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76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Won me over
Not being a huge fan of Sat Navs I have to say this is fabulous. Purchased the week prior to going on holiday to the States, just in time to downloaded updated US maps, which did take a few hours but was well worth it. Sat Nav worked minutes after arriving and got us everywhere we asked it to, and even round a diverted route owing to a road closure. Images very clear...
Published 13 months ago by Mrs D T Gale

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expect from Garmin....
We have had Garmins before and liked them, and the only reason to change was that we needed to update European maps on the old one and with lifetime updates this looked like a better option. None of us liked it though and it has now gone back to swap for a Tom Tom. Approaching roundabouts the lane guidance often wasn't helpful at all, it didn't even register some...
Published 7 months ago by John Fearnley


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76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Won me over, 19 Nov 2013
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Not being a huge fan of Sat Navs I have to say this is fabulous. Purchased the week prior to going on holiday to the States, just in time to downloaded updated US maps, which did take a few hours but was well worth it. Sat Nav worked minutes after arriving and got us everywhere we asked it to, and even round a diverted route owing to a road closure. Images very clear and it's easy to use to find restaurants, shops and attractions. Did have a laugh at pronounciation of some of the US place names. The Garmin was a replacement for a Tom Tom which we had purchased a couple of weeks prior but which wouldn't let us load up US maps. Would highly recommend this product.
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89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money!, 19 Mar 2014
By 
Mrs. S. M. Booth (Faversham, Kent, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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We bought this to replace our old Garmin as we were about to go to Poland, by road, for the first time. Amazingly you can put in your destination, which was across five countries (England, France, Belgium, Holland, germany and Poland) and it will just find the shortest route. It not only tells you, as do the others, to turn right or left but gives you the name of the street too. The only negative is that it sees delays on the route (anywhere on the 12 hour route) and asks you if you would like to take an alternative route. At first we were taking the alternative route until we realised that these delays were often 200 or 300 kilometers away and not likely to affect us but that the diversions would probably delay us more! Wish it would say how far away the delays were!
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275 of 285 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and lightweight device, 11 May 2013
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Bought this on the day it was released in the UK. Amazon shipped the day before and it arrived on the day of release.

I've owned many Garmin devices in the past but never a dedicated car 'satnav' - previously used an old Garmin Oregon which must be about 10 years old now (also own treking/outdoor hand-held Garmin devices).

This Garmin (2597LMT) was a fantastic update: clear display, 3D maps, voice directions and easy destination entry. The traffic alerts are a bonus too.

Two days after receiving this Garmin, I tested it 'in anger' on a one week holiday to Cornwall. The ease of use and accuracy of the directions are excellent. Arriving at the holiday cottage, a quick button press located the nearest supermarket and directed us there. Whilst en route, the 'Up Ahead' feature showed fuel, toilets and refreshments on the journey and the traffic delays were updated as we went (with the option to re-route to avoid).

This 5" screen version is big (and clear) enough for use without being too big to carry around once you get out of the car - I think the 7" version would be more of a pain to carry (even with the girlfriend/wife/fiancee's handbag to store it!).

I recommend this device!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expect from Garmin...., 8 May 2014
By 
John Fearnley "manorfarmdenton" (Norfolk, UK.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
We have had Garmins before and liked them, and the only reason to change was that we needed to update European maps on the old one and with lifetime updates this looked like a better option. None of us liked it though and it has now gone back to swap for a Tom Tom. Approaching roundabouts the lane guidance often wasn't helpful at all, it didn't even register some roundabouts on the London North Orbital, insisted on calling it that rather than the A614 that all the road signs had on them, insisted I turn right while driving along a road in Suffolk with no junction on the right, called a small farm access with grass growing on it a roundabout exit etc etc. The least useful satnav I have ever had, and incidentally the most expensive - disappointing since I loved the old Garmin, which reliably guided us round Paris, through Madrid and down to Cartagena on several occasions with no hiccups at all.

UPDATE 08 May '14 I used it one last time today before returning it and it wanted me to turn off the A road I was on into a crescent-shaped access road in front of a row of houses then back out of it onto the A road again. Utterly ridiculous! I think Garmin have got a serious problem with this one.
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235 of 254 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed Garmin customer., 25 Jun 2013
By 
M. Curtis "mmm" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Pre ordered mine and very pleased that it arrive on day of release. Having previously had years of great service from a basic TomTom One I was a reluctant convert to Garmin but so many bad reviews of latest tomtom products persuaded me to make the change. I really only wanted to add Europe for a long driving holiday and the old tomtom didn't have that.

I have lots of reservations however about this Garmin not least of all was it failure to work properly after a couple of hours down the French motorway on day 1 of the two week drive through Europe for which I had specifically bought it (I had previously done a trip to scotland and the West country and it was fine then) ! The unit froze on us whilst driving and then having switched off would not restart it just kept cycling through a start up screen and then off again, and no amount of button pushing would stop it. Several hours of internet searching that evening and pushing bits of the screen to try to do a master reset seemed to sort it out in the end but I had by then lost all the trip data for that part of the journey, and all my favourites all put in for the trip we were on! I was not happy at all. If we had been on our own on the trip with no web access we would have had a serious issue, fortunately we had friends with us to assist and get us back on track on that day. We had paper maps etc, but not so easy locating hotels in strange town with those is it.!

A few more cons compared to my old and very basic tomtom.
You can't get all the info you need on the main screen. I want to see the current time, the distance and time to my destination all at a glance, tomtom does it, Garmin needs more presses of the screen to get all that. And I can't understand why they don't allow this, as you can customise the sidebar but you simply can't add the info to that I think you need. Very poor that. You should not need to touch the unit to get something as basic as the current time up. UPDATE, this model now has all the info on the screen you need, a software update put that right a few months ago. It makes this a far more friendly unit to use now..
Tomtom warms about toll roads etc when it plans a route, Garmin doesn't. You can add them as "avoidances" but it would be nice to get a warning beforehand.
Tomtom give you options to customise the sound of alerts, no flexibility at all with Garmin, you get what you a given.

Pros.
The ability to browse and zoom in and out of the maps is a lot better than on my old tomtom. And the overview map that shows mountains etc is a great way to get a feel for your trip and its then possibly to zoom right into the details of the route.

Routing.
Dodgy in my opinion, but aren't all sat navs! Several times Garmin has tried to take me off motorways for no apparent reason, or cut corners in small villages to take you down bumpy narrow back roads where its way better to carry on through on the main road.
This Garmin also has no option to set a route for walking, my old tomtom did, and so do older Garmins so why not this one? Particular stupid as it will remember where you parked your car if you need to find it but it then gives you driving directions back to it !

Beware if planning to use this somewhere like the Alps as we did. It will lose reception in the numerous tunnels and narrow gorges. OK I would expect it to do that but why then does it often show you miles away on the screen ? It knows you were on the road, it should know you were in a tunnel so why can it not just assume you are traveling along at a set speed on the same road. It can be very tricky when there is a junction just outside the tunnel as all routing is lost once it loses the sat signal and you just hope it gets it back quickly the other side.
And why on earth does it not have toll booths shown on the maps ? A pretty important feature in my opinion, and would be very useful to know ones coming up so you can can get ready but nothing at all is shown.
You can configure the side bar to show what's ahead. Its useful but why not somehow indicate if the petrol station for examlpe up ahead is on your route or off it ? You think one is coming up in a mile or so but in then disappears off the screen is it turns out its a few streets away and not on your actual route, not very helpful. Again tomtom does this better with on route and off route searching.

Traffic warnings
These seem to work but as is often the case with such things they are usually a bit behind and hold ups and gone before you get there. Several dire warnings driving down through France of 90 min delays were ignored by me and traffic was heavy but moving and any delay was minimal, nothing like that predicted. No doubt not the fault of Garmin that, but just a general warning on taking advice on such route diversions.

Bluetooth.
A bit disappointed that it will sync with my old Nokia phone but not read the phonebook, so not much use for dialing out. Its strange because my old phone works fine in my Audi with its own bluetooth it reads my phone book with no problem.

Screen and instructions etc.
I like the photo real junctions, lots of them on motorways across UK and Europe, they do help. Lane guidance when you get it also helps. On occasions however especially on some roundabouts the arrow on the screen seems a bit fat and you lose clarity on the actual direction you need to go. It would be great to get an overview map of your route and progress along it with one touch, you can get it but it takes multiples screen touches to do it.
I can't comment much on the voice instructions as most of my use has been in an open top car, and it not easy to hear them with the wind noise, and anyway I tend to rely on the screen by habit

Screen attachment.
Works fine for the most part but I have noticed you can get vibration through the car that will make the unit vibrate as well for a few seconds, (and that's worse in a sports car with stiff suspension) so mount not that solid, and if you are a bit heavy handed when pressing the screen the unit can move on the ball joint.

Garmin Basecamp.
I have tried to use this to do routes on the PC but have found it very frustrating and fiddly to use and gave up. Tyre was a lot better and easy to set up waypoints to then create routes using that.

Garmin Case
Bought the genuine case as well. Nice and easy to use but does not fully enclose the unit as side are elasticated so i dropped it, and unit still got a dent on the corner, another Garmin disappointment.

So there you go. I did plan to send it back after it let me down but its been fairly good since then. But overall I am a disappointed Garmin customer and wondering if I should have just forked out for new Europe maps for my old faithful tomtom and saved a bit of cash!
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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm in love with my Gar!, 4 Nov 2013
By 
P.J. Arnold (Crewe, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well I was afraid it wouldn't do all the things I wanted it to, but it does and does so much more besides. Its simply great at what it is and what it should do, especially setting up a multi stop journey, so easy so quick. It even remembers your favourite searches and places and next time they're just there waiting to be selected, it searches very quickly, it changes your route very quickly if you divert or miss a turn, and on the odd occasion there was traffic trouble it came up on the display.
The 7 inch display is very clear and easy to use, and using the Garmin universal dash mount (which is great too) you can place it in just the optimum position for un-obstructive yet easy glancing viewing. Its powered by a thicj cable from the cigarette lighter socket that also doubles as the traffic warning news aerial, so thats a little messy to sort out, but soon got used to it, especially as the device works so well and you start to fall in love with it.
There is a little downside to it though, I found when in city centres and you approach very complex junctions, the car symbol can move a little too slowly and you think its pointing to one road when in fact it wants you on another, so I did miss a road or two, but that could be my error, but it soon re-calculates and gets you back on track again, in seconds. The other gripe was the traffic service, which did not warn of a major snarl up around a huge roundabout in Preston that was being 'improved', hah, the works had clearly been going on for weeks and the traffic was backed up all over the place (had two major roads and motorway junction to sort out there), and yet it was not aware and so did not avoid the area, we drove straight in to the chaos.
However, overall its a fantastic piece of kit and cannot recommend it highly enough. My only other experience of a SatNav by the way is the one built into the dash of my Honda Cr-V, which is very good, but this Garmin simply blows it away.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-specified unit that does the job well, 22 Dec 2014
By 
TheProf (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This is my fourth Garmin in-car sat nav, my last one being the 1690, which was a good device, but when Garmin decided to start charging over £50 a year to continue ‘live’ services on that device, I moved on to the 2597 LMT unit. Garmin are a well-known brand in the aviation and maritime sat nav markets but in the UK Tom Tom seem to hold the market share, so many folks will be considering this unit versus rival Tom Tom units. I will address this comparison throughout the review. This is a fairly lengthy review- if you are in a hurry skip to the summary at the end !

First things first, what do you get with this unit? Well, the 5 inch model which I have has a decent size crisp, clear screen, with a display that is easy to read and well laid out. The speaker in the unit has adequate volume and quality. The unit is quite well featured, with voice command options and hands-free Bluetooth connectivity and an ability to link to apps running on some smart phones (more on this later). The LMT stands for lifetime maps and traffic. So once every 3 months or so, Garmin update the Europe maps and these updates can be downloaded for free by connecting the unit to a PC and running Garmin communicator or via ‘My Dashboard’ on the Garmin web site. These are large downloads but you can choose only to install the UK or certain countries to make it quicker. In my experience it takes the Navteq maps that Garmin uses about 6-18 months to catch up with changes to the UK road system such as new slip roads, junctions, roundabouts etc.
The Traffic offered with this unit is NOT the most sophisticated Garmin traffic system – it uses RDS analogue radio transmissions, which are picked up as long as though you use the supplied cigarette charger power cable when you use the sat nav – this is subscription free and does not require a smartphone to be connected via bluetooth. These updates happen roughly every 10 minutes or so. The 2597 will display the nature of any traffic detected on your route along with an estimate of the minutes delay it represents to your journey, offering to divert around the traffic delay (or you can set this up to automatically divert you around traffic as and when it is detected). User reports of Garmin’s RDS based traffic system are mixed – as has been my experience with this and older Garmins I have used that have it. Users report that sometimes the traffic delay is only reported when you are already stuck in the traffic jam, giving you no advance warning or option to divert around it before you get struck in the delay. It is certainly inferior to Tom Tom’s most sophisticated traffic system but it is free for life and may well be adequate for those who do not drive long distances on a daily basis. Tom Tom’s better traffic system is updated more often and uses more information, such as monitoring mobile phone signals of drivers, etc. There is a better Garmin traffic system – the HD traffic system uses DAB digital radio transmissions and updates virtually in real time, about once a minute, with a more detailed and sophisticated report. This is the system included in the slightly more expensive Garmin models with the “-D” added to the model number at the end. In the end I upgraded my 2597 LMT by adding the Garmin GTM 70 digital traffic receiver, and at the time I did this the overall cost to me of 2597 + GTM 70 via Amazon was just about equal to a 2598 LMT-D. I can vouch for the digital traffic system that I now have via the GTM 70 being superior to the RDS based system included with the 2597 LMT – it definitely updates a lot faster and seems more accurate. I advise anyone who drives long distances or for whom avoiding traffic jams is important (couriers, reps?) to consider the GTM 70 upgrade route or else to go for the 2598 LMT-D which includes digital traffic. And yes, Garmin’s digital traffic seems every bit as good as Tom Tom’s live traffic services – the bonus of the Garmin system is that it is subscription free once you have a unit or receiver set up for it. There is also, I should add, another way of getting HD traffic – that is via a smart phone and Garmin’s app. I believe there is a one-off fee for this but users report that smartphone based traffic, sent via the Bluetooth connection, is more or less as good as the regular HD digital traffic. Of course, you will need to keep your phone connected to the sat nav all the time and there will be data usage on your phone.

Safety cameras are pre-loaded on this device but note that updates to the data are NOT provided for free. So if you want the ability to have the data on safety cameras updated regularly you need to go online and buy a one off download or a 12-month subscription – it costs about £17 and is worth it if you drive a lot of miles. Speed, traffic light and mobile cameras are included and you get visual and auditory warnings as you approach them. It’s a pretty useful system and extends to Europe in countries where this is legal (i.e. not France).

The routing and mapping on this unit are generally on a par with similar Tom Tom units. Like all sat navs, regardless of brand, sometimes the unit will make choices that someone with local knowledge wouldn’t make – and yes, sometimes, like all sat navs, you end up being sent down narrow country lanes that you would rather not drive down. It still happens in 2014 and I guess sat navs will keep doing this for the foreseeable future.

The unit boots up and acquires satellites quickly – much faster than my previous Garmins like the 1690. I’m pleased to say that Garmin seem to have fitted a decently fast processor to this unit, so that when driving the map rarely freezes and can generally keep up with your position – on some older Garmin units that seemed under-powered I had experienced problems with this issue – not with the 2597. The updates to the user interface and operation are all welcome. The photo-realistic junction views operate for many A roads and motorway junctions as does the active lane guidance and are very useful especially with multi-lane junctions. Speed limits are shown for many, though not all, roads, and the unit is set up by default to shade your current speed in red if you go over the speed limit (audio warnings can be turned on/off too). I find the display to be very clear and there are some customisable features, such as whether you want time versus distance to final destination displayed. The ‘real navigation’/’real directions’ feature works well too –now Garmin units will say things like “turn left at the traffic light” or “turn right at the end of the street” instead of just saying “turn left on Baker Street” or something like that. In major cities the unit will apparently also mention specific buildings or landmarks, but I have yet to try this out. Note that few of the available voices can speak these ‘real directions’ so if you are not hearing them ensure you choose a voice that speaks them - the default one of course does. The latest Garmin interface and menu system, featured on this device, is logically laid out and generally user friendly – well done Garmin.
Voice command works quite well, especially for issuing basic commands. Where it becomes flakier is when you try to input entire addresses via voice command – often street names are not correctly recognised. I imagine they will tweak the software over time and look to improve it – it’s still better than the voice recognition in my Honda Accord…

So, why a Garmin over a Tom-Tom? Well, I have found previous Garmins to be generally reliable, good value, feature-packed and they do the job pretty well, with decent routing and maps. Free lifetime map updates and free traffic are good features that tend to cost Tom Tom owners more money as subscriptions are often required to keep Tom Tom units up to date.

Overall, this unit is a very worthy upgrade over older Garmins like my 1690 – I much prefer the newer interface and display, and the newer unit is a lot faster in every way.

SUMMARY
Positives – a well featured unit at this price – good crisp, clear display; clear speaker, loud enough; Bluetooth connectivity; voice command enabled; free lifetime European map updates and analogue RDS-based traffic services; good, logical user interface; responsive unit with fast processor and fast boot up; routing and maps generally good, and features such as photoreal junctions and active lane guidance useful.
Negatives – Garmin’s DAB-based digital traffic system is better in every way, but this unit can be upgraded to that via purchase of the GTM 70 or use of a Bluetooth connected compatible smartphone. The RDS-based analogue traffic system included with this unit is also inferior to Tom Tom’s best traffic service. Voice command system often falters with street names. Safety camera updates not included in subscriptions (but £17 per year so not too costly to add). No instruction manual included – but see You Tube videos and built-in help system. Cigarette lighter lead must be used in order to receive RDS-based traffic info.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I was unlucky, 18 May 2013
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I bought this GPS to replace a 6 year old Garmin, having deliberated as to which model to order for some time I was very pleased to order a newly announced Garmin GPS that seemed to be rich in features offering a specification I wanted.

The unit is pleasing to look at having a slim contemporary design. The menu system seemed reasonably intuitive and configurations seemed easy enough. I had read horror stories about the length of time updating maps to the latest version can take. I connected the unit to my PC, went through a registration process and received the message that the maps are fully up to date, so no problems there.

Fitting the device into the car is easy, the mount is secure and the unit easy to afix to mount.

I thought I would trial the unit on a 15 mile journey I know well, the route includes motorway, A roads, B roads and plenty of turns. Here is where the problems started and why the device has been returned. The route was calculated quickly, however the highlighted route disappeared and reappeared at random from the screen, spoken turn instructions were rare, the unit didn't even tell me to get off the motorway. Very few of the advertised features seemed to operate, for example, PhotoReal and BirdsEye Junction View and Active Lane Guidance. Also the speed limit was not displayed for any of the roads I travelled on. As a navigation device, it's useless. Maybe mine is defective and I will try a replacement but that was very disappointing.

In it's favour, I am sure this would be a good device should the it work properly. The ability to search on places of interest such as rail stations, cash points, restaurants etc was very good, much better than my previous old GPS. There is a useful side bar that can be configured to pop up showing what lies ahead in the next few miles - petrol, food and cashpoints, this seemed a nice feature. Pity the primary function of navigation simply didn't work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's gone back, 18 Sep 2014
By 
After reading several reviews I decided to upgrade from my trusty old TomTom & buy the Garmin. The large screen is impressive, seemed clear enough but I can't say more as it was never tested for functionality. Registering with Garmin Express was easy enough but the initial Firmware update failed. I tried several times, tried to install the 8 updates individually (wouldn't have it); it was stuck in a perpetual failure to install Firmware update 4.40. I tried again the next day after it had been charging overnight in case battery life was a cause but all to no avail. It went back today, I'm disappointed & not sure whether I will buy an upgrade at all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too clever for it's own good. Thoroughly check the pre-set preferences before you leave the house (may take a week or so!), 6 Sep 2014
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Following Which recommendation, I switched from my old TomTom to Garmin Nuvi 2597LMT, which has traffic alerts (very useful) a couple of days before a trip to France. The intelligent voice was the first thing to go. If you think the UK names sound strange, the French is unintelligible. Instead of "Keep right" it says "You may take any of the three available right hand lanes" - Stupid! The Garmin is not user friendly in terms of where to find settings and doesn't come with a manual so it took a good while to find where to switch this off. It comes pre-loaded with unsuitable preferences which also took a while to locate and change. The worst of these was no u-turns, which meant every time we took a wrong turn (which was quite often as it also didn't have all the roundabouts and turnings on its map) it immediately re-routed to a longer and ropier route rather than telling us to turn around. It cannot differentiate between a major road and a farm track so we had some anxious moments in our camper van where turning around would have given a much more suitable route. I much prefer TomTom which doesn't re-route until that would be a quicker option. I also can't find a setting to avoid low bridges or tolls. I'm guessing it must be there somewhere. It has 3 English voices (which are all a bit snooty) so I will looking to see if there are others available - small point but it does rub you up the wrong way when the machine is already stressing you out! I have spent a long time at home going through the settings and setting my own preferences and I guess it will now be easier on the road. For the positive, the traffic alert was very useful and more accurate than Google in predicting delays ahead. I also liked the up ahead menu for finding petrol/food/toilets etc. TomTom I could plug in and go. Garmin I have to learn how to use. Its a bit like switching from a PC to a Mac: it looks better on the screen and you know there must be a way of changing that feature somewhere, but it will take a while to find your way around this unit.
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