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Sunday, March 18, 2012

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Garmin nuvi 2460LMT

Garmin nuvi 2460LMT

The Garmin nüvi 2460LMT is one of Garmin’s recently released 5” ultra-widescreen navigators comprising the nuvi 24xx line. In addition to the big screen, these navigators bring many other high-end features at a relatively reasonable price, including several not found on the nuvi 37xx series, such as custom route avoidances. Which makes the 2460LMT one of, if not the best, nuvi yet.

All the 2400 series models include preloaded maps of the US, Canada and Mexico, lane assist with junction view, a historical road speed database meant to improve routing, and the ability to learn your preferred routes over time.

The 2460LMT includes lifetime traffic, lifetime map updates, voice command and Bluetooth for hands free cell phone use. Here’s how it stacks up against some closely…

Related models

  • Drop down to the nuvi 2460LT for the same feature set minus the lifetime map updates
  • Going to the Garmin nuvi 2360LMT, you’ll get a smaller 4.3″ screen and lose the customizable main menu and custom avoidances, but you’ll gain screen rotation and a tri-axial compass
  • To see how the 2460LMT stacks up against other models, check out my Garmin nuvi comparison chart

Now that we have that out of the way, on to the details. I’ll start with the newer features first, then cover other popular features, before wrapping up with an evaluation of navigation performance.


A note about 2×60 models

While many people complain about the number and variety of nuvis available, Garmin has (generally) been consistent as to feature sets and model numbers. Based on past history, you’d expect the nuvi 2360 series to have the same feature set as the 2460’s, except with a smaller screen. Wrong. For whatever reason, the 2360 models include a dual-orientation screen and tri-axial compass, features not found on 2460’s. I suspect it has to do with price point or specs for integrated chipsets, but that’s just conjecture. Or maybe its just too big to make good use of those. Also note that the smaller 2300 series lacks the customizable main menu of the 2400 series.

NOTE: Portions of this review were adapted from previous hands on review of the Garmin nuvi 2460LT (which has the same feature set, minus the lifetime map updates).

nu Feature: Customizable main menu

Garmin is taking advantage of the 5” screen real estate on the 24xx series by allowing you to customize the main menu. Here’s how mine is set up…

customized-main-menu

nuFeature 2: Speed limit adjustment

I’ve discussed this before, and I’ll refer you there for details, but the short story is you can correct speed limits when the device has them wrong.

Set-speed-limit

nuFeature 3: Via point data fields

Another new feature, is the addition of several via point options for the customizable data fields. You can see the “Via Arrival” option enabled in the top data field below.

Via-point-data

Unfortunately, final arrival times do not take into account stop duration as set up in the Trip Planner.

Custom avoidances and Advanced detours

Custom avoidances were found on a few nuvis previously, but I believe Advanced detours is a new feature. The former allows you to specify individual streets or sections thereof (see image below) and complete areas to avoid. Advanced detours gives you some new options when you tap the Detour icon, including the ability to exclude specific roads from routes on the fly.

Custom-avoid-correct

One tip – It appears that the custom avoidances must be from intersection to intersection. When I picked two points near the east and west ends of the road above, the nuvi ignored the custom avoid. When I created the avoid shown above, everything worked fine. For more details on these features, see my post on custom avoidances and advanced detours.

Powered mount

It’s nice to see Garmin putting a powered mount (one of my favorite features) on a broader range of navigators. The result is that you don’t have to mess with the mini-USB connection every time you get in your car. I leave mine connected to a dashboard mount, and just throw the mount on the floorboard when I park. In the image below, you can see the portion of the mount where the USB power lead plugs in.

nuvi-2460LMT-mount

trafficTrends

Introduced on the nuvi 3700 series, this historical road speed database can result in improved routing, especially in areas with routine traffic problems. I’ve seen definite improvements in routing behavior with trafficTrends models, compared to previous generation nuvis. These have included being routed on locally known shortcuts and alternative routes, routing me on freeways where older models would keep me on a crowded parallel road, etc. I did see some routing errors testing the 2460LT though, which I’ll expand upon in my Navigation Performance section near the end of this review.

myTrends

MyTrends is a bit more complicated. It does a couple of things. One, it figures out routine travel patterns for you (think home to work and work to home). Hop in your car and the destination is pre-selected. More importantly IMHO, is the fact that it can learn your preferred routes. Ignore the 2460LMT’s directions for a few days, take your favorite shortcut, and it should start routing you that way.

To better understand this feature, I’ve included some details on myTrends from Garmin’s support pages:

The myTrends feature is available on select Garmin products. When you save your regular destinations in your “Favorites,” your nuvi will, over time, begin to figure out where you’re going even without your telling it. Your nuvi will provide a predicted route which will display in the information bar at the top of the map screen. myTrends provides time of arrival and relevant traffic information in the information bar.

Please note: myTrends is a feature that does not work out of the box when you first begin using your device. In order to effectively use the myTrends feature you must meet the following requirements before myTrends will display arrival and relevant traffic information:

  • Your frequent destinations must be marked as favorites in your device, i.e. Home, Work, etc.
  • A regular pattern of driving habits must be established before myTrends will display on your device:
    • Daily regular pattern of driving takes at least three days of usage
    • Weekly regular pattern of driving such as a different destination on different days would take 2-3 weeks of regular usage

Example of myTrends:

Press the information bar at the top of the map screen in order to display alternative routes if one is available. Here you can press Go! to activate a route to your myTrends destination:

Once you press Go! the unit will begin providing turn by turn directions to your destination.

After you have an established pattern of driving habits your device will display a myTrend event within a two hour window. As an example if you leave work for home at 5pm each day, the myTrend event will display on your device as early as 4pm and as late at 6pm.

Notable features from previous generation nuvis

Lifetime traffic

The lifetime traffic feature is ad-supported, which is a big turn off for a lot of people. But the ads are very low-key, and will primarily display when you are stopped or viewing traffic details.

nuvi-2460LMT-traffic-ad

2460LMT-traffic-detail

Customizable data field display

There are a couple of options here. Tap the left data field on the map screen to bring up a range of choices. These vary depending upon whether you are actively navigating or not. And if you go to Tools > Settings > Navigation > Automobile > Map Data Layout and choose More Data, you can shift the data fields to the right, picking up two more that you can modify, as shown below.

Via-point-data

Lane Assist and Junction View

Lane Assist (see below) is a very useful feature, showing you which lane you should be in. Coverage seems to be fairly extensive for Interstate highways, with some surface street coverage in large metros.

2460LMT-lane-assist2

Junction View coverage (shown below), on the other hand, still seems pretty sparse. Expect to see this only if you live in the very largest metropolitan areas.

nuvi-2460LMT-jct-view2

Speed limit display and warning

Back to something with good coverage, you’re likely to find speed limits displayed for even secondary roads on the nuvi 2460LMT. And your current speed field turns red if you’re over the limit. Unfortunately, there is still no way to customize this feature to have it change colors at 5 or 10 MPH  over the limit. And as noted earlier, you can correct speed limits where you see errors.

nuvi-2460LMT-speeding

ecoRoute

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.

nuvi-2460LMT-ecoroute

CityXplorer

CityXplorer add on maps offer advanced pedestrian routing options including mass transit, but don’t expect it to route you as well as a local who rides the subway every day.

Trip log

The trip log displays a thin blue line showing where you’ve been. This can be enabled/disabled, and the trip log cleared, by going to Tools > Settings > Navigation > Automobile > Trip Log. You can also access archived trip logs for a record of your travels.

nuvi-2460LMT-trip-log

Where Am I?

You access this feature by tapping the car icon at your current location on the screen.

nuvi-2460LMT-where-am-i

Multi-destination routing

The 2460LMT allows you to add multiple via points on the fly, using Where To. To pre-plan a multi-destination route, select Tools > Trip Planner. Once a route is created, you can access the menu for the options shown below.

2460lt-multi-menu

You can tap a via point to select an item and specify an arrival time and/or duration of stop. I find this feature quite useful — I plugged in the duration of several stops, the time I wanted to arrive at my final destination, and was able to determine when I needed to start my trip.

2460lt-multi

Notable is the fact that you can transfer routes from MapSource to the 2460LMT (an update to allow this has been promised for the 23xx and 37xx series). You don’t even have to go through a circuitous MyData import process. They simply show up in the Trip Planner.

I’ll add that dragging destinations to change their order in the Trip Planner is much easier than when I tried it on the 37xx series. I’m assuming that is about firmware improvements, although I suppose it could be a resistive vs. capacitive touchscreen issue.

Voice command

The voice command interface is like that found on the nuvi 37xx series. To initiate, you speak a wakeup phrase (“voice command”) which can be customized. The main menu is shown below.

voice-command-1

voice-command-2

Unfortunately there is still no “Near” option, which would allow you restrict a search to your current route, another city, etc. Nevertheless, I found that voice commands worked pretty well, and feel that it is certainly a feature worth having. If you’re going to interact with your GPS while driving, this is the safest way to do it. No voice command system is perfect though, and I did have to repeat myself occasionally.

2460lt-find-by-name

Bluetooth

I tested hands free calling with my Droid 1, which I was able to pair and connect on first try. Bluetooth quality was very good – the best I’ve ever heard on a GPS navigator. The biggest problem with most implementations has been sound quality on the other end of the call – in this case though, it was nearly as good as hearing someone speaking directly into the phone.

nuvi-2460lt-bluetooth

Navigation performance

Garmin’s trafficTrends historical road speed database results in some increased routing time; a trip of 150 miles took 9 seconds to calculate. While I didn’t see any significant lag for local routes, I did see recalculation times of 7 to 8 seconds following a missed turn on a longer route.

I noted three possible routing errors while testing the 2460LT, which seemed worse than previous trafficTrends-enabled models I have used. Now before I get into describing those I should note that two were on a pre-production model that gave me other problems, and was ultimately swapped out for a consumer unit. In one case I was testing the pre-production model side-by-side with the nuvi 2350LMT, which did not generate the same error. Basically, the 2460LT took me around the block instead of making a right that would lead me directly onto an exit ramp. The 2350LMT was beside me on the seat, so it could have been basing the route on a different position, since that placement might be enough to cause a location error.

The other two errors I saw took me on routes that probably would have been faster going another way. I was able to double back on one and verify that the other route was quicker. My estimated time en route was 5 minutes the way the nuvi routed me; when I took the way I suspected was faster the device dropped two minutes off my ETA and actual arrival time. I repeated this last test after swapping out the pre-production unit for a consumer model, and got the same results.

Garmin nuvi 2460LMT pros

  • 5” screen
  • Powered mount
  • Advanced detour functionality allows you exclude roads on the fly
  • Ability to exclude specific roads and areas from all route calculations
  • Lane Assist
  • Junction View
  • Well-designed voice command functionality
  • Excellent Bluetooth quality
  • Lifetime traffic
  • Lifetime map updates
  • myTrends learns preferred routes for routine trips
  • Customization options
  • Speed limit display, warnings and adjustment
  • Multi-destination routing
  • Can import multi-destination routes from MapSource

Garmin nuvi 2460LMT cons

  • Traffic is ad-supported
  • trafficTrends historical road speed database results in increased route calculation times and occasionally produces routing errors
  • Junction View coverage limited

Conclusion and recommendation

The 24xx series is loaded with some great features, including custom avoidances, advanced detours,  new customization options, and a 5” screen. Also notable is the excellent Bluetooth quality and a well-done voice command system. Put these all together and the 2460LMT looks very attractive.

The only significant downside I saw in testing this series was wonky routing, probably due to the trafficTrends historic road speed database. Some of this may have been due to the first unit I tried being a pre-production model. Nevertheless, you can expect trafficTrends to produce a questionable route occasionally.

With that caveat, the nuvi 24xx models may actually lay claim to being the top of the line nuvi right now. Sure, the 37xx series is iPhone-thin and the 3790T has its gorgeous terrain view. For my money though, I’ll take the 2460LMT’s custom routing options and excellent Bluetooth quality – function over form if you will, and a lower price to boot! So yes, I’m recommending the 2460LMT. If you find that trafficTrends routing is too sketchy for you, just disable it. After all, you can tell it which roads you want to take anyway.

More Garmin nuvi 2460LMT reviews

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

Other Garmin nuvi 2460LMT resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 2460LMT 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.

Comments

  1. Kurt,

    I wonder if it would help to get a discussion going here…

    https://forums.garmin.com/forumdisplay.php?f=182

  2. Karen Raffa says:

    Newbie here…never had one…planning on Moving to Mexico-Yucatan and have been told that Garmin is the best with Mexico maps…any input …what you think we will need?
    we want it to ‘walk’ us through traffic lanes and misguided signs…we have never driven 1700 miles into Mexico! Thanks

  3. The “near” option for finding points of intrest such as gas stations, food etc, can be found in the upper left hand corner of the “where to” menu. It’s the 3 horizontal bars press that, near/set home location appears.

    Press “near” BEFORE selecting any other item,
    Near gives you choices of Where I Am now…….A Different city, Current Destination, Recent Destination, Favorite Destination.

    I like this unit alot, it takes a little user time to find all the burried options. Unlike the “near” button that was front and center on the 7XX series.

  4. Rich

    All things considered, which do you recommend the 2460LMT or the 2595LMT. I have never had a Nuvi with the powered mount and for most part leave the nuvi in my car. Do not use it outside the car that often. Do like the BEST Bluetooth as I do not like messing with cell phone. Thanks

    • If it were me, I would go with the 2595LMT, giving up the powered mount in exchange for exit services, increased customization options, and the excellent Bluetooth sound quality.

  5. Okay will now shop for the Garmin 2595. Thanks

  6. I am interested in either the 2460LMT or 2595LMT but whichever I end up choosing, I would want to vent mount it in the car. Which vent mounts work with these units and which do you recommend ?

    Thanks!

    • I don’t have much experience with vent mounts. There are many at Amazon that are highly rated, including this one by Arkon, which seems to be one of the more popular ones.

      A 5″ model is a lot of weight on a vent though, so I’m not sure how well it will work out.

      • Any idea if this Arkon GN047 vent mount will work specifically with the 2460LMT or 2595LMT ? Anywhere I look it doesn’t list this vent mount as being for use with these two Garmin models, but it is listed as being for use with a bunch of other Garmin models. This vent mount is supposed to have a 17mm diameter ball for insertion into the Garmin mount. Aren’t the holes in the Garmin mounts all the same 17mm diameter ? Perhaps the hole is a different size for the 2460 and 2595 mounts ?
        Thanks for great support !

        • They are all the same size. If you see that ball on a nuvi mount, it will fit. They just haven’t updated their product description to include the newer model numbers.

  7. The price for this dropped to $199 in Amazon during Christmas but quickly went back up to $229. I found a brand new one with the garmin friction mount + case (total value $260)for $150 on Craigslist. Woo hoo! Now’s a good time because people are putting up their unwanted Christmas gifts for sale. Craigslist is the way to go. You just gotta keep checking back and negotiate.

  8. I have a technical question. I have the 2460LMT and purchased a microSD card so I can install some foreign maps. I inserted the microSD card into the slot in the device and plugged it into my computer. I can see the Garmin drive and clicked on it. However, I cannot see the SD card drive anywhere in the directory. Any advice?

    • If it is a blank, never used card, you might want to put it in the nuvi and power the nuvi on before connecting it to your computer. It might show up after that.

      Otherwise, do you have a card reader for installing the maps? You’ll need to create a Garmin folder for them to go into.

  9. The Arkon GN047 vent mount works great with my new 2595 so would work well with 2460 also. No problems over bumps in the road , holds very still when using touch screen, very secure. Very happy with it.
    Thanks !

  10. I’m a total newbie. Never had any auto GPS. From your website info am leaning strongly to 2460LMT. Will first map update on the 2460 bring the “junction view” feature reasonably current with that information displayed on the 2595LMT?

  11. barrie Hunter says:

    After doing some exhaustive review I decided that the 2460LMT is the GPS for me, except that i discovered it was released in January 2011, which the software in it may be over 12 months old and not current. Is this a problem? Does Garmin update the software in it’s older units so they are on par with the newer units(eg the 3500)?

  12. robertpri says:

    It is true that the ‘traffic’ feature has ads, but if you disable ‘traffic’ the screen leaves a worthless blank spot where the ads would be? In other words, removing ‘traffic’ does not free up the space for something worthwhile?

  13. Paul Wiskar says:

    Want to purchase 2595lmt but think the power mount sounds useful. Would the garmin power mount accessory work with the 2595….$24.95 ?????

  14. Could you say more about the ways the 2595LMT is more customizable than the 2460LMT? Thanks!

  15. In the medium range nuvis, I want to know if 2450LM and 2460LMT the only ones with the powered mount? I want a GPS with no hassles of pulling cables in and out in them. Once plugged, cable should stay there and only the GPS unit should go in my pocket when going out of the car. I dont want to fiddle with the USB wire everytime I get into the car and get out of car. Let me know which units in the middle range would suit my needs along with 5″ screen. Many of the newer versions with good deals do not have powered mount I see hence my questions.

  16. On Amazon.com for Garmin 2460LMT it does not show Powered Mount.

    What’s in the Box
    Garmin nüvi 2460LMT (Preloaded City Navigator NT North America [U.S, Canada and Mexico], Lifetime Maps and Traffic), FM Traffic Receiver With Vehicle Power Cable, Vehicle Suction Cup Mount, USB Cable, Quick Start Manual

    Not sure whether powered mount is a term only used on gpstracklog.
    Can you confirm Rich?

    • Yeah, Garmin doesn’t distinguish between them in their terminology. If it’s a 2460LMT (or any 2xx0 model), it’s got a powered mount.

      • Rich, Thanks for the advice. I am now looking at 2450LM and 2460LMT for my purchase. Prices are mostly firm given the fact that the models are fairly old.

  17. Hi Rich, Your web site is tremendous. You have a pic of a dash board mount that you use. Where can I buy one. I will be getting the 2460LMT based on your data.
    Thanks a million, Ed

  18. This one…?

    Garmin Friction Mount

    It is definitely my fave.

  19. Some Amazon reviews for the friction mount indicate that a 5″ Nuvi may not go well as its recommended for 3″-4″. Some other review I read indicates some health hazards! How far is this true?

    • I don’t recall any troubles when I’ve tested 5″ nuvis on it I (and that is what I used to mount them), but I usually use a 4.3″ unit. As far as health hazards, unless you put it in an airbag deployment zone, I know of none.

  20. What I want to know is if the 2460 Garmin unit is capable of automatically detecting a cell phone at startup. I understand about the compatibility of the phone and I have successfully paired the phone and the Garmin unit … I am able to use the phone through the Garmin GPS Bluetooth interface. I have updated the unit to the latest software! The phone to GPS interface works fine … but: THIS IS MY QUESTION:

    So far I have had to manually connect the phone by selecting Tools>Settings>Bluetooth> then selecting the phone from the list which only has two choices “None” and the phone. Each time after startup of the GPS and I enter the Bluetooth screen the Bluetooth device selection is set to “none”. Is there any way to have the Garmin GPS unit search automatically at startup for the cellphone, and connect it without doing the manual connect operation via the Tools>Settings>Bluetooth route everytime I start up the Garmin unit?

    • It will certainly vary by phone, but it should work. Have you tried giving it a minute or so to find it on it’s own?

      • Rich … Thanks for your Great Website it has been a huge help for nubie me … here is the scoop on connecting a phone to the 2460 after pairing has been done

        The Garmin GPS Unit is SESSION Dependent for auto connecting by experimentation I found the following:

        – The first time you turn on the GPS and the PHONE you must use the manual connect by selecting TOOLS>SETTINGS>BLUETOOTH then picking the phone from the list and saving. After that as long as the phone is ON and within range of the Garmin GPS it will autoconnect when turning the Garmin Unit ON as long as the phone is ON first!.

        – If you turn OFF the phone or move out of range of the GPS unit you will have to repeat the manual connect to set up a new session. In essence if the phone icon is grayed out you will need to manual connect to start a new session.

        It is obvious that the GPS periodically senses that its bluetooth connection is either ON or DISCONNECTED. If it is disconnected it resets the Bluetooth device selection to NONE and stops the GPS from searching for a Bluetooth device, which forces a new session manual connect via TOOLS>SETTINGS>BLUETOOTH. Garmin should provide a software revision which allows the GPS to continue to search for the last phone connected.

        Tips:
        1) Set up the pairing from the phone side (it is more reliable)
        2) Be sure to have the Bluetooth on the Phone set to autoconnect

        • This could be one advantage of the 2xx5 series, which has a sleep mode and doesn’t require a full power down. I don’t have to manually reconnect my phone with it.

          • Maria Santos says:

            Hi Rich you great with all your explanations.

            I have the 2460 and like to know if I can connect to cell phones. I use my personal and my business phone and have to have both on at all times. I wish there is a way for me to connect both and when driving been able to know which phone is ringing and making the calls without having to stop my card to switch phones.

            Thanks

  21. After a full day of research I’ve come down to the choice between 2595LMT and 2460LMT. There are some features on 2460 that I like such as powered mount, ecoRoute, and myTrends/traffic Trends. However, there are many good features on 2595 such as, a better voice command, exit services, more extensive junction view, and the 3D traffic. If I could get them both for around the same price, which one should I go for? Please indicate if there are more crucial pros and cons than the ones I’ve mentioned.

  22. @Maria – No there is no way to connect two at the same time. Maybe a BT headset for one?

    • Hi Rich,

      I purchased the the Nuvi 2460 less than a week ago. I am thinking maybe to switch to another that has all we are looking for. I really cannot affor spending a lot more than what I paid for the 2460. This is the list of things important to me:
      Voice Command
      gas prices info
      5 inches wide or more
      Bluetooth
      Eco-Route and
      Power mount if possible

      Please let me know if there is another gps that includes all I need in around the same price range.

      Thanks
      Maria Santos

  23. P Coopersmith says:

    Had a 2460 which I gave up to my daughter and purchased a 2595. The 2595 had some good improvements including battery life however the display was not very readable in sunlight. The 2460 was very readable in bright sunlight. The contrast is too low on the 2460 and is very hard to read and appeared washed out in bright light. I switched to a 3590 and it certainly has a lot of “wow” features but still a similar problem with the display, plus it’s glossy and too reflective which makes it more difficult to view. It’s going back and I’ve purchased another 2460 from Amazon. So far so good.

    • Yes, it seems like some of the newer models aren’t as bright as the old ones.

    • P Coopersmith says:

      This portion of the text was incorrect. – The contrast is too low on the 2460 and is very….
      It should read. – The contrast is too low on the 2595 and is very….
      Sorry for the error.

  24. Brooklyn says:

    How does the anti theft works on this model? Can you locate it if it’s stolen?

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