SOLVED: What Are The Differences Between The Garmin Drive GPS Products?

garmin-drives-drive-driveassist-driveluxWe have been looking at car GPS systems for some time and for a variety of reasons have settled on Garmin products.  However, Garmin has a lot of product and they do a very poor job of explaining the differences between them.  So we spent 2 hours grinding through and other sites trying to create a list of the meaningful differences between the current generation “Garmin Drive” products.  Below is the product Garmin GPS feature table we developed.


Before you get to the table be aware that there are a few gotcha’s:

  1. Garmin has several model updates to their DRIVE line.  In particular, they released the “Garmin Drive 50” line in 2016 and the “Garmin Drive 51” line in January 2017.  We expect a “52” line by the end of 2018, so be careful with your selection.
  2. On some of the older “50” line, only US maps are included and you need to buy a slightly different model with both Canada and US maps.  The “51” line seems to include Canada and US as standard, but we recommend you confirm before purchasing
  3. There are 5″ and 6″ models for all but DRIVE ASSIST (which only has a 5″) so make sure you are getting the model you want

We settled on the Garmin DriveAssist because it has a front facing webcam that:

  1. records everything that happens in front of the car
  2. provides the driver with several useful safety features like lane departure and collision avoidance

If you want to see a video of the unboxing, core configuration and review of the Garmin DriveAssist 51, we have ours HERE.

Take note that we are not Garmin experts so, while it is unlikely, it is possible there are mistakes in the table.  If you are using this table for a purchase decision, please double check your specs before buying.


We highlighted the main features of the current generation “51” line we thought you would care about.

Feature Garmin Drive Garmin DriveSmart Garmin DriveAssist Garmin DriveLuxe
Lifetime Live Traffic data from FM??? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lifetime Live Traffic data from Cell No Yes Yes Yes
Lifetime Live Parking Data Yes Yes Yes Yes
WiFi For Updates No Yes Yes Yes
Smartphone App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Voice Activated Navigation No Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth No Yes Yes Yes
Display Texts  (from your cell) No Yes Yes Yes
Speaker Phone (from your cell) No Yes Yes Yes
Lifetime Map Updates in NA Yes Yes Yes Yes
Two Finger Pinch & Zoom Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes Yes
Powered Mount No No No Yes
Screen Size 5 or 6″ 5 or 6″ 5″ 5 or 6″
Screen Resolution 480×272 480×272 480×272 800×400
Colour Screen Yes Yes Yes Yes
MicroSD Expansion Memory Slot Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dashcam  No No Yes No
Lane Departure Warning No No Yes No
Collision Avoidance Warning No No Yes No
Driver Alerts (i.e. sharp curve ahead) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Red Light & Speed Camera Warning Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weather Related Routing Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can Pair with Garmin Backup Cam Yes Yes Yes Yes
Battery Length in Mins 60 60 30 60
Weight 170g 243g 191g 231g
Chassis Material Plastic Plastic Plastic Metal


Garmin Drive 51:


Garmin DriveSmart 51:

Garmin DriveAssist 51:

Garmin DriveLuxe 51:

Questions or Comments?