You could just use your phone for driving directions. But a dedicated GPS device makes navigating easier, works where you don’t have coverage, and frees up the phone for other uses. Garmin GPS navigation systems make both short commutes or cross country drives easy to navigate, taking some of the stress out of your journey. We have the best Garmin GPS navigation systems that will give you the quickest routes and clear directions to make sure your day stays on course.
Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S: Best All Around
The Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S from Buydig.com doesn’t only provide a simple, and easy to use interface but it also provides a navigation system that is up-to-date and responsive. This GPS device has a sleek, and modern design that is crammed full of essential and premium features that make driving more enjoyable. The Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S is preloaded with maps of the United States, Canada and Mexico. The 61 LMT-S also comes with free map updates for the life of the device. This navigation GPS has a giant 6.95-inch capacitive touchscreen, with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels and an edge-to-edge display for displaying information in an easy to read design. Built-in Wi-Fi allows you to pair your smartphone to the DriveSmart 61, so you can make hands-free calls as well as receive traffic alerts, map and software updates. There’s a digital atlas of preloaded maps of North America, that are marked with points of interest when you’re taking a long journey. If you’re looking for a gas station or hotel the device will help you find them. You can enter one or many waypoints and it automatically gives you the most efficient route. While driving, the DriveSmart 61 alerts you of upcoming turns, toll roads and changes in speed limits. It even tells you when it’s time to take a break!
Garmin DriveLuxe 51 LMT-S: Best Value
Garmin’s DriveLuxe 51 LMT-S is a premium device with exceptional build quality. The device is chocked full of functional features that makes navigating easy, so you can concentrate on enjoying the drive. This GPS unit is preloaded with maps of North America that are marked with millions of points of interest, making overnight road trips easier. If you’re planning trips across the border, you can load additional maps through a mircoSD slot. The 5-inch color capacitive touchscreen has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels making the maps and other navigational features easy to see. The straightforward interface is colorful and easy to navigate, or you can interact with it using simple voice commands. The big and easy to read display means you concentrate on the road, and just glance at the GPS’s screen to know what landmarks are nearby, what turns are coming up, of if you have to make lane changes. It’s also an easy way to check the current speed limit too. The GPS connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. This allows you to view incoming traffic alerts concerning road construction, accidents, or traffic cameras through the companion mobile app. The GPS can even help you find parking and allow you to share your location with friends. Pairing your smartphone to the DriveLuxe 51 also means you can read a text message, see incoming calls or view calendar notifications on the display with a glance while keeping your hands on the wheel.
Garmin DriveSmart 55: Sleekst Design
The Garmin DriveSmart 55’s super-crisp 1200×720-pixel capacitive display is much sharper and easier to read than the 480×272 screen common on most similarly sized models. And its multi-touch control is much easier for zooming in or out on a map than the typical GPS screen’s controls. While the 5.5-inch screen is larger than on typical models, the overall unit is slightly smaller thanks to the 55’s sleek bezel-less design. Like the best GPS models, the 55 can also connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth, which lets you send destinations to the device, get incoming messages on-screen, and receive extra trip and traffic info. The DriveSmart’s extensive points-of-interest database helps guide you to an area’s best sites and businesses, with integrated TripAdvisor ratings, Foursquare listings, History Network sites, and US National Park directories. The 55 also provides helpful traffic info in many metro areas and responds to voice commands as well as the best GPS units. Like other top models, it includes free lifetime map updates.
Garmin Drive 52: Budget Friendly
If you want a less expensive GPS navigator that still has some of the handy features of the DriveSmart 55, get the Garmin Drive 52 from Buydig.com. Although it’s the least expensive model in Garmin’s current line, it gives you the same great directions, user interface, points-of-interest database, and driver alerts as the DriveSmart 55, and includes free lifetime map updates. The Drive 52 is missing the 55’s handy Bluetooth connectivity, voice command system, and Wi-Fi updating. In addition, its 480×272 resistive touchscreen doesn’t allow multi-touch input.
It takes more than a smartphone and a good, free navigation app to get directions from point A to point B. The best in-car GPS systems you can buy are made by Garmin. In addition to providing basic directions, they also leverage TripAdvisor ratings to give restaurant recommendations, and keep an eye out for railroad crossings, animals, and speed cameras.