Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin nuvi 2013 line brings 7″ screens, Real Directions, active lane guidance & voice-activated traffic

Garmin nüvi Advanced Series Up Ahead

Garmin nüvi Advanced Series showing new slide-in Up Ahead feature

UPDATE: Read my hands on reviews of the Garmin nuvi 52LM, 2597LMT2797LMT and 3597LMTHD.

Garmin is announcing their 2013 nuvi series today, with new additions to their Essential, Advanced and Prestige series. New to the nuvi line is a high-end unit with a magnetic mount, a couple of  7″ models, interface changes and new features including Real Directions, active lane guidance, and voice-activated traffic. Read on for more details…

Goodbye 3.5″, hello 7″

Garmin has dropped 3.5″ models from their Essentials line, with the bottom of the line 2013 nuvis sporting 4.3″ screens. On the high end, we’ll see the first nuvis with a 7″ screen.

Top of the line nuvi 3597LMTHD and magnetic mount

The new top-of-the-line 5″ Garmin nüvi 3597LMTHD includes a powered magnetic mount, as shown below.

Garmin nüvi 3597 LMTHD Magnetic Mount

Garmin nüvi 3597 LMTHD with magnetic mount

Garmin nüvi 3597 LMTHD

Garmin nüvi 3597 LMTHD in profile

Voice-activated traffic

New traffic models will provide traffic information by voice (a la TomTom), while owners of voice command models will be able to select a faster route by speaking a response. According to Garmin, the “voice integration lets drivers know if there is traffic on the route, what the expected delay is and if there is a faster route.” A revamped “slide-in” sidebar interface will provide much more information on the map screen regarding traffic incidents (see below).

Garmin nüvi Advanced Series Traffic

Garmin nüvi Advanced Series traffic slide-in window

Real Directions

This feature is similar to Magellan’s Landmark Guidance. Here’s what Garmin has to say about it…

The new feature uses recognizable landmarks, buildings, traffic lights and stop signs to give directions. For example, the new feature tells drivers to “turn right after the Starbucks®” or “turn left at the traffic light.”

The problem I found in Magellan’s case was the use of outdated POIs that no longer exist. Garmin says “the landmarks and buildings selected for directions have been checked rigorously for visibility, prominence and permanence” (emphasis mine).

Active Lane Guidance

Lane Guidance will now feature voice prompts as well as an animated graphic (image below).

Garmin nüvi Advanced Series ALG

Garmin nüvi Advanced Series Active Lane Guidance

Interface changes

I’m sure there are more, but here are the changes noted in today’s news release (the “Up Ahead” feature is shown in the image at the top of this page) :

The new and refined interface keeps the driving map onscreen at all times and displays additional information in slide-in windows, such as points of interest along the route and real-time traffic. A new Up Ahead function provides easy access to points of interest nearby. Up Ahead appears alongside the driving map and constantly informs of nearby services, including restaurants, fuel stations, hospitals and stores. In addition to speed limit warnings, the new nüvi units now also provide school zone warnings.

Also notable, from the images it appears that the street you are on will now be shown at the bottom of the screen.

Garmin nuvi 2013 series breakdown

The series breakdown as follows:

Essential series

This basic seriers includes models numbered 42, 44, 52 and 54. Thankfully the 49 state (US only) models (42/52) and the ones that also include Canada (44/54) have different model numbers, unlike in the 2012 series. The 42/44 models have 4.3″ screens, while the 52/54 models have 5″ screens. And of course, the LM models include lifetime map updates.

Advanced series

The Advanced series will include 4.3″ 24×7, 5″ 25×7 and 7″ 27×7 models. The screen resolution on the 7″ models will be 800×480, the same as the 35xx series, but higher resolution than 2012’s 25xx series. For the first time, Garmin’s HD Digital Traffic receiver can be added to all 2013 Advanced series models.

Only two models do not include lifetime maps and traffic. The 2577LT is presumably a transatlantic model, preloaded with North American and European maps. The other is the the 7″ 2757LM.

Prestige series

The 5″ 3597LMT HD is the only models in the Prestige series (although I’ll speculate that we could see additional models later in the year). It includes an HD traffic receiver.

Smartphone Link

Still no news on an iOS version of the Smartphone Link app, although they did say “we are looking into this.”

Models and list prices

Listed below are model numbers, list prices and a few other details.

Product Series Screen size Maps MSRP
nüvi 42  Essential  4.3″  49 states $119.99
nüvi 42LM  Essential  4.3″  49 states $149.99
nüvi 44  Essential  4.3″  US + Canada $129.99
nüvi 44LM  Essential  4.3″  US + Canada $159.99
nüvi 52  Essential  5″  49 states $139.99
nüvi 52LM  Essential  5″  49 states $169.99
nüvi 54  Essential  5″  US + Canada $149.99
nüvi 54LM  Essential  5″  US + Canada $179.99
nüvi 2457LMT  Advanced  4.3″  North America $199.99
nüvi 2497LMT  Advanced  4.3″  North America $229.99
nüvi 2557LMT  Advanced  5″  North America $219.99
nüvi 2577LT  Advanced  5″  North America + Europe $249.99
nüvi 2597LMT  Advanced  5″  North America $249.99
nüvi 2757LM  Advanced  7″  North America $249.99
nüvi 2797LMT  Advanced  7″  North America $299.99
nüvi 3597LMTHD  Prestige  5″  North America $379.99

 More notes

  • Garmin’s news release also noted what they have dubbed Real Voice which improves “the navigation voice itself…a new human voice that sounds better than ever before”
  • They also say that the Advanced and Prestige series have yet to pass FCC muster, so I expect we may see the Essential series available almost immediately, just like last year; I’ll note that they do say “the new nüvi lineup is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2013”
  • The previously leaked Garmin Express software was also formally announced today

More info forthcoming

I’ll either update this post or publish a new one as more info (Done! UPDATEnews release link, etc.) becomes available on the 2013 line, so stay tuned. There’s also bound to be some interesting discussion in the comments section below; let us know if you have questions. In the meantime, here are a couple more pics:

2013 Garmin nüvi Lineup

2013 Garmin nüvi Lineup

Garmin nüvi Essential Series 2013

2013 Garmin nüvi Essential Series

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. Cary Nelson says:

    Do you have any idea why there has not been a smartphone link for iOS? Just seems like a lot of users they are missing out on.

  2. Cary Nelson says:

    What time zone for 9am? Are you at or going to CES 2013?

  3. I wish they would do better on lane guidance looking a little further ahead. You can see it in the example screenshots where it shows that there are two exit lanes and either is okay. What I want is for it to pick one of the lanes based on the next turn after taking the exit.

  4. offthegrid says:

    I wish Garmin had gone wifi for connectivity instead of limiting this to Android phones oh well.

    Do users feel that Garmins Traffic Trends is getting close to IQRoutes?

  5. These look very nice, but I’m mostly happy with the Garmin 2460 I have now. The one thing that could get me to switch would be a MUCH better traffic system. The 2460 knows nothing about traffic on major arteries, and even on the major highways hardly ever knows about a jam before I’m already in it. Do any of these do significantly better — as good as Google Traffic, say?

  6. Cary Nelson says:

    Do you get units before they are released to review? Just curious when you may get these units to try out and publish reviews?

    • Rarely. I usually am able to get them soon after they are released for sale though. And I’ll often try to do a first looks post that goes over obvious interface changes, etc. right away. The full review typically takes about a month.

  7. Just contacted Garmin late last week about a new gps with a screen bigger than 5 inches. I was told nothing planned for now. Looking to upgrade from a NUVI 260 W. Can’t wait to see the new 7 inch model.

  8. Benazeer Abbas says:

    Hi Rich,

    My question is which size screen you will prefer 7″ or 5″?


  9. Benazeer Abbas says:

    Thanks a lot Rich and have a good day 🙂

  10. Carl, I’m not finding a lot of comparible units with all the options of the 2460LMT. The 2555LMT, no voice command or powered mount, the 2595LMT, no powered mount, the 3590LMT is about 30% more. This will be my first GPS can you suggest another Garmin I should be considering?
    Rich’s review of the 2460LMT back in March 2011 was pretty positive.


    • Benazeer Abbas says:

      Hi Herb,

      I am also searching for GPS with similar function. I have reached to conclusion just wait for 2013 Garmin nuvi line. Probably I will buy 2597LMT., it will be $249. It will be in market on 1st May.

  11. I think if someone has space to hang a 7″ nav screen over their dashboard they’ll be looking hard at an iPad mini LTE as well.

  12. What are the odds of a 7″ Nuvi Prestige also this year? Also wondering what the difference in screen quality is on ‘prestige’ vs the ‘advanced’ line….i currently have 3590lmt…has a glass screen…are the ‘advanced’ matte/plastic coated?…any other glaring quality diffferences between adv/prest? I am giving some thought to moving up to 7″ from 5″. Thx & rgds.

    • Hi Andy,

      Why you wanna move from 5″ to 7″? According to Rich Owings 7″ is too big for car unless you have truck or RV. I have a car so bit reluctant after his opinion. What’s your opinion?

      • HI Benazeer,

        I’ve just been thinking about it…i wouldn’t mind trying one out….i have a full size 4×4 pickup & have my 3590 on windshield just under rearview….i’m a bigger guy so have seats at rearmost position…so considering windshield rake the distance to eye is fairly large. It’s completely usable and readable, but was curious about how the bigger would be.. 7″ is a ton more screen than the 5’er…may be too much like you say…i dunno…


    • I expect we’ll see more 5″ Prestige models, but I’m not sure about a 7″. If we do, it’s more likely to be in the same housing as the 2797, but with more 3597 features.

      The Advanced series will have a resistive touchscreen, the Prestige will have one like your 3590LMT. The Prestige will also come with HD traffic.

  13. Hi Andy,

    Yes I guess it may suit you. I am curious about 2013 line. Especially, 2597LMT and 2797LMT. Lets see.

  14. Garmin mentions the 3-axis electronic compass in their FAQ at{c8e042e0-7734-11e0-c88f-000000000000 dated Feb 2012. It mentions that it is available in the nuvi 2360 and the nuvi 3400 and 3500 series devices, but I can’t find any mention of the compass in the product pages on their web site or in the manuals.

    How can I find out if any of the 2012 or 2013 *auto* GPS models have the compass? I think having this feature in pedestrian mode where the map will automatically rotate to match the direction I am facing could be very handy. I’ll try calling their product support tomorrow, but any clues about this would be appreciated!


    • I believe they are now restricting this to the Prestige series, so the 34xx and 35xx are it for the 2012s. For the 2013 models, the 3597LMTHD *should* have it.

      More info:

      • Thanks Rich. How did you come up with your list of 2012 auto GPS nuvis that have the tri-axial compass? By trying them out? There is no reference to the tri-axial compass in any of the manuals for these auto GPS units, nor on any of Garmin’s product web pages, which is baffling because I would expect that Garmin would tout this feature as a selling point! So, is my only option to try a 2013 unit in a retail store (when they are available) to see if they have this feature or not? Why isn’t Garmin stating that some of the nuvis have this feature?


        • I don’t recall for sure. It may have been from the same link you posted. I don’t know why they don’t mention it. I plan to test the 3597LMTHD and will try to remember to report on whether or not it has this feature.

          • I just spoke with Garmin product support. They sent me the email below. Essentially, I believe I need to look for a nuvi that has the Dual Orientation Display feature.


            from: [email protected]
            date: Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 8:38 AM
            subject: What is dual orientation display and how does it work?

            What is dual orientation display and how does it work?
            Devices with a dual orientation display can be used either vertically (portrait) or horizontally (landscape). This feature is only available in the nuvi 2360 and the nuvi 2405, 2505, 3400, 3500, and 3700 series devices.

            The nuvi 3700 series uses an accelerometer to detect when the device has been rotated and to automatically adjust the display accordingly.

            The nuvi 2360 and the nuvi 3400 & 3500 series devices contain a 3-axis electronic compass. Like the accelerometer, the 3-axis electronic compass also detects when the device has been rotated and automatically adjusts the display. The electronic compass will also detect which direction you’re facing and point the position indicator accordingly.

            The nuvi 2405 and 2505 series devices do not change orientation automatically. To change the display orientation manually:

            Touch Settings on the main menu
            Touch Display
            Touch Orientation
            Touch the desired setting
            Touch Save
            The screen is now in the desired orientation. Repeat the above steps to change the orientation as needed.

          • Not really. Note that the the 3700 series auto-rotates but has no electronic compass.

  15. Not having a GPS yet, I’ve been thinking about the 7″ 2797LMT and just attaching it to the back of the sun visor, which is down a lot anyway. anyone else already using the visor?


  16. Benazeer Abbas says:

    Hello Rich,

    I have three more questions.

    1. What’s your guess 2597LMT will be power mounted?
    2. 2597LMT will have “live traffic” feature?
    3. I think 2597 LMT will have “Garmin traffic” feature, right?

    Same questions for 2797LMT.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    Benazeer Abbas

    • 1. No, it definitely will not. Only the 3597LMTHD will.
      2/3. I’m not sure what you mean by “live traffic” vs “Garmin traffic.” All T units will have traffic.

  17. Benazeer Abbas says:

    Hello Rich,

    I link below they have talked about “live traffic”. That’s why I was curious whether 2595LMT will have this feature or not.


    Benazeer Abbas

  18. Cary Nelson says:

    @Benazeer, Yes the HD traffic on the 3597 is free for the life of the unit but you do have to make sure you are in an HD area. The HD traffic is suppose to give updated traffic faster then the other traffic services. Look here for the coverage areas,

    • Benazeer Abbas says:

      Hello Cary thank you again for replying. I wasn’t asking about HD traffic, I was asking about “live traffic” in 2597LMT. Can you guess about this. Below link is describing the types of traffics.


      Benazeer Abbas

      • Cary Nelson says:

        I was referring to where you asked about the 3597 above. The only units that have the live traffic built in where the Nuvi 1690 and nuLink 1695 which are few years old now. Otherwise the only way get live traffic on new models is you have to use the smartphone link app on a compatible android phone, which there is a yearly fee to use the live traffic.

  19. Thanks Cary. Any 2012 or 2013 models with Bluetooth can use the Smartphone Link Android app.

  20. Larry Shick says:

    I am an old geezer who uses a Nuvi 1450 to plan trips in a motor home (our only home). New map updates plus download fees for Verizon make it seem a new unit is more cost effective than updating the old. I am led to the Nuvi 2757LM as a possible choice. I plan trips using City Navigator and then dump them to a data card for the Nuvi. Then when traveling I can call up each route in succession. That’s a long preamble to my question! Is the 2757 the best choice for my use? I really do not need traffic updates, nor a whole lot of what’s coming up along the road! At my age the interstate rest stops are more important! I like the 7″ display, but the 5″ on the 1450 is fine. I suppose I will have to get the latest version of City Navigator too. Or is there a simpler, less costly option I have not discovered? Any comments or suggestions will be gratefully accepted.

    • I like the 2797LMT I’m currently testing. You can put rest areas in the Up Ahead feature, which is nice.

      You should be able to download City Navigator to your computer the first time you update the maps. I should have a review done in a few weeks, but I think the 2757LM would work well for you.

      Hope this helps.

  21. Hey update your Blog!
    IOS is supported now…IOS5 only!
    This has been out almost a week and nobody wants to review.

    I went on a 200 mile trip and found my unit to be wonderful!!!
    I could actually hear the GPS voice and it heard mine.
    Very accurate tracking except in one spot where it looked like the mappers screwed
    up but it tracked very fast, no snotty voice telling you it is recalculating “remember that”
    This is a huge GPS at least I do not squint anymore.
    Definite must buy and you can get them with free shipping and no tax!

    This is an upgrade/update from my 885T.

    • Norbert for those of us not up to speed on the many GPs units or terminology. Whats and IOS5 or an 885T?
      I have made cardboard cutouts of the 5″ and 7″ units to try and decide if the 2797LMT is too big for my truck. Seems like it will work just fine. Also this new info being out for just a week makes it a bit quick to update a website which already has a massive amount of usefull info for us newbies.
      Thanks for your comments, looking forward to more of your helpful imput.

      • Sorry IOS5 should have been Apple Operating system IOS 6.x.x for Iphone.
        And Nuvi 885t is/ was a popular Garmin GPS.

  22. Steve K. says:

    Hi All,

    Just picked up the 2797 LMT, with the 7 inch screen. So far so good. I have a Nissan Titan P/U and it fits nicely. I can still see my windshield wipers right above the top of the unit so for me no issues with blocking too much of my view.
    I’m still tinkering around with it since this is a big upgrade from my NUVI 265 W.

  23. Shaji Renic says:

    I have a Nuvi 3597, problem is, i am not able to hear the voice even after adjusting the volume up to Maximum level. Can some one help me on this.

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