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Garmin nüvi 2557LMT 5-Inch Portable Vehicle GPS with Lifetime Maps and Traffic (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Style: with Lifetime Maps and Traffic|Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:$164.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on March 29, 2013
I purchased this to replace an older 5" garmin that did not have lifetime maps. I was getting tired of being nagged to pay for a map update on the older unit. Also I wanted to upgrade to a Bluetooth device.
I am impressed overall with the improved speed and sophistication of this device. Connecting to a satellite is improved considerably. Seriously it just takes seconds. My last unit kept searching for a satellite connection so long I was afraid I'd get lost in the process.
No more "recalculating" exclamations when you go off the suggested route. It quickly displays your new route with the suggested next turn.
There are many more split screen "junction view" occurrences. These rarely appeared on my last unit.
The user menu and graphical display has also been improved. The graphics appear cleaner and there is a menu tab on each screen.
Regarding Bluetooth, The ability to use as a speaker phone when connected to your mobile device is nice.
The Voice Command system is good but not great. it's fine when reciting pre-defined menu options but is hit or miss (mainly miss) when speaking addresses.
The build of the unit is solid. Slightly thinner and curvier than previous units.

I have not had any traffic alerts so really can't comment on that function yet.

I'm happy with the improved performance of this unit.

If Voice command and the speaker function are not important to you, you could save some cash buy getting the 2557 model.
1,255 helpful votes
1,256 helpful votes
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on April 2, 2013
For work, I have to fly to different cities and drive a rental car to different address. A GPS is mandatory and after 10 years, it was time to upgrade from my Magellan. I first tried the Garmin 2595LMT, the older version of this GPS on sale at Costco. After a week, I took it back to Costco, I wasn't happy with four major issues.

The new model on sale here, 2597LMT, was due out any time. Only had to wait a week and I'm really glad I did; Garmin fixed all four issues.

*The first issue I had was how the old unit clipped onto the base, to get it to release using one hand, half the time it would slip out of control and fall to the floor. The new design lets you get a good grip and release it at the same time.

*The voice was terrible, I couldn't understand half of the street names it was saying. I have a stock GPS in my 2006 Honda that sounded 10 times clearer. The new model now sounds just as clear or better then the stock Honda.

*This new GPS has a LCD display that is not affected by polarized sunglasses, wow, what a difference! The old model would turn dark with a slight tilt of your head.

*They got rid of the "Real Picture" of ramps and exits! Real picture sounds like a great idea, until you try to glance at a 2.5 by 2.5 busy picture and make out what lane your suppose to be in; really bad idea. This new one uses a great birds eye animated graphic that highlights the lanes you need to be in; you can just glance and see where you want to be.

I've only had this for a short time, but so far it's exceeded my expectations. There are a lot of other features, but for me the top features are the basic ones; seeing, hearing, and handling. The Costco unit did came with the upgraded HD Traffic cable, this one only has Garmin Traffic, I will probably pay the $60 for the HD power cable.

Update 12/27/13: There seems to be a lot of concern about the LCD screen and polarized sunglasses. I've posted a video on my main review to better show what I'm talking about. I do not have the previous model that blacked out, but it did so just like my Dell computer screen does, so I used it. Even a slight tilt of your head started to dim the screen of the previous Garmin model. That problem is not on the 2597, they have done something different, I don't know what, but the new screen is far better. Any distortion you see in the video, is due to the sunglasses are prescription/reading lenses.
986 helpful votes
987 helpful votes
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on January 11, 2017
This is my second garmin nuvi and I love them. I think they have the best gps mapping system out there. After getting a vehicle with a built in gps system and using it would take longer routes and different routes than the garmin nuvi would take. I could not stand it and did not trust it and said I am getting a new garmin nuvi. It is funny I run them together and start seeing where the built in system is going wrong. I really feel like I can count on my garmin nuvi which is important when traveling to an unfamiliar area. I know a lot of people like the garmin nuvi better than the build in gps systems, more reliable. The screen is a nice size, I like the pictures of the road it shows you and they are so clear and easy to figure out, showing where to turn on an interstate or in tricky areas. Brought me though a really tricky area quite easily. It also counts down to where you are turning much better than my built in gps. Also it comes with free lifetime maps which is an added plus. It is a shame this brand was not built into my new vehicle.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on February 4, 2015
Have been using this GPS for about 3 months now, did a trip around california on it. The performance is nice it tells you(via voice and screen) many turns and red lights in advance so that once you turn you choose the the correct lane to make the second turn. The case approaching some building and spots its very nice and accurate, much better than the previous ones where recalculation or satellite connection takes too much time. I had an old "Garmin nüvi 255W 4.3-Inch" which was pretty slow. After updating maps on this one i still see occasionally it goofs up star bucks location side, like it would point to the wrong side of the road(which is still ok than a wrong location). Personally i love the lane based navigation which is very good on freeways

Live traffic updates
IT does good live traffic updates and also give congestion report and delay time with the option to take a better route but sometime it does not(maybe they need to improve here). Mostly it will automatically re route to avoid congestion but sometimes it will ask you and you have to touch on the screen to say yes

Other things used
There is a mobile connection app which is not very easy to use but i find it something helpfully in sending route info the the GPS. You can also do it manually from the GPS touch screen, personally i find it faster but there is a use where the non driver or any person in the car can send routes to the GPS without distracting the driver which is really nice to have. Works great on Iphone and Android(yes we have the iphone vs Android mini wars at home :) )
4 helpful votes
5 helpful votes
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I am a fan of Garmin products. I've had a Garmin eTrex GPS for about nine years that still works like new That little eTrex has been through heavy weather attached to my jet ski on the ocean many times. It has taken a salt water beating, being jarred by waves, then later being shaken hard attached to my mountain bike, and even my dual-sport motorcycle on rough dirt trails. Following that experience I evaluated other companies GPS products but always ended up choosing Garmin.

We now have the old eTrex, and three Nuvi products including this 2597LMT, one in each car. I prefer hand held GPS devices for a few reasons. When renting cars I've found the built in GPS screens to be the least reliable for providing proper routes. Actually what has worked best for me are Here maps on my smartphone, but Garmin maps are a close second. I don't like tying up my smartphone, and the convenience of using the dash mounted Garmin is better. Another advantage of a handheld Garmin is the ease of downloading the free map updates at least once per year. I've also heard that the cost of updating in-car GPS units can be expensive. Another advantage of a hand held Garmin unit is to record where a car is parked, pocketing the GPS, then using later it to find the car. That can be a really great feature for very large parking lots.

Garmin continuously improves it's product line. Each new model that comes out usually contains interesting and useful new features. This 2597 is no exception. Things that I find particularly useful are:

- The road speed limit. It is occasionally incorrect, doesn't work on all roads, but it is correct most of the time on most roads. It is so handy to glance at the Garmin to see what the speed limit is rather than waiting for the next speed limit sign to be posted along the side of the road.

- Active Lane Guidance (ALG) is really great when driving in cities where there are complex freeway interchanges. The ALG shows arrows indicating how many lanes are ahead, which lanes you should not use, and which lanes to be in for making proper freeway interchange routing work smoothly.

- PhotoReal Junction View is a very clever feature that shows an almost real 3D view of signs and highway exits or interchanges. This is in addition to the Active Lane Guidance mentioned above.

- Current street and street up-ahead are displayed at the same time. This is a handy new addition to newer Garmin GPS units.

- Up-Ahead. The Up-Ahead feature shows icons on the displayed map indicating where certain points-of-interest are including gas stations, hospitals, stores, and restaurants. I find this very handy because my older GPS units showed those same places but showed those ahead and those behind. I always wished it wouldn't show those points-of-interest behind my route because most of the time I wasn't interested in turning around to go back to one of them. I really like that I can see not only those POI ahead, but they are displayed as icons on the map.

There is much more. There are so many things which have been standards in Garmin GPS devices that I won't bother to bring them up here. Suffice to say that there is a rich set of features, way beyond what most people need to basic navigation.

Here are things we don't use, but may be of interest to others.

- Voice input. I haven't tried this feature. As we've had Garmin GPS units for so many years we have habits of use that have never included voice input. We simply enter our destination before we start driving.

- Smartphone connect. I haven't found a good reason to use this feature. I also don't want to burn through my smartphone data plan by using this feature.

- Free Garmin traffic. We simply don't have any significant traffic in our city. When driving through unfamiliar cities we try to plan our trips so we are not there when it is rush hour.

- Bluetooth phone connect. One of our cars has a pretty good Bluetooth phone feature that we already don't use very much. Consequently we have little use for it in a Garmin GPS.

What's truly great!

- Lifetime maps. It just doesn't get any better than this. Garmin updates maps at least once per year. Download the maps directly to the Garmin GPS right on the computer. When updating maps Garmin will often also update the device's software.

- Lifetime no charge traffic. For those who use a traffic feature, and I imagine that can be a great feature for some, this is certainly cost effective.

One surprising missing feature - no calculator. I don't understand why Garmin would remove the calculator, available on older devices. We've used it often when computing our gas mileage at gas stations. Sure we have smart phones to do this, but I was disappointed to see Garmin removed this feature which would have cost them zero to include.

I highly recommend Garmin GPS devices, including this 2597 LMT.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on October 30, 2014
Edited to add:
I did decide to go back to my 2555 model. When that one dies I'll probably be SOL. :-(


Bought this to replace my Nuvi 2555. Why do they always take features away for no reason? The 2555 had a great audio icon on the map to let you mute/unmute sound with one button press = one glance at the screen. Now I have to press the menu icon in lower right, then find the sound icon from the list that shows up, then press the sound icon, then press mute, then press the x or wait about 5 seconds for the pop-up screen to close. So much less convenient! And dangerous! Have to take my eyes off the road 4 times instead of 1. What are people thinking?

They also took the traffic icon away - no quick-glance green/yellow/red to know what's in my future. And instead of seeing 3 or 4 stats on the bottom of the screen (time to destination, time to via, etc.) you can only see 1 at a time. I am still considering exchanging it for the 2555, which also costs less, but they did bring back one feature I like - knowing which road I'm on. So I'm semi-reluctantly probably keeping it.

I've been using different Nuvi models for almost 10 years, but it seems UX designers randomly giveth and taketh away. My oldest model gave one-press access to brightness and control and also showed the road I was on. That one-press went away a long time ago, along with the road info. Now the latter is back, but much is missing.

But if you are a new user, I highly recommend this model and this brand. Finding a signal is fast, searching for an address is fast, directions are usually accurate, etc. But if you're thinking of upgrading, be forewarned what you will be giving up.
6 helpful votes
7 helpful votes
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Enthusiast: Makeupon December 28, 2016
It's alright. It's a bit obnoxious to navigate what you want to do, and it occasionally glitches and shows the car going the opposite way. It constantly falls off the windshield as well. Every once in awhile, something you say will prompt it to scream back at you, "SAY A COMMAND." This has happened a handful of times, and we can't figure out what words are setting it off. The first 3 times it happened, we were talking about England's fuel and its prices. The other times "SAY A COMMAND" has happened was when we were talking about our dog. Most recent one was forgettable but still can't figure out what sets it off.

Overall, it's okay. I've used it 3 times for a specific address, and twice it's gotten me there okay, but just recently it wanted to take the extra long/scenic route.

One redeeming quality is that it's actually really good with traffic and accident reports. It gets it right to the last second of when you arrive at a stand-still. Impressive, but not good enough to justify such a glitchy gadget.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on June 20, 2016
Just bought it last week. Received it the day before I went on a 400-mile trip and back. It did an excellent job. It picked up the satellite signal very quickly and the current location. The maps in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota were accurate. It also relayed regular traffic warnings and news along the path and adjusted its arrival time and even routes. A large screen is nice to look at and the diagrams are easy to understand. This is my second Garmin Nuvi product, and this one is a very, very good one. I updated its maps as soon as I received it through the free Garmin software for my PC that I downloaded and installed from their website on my PC. After opening the Garmin software, I connected the unit to my PC via a USB cable that came with the unit. It recognized the unit immediately and registered the product easily, and the screen said that it would take about 3 hours to update and install the new maps. I left it on and went to bed. And in the morning, it was all done (no more buttons to push or options to choose once it started to download) ready to travel! Travel I did, and it was very helpful. It provides live information for food and gas in the area I drive through. I highly recommend this unit.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on April 16, 2017
This is so much more responsive than my 4-5 year old Garmin I replaced. The voice sucks really really really bad. It was good for an hours worth of laughing while driving many hours. We were trying to figure out what it would get right, which was just about nothing. It all started when we were driving and the unit responded to something we said. We repeated what we said until we figured it out. That's the extend and value of the voice commands for me.

The GPS is very responsive to touch and the Points of interests came in handy in some remote places I didn't expect it to find places. It's easy to find places and doesn't seem to make as many mistakes as Google maps has been doing lately.

My primary use for this is in remote places that doesn't have any cell coverage and it works really well.

There are some roads that switch back so much, the GPS will sometimes get confused and think you are off route and re-calculate.

The Traffic is really great and pretty accurate. There are times the slow down has cleared and the device didn't update.

The Garmin Smartphone app for Android is ok. The biggest issue with the app is that it's always on. I install the app when I start my trip and uninstall it when I get back home.
1 helpful vote
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on November 17, 2015
My wife and I do not own smart phones and our cars do not have built-in navigation systems. I have always assumed that you could not have reliable maps without paying subscription fees and/or having auto-updating apps on 3G/4G smart phones. When I read the description for the Garmin nuvi 2597, I was skeptical. But after researching numerous other navigation systems, I purchased the Garmin and more-or-less dreaded its delivery since I expected setup hassles and a steep learning curve.

We have an old Windows 7 laptop that can barely run the OS. I was really worried that it would not have the resources to run the Garmin Express software (which is required to update the 2597's firmware and map database.) I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to download and install Garmin Express and successfully update the software and maps on the nuvi (it took nearly 2 hours.)

After mounting the nuvi in the car and powering it on, it took several minutes to initially acquire the satellites. However, subsequent acquisitions are nearly instantaneous. I have to say that I am thrilled with how easy the nuvi is to use. I used my commute to test the system. The touch screen is responsive, sharp, and bright. I was able to easily enter the destination address and the device auto-completed it making selection a breeze. The planned route came up instantly and the voice-directions were accurate and clear.

The 3D view makes it easy to see up-coming intersections and the names of the roads you are approaching (no more squinting and slowing to read street signs!) The distance to your next turn together with the name of the street are displayed across the top of the screen so that you can relax and plan ahead for tricky merges, etc. Your speed is listed in the lower left corner and will be highlighted in red when you exceed the speed limit (this feature is not active on all roads.) I even got warnings when I was approaching school zones. Land marks like gas stations are indicated using icons in the 3D display. This feature is especially helpful since it is reassuring to see, for instance, a Chevron on your right as you reach an intersection exactly as the nuvi indicated.

When you make a wrong turn/miss a turn, etc., the nuvi generates a new route instantly that either follows a new route, or gets you back on track. I found that the nuvi lead me to my destination very smoothly when I struck out on my own detours to avoid traffic.

I will provide updates as I gain more experience with the nuvi. However, it has made a very good first impression and I would recommend it to anyone.


We used the nuvi recently to get us to, through, and from our Disney World vacation, which involved a 1600 mile round trip. The nuvi performed admirably and I honestly don't know what I would have done without it. It was a very technical piece of driving with countless road and highway transitions and several very complicated interchanges. The nuvi was accurate in its traffic congestion and construction warnings and automatically planned time-saving detours for us when I-75 turned into a veritable parking lot. Night driving in fast, highly dense traffic on unfamiliar interstates was extremely stressful, but much less so than it would have been without the nuvi. While the brightness of the display remains constant, the nuvi automatically detects low-light conditions and changes the map background to a dark gray color in order to keep the display from blinding you. Yet another detail that left me delighted and astonished.

The road system on and around Disney property is a confusing mess, especially for the uninitiated (e.g., us.) It was so nice being able to punch in the name of your park of choice and have the route come up instantly. However, I found that the nuvi sometimes struggled with the initial and final portions of routes. That is, you would often find yourself doing unnecessary u-turns or going in circles before you would finally hit the main transit road(s) for the route. There were 3 occasions where this was particularly problematic. In one instance, we were directed to enter Animal Kingdom before performing a u-turn. Fortunately, we had a parking pass. If we had not, we would have been forced to pay an unnecessary fee. I also noticed that on toll roads when you approach toll booths, the voice nav instructs you to stay in the lanes reserved for people who have pre-paid toll passes. If I had not been paying attention, I could easily have been fined. In another instance, the nuvi planned a route that wanted me to take a gated, gravel, maintenance road that lead through private property. As a software developer, I don't fault the nuvi. Route-finding algorithms are tremendously complicated and even with these issues, I find the nuvi's performance to be miraculous. However, you do need to pay attention. You should never rely on technology to replace common sense. Unless you are flying a plane in poor visibility conditions... alas, I digress. But you get the point.

All-in-all, I am still VERY happy with the nuvi.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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