Customer Review

1,256 of 1,349 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Still Recommended (but with reservations on this unit)., November 29, 2011
This review is from: Garmin nüvi 40LM 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps (US) (Electronics)
Over the years, I've used several GPS units which have included Garmin, Magellan, and Mio brands. Overall Garmin is typically the best and most accurate which is why I took advantage of the recent Black Friday sales to upgrade to this unit due to the map update feature included with it.

New Garmin units no longer say "recalculating route" when you deviate from the set course it lays out for you. They supposedly just begin to give you new directs based on the direction you're then heading in, to steer you back to your destination. In the case of this model however, I've found the "quiet recalculating" feature to be less accurate than Garmins I've used in the past. In my well-established Atlanta neighborhood when I deviated from the planned course, it said nothing. I could see the purple route to follow, went in the opposite direction, and the Garmin remained silent with no new route shown on the screen as well, until I was perhaps nearly half a mile off course. At that point, it finally kicked in and started to take me back on course. On the flip-side however, my Android phone using Google Maps, and my older Mio brand GPS immediately recalculated the route once I deviated, and steered me back. While in a different section of town, when I deviated from a main route, it tried to get me to drive through a subdivision of homes and do a U-turn to go back, instead of recalculating a new route forward (even though I had the U-turn option turned "off"). The Android and Mio units rerouted me forward without trying the U-turn. This I'll point out, is after a system reset and update via the computer (which was recommended by a Garmin employee via support email).

The point is this: You're most likely NOT going to get lost (well, badly) if you use this unit. It will eventually get you to your destination correctly, but it might make some quirky choices along the way compared to older/other models, especially if/when you deviate from it's planned routing. On the plus side, the screen is bright, the voice loud, it locks on to the GPS signal quickly, and the graphics are clear and easy to see when you're driving. Side-note: You can download a couple of other voice options via your computer into the unit if you like. I would give the unit 3 1/2 stars if that were an option, but will settle for 3, because in a city like Atlanta, the ability to keep driving straight-on and having a unit recalculate is very valuable as opposed to having to TRY to turn around in this city's traffic (this is why Magellans do poorly here - they're notorious for trying to force U-turns on you!). If you can get it for the Black Friday level of pricing ($79-$84) it would still not be the worst gift at all - but at the suggested normal retail price of $149.00, other units might be better at the recalculating bit than this one, so research before you buy.

ADDED: Someone on here sent me a note saying that if you download the other voices and change them, that this somehow alters the accuracy of the maps. Now, this sounds odd to me, as a simple voice chance shouldn't have any effect on map accuracy - but I tried it. Picked the male British voice and indeed, one of the glitches I mentioned above stopped happening (??), but when I chose the female British voice, suddenly the Garmin stopped recognizing a major 4 lane road in my area and started calling it by the name of a small arterial road two miles away! (repeat...???). Perhaps my unit is just defective, but if this is the latest map source they're using at Garmin - I might avoid any of the newest models. Yikes. I'm updating my star rating from 3 to 2 as a result. Sorry.
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Comments

Tracked by 12 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 65 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 28, 2011 10:00:49 AM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 14, 2012 12:56:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2012 1:13:59 PM PST
In city driving, no GPS unit can possibly be as good as the information that a knowledgable driver has in his head. They all want to take you down the main street when there is another street a block away that has half the congestion. If you want to waste your time trying to trick your GPS in your home town, you are certain to be successful, but my advice is "get a life." I use my nuvi 40LM on highway trips to unfamiliar areas. It is very easy to use and wonderfully helpful. In strange cities it gets me where I want to go. Even if it isn't the very best way, it's a lot better than stopping at every gas station to ask directions.

I haven't noticed a problem with U turns at all. The unit doesn't drive you nuts with that aural "recalculating" message, but it does indicate on the screen that it is plotting a new course when you depart from the original one, and very often that course is the one you want to take.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 8:44:54 PM PST
I've owned this unit for less than a week and used it about 6 times just to see how it worked and about half the times it would freeze on me while I was on one highway. I didn't download any other voices, but I did change the voice to other female who doesn't pronounce road names. Today I also had it give me the wrong name for a highway. It called I-422 I-2022 (which I've never heard of a highway with 4 digits). I'm returning the unit and considering buying the same one from another store that has it at a better deal or I might find a whole new unit to buy.

Posted on May 6, 2012 7:42:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 6, 2012 7:44:17 PM PDT
"The point is this: You're most likely NOT going to get lost (well, badly) if you use this unit. It will eventually get you to your destination correctly, but it might make some quirky choices along the way compared to older/other models, especially if/when you deviate from it's planned routing."

This has been true of the two previous units that I have owned. It's a machine that does what it does very well, but it is not particularly creative or adaptive in the way that the human brain can be.

When I'm in unfamiliar territory, if quirky will get me there, quirky will do.

Once I've been there, I can work out my own routes.

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 6:05:47 AM PDT
J. Campo says:
I bought this GPS nuvi50 LM when our other one went kaput on long roadtrip. On way home, when I deviated from the route it wanted, I also noted it stops saying 'recalculating' which is fine. But it did keep trying to take me backwards to its preferred route MUCH longer than it should have. I knew where i was going, but if my wife had been driving, who knows where she would have ended up.

Posted on Jul 7, 2012 7:52:17 AM PDT
Tom says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Aug 31, 2012 3:54:39 PM PDT
solsky says:
I'm always amazed by the number of people satisfied by "it gets you there in the end".

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2012 8:47:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 31, 2012 8:47:47 PM PDT
Funny - because if you actually read the review, you'd notice that the user (me) was NOT satisfied with the unit due to "getting there in the end", if that is the idea of your incredibly brief comment. I was simply stating that you won't get so lost as to not find your way back on track EVENTUALLY using this device. My two star rating and suggestion to research other devices might suggest (for those who read it) that "satisfaction" wasn't my impression of the device.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2012 8:51:01 PM PDT
Phineas Phinque says: "If you want to waste your time trying to trick your GPS in your home town, you are certain to be successful, but my advice is "get a life."

Well, "Phineas", Driving down a major road in your town and making a simple turn, only to hear that major road called something completely different is hardly "wasting time trying to trick your GPS" - it's a basic function that ANY GPS should get right (and previous models of Garmin have. Nor is your "get a life" comment in any way helpful. Isn't it funny the number of dim people on the Internet who say things to others that they wouldn't DARE say to that person's face? Hmm.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2012 10:12:37 PM PDT
solsky says:
My post was inspired by the comments to your review. I made some negative review on nuvi 350 a few years ago (when I was in Atlanta) and other users hated it. It is interesting how GPS suck the same way like years ago when there was no iPad, android or 4G etc. Maybe it's a market overlooked by Apple, Goog or Amazon.
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