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Nuvi 2595Lmt Trvl Assist
Let nüvi 2595LMT lead the way with its big 5" (12.7 cm) touchscreen display and powerful navigation features. It includes FREE lifetime traffic¹ and map² updates, voice activation and more.
Navigate By Touch or By Voice
With its innovative voice-activated navigation, you can control nüvi 2595LMT with your voice — allowing you to keep both hands on the wheel. Simply wake up nüvi with a customizable voice command and begin speaking menu options that are clearly displayed on the screen. When you’re stopped, you can still control the nüvi using its intuitive touchscreen interface.
Garmin Guidance 2.0 allows you to easily look up addresses and services and be guided to your destination with voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions that speak street names. It comes preloaded with maps for North America. It also comes preloaded with more than 8 million points of interest (POIs) and offers the ability to add your own.
Avoid Traffic Tie-ups
With lifetime traffic updates from 3D Traffic, our most extensive traffic avoidance system, nüvi 2595LMT can help you avoid delays. We check traffic conditions more than 2 billion times each month, so you can easily reroute around congestion and arrive on time.
Lifetime Map Updates
With FREE lifetime map updates, you always have the most up-to-date maps, POIs and navigation information available at your fingertips. Map updates are available for download with no subscription or update fees and no expiration dates.
Know the Lane Before It’s Too Late
Now there’s no more guessing which lane you need to be in to make an upcoming turn. Available in select metropolitan areas, photoReal junction view makes unfamiliar intersections and exits easy to navigate. When you approach an exit or interchange, nüvi 2595LMT will enter split screen mode and show you a realistic depiction of junctions on your route, complete with road signs and arrows that indicate the proper lane for navigation.
Go Beyond Navigation
Point-to-point navigation is just the beginning. Share information and Live Services between nüvi 2595LMT and your compatible Android phone with Smartphone Link. nüvi 2595LMT also features a microSD™ card slot so you can store and use detailed cityXplorer™ maps or download custom voices and vehicles for free from the Garmin Garage™. Bluetooth® connectivity lets you make and take hands-free calls, while dual-orientation functionality lets you hold the nüvi vertically or horizontally for added convenience driving or walking.
The “Where Am I?” emergency locator provides your exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and more, while Enhanced Exit Services tells you what services you’re approaching on the highway.
What's In The Box
- nüvi 2595LMT
- Preloaded City Navigator NT North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Bahamas)
- Lifetime maps and traffic (indicated by “LMT” after model number on the box)
- 3D traffic receiver with vehicle power cable (the vehicle power cable is also the 3D traffic receiver)
- Vehicle suction cup mount
- USB cableQuick start manual
¹FREE lifetime traffic updates may not be transferred to another person or another Garmin product. Lifetime traffic extends for the useful life of your Garmin traffic receiver (as long as you own a compatible Garmin GPS) or as long as Garmin receives traffic data from its traffic supplier, whichever is shorter. A traffic receiver’s “useful life” means the period during which the receiver (a) has the required technical capabilities to utilize current traffic data service and (b) is capable of operating as intended without major repairs. Traffic content not available for all areas. See traffic coverage areas.
²If you purchase a nüMaps Lifetime subscription (sold separately or bundled together with certain GPS models), you will receive up to 4 map data updates per year, when and as such updates are made available on Garmin’s website, for 1 compatible Garmin product until your product’s useful life expires or Garmin no longer receives map data from its third party supplier, whichever is shorter. A product’s “useful life” means the period during which the product (a) has sufficient memory capacity and other required technical capabilities to utilize current map data and (b) is capable of operating as intended without major repairs. A product will be deemed to be out of service and its useful life to be ended if no updates have been downloaded for such product for a period of 24 months or more. Unless otherwise stated, the updates you receive under the subscription will be updates to the same geographic map data originally included with your Garmin product when originally purchased. In some instances, your Garmin product might not have sufficient memory remaining for you to load an update to the map data, in which case you will need to either (a) select reduced map data coverage for your updates, or (b) purchase separately a microSD™/SD™ card (if and as applicable to your Garmin product) and load all or a portion of the map data coverage for your updates to the card and insert the card into the microSD/SD card slot contained in your Garmin product. If neither of the measures in (a) or (b) can be used to address your product’s lack of sufficient remaining memory, then Garmin may conclude that the “useful life” of your product has expired. Garmin may terminate your nüMaps Lifetime subscription at any time if you violate any of the terms of this agreement or your subscription. Your nüMaps Lifetime subscription may not be transferred to another Garmin product.
Lifetime map and traffic updates (the vehicle power cable is also the traffic receiver)
Speed limit indicator - unit displays speed limits for most major roads.
Lane assist with photoReal junction views.
Over 8 million points of interest and see branded icons on the map as you navigate.
Park position recall - find your car where you left it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2822 of 2907 found the following review helpful:
My 3rd Garmin - New Features and how they workedNov 26, 2011
By Timothy Theis
This is my 3rd Garmin GPS. I have become accustomed to their user interface and performance, so I can't compare to other makes. I wanted to talk about the new features that attracted me to this unit and how I evaluated their usefulness on my first 3 hour road trip to a location I know by heart.
Feature 1 - 5 inch screen. I am older and am having to use reading glasses to see the GPS mounted to the dash. My earlier unit was a 4 inch. I considered a 7 inch Magellan, but when I found out you couldn't install custom POIs on the Magellan, it ruled that one out for me. We go camping frequently and I have all the state parks as custom POIs. I also have truck stops I like to use. The 5 inch display was definately an improvement for me.
Feature 2 - Automated voice recognition. I definately don't like being distracted by touching the screen to see how far the next roadside rest is (see custom POIs above). So I thought telling the GPS what I wanted made a lot of sense. When it comes to "commands" this feature works OK, but I have discovered I have to turn the radio volume down or talk VERY LOUDLY. The latter disturbs my wife :-) However, when you want to provide an address to locate, the unit performed badly. I couldn't get it to correctly locate any of 3 addresses correctly... i.e. "4810 Whitewood Court" ended up with something very strange.
Feature 3 - Turn lanes. Knowing which lane you need to be in to correctly exit the highway and be ready for the next turn. There are two distinctly different features on this unit for knowing the turn lanes. One is "Viewing Junctions" which displays a picture of the upcoming junction, complete with signage. This takes up about the right half of the screen. The other turn lane feature is a small area in the upper left corner that shows , by using arrows, the number of lanes. The lane(s) you are to be in are bright white, while the others are grey. I found the arrows to be VERY useful and quick to absorb at a glance. I found the "Viewing Junctions" not very useful, as you had to look over a much larger area of the screen to absorb the information in a glance. I found I had to glance at the "Viewing Junctions" image several times before I understood which lane it wanted me to be in. For me at least, the "Viewing Junction" feature was of no use to me.
Feature 4 - Traffic. On my trip there were no traffic problems, so I didn't get to experience any rerouting due to traffic conditions. This feature appears to only work when you are in or around larger cities. Between cities, pressing the traffic button indicated that there was no or weak signal.
Feature 5 - Posted speed limits - As you are navigating a small sign appears on the display showing the posted limit and your actual speed. If your actual speed exceeds the posted limit, it turns red. Nice little feature to keep honest people honest.
I found the estimated time of arrival to be more accurate than my previous GPSs. Perhaps because it knows the posted limits as they change along the route??? The menu system is different from my prior GPSs.
There is an icon composed of 3 horizontal white bars that, when pressed, bring up other options. Sometimes this icon is in the lower right of the display, sometimes it is located elsewhere depending on where you are in the menus. Since this was a little different than prior units, I am having to get adjusted to this.
1659 of 1732 found the following review helpful:
Why I bought a Garmin Nuvi 2595LMTDec 02, 2011
By Iggy Tech
Why I bought a Garmin Nuvi 2595LMT.
I have owned many voice command systems in my car from both Magellan and Garmin. I use my gps in my car and in my truck when pulling my 5th wheel. I had a Magellan Maestro 4050 with voice command since 2008 and decided to look around for a new one with a few more bells and whistles. I spent a week solid reading reviews and was ready to buy a Nuvi 3490LMT but kept on reading about software issues and after trying on at BestBuy didn't see it worth $400 for a few additional features.
With that in mind I looked back to Magellan Roadmaster 1700 and a 4700 and even the 5175 Traveller and just couldn't find one that had the features I wanted.
So back to Garmin I looked and found out that The Nuvi 2595LMT had everything I like and needed and was $150 less than the NUVI 3490LMT.
What I liked in the Nuvi 2595LMT
Speaks street names, turn by turn
One button to save and name a location.
Free map and traffic for life
Highway Lane selection
Highway Exit enhancement
Highway speed for that highway
Speed limit exceeded notice
Can change icons and voices
Has maps for most of Mexico
Select multiple routes and not just one
You can add coordinates in for a route which I use a lot.
And the great price from Amazon which I have bought many items from and has a great return policy.
I will turn off Bluetooth because I already have it in my car and truck stereo systems and to save battery when in pedestrian mode on battery.
What I don't like
Nothing yet about the unit.
I hate users who write rviews before they read the manual and learn how to use their unit.
Then complain how the unit doesn't do this or that and the unit does> All they have to do is take the time a read and learn.
I'm sure I will get a lot of negitive remarks to my statement but it really bothers me when the problem is the human factor.
With that said I almust add that yes firmware updates are always needed as minor bugs are found and what I see is Garmin in on top of this or they wouldn't be in business long.
159 of 164 found the following review helpful:
The Garmin nuvi 2595LMT is sweet!!Jul 11, 2012
I used the 2595LMT for a trip across the USA. Previously to this unit I used an older Garmin nuvi 360. There is really no comparison between the units, this one is so much better than the old one.
I larger screen size is really nice at 5". I was impressed to see the exit signs pop-up on the screen showing me which lanes I should be in. The top left corner also shows a bright white lane indicator as to where you should be with dim indicators as to where you should not be. Also nice was the fact that at the top of the screen Garmin tells you what you will be doing next.
Screen Features (called layers):
I went into the layer options to turn on some added detail for my trip. I activated the screen layer to show me: time for arrival, miles remaining, altitude (really cool to see why the truck was slowing down as I went up a mountain), my speed, and the road's speed limit.
- Don't turn on the speed limit audible notification, it will drive you crazy with the 3-beeps every time you go 1 mile an hour over the posted speed. It drove me crazy till I pulled over and shut down the noise notification for going over the speed limit.
- It will still show your speed and the speed limit without the audible alert on.
- I liked this feature and found that the Garmin was more accurate than my speedometer when I passed by an outdoor "this is your speed" sign.
- Sometimes when Garmin shows a speed limit it is not accurate. I wouldn't use their limit posting as fact. It may have been more accurate had I updated the maps before I began.
(Update 7/25/2012)- I spoke to Greg at Garmin about changing the tolerance from 1 MPH to 5 or 10 MPH over the speed limit. Per Garmin this currently is not an option as it is programmed in their firmware. He thought this would be a good idea too and suggested I request this in a firmware update. I did. If you own one, please request this feature too so Garmin sees that a speed tolerance of 5 or 10 MPH over the limit is a feature we would like to have in an upcoming software update.
- Garmin speaks the names of the streets and this newer version no longer says "Recalculating" if you miss your turn. Instead it just changes your route to fix your mistake.
- The upcoming directions is displayed at the top of the screen so you know what you will be doing next before Garmin speaks it.
Bluetooth Phone Tie-in:
- I linked the Garmin to my phone so I could make and receive calls through it. When someone called my cell phone an icon popped up on the screen with a ringing tone asking me to "Answer" or "Ignore" the call. It was so much easier to answer my phone this way, by touching one button on my Garmin, than digging for my phone and sliding it to unlock.
- The negative however is the fact that the person's voice coming out of the Garmin speaker was not as loud as it could have been. This may be because the speaker is on the back of Garmin. If the caller talked loud and clear things were much better. Depending on the clarity of the callers voice I sometimes get some distortion from the speaker. Best thing to do is tell the caller they are on a speaker phone and to speak clearly and not too fast. Kinda like using a cheap speaker phone. They said they could hear me clearly but I had to turn off the radio and CB to understand them.
- You can also dial calls through the Garmin with larger buttons than are on my phone. As you start to punch in the phone number it pops up other numbers with the same order of digits that you dialed previously to help you just click it to finish.
- There was an option on Garmin for voice dial but I didn't think to set that up before I got on the road.
- Another thing I learned was to be sure you click disconnect on the Garmin at the end of the call by touching the phone icon at the end of the call and selecting the big "disconnect" icon. I forgot to do this a couple of times and Garmin wouldn't tie-in for my next incoming call.
- Overall I liked the phone tie-in
Voice Activated Programming:
- I wasn't sure it I'd use this but now I don't use it any other way.
- I changed the default voice activation command to my wife's name at first but thought that would be problematic if she were with me, so I switched it over to the respond when I say the word "Garmin". Now if I just say the word "Garmin" it will ask me what I would like to do while showing me a screen of options. I can change where I want to go without even touching Garmin. I just say the word "Home" or "New Address" and Garmin asks my questions as to the address etc. After Garmin does it search it shows me a list of addresses that it though I might have said. I then can say "1" if that is the number next to the correct location or "2" if the correct address is by that number. If none are correct I can tell him to do it again. You need to speak clearly when you are giving an address or Garmin will come up with some wild addresses. Also make sure the radio or other talking is not happening as this will confuse Garmin.
- This feature is surely making me lazier than I already was.
- This version, with the LMT designation, has lifetime Map updates as well as lifetime Traffic.
- The map is decent and while you are getting near major traffic exits it often will prompt you with a picture of the exit sign showing you where you should be.
- Sometimes Garmin was a bit off as to what lane you should be in, typical with most GPS units, but for the other 95% of the time it was right on. Maybe a map update would have corrected this but I used it with the maps that were already preloaded in it since I had no Internet access where I set it up in Florida.
- The map also shows some restaurant or food icons while you are on the road. There are more gas stations available at the exits but I think Garmin only displayed the icon for the ones that paid them to be included on the general map. If you go into the gas or food settings on the 2nd screen you can find all the other gas/restaurants.
- This was another really nice addition to this Garmin.
- To use the Traffic Feature Garmin must be connected for power using the supplied power cable. Makes sense since you usually use the power cable on a trip.
- I put the power cable so it looped behind the Garmin which allowed the little plastic box on the power cable to see clearly through the windshield, this is the receiver for the Live Traffic feature
- You can check the signal strength of this feature by clicking on the car icon on the right of the screen.
- When you are in areas where the traffic feature is used the car icon will turn a color like green or red instead of being light gray meaning no transmissions in the area to read.
- I found the traffic feature to work in most larger areas or where the department of transportation has installed the radio transmitters. If you are is small town areas there is a really good chance that this feature won't be on since no radio transmitters have been installed.
- The only strange problem I found was the fact that some of the areas I was driving through had no power due to a storm. Garmin got scared and told me the freeway must be closed, I knew better since the city on both sides of the freeway were dark with police light flashing directing traffic in the distance. I was sure the radios in that city were not transmitting, so I continued on I-75 without incident. Sometime we need to remember that these are only computers.
- By clicking on the icon when a warning was approaching Garmin would tell you that it was congested, a traffic accident ahead, etc.. This feature is only as good as the city that was transmitting the information. Some times it warned me of an accident that was already cleared. I liked when it showed how long the expected delay would be. But then again sometimes there was congestion, for a person changing their tire, that was not transmitted by the local city.
Internal Memory: ***VERY IMPORTANT***
- The reason I bought this Garmin was because my older Garmin could no longer hold the newer maps. The new maps tend to be bigger and my old unit was limited to 2 gig internal memory. Since the maps became large it could no longer update.
- This Garmin has the biggest internal memory at 8 gig. I had to do a ton of research to find this out as Garmin doesn't tell you on their website or in the specs. Be careful since Garmin still sells units with small internal memory which will mess you up for future updates.
- With 8 gig of internal memory I will have no problem with the newer and larger updates for maps.
- You can add a microSD card to store person stuff on this unit.
- You can add books and photos to the GPS but I personally think this is a waste of time. Why would I want my photo album on this thing or a book on a small 5" screen when you can but a descent reader with a big screen that would be much better for that purpose.
- You can manually search for restaurants, fuel, hospital, police, etc. just like the older units.
- You can even manually type in the address if you want to but why would you do that when you can just talk to this unit.
- Using the unit on battery will only give you a couple of hours of life. Plus, if you are driving this disables the Live Traffic feature that requires the power cord for use.
- The manual that comes with the unit is basically how to get started. More of a simplified instruction guide with a few pages.
- The real manual that explains everything must be downloaded from Garmin. I didn't have any computer connection available when I was setting mine up but by looking at the simplified manual it was very intuitive and pretty easily to figure out. I would however recommend at least reviewing the simplified instruction manual that comes with it so you can learn about some of the cool features and how to use them.
- Amazon had the best price on this unit with free shipping using Amazon Prime. I searched around and found some priced the same but the shipping made them no longer a good deal. I also know I can trust Amazon compared to some of the other companies I've never hear of. I also bought the accessories on Amazon as I'm too cheap to pay Best Buy prices or Garmin's price.
- There is a top-of-the-line model that does more than this Garmin but this does enough for me.
- The unit does NOT come with a case, be sure to order something to put it in. I ordered a hard case to store it and the cord in as well as a leather thinner case for when I travel. This way I can stash the cord and mount under the seat while I take Garmin out of the vehicle to keep him safe without having to carry a big case with the cord in it. I don't know why Garmin stopped providing a protective case, must be for money of course.
- I also bought the non-slip pad that allows me to sit him on the dash. I'm not a fan of the suction cup mounts as this advertises to break the window and look for a GPS inside. Besides the bean bag stand allows me to put him on the seat, in my wife's hand to find a restaurant, or anywhere on the dash I want.
Overall, If you are looking for a nice GPS that will handle future map updates, can use voice commands, has a bigger screen than most, and has a reasonable price I don't think you will be disappointed. I've used this thing hard and am impressed with the results I got. Do your research when you look around as I did. I spent 1 week reading review after review and tracking down internal memory specs before I choose this one.
When updating the Lifetime Map program you need to be running a newer version of Windows XP (2005 or newer), or Windows 7 or Windows 8. This is because the updating program called "Garmin Express" requires an updated program from Microsoft to install. I had a machine using Windows XP 2003 and had to use my Windows 7 machine for the program Garmin Express to install.
791 of 843 found the following review helpful:
Mixed bag.Nov 13, 2011
By David M. Manzi
I recently upgraded from an older Garmin to this unit, and while it clearly is improved in some areas, the method of finding addresses leaves LOTS to be desired. In the older unit I could easily change the state, and then enter number, street, and city. Very easy. In this new unit you enter a number, then the street, and then wait. And wait. And wait. Until it finally shows a scrollable list of results for your region which you then need to tediously scroll through to find the combination of street and city you are looking for. Horrible. Yes, you can find a city first, but even that adds lots more steps than the older unit! Why did they change a system that worked so well? Try finding an address on "Main" street and see how long it takes you!
On the plus side, sattelite aquisition is much quicker. You have a choice of routes after you (finally) find your destination, the map and unit are, for the most part, responsive. There's lots of options for map details, the voice volume is plenty loud, and the built-in database is comprehensive. The 5" touch screen displays a nice image, and is NOT reflective so it's easier to see, unlike a competitor I returned that had a glossy screen that was impossible to see in daylight due to reflections. The mount is not a powered mount, but works well. It's a standard Garmin mount. Overall, the unit does what it's supposed to do, and it does it very well. My only (and big) complaint is the new method of finding destinations. I'd sure love the option of using the old system.
387 of 413 found the following review helpful:
Garmin NUVI 2595 vs. TomTom GO LIVE 2535Jun 25, 2012
Being the directionless person that I am, a GPS system is a must-have tool for me in my line of work. I travel approximately 250 miles per day in the Houston and surrounding areas and getting from one appointment to the next is a very real challenge for me. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I never again want to be without a reliable GPS unit. In researching and reading a lot of views in Amazon and elsewhere, I consistently heard Garmin this and Garmin that when it came to who makes the best GPS systems. I have no bias and quite frankly, because this tool is so important to what I do, money is no object (although I unwilling to simply buy the priciest model falling into the "you get what you pay for" trap. There are more expensive models out there than either of these that I am comparing, but I feel fairly confident is saying that these are two of the best-in-class units available for the money. Having said that, let me begin.
Thinking my TomTom GO LIVE 2535 had died (it hadn't), in a panic I ordered the Garmin 2595 to replace it. When I was able to get the TomTom up and running again (merely a software update issue), this gave me the opportunity to compare the two. So, for those of you who may be interested, here is a direct comparison of the two.
1. The first thing I noticed was how much lighter the Garmin Nuvi 2595 was than the TomTom. This has no real significance other than the fact that I simply make note of it. In a way, the lighter weight of the Garmin is, in my opinion, an advantage in that it does not seem as susceptible to being tossed around due fast braking, rapid turns, etc. that are the fact of every day city driving.
2. Voice Quality: The second thing I noticed immediately was that the sound quality of the Garmin voice compared to the TomTom was awful. The Garmin voice works, but after being accustomed to the pleasant human-sounding quality of the TomTom voices (there are a number to choose from), the Garmin voice sounds horribly and obviously tinny and robotic. Winner: TomTom
3. Unit Setup: The initial setup of the Garmin Nuvi 2595 using the Dashboard Updater was an initial nightmare and considerable pain. You must first download the Updater software in order to get your map updates. I had no problem with that concept; a little annoying, but what the hey. So, I dutifully downloaded and ran the Updater in the evening after I got home from work. I was informed that it would take 9 hours to download the maps. Okay. So be it. But when I woke the next morning, the Updater was still spinning its' wheels and telling me I still had nine hours to go! Major bummer. After doing some poking around and acting on some suggestions given, I tried downloading some USB drivers. No luck. That failed as well. Then when I got back on the Garmin website, I was informed the site was down for maintenance. Needless to say, I was disgusted and off to a shaky start with Garmin. Winner: TomTom
Rant: One of my biggest gripes with today's tech companies is the number of hours they have wasted of my precious time trying to get their products to work. To be fair, I've had my share of issues in the past with the older TomTom site as well; although the latest TomTom site is much improved. When I invest my considerable amounts of time and money on these tech products, I expect them to work. Is that too much to ask? Is that unrealistic? In the case of this latest TomTom 2535 software, I was able to get it working again, or I would have really been up the creek without my precious GPS and not a little unhappy.
4. Although the Garmin Nuvi 2595 has a 5" screen, it appears smaller to me than the TomTom due to the way the display is setup. The Garmin is more cluttered than the TomTom. Having said that, the Garmin display is clear enough and functional. The Garmin screen splits into two parts when coming to major exits off of freeways. I don't really find that terribly useful. The TomTom performs this same function but retains the full size screen, which I prefer. Again, I'm just noting this difference and is nit-picking and of no real importance to me. Personal Preference: TomTom
5. Mount: While not directly related to this comparison, I must mention that the Garmin Portable Friction Dash Mount that I purchased for use with the Garmin 2595 is absolutely fantastic compared to the one I use for the TomTom. It holds the Garmin securely in place, even during emergency-type braking (which there is a lot of in the Houston metroplex) and quick turns. I have yet to have the Garmin go flying off of this mount. My TomTom, on the other hand, has done a number of aerial maneuvers during some frequent panic stops and other fast maneuvers I am often required to perform in the crazy Houston traffic world. I do not like having the GPS mounted on my windshield for a variety of reasons, primarily because I am in and out of my van so many times during the day, that I don't want to leave the unit exposed for potential thieves. The Garmin Dashboard Mount is an absolutely brilliant design and conforms to the shape of the dashboard. It does its' job perfectly. Winner: Garmin Dashboard Mount (sold separately).
6. Routing & Directions: Okay. This is really what GPS systems are all about and where it really matters, isn't it?. In this area, the TomTom wins hands down in terms of accuracy. I have now travelled with both the TomTom and the Garmin running at the same time over thousands of miles and the TomTom 2535 consistently gives the most accurate results as well as the most accurate arrival times. In contrast, the Garmin often comes up with some pretty strange routes that defy common sense. I often feel that the Garmin is using some kind of map database that is at least 10 or 15 years out of date. Now I don't know if that is true or not; its' just the feeling I get when using it. For example, there is a major road that runs to a major freeway that I take every day when starting off to work. This road runs directly to a major freeway; an absolute straight shot. But, for whatever strange reason, the Garmin indicates that I should take this long, roundabout loop which leaves this major road, loops around and then rejoins this same road many miles later! I happen to know from experience that the loop that the Garmin is suggesting is a very slow, winding country road. Yes, it will eventually rejoin the main road, but why bother? Then, once I am on the freeway, the Garmin wants me to turn off of that freeway to take what it determines is another "short cut" across 4 lanes of traffic heading in the opposite direction. The obvious problem is, that this is not only dangerous, but because of the heavy traffic, it means that I would have to wait until there is a break in the traffic flow in order to make that dash across those multi-lanes of very fast-moving traffic. It makes no sense considering that just a little over a mile beyond this turn-off is the main exit which puts you directly onto the road you're going to. Admittedly, you will wind up about a mile farther south than you would be if you took the turn off, but because it is a standard exit and controlled by a light, it is much safer and probably considerably faster than waiting for the opposing traffic to clear before making that mad dash across the opposing lanes. This kind of bizarre routing is a common problem with the Garmin. This is NOT to say that I have not ever had issues with the TomTom. In fact, while on a visit to San Antonio, the TomTom actually routed me onto a one-way street going the wrong way! Fortunately, it was early in the morning and I was able to whip my van around without incident. Having said that, however, the TomTom is consistently much more accurate than the Garmin 2595. One other important note is that the TomTom is much better at finding alternate routes when there is traffic congestion. This is a very important issue for me because the Houston metroplex is often one big traffic jam and the TomTom has consistently found alternate routes that have shaved as much as 20 minutes off of my commute times. The Garmin does try, but it often offers alternatives that I know are going to get me into even more of a mess. For example, during one particularly nasty traffic jam on a Friday evening, the Garmin kept nagging me to take a particular exit out of the jammed traffic situation. The only problem was that everyone else was taking this exit as well, and it was obvious at a glance that taking that exit would actually be worse than just waiting out the stalled traffic situation. Those cars that did take that exit weren't going anywhere for a very long time. I wondered at the time if some of those folks were using a Garmin. The TomTom, on the other hand, somehow correctly assessed the situation and informed me that I was "still on the best route". That's another thing I really like about the TomTom over the Garmin: it always allows me the CHOICE between staying on the original route or taking the suggested alternate route that it comes up with. The Garmin, on the other hand, simply nags me to take whatever alternate route it has determined to be the best and doesn't recalculate until I've driven past its' suggestion. I've found that the Garmin consistently suggests this kind of impractical route alternative. Yes, I have actually taken many of its' suggestions thinking that it "knew" something that I didn't. I was willing to explore the situation to see if it had actually come up with a better solution. After spending too many times looping all over the place in crazy, nonsensical routes which eventually did get me to where I was going, I learned to take the Garmin with a large grain of salt in these situations. The bottom line: TomTom wins big time.
7. The Voice Command. This is something that I just love about the Garmin. The voice command is far from perfect, but it is actually kind of a hoot to use because what it does works so well. The TomTom voice command, on the other hand, is a joke and nearly useless for most of the things that matter to me when it comes to using a voice command. What is the point of having a voice command when it requires you to make button presses on the screen like the TomTom does? This is distracting to the driver and dangerous to say the least. The Garmin voice command does not do this. It is really quite impressive and amazing, in spite of its' limitations. You simply say, "Voice Command" and it then shunts you off to a secondary screen which offers you other available voice commands. You then proceed by simply choosing from one of those commands and the Garmin unit takes care of the rest. After using the Garmin, you become familiar with the commands which means then that you don't necessarily have to even glance at the screen any more. In most cases, there are no screen presses to make. The Garmin voice command feature is generally far safer to use than the TomTom. The TomTom folks could learn a great deal from Garmin in this area. Winner: No contest; Garmin Nuvi 2595
8. Speed Limits: Both the TomTom GO LIVE 2535 and Garmin Nuvi 2595 suffer from some of the same problems when it comes to out-of-date speed limits. Again, it makes me wonder what databases these GPS systems use. There have been many new roads built in the last dozen or so years in the Houston area, and many-if not most-of these roads have been in place for at least 10 years, and yet the speed limits given by both of these GPS units are based upon much older speed limits. It causes me to wonder what we are getting when we do our map updates. Why are 10+ year's roads still showing such outdated speed limits? In the case of speed limits, then, I don't see one system superior to the other. They both are full of inaccuracies when it comes to posted speed limits. There are many roads, for example, that show up on both of these GPS units as 45 mph, when in fact, they are now 55-65 mph roads. No clear winner here.
9. Voice advance warnings: The TomTom is often much "chattier" than the Garmin; in fact, sometimes to an annoying degree, although to be honest, I would personally rather have too much info than too little, especially when dealing with new areas that I am unfamiliar with. The Garmin is often oddly silent when it comes to some rather major lane shifts or turns required and often lags behind the TomTom, but not always. Occasionally, it's just the reverse, but in general, the Garmin tends to lag behind the TomTom in terms of turning directions and other advance warnings. This is another crucial feature for me since I am dealing with an area of often very dense traffic situations, where it is absolutely necessary to know when to get into the proper lane for an exit, etc. The TomTom usually gives lane change information far enough in advance for this to take place safely (typically with a two mile warning), whereas the Garmin often tends to be either silent or makes it's warnings far too late to be of much good except in more ideal traffic situations (typically about one mile in advance, if at all). Please bear in mind, however, that this is not true in all cases. There have been many exceptions. While I often wish that the TomTom would shut up, at other times it has saved me a lot of aggravation and frustration, so in spite of its' overly chatty nature, I must give the TomTom a slight advantage here. Quite frankly, this is a somewhat tough one for me to call. There have been a number of times when the Garmin gave much clearer directions than the TomTom. The bottom line is if you drive in heavy traffic conditions and you are as directionless as I am, you may be better off having the TomTom at your side. For those of you in less densely trafficked areas, this may not be an issue between the two units. I guess I have to consider the overall consistency with this one. Winner: TomTom GO LIVE 2535 gets a slight edge.
10. Road names: You wouldn't think this would be an issue with a GPS unit, but I have found another strange anomaly with the Garmin 2595: the road names it gives for many of the back country roads where I actually live are names that have not been in place for who knows how long. For example, most of the country roads are labeled with signs that read CR123 or CR 456, etc. The Garmin, however, will announce such names as "Pleasant Bend" or "Keller's Trail" or whatever. I doubt that anyone around these parts other than some of the truly old timers has any notion as to what these country roads were once called. In any event, these names are not posted as such on any signs nor are they found on any map, including Key Maps. The TomTom, on the other hand, almost always refers to the roads by their proper posted names. Again, the TomTom is not perfect in this regard, and does struggle with some of the newer road changes, especially in cases where new roads have been built alongside older roads. But this is understandable. The Garmin, however, regularly hoses these names and for someone unfamiliar with the area, would be considerably confused when faced with turning directions just relying on the voice street names. For example, if you're told to turn onto "Buffalo Row" when the road is marked with a sign that reads CR789, you may find yourself confused. At that point, you will be forced to do a double-take on the GPS screen and hope that it's turning arrow info is accurate, which, again, to be fair, will probably be the case, but still...Winner: TomTom GO LIVE 2535
11. Parking Lot directions. Now here is an area that I haven't read much about anywhere else when researching GPS units. My job puts me in a LOT of parking lots. Getting out of those parking lots and onto the right road headed in the right direction is a constant challenge. The TomTom just whomps Garmin butt in this regard. That is to say that the Garmin provides no help whatsoever until you get back out onto the main road. The TomTom does its' best-and usually very respectable job-of getting you out of that parking lot and headed in the right direction to your next destination. Winner: TomTom GO LIVE 2535
12. Arrival Times: This is another important area for me since my work requires me to be on time for sales appointments. The Garmin & TomTom are usually within about 3 minutes of one another, with no clear winner. Perhaps a slight edge to the TomTom, especially when the Garmin unit comes up with one of its off-the-wall routes that it is prone to.
13. Street Name Pronunciation: This is really a trivial matter and of no real importance to me, but the Garmin is definitely better at pronouncing street names. Actually, I get a kick out of some of the odd pronunciations of the TomTom. For example, it pronounces a common word like "Toll way" as "TALL way". It also insists on pronouncing one major highway twice, as in "Highway Six, Highway Six". I have no idea why. Garmin has no such issues and generally pronounces most street and highway names properly. Winner: Garmin
14. Toll way Preference: Another area of importance to me is ability to choose whether or not to use a toll road. I spend about $160/month on toll road charges, so that choice matters a great deal to me. The TomTom always asks me for my permission to use a toll road. The Garmin does not. The Garmin seems to be set up to assume that you ALWAYS want to use the toll roads. There may be a way of changing this setting in the Garmin that I haven't discovered yet, but I like the fact that the TomTom asks me every time, at which point I can either say "Yes" or "No". Winner: TomTom
SUMMARY: I guess at this point I've covered just about everything that is important to me in choosing a good GPS unit. Both of these units are good GPS systems. I like each of them for different reasons. As previously stated, I love the voice command feature of the Garmin. I use it--and enjoy using it--every day. For that reason, I have both units running in my car. I keep the Garmin mounted on my dash because I love the secure Garmin Dashboard Mount that I spoke of earlier. I keep the TomTom down below and listen to and consult it when there is a disparity between the two units. I generally tend to go with and trust the TomTom for most direction disputes over the Garmin. For that reason, if I had to choose just one, it would be with the TomTom GO LIVE 2535. But I would sure miss some of the features of the Garmin!
I know this has been terribly long-winded, but I hope my comparison will help some of you make a decision that is right for you.
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