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Shopping for new Garmin, for US, Europe, Mexico, Asia

Looks like it's time for a new Garmin for me. I've managed for a long time with an old 275T, a basic unit that has done pretty much what I needed. And that's get me from point A to point B across the US and various European countries. I have the "lifetime" map updates for "North America and Europe" but I have an upcoming trip to Mexico, and it seems Garmin has decided Mexico is no longer in North America (maybe they just knew the wall would be built...). I also have a trip coming up in Japan. Then Italy. I will be doing a fair bit of driving in all those countries, and will want coverage. And one of these days I'll probably want to drive elsewhere. The old Nuvi 275 has very limited capacity (I have to juggle US/Europe maps before a trip). But I've gotten a lot of life out of that unit, so I'm OK with getting a new one (I'll keep the 275T as a backup for domestic trips).

Now the problem is picking one. Garmin's product line seems dazzling and confusing. And their current offerings seem filed with features that are secondary at best (honestly, I have zero interest in many of them). The maps are what's most important to me, yeah and some turn by turn directions are nice too, but I already have a backup camera in my car, and so many other features seem like just gilding the lily. Maybe I'll come to appreciate them. Anyway, here are my primary criteria:

"North America" lifetime map updates included (I assume that's US & Canada...don't need French Guyana, but Mexico would be great).
Europe would be great to have out-of-the-box, too, but could be added on if needed.
Enough capacity to add other locales, including: Europe, Mexico, Japan, possibly other parts of Asia.
REALLY IMPORTANT: I do not want any unit that prevents entries from being made/changed while the vehicle is in motion. I don't know if current Garmin units do that, but the built-in nav system in my car (Toyota) will not accept entry if the car is moving. This is a so-called "safety feature" but it's incredibly infuriating - whoever the idiot was who designed that should be shot...but I digress. I assume that Garmins have not been afflicted with such a "feature" but wanted to check.
Turn-by-turn directions, good.
Ability to shut it up, even better.
Compact size is probably better than huge widescreen (3-5" seems about right to me) - I'll be carrying it around the world.
Good quality screen, readable in direct sunlight a plus.
Traffic? OK.
Dash cam? No thanks.
Advertisements (including when masquerading as "points of interest"), no thanks.

Thank you in advance for any advice/opinions/input!!!


  • privet01 195 Points
    Have you added a microSD card to it? I still use a nuvi 205w. When the files size of the North America map got too big for the internal memory on the device, I added the SD card so I could keep the full US, Canada and Mexico.

    As for new devices...... That's always a hard thing to recommend. Even the subtle differences in the way Garmin changes the UI can be annoying and I'm very slow to warm up to them, though I've been "forced" to with several of their marine GPS's. I still swear the gpsmap 182/182c had the best UI of any Garmin I ever used. So I'll leave the recommendations to other members.
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    Not exactly what you're asking for, but possibly worth considering… have been playing around with the TomTom GO Mobile app - there are versions for both iOS and Android. There is a free trial that allows you to use the app for 50 miles a month at no charge. If you like it, there is a $20/year subscription cost. It would take quite a few years for this to cost as a much as a Nuvi with maps of multiple regions.

    The interesting thing about this app is that you can download maps of the whole world for no additional charge. And the maps are permanently stored on the phone, so you don't need celluar service to use it (although features like traffic require service).

    Even if you are one of the few people who doesn't have/doesn't want a smartphone, this still might be an attractive option. You can get used iPhones and Android phones very inexpensively, and you don't need to activate any plan to use it for a GPS - you can download apps and data over wifi.

    Garmin also has an app that looks just like the Nuvi, this is what I mostly use. However they have intentionally crippled it in a few ways, so that it doesn't compete with their dedicated devices. And that's what impressed me about the TomTom app, it is fully featured, integrates with a computer app and even has a detailed user manual.

    There are some differences between the iOS and Android versions though, looks like the Android version has some additional features. And I have some nitpicks with the visual appearance of the TomTom map. But in general, they have done a nice job and IMO it points towards a future where dedicated devices can't compete with apps.
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    edited November 2016
    That's an interesting product. Is this something that Tesco put together themselves or is it a "real" Garmin product? A google search didn't find any direct links to Garmin. Could the free maps for other regions be OpenStreetMap perhaps? It does not mention City Navigator anywhere.

    If it is a real Garmin product, that would indicate that Garmin is getting very worried about smartphones. ;)
  • privet01 195 Points
    I wonder if it's a mistake. Similar to how a lot of the search engines/filters on various sites have been really dumbed down by automation attempts to compile the database, maybe an automated attempt to make the advertisement picked up that the base device was capable of lifetime maps for various regions, but not without additional purchase. Or a new person just flubbed up!

    But that's just another possibility of what happened. I'm more inclined to believe Boyd's supposition.
  • sussamb 786 Points
    Yes, I thought of OSM mapping too, especially as the ad mentions limited postcode search, since nuvis in UK have provided full postcode search for many years now. If I get any more info I'll post back.
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    Garmin is already using OSM in some of their products, for example:

    "Cyclists, get ready to hit the trail in the U.S. and Canada with this unique routing-capable mapping product, compiled using third-party data suppliers, including the community-generated OpenStreetMap (OSM) database."
  • alanb 529 Points
    edited November 2016
    I found this on the Garmin site for UAE (United Arab Emirates), so it is apparently an official Garmin product. I was wondering what they would need for internal memory or if some of the maps were provided on SD. From the UAE site, it appears that some of the maps are not installed at all, but downloadable by the user.
  • sussamb 786 Points
    Looked at that link. Unfortunately when you click on the 'For full coverage' link on the coverage tab you get a 404 error!

    Certainly seems though like they come with Garmin CN mapping.

    Couple of folks on another forum have ordered one so should report back with their findings shortly. For those wanting a worldwide basic GPS though it seems like this may fit the bill.
  • alanb 529 Points
    In the description, it says "Lifetime maps of Europe and Middle east/North Africa mapping are pre-loaded. Free additional lifetime download of North America, South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand". I suppose if this item is offered in different locales, Garmin may change which maps are pre-loaded and which need to be downloaded.

    It will be interesting to find out if you get all the extras (junction view, etc.) with the maps you have to download. Also, I wonder what kind of traffic receiver it comes with and will it work in all countries that have coverage?
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    alanb said:

    It will be interesting to find out if you get all the extras (junction view, etc.) with the maps you have to download.

    The link @sussamb posted shows this device selling for £79 which is $98 at current exchange. If they really include worldwide City Navigator maps, that is quite a departure from the $210 Nuvi 2577LT that includes US and EU mapping without lifetime updates. The 2577 does have some other premium features however. models/nuvi-2577lt/prod122520.html
  • sussamb 786 Points
    Seems it's true, someone on the PGPSW forum got one. Maps are definitely the Garmin CN ones.

    Device comes with 16Gb of on board memory.
  • sussamb 786 Points
    Further ...

    The unit he bought came two JCV files, one for each of the two maps so junction view works on both.

    You can only have two maps on the unit - downloaded via GE which asks which maps you want on the unit although as they are saved as Gmapprom and Grampprom1 I'm sure the unit could be 'tricked' to include more if these are renamed. He's going to try that later.
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    edited November 2016
    They really seem to be disrupting their own market with this product, That £79 ($98) model is actually $2.00 cheaper than just buying the EU supplemental map that sells for $100 here in the US!

    How much does it cost in the UK to purchase City Navigator North America?

    But was the £79 price just a "cyber Monday" special? What is the normal street price for this model? I'd guess this does not amuse some people who recently bought the expensive "transatlantic" models or separately purchased a map! ;)
  • sussamb 786 Points
    edited November 2016
    Yes, from what I know it's a special deal so available for a limited time only. It's effectively half price apparently on its original price, although I've never seen it previously advertised.

    Not sure about cost of the NA map but probably not far off the cost of the nuvi!

    Edit: Just checked and around £65 so about $20 cheaper than the GPS.
  • alanb 529 Points
    I wonder if Garmin will offer this model in the North America market? They were smart in putting 16GB in it ... about time!
  • sussamb 786 Points
    edited November 2016
    Seems there are a few models like this

    Scroll to the bottom to see them listed
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