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Style: with Lifetime Maps and Traffic, Bluetooth|Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:$148.63 - $369.95
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Showing 1-10 of 4,446 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 4,726 reviews
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.
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on September 23, 2015
This is faster than our previous Garmin GPS model and does not have the clutter on the screen that the old one had. On the other hand the screen is harder to see, or seems to have a more limited viewing angle.

I bought TFY GPS Navigation Sun Shade Visor for Garmin nüvi 42LM 4.3-Inch Portable Vehicle GPS and other 5 Inch GPS to go with this. I added three photos which 1) side by side with a BMW gps 2) without hood in direct sun 3) with hood on a bright day
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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.
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on May 12, 2015
The screen is very difficult to see, especially in day time.. If it is not perfectly perpendicular to the driver's line of sight, the contrast is very poor. My 5 year old Garmin is more useful, but it cannot be upgraded because the memory chips are no longer available. i hae icluded a photo of the new Garmin2557 on the right compared with my old Nuvi 1540 on the left viewed at a 45 degree angle. The image on the 2557 almost disappears! I have made adjustments suggested by Garmin support, but the unit is still unsatisfactory. Is it possible to return it? I am willing to upgrade to a better model and pay the difference.
This unit is hazardous because I frequently have to readjust its position when I am driving and my passenger cannot view the screen at the same time I can.
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on December 7, 2014
I normally used my Android phone as a GPS but it started to flake on me about a month before I was leaving for a month long trip to San Diego and Orange County. I knew it would take me about 30 seconds to get lost there without a GPS so I bought this as a backup in case the phone's GPS quit. NOTE: I have never used a separate GPS before so what are new and neat features for me may be old hat to a long time separate GPS user.

So the phone GPS did quit. The GPS fit in the same holder I used for my phone. Here is what I found the major differences were between my Android and the Garmin nuvi.

The Garmin synced to the satellites much faster than the Android

The display is much bigger and easier to read on the Garmin.

I always had trouble hearing the Android in heavy traffic. The Garmin was so loud out of the box that I had to turn it down to 70% volume. I shouldn't have any trouble hearing it even in an old Dodge diesel.

Preprogrammed and stored trips! I had several places I had to go. The Garmin allows me to sit down at my desk and program and name trips. I only had to enter the beginning and end destinations and store them. They can be called back up with a few button presses. Not only that. I only had to program the beginning and end once. After the trip is programmed and saved, it gives you the option of selecting the original destination OR returning from the end point to the original. That saved me a lot of time. I programmed most of my trips on the east coast before I took the flight to California.

I hit a lot of traffic jams on I-5 in Orange county. The Garmin alerted me to the traffic delays, showed the location and length in red on the map, estimated how long the delays would be, and asked if I wanted to reroute. I tried the reroute several times and it did a credible job of re-routing around the traffic except one Friday night when there was total gridlock in Costa Mesa.

The Garmin displayed not only my speed but also the speed limit, large enough that I could read it at a glance while driving. It was very accurate, usually changing within 100 feet of a physical speed limit sign change. It even displayed speed limits for roads where I had missed a change and the speed limit signs were far apart.

OK, now the bad: I ordered a refurbished unit. The software maps were out of date and the Garmin gave me the option to update both the software and the maps. Make sure the batteries are fully charged and the Garmin is plugged into a power source before you do this. The software update takes less than 15 minutes but you don't want the power to quit while you are updating the operating system. The map update takes hours on a high speed DSL connection. It is about a 2 GB file. I plugged the Garmin into my computer, started the download, and came back three hours later. Both updates completed without any problems and I haven't had any problems or missing directions when I have used the Garmin.

On I-5 with 6 lanes of traffic in each direction, I sometimes had less than a 1/4 mile audible warning before I had to be in an exit lane. At 65 MPH that is not much time to change lanes especially in rush hour traffic. Learn to look at the map every once in a while so you can anticipate when you have to be near an exit lane. In the beginning, I depended on the audio too much. I learned quickly to check the map.

If you want to go from Point A to Point D by going through point C but the Garmin wants to take you through point B instead, there doesn't seem to be any way to change the middle of the route. I may just not have found the correct menu. (There are lots of options.)

The GPS on my phone is now dead, but I don't care. I carry the Garmin and power cord in my computer case when ever I travel and I preprogram it. Even if my phone had a working GPS, I would use the Garmin instead of my phone.
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on August 22, 2013
Upfront let me say that this is my third Garmin car GPS. I also own two Garmin marine GPS units that I've used on my cruising sailboat. I have a lot of experience with Garmin, none with any other GPS brand, so I can't make comparisons between Garmin, Magellan, and TomTom. I've always been pleased with Garmin's support and features, so I've never been tempted to try the other brands, despite their generally good reputations.

Second disclosure: I travel a lot in rental vehicles, often to unfamiliar areas or cities with lots of traffic where a GPS is very useful. I have a great smartphone (Galaxy S4) and I like Google maps, but I would never count on my phone to get me places. Some of the locations I travel to (Big Sur or northwest Arizona, for example) have little or no cell coverage, so a phone-based GPS isn't an option there.

All that said, my Garmin 1390 LMT worked well, but I was ready to go to a larger screen with a few more features. After some research I chose this model. Having used it for a few weeks, I'm very happy with it. First, the larger screen really does improve readability. GPS screens can contain a lot of info, and a larger screen is more useful when you're hurtling down the road at freeway speeds or trying to find your way through an unfamiliar city.The 2597s screen is bright and very sharp. The PhotoReal images in the right hand window pop up when available and are surprisingly realistic, mimicking the real scene on the road. I don't know how they did that, but it's a great feature. The Garmin "Real Voice Guide" promises more realism. I don't really notice that much difference other than a bit more inflection. It's still somewhat mechanical, but no different from Siri or similar e-voices.

Startup is almost instantaneous and you don't have to scroll through a couple of nag screens reminding you to not play with the GPS while driving. I live in a neighborhood surrounded by very tall trees. My 1390 sometimes faltered for a while, struggling to find all the satellites. Not so this unit. I'm online in a few seconds.

I was able to transfer all of my favorites/POI from my 1390 to my 2597 in just seconds with the Garmin Express app. Whew! I also downloaded the free Garmin link app for Android, which is very handy. It links my phone to the Garmin via Bluetooth. I like being able to do a search on my phone and then send the address to the GPS. Searches on the GPS itself are easier than my last unit. As you enter characters a scroll bar displays possible choices under the search window. Very handy.

The traffic feature is improved over my 1390. The traffic receiver is embedded in the GPS (as far as I can tell); at least there is no tell-tale box on the cable itself. The unit seems to pick up traffic signals in areas where the 1390 didn't. I have not tried the voice recognition feature yet. That's next on my list. There are other features (Eco-Route) that I'm not particularly interested in. Neither do I plan on downloading the Garmin app that lets me create and upload new POIs. The POI icons that pop up as you are nearby are sometimes difficult to read because they're so small, but I can usually recognize the logos. Scrolling with my finger is smoother than with the 1390.

So far, the directions have been flawless. Occasionally, the 1390 would get confused and tell me that a POI was on the wrong side of the street. That hasn't happened with this unit. The menus operate a bit differently than the 1390, but they're easy after a bit of practice. I did have some difficulty figuring out how to delete my trip/track log (go to "Where I've Been".) Not intuitive.

One quirk: I like switching to an overhead view when I'm traveling long distances, to give me an idea of where I am. The only way to do that on this unit, as far as I can tell, is to activate the traffic feature, which can switch to an overhead view. It's a small thing.

One final quirk: the 2597 uses a USB mini cable to transfer data and map updates from your PC to the GPS. A short cable is included in the package. Who uses a USB mini cable for anything anymore? A USB micro cable (I've got lots of them and they're all longer) would eliminate the need to keep an outdated cable in my computer drawer.

But, the bottom line is that this is an outstanding GPS. If your vehicle has a built-in GPS and you're happy with it, or you really want to use your smartphone, more power to you. However, if you need portability, flexibility, a big screen and lots of useful features, this is worth a look. And, if you have an Android phone you've got even more features.

UPDATE: I have been using the voice-recognition system and really like it. Oddly, NPR sometimes sets it off, which is more amusing than annoying. In any case, it's an excellent feature. You should articulate clearly and somewhat loudly (and turn down the music) and it will work just fine.

Second, you can get an aerial view with the "where I've been" feature, without using the overhead traffic view (which is not available in many remote areas.)
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on May 26, 2013
i purchased the 2597 to replace a 2350 which was good but had a bug in it (caused the 2350 to stop giving the next turn in the upper left and had to be turned off and restarted). I will compare these two in my review.

Start up time: The 2597 appears to go to sleep instead of turn off when you press the power button. Power up is less than 2 seconds which is great. The 2350 was closer to 20 - 30 seconds.

Security: The 2597 can not be locked, i.e. with a 4 digit pin. Not a huge deal, but I liked the feature on the 2350. I am sure thieves can find a way around this feature which is why it's not a big deal. Just don't use you actual house for home, I use the beginning of my street instead.

Screen: Here is my biggest gripe. The 2350 screen is excellent, it has saturated colors that are easy to read, the 2597 appears washed out and although the colors in some areas (like the purple path you follow are deep enough, they are no where near as deep as the 2350. This is the reason for 4 stars instead of 5. The text is still readable, but it's been raining here for a week, so I haven't seen the screen in bright sunlight.

Text: My biggest gripe with the 2350 was although it had excellent colors, the font was smaller than it had to be. I have owned about 5 garmin GPS models and the 2350 has lots of space to put the words, but it didn't use all the space. The 2597 has a bigger screen, but it also has a much better font. It is much easier to read and I couldn't really ask for more.

Information Displayed: I really like the way the information is displayed, Speed limit and current speed have been moved to the left (the 2350 had them on the right), When you happen to go over the speed limit, the area around your current speed becomes a shaded red, other models turn the font to red. I like the shading better. I also REALLY like that the current road is on the bottom of the screen (in a readable font) and the next road is on the top of the screen.

Next turn: On the top left is the next turn, on multilane highways the 2350 would show you which lane or lanes, on the 2597 it SOMETIMES shows you if there are 4 lanes and you can be in the right 2 lanes (as an example). Note sure why this happens on some road and not others. But, it always tells you audibly if you should be in a certain set of lanes.

Speaker: The speaker appears to be slightly louder than the 2350, but as usual, it heavily distorts up around 100% and there appears to be little difference between 85% and 100%. So you may think you have power to spare at 85%, but really you don't, you are close to full volume.

Voice command: I have only owned this for a few days, but I like the voice command. It works great for my voice. I would recommend that only one person use voice command though, because when my wife tried to use it, it didn't work very well for her, and then after that, it seemed like it didn't work as well for my voice. So, I think it "learns" the voice and more than one may confuse the algorithm.

Routes: There is nothing about this on Garmin's site or others, and I don't know why since I think it's a major improvement. When you go someplace you can select from up to 3 routes and they show you the 3 routes on the screen, like google maps does. Then you just select the which route you like.

Adding destinations; It does a better job at adding destinations than the 2350, The 2597 shows you the destinations as a set of rows on the screen, from 1st destination to last destination, and you can just select one of them and move it up or down in your route.

Trip Log: It has it, and I really like this feature. It shows you where you have been as a set of blue "bread crumbs". If I take a strange route someplace and want to back out the way I came, these bread crumbs are perfect for doing this.

Recalculating: The new 2597 doesn't say this, which you may think is great, but it also doesn't say ANYTHING to you when it does recalculate, i.e. if you go off an a different road it won't tell you where to turn until the next turn comes up, which may be 100 miles away. I wish it would have said something, like "continue on I95 for 100 miles".

Overall, I really like this model. I will try to add to this review as I use it more. I hope this helps people.
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I've had this for about a year now and have had no issues with. There are some very excellent and extensive reviews already here and there is no need for me to be repetitive, so I will simply offer a summary of my own perspective and impressions.

Although I have only had the opportunity to use this once every few months or so, it is indispensable at those times. The LIVE TRAFFIC feature was new to me and I find it handy at times since I live in a big city. I have used it to plan the best route for getting out of or back into town. All of the MAP info seems pretty up to date in my experience, including recent road construction and detours. The business LISTINGS also seem accurate and up to date. The voice is very clear and easy to understand. I love how you can see actual highway exit signs when you are approaching one that you need to take. The detailed LANE information is also very helpful.

One thing that I do miss from an older device (of another brand) was the ability to bypass entering an exact address to route to and instead select only "city center". Sometimes I just like to route to a town for exploration and sight-seeing but do not have a specific address within it, so in those instances I have to search for one first.
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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.
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on August 23, 2016
I cannot believe that Garmin still doesn't have an easy way to send a map from Google Maps or Mapquest directly to the device. My crappy old Garmin from 6 years ago could do that. Now, you have to devote 20 hours/week to becoming an expert on their product called Basecamp to be able to create maps offline and import to the Garmin. Why does this matter? It's simple; I want to go somewhere, and I want to take a SPECIFIC route, so I can drive certain roads, or see certain things. This is PITA to set up on the device. It's easy to do on a PC map like Google Maps, Harley Davidson Rideplanner (the best) or Mapquest. But, you apparently cannot get those online maps INTO the garmin any way. I've had tickets open with Garmin, and spent hours on this. The sad part, is this used to work years ago with my first Garmin. Now I buy a new one thinking they must be really slick by now, and it's actually worse. It's not usable for my intended purpose, since I cannot load external routes on it. Maybe I'll have to get better at Basecamp but I don't have the time and learning to be an expert on a time-sucking proprietary app like Basecamp wasn't on my list of things to do when I bought this turd. Now it just lays in the car and we use it now and then for long trips. I also intended to use it to load a specific route and carry it on the motorcycle with Ram Mounts, but until I get better at Basecamp that's not possible.
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