The Essential Series is what would be called Garmin’s basic, more affordable line of navigations systems – but trust us, even their “lower end models” offer plenty of great features and in some cases, more than what other brands offer in for their higher end product. GPS systems within this line are available with either a 5” or 6” display.
When we did our research there were 13 “models” within this line, each with little differences such as the size, screen, resolution and battery length. To give you a general idea of the price differences, here’s the range for the “top versions” in Garmin’s Essential Series.
- nüvi® 55LMT – MSRP $149.99
- nüvi® 57LMT– MSRP $169.99
- nüvi® 58LMT – MSRP $179.99
- nüvi® 67LMT – MSRP $199.99
- nüvi® 68LMT – MSRP $209.99
We chose to feature the nüvi® 58 model because although it’s from the 2015 line, it still has great features and you can save some money by getting the older model. We will be telling you about all that the top end version of this model has to offer, but if you don’t’ need it all, you can save by going with either the nüvi® 57 (MSRP $139.99) or the nüvi® 57LM (MSRP $159.99). Before we get into the real “nitty gritty” about what you get with this specific navigation system by Garmin, let’s talk about the difference between product versions within a line – you know, what do those letters mean?
First of all, if you purchase any GPS within the essential series, if the model number doesn’t have any letters after it, then you are getting City Navigator® NT that is preloaded with detailed maps of the lower 49 states. When you ad the “LM” it means you are going to get free lifetime maps updates. If a model has “LMT” you get the map updates, plus traffic avoidance without any subscription fees or ads.
The Garmin nüvi 58LMT GPS system has in depth maps of the U.S. and Canada preloaded onto the system and boasts free lifetime map updates.
For a model in the Essential Range you might expect limited features. Although the nüvi 58LMT model certainly does have fewer capabilities than newer models in the 2016 range, it still possesses all essential features as well as bonus extras you probably wouldn’t expect to receive. Here’s an overview of all you can expect from this Garmin GPS system:
- 5 inch screen
- Vertical or horizontal orientation
- Suction cup mount
- Up to 2 hours battery life when not charging
- Free lifetime maps
- Direct Access (for malls and airports)
- Up Ahead feature for close-by POI’s
- Links to information from Foursquare
Some additional functions we haven’t discussed so far include:
- Garmin Real Directions: Giving you easy to follow friendly instructions using landmarks, traffic lights or notable buildings.
- Lane Assist: A function to help you stay in the correct lane at all times.
- Optional Camera Add On: Ability to pair with the BC™ 30 wireless backup camera to help you see any obstacles that might be in your way when reversing or parking.
Considering the great price we cannot believe the amount of functions you receive when purchasing this product. Although it doesn’t include all the same features of the nüviCam model, such as voice activated capabilities and Bluetooth features, it does include more than the essentials for a great price. We think this is a great option for someone who doesn’t particularly want to pay a lot more for all the extra bells and whistles that come with the latest models from Garmin.