ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Technology»
  • Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets

Best New GPS Systems 2013 Garmin Vs. TomTom

Updated on June 27, 2013

Garmin Vs. TomTom 2013 Review

This post is a review and comparison of the Best Garmin and TomTom GPS for 2013.

In all categories under $400 category Garmin and Tom Tom stick out above the rest, but for the money, which is the best? In this we'll determine which one is the best for the under 100, 200, and above 200 dollars price range.

Garmin Vs. TomTom:

Which is better?

When looking at the differences between these two stellar brands I feel like Garmin gives you more user-friendly features while TomTom allows for more customization. So, if you want a device that you can plug in and use right away, then go for the Garmin models; however, if you want to tinker with your device a bit, then you may lean towards TomTom's newest models which have made some progress with their newer, clearer, screens.

Free Shipping on Garmin and TomTom GPS Units:

In many cases you can get free super saver shipping with your GPS purchase. Make sure to pay attention to the details of each order on Amazon, and you'll save yourself some money that you can put towards GPS accessories and other electronic devices.

The Garmin Nuvi 50LM on the vehicle dash. The 40LM is a bit cheaper but has the 4.3 inch vs. 5 inch screen you see here with the 50LM.
The Garmin Nuvi 50LM on the vehicle dash. The 40LM is a bit cheaper but has the 4.3 inch vs. 5 inch screen you see here with the 50LM.

Best GPS Unit Under $100 2013

What's the best GPS under $100?

Did you know you can buy a great GPS under $100? In 2013, you can finally purchase the Garmin 40 and 50LM are finally under this price. What a deal!

More GPS Options to consider:

Garmin nüvi 40LM

This voice prompted GPS from Garmin is my choice for Best GPS under $100. It gives you turn by turn instructions while having a screen wide enough for you to see right where you are when you need to make adjustments to where you are going. The widescreen is also easy to see or read from any direction.

"Where am I" emergency GPS locator:

If you ever get lost, the Nuvi 40LM has an emergency locator which you can tap to get your exact latitude and longitude coordinates. They also give you the nearest address and intersection and the closest police stations, gas stations, and hospitals!

From Garmin:

"It comes preloaded with detailed City Navigator® NT street maps, more than 6 million points of interest (POIs), 2-D or 3-D maps and smooth map redraw rates as you navigate. Its digital elevation maps show you shaded contours at higher zoom levels, giving you a big picture of the surrounding terrain. In addition, the Nuvi 40LM accepts custom points of interest (POIs), such as school zones and safety cameras and lets you set proximity alerts to warn you of upcoming POIs. With HotFix® satellite prediction, nüvi calculates your position faster to get you there quicker."

Garmin's Portable Friction Mount.

Although it comes with a vehicle suction cup mount, Garmin's portable friction mount is the perfect option for displaying your GPS. It makes it super simple to take down from your dashboard when you are parking in the open. It does not slide!

Avoid Suction Cup Mounts On GPS units if possible.

Smart Thieves target suction cup spots in your car to see if they can break into a car that has a garage door opener and the location of your house (in your GPS), then they have you right where they want you. (Talking to the police and filing a report while they break into your house.)

What's in the Garmin Nuvi 40LM box?

In the box you get the Nuvi 40LM, Lifetime maps, City Navigator NT data with some preloaded US street maps, a vehicle suction cup mount, power cable, USB cable, and a quick start manual.

A Vent Mounted Nuvi 2595LMT. This is the Bluetooth version, but you can get the 2555LMT as well without Bluetooth and save around $50.
A Vent Mounted Nuvi 2595LMT. This is the Bluetooth version, but you can get the 2555LMT as well without Bluetooth and save around $50.

Best GPS Under $200 for the Money 2013

What's the best GPS under $200?

Right now you're best option is to go with either the Nuvi 2595LMT or the nüvi 2555LMT. These were models released in 2011 that have a lot of great modern features. If you'd like to spend a little more and have the newest release model, then go with the Garmin nüvi 2557LMT.

Fuel Efficient Routes using ecoRoute

I've heard in the news that gas will go to $5.00 a gallon this year. While I'm not sure whether that is just "hearsay" or not, gas is still expensive. ecoRoute is a green feature that calculates whichever route is most fuel efficient. It also calculates your fuel usage based upon road speed and vehicle accelaration data for a route.

Garmin nüLink Services

From the Manufacturer: With Garmin nüLink! services, you receive accurate real-time information delivered wirelessly to your nüvi 1690. In the U.S., each nüvi 1690 comes with a free 2-year nüLink! subscription. After the 2-year period ends, subscriptions cost $60 a year — that's only $5 a month! With nüLink! services, you'll get Google™ Local Search to find local POIs and traffic services that deliver alerts for delays and road construction then automatically guide you around them in the shortest time. Need fuel? Find up-to-date fuel prices near your location for regular, mid-grade, premium or diesel. Other convenient services included in the subscription: Ciao!™ friend finder, weather, movie times, local events, Send to GPS, flight status, currency converter, White Pages and myGarmin™.

Here's what one reviewer on amazon had to say about Garmin's nuLink Services.

"Traffic on this unit is GREAT. I say great because all the other units with free traffic are horrible because they're constantly feeding inaccurate traffic data to the unit via the integrated FM receiver. With the 1690 it uses at&t's data network for nuLink, so traffic data is MUCH more accurate and can be delivered to the unit much faster making it more up to the minute. I did a real-time side by side comparison of the 1690's traffic data and the 1490t's free traffic. Think they'd be identical because they both use Navteq traffic? Think again. I searched for all traffic incidents nearby my current location. I'm not exhaggerating when I say the 1690 brought up double the amount of incidents that the 1490t brought up....AT&T's EDGE data network seems to be everywhere as well, so chances are if your at&t cell phone has reception, so will the internal receiver of the 1690."

Garmin's Added "Where am I" features

The nüvi Nuvi 2595LMT remembers where you parked by marking your position when you take it from your car.

Other Features (from the manufacturer): Also includes travel tools, such as JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter and calculator. Photo navigation lets you download pictures from Garmin Connect™ Photos. It also features Garmin Lock™, an anti-theft feature, and is compatible with Garmin Garage™ where you can download free vehicles and voices. Enhance your travel experience with optional plug-in microSD™ cards.

Under $200 Picks

Garmin nüvi 2597LMT 5-Inch Portable Bluetooth Vehicle GPS with Lifetime Maps and Traffic (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Garmin nüvi 2597LMT 5-Inch Portable Bluetooth Vehicle GPS with Lifetime Maps and Traffic (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

Updated 2013 version of the 2555LMT. It's a bit more expensive, but it seems to connect to the satellite a more quickly than the previous version.

Garmin 2797LMT 7 Inch GPS Unit
Garmin 2797LMT 7 Inch GPS Unit

Best GPS for the Money Under $300 2013 TomTom Vs. Garmin

In the under $300 you get into some really user specific options. I've picked some of my favorites down below. As you can clearly see I'm more of a Garmin guy than a TomTom in this price range.

I like the 2797LMT as a 7 inch option as well as the 3597 LMTHD as a full-featured option. It even includes a few features we haven't seen from Garmin yet including active lane guidance and real directions.

Final Thoughts:

I really like how far GPS units have come in the last few years. Now for even $100 we're seeing GPS units packed with features that are good enough for most people. If you're on the go a lot, then getting a unit with the latest features like the 3597LMTHD might be worth it. However, if you just need a GPS for the occasional trip, then stick with a budget one.

Have a question? I'm available regularly in the comment section below. Please allow for 24 hours for your comment and my reply to show.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      George 6 years ago

      Have you compared the Garmin 2400 series to the Garmin 1400 series of GPS's? From the user reviews I've read, even though the 2400 series is newer, it doesn't seem to be as good as the gps's in the 1400 series. Is this true?