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Top five Garmin sat navs

By Hannah Walsh

The best Garmin sat navs save you headaches and fuel when you’re getting from A to B. These are our favourites from Garmin’s latest line-up.

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Garmin has four different sat nav ranges, plus sat nav apps for iPhones and Android, but choosing a Garmin sat nav needn’t be daunting. Garmin’s latest range of devices go from the Drive series – the most basic model – through to the premium DriveLuxe series.

All of the models in the Drive range include free map updates for the lifetime of the device, and all but the basic Drive models include live traffic information. The latest additions to the series include driver awareness alerts, which will warn you of potential upcoming dangers such as sharp corners or level crossings, and Garmin Real Directions, which uses street view images to place recognisable landmarks on the screen.

You’ll still find some older Garmin sat navs in shops, but they aren’t available to buy directly from Garmin. These will often be cheaper than the newer models, but won’t have the same useful features. Here, we round up our favourite Garmin models from our testing, including devices for any budget.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by signing up for a £1 Which? trial.

The best Garmin sat navs

Garmin DriveLuxe 51 LMT-D
Today's best price £278.44
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Apr 2017
Best Buy
Overall navigation quality:
4 out of 5
Overall quality of audio instructions:
3 out of 5
Overall ease of use:
4 out of 5
Traffic monitoring:
Member exclusive
Traffic monitoring type:
Member exclusive

It may be pricey, but this Garmin sat nav has one of the best screens we’ve seen making mapping exceptionally clear and detailed.

Garmin DriveSmart 60LMT-D
Today's best price £209.99
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Jun 2016
Best Buy
Overall navigation quality:
4 out of 5
Overall quality of audio instructions:
4 out of 5
Overall ease of use:
4 out of 5
Traffic monitoring:
Member exclusive
Traffic monitoring type:
Member exclusive

The Garmin DriveSmart 60LMT-D is a 6-inch sat nav with detailed maps of Europe, offering lifetime maps and digital traffic updates. It has an impressive touchscreen and is easy to use, but should you buy one? We sent it off to our test lab to find out.

Garmin DriveLuxe 50LMT-D
Today's best price £249.99
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Jun 2016
Best Buy
Overall navigation quality:
4 out of 5
Overall quality of audio instructions:
4 out of 5
Overall ease of use:
4 out of 5
Traffic monitoring:
Member exclusive
Traffic monitoring type:
Member exclusive

This Best Buy is one of the highest-scoring models we've tested. Although it's fairly pricey, it's particularly easy to use, very responsive and ideal for hands-free navigation. If you're willing to spend big, this is the one to go for.

Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT-D
Today's best price £229.99
Which? score 71%
Reviewed Jun 2016
Overall navigation quality:
4 out of 5
Overall quality of audio instructions:
3 out of 5
Overall ease of use:
4 out of 5
Traffic monitoring:
Member exclusive
Traffic monitoring type:
Member exclusive

Easy to use and understand, but packed with features.

Garmin NAVIGON Europe (iOS)
Typical price £70.00
Which? score 68%
Reviewed Dec 2016
Overall navigation quality:
4 out of 5
Overall quality of audio instructions:
4 out of 5
Overall ease of use:
4 out of 5
Traffic monitoring:
Member exclusive
Traffic monitoring type:
Member exclusive

This sat nav app does a great job of recreating the experience of a standalone sat nav - clear mapping and directions will get you from A to B smoothly.

Not found the product for you? Browse all of our sat nav reviews.

What about TomTom sat navs?

When it comes to sat navs, there are two big players - Garmin and TomTom. The two brands dominate the sat navs market, and it can be difficult to choose between them. We’ve found plenty of models from both brands that do a great job of navigation, so it’s difficult to recommend one over the other.

The best devices offer solid audio and visual instructions, as well as useful features such as built-in wi-fi or Bluetooth for hands-free calling. The lower-scoring models in our tests still perform well, but will often lack the smooth experience and premium features. We’ve found some that are tricky to install and set up, too.

To see our pick of the bunch, see our top five sat navs for 2017 guide. Some Which? members have told us they have a preference for one system due to the style of the interface and mapping, though. We’d recommend trying Garmin and TomTom sat navs in store if you’re buying your first sat nav or thinking of swapping systems to see which you prefer.

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