Garmin GPS Navigation Comparison:
Garmin not only makes excellent fitness trackers but also navigation devices. We have sorted the Garmin sat navs according to their quality. If you use the navigation a lot in the car for business, you should definitely pay attention to a high-quality display. In addition, we also reveal in our table which models can be used horizontally as well as vertically.
If the navigation device is used outside the US, make sure that maps are available. You should update them before every trip. If this is not possible, the navigation device is only suitable for use within the US.
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Best Garmin GPS For Car
Best Garmin Car GPS Review
Garmin DriveSmart 55 & Traffic
Garmin Drive 51 USA LM GPS Navigator System
Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S
Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa
Garmin DriveSmart 65 & Traffic
All our reviews are based only on expert judgment or practical experience with most of the Garmin Car GPS we consider. We strive to ensure that our leadership is independent and as detailed as possible.
Garmin Car GPS Price:
Under 100 $:
- Garmin Drive 51 USA LM GPS Navigator System
Under 150 $:
- Garmin DriveSmart 55 & Traffic
- Garmin DriveSmart 65 & Traffic
Under 200 $:
- Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S
Under 300 $:
- Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa
Best Garmin GPS for Car
Garmin GPS Navigation Systems Buying guide:
How to choose the right product from the Garmin GPS review or comparison above.
The most important things in a nutshell:
- Anyone who wants to get to their destination without detours relies on navigation devices. Garmin is one of the leading manufacturers in this field and offers numerous products that can score with different strengths.
- One of the decisive criteria: the size of the display. Here, the sizes 5, 6, and 7 inches are common. The larger the display, the better the overview on the navigation device. However, more space is taken up on the windshield.
- The smartphone can also be easily linked to some devices. This means that calls can be conveniently accepted by voice command – eliminating the annoying and dangerous need to touch electronic devices while driving.
At the beginning of the 2000s, maps were still driving us crazy: Unhandy and confusing, they often led us astray and contributed to our despair on many a vacation trip. Fortunately, navigation devices began their triumphant advance around 2005, and by 2017 half of all German households were equipped with a navigation device.
Among the manufacturers of navigation devices, Garmin stands out as one of the most proven and popular brands – under the motto “Durable by Design”, they have dedicated themselves to numerous product lines in the field of navigation.
We took a closer look at the best Garmin navigation devices in our Garmin navigator comparison: In our buyer’s guide, you will find all the important information, for example, about the right display, the right map package, and the scope of additional features such as security packages.
1. What size should the perfect display have?
When looking for the right Garmin navigation device for your car, it’s easy to fall prey to the idea that bigger is better. In principle, this is not wrong, since a larger display makes it easier to see the route and other information.
But there are drivers who feel disturbed by a Garmin navigation device that is too big. This is because it covers part of the windshield and provides less of an overview in traffic.
The larger the navigator, the clearer several contents can be displayed in parallel.
When it comes to the question of the appropriate display size, the decisive factor is: Are you the type of driver who quickly feels disturbed by objects in the windshield area or rather someone who prefers a maximum overview on the navigator.
There are other aspects that can be decisive when it comes to the display: If you are a fan of touch displays, you should also buy a navigation device that offers this feature. The good news is that almost all Garmin navigation devices are equipped with a touch display.
An interesting feature is a tilting display that can be used in the usual landscape as well as portrait format.
If you do not want to miss this flexibility in your Garmin navigation system, you should pay attention to a tilting display.
2. The navigation functions: Are lifetime map updates standard with Garmin?
We will divide this chapter into two subchapters for a better overview and address the topics one after the other. First, we look at the map package and the question of how well you are provided with map updates. After that, we will look at aspects that concern handling in road traffic and with the navigation device.
2.1 Map package: Wide-area coverage and lifetime updates the rule
Before you buy your desired Garmin navigation device, you should of course think about the country or region in which you want to use it predominantly. If you live in Germany and want to use the Garmin sat nav primarily there as well as other European countries, Garmin offers numerous sat navs that come with maps for countries in Europe and America.
With the best Garmin sat nav for nothing stands in the way of a relaxed vacation trip on foreign roads.
If your personal Garmin navigator test winner should be able to guide a trip through North America, for example, make sure that your navigator can do this. Such map packages are offered less frequently.
One Garmin sat nav where you will find a North America package is the Garmin Nüvi 2559 LMT EU and NA.
Garmin Navigation Update: You don’t have to worry about the nuvi suddenly spinning because you’re on a new stretch of highway. Garmin provides all models with lifetime map updates.
2.2 Easy navigation: Live traffic info can noticeably reduce driving time
Garmin navigation devices are already equipped with many useful features: For example, the Real Directions function announces prominent waypoints that make it easier to recognize the right turn.
If you are unsure whether the current turn or the next turn is meant when a remaining distance of 150 meters is displayed, the comment “behind the red high-rise building” can be quite helpful.
Real-time traffic information ensures that traffic jams can be avoided.
A 3D intersection view is also helpful here, but this is usually also integrated in the Garmin navis.
Also helpful and frequently available in the various navigation devices: Live traffic information. These are processed by the device, whereupon an alternative route is calculated if necessary, for example, if the shortest route is blocked by a traffic jam.
3. Safety functions: An integrated camera for special safety features
The biggest feature in this area is the camera-based driving assistance function. This is also only available in a few of the Garmin GPS navigators, examples of which are the Garmin DriveAssist 50 LMT EU and the Garmin DriveAssist 51 LMT-D EU.
With this feature, you get a navigation device with a dashcam that permanently records what is happening in front of your car – accident histories are thus easy to reconstruct, which of course can be a great advantage, especially in the case of innocence.
A Garmin navigator with a dashcam can record any accident histories without gaps and thus be an important piece of evidence in the event of a dispute.
Who does not know it? You’re daydreaming at a red light, it turns green, and you’re abruptly jolted out of your tender dreams by the other drivers nervously hammering on the horn. A Garmin nav with camera detects when the light turns green and gently wakes you up before the bullies behind you do.
However, a navigation device with a camera has other advantages: for example, such a navigation from Garmin also acts as a collision warning device, which allows you to get through the hectic jungle hidden behind the term traffic more safely.
4. The other functions: More convenient and even safer with voice control and smart notifications.
Do you find displays with touchscreen functions practical, but they are still a bit fiddly to operate? Do you find pauses in driving to change something on the route nerve-wracking?
Since operating the device while driving is not only extremely dangerous but also tends to be prohibited, voice control is very practical.
This way, the destination can be changed while driving without taking your eyes off the road. If you play it safe on the road, these are functions you should not do without.
A Garmin GPS navigator with voice control makes it much easier to operate while driving, thus protecting you from traffic violations and, in the worst case, accidents.
You want to go one step further and also accept calls via the navigation device and by voice control?
Then you should pay attention to the Smart Notifications feature. Garmin can not only take over navigation but also read out incoming text messages, for example.
5. Excursus: What types of navigation devices are there?
In addition to the classic navigation device for the ordinary car, there are other categories that are tailor-made for other forms of motor vehicles.
We briefly introduce these types in the following table:
|Navigation device type||Features|
Of course, you do not necessarily have to drive a camper or truck to use a corresponding navigator. A larger and heavier car, for example with a trailer – or the desire for specific information on campsites can also cause car drivers to want to buy a corresponding navigator.
6. Questions and answers around the topic of Garmin navigation devices.
To conclude our guide, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Garmin navigation devices.
6.1 How can I update my Garmin navigation device?
Although the manufacturer offers a lifetime update for the Garmin maps, the update is not fully automatic.
To update, simply connect your device to the computer via USB cable and download the updates here, on the Garmin map updates page. After a little waiting time, the update is already done.
6.2 How do I charge my Garmin navigation device?
You can easily charge your Garmin navigation device in the car via the connection cable.
Alternatively, you can also charge the device on a computer, although the charging process may be a bit slower here.
Last but not least, you can also use an approved Garmin AC/DC adapter, which again makes charging faster.
Garmin accessories: charging adapter that can be plugged into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
6.3 Has the Reviewseye conducted a Garmin navigator test?
Garmin achieved the grade good in both the 5-inch and 6-inch devices with a total of four devices.
In addition, the company conducted a nuvi test in which apps for the smartphone were compared with real navigation devices. Here, too, Garmin sent an alternative into the race with the DriveSmart 50 LMT-D model, which was rated “good”.
6.4 How expensive is a Garmin navigation device?
You can already get a cheap Garmin navigator for around $130. Of course, accessories like a charging cable or a mount for attaching it to the car are already obligatory in this price range. More expensive models, on the other hand, can devour around $300 in acquisition costs.