The Garmin nüvi 2557LMT is a 5″ mid-range model, part of Garmin’s 2013 Advanced series. Improvements in this year’s model include active lane guidance, traffic announcements, “Real Directions” and the slide-out Up Ahead feature shown above. I’ll explore those features in more detail below. The 2557LMT also includes map updates and ad-free traffic.
- Step up to the Garmin nuvi 2597LMT to add voice command and Bluetooth for hands free calling
- Or drop down to a 4.3″ screen with the 2457LMT, but get the same feature set as the 2557LMT
To see how the 2557LMT stacks up against other models, check out my Garmin nuvi comparison chart. NOTE: Much of the following is based on my hands on review of the 2597LMT, which is identical except that it adds voice command and Bluetooth.
You can see the front of the unit in the shot above. Below you see the rear and the mount; the 25×7 series utilizes the same mounting system as the Essential series. Note though that it is not a powered mount; you’ll need to move up to the 27×7 series or the 3597LMTHD for that. I do find the 25×7’s mount easy to use though.
And how should I say this?… The rear of the unit is more curvaceous than past models, which you can get some idea of from the top view…
Active lane guidance
One of the biggest improvements to the 2013 Advanced series is active lane guidance. Consider the image below where the vehicle is approaching two different exits. The new system is clearly superior at showing which exit to take. Here’s a video I’ve posted showing it in action.
This new model will announce “if there is traffic on the route, what the expected delay is and if there is a faster route,” similar to TomTom’s approach. There are settings that allow you to control how frequently you hear such announcements. Another new feature is, unlike previous non-HD traffic models, the lifetime traffic on all 2013 nuvi LMT and LT models is ad-free.
While I did not do extensive testing of the 25×7 series in traffic, I did hear them say “light traffic on your route,” with the screen showing “on fastest route” (see image above). Another time it said something to the effect of “there are seven minutes of delay, you are on the fastest route.” I will say that it nailed the incident shown above — where it started and where it ended.
Next turn and the street you are on
As you can see in the image above, the 2557LMT shows the street you are currently on at the bottom of the screen (unlike on previous models) and the next turn at the top of the screen. If you are not actively navigating the top bar shows the next cross street.
Below you can see the slide out Up Ahead menu. Tap one of the icons to get a list of upcoming gas stations, banks/ATMs and restaurants. Unlike last year’s Exit Services feature, this alerts you to upcoming POIs on surface street routes as well. The three menu items and their order can be customized by tapping one of the icons and then tapping the wrench icon. Additional options include parking, rest areas, lodging and custom search (for a business name or category). Note the X to close the Up Ahead menu.
You open the Up Ahead feature by tapping the menu icon in the bottom right corner of the map screen, and selecting it from the menu below. The items shown in this menu can be customized as well. Additional options include detour, brightness and a trip data slide out menu (also customizable from Settings > Map & Vehicle > Map Tools). All seven options can be included if desired.
This feature tells you to turn at a landmark rather than using a street name (although the street name is still shown on the screen). It’s only available in a limited number of markets (52 as of this past February). I heard it a couple of times during a quick trip to Atlanta, where it said “turn right at the traffic light” and “turn left at the Holiday Inn.” A little voice bubble shows up on the screen at junctions with this feature…
Here’s a video of it from GPS City.
School zone warnings
Warnings such as the one below appear (along with a chime) when you approach a school zone.
Missing feature: Dashboards
One item Garmin took away (in order to show the road you are currently on), is the selectable dashboards feature. This allowed you to add more data fields to the map screen, such as elevation, remaining travel time, etc. Now you’ll need to use the slide-out trip data feature if you want such information.
Of course the nuvi 2557LMT covers all the basics, such as calling out street names for turns, lifetime traffic and map updates Additionally, you’ll find trip planner (multi-destination routing), custom avoidances, Where Am I, photo-realistic junction view, route choices, landscape/portrait orientation selection, extensive Where To customization options, and trip log. The detour by road feature is now available when you tap the detour button
Garmin nuvi 2557LMT pros
- 5″ screen
- Lifetime maps and traffic
- Traffic announcements
- Active lane guidance
- Up ahead feature
- Customization options
Garmin nuvi 2557LMT cons
- No powered mount
Conclusion and recommendation
Highly recommended The 2557LMT is a worthy successor to last year’s 2555LMT. The most notable improvements are active lane guidance, the up ahead feature and traffic announcements. The 2557LMT is one of the best nuvis yet.
More Garmin nuvi 2557LMT reviews
- Consumer-authored Garmin nuvi 2557LMT reviews have been posted at Amazon
I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…
Other Garmin nuvi 2557LMT resources
- The Garmin nuvi 2557LMT owners manual
- Want to see how the 2557LMT stacks up against other models? Check out this Garmin auto GPS comparison tool or my own Garmin nuvi comparison chart
- There is a dedicated Garmin nuvi message forum at GpsPasSion
- And another nuvi forum at GPS Review
- Our auto GPS FAQs, which includes quite a few nuvi tips and tricks
- The official Garmin nuvi 2557LMT web page