Garmin has always been viewed by GPS enthusiasts as the leading brand of automotive GPS navigation. Being on that coveted driver’s seat usually means sitting back, relaxing and introducing new models every year with minor improvements. Sometimes Garmin would pull out some awesome new innovations for high-end models and that makes sense because people are willing to give their money to Garmin if no other device offers these features. Garmin is doing something different for the 2015 Essential Line though. The company might not be feeling any pressure from the competition but today’s entry-level devices are pretty appealing. Garmin’s approach to remain as a leader is simple – get some of the best features that were present in older Garmin nuvi products in the Advanced series and keep the price in the entry-level segment. The Garmin nuvi 67LMT delivers these goods for just $200.
Aside from a slightly altered bottom bezel, Garmin did not change the design formula of the nuvi 67LMT. The 6-inch widescreen display looks like a small tablet and it weighs 8.6 ounces. By comparison, the 5-inch Garmin nuvi 57LMT weighs just 6.4 ounces. The 800×480 screen resolution may sound low-end on paper especially when compared to smartphones but it is just enough showing off menus that are easy to navigate and detailed 2-D and 3-D maps that you can view in both portrait and landscape.
The Garmin nuvi 67LMT offers some huge surprises with the first being full Foursquare integration. You won’t exactly get the full Foursquare experience you would normally get on your smartphone or tablet but you do get offline access to Foursquare’s massive and relevant database of restaurants, shops and other places. This integration does not make the experience more complicated either as the Foursquare locations conveniently appear when necessary while searching for a destination. Try planning a route to the nearest coffee shop with the nuvi 67LMT and you could spot a few top results with the Foursquare icon next to it. Tapping that place will give you the more information than what Garmin would normally provide. Combined with the already existing free lifetime map and traffic updates, the Garmin nuvi 67LMT is looking real impressive.
Garmin did not stop there either as it wants to make budget drivers feel like they are using a midrange device through features like Garmin Real Directions. Real Directions is a small upgrade to the turn-by-turn directions and solves the annoying problem of the device telling you to make a turn at a street you are not so familiar with. You could now make that turn without checking your map as the nuvi 67LMT can mention a landmark or the next traffic light when a turn needs to be made.
The Garmin nuvi 67LMT also wants to help you get to the exact spot of a bigger point of interest the same way an older and more expensive Garmin nuvi 2639LMT can. The Direct Access feature helps with that and could trigger if you are planning a route to a specific store inside a shopping mall or going to a big area like the airport. It can be useful if you are not sure where the entrance of a particular spot is or where you can find good parking.
Garmin added these three nice improvements to the nuvi 67LMT without ruining what was great with the older Garmin nuvi 65LMT. While driving in map view, you can use the Up Ahead feature bring up important POI icons in key categories of your choosing at any time. In addition, a sidebar will appear to tell you how far away you are to the nearest POI of 3 categories which you can also customize. There is also the ever useful lane assist with junction view to guide you to the right line and the School Zone Warnings feature to make sure you know the speed limit when you approach a school zone.
The Garmin nuvi 67LMT is not just a powerful Garmin entry-level GPS device but it is also a key component of the rear camera system. If you ever need to add rear camera capabilities to your car and you already have the nuvi 67LMT, all you need to do is buy the BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera for $170 and wirelessly pair it with the GPS navigator. With the connection established, the nuvi 67LMT screen can show exactly what the rear camera is seeing when reversing.
If $200 is your budget and you absolutely don’t need Canada map coverage, the Garmin nuvi 67LMT is a fantastic long-term investment. Going for the 6-inch model means less battery life but the nuvi 67LMT has an impressive 6-inch display and by far the best feature list you could ever find in an entry-level device so far.
Update: You may also consider these newer models :