We 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 Garmin.com 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.
GARMIN DRIVE NOTES:
Before you get to the table be aware that there are a few gotcha’s:
- 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.
- 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
- 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:
- records everything that happens in front of the car
- provides the driver with several useful safety features like lane departure and collision avoidance
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.
GARMIN DRIVE PRODUCT COMPARISON GRID:
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|
|Voice Activated Navigation||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|
|Screen Size||5 or 6″||5 or 6″||5″||5 or 6″|
|MicroSD Expansion Memory Slot||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|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|
GARMIN DRIVE VIDEOS:
Garmin Drive 51: