2013 Garmin Automotive GPS Buyer’s Guide

by Caribou Betty

Garmin nuvi Automotive GPS

Garmin nuvi Automotive GPS


See All Garmin Automotive GPS Deals


It can be tough trying to find your way in this world nowadays, and the Garmin company is determined to help you stay on track by offering a wide line of Garmin Automotive GPS devices to meet the need of navigating all the twists and turns on the road to your destination where ever it may be. The people at Garmin also know, that everyone is an individual and a GPS that one person finds useful, may not be another person’s idea of perfection so they offer a wide variety of models so that each person can experience their travels in their own way. This short guide is designed to make it easier for you to choose the right GPS device to meet your needs.

Understanding Garmin Abbreviations and Terms

It can often be difficult to understand what a product is designed for and what it’s features are if you don’t understand the abbreviations that are used to describe the product. So, to help those who are completely new to Garmin GPS devices understand what features each product has, here is a short list of some of the terms and abbreviations that you will come across and what they mean.

  • Nuvi- Nuvi is used by Garmin to indicate to you at a glance that the device you are veiwing is made for use in your car.
  • Zumo- When you see this term it indicates that you are viewing a GPS designed for use on motorcycles.
  • LM- This abbreviation stands for lifetime maps
  • T- This abbreviation stands for Lifetime Traffic Update.
  • LMT- Lifetime maps and traffic Service combined.
  • POI- Point(s) of Interest

Other abbreviations or terms used to describe Garmin GPS devices that may be used throughout this guide will be followed by the abbreviation means so that you will have as clear of understanding as possible of what each of these devices has to offer.

About Each Of The Garmin Series of GPS Devices

Garmin is dedicated to bringing their loyal customers the latest technology and trends in GPS devices for a reasonable price. For that reason they are constantly updating their products. However, while the company knows that there are some individuals who are always willing to embrace new change and want the most up to date products on the market, they also know that other individuals, once they find a product that works and they are comfortable with want to stick to that product. For that reason, not only does Garmin offer several different GPS devices, but these devices have been divided into several different series in order to give their customers devices with the latest technology while still offering customers the option of continuing to use those specific models that they have used and feel comfortable with.

For example, the different series of Garmin GPS for 2013 include: Essential, Advanced, and Prestige. Here is a brief look at all the different Garmin Series.

Essential Series

Garmin nuvi 44 Essential Series

Garmin nuvi 44 Essential Series

The essential series is designed for first time GPS users and those people who are on a budget. This series is simplicity itself offering basic functionality to help get you from point A to point B. The devices in this series offers:

  • Sleek and Thin
  • Bright Display
  • Preloaded Maps let you locate addresses and millions of POI
  • Spoken Turn-by-turn directions
  • Available in two display sizes (4.3″ and 5″)

This series is extremely easy to use, and a great starting GPS for students, first time drivers, and the extra navigator on those long trips. It’s budget friendly with devices starting in this series at a little over $100.00 and going up.

The following models GPS are the essential series

Advanced Series

Garmin nuvi 2597LMT Advanced Series

Garmin nuvi 2597LMT Advanced Series

The Advanced series GPS devices have many more features than the Essential Series and therefore is great for those who do a lot of traveling to new areas. The Advanced Series comes with both 4.3 and 5 inch touch screens and uses what Garmin calls “Guidance 2.0″ which includes:

  • Improved and Intuitive Guidance
  • Garmin Real Directions with Garmin Real Voice offer clearly spoken turn-by-turn directions.
  • Time-Saving Garmin Traffic Speaks Alerts and responds to verbal requests (some models)
  • Available in 3 sizes 4.3″, 5″ and 7″

The Advance series offers mid-price GPS devices that start Somewhere around $150.00 and go up into the mid $200.00 range.

The following models are the GPS in this series

Prestige Series

Garmin nuvi 3597LMT HD

Garmin nuvi 3597LMT HD

The Garmin Prestige Series is what is known as their 3400/3500 series and is based on their award winning PND (Personal Navigation Devices) 3700 series. The Prestige series really steps up the technology in GPS devices with their Guidance 3.0, which is their most innovative navigation engine. This series includes everything that the guidance 2.0 has plus a lot more including:

  • Unite Voice Activated Navigation with other features such as Garmin Real Directions with Garmin Real Voice, lifetime North American Maps, HD Digital Traffic and Compatility with Bluetooth and Smartphone Link.
  • Crisp 5″ high resolution display
  • Elegant Styling and a Powered magnetic mount

The Prestige series is the ideal GPS for those people who want a top of line PND with all the bells and whistles. These devices start at around $300.00 and go up from there.

The following models are the GPS in this series

Zumo Series – Motorcycle GPS

The Zumo series of GPS devices are specially designed to be mounted on a motorcycle. This series comes with many useful functions including:

  • Bluetooth capabilities, which allows you to switch functions and answer mobile calls while traveling.
  • An anti-glare touchscreen that allows you to see the screen in all types of sunlight.’
  • Turn-by-turn directions
  • Lane assist
  • Preloaded Points of Interest

The Zumo Series has many other features as well, and offers those who travel by motorcycle the same opportunities to stay on track and drive safely that those who travel in cars have. However, the Zumo series is quite expensive with many of these GPS devices starting at over $600.00.

The following models are the GPS in this series

  • zumo 220
  • zumo 350LM
  • zumo 660LM
  • zumo 665LM
Garmin zumo 350

Garmin zumo 350 Motorcycle GPS

Garmin Automotive GPS Devices and Their Descriptions

While not every Garmin GPS device will have all the features listed, knowing what features are offered and the description of each feature will help you to decide which features will be most useful to you when choosing a GPS device.

Auto Sort Multiple Destinations- Often times there are several routes you can take to get from point A to point B. This feature sorts through those routes and then gives you the most direct route to your destination.

Choice of Route Set-up- It seems like everyone is in a hurry to get where they are going and the choice of route set-up allows you to choice such options as the route that will get you there fastest, the shortest route, and even off road options on reaching your destination.

Custom POI- While many of the Garmin GPS devices offer you various Points of interest, some people have interests that are less common than others and want to know where they can stop along the route to follow their own special interest. With custom POI you can now find all those hubcap or Barbie doll museums along your route.

Exit Services- This feature is incredibly nice to have as it tells you in advance what services are available at different exits along the route. It saves you trying to read all those signs and make a quick move into the exit lane when you finally spot that Tim Horton’s.

EcoRoutes-With gas prices these days many travels find the ecoRoute features handy. This feature actually helps you to find the most fuel-efficient route to get where you are going.

Enhanced Pedestrian Navigation- This feature helps to guide you around a strange city when traveling by foot. Now you can take a stroll away from your hotel without worrying about finding your way your back.

Garmin Locate (TM) –This feature marks your position when the device is removed from the windshield mount.

Garmin Garage (TM)-Vehicle Compatible- This feature allows you to download little car icons onto your device.

Garmin Garage (TM)-Voice Compatible- Don’t like the voice that is issuing those turn by turn directions? Now you can download a custom voice to your GPS device.

Garmin Lock-This is an anti-theft feature. While it can’t prevent a thief from stealing the GPS device it does stop them from using it once it is stolen without sending it back to Garmin for repairs. If you report the theft to Garmin themselves as well as the police they may be able to help you recover it. The lock also prevents thieves from gaining any personal information such as your home address from the device.

Junction View-Usually accompanist lane assist junction view shows you the junction signs that you are approaching.

Lane Assist- The lane assist features shows you what lane you need to be in to make turns while traveling on busy roads.

Lifetime Traffic Updates- This feature allows you to get free traffic updates for as long as you own your GPS.

MyTrends-is a feature that predicts your routes and helps you figure where your headed and what traffic will be like along the route.

TrafficTrends- This feature helps determine routes based on the predicted flow of traffic.

MultiMode-Switches modes to help plan routes while you drive, bicycle, walk, or travel by boat.

NuLink Service- This feature provides you with the up to date and accurate real-time travel information.

Photo Navigation- This feature helps you to navigate to specific geotagged photo locations.

Route Avoidance-This feature allows you to navigate around those toll roads and other highways that you don’t enjoy traveling on. There is a traffic compatible addition that allows you find routes around heavily trafficked areas (with a reliever and subscription)

Where Am I?-This feature is especially good for emergency situations helping you to find the closest hospital, police station, gas stations and intersections.

Qwerty or ABC Keyboard- This feature allows you chose which type of keyboard works best for you.

Speed Limit Indicator-This GPS feature keeps you informed of those changing speed limits and even let’s you know when you are exceeding the limit.

Now that you know a little bit more about the different Garmin series that available and the features that this company’s GPS have to offer we hope that you will have an easier time choosing the right GPS device to meet your growing needs.


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