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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Compare Garmin nuvi models

Garmin nuvi reviewYou can compare Garmin nuvi models using the chart below, which is designed to help make sense of their myriad models. For a quick overview of the different series, you can also check out my dissecting the Garmin nuvi series post.

The links in the far left column below go to each Garmin nuvi review on our site. All listed models speak street names and include speed limit and trip log display. Discontinued nuvis are now listed in their own chart. You can also click here for descriptions and more information about various features. NEW: Click on column headers to sort chart. 


Compare Garmin nuvi models


Garmin nuvi review Maps Screen size Traffic Blue- tooth Powered mount Multi- point routing Lifetime maps Lane assist Voice command Amazon link
nuvi 30 48 states & US + Canada versions 3.5″ No No No No No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 40 48 states & US + Canada versions 4.3″ No No No No No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 40LM 48 states & US + Canada versions 4.3″ No No No No Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 42 49 states 4.3″ No No No No No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 42LM 49 states 4.3″ No No No No Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 44LM U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ No No No No Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 50 48 states & US + Canada versions 5.0″ No No No No No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 50LM 48 states & US + Canada versions 5.0″ No No No No Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 52 49 states 5.0″ No No No No No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 52LM 49 states 5.0″ No No No No Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 54LM U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ No No No No Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 465LMT U.S. Canada 4.3″ Lifetime Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 1450T U.S. Canada 5.0″ Lifetime No No Yes No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 2350 U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Option No Yes Yes No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 2360LT U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Lifetime Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Amazon
nuvi 2455LMT U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Lifetime No No Yes Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 2455LT U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Lifetime No No Yes No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 2460LT U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ Lifetime Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Amazon
nuvi 2475LT U.S. Canada Mexico Europe 4.3″ Lifetime Yes No Yes No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 2495LMT U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Lifetime Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Amazon
nuvi 2497LMT U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Lifetime Yes No Yes Yes Active Yes Amazon
nuvi 2555LMT U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ Lifetime No No Yes Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 2555LT U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ Lifetime No No Yes No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 2557LMT U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ Lifetime No No Yes Yes Active No Amazon
nuvi 2595LMT U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ Lifetime Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Amazon
nuvi 2597LMT U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ Lifetime Yes No Yes Yes Active Yes Amazon
nuvi 2757LM U.S. Canada Mexico 7.0″ No No Yes Yes Yes Active No Amazon
nuvi 2797LMT U.S. Canada Mexico 7.0″ Lifetime Yes Yes Yes Yes Active Yes Amazon
nuvi 3450 U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Option No Yes Yes No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 3450LM U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Option No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 3490LMT U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Lifetime HD Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Amazon
nuvi 3550LM U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Amazon
nuvi 3590LMT U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ Lifetime HD Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Amazon
nuvi 3597LMTHD U.S. Canada Mexico 5.0″ Lifetime HD Yes Yes Yes Yes Active Yes Amazon
nuvi 3750 U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Option No Yes Yes No Yes No Amazon
nuvi 3790T U.S. Canada Mexico 4.3″ Lifetime Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Amazon

Garmin nuvi feature descriptions

  • Live traffic – It may not be quite ready for prime time, but it is improving, especially for models with HD traffic. Even so, you can expect lots of inaccurate reports as well as incidents that aren’t reported. Most pre-2013 Garmin nuvis with a T following the model number have ad-supported traffic (see reviews for screenshots). HD models and 2013 T models are ad-free.
  • Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone use – Generally speaking, the sound quality has gotten much better on recent models, but check the reviews (the first column links to these) as it does vary.
  • Powered mount – The power cord plugs into the mount, rather than the GPS. That’s one less connection to fuss with when you want to use your navigator. I’m a big fan of these, especially when combined with a friction mount.
  • Multi-point (multi-destination) routing – A very nice feature, but not a critical one. If the chart says “no,” you can only enter one destination and one or two via points. This isn’t a big problem since you can easily find locations under Favorites or Recently Found.
  • Lifetime map updates – Garmin has started selling units bundled with lifetime map updates, which you can typically download quarterly. Newer models with these have an LM or LMT (the latter includes lifetime traffic) tacked onto the end of the model number.
  • Lane assist – Shows which lane you need to be in for Interstate exits and some surface streets in larger metros. An improved version, active lane guidance, was introduced on the 2013 Advanced and Prestige series.
  • Voice commands – A killer feature and it actually works pretty well on most models.

Return to Garmin nuvi comparison chart

Comments

  1. Rich,

    Could I suggest that in your comparison chart you include a spot for ” MicroSD Card “. It seems with each map update Garmin does you are not able to install the whole updated map due to the files being larger. An SD card then almost becomes a necessity. It would be helpful in a comparison when shopping for a new unit.

    Thanks in advance
    Steve

  2. One thing I don’t see is how many destinations can be saved on these models. I’m getting ready to replace my old Nuvi 205 and I need a very large number of saved destinations when deciding on a new model.

  3. Cliff Meier says:

    How much internal memory does the Nuvi 2557LMT have?

    Thanks

  4. Not sure. Either 4GB or 8GB.

  5. P de Graaf says:

    I have had a Garmin 2450 for 2 years that I loved but it just died. One of the things I like best is that it will remember my favorite route after a few times of going an alternate way from what it originally suggested. It was pretty irritating to have the GPS constantly “recalculating” when I went the same way to work every day but it just didn’t like it. Are there any out there that still have this feature? It seems they all have different ones but I can’t find this on my searching. Any help is appreciated!! I need to order one quick, I’m lost without mine. lol

    • This is the myTrends feature. Garmin pulled it from the Advanced series in 2012, but returned it to them in 2013, so you may want to look at the 2457LMT or 2557LMT. You may have it enable it in the settings.

      • D R Biellier says:

        I want to compare 2457 but I can’t find it in your chart. Why? I am looking at one on ebay that says “in dash”. What does that mean? Can I still use it on my dash or console with a mount I already have? Why is category no longer used: Speak Street Names???

        Thanks,
        DRB

        • Because I haven;t reviewed it, but it’s the same as the 2557LMT except for its 4.3″ screen. I don’t know why someone is calling it in dash unless they modified it for their own car. Assuming it has not been modified and it has the original mount, it will work with all standard nuvi dash mounts. All current nuvis speak street names so there is no longer any need to display that information.

  6. Pam de Graaf says:

    I’m looking at the 3580LMT and I can’t find a review on it by you. I used your recommendations when I bought my last unit. Is the 3580 similar to another unit? And does it have the capacitive touch screen? My 2450 let me tap the screen with just my fingernail and my daughter’s newer one has to be pressed for anything to happen. Thanks for your guidance!

  7. My Mark VIII ATE my Garmin.

    I had a 50 for a year and 6 days. Parked in a questionable area, I slipped it under the drivers seat to be out of view. I returned with the grand daughter, and her being required to ride in the rear car seat, I tilted the driver seat forward. The Continental coupe has an automatic feature that moves the seat forward when tilted for more clearance when the door is open. The seat crushed the Garmin, broke the faceplate. It will turn on, but will not operate, and most of the screen stays black. Thats how my Mark VIII ate my GPS.

    • Ouch!

    • Depending upon the size of the unit, they can be carried in a shirt or coat pocket, for short trips away from the car, even a few hours. This is where a case comes in handy, and I think they are about 17 dollars U.S. depending upon where you purchase one, price could be less.

    • Lowndes says:

      John, the screen can be replaced very easily. If you aren’t interested in doing it yourself, wanna sell it to me??

      • Lowndes – I have a 52LM with a cracked screen. It looks as though screens for the 50LM are widely available but I don’t find anything that says it will work on a 52LM. Do you know whether they are the same?

        Thanks

        • Lowndes says:

          Dick – Not familiar with that model, but try this guy goodsupply0889, he was very helpful. Google it, he has a webstore out of Minnesota. What I did was remove the cracked screen from the unit. There are youtubes on disassembling nuvis. Once you have the screen out, you can compare it to pics of other model screens. That’s how I found one for my 2797. NO ONE showed a replacement for it, but it works!!
          The size and shape of the ribbon cable(s) that connect the screen (digitizer) to the mother board, the dimensions of the screen, plus the related units that Rich Owings has in in the “Related Units” under the Review of that unit, will be the key to finding a screen that will work if you can’t find one specifically for that nuvi. Looks like the 50, 52, 54 are very similar. That’s where to start.
          Check Craigslist and Ebay, too. Sometimes you will find a used unit, the same model or better for less than a screen.
          If you are intimidated by opening a GPS, just watch some of the videos. They are really simple. Screen, MB, battery, speaker, all connected by plug-in wires/cables, held in place by screws or tape. EZPZ.

  8. A. Mulllins says:

    Is there really any difference between a 42LM and a 52LM other than the screen size. Is it worth the price difference just for a little larger screen?
    I am trying to decide which one to buy. Thanks

  9. Rich-

    Looking for a 5″ with pinch-to-zoom. Hard to find this feature, if I am describing it right, identified on any model as such.
    Also, any difference between 3D Traffic and HD Traffic?

    Thanks!

  10. does the nuvi2797 have a jack for backup canara> or what ones do. thank you

  11. what models are backup camara ready

  12. Rich

    Got any comments on the so called Garmin manuracturer refurbishing? Should I take a chance, or avoid them as a bad bet? Also listings for refurb 3580 LMT are showing up on ebay. I can not find this model on Garmin site, or the listings published here. What gives on this model? Listings claim android compatable and blue tooth.

    Another question. I do not want to use a smart phone, but want to use my standard cell phone instead. Is this android thing a problem for use with the old flip phones?

    And here is yet another question. I see there are low cost adapters to plug into your modern car computer slot, that will output the diagnostic codes and readings via bluetooth. So will these work with the bluetooth Garmin units? Any models not compatable?

    • I bought a Factory refurbished Garmin Nuvi 255 from Amazon in the USA. It came with the same 1 year warranty as a brand new one costing more than double the price. It also had Maps upgrade the same as a new one (not that newer Maps of USA and Canada are any use to me in the Philippines).

      The battery started to only have about 50% the capacity, after it was nearly 2 years old (but that could happen in a brand new one, as as it well past the warranty expiry!). I just bought a new one from China and fitted it myself, and it back to full capacity again.

      Some of my fellow ‘Green Trail Rides Cebu’ members, also bought larger 5″ Nuvi GPS as refurbished and they have not had problems either. The older models seem to be more solid and reliable than some of the newer ones perhaps. It is these older, discontinued, models that tend to be sold as factory refurbished it seems.

    • http://www.gpscity.com/questions?qid=18449

      Not sure what you mean by “Is this android thing a problem for use with the old flip phones?”

      Non-Garmin brand diagnostic devices won’t work with a nuvi via Bluetooth.

      • I will rephrase my question. Since the 3580 is designed for android operating system, and my flip phones are not, will there be a compatability problem in getting the 3580 to receive and send voice calls via bluetooth? Thanks for your reply.

        • It is not designed solely for Android. Most phones are compatible but there are exceptions. I would buy from someone with a good return policy in case it doesn’t work.

  13. Work app related question…I have a group of sales reps that I would like to download routes for their territory daily. I am using a software app called Route4me which will allow me to download to a GPX file. There will be anywhere from 20 to 30 stops in their routes daily. Which of the Nuvi model would you recommend and why for this type of application? Thanks in advance for your time.

  14. Tracy Hall Jr says:

    Thanks for your great site. It would be nice if on your comparison page you could insert the column header once or twice in the body so that one does not need to keep scrolling up to see the single header.

    • Thanks Tracy. The columns can be sorted by clicking on a header item. I agree with you that it would be nice to repeat the column header but I don’t know of any way to do that and keep it sortable.

  15. Which Garmin Nuvis create track logs that can then be downloaded and applied to maps (such as openstreetmap)? Thanks in advance for your advice!

  16. Tracy Hall Jr says:

    Over the last 5 or 6 years I’ve had 2 different Garmin Etrex and 2 Nuvis, and all had this great feature.

  17. I love this site Rich, it has been an immense help to me while I’m looking to buy a/my first trail and road gps.
    When do you plan to update this comparison chart with the new models being released?
    Also I’ve seen the 2597 drop recently in price ($160 in AUS) , presumable to make way for the newer models.
    Is generally much difference between the older models and their newer counterparts?

  18. I just returned a 3590 to Costco because it was malfunctioning in more ways than I could handle, within the first few weeks. (Failing to take a charge from the car charger, inserting random wrong instructions into otherwise good directions, the mount kept sproinging off the dash, it wouldn’t turn off (to conserve battery), then would only turn ALL the way off (versus it’s power-down feature), etc. I intended to replace it, in hopes it was just a lemon, but they were all out of the 3590, so I bought a 2598 instead.
    - Don’t see that reviewed here, can I assume it’s basically the same as the 2597?
    - If so, other than the powered mount for the 3570 (which I never got to use anyway), is there any real difference between the 3590 and the 2598?
    - (Why does Garmin have so many nearly identical models, anyway?)
    Thanks!

    • Yes, it is basically the same as the 2597.

      The 2598 has some new features not found in the 3590 but lacks 3D terrain and buildings, the capacitive touch screen and HD traffic (unless your 2598 came with an HD traffic receiver).

      Because their marketing folks thinks it makes sense to. :-)

  19. I’m thinking of buying a Garmin 42LM or 50LM model to replace my Street Pilot 2720. Do these models talk to you when approaching a turn, etc.? and is this a suitable replacement for the 2720, with all the features being the same or better?

    • Yes, they call out turns and street names. But no, it’s not comparable to the 2720. The nuvi series is dumbed down. If you want a more robust feature set, go for the 54LM or the 2xx5 series.

  20. Ellen Sauerbrey says:

    I have a Magellen that just died after 27 months. I am thinking about a Garmin replacement but wonder what you can tell me about anticipated battery life?

  21. One review of the new 2798LMT mentions it does not give the distance to the destination in miles/kilometers only in time. Will be interesting to see if this is correct when you have time to test this new model. Do other Garmins give the distance in miles? would this be something Garmin could include in a software update or would it be impossible to add it later. No much of a computer nerd here.
    Thanks

  22. dave crews says:

    I have a Garmin Nuvi 2557 LMT . How can I get it to show longitude and latitude

  23. Rich after kicking tires for several years, with your help, I finally purchased the 2798LMT from GPSCity.ca. They have a long list of training videos for the 2798LMT to help get a newbe up to speed on how it operates. Guess I should have looked at them before asking you so many basic questions on GPS operations.
    I never would have figured out what unit to get without your excellent web site.

    Anyway thanks again for all your help

  24. gerald murphy says:

    I am going to Italy.What gps would you recommend for ease of use etc,How is Garmin 2370lt

  25. The 2370LT is a discontinued model. The only current model with U.S. and European maps is 2577LT. Rich does not seem to have it in his comparison chart. It is also hard to find on the Garmin site but if you search google, you will see that Garmin does have it hidden away somewhere on their site.

    Kind of strange that in the “Search by Feature” menu, Garmin has “Includes Canada Maps (15)” and “Includes Mexico Maps (11)” but no entry for “Includes Europe Maps (1)”. Almost as though they don’t want anyone to find it.

    Both amazon and gpscity have the 2577LT.

  26. Thank you for the comparison chart. It has helped me narrow down options. I need some more help for the specific application I am looking for. Which of the Garmins with Bluetooth can connect to a bluetooth headset, and not just a smart phone? Other features I need are Life time Maps, Multi point routing and Spoken street names or directions. Also is there a Garmin with an audio out jack which had Life time Maps, Multi point routing and Spoken street names or directions.?

  27. RBaillie says:

    Do any of these have the following feature?
    I’d like to drive west across multiple states on, say Route US 36. Google Maps shows a complicated series of turns to stay on Route 36. So, do any of these units allow me to specify such a route and tell where/how to turn to stay on the Route? (In theory, road signs would tell me this, but they’re easy to miss).

  28. Philosopher says:

    I have an old Nuvi, maybe 260or something. I paid to update maps but when attempting to do so years ago, I received an error message that the Nuvi did not have enough memory. so I bought and installed a micro SD (2 MG) and got the same failure message. I’ve used it (the old Nuvi) where I have a sense of the geography but rented one in parts of the country I’ve never been to (and abroad, since I cannot download foreign maps). I’m wondering whether, if I buy a new Garmin, whether it will become quickly obsolete because on the “not enough memory problem” even with anSD. thanks for any advice.

  29. Rich,
    Looking to upgrade from my 4-5yr old nuvi 1350LMT. First ones to catch my eye yet still fairly inexpensive are a manufacturer refurb nuvi 2595LMT and the new 55LM. Or even the 2597LMT? Any lean in your opinion?

  30. CHARLES FIELD says:

    Why is it that Garmin does not tell us that Microsoft versions 7 or 8 are needed to update life time maps!

  31. I have an older Garmin 265WT and I just purchased a 2595LMT, the older unit speaks clearly and in the new model it speaks with a bit garbled voice. Do I have a defective unit or have the sacrificed voice quality in the new model?
    Thanks
    George

    • Is Rich Owings out there? Is anyone responding on this thread?

      • Lowndes says:

        Hey, George, call Garmin Customer Service (919-397-8200), ask them about the audio quality. If it is malfunctioning, they can do something about it. They have always been very helpful to me.

  32. The “keypad” on my Nuvi 42 is not very sensitive. I generally have to hit a key very solidly several times before the system responds. By then I’m likely to have “fat fingered” it. Is this normal or is the device defective?

    • Lowndes says:

      Harry, I’m not Rich, but I can tell you that I had the same experience with a number of units starting with the 200 to the 2350, some a little better that others, almost a safety hazard but “not very responsive”, not like we are used to on a touchscreen phone. Then I got the high-deff screen on the 3590 and IT WAS GREAT!! Very clear, sharp, responsive and bright. I never regretted paying the price for that unit!! Now it is obsolete.

  33. IS THE Garmin nüvi® 2797LMT COMPATIBLE WITH THE FRICTION MOUNT?
    THANKS

  34. Lowndes says:

    Angelo, I have the 2797 mounted on the newer, flat, flexible friction mount and it works well. Garmin doesn’t have a name or model number for it that I can find. Sometimes Garmin does stuff that just makes you wonder. I do not have the “bean-bag” mount, can’t tell you about it. The”bean-bag” unit had a flat spot for the suction cup (windshield) mount, while the “flat” mount has the hinged goose-neck with ball as part of the mount. Tom-Tom has a much larger “bean-bag” mount that might work, too.

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