector 985 too. Here's what I found with the K40 RD-850:

-Price-
*The K40 RD-850 is one of the more expensive mounted units on the market. It costs around ~$299, so therefore almost making it to the $300 mark which is also home to the Escort Passport 8500 and the Beltronics Vector 990. I'm happy to say that this isn't one of those horrible quality units that has a huge sticker price put on them. It actually is a very competent performer. When I was behind the wheel for some time, I did feel safe with the K40 RD-850. A large portion of the time was spent in K-band territory where the K40 RD-850 offered ample time for slowing down. Much more than a Cobra, Whistler, or Uniden would... But somewhat lower than those of Valentine One, Escort, and Bel counterparts. But what really sold the owner onto the K40 over any other detector was the one-year ticket guarantee. He doesn't usually exceed 15mph over the posted limit in the city, so K40 would be paying off his tickets... Though I don't really believe in the guarantee since it's truly the insurance premiums that get to you, but hey, if it makes the consumer happy, then it's all good. However, for about ~$50 less, you can have the Beltronics Vector 985 which delivers better performance at a lower price. But by no means is the K40 RD-850 incompetent.

-Performance-
*While doing stand-alone testing (No other detector present), the K40 RD-850 delivered good performance for a lead-footed driver. It gives ample warning time, and offered very nice sensitivity on both K and Ka-band radar. So if you're a very fast driver and for some reason care greatly about the ticket warranty, then the K40 RD-850 is a good choice. However, when the Bel 985 was hooked up, the K40 RD-850 was a bit slower on picking up both K and Ka-band radar. Not by too much, but I definitely felt better at that point to be driving with the Beltronics over the K40. So therefore, in this expensive price range, the K40 RD-850 does have weaker performance than the Beltronics Vector 985 and Escort Passport 8500. So choose wisely here. But for most part, I'd definitely recommend the K40 for its good performance.

-Features And Ease Of Use-
*The K40 RD-850 offers the features that you would expect on any radar detector.You have the mute button and the city/highway mode feature. The K40 RD-850 comes with a windsheild mount, and also a visor mount. Very cool indeed. It's definitely not a hard radar detector to use.

-The Verdict-
*With an MSRP of $299, the K40 RD-850 is definitely not a cheap detector. But it definitely proves itself to be a worthy detector to place in your car. However, if you don't care about K40 paying for your tickets, then I would recommend going to a Bel 985 since it is cheaper and does give better performance. Or for some more money (Well, quite a bit more), you can have the Valentine One which is the ultimate in protection. Overall, I give the K40 RD-850 two thumbs up!


Recommend this product? Yes

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