Sunday, March 18, 2012


Garmin nuvi 255 review


UPDATE: The nuvi 2×5 series has been officially discontinued. For current recommendations, see our auto GPS buyers guide.

The Garmin nuvi 255 is one of Garmin’s entry level navigators and, like the rest of the nuvi 2×5 series, it is loaded with features previously unavailable in the nuvi line or found only in high-end models. Before we get into those though, let’s look at the basics.

The 255 sports a 3.5″ touch screen and includes pre-loaded maps of the U.S. and Canada. It also has text-to-speech, so you’ll hear “drive one-half mile, then turn left on Oak Street.” instead of just “drive one-half mile, then turn left.”

Related units

  • Step up to the nuvi 255W, and you’ll get the same feature set on a
    wide 4.3″ screen
  • Going the other direction, dropping down to the nuvi 205, you’ll lose text-to-speech and maps of Alaska

I’ve been very impressed with the nuvi 2×5 series, which I dubbed the best entry-level GPS on the market in my hands-on review of the nuvi 205W. Check it out for a full list of the features found on the 2×5 series, including the nuvi 255.

More Garmin nuvi 255 reviews

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

Other Garmin nuvi 255 resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 255 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. I recently bought one of these. I had to send it back after a couple of days because the speaker was bad, it would give off static when giving directions.
    I now have had a second one for about a week and its speaker is going bad also. Not sure what the deal is, but I am trying to decide whether to replace this one or just send it back and go with another GPS.

  2. Vic,
    I’ve not heard of this problem before. Sounds like a bad batch. The best options may be to return to Garmin rather than the dealer, or get a refund and buy elsewhere.

  3. I have an old style C330 that is the size of a cantalope, and the maps are so out of date that half the time it’s sending me the wrong way up one way streets.
    Still, after buying the Garmin 255 today and putting in my locations for an upcoming 4 thousand mile round trip, I am taking it back to the store and digging out “Carmin” our old Garmin.
    The memory and storage of locations is totally screwed up on the 255, and the voice prompts sound like an angry old Hag with PMS.

    All the other female voices are also downright annoying, and the male American English guy barks directions like an ex Drill Sargent.

    No thanks, if I needed this kind of abuse driving I can get my wife to yell her usual incomprehensible directions at me from behind upside down maps

  4. Rich Owings says:

    You could go with a non text to speech voice, but there’s no need to pay for a 255 then. If you like everything else, I’d recommend a 205.

  5. Ted van Ryn says:

    Bought a Nuvi 255 earlier this year and love it. Drove from Texas to Canada without a problem. Now I drive for 15 miles and when I restart the Nuvi unsuccessfully keeps trying to load maps until I clear user data. Thinking this was a problem of not having enough memory I added 4G of microSD memory but that does not seem to help and the cycling and dumping of user memory continues. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  6. Rich Owings says:

    Two things to try:

    1. A firmware update

    2. A master reset. here are instructions copied from

    Note: A master reset will erase all waypoints or favorites and will restore your unit to the default factory settings.

    Start with the unit OFF and unplugged from power
    Touch and hold the lower right corner of the screen with an index finger or the eraser end of a pencil
    Continue touching and holding the lower right hand corner of the screen then power the unit ON
    Release the power button when the device powers ON
    You will see a new message: Do you really want to erase all user data?
    Remove your finger from the touchscreen when this message displays
    Touch Yes
    The device will automatically reset. Please follow the on screen prompts on the nüvi and when completed place your device in an area with a clear view of the sky until it acquires satellites.

  7. Seems I’m not the only one that hates the sound of the recorded voices on the navi 255. Other sites that review this product have many posters complaining about the same thing. One frustrated guy has even tried to download his old favorite, “Emily” voice from another Garmin..(To no avail)
    The 255 gets and holds the sat’ signal much better than my old C335, and has up to date (sort of) maps, but that’s little consolation when the Voice prompts sound like someone who is annoyed at being interupted from her nap, and snaps off the directions so fast that you just want to roll down the window and throw it off the next bridge.

  8. Recently recieved the Garmin nuvi255 as a going away present, and not two months after the Garmin went out. The adapter is indeed working, and even when i connect it to the computer, the garmin is not registering power. I do know I have had nothing but problems with this GPS and now I am stuck in a strange city having to wait weeks for service through Garmin. I knew i should’ve gone with a Tom-Tom.

  9. Rich Owings says:

    Will it power on at all? Does it go into mass storage mode when you connect to your computer?

  10. how do i delete selected locations from my garmin 255 there is a wayu to remove all locations,
    but i want to delete selected ones tks

  11. is it possible to add jcv files and lane assistant using unoffcial procedures ?

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