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Comparing Nuvi 2599 and DriveSmart 50

In my previous car (a Volvo C30), I had a wired-in, detachable Garmin 765T satnav. When I changed the car, I chose an options pack which included (inter-alia) the Volvo Sensus satnav system. I soon found that the Sensus system was very limited. In particular, the handling of user-defined routes was, in my opinion, very poor. Added to that the inability to connect it directly to MapSource or BaseCamp was a retrograde step after using the 765T.

As a result, I very quickly went out and bought a stand-alone satnav and having had good experiences with their products, I chose to go with Garmin again. After looking at various specifications, I decided to go for a 5 inch screen and, having no need to travel in Europe, I selected the latest model, the DriveSmart 50LMT-D with UK and Ireland maps. I have been using this for six months and have now changed to the earlier Nuvi 2599. Because I wanted digital traffic, I had to go for Full Europe. (Western Europe with traffic would have been more expensive!)

I’ve changed to the 2599 for a number of reasons; the most important of which is that fairly frequently the DriveSmart will lose its position and show that I’m travelling parallel to the road but some distance to the side. This isn’t too bad out in the sticks, but on a couple of occasions when I was in a built-up area, it had me (allegedly) travelling the wrong way on an adjacent one-way street – very confusing!

This morning I took both satnavs for a drive round the Surrey Hills, to compare them. I had set up a test route from Rudgwick, where I live, through Ewhurst, Shere, East Clandon, Send, Ripley, Cobham then back through Effingham, Holmbury St Mary and Forest Green. Throughout the trip the 2599 stayed on the road. At two stages the DriveSmart had me off road, once to the left of the actual road and once to the right. In addition I noticed that several times the 2599 was warning of slow traffic ahead while the DriveSmart said it was all clear.

Overall, I find that although the DriveSmart has some features which are better than the 2599, the 2599 is the better machine.
In summary, I make the following personal observations (your mileage may vary).

The 2599 stays on road better. As said above, the DriveSmart can wander off which can be confusing in built-up areas.
The 2599 calculates routes quicker. The DriveSmart would sometime stick when the route had a lot of shaping points included.
The DriveSmart screen is “neater”; the track is slightly narrower and the impression is that it is “cleaner”. More colour is used and the Apps screen has smaller icons allowing four columns rather than three on the 2599.
The DriveSmart gives direct access to stored routes in the Trip planner from “GoTo” whereas with the 2599 you need to go into Apps and select it from there, then “Go” to use the route.
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