Sunday, March 18, 2012


Garmin nuvi 2450LM


The Garmin nüvi 2450LM 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.

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 2450LM adds lifetime map updates to this feature set. Here’s how it stacks up against some closely…

Related models

  • Step up to the 2460LMT to add lifetime traffic, Bluetooth and voice commands
  • Going the other direction, the 2450 drops the lifetime map updates
  • To see how the 2450LM 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.

NOTE: Portions of this review were adapted from my hands on review of the Garmin nuvi 2460LT.

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…


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.


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.


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.


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.



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 on the 2400 series though, which I’ll expand upon in my Navigation Performance section near the end of this review.


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 2450LM’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

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.


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.


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.


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 2450LM. 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.



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.



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.


Where Am I?

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


Multi-destination routing

The 2450LM 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.


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.


Notable is the fact that you can transfer routes from MapSource to the 24xx series (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.

Navigation performance

In testing another 24xx model, I found that 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 2400 series, 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 I was testing 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 2450LM pros

  • 5” screen
  • Powered mount
  • Lifetime map updates
  • 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
  • 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 2450LM cons

  • 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, making the 2450LM look very attractive.

The only significant downside I saw testing the 2400 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, I feel comfortable recommending any of the nuvi 24xx models, which may actually lay claim to being the top of the line nuvis 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 2450LM’s custom avoidance options – function over form if you will, and a lower price to boot! 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 2450LM reviews

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

Other Garmin nuvi 2450LM resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 2450LM 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. Hello Rich,

    I’m kind of undecided between the 2450LM and 1490LMT and research process, I found your website. I understand that these are very similar to each other besides each has pros and cons.
    Do both of them have anoying pop up ads or just the 1490LMT (because of the traffic “T” feature? If both do have pop up, where on the screen the pop up displaced at, top, middle, bottom or random?
    I like the 2450’s power mount.
    The bluetooth feature of 1490 is nice but might not perform well (e.g. noisy, static) is that true?
    How helpful and accurate the traffic feature on 1490LMT?
    I’ll need to order one in the next day or two so I hope that I can see your advise before I make a purchase.

    Thank you very much!

    • It depends on what screen they are on (the ads). They usually only show up on the traffic menu screen, or the main menu or map if you are stopped.

      Only the T (traffic) models have the ads.

      The 2400 series Bluetooth is much better quality than the 1400 series. Most Bluetooth units sound horrible for the person on the other end of the call. I was very impressed with the quality on the 2460LT/2460LMT.

      Traffic works better in the largest metros (think LA). Other areas you can expect lots of false positives and false negatives.

  2. Hello Rich,
    Need your assistance to decide between 1490LMT ($179) and 2450LM ($165) . The price I am getting is almost same for both (infact 2450LM is $15 less) . I am not concerned much about Bluetooth as my car already has it inbuilt. Also I am not much interested with mytrends.

    I am majorly looking for
    (a) quick re-route calculation when I am off
    (b) ability to choose the route from options provided
    (c) Provide most effective route when I have multiple destinations.

    While re-routing, along with ‘re-routing’ display on the screen, does both 1490LMT and 2450LM say (voice) such as ‘re-routing’ or ‘re-calculating’. Does both specify (voice) if I am off.

    Appreciate your quick response.


    • I would get the 2450LM and disable trafficTrends, which will speed up rerouting. Neither does a good job of presenting multiple route options, but the 2450LM will let you exclude roads on the fly.

      If I’m not mistaken, the 24xx series no longer says “recalculating.” There have been some complaints, so this could get added back in a future firmware update.

  3. Scott G says:

    I am looking for a replacement for a Mio Moov 500. We live in a smaller town that will not be covered by traffic reports but do take longer trips each year (looking at Boston, Washington etc this year). Down to 2350LMT or 2450LM. What are the main differences besides screen size and traffic (and is the traffic worth the difference). It seems like the features are an exact match after the firmware updates (from what I can tell). It looks like the price with rebates will be a wash right now. I hope to order tomorrow (before the sales go off).

    Thanks for the help.

  4. I just returned from a trip from Virginia to Colorado, using my new 2450LM. This is a replacement for a 750. It worked pretty well. But I was frustrated that when I touched the map I did not get a screen that allows you to move the map to see what is around you. I read this review again today and learned that I can add a Browse Map icon to the main screen. Now I can just go back, tap that icon and then move the map around in any direction with my finger. So I have everything I had with the 750 and much more. I love being able to switch between destination or via arrival time and distance. I also like how easy it is to edit a location, and I like the trip planner. I did get confused when I stopped the trip and then wanted to go back to it. It wanted me to go back to Virginia. I did a lot of trial and error learning as we went, which would not be possible if I was doing the driving, instead of navigating. Would have helped if I had read all the information you proided before we left. Thank you for all your helpful suggestions. I’m glad I followed you advice to get this unit.

  5. I would like to know how I can organized my Favorites by category. (Sorry for my English…) Presently, I can identified somes categories like : Friend, restaurant, Florida… with name and address, but it not appear when I open Favorites (in the model 260W, it was very interesting…)


    • I reply to myself… I think I was a little «impatient» cause when I entered about 10 news addresses in my Favorites, I saw all categories I created. I hope I’m clear… Presently, I received my Garmin 2450LM two days ago ( – 199$ instead of 249$) and I am very, very happy. It’s easy to use and I love de 5″ screan.

      I recommanded it…

  6. hello,

    It’s me again. I’ve got an other problem. I charged my Garmin 2450LM this night in my car (the GPS closed cause I was making simulation with it before). This morning, the battery was full charged BUT I have now a demo and I’m not able to close it. It’s said : «The mode DEMO is actived… To quit the mode DEMO, drive with the Garmin after receiving the signal GPS.» (sorry for my translation!)

    When I closed it, the same DEMO appeared. What can I do?!!!

    • Again, I reply to myself. I know WHAT’s happened… I’m not sure WHY buy I know WHAT… My Garmin has been reinitialized probably when I put it for charging with the simulation GPS actived. I supposed that the satellite try to give a signal and after a while, it thought that, because nothing happening, it have to initialize my GPS. Or, maybe, I pushed the button On/Off during more than 10 secondes (???) when I placed my GPS on my truck’s board!!! Really not sure about that!

      So, all my addresses, informations, POIS were erased because I didn’t saved it before!!! I’m learning and, at 60’s, I think I will becomed more patient, if it is possible!!!

      • You shouldn’t lose favorites, etc., unless you performed a hard reset.

        • I think I know now what I did… It is very easy to push the button ON/OFF (maybe a little bit too much…) and I probably push it more than 10 sec. when I installed my Garmin on the base in the truck. It was my first time… I wasn’t very «comfortable». Now, it’s ok. I can easely put it in and out. But I think that, the first time, it take me longer and if my finger was on this button (on/off) more than 10 sec., automatically the reset was done.

          The appreciation for my GARMIN 2450LM is : I love it. And I’m just beginning to learn how to use it. It’s easy to plan itinerary. The voice and the pronunciation are clear, the directions too. The maps with the junction View coverage are interesting, etc.


  7. For years I have been reluctant to purchase a GPS. I wanted to make sure that the GPS I bought would not take me here from Souhtport, NC to New York city without going to Chicago first.
    After reading your very helpful articles and searching on line I think that time to purchase maybe now.
    All of today’s GPS’s have many many bells and whistles. But to me the main objective of a GPS is (I think) to get you from point A to point B correctly without incident.
    With that said I have a couple of questions I hope you can answer.
    First are the present day GPS’s as good as they are going to get at least for a good while?
    Second what is coming down the pike?
    Third I have heard that the GPS’s would get you close (say 2 streets over) and leave you stranded without knowing where you are. Is this still true?
    Fourth about 3 years ago I was following behind my daughter’s car which had a GPS. She got there but I knew of at least one other road that would have gotten us there much quicker. (She said she programmed in quickest route) does this still happen?
    Thank you very much for your time.

    Bob M

    • 1. Live traffic could get better in the next few years (heaven knows it needs to).
      2. Better live traffic?
      3. Usually not. There are always going to be map errors, but you shouldn’t see that anymore than 1% of the time.
      4. Their “knowledge” of local shortcuts have improved, but if you know the area well, you may be better off relying on your own knowledge.

      • Thanks Rich that helps.
        One thing I have heard is many people do not upgrade their GPS’s and that’s why they have problems.
        One last question.
        I am leaning towards a 2450LM but I see that the 1450LM does pretty much that same but is about $30 cheaper. Do you think spending the extra $30 is worth it for the 2450LM?

        • Absolutely. Two main reasons come to mind without me even going back and looking in detail at the feature lists. First, the 2450LM has a powered mount, meaning you don’t have to mess with connecting the power lead at each use (it plugs into the mount). Also, the Advanced Detours option will allow you to exclude roads on the fly, so if you don’t like a generated route, it’s easy to change.

  8. Cool! If you get a chance after using it awhile, come back and let us now what you think.

    • Yes I will be glad to do that. We are heading up to the northeast later this month.

      One other thing I noticed that Garmin has what they call City Explore Maps for $9.99. We go to New York city twice a year. I have two adult kids that live there. One of my daughter has this Mac thing she carries with her all the time. If I am with her and want to know anything about the city she looks it up on her Mac. I do not know that I could get anymore info from City Explore Maps than she can on her Mac. Do you think this City Explore Maps would be worth the extra $9.99 that I would have to pay?
      Thanks (again)

      • My impression of the CityXplorer maps is that they are useful for two things…

        One is the enhanced pedestrian navigation that can route you using mass transit (though it may not route you as well as a local). This would be the only real benefit in the US.

        The other is if you’re traveling abroad. Say you’re going to Paris. A $10 or $15 CityXplorer map is a much better deal than having to buy City Navigator for France or for the whole of Europe.

        More info here…

  9. Misbah S. says:

    I came across your web site during my GPS search and found it very helpful in decision making. I am upgrading from garmin 680 and have narrowed my search to 2450LM vs 3790LMT. I hope you can help me with following questions:
    1-In your opinion how much slower is the calculation time in former especially if wrong turn is made?
    2- Which models have faster calculation times as compared with 2450LM and are also better or comparable overall?
    2-How much “popup ads” can one expect while actively driving and does limiting oneself to LM vs LMT get rid of popups?
    3-Is it worth eliminating popup ads at the sacrifice of traffic updates?

    • 1. I expect both are equally slow, as both include the trafficTrends historical road speed database. I’ve only found it to be an issue on longer routes, and trafficTrends can always be disabled which should give you faster routing.
      2. The 1xxx series is probably faster, because it doesn’t include trafficTrends.
      3. Typically you only see them if stopped or viewing traffic info. Yes, only “T” units have ads.
      4. They’ve never bothered me. They are small and low-key, but some people are more easily perturbed by ads.

  10. First Impression
    Rich you asked that I let you know how I liked my first GPS. Well so far I am not very impressed. I bought a Garmin 2450LM. It was delivered on Friday. I read the instructions (which I always do). They were not that helpful so I went to the Garmin website and downloaded the complete owner’s manual. Even with this complete manual for a first time user it could be a lot better. I went online plugged in my GPS for an update. After I downloaded all the info it told me I was up to date. What it does not say is, I know the computer is up to date but there is nothing that tells me the GPS has all that info downloaded.
    A friend of mine visited me last week who has a Garmin 1450 (I think). He said he programmed in my street and house number, It brought him right here. He said he has never had a house number problem.
    Unless I am doing something wrong (which with me is very possible) here are the problems I am having.
    1)The GPS picks up all the streets fine. It’s the house numbers that are off. I would say something like .2 of a mile. You set the GPS to such and such address. It gets you to the proper street and says you have arrived but you are about 10 houses off.
    2) The “Where Am I?” is also off (house numbers). Where it says I am is not exactly where I am. I have driven on about 6 other streets and still have the same problem.
    3)Our favorite restaurant in town that has been open for about 25 years is not listed in the restaurant section. Even though some that were opened a couple of years ago are listed.
    Garmin is closed today so I’ll call tomorrow to see what they say.
    Rich that is my first impression. Right now I am not a happy camper. I will report back to you on what if anything Garmin can do to help.

    Bob M

  11. I had the same problems with the update. Here what Garmin answered me : «Thank you for contacting Garmin International. If WebUpdater states the
    system software is up to date however an update is available through
    myDashboard, it is likely the myDashboard update is for some of the
    voice files installed within the Nuvi. You don’t need to update all of
    the voice files but can use WebUpdater to make sure any important
    supplemental files are up to date. Please connect the Nuvi to a
    computer and open WebUpdater. Select the option to ‘Check for
    additional updates’. Download any applicable Firmware for the Nuvi.
    Also be sure to download any supplemental files related to GPS Chipset,
    GTM XX, Localization, Text, Time Zone, Traffic and updates for the voice
    files used with the Nuvi.»

    And for the «Where I am», I have de same problem too : I’m supposed to leave at the 55 until the 29, on my street… But, that’s not really bothering me…

    I used Garmin twice with itinerary last week and I really appreciate it. Today, I made an other itinerary to visit some campgrounds in my area. I select 10 campgrounds (in my own POI’S), then I click on «optimize order». Super!

    And, about the instructions, I really like the «Aide (Help???)» and the «?» in the Garmin. A lot of information is in the Garmin itself.

    Sorry for you, Bob M. I hope with the using you will appreciate it like I do.


  12. I can not understand why this unit does not show the proper house numbers, this is the 21st century after all. I think that knowing the correct house numbers are very important. I am in a small town when I get to a big city those wrong numbers could take me blocks away from where I am supposed to be. This is one of the reasons I did not buy one years ago. They told me they have fixed that problem. If they haven’t fixed it then it’s going back.

  13. I tried with some addresses, for testing, and I didn’t have any problems with it; I arrived exactly at the good place. For me, the problem is just with the «Where I am».

  14. Like I say maybe it’s me. But if I ask to take me home no problem but if I type my home address in and ask it to take me it always says I have reached my destination about 1/4 of a mile before I get there.
    I’ll call Garmin tomorrow but I can’t think of what I am doing wrong

  15. I’m interesting to know the Garmin’s answer. Thank you.

  16. I’ll let you know

  17. The issue is that street numbers are in databases as a block, so it knows that this block has addresses 0-100, but to pinpoint an exact location, they are interpolated. All map providers have this problem.

    I think you’ll find that some are spot on, while others are off to some degree, one direction or the other. But it will generally get you very close.

  18. I called tech support. They really are helpful but….I was told there is nothing they could do about me not being able to find the exact location of my house. That’s just the way some things happen. One of my neighbors had a Garmin a least 4 years old. His finds the exact locations that my new one does. But I have another neighbor who has a Tom Tom his is about 3 years old. Guess what? When we programed my house and number in his it found it exactly. Does that mean Tom Tom won’t make errors? I doubt it.
    Since all I want is a GPS that can take me from point A to point B without a grand tour I think I will return this one and wait for technology to get better.

  19. Rich I think you are spot on about some being right on while others are off to a good degree. I returned my Garmin and bought a TomTom. Guess what it does not know where I live either. Even though my neighbors 3 year old seems to have no problem. When I called TomTom they told me exactly what Garmin told me. Sometimes they know where they are other times not.
    I am heading up to the northeast next week we’ll see what happens.

  20. Hi Rich,
    I am staisfactorily using my new 2450lm. Is there an quick and easy way to enter and store multiple addresses?

  21. Melanie Tisdale says:

    Is there a unit that comes with Caribbean and European maps automatically, and is so, with lifetime updates? Thanks for your help.

  22. Jennifer Cleeton says:


    Thank you so much for all your valuable research, opinions and information. Your website was very helpful with my decision to purchase the Nuvi 2450LM model. I do have one question, though. Since there is a POWER mount included with this model, I wanted to verify that I can purchase a FRICTION mount that will be compatible with the POWER mount since I do not want to mount the GPS on my windshield. Is there a FRICTION mount model you would recommend for the 2450LM that works well with the POWER mount that is included with the 2450LM model? Thanks in advance for your response.

  23. how do I set s via point say from a exit 409 to exit 364 INSTEAD. I tried several things but with no results. Any ideas?

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