The garmin nuvi is the first satnav i have owned. I am the most pathetic techno-phobe, panic at the sight of every gadget. My only previous experience using a tomtom in germany was not reassuring, left me driving the wrong way up a dual carriageway. The garmin nuvi has been a revelation. Setup was blissfully easy, very forgiving. It then functioned immaculately for 2 weeks in france, autoroutes, cities and remote areas. Maps are excellent, audio instructions timely and easy on the ear. Route recalculations are swift and obliging – no insistent commands to ‘do a u turn’ in the middle of a motorway. The only early hiccups were when i failed to trust it, and the odd occasion when i took an exit (eg from a roundabout) too early.
Bought this prior to going on summer holidays to france. Worked well, and consistantly had a strong signal. At times the maps had not been updated with the most recent road changes, but this was a minor and occasional thing. It really was useful for finding the way around french towns and cities, especially in finding car parks and hotels. I pondered for ages over this garmin or tom tom equivalent; in the end went for the slightly cheaper garmin and have been really happy. Did see a family member with a tom tom, and this seemed to suit me more. It is easy to update the maps and add additional software; i recently added the 2009 good pub guide and seems great for finding out of the way recommended pubs. Ordered via amazon, and got the usual quick and reliable delivery.
Sometimes gets a bit confused about post codes and can be a bit slow with the original satellite lock-on – but if you’re not a rep in a hurry this will probably suit you well. As for the supplier – it turned up before amazon said it would and was exactly as described.
I bought this garmin gps unit about seven months ago in july 2009 from amazon (since then the price has dropped by about £12), so have been using the 255w for quite some time. The unit works very well and points me in the right direction everytime once activated. Generally no problem picking up satellite tracking signal; usually within 20 – 30 seconds. Very simple to use; by postcode or city name/street name/house number via touchscreen display controls. Display is clear both during daylight hours and at night-time when the display automatically switches screen mode to compensate improving clarity. The 255w replaced a medion gps i bought from aldi a couple of years ago. Comparatively, one improvement i would like to see in future is a countdown feature in miles/kilometers from current location to route destination; in addition to the estimated time of arrival already shown as part of the display. If you veer off your preselected route the 255w normally updates quickly. Of course this is the main reason for buying a gps in the first place and represents a major advantage.
May wish to read before purchasing. Having had two very disappointing experiences with tomtom (appalling quality and customer support – i wouldn’t recommend tomtom to my worst enemy) i thought i’d give garmin a chance and bought this unit. This review is based on the first couple of weeks, driving around areas i know well so that i can judge the satnav’s performance. Firstly, much better in-car mount than tomtom and production quality seems better. Secondly, the set-up instructions are very poor and but for a very helpful review on this site, i would probably have given up or failed. Thirdly, the downloadable european maps is huge and you don’t realise until the end that the kit won’t take it all without an additional sd card (not supplied), so you download stuff you can’t actually use. . The set-up takes ages – even with a fast connection. Fourth: use is pretty good – it hasn’t tomtom’s range of sounds or display options but is perfectly usable. Although english, the voice does use american expressions so get used to ‘ramps’ etc. Opinions of menu systems are rather governed by what one is used to – in my case tomtom, but it seems intuitive enough, albeit not as comprehensive in capabilities as tomtom.
Reviews from purchasers :
- My best purchase for years
- Easy to use – map update tricky
- Nuvi SatNav -difficult to upgrade maps
We bought this garmin nuvi 255w satnav to use while driving back to spain from the uk for the first time. We literally plugged it in and set off. Very user friendly and straightforward to use which was a good thing as my husband is a bit of a techno-phobe. If it hadn’t been easy to use he would have had to do all the driving. We have since downloaded the free update of the maps – don’t try to do this with dial-up. It took 35 hours with adsl (albeit not a super-fast connection). The maps seem to be bang up-to-date, at least for the routes we have used. The wider screen makes it easy for us ‘oldies’ to read. Unless you want something with bells and whistles this is an excellent choice to get you from a to b.
The garmin nuvi 255w does not come with full eec maps as claimed, its internal memory cannot hold the full set of maps and you have to choose from the limited subsets, and you only get one. Very poor manual and if a way around the limited memory is covered on the web site or help pages, then its very well hidden. Ended up with a sat nav that would only do uk and had to go on the forums to discover that a 2gb sd card with a folder on it labelled garmin, and an expensive map purchase from garmin was neccessary. Might have been able to get away with just the sd card and the free download if only the unhelpful website wasn’t designed as a money generator. My first satnav and once you get it rolling its good, but why the misleading claims and the poor support?.