I bought my first GPS when I hit the road in 2008. A few years later, it was badly outdated. Updating the unit from a Mac was impossible at the time and the update was nearly the same cost as buying a new unit. My newer unit had 2011 maps, which I managed to update before leaving last year, with the cost being much less than for a newer unit. But it only gave me Canada and the US. For Mexico, I used an app on my phone. I hated using the phone for navigation. It was so much more clumsy than my GPS, the screen was smaller, and the POI database was seriously lacking. So I decided to go back to a dedicated GPS this fall because I knew I’d enjoy my travels through Mexico a lot more if I had a decent navigator along.
Of course, my first thought was to update my 2011 unit, but I wasn’t sure if the purchase of the lifetime update for North America maps, the recommended update for my unit, would actually include Mexico. I fired off an email to Garmin and they got back to me in less than 15 minutes! Wow! As it turns out, their units can only be updated with the maps they come preloaded with. So, no, it would not be possible to add Mexico to my 2011 unit. Only their ‘Advanced’ series comes with Mexico maps.
So I had a gander at those and discovered a model that has not just North America (US, Canada, Mexico, and some Caribbean countries), but also Europe, all with unlimited lifetime updates! It’s the Garmin Nuvi 2559LMT. Because they now come with lifetime updates, GPSes are much pricier units. So it made sense to go all out and get the model that will serve me for the rest of my life, not just the near future, even if the cost made me blanche a bit!
I priced the units and found absolutely no variation, not even at Costco, and the USD price converts exactly to the CAD. So for convenience’s sake, I bought mine on Amazon.
This new GPS has proven itself to be to my old model what the Enterprise D was to the original Enterprise. I can’t believe the new array of features! They were a little overwhelming at first and I’m still trying to figure out some things, but the pros really outweigh the cons. I like that I can plan a route with multiple stops since I could only do one extra stop with the old unit. Very good for the day when you’re headed for a motel, but need to stop at Panera’s, Cabela’s, and the Apple Store without going too far out of your way! I really love how you get the nearest fuel, rest area, and restaurants right on the navigation screen. I used that a lot while driving down.
Another really neat feature is that the GPS knows what traffic lies ahead. As I was going into Denver, it actually told me that I was going to have to slow down in so many miles and then be stuck at a standstill for so many minutes. And it was accurate! I also liked how it chimed to warn me that I was entering a school zone, so I’d better slow down! Another neat feature is that if I exceeded the speed limit, the current speed would get a red background.
Now that I’m in Mexico, I’m really testing it. It’s been very accurate about telling me when I’m coming up to a Pemex and an official rest area, but I haven’t yet really asked it for directions. POI information doesn’t seem as good as in Canada and the US. It didn’t recognize Panama’s bakery at all or the address I gave it for the TelCel store I originally wanted (but it did recognize the BMW dealership). It is quite accurate at knowing what the current speed limit is, a feature I use a lot in the US. Its Spanish pronunciation is terrible and disappointing.
The Garmin Nuvi 2559LMT is proving itself to be a great traveling companion. I look forward to trying it out in Europe in the nearish future!