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Garmin 255W or 265WT?

Hey guys,

Soon I'll be purchasing my first GPS device for the car. I’ve already narrowed my search down to two Garmin devices which are both available as refurbished units at a rather low price: Garmin 255W & Garmin 265WT.

The 265WT has the advantage of a FREE, lifetime, integrated traffic receiver. Admittedly I have no need for the hands-free Bluetooth feature. Nor do I intend to purchase a subscription for more reliable traffic reports.

My location is Toronto, Ontario. Do you feel that the integrated traffic receiver would justify the $40 incremental cost of this unit (as compared to the 255W which does not have this feature)?

A quick read through this discussion forum seems to suggest that these FREE traffic reports are essentially useless. Is this true?

As well, are there any other potential advantages of purchasing the Garmin 265WT, rather than the 255W? For example, is the satellite acquisition time roughly the same for both units? Anything else that I should know?

Thanks!

Comments

  • Boyd 1998 Points
    The GPS hardware is going to be exactly the same with those two models. Also, not sure what you mean by "integrated", but the traffic receiver is not part of the GPS itself. The receiver is housed in the cigarette lighter plug and the power cord contains the antenna.

    I don't think "useless" is completely fair, but I have not been impressed by the free traffic service in the Philadelphia area. Also wasn't impressed with MSN traffic or RDS-TMC traffic on TomTom. I'm sure this can vary a lot depending on your location.
  • Marc 301 Points
    While not great, I would not go so far to say traffic is completely useless around Boston. It has helped me avoid a few massive traffic jams. The main problem with it is the lag in reporting the beginning and ending of traffic tie ups so that people will often complain that they hit an accident with no warning or drove through an area that was flagged as having a slow down, but it had disappated by the time they got there.
  • Garmania 0 Points
    Many thanks for the input, guys!

    Here is the blurb from the seller's website regarding the FREE traffic reports...
    Avoid Traffic Tie-ups

    Steer clear of traffic with nüvi 265WT's integrated FM traffic receiver. Receive alerts about traffic delays and road construction that lie ahead on your route. Next, simply touch nüvi's screen to view traffic details or detour around the problem area.
    Am I correct in assuming that this feature can be turned "off" (disabled) if it proves to be of little help?

    I'd also be very interested to know if any other Forum members have found this feature to be useful when driving specifically in Toronto, Ontario (GTA).

    My assumption is that this hyperlinked map represents the coverage which is available in Toronto: http://www.navteq.com/rdstraffic/index_281.htm

    Cheers!
  • Boyd 1998 Points
    To me, "integrated" implies that the traffic receiver is part of the GPS itself. That is not the case, it's just a special cord/plug which can work with many different models. You can also operate the 265WT using a regular car cord without a traffic receiver. In fact, that's how I use my 1350t since I see little use for the traffic service and don't like the bulky traffic cord.

    I think you probably have to use a regular cord (like I am doing) to completely make the traffic feature go away. I find that even if I'm not getting a traffic signal (out of coverage area), I still see the pop-up ads if the traffic receiver is plugged in. Without the receiver cord, I think the traffic menu item actually disappears.
  • Marc 301 Points
    There is a check box for traffic under the list of things to avoid. I am not sure if that actually shuts the traffic feature off or just prevents it from rerouting you . ( That is it may give you an alert of traffic ahead but not automatically reroute.) I will give it a shot next time I'm in my car.
  • Boyd 1998 Points
    Turning off the traffic avoidance won't disable the receiver (or at least it doesn't on my model). You will still have a traffic icon and still be able to view reports, etc. I think that means you will also see the ads when you are sitting at a stoplight.
  • Garmania 0 Points
    Yes, I would agree that the word "integrated" is rather misleading in this instance.

    Incidentally, does the FREE traffic feature only involve icons and visual alerts? Or, as a driver would I also have to tolerate "spoken" traffic alerts?

    No one told me about "ads"! Are they a nuisance?

    Although I was initially more inclined to buy the 265WT (due to its extra features), I'm now leaning towards the 255W - for reasons of simplicity.
  • kenp 92 Points
    The ads are not a nuisance. The general unreliability of the Navteq traffic system is. If you're not interested in traffic or in bluetooth, the 255W sounds like a better deal.

    Can I ask what kind of price you're getting? I bought my 255WT at Best Buy for $130 US. That was a black Friday special, but they periodically have it down that low.

    I like the simplicity of the 255W.

    Ken
  • Garmania 0 Points
    Hey Ken,

    Your own purchase price (+/-) for the 255WT is approx. what I was willing to pay for an initial GPS unit. Tiger Direct (in Canada) was selling the 255W (factory refurbished by Garmin) at an even lower price. In the past few days, however, they stopped offering the "refurbished" unit - only the new version is now being advertised. This evening I sent them an email to determine if it will be restocked in the near future.

    Another consideration - I guess - is that the 265WT has a bulkier cable/plug than the 255W.
  • kenp 92 Points
    Another consideration - I guess - is that the 265WT has a bulkier cable/plug than the 255W.
    Not a trivial consideration. I don't know what the regular cord is like, but the traffic cord is like a heavy duty lamp cord, and has the small bulge with the receiver itself. Might make a difference when you stash everything when parking. The traffic receiver for my Delphi had a separate wire for the antenna, and it was amazing how much of a nuisance that became. Seemingly small things do matter.

    Keep your fingers crossed that there will be a lot of dissatisfied 255W customers, so Tiger will have more refurbs to sell. :)

    Ken
  • Garmania 0 Points
    Keep your fingers crossed that there will be a lot of dissatisfied 255W customers, so Tiger will have more refurbs to sell. :)
    At this point, Ken, I think that's exactly what I'll do... hold out for a refurbished 255W from TigerDirect.ca. Based on all the helpful info you guys have generously provided, I think the 255W would suit me better than the 265WT.

    One final issue...

    Assuming that I buy a refurbished 255W in the near future, can I assume that both the firmware and maps will probably need to be updated on the Garmin website? Someone mentioned that the 2011 North America maps are expected to be released by Garmin later this month. Of course, I'll qualify for one free map update within the first 60 days after the initial satellite acquisition. Is one free firmware update also available from the Garmin website?

    Is there a sticky somewhere on this Forum which outlines how to update firmware and maps on a nuvi? Is the update process quite user-friendly? (I'm not exactly known for my advanced computer skills! :lol:)

    Cheers!
  • Boyd 1998 Points
    All firmware updates are free. You need to download the WebUpdater program from Garmin's site. It will check your GPS and tell you if an update is available. If so, it will guide you through the process.

    Map updates are accessed after you create an account on Garmin's site and register your device. If you check for an update, it will tell you what's available and guide you through the process. However, once you find that a free update is available, that is the one you will get. If you don't download at that time, it will still be the only one you can get, even if a new one becomes available within the 60 day window.
  • Garmania 0 Points
    Obsolete post deleted by Garmania.
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