Sunday, March 18, 2012


Garmin nuvi 1450

Garmin nuvi 1450 The Garmin nüvi 1450 is a relatively high-end unit in the 1xxx series line up, offering a luxurious five-inch screen and advanced features such as multi-destination routing, lane assist and junction view.

Introduced in 2009 (here is a list of more recent nuvi introductions), the 1450 also includes speed limit and trip log display, and is compatible with the pedestrian navigation features found in Garmin’s new CityXplorer maps.

Similar units

  • Step up to the nuvi 1450LM to add lifetime map updates
  • Or the 1450T to add lifetime traffic to the 1450’s feature set
  • Going the other direction, the nuvi 1350 drops down to a 4.3” screen and loses junction view and multi-destination routing
  • To see how the 1450 stands up to other models, check out my Garmin nuvi comparison chart

Portion of the following were taken from my hands on review of the Garmin nuvi 1490T.

New Garmin interface

There are several changes to the nuvi interface in the 12xx, 13xx and 14xx series. For one, the menu button is gone, replaced by the arrow in the lower left corner.

Garmin nuvi 1450 screen shot


You can now “slide your finger” to move between screens. This comes in handy when panning the map, allowing you to move more than one screen width. But it pretty much falls into the “bells and whistles” category; I certainly don’t give it many points for usefulness.

These new models also allow you to customize the lower left data field on the map screen, 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:

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

Also new, your speed changes to red if you are exceeding the speed limit (assuming the unit has the speed limit for the road you are on). This is a nice feature, but I wish Garmin would allow you to customize this to changes colors at 5 or 10 MPH over the limit, so it’s not constantly switching back and forth if you drive right at the limit.

Routing information is now presented in a different manner. When you select a POI, address or favorite, it will show up on the map as shown below.

Garmin nuvi 1450 POI on map

I use this screen to verify the location of the destination (so I don’t create a route to the wrong place). Several times during my testing, I found that the information balloon obscured too much of the map for me to be able to do so. When you “press for more,” this is what you get…

Garmin nuvi 1450 POI details

The most noticeable change is the ability to shift data fields to the right side of the map, as shown below, a feature found only on the 13xx and 14xx series, and not the 12xx series. 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. Garmin nuvi 1450 custom fields

Here’s a video showing some of the new interface changes in action on the 1490T:


Lane assist and junction view

I’m a big fan of these features, but there’s good and bad here. Let’s start with the good.

Garmin’s junction view, shown below, is the most realistic of any GPS manufacturer. What you see is pretty much what the sign looks like in real-life.

Garmin nuvi 1450 junction view

The lane assist feature is shown in the upper left corner below. I find this feature even more helpful than junction view, showing you exactly what lane to be in. During my testing, this appeared on surface streets all over the metro Atlanta area, not just on freeways.

Garmin nuvi 1450 lane assist

Now for the bad. The only place I’ve seen either junction view or lane assist is in the Atlanta area. And I have tested units with this feature in two other metro areas with NAVTEQ traffic coverage (I would have expected such cities to be among the first to have this feature).


I’m a big fan of powered (AKA active) mounts – where the power lead plugs into the mount, so you don’t have to attach it each time you use the unit. Unfortunately, the nuvi 1450 does not have this feature, so you need to plug in the cable into the the back of the unit each time you connect it.

Garmin nuvi 1450 pros

  • 5” screen
  • Very thin
  • Multi-destination routing
  • Lane assist with junction view
  • Speed limit display
  • Trip log display
  • Compatible with CityXplorer maps’ enhanced pedestrian navigation features
  • Customizable fields on map screen
  • Quick access to previously entered cities and street names
  • Visually warns when speeding
  • Includes Garmin’s new ecoRoute feature

Garmin nuvi 1450 cons

  • POI balloon obscures a significant portion of the map
  • Lane assist and junction view coverage extremely limited
  • Power lead must be plugged directly into unit (does not power the mount)

More Garmin nuvi 1450 reviews

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

Other Garmin nuvi 1450 resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 1450 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. what is the different’s between the 1450 and 1450lmt. Also the snap shot how do you use it and find the shot folder? thank you

    • The 1450LMT adds lifetime map updates (hence the LM) and lifetime traffic (hence the T).

      Do you mean taking screen shots or are you talking about navigating to the location of a picture?

  2. Taking screen shots and finding them on the unit

    • To enable screenshots, tap Tools > Settings > Display > Screenshot > Enabled. A camera icon will now show on all screens.

      You can find the screenshots in the Screenshot directory on the device. You’ll need to connect it to your computer to access them.

  3. I just got a Nuvi 1450.
    I have Mapsource on my computer, can I connect and look at the Nuvi map on the puta???

  4. Hi,

    Sorry this is probably a very “beginner’s” question but I need help.

    I’m looking at Garmin nuvi 1450, 1350, 1390, 1490, 1100, and 255 – I looked them all up and read the info and I am quite confused as to what’s the major difference? is some better than other? which one is the best one?

    If you could give me some advise, I really appreciate it.

    • You’ve got 3.5″, 4.3″ and 5″ ones in your list. 3.5″ is too small. Unless you really want it, have very large fingers or trouble reading, there’s no need for a 5″. Which leaves us with the 4.3″ ones. Unless you want Bluetooth for hands-free calling, go with the 1350. Otherwise the 1390 will work.

  5. I just installed new maps on my 1450LMT now the unit says my maps are locked and I can’t use my GPS for navigation HELP

  6. My only gripe is the route selection. Google’s is consistently superior and seems to give more weight to faster roads. I verified with friends and hotels at my destinations that the Google maps was in fact a better route. So always confirm vs google and use via points to for the garmin to match google.

  7. I have a nuvi 265 and it takes a long time finding the satellite. Will the 1450 or a model in the 2xxx series find the satellite faster? Also, I travel to Singapore often. How will malsingmaps work with the 1450 unit? Thanks for your help.

  8. Is there meaning to the numbering of GPS Garming devises, like the 200’s and the 1000’s and even the 1300, 1450..Then the Nuvi and the nvi…? Does it follow some logic like the newer models are higher numbers, o are they for different applications?.. Tks

  9. Great site, very useful and complete, and the your replies are also very quick. Just one more question, I found the 1350 and 1450 available for $175 and $ 185 and the 295w for $ 240 and the 1300 for $220. (here in bolivia) I’m moving to Panama by year end and need a GPS for the terrible lack of street signs (none) and terrible traffic in Panana, could you suggest one of these units and also the availability of maps: one dealer will “throw in” a map for $20.- and PTYGPS in panama downloads for $45.-. They seem very legit and profesional.
    I would appreciate your comments, TKS

    • They are all good units, but without decent maps of Panama, I don’t know how much use they will be. You might check for reviews of the maps online first. The 1450 sounds like the best deal, though the 295W would be nice for email access on the go when you have access to wifi, if your phone doesn’t have it.

  10. Hey there! I just got a Garmin 1490 for Christmas. Seems like a really great unit. I would like to know if garmin’s blue charts will work with this unit. Particularly Vuso17r Lake Huron. I’d like to take it on the boat but don’t want to have two different units. Thanks for any help…BRANT

  11. can you tell me what if any difference is between the 1450lm and the 1490lmt other than the traffic on the 1490 i see no other difference

  12. What a great site. I am just unpacking my new nuvi 1450. In reading the instructions, it doesn’t say whether the battery is already charged so that I can practice using it – or do I have to sit in the cold car (brrrr) to familiarize myself. Or is a wall charger a must? Also, when travelling, Calif.doesn’t allow window mounts, so the passenger will just hang on to it. Does it need to be or should it be plugged in while travelling to keep the charge? Sorry about the length and # of ??.

    • It may have a little charge, but you’ll probably need to charge it soon. I believe California allows windshield mounts in the lower corner of the windshield, right? A dash mount may be okay if it doesn’t block the view. Otherwise maybe a vent mount.

      Most people plug them in while driving and therefore don’t need an AC charger.

  13. Luis_Heineken says:

    Hello from Puerto Rico:

    I just buy a nuvi 1450, what micro sd card do you recommend and what capacity? I don’t find anything in the manual from Garmin.

    Thanks in advance

  14. Luis_Heineken says:

    More maps? I do the update and it says that the new maps dont fit in the internal memory.

  15. Luis_Heineken says:

    is there any other use for the micro sd other than pictures?

  16. Im looking at the Tom Tom 550 or the Garmin 1450! Which is the better GPS? And why?

  17. Elgog Partynipple says:

    If I load a map on to the SD card, like City Navigator, how do I switch to the map on the SD card? What can I do with the SD card and how can I switch to those functions while driving? What’s the point of the SD card? I need so much information about the SD card but finding what use it is has been difficult. What if I had Topos on the SD card? Does it switch automatically to the TOPOs somhow? Can I put my main navigation maps on the SD or split maps between main memory and the SD? I have the 1450LM device and a 2 gig micro SD.

    Elgog Partynipple

    • Unless it’s a transparent map, you’ll need to go into the maps settings and disable City Navigator and enable whatever map you want displayed. Most people use the memory card for updated maps, supplemental maps or custom POIs. I don’t think you can split the same maps between the main memory and the card.

  18. I just ordered a garmin nuvi 1450lmt for my route. Can I set the start and destination to the same shop and set each stop as a way point? And will it go to each stop in the order than I entered them? I am trying to set it up so someone not familiar with route could hit all the stops in order if I am sick or unable to work that day.

  19. Rich not sure if my previous comment went thru. I ordered a 1450lmt from best buy but haven’t received it yet. My question is, is it possible to put a home base as the start and finish of a rout and put your stops in as way points in the order that they must be hit and have the gps guide someone along the route? The one helping me at best buy thought this one might do the trick. I want to do this so if I am incapacitated in some way another driver could use it to do my route. If not could you suggest another way to do this. Thank you for your help in this matter.

  20. I have a 1450LMT I set up my route on it but it doesn’t follow the streets I need it to follow and where I park in a lot at a location it seems to jump to the nearest street as a location. I need it to follow my directions exactly so when I am not there someone else can hit my stops and know where to park the truck for the customers. So far I have had no luck doing this even though I have marked the exact locations as favorites it will go to the other side of the destination bldg. The customers won’t be there waiting. Is there a way to make it follow my directions exactly?

    • You’re asking a lot of different questions. If it doesn’t follow the streets you want, add a Via to the route.

      Is the lot a parking garage? That will cause reception accuracy issues.

      You say “it will go to the other side of the destination bldg.” Will it actually place you on another street? Is this in an urban area with high-rise buildings?

  21. First of all the lot is always outside just their parking lot. I’ve tried adding via points to the route but when you load the route again the via points aren’t there. Do you have to add via points every time you load the route? There are some tall buildings around but my gps always shows all the reception bars. The place that it brought me to the front of the building instead of the lot in back was the correct address just the wrong side of the building for the customers, it seems like sometimes when you get close to the stop it then moves on to the next one before you actually stop there.

    • Are you just adding Vias using Where To? If so, you’ll probably get better results with Where To? > Routes > New. Then you can also save the routes. Use the address for the side of the building you want. It may not automatically advance to the next destination if you use Routes.

  22. I’m considering the garmin 1490LMT for it’s bluetooth capability (I’m not tech savvy at all). My husband who is ill and disabled may use his cell phone when needed and I can drive and call in an emergency run to the hospital. On the garmin forum, a lot of people had problems using and installing the bluetooth feature on the 1490LMT. Can you recommend or suggest a garmin 5″ with as well as without a bluetooth? Any suggestions can only be helpful

    They offer a lock on their device which prevents a thief from operating the unit without your pin number. And only Garmin can remove or change the pin once it’s established. You’d think this provides great protection. BUT NO!!! If your unit is stolen, and the thief contacts Garmin to find out how to remove the pin, here’s what I was told they say; ” If a customer a person contact us with a GPS to do any kind of work we run the serial number to see who the device is registered to. If we see the device is marked as stolen we do let the customer know the device is registered to another person and we would have to contact the registered owner of the device before we can set anything up with the device…”
    Clearly they have no expectation or interest in the thief returning the device so that they can return it to you. Apparently, they sell more devices by subverting the security feature. DON’T BUY GARMIN!!! They are culpable with the thief’s crime.

  24. Doug Matthews says:

    Hello! I bought the Garmin nüvi 1450 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator last December. It worked fine, but a last week it stopped charging. I thought it might be my car’s cigarette lighter, but the mechanic said no. Is it likely the battery has died already? And is there any way to replace it? (There doesn’t seem like its possible)

  25. Jon Bertram says:

    At xmas 2011 we replaced our old garmin with a nuvi 1450 with lifetime maps and traffic. We loved the old unit but the new one is very poor. In the nine months we’ve had it there have been multiple problems every time we’ve used it. It doesn’t recognize addresses, roads, and intersections even though they’ve been there for years, even decades when both Google and Mapquest will. On our trips to Chicago it passes up two direct limited access highways and tries to take us onto one that was built in the thirties, takes us out of our way, and is definitely not limited access. There are times when I’m in an area that I know when it wants me to turn right when I should turn left. These are just a few of the problems. I’ve contacted support three times. The first two times I got a robo-response that didn’t address the problems. The last time they just ignored me. I’ve seen only a few references to these problems in reviews. I couldn’t recommend this product to anyone.

  26. Elgog Partynipple says:

    I just updated my nuvi 1450LM with the latest map update. The updter program told me I don’t have enough space on my device and asked to install it to my micro sd card. I agreed and it installed the update correctly. My question is: Did the map currently residing in system storage get removed when it updated to the sd card? Is the old map still there? I have deleted all unrequired files on my system an yet there still wasn’t enough space for the map. Will there eventually be map updates that are just too big for the unit? Is my life time mapupdate going to be useless soon? How do I get rid of the old map data in system storage? Why doens’t the update overwrite the old map when downloading the new map? How can I prepare my unit for the update so there is enough space? I followed all the instructions in your tutorial about making space on the unit before I updated. What the heck?

    • I don’t think the original map gets removed when you put a new map on the microSD. That way, if the microSD card gets pulled, the unit will still work. You should always be able to update with new maps to the microSD, although I’m not sure if they are automatically overwritten or not. You may have to delete the older microSD maps manually. FWIW, there is a good tutorial on creating space for a map update on the 14xx series at http://forums.gpsreview.net/viewtopic.php?t=23713

  27. How do you move the data field from the right side bar to the bottom locations? Mine came with a default having the data fields on the side — which defeats the benefit of a larger screen! I would like to move them to the bottom like my older Garmin. Can you help?

  28. I cannot get my computer to recognize my 1450t. I am using the supplied Garmin usb cable and it is connected directly to the computer, not via a hub. From some of the reviews I have seen, this is a common problem with the Garmins. Thanks for your help.

  29. Does it show the name of the road you are traveling on?

  30. What Garmin unit and what software do you recommend for downloading my own personal routes?

  31. This forum states that the 1450 will accept a 16gb Micro SD where the Garmin site states that Nuvi GPS units have a max of 8gb for this card.

    Can you clarify this?

  32. I have a Nuvi 1450 that was purchased a couple of years back. On a recent trip to Nashville, TN, the device did not recognize Tennessee as a state! When I typed in “T”, the only state that it brought up was Texas. I connected the device to my computer thinking it needed to be updated, but it was up to date. Help!!

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