Remember the Garmin nuvi 265T? It was one of the best 3.5-inch entry-level GPS models back in the days. It also had a widescreen variant known as the Garmin nuvi 265WT which boasted a nice 4.3-inch display resulting to a better 3-D view. From that point, 4.3-inch Garmin nuvi devices were poised to wipe out the 3.5-inch devices. Then 5-inch GPS navigators came along and proved that drivers would appreciate an ev¬en larger device. The size has become so popular that Garmin even has a dedicated entry-level lineup and continues to refresh these models every year. With prices of these entry-level 5-inch navigators really low, it seems as if the older 4.3-inch devices no longer have a reason exist. But Garmin isn’t contented with a single size this 2014 because they also introduced the company’s very first 6-inch GPS devices with the Garmin nuvi 65LMT being one of the four.

Garmin nuvi 65LMT

Garmin nuvi 65LMT

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Design

Garmin is new to the 6-inch game and is trying to keep the simple design the same as the other entry-level models. The rectangular design lacks its curves but the 6-inch display should be enough to make this nuvi 65LMT a worthy budget attraction. The bezels aren’t thin so the device looks bigger than the modern 6-inch phablets out there. You can mount the Garmin nuvi 65LMT to the windshield using the suction cup mount the same way you would do it with other Garmin nuvi products.

The 6-inch screen is definitely a huge achievement considering the fact that the nuvi 65LMT screams entry-level but it is even more surprising that has a bump in screen resolution too. A resolution of 800 x 480 pixels is fantastic for this size as it makes the text easier to read and you can see a lot more of the map at different zoom levels. It lacks the glass display and multi-touch features of high-end Garmin models but it does make the entry-level and midrange 5-inch and smaller Garmin nuvi devices look pretty pale.

Features

While the Garmin nuvi 65LMT is big and fresh out of the 2014 era, it is still an entry-level device so you won’t be able to use extra features like voice-activated navigation, Bluetooth and smartphone linking. But all of the other essentials that make Garmin nuvi devices great are present along with a few new features as well. In fact, one feature that the recent midrange Garmin nuvi products have is part of the nuvi 65LMT and it is called “Up Ahead”. This feature works by showing some of the places you might want to check out along your route including gas stations, restaurants, ATMs and other key points of interest. You can even bring up a small sidebar to see how far away you are from the nearest key locations all without requiring you to change your destination.

The refined search feature is one of the big reasons to consider the Garmin nuvi 65LMT over the older and smaller Garmin nuvi navigators. Now all you have is a single search box to use to locate addresses and particular places. Enter the coordinates or category of the place and the same search box can generate results too.

School zones are a lot easier to spot now because you will get notified the moment you enter an area with a school zone. A warning will be displayed right on the screen along with a sound alert so you really cannot miss it. It is also not possible to miss the important lane you need to be in when driving in a highway because of the more traditional lane assist with junction view. When the screen splits showing the map and lane view, the two screens still appear large thanks to the 6-inch display.

The “LMT” suffix makes the nuvi 65LMT even more special as it enables free lifetime traffic avoidance and free lifetime map updates. The free updates mean that the Garmin nuvi 65LMT will never feel obsolete because Garmin will periodically provide updates to make sure all the places in the 49 US states are accurate and in their proper locations. You won’t have to upgrade to a newer device or subscribe to any service to obtain these updates unless of course you really want the cutting edge features of future products. The lifetime map updates is something that the cheaper nuvi 65LM offers too but the traffic avoidance feature is exclusive to “LMT” models and it can be a real time saver if you need to reach destinations as soon as possible. The route is calculated with real-time traffic conditions in mind so you can effectively skip the traffic. Even the expected minutes of delay is shown if you decide to endure the traffic instead of going through a possibly lengthier detour. Once again, you don’t have to subscribe or deal with ads to enjoy lifetime traffic avoidance.

Bottom Line

The nuvi 65LMT is a huge upgrade to consider because it only costs $199 and the large screen really makes it easier to use the device and interact with the maps. If there is one minor downside, it would have to be the 1-hour battery although the vehicle power cable can easily recharge it. Maps outside the 49 states in the US are not covered and that explains the attractively cheap price. Fortunately, Garmin continues to understand the value of choice by offering the nuvi 66LMT to those that require broader coverage.

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