Sunday, March 18, 2012


Garmin nuvi 1300 review

Garmin nuvi 1300 review UPDATEThis model has been discontinued. For current recommendations, please refer to our auto GPS buyers guide.

The Garmin nüvi 1300 is a relatively low-end unit in a line of Garmin GPS navigators introduced in 2009 (here is a list of more recent nuvi introductions), albeit one with a 4.3” widescreen. It comes pre-loaded with maps of the entire United States with the exception of Alaska.

All of the new units in the 1200, 1300 and 1400 series come with customizable data fields and the ability to utilize the pedestrian and mass transit features on Garmin’s CityXplorer maps. They also have text-to-speech, so you’ll hear “drive one-half mile, then turn left on Elm Street,” instead of just “drive one-half mile, then turn left.”

Related units

  • The new Garmin nuvi 1300LM adds lifetime map updates to the 1300’s feature set
  • Or step up to the nuvi 1350 to get lane assist, speed limit display and to add maps of Alaska and Canada
  • Going the other direction, the nuvi 1200 delivers the 1300’s feature set in a smaller package – it has a 3.5″ screen
  • To see how the 1300 compares to other models, check out my Garmin nuvi comparison chart

Note: Portions of the following were adapted from my hands on reviews of the nuvi 1200 and nuvi 1490T.

Here is a brief look at new features introduced with the 12xx, 13xx and 14xx series, but not found on previous models.

CityXplorer maps

The nuvi 1300 can utilize the pedestrian / mass transit navigation features of these maps, as shown below. CityXplorer maps are priced at $9.99 to $14.99 per city. I’ve posted more detail and screenshots in my CityXplorer review.

Garmin nuvi 1300 CityXplorer

POI feedback

This feature, added with the version 2.70 firmware upgrade, allows you to give feedback on points of interest (POIs). Follow that last link for more details, but basically, POIs can be rated and you can even report errors, removing them from your searches.

Custom data fields

The nuvi 12xx, 13xx and 14xx models allow you to customize the map screen’s lower left data field, a feature we first saw on the nuvi 7×5 series. Press this field to bring up the options listed below. When not navigating, the options are:

  • Direction of travel (default)
  • Elevation
  • Time of day

When navigating, the options are as follows:

  • Estimated time of arrival (default)
  • Estimated time to destination
  • Distance to destination
  • Direction of travel
  • Elevation
  • Time of day

What’s new is that in the 13xx and 14xx series, you have the option to shift data fields to the right side of the map screen, as shown below. The top three fields can then be customized with the options discussed previously. This gives you the ability to display two more fields than can be shown in the traditional display mode. (Note that the speed limit display shown below is not available on the nuvi 1300)

Garmin nuvi 1300 custom fields

More nuvi 1300 features

The following features were first introduced on other recent nuvi models.

Trip log display

Trip log display, or as I prefer to call it ;-), tracklog display, shows where you’ve been and can be downloaded to your computer. Tracklogs can be cleared and the feature disabled for those of you with something to hide! The tracklog is the thin blue line trailing behind the car / current position icon, as shown in the screen shot above.


This feature adds a “less fuel” option to your routing choices and gives you fuel and mileage reports, estimated fuel cost for trips, and even a “driving challenge” to improve your fuel efficiency.

Garmin nuvi 1300 ecoRoute

Here is a PDF version of the ecoRoute manual. ecoRoute is available for the nuvi 2×5, 7×5, 12xx and 13xx series.

Recent cities and streets

This feature was first seen on the nuvi 700 series. A folder icon appears in the upper left corner of city and street search screens. Tap it for a list of recent entries. This is so much better than having to re-enter your hometown all the time!

Where am I?

This emergency location feature provides your current latitude and longitude, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and fuel stations. Garmin nuvi 1300 where am i

Garmin nuvi 1300 pros

  • Bright display
  • Text-to-speech
  • Quick access to previously entered cities and street names
  • Customizable fields on map screen
  • Automatically powers on and off
  • ecoRoute
  • Compatible with CityXplorer maps’ enhanced pedestrian navigation features
  • Trip log display

Garmin nuvi 1300 cons

  • Power lead must be plugged directly into unit (not the mount)
  • No speed limit display
  • When you search for a POI, the POI balloon obscures a significant portion of the map
  • Does not include standard mini-USB cable to connect to PC

Conclusion and recommendations

As with the entire nuvi series, I expect that most buyers will be quite happy with the 1300. If the ability to customize the map display or use of CityXplorer maps is important to you, I highly recommend this unit.

More Garmin nüvi 1300 reviews

I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…

Other Garmin nüvi 1300 resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nüvi 1300 at these merchants:

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. How do you download the triplog onto your computer?

  2. Rich Owings says:

    Connect the GPS to your computer and then view that drive. I’m not sure of the file structure, but its probably under the Garmin folder. You’re looking for current.gpx. Open that with mapping software. I believe you can now do this with Google Earth.

  3. Dale Fredrickson says:

    Is it possible to import waypoints from a .csv file into the Nuvi 1300?

  4. Rich Owings says:

    Yes, you can import them as custom POIs. There are some resources here that will help you get started…


  5. How do I download a basic map of Alaska?

  6. Rich Owings says:

    Here is one source, but it won’t be as good as Garmin NAVTEQ maps:

  7. I am very irritated with this navigation system. I’ve owned two of them since mid-July 2009 and my second one just stopped working earlier today. I don’t know whether or not I’ll continue to use their products, but as of right now, I’m not too happy with them.

  8. Hi, just bought Nuvi 1310 with Middle East Map pre-loaded. I used Nuvi 205w before and I can load multiple maps into the unit using GmapProm.img and GmapSup2.img files of two extra maps, and i can view all maps without renaming any (GmapSupp.img being the original).

    I tried doing it in Nuvi 1310, both in the unit’s Root and Garmin directories, as well as in Garmin directory in my SD card. For some reason now I cannot view the other files. May i know how to load extra maps? And why i cannot see any *.img files in the unit? I have already turn on hidden files, and seems not to work as well.

    Appreciate if you can assist.


  9. I’m unclear. Were you able to successfully drag and drop the files onto the nuvi? Can you see them in the file directory?

  10. I could find both Nuvi 255w and Nuvi 1300 within 5-10 dollars difference. Which one would you suggest me to buy?

    I am thinking of going with 1300 because of the eco-route thing and that its a newer model, but has got some not so good reviews on a major website. On the other hand 255w is time-tested. Can you please suggest me one without bias towards any particular model?

    • I’d get the 1300, even if it was a little more. You’ll get full CityXplorer map capabilities and the ability to customize fields on the map screen. But just so you know, the 255W is compatible with ecoRoute though.

  11. Just purchased a Garmin Nuvi 1390T. I was wondering if you can download (and from where) different voices and vehicles for this system? Thanks

  12. Roe Granger says:

    Our Garmin Nuvi 1300 was a Christmas gift from my wife. On a recent trip to
    Wisconsin the unit quit and I am unable to get it to come on. At the time
    it was powered by my vehicle. I checked the power cord via a friend with the
    saame unit and theirs functioned perfectly.

    Where can I send the unit to for a repair?

  13. I would call (as opposed to emailing) Garmin support. They’ll give you an RMA if they can’t resolve it by phone…


  14. I had a tom tom that i had for little over a year and it quit working, so i purchased a 1300 and love it. Its simple to use and has not got me lost yet.

  15. I have purchased two Nuvi 1300 this year both have failed. I was abole to return the first one to the retailer. Garmin wants $99 to fix the second one it will only have a 90 day warrenty after the service. I will not be having it serviced.

    When the units did work they were useless in pedestrian mode due to very limited battery life. Would not recommed this unit to any one.

    I noticed two other people have had similar failures.

  16. Jason Miller says:

    Hey all,
    Just wondering about SD card compatibility. Any size is ok?


    • Up to 16 GB. Here’s something interesting I just came across on garmin.com support though:

      Question: Is there a particular manufacturer of SD cards that is recommended for use with Garmin products?
      Although any brand of SD or microSD card should work without any problems, Garmin recommends using SanDisk or Kingston brand cards. Most SD and microSD cards work with out any issues however Ultra, High Speed (such as 133x or faster), or SD and microSD cards specifically used for high end or professional electronics might not work.

  17. I’ve used a Garmin 200 for 2 years and have had no problems. Recently I wanted to step up a bit on features and bought a 1350. It worked for about 9 hours, went off for about an hour and finally I was able to turn it back on for about 2 hours, then it went off for good. Couldn’t turn it back on again. I exchanged it for another 1350 and it worked for about 6 hours, went off and I was unable to turn it back on again. I then tried a NUVI 855, used it twice and it froze up both times after about 30 minutes. I’ve decided to try a 1300, similar to my 200 with a larger screen and without all of the extras that seem to ruin these GPS units. If I have a problem with this one I’m going to TomTom.

  18. can I load the 24k topo map on the Nuvi 1200 or the Nuvi 1300

  19. Larry Bedford says:

    I’ve had the 255w for about 2 yrs. When I first got it it would breakdown when giving some street names to where you couldn’t understand what it was saying,I took it back and they exchanged it and it does the same thing. I contacted Garmin and they said do an update at webupgrade which i did but didn’t help. I also have a 255wt and a 205w and they work fine. Any advice on this problem?

  20. Will the 1300 allow me to create routes ( multi stop 15 +) in MS Streets and Trips and transfer them to the 1300 for use?
    If not, which unit will? Any advice?

    • No. The 1300 series doen’t do multi-destination routing., You’d need to step up to the 1450 for that. Even then, S&T probably won’t export routes to it. I’d use Garmin’s MapSource program for that.

  21. Planning a motorcycle trip aroung central Europe this summer (living in Finland) and gonna use nüvi 1300 for navigation. I know it keeps a tracklog but I haven’t been able to find answer to:
    For how many waypoints is there room in the file and what does that number equal to in kilometers/time?
    Is there any way to save the current.gpx to microSD with the device itself i.e. no computer available to connect the device to?

  22. I believe that for nuvis, the track points are laid down automatically, taking into account road curvature (rather than basing it strictly on distance or time). There’s no way to save them to a microSD card within the device itself, but there is this…


    I’d encourage you to check out this file ahead of your trip to estimate how much of an archive you can expect.

    • Thanks for the tip!
      My device is still quite new and there is not that much tracklog and at least yet there is no archive folder under GPX, but I’ll know now from where to look for it.

  23. hola.. estoy tratando de ver como actualizar mi garmin 1300 hace una semana el gps me recomendo actualizarlo y no se bien de donde y como hacerlo espero su mje gracias

  24. I’ve had my 1300 for about 9 months now. When I first got it, there were a few times, maybe 5, where it shut down and rebooted in the middle of a trip, hasn’t done it again for months. This one seems to be working better than the others I’d mentioned above in prior posts. I might add that I travel a lot and for the most part it gets me to the exact location, or in some cases, within a couple of miles. Without my iphone, which takes me to the exact location all of the time, I’d be in trouble.

  25. Gary L. says:

    Im not very pleased with my nuvi 1300.in daylight i cant see the screen.not even with the unit out of the direct sunlight.it is mounted low on the dashboard out of direct light and still not visable,not good.any suggestions?

  26. I purchased nuvi 1300 in US. I am now shifting residence to middle east.Is it economical to upgrade the maps to middle east or Is it better to buy another gps at middle east with middle east maps preloaded.


  27. C MacLean says:

    Bought the Garmin 1300 with a view to using in collaberation with its trail maps,unfortunately despite being fully charged for 24 hours does not maintain its charge out with the charging unit (useally 1/2 hour)….remdering it useless…great for cars but not on its own!!
    very disappointed

  28. Does the 1300 offer truck tracking ? If not which one does?

    How to tell where you vehicle is from a homebase…possibly by computer.

  29. I have a 1300 and like it, also have a 276c for many yrs, world map on the 276 works good, do you no if there is world map that will work with the 1300??

  30. Bob Kukrall says:

    I am a recent purchaser of your model 1300 (basic), and when I completed the map download (everything seemed to download and update ok) to update maps, everything that was in the unit before, favorites, etc., seems to work OK, but, when I enter a new address and click to go to the new address, the unit displays the “enter new address) screen again. It seems to lose somehow, the data on the new address. Is this a problem caused by the software download, or do I have a hardware problem?? Thank you.


  31. I’ve got a nuvi 1300 and need to upload some .gpx files. I put them in the gpx folder and nothing shows up in the Favorites folder when I reboot. Any ideas? Am I doing it wrong?


    • Are they waypoints? If so, they should show up. Tracks won’t.

      • I don’t know. All i know is that they are file type .gpx. How can i determine that?

      • I don’t understand what “tracks” are. Are plain .gpx files called “tracks”? I’m downloading the .gpx files for a race, and they indicate where the different stop points on the race route are. What is the difference between tracks and .gpx and waypoints?

  32. How do I transform “tracks” into waypoints so that my 1300 will understand them? Are .gpx files “tracks”?

  33. Is it possible to use the 1300 to measure distance between 2 points of an off road hiking trail?

    If so, how?


  34. UPDET FOR Garmin nuvi 1300 AND HOW I CAN GET IT


  35. Bought a NUVI 1300 in San Francisco. Great value and used it extensively. But only have maps for the US. How do I get maps for Australia?

  36. I just bought a 1300 and a paper with it’s instructions was a paper that said “Get free map updates for as long as you own your nuvi…go to garmin.com/lifetimeupdater…download the updater to you computer…follow the on-screen directions, etc. However, there are many listings that come up when typing garmin.com/lifetimeupdater, but nothing on downloading the updater on those I looked at! Any suggestions?

  37. When I go to http://garmin.com/lifetimeupdater it redirects to http://www8.garmin.com/support/lifetime_updater.html and there is a download button. If it doesn’t automatically redirect you there, try clicking that second link I just posted.

  38. Thanks! Finally got there and hit the download button and it asked me if I wanted to save or run so like the instructions on the site said I saved it. Nothing came up after that so I did it again…still nothing. Perhaps I have two copies of whatever it is on my computer now? I just hope I can find it when I come back to look for updates for my 1300 in another six months. Thanks again for the advice…I’m a bit older than most computer folks so I’m not real savy on these things.

  39. My incar charger unit does not work

    Can you tell me if the vehicle earth makes a difference

    I have a Citroen C5

  40. Thanks Rich
    There’s no fuse,I have two, one that came with the NUVI and one I bought,

  41. Just got one of these and the arrival times are not even close. Set to auto it tells me I can travel 188 miles in 172 minutes (65.6 mph). Interesting in that the maximum speed limit for any particular section of the entire trip is 65mph. This does not include stop signs, normal speed zones less than 65 mph (and there are several!)

  42. Remember that the 1300 line is out of producton….

  43. Dorothy says:

    Grrr… getting so frustrated. How can I display the distance to where I’m going and appr time of arrival? I really don’t care to see how fast I’m going since I do have a speedometer in my car. THANK YOU!!!

    • You’ll have to switch the data fields to the right side of the screen so you have more available. Tools > Settings > Map (scroll down) > Map Data Layout > More Data > Ok. Then tap any data field to change it.

  44. Vince Cimilluca says:

    I have the Garmin Nuvi 1300 Series.

    I have an address saved in my ‘recently found’. I want to delete ONE address (not the place I really wanted), not ALL recently found addresses. Is there any way to do that?

  45. I got one of these navigators and I didn’t really like to be honest.


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