Best Garmin GPS Device Reviews 2023

Looking for the best Garmin GPS Device? Garmin is one of the most esteemed names in the satellite navigation arena, and has been praised for producing easy-to-use portable navigation devices that are designed to increase driver awareness. We do have a review specifically for the 5 best portable GPS navigators in the market (which includes 3 of Garmin’s older models from the nüvi® line) however since that review was written Garmin has released its 2016 line of GPS devices. Since these new models are loaded with great features, many of which are brand new, we decided that it was only right to have a separate review dedicated for the top 5 Garmin PND’s considering the company has sold over 100 million devices since their inception in 1989.
TopProducts may earn commissions when you purchase through links on our site. Learn More.
Our Top Choice
Garmin DriveLuxe™ 50LMTHD Premium Portable Navigator
With the introduction of the DriveLuxe, Garmin proves yet again that there’s still a dire need for a dedicated PND, even if you have a GPS receiver such as a smartphone or tablet.
All metal and glass body. Lightweight at just 231 grams. MicroSD card slot for expanded storage. Bluetooth calling with SmartLink app. Crisp 5.1-inch touchscreen. Lifetime maps and traffic updates.
Some routes might be complicated.
5.57”W x 3.16”H x 0.622”D 
50LMTHD - 800 x 480 pixels
Best Value
Garmin DriveAssist™ 50LMT Portable Navigation Device
The Garmin DriveAssist™ 50LMT is yet another class leading GPS that is extremely lightweight. It’s fitted with a dash cam, making it distinct from other PND’s in the 2016 Garmin PND lineup.
Lifetime North America map updates, dash cam records on impact. Wealth of driving features. 5-inch 480x272-pixel capacitive touchscreen. 2 MicroUSB card slots. Voice command system.
Sometimes crowded interface. Battery life only 30 minutes when unplugged.
5.5"W x 3.3"H x .8"D
50LMT 480 x 272 pixels
Garmin DriveSmart™ 70LMT Portable Navigator
With a rich feature set that includes a pinch-to-zoom display, the DriveSmart™ is yet another great addition to the Drive family. It can be ordered with a 5, 6 or 7-inch display.
Driver alerts. touchscreen. Hands free calling, Bluetooth enabled. Voice commands.
User guide only available online.
7.4"W x 4.4"H x .8"D
70LMT - 800 x 480 pixels
Garmin Drive™ 60LMT GPS Navigation System
If you just can’t resist your wanderlust, there’s no better feeling than getting in your vehicle with a trusted road companion and the Garmin Drive™ 60LMT is just that.
4 different variants to choose from. Millions of points of interest. Text to speech announces actual road names at turns. Lane assistance and junction view. School zone and speed limit indicators.
Traffic warnings not as comprehensive as other devices in its segment.
6.7"W x 3.7"H x .8"D
60LMT - 800 x 480 pixels
Garmin Night Vision babyCam™ for Garmin GPS
Ever wanted to keep an eye out on your kids while you’re driving even in low light conditions? Now you can with the Garmin babyCam™.
Seamlessly connects to most Garmin satellite navigation devices. Night mode for use in low light car interiors. Wireless video streaming to screen. Easy to setup. Battery or USB powered.
Only connects with Garmin navigators. Picture quality lower than HD.
86.5 x 39.9 x 43.7 mm

Related Reviews
Best GPS Navigation System
Best TomTom GPS
Best GPS Watch
Best Bluetooth Car Headset

What is the Best Garmin GPS Device?

In a world where literally every mobile device has some sort of GPS receiver, one would think that portable navigation devices (PNDs) are both archaic and superfluous. But this perspective over-simplifies what these devices are used for, as there are several good reasons to use a standalone GPS device – for instance, bringing it into situations you cannot or would not bring a phone. Regardless, the market exists, and Garmin innovates and sells an astounding roughly 10 million units each year catering to this demographic. With that discussion out of the way, let’s explore the 5 best PND’s available currently in the company’s lineup.
Our Top Choice
Although the Garmin DriveLuxe™ 50LMTHD includes a magnetic suction mount and mini USB power cable, the one significant accessory missing from the package is the BC™ 30 Wireless Backup Camera. When paired with your Garmin PND, it allows you to see what’s behind you in reverse mode right on your GPS navigator’s display and can even transmit video up to 45 feet.

Garmin DriveLuxe™ Portable Navigation Device with Hands Free Calling and Smart Notifications

Garmin is one of the market leaders in satellite navigation whose 50LMTHD - with its time tested design and premium features - can be your smart and informative driving companion. If you’re an avid road warrior and traveler, the DriveLuxe will serve as a great running mate. It comes with several innovative features, including customized smartphone notifications and distinct lane guidance on a split-screen

Listed below are just some of the features that make the 50LMTHD a must-have PND.
  • Aesthetically pleasing 5 inch navigator with sleek metal design and powered magnetic mount
  • Comprehensive maps of North America with lifetime map updates
  • Garmin’s fastest traffic solution - HD Digital Traffic
  • Voice activated navigation and Bluetooth hands free calling
  • Increased driver awareness, including upcoming school zones, speed changes, sharp curves and more
  • Customizable smartphone notifications let you display texts, calls and other app alerts right on the clear TFT 800 x 480 pixels display
  • MicroSD card located at bottom of the device for expanded storage
  • Lifetime updates automatically downloaded using the Garmin Express Program
  • 1 year manufacturer warranty
  • Receives and displays video from up to 45 feet away recorded by the optional Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera
For a portable Garmin GPS navigation device that performs just as well as it looks and is updated regularly, don’t think twice with the DriveLuxe 50 LMTHD. It can also be ordered in a bundled version to include a min portable friction mount (flexible style).
Construction and Design
Portable navigation devices don’t have to be underperforming, bulky, ugly and pesky boxes. They can be beautiful and deliver a blistering performance too, which is exactly what you get with the Garmin DriveLuxe 50LMTHD. This new addition to Garmin’s remarkable lineup of navigation devices arrives with everything you need to be the king on the road, including a mini USB power cable and suction mount. The 50 DriveLuxe boasts a robust build, yet is a real eye-catcher with its full metal and glass body. Apart from its dual orientation glass display, the other feature that sets the DriveLuxe 50 apart is the HD Digital Traffic, which delivers updates to your device roughly every 10 seconds over the HD radio system.

Tipping the scales at just 231 grams, this PND device is suited to the task with a large 5.1 inch TFT color 800x480 pixels resolution display and a neatly tucked away MicroSD card slot (card not included) at the bottom. In addition, Garmin was generous to equip this portable navigation with a solid state drive, enabling quick searches for your hot spots and destinations. Powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery, the DriveLuxe will even work when unplugged - albeit only for an hour. The front of the device is fitted with a microphone to allow you to perform voice enabled programs without ever touching the device.

The upper right side of the back is where you will find the power button. One the bottom right corner there is a large speaker. While most PND window suction mounts are a bit clunky, Garmin ups the ante by incorporating a very strong magnet on the arm that lets you easily drop the device into position. The car charging cable included in the box can be connected to the mounting arm via the mini USB port. The included USB cable allows you to connect the device to your computer to sync and update the device.
Performance and Ease of Use
The abbreviation LMTHD simply means that this PND device comes with a lifetime of maps and traffic updates, something most smartphones, tablets and other navigation apps fail to provide. These aren’t your regular map and traffic updates, usually far behind several years of development. Garmin sets the gold standard by refreshing your 50LMTHD PND with the latest maps, points of interest and navigation information 4 times per year.

If you hate traffic as much as we do, the DriveLuxe 50’s Traffic Services feature will not only help you steer clear of traffic caused by accidents, construction and other delays, but also guide you around commonly congested areas, even suggesting alternative routes - a feature that’s lacking in most smartphones, tablets and other navigation apps. The DriveLuxe 50 is truly a joy to use, and greets you with 2 options when you first start the device: “Where To?” and “View Map?”. If you’d like to use voice enabled search for your destination, simply state “Voice Command”.

Tapping the “Where To?” icon opens up a whole new display with dedicated icons for address, home, recent, saved, categories, Foursquare and trip planner. Considering that this Garmin PND is highly customizable, you can even add shortcuts such as cities, favorites, intersections and more. Apps include smartphone link, smart notifications, backup camera, voice command and baby cam. In addition, the DriveLuxe by Garmin also offers several different settings to tailor the device according to your needs, including traffic settings, display settings, route options, POI (points of interests) and more.

Another premium feature of the DriveLuxe 50 is its ability to interact with your smartphone via Bluetooth to accept calls, read your phone notifications aloud and even get local weather information. This feature is especially great for those with older or less high-tech vehicles to enjoy navigation and Bluetooth calling, all from one device. When all is said and done, the primary goal of the DriveLuxe is to guide you in the best way to your exact location, which it does this meticulously. For example, if you’re looking for the Apple Store in the Galleria Mall, Houston, this Garmin navigator will not only suggest the best entrance to the mall, but also let you know that the Apple store is located on Level 2 near Henri Bendel.

Although the DriveLuxe 50LMTHD is equipped with most of the features one could possibly want in a PND, Garmin does offer an extensive range of navigation devices and accessories that may be a better fit, so if this one isn’t for you, check out the rest of their lineup.
Best Value
The Garmin portable friction mount is a great accessory to buy with the DriveAssist 50LMT PND, keeping your device in sight and easy to remove from your vehicle. In addition, it can be easily moved across vehicles, which is especially great if you have more than one vehicle.

Garmin DriveAssist™ GPS Navigation with Built in Dash-Cam, Real Time Directions and Lifetime North America Maps

Garmin makes a point of releasing new satellite navigation devices with the latest technology almost each year. Unsurprisingly, each model they release is a hit in the PND market, and the DriveAssist™ 50LMT is no different.

Let’s get right to the features of this great driving companion.
  • Innovative 5 inch PND device
  • Onsite dash cam continuously records while you drive and saves video on impact
  • Detailed maps of North America loaded onto inbuilt solid state drive
  • Free lifetime maps (Canada, Puerto Rico, plus most of Mexico and several major Caribbean islands) and traffic updates
  • New integrated camera can be rotated left and right, allows for lane departure warnings and forward collision warnings
  • Increased driver awareness with driver alerts, including upcoming school zones, sharp curves, speed changes and more
  • Smart notifications keeps you connected via Bluetooth technology by pairing with your smartphones and receive notifications right on the device
  • Lithium ion battery delivers juice for 30 minutes when unplugged
  • Lightweight at just 191.4 grams
  • 2 microSD card slots – 1 for dash cam recording (4 GB included) and 1 for expandable storage (not included)
  • 1 year manufacturer warranty
  • Ability to customize POI and 1000 waypoints preprogrammed into the device
The Garmin DriveAssist 50 is truly an all in one navigation device with bigger brains than mainstream mapping solutions found in other software and hardware platforms.
Construction and Design
First things first! The DriveAssist™ 50LMT sets itself apart from other newly released 2016 Garmin PND’s in several ways. For starters, on the positive side, it’s lighter than the DriveLuxe 50 however it offers less battery power - only 30 minutes when unplugged. Next, it offers the lowest pixel resolution (480 x 272 pixels) across the entire new lineup, but on a brighter note is a 5.1 stunner that offers plenty of real estate for maps and images, along with pinch-to-zoom touchscreen control. This interface allows you to scale and move the map easily as you see fit, with a single tap on the display allowing you to see Up Ahead details on your route such as gas stations, restaurants and more.

Apart from delivering 4 free map updates each year, the DriveAssist 50 also allows you to set milestones to keep track of how far you have to go until you reach your destination. The distinct feature of the DriveAssist compared to other Garmin PND’s in this review is its camera. The camera is a key differentiating feature from other Garmin satellite navigation devices, such as the nuviCam. Although the camera of the DriveAssist is firmly affixed to the device, it is still able to move left and right. Since you’ll want to adjust the angle of the screen towards you, the camera can be rotated to accordingly.

Mounting the DriveAssist 50 is yet another area that sets the device apart from others in the Garmin Drive range. It is designed to hang down from the top of your windscreen, owing to the fact that the camera is located just below where the mount connects to the device – you could however turn the mount the other way around if you like. The quick release is crafted of plastic and spans the entire height of the device, with a gap in the back for the camera to poke through.

With regards to the design of the onscreen menu of the DriveAssist 50, it remains the same as several generations of Garmin portable navigators, where you are greeted with two large icons: “Where to?” and “Search”. In the box you receive a GPS device, suction cup mount, 4GB microSD card(inserted), mounting clip with ball socket, USB cable, traffic antenna with 12v power plug, important safety and product information and welcome guide.
Performance and Ease of Use
The dash cam of the DriveAssist 50 is able to capture video at both 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD and 1,280 x 720 resolutions. Regardless of the settings you choose, footage is recorded at 30 fps (frames per second). The 4GB microSD card included in the box is dedicated to dash cam recording and is capable of holding for roughly 80 minutes of Full HD footage. A nice touch by Garmin is that you don’t have to go in and manually remove the older files when the SD card is full as the device simply overwrites the oldest files with new ones. Although you can’t disable this loop-recording feature, you can however press a button to save the most recent clip and prevent it from being overwritten, which is not to be confused with the automatic recording feature in the event of an impact.

The dash cam of the DriveAssist 50 is really just the icing on the cake, as the device offers a plethora of other features too, starting with the Real Vision System. This system basically brings in a camera view with an icon to represent the path you need to take. Its Forward Collision Warning is activated only when you’re driving at speeds more than 30 mph, sending an alert to you via notification through one of three sensitivity levels if you’re approaching the vehicle in the front too quickly. The Lane Departure warning sets in roughly at 35 mph and alerts you if you’re swaying across lanes on the freeway.

There’s even a Go Alert, which pings you if you aren’t moving when the car in front of you is, so you can start moving too. Although all the above features might prove useful at some point, the key features of this device are Incident Detection and Data Overlay. Incident Detection is activated when the embedded G-Sensor senses that a crash has occurred and consequently saves the video file, and the Data Overlay puts a stamp on the video of the location and time for use as evidence. And to seal the deal, you have most of Garmin’s treats from the less decked-out cousins of the Drive range, including hands free calling, 3D views, smart notifications, weather updates, and even the ability to view live traffic surveillance on the screen of the DriveAssist 50.
If you have a mount and don’t appreciate the additional products available in the bundled version of this Garmin GPS 7-inch navigator - the DriveSmart™ 70LMT – is also available as standalone device, as well as in 6 inch and 5 inch sizes.

Garmin DriveSmart™ 7 Inch Portable Navigation Device - Also Available with 6” and 5” Display Screen

The DriveSmart™ 70LMT portable navigator is one step above Garmin’s budget offering, ringing in with most features seen in the higher priced models such as touchscreen and smart notifications.

Some of the noteworthy features of the DriveSmart™ 70LMT include:
  • 7 inch crisp, touchscreen display
  • Comprehensive free lifetime map updates for North America and traffic updates
  • Voice activated navigation and Bluetooth calling
  • Customizable smartphone notifications lets you display text, calls, app alerts and more
  • Increased awareness with driver alerts, including upcoming school zones, sharp curves and speed changes
  • Embedded lithium-ion battery powers the device for up to 1 hour when unplugged
  • 800 x 480 pixels WVGA color TFT display with white backlight
  • MicroSD card slot for expanded storage
  • Ability to customize POI and add more
  • 1 year manufacturer warranty
  • 1000 waypoints preprogrammed into device
Construction and Design
Basically, if you’re looking for a portable navigation device without a glass dual orientation display and HD Digital Traffic like the DriveLuxe or without a camera like the DriveAssist, but still would like to enjoy features such as lifetime map updates, voice activated navigation and a big 7 inch WVGA color TFT with white backlight display, the Garmin DriveSmart 70LMT PND won’t disappoint.

The DriveAssist PND can be had in 2 other sizes – 6 inch and 5 inch which are available in 4 distinct models. These are the Garmin DriveSmart™ 50LMT (5inch screen, Lifetime Maps), Garmin DriveSmart™ 50LMTHD (5 inch screen, Lifetime Maps & Traffic Updates), Garmin DriveSmart™ 60LMT (6 inch screen, Lifetime Maps) and Garmin DriveSmart™ 70LMT (7 inch screen, Lifetime Maps).

The only aspect that varies across the models in the DriveSmart™ line, apart from display size and weight, is that the HD Digital traffic is available only with the DriveSmart™ 50LMTHD. In terms of design, the Garmin DriveSmart 70LMT is a joy to hold, and a bit slimmer than other Garmin devices. The capabilities of all the devices in the DriveAssist lineup are the same, so it’s basically just of matter of choosing between the three sizes.
Performance and Ease of Use
With regards to performance and ease of use, Garmin leaves nothing to chance and brings in most of the features of the Drive Assist’s older siblings, such driver awareness features, Real Directions powered by Foursquare, and notifications if the speed limit is changing or you’re nearing a school zone. The DriveSmart does however add a handful of extra features over the basic Drive model; including voice commands and the ability to pair with your smartphone for notifications.
If you’re looking for both detailed US and Canada maps, the Garmin Drive 60 USA + CAN LMT is a great choice.

Garmin Drive™ Portable Navigation Device with Driver Alerts, Garmin Real Directions and Lifetime US Maps – Available with 6” or 5” Display

With an integrated generous 6 inch touchscreen combined with free traffic updates (depends on the model you choose) and lifetime maps of either US or Canada or both, the Garmin Drive truly makes a great driving buddy.

Here are a few other noteworthy features to get you over the fence.
  • Device prompts you to take a break if you’ve been driving for a long time
  • Comes with Garmin’s traffic receiver for lifetime free traffic info
  • 6 inch dual orientation display with touchscreen capabilities
  • Can be ordered in 4 different variants
  • Can be ordered with US or Canada maps or both
  • Direct Access feature provides door to door directions within select airports, universities and malls
  • Up Ahead feature informs of nearby milestones or services along a specific route
  • Driver alerts for upcoming red light and speed cameras, sharp curves and fatigue warnings
  • MicroSD card slot for expanded storage
  • 1 year manufacturer warranty
Construction and Design
The Garmin Drive series portable navigator can be had in four different variants, namely the Garmin Drive™ 50 (5 inch screen), Garmin Drive™ 50LM (5 inch screen, Lifetime Maps), Garmin Drive™ 50LMT (5 inch screen, Lifetime Maps & Traffic Updates) and Garmin Drive™ 60LMT (5 inch screen, Lifetime Maps and Traffic Updates on a 6 inch display). Regardless of the Drive model you choose, what you lose from the DriveLuxe, DriveAssist and DriveSmart are voice activation navigation and smartphone notifications. Furthermore, you can order the Drive 60LMT with either US or Canada maps or both.

Gamin has equipped even their basic Drive model with features only seen in higher priced PND’s, including an internal solid state drive, 1000 waypoints, up to 1 hour of battery life when the device is unplugged and a 480 x 272 pixels or 800 x 480 pixels display, both with a backlight. The 6 inch color touch display is extremely clear and provides access to maps of nearly every inch of the United States or Canada or both (depending on the model you choose).

This device can also be paired with the BC 30 wireless rear view camera to add a further layer of security when you’re backing up. The weight and physical dimensions do vary across the Drive lineup starting from 5.5 inchW x 3.3 inchH x .8 inchD to 6.7 inchW x 3.7inchH x .8 inchD and 170.8 g to 241 g for the Drive 60 LMT. The glass display offers superb touch responsiveness and the user interface remains unchanged compared to most other Garmin PND’s.
Performance and Ease of Use
When it comes to performance and ease of use, the Drive 60LMT comes in with most of Garmin’s goodies, including the ability to speak street names, lifetime traffic updates, route avoidance, speed limit indicator, lane assist, junction view, ability to view upcoming points of interest, Garmin’s Real Directions and Foursquare points of interest. It does lack an integrated camera (DriveAssist) and the voice activated navigation as seen on its older cousins. But all in all, Garmin did up the game with the Drive 60LMT with premium features such as Active Lane Guidance complete with Bird’s Eye Junction View and route optimization containing multi-destination routing.

The Garmin Drive lineup offers a great variety to suit different types of users albeit at a price that won’t break the bank, so check out the range today and buy the one that suits you well.
If you’d like to extend the mount location of the babyCam or even hang it on overhanging-style headrests, the baby cam extension mount makes a great choice.

Garmin babyCam™ Car Child Monitor with Night Vision Capabilities – Can Be Purchased Bundled with Different Garmin GPS Models

While in vehicle cameras aren’t new game, Garmin is the first to introduce a camera that works with existing GPS navigators, albeit only compatible with models from the company. The babyCam allows you to stay focused on the road ahead, while keeping an eye on the important little people in the back seat through a live feed right on your compatible Garmin portable navigation device.

Some of the key features of the babyCam include:
  • Can be powered by mini-USB or 2 AA batteries
  • Receiver cable compatible with a range of Garmin satnavs
  • Wireless in car monitoring
  • 640 x 480 resolution, 30 frames per second
  • Small discreet hardware
  • Excellent field of view
  • No obtrusive cabling to deal with
Construction and Design
There’s a lot to look forward to when traveling with little ones – newborns who might need a bottle, siblings might throwing tantrums or toddlers squirming in their car seats – what’s a parent to do when they have to keep their eye on the road? Spinning around in your seat or performing frequent rear view checks to settle the distractions in the back seats is not only inconvenient, but extremely dangerous as well. Garmin pushes the envelope into baby safety innovation with the babyCam, claiming that this device is the ultimate answer to an everlasting parenting problem.

It is available in the form of a compact plastic piece that is fitted with a 640 x 480-pixel video camera. The baby camera has been engineered to attach neatly onto literally any headrest stalk via an easy clamping system. Adding to this, it can be easily mounted to the passenger, driver or rear headrests, meaning it has the ability to capture footage of both rearward and forward facing child seats. Once you’ve mounted the babyCam, it must be connected with a compatible Garmin device, meaning you will either have to go buy one or check if your current Garmin device can be paired.

Devices that can be paired include all the 2016 Garmin navigators in this review plus a few truck and older PND models such as the Nuvi 2408LT-D, Nuvi 2597LMT, NuviCam LMT-D and even Nuvi 2557LMT. Once you’re ready to mate your satnav with the babyCam, you will need to swap your original navigation device cable for a special one (included in the box) that is appointed with an onboard wireless receiver. The last step is to power the babyCam itself, which can either be done with 2 AA batteries (lasts up to 3 months) or the included USB cable.

Once you’ve completed the setup, simply fire up your Garmin PND and it will begin downloading an update in an effort to connect both devices. And when this software is successfully loaded, you will see a small camera shaped icon on your navigator screen, and tapping it will bring up a live video feed. The navigational unit can be used seamlessly for what it’s designed to do. You or the front passenger can click the camera icon and switch views between the map and the live video babyCam feed.
Performance and Ease of Use
Video is transmitted at 640 x 480 resolution and 30 frames per second, which is enough to see clearly if little Tim is awake or asleep, smiling or frowning. And considering that Garmin has a soft spot for safety, the live feed on the screen will disappear after a certain period (duration can be configured in 10, 20 or 30 seconds) so that you don’t adore your child for an extended amount of time, but rather stay focused on the road too, also saving battery juice. This automatic disappearance of the babyCam screen also means that you don’t have to physically tap the screen to get back to the map, as it will switch screens automatically after your set interval.

The babyCam works great in variable light conditions, so Garmin’s got you covered when driving at night with Night Mode. When Night Mode is activated, the babyCam switches to infrared mode, which enables it to capture an image in complete darkness. And it is worth mentioning that with Night Mode, you don’t have to take your hands off the wheel or disturb your precious one by turning on the internal lights. You can pair your Garmin device with up to 4 babyCam’s, which is great if you’d like to keep your eye on more than 1 child.

The babyCam system even reminds you via a pop-up to check for passengers in the car when it is disconnected from the satellite navigation system. Although this feature might not seem significant, believe it or not there have been real instances of people forgetting their children in their cars.

How Do I Choose the Best Garmin GPS Device?

Although mobile phones and navigation apps are becoming increasingly popular, Garmin, a global leader in satellite navigation still owns a significant share of the car navigation market, and in terms of numbers that’s an astounding 50% of the company’s current revenue. Apart from manufacturing innovative GPS navigators for cars, Garmin does have a wealth of expertise in producing navigation devices for semi trucks, motorcycles, and even big and small RV’s.

Even though the company may have witnessed a small decline in the GPS navigator market, they have offset this decline by creating headlines in other markets such as wearable technology. Garmin’s portable navigation devices have so much more to offer than a mobile phone when it comes to driving, starting with advanced guidance and navigation features to increase driver awareness on the road.
With their 2016 lineup of GPS devices, Garmin has considered every type of customer, starting with budget conscious buyers with basic needs to those who must have all the bells and whistles such as an integrated dash cam. The all new Drive lineup of satnav devices consists of 4 models: the entry-level Drive model, the DriveSmart, the DriveAssist and premium DriveLuxe. Prices for these devices range from $125 to $375 depending on the model you choose.

Each of the models of the Drive line is equipped with a myriad of features, including free lifetime map updates, all new Driver Alerts, touchscreen display and Garmin Real Directions on all models and live traffic info on all but the basic Drive device. Our individual reviews of each of the models will help you make an informative choice and get the best PND device for your needs.
One of the most important aspects to look for in a portable GPS system is how often it is updated, as new roads are constantly being built and old roads are frequently under construction – both of which means that you need to be confident that the route you are given is accurate. All the models in the Garmin GPS lineup are updated 4 times a year or as soon new maps become available. This ensures that your device is current at all times regardless of which part of North America you’re in. The new Garmin map data includes points of interest, business addresses, telephone numbers and even contact details.

Along with up-to-date maps, the all new 2016 Garmin Drive line rings in 3 new features:
  • Driver Awareness Alerts – this feature is designed to increase your awareness on the roads, warning you of potential upcoming dangers such as rail or animal crossings and sharp corners. Driver Awareness alerts combined with live traffic updates will alert you if you’re approaching a traffic jam to prevent you from slamming on the brakes. There’s even a fatigue warning that suggests break times and places to stop when you’ve been driving for long periods.
  • Garmin Real Directions – with the help of street view, the drive range of satnavs include recognizable buildings, landmarks and road features in the guidance system to prevent you from searching for hard to see road names. Although this feature is already available on a few existing Garmin navigators, it is native to all models of the Drive range.
  • Route Shaping – The ability to plan your route is a must have feature in a portable navigation device, and the drive range offers some additional features to make this process efficient and seamless. For example, easy route shaping allows you to modify the route by simply tapping the screen, a feature that’s useful when you’d like to avoid a specific junction if you’re stopping en-route.
In addition to the “standard” features one may want in a GPS navigation system, a dashboard camera or dash cam offers numerous benefits and for some is a must have in a portable GPS device. The DriveAssist is the only model in the Drive range to be suited with a dash cam, which records at the time of impact. But if you’d like to take the worry out of backing up, the Garmin BC™ 30 Wireless Backup Camera is worth exploring. It can be paired easily with your existing GPS navigator to easily spot pedestrians, vehicles, and other hard to see objects behind your vehicle.
Construction and Design
In addition to boasting a robust design, Garmin navigation devices can be ordered in a wide range of screen sizes - starting from 5 inch to 7 inch devices - and resolutions between 480 x 272 pixels to superior quality 800 x 480 pixels. The top of the line DriveLuxe showcases a sleek metal and glass body, something that is rarely seen in the GPS portable navigator segment. You will need a mount to install a satnav in your vehicle, and although most Garmin navigators come with a suction cup mount designed to install to your windshield, this type of mount is banned in several states as they obstruct the driver’s views.

Garmin does provide a handful of mounts to choose from. The first are friction mounts that rest on a rubber pad and are installed on the top of your dashboard. More deluxe portable friction mounts let you easily use your device in more than one vehicle. Finally, dashboard disks adhere to the dashboard of your vehicle and the suction cup mount is then placed on top of the disk. Dashboard disks are an alternative to adhering suction cup mounts directly on your windshield in states that have deemed windshield mounts illegal.
Performance and Ease of Use
Almost all Garmin GPS systems come with some type of map or traffic update feature so it’s important to know what the abbreviations represent in order to make the right choice. LM stands for Lifetime Maps and allows you to refresh your device with the latest maps at least 4 times per year. LMT just adds lifetime traffic updates to the mix, provides minutes of delay and the alternate routes available. Garmin offers 3 different versions of traffic alerts, with the LMTHD being the fastest and best traffic system available, updated roughly every 30 seconds.

Furthermore, these LMTHD models offer free traffic information for the life of your device, updated directly to your satnav device. These Garmin traffic services work via Bluetooth on your PND smartphone and the Garmin smartphone Link App (Android or iPhone) to suggest alternative routes and guide you around congested areas. In addition, you also receive useful live information such as weather alerts on your journey, right on the screen of your Garmin portable navigator.

With Bluetooth technology, syncing your phone with your Garmin PND has never been easier, giving you access to a wide range of features such as points of interests, dialing and hands free calling. This technology allows you talk hands free through your PND, which is much more convenient and needless to say safer than fishing your phone out of your pocket to answer or make a call. And with voice activated navigation, you can control your portable navigator buddy with your voice while your hands stay on the wheel.

Get the Best Garmin GPS Device of 2023!

If you want money, you go to a bank, if you want food, you go to a restaurant, and if you want to get home efficiently, you want the best route at your fingertips. To accomplish all of these essential tasks, it only makes sense to choose a Garmin PND. When shopping for the best GPS portable navigation device to guide you through bustling cities or scenic country roads, the Garmin lineup is worth a second look. We hope that with the features and information provided in this 5 best Garmin PND review, you will be able to make a viable choice.

Our Top Choice
Garmin DriveLuxe™ 50LMTHD Premium Portable Navigator
Best Value
Garmin DriveAssist™ 50LMT Portable Navigation Device
Garmin DriveSmart™ 70LMT Portable Navigator
Garmin Drive™ 60LMT GPS Navigation System
Garmin Night Vision babyCam™ for Garmin GPS