Sunday, March 18, 2012


Garmin nuvi 205 review


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

The Garmin nuvi 205 is one of Garmin’s popular entry level navigators. Like the rest of the 2×5 series, it comes with features previously unavailable in the nuvi line or found only in high-end models. Before we get into the details, let’s look at the basics.

The 205 sports a 3.5″ touch screen and includes pre-loaded maps of the entire U.S. except Alaska. It does not feature text-to-speech, so you’ll hear “drive one-half mile, then turn left” instead of “drive one-half mile, then turn left on Oak Street.”

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 205

Step up to the nuvi 205W, and you’ll get the same feature set on a wider 4.3″ screen. Another model, the nuvi 255 keeps the 3.5″ screen, but adds text-to-speech and maps of Alaska and Canada, while the 255W offers these same features in a wide screen model. To see how the nuvi 205 stacks up against other models, check out my Garmin nuvi 205 comparison chart.

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 205.

More Garmin nuvi 205 reviews

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

Other Garmin nuvi 205 resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 205 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. James Shughart says:

    My NUVI 205 died after only a year and 1/2 of intermittent use. Driving home from Memphis Tenn. it developed a series of lines across the screen and nothing I did short of turning it off and letting it sit a while then starting it and having it reboot could get them cleared from the screen. This was all in vain because a short time after starting the lines were back and the unit was of no use. I did research on GPS and your units were supposed to be one of the best if not the best! Mine unfortunately did not came anywhere near your standards.
    I am looking at getting another GPS and don’t know if I feel safe giving Garmin another chance. Thank You.

  2. Um, you do realize that I’m not Garmin, right?

    These units come with a one-year warranty, but I know plenty of people who have had Garmin go the extra mile and replace units out of warranty. It may depend upon who you get, how nice you are, phase of the moon, or who knows what, but clearly their CS employees have been empowered to have some discretion. My advice is to call them rather than email them.

    • James Shughart says:

      Rich: Contacted Garmin and talked to a very nice CS rep. she was very informative and told me where to go to update my operating software. I did that but now the unit says it has no maps loaded with which to work with. I think the unit is completely hosed. The CS rep. said if it was indeed broke there would be a 70.00 charge for repair. I doubt I’m going to spend 70.00 plus postage to fix a 100.00 dollar GPS. So now I search for a replacement! My last experience with a Garmin has left me anything but impressed with their product. Granted it was the bottom of the line, but the unit was only used on trips approx. 5 times. Thank You for your assistance. JIM

  3. That’s disappointing. You’re the one that would have to invest the time, but I’d call them again and talk to someone else.

    • James Shughart says:

      Rich: that’s ok I hung on the phone for over 1/2 hour only to get the standard CS rep. Line. I guess they’re to big to care about one customer. Thank You for your assistance.

  4. Shirley B Saunders says:

    I usually keep my garmin in he car. I haven’t used it for a while & now it won’t come on. I pluged it in and still nothing. Its a Garmin nuvi 205. Could the cold have affected it.

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