Garmin introduces a new lineup of DriveSmart NAVIs

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] New 8” can be configured for landscape or portrait mode and they all now use USB-C connections.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Oct. 14th, 2021

    Garmin DriveSmart 66, 76, and 86 Portable GPS’


    While portable NAVI units are becoming less necessary for the majority of drivers thanks mainly to Google Maps running on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay std. in most new cars, those without have a new model lineup to select from.

    Yesterday, Garmin Introduced their latest Garmin DriveSmart 66, 76 and 86 series NAVIs with easy-to-see displays, improved voice assist navigation and preloaded traveler content to help guide the way. The Garmin DriveSmart series arrives in a 6, 7 or 8-inch high-def 1280x800 display with the 8” displaying in both landscape or portrait mode.

    The new Garmin DriveSmart series arrives with road trip-ready functionality including Tripadvisor restaurant, hotel and attraction traveler ratings. Like previous models, the new DriveSmart personal navigators arrive preloaded with a directory of U.S. national parks to experience nature at its best, the HISTORY database of notable sites and millions of popular points of interest from Foursquare.

    Commutes and road trips are made easy with the Garmin DriveSmart series with driver alerts that encourage a safer driving experience and boost situational awareness. Drivers can receive warnings for upcoming speed changes, sharp curves along the route and other potential hazards to stay up-to-date on all upcoming road conditions.

    The Garmin DriveSmart 66, 76, and 86 navigators boast a legacy of industry-leading features, including:
    • Real-time traffic, photoLive traffic cameras, weather and fuel prices when the navigator is paired with a driver’s compatible smartphone using the Garmin Drive app
    • Embedded Alexa enabling the request for music, listening to audiobooks, hearing the latest news and more
    • Built-in Wi-Fi allowing easy map and software updates without the need for a computer
    • USB-C power cable equipped with two USB ports to charge the compatible Garmin navigator and a second device
    The new Garmin DriveSmart 66, 76 and 86 series have suggested retail prices ranging from $249.99 to $349.99.
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  2. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Seems nice, but for as much as they are, I'd rather just buy an Android Auto head unit for the car.
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  3. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Hmm…..What are the traffic & othe niceties, that you need a compatible phone for? If I can get a good deal on it, I might get it. Not happy with the GPS in my phone. My Tom Toms are 25+ years old. Do the Garmins come with auto-updates? Thanks, Wayne for showing the Garmin.
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  4. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Glad to see that Garmin still develops new models. The listed prices are too rich for me, though. My current TomTom is about 5 years old and has traffic through an antenna in its power cable. It cost me less than $100. It does everything I want it to do but WiFi updates would be nice. I need no cell phone towers to get GPS or traffic info. The biggest problem with units like mine and the new Garmins also is that you put a hot-running CPU in a case that doesn't conduct heat well, make the case black, stick the unit on the dash where the sun beats down on it and where AC can't reach it and you get overheating. The unit will shut down from overheating and suffer short life.

    In a perfect world, of course, the GPS would be in the infotainment unit where it can be better cooled, where it has access to a better outside antenna, and where cords don't dangle across your dash to reach a GPS unit that looks like it doesn't belong there. The car makers, unfortunately, charge stupid amounts of money to do this. Some wrap up integrated GPS in packages of crap that cost you thousands just to get the GPS in the infotainment center. I will continue to spend about $100 and put my GPS on the dash.
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  5. litesong

    litesong litesong

    My old Tom Tom had a vulnerable power cable & wore-out in 3 years……then no traffic. Got 2 cheap power cables without the traffic & my Tom Tom has been good for 2+ decades.
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  6. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Very nice updates with USB-C and Wi-Fi, but too rich for my blood as well.

    I'm happy with my 2015 vintage Garmin Nuvi 2689LMT with traffic receiver in the power cable. Low to mid $100s as I recall, with $20 rebate. Oh, and I have a backup unit (bought 2!) since we have two cars. I keep it updated with maps downloaded using a laptop. I only recently connected my Android phone via bluetooth to check out the added live traffic feature. I did not opt for the subscription weather or traffic cams. I think the live traffic may be slightly more up to date than the power cable traffic data, but I have no evidence of that. Time will tell. I'm prepping for a November road trip for our wedding anniversary getaway.

    edit: oh yes, I keep the GPS shaded and removed when not being used...
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
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  7. litesong

    litesong litesong

    For the time my Tom Tom traffic in the power cable lasted me, I was very pleased with the quickness of the changing traffic reports.
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  8. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I've been enjoying the traffic info in Google Maps all along. You can see the data change with the expected traffic light changes, though I have not watched it live to see what the delay is.
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  9. TheFordFamily

    TheFordFamily Well-Known Member

    I picked up the Garmin DriveSmart 55 a few weeks ago. Works great! I even get traffic updates, although I'm towards the edge of the coverage zone for it. It was around $160 for a refurbished unit after taxes. Included everything needed for it to work right out of the box. I wish it was easier to mount in the car though. But that's a car problem, not a GPS issue.
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  10. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I've had good luck with Garmin refurbs as well. Good as new!

    Since I typically use the GPS sporadically, I use a bean bag type mount that just sits on the dash with friction. My car's dashboard have very little space, though. The GPS is also pretty big to put higher, such as when windshield mounted.
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  11. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Have you tried Garmin's optional "friction mount," i.e., the sandbag thingie that perches on the dash? It works much better than the standard windshield suction cup mount in my car. That would be highly car-dependent, though.

    My friction mount is a bit defective, in that its ball is slightly undersize, so the navigator body barely stays in place, and may droop after the car hits a bump. Same body socket fits better on the ball of the suction-cup mount or on that of my brother's older, supposedly identical friction mount.

    Agree with others that excessive temperature is a problem with these things. The battery died in one my brother used for work, after a few years sitting on the dash in all kinds of weather. When I leave mine on during dull stretches when it won't be needed for a while, I put it down in the floor, where it doesn't get so hot from the sun (combined with heat from the electrical power it absorbs).
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  12. TheFordFamily

    TheFordFamily Well-Known Member

    I haven't... not too sure about it. The newer Camry has a squishy dash that gets streaks on it very very easily. I'd be afraid that it might damage it.
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