Garmin nuvi Satnavs: Getting Real Behind the Wheel


100 years ago Rolls Royce cleaned up at the Alpenfahrt Rally through the Austrian Alps, taking the first three places. Enthusiasts will be celebrating the centenary with another mountain rally, covering 1850 miles and tracing the original 1913 route. Only this time instead of trying to make out details in unwieldy map books they’ll be using Garmin’s latest premium satnav on their journey through the mountains. Garmin invited us to play with the nuvi (and to ride around the streets of London in a vintage Rolls Royce).

There’s a lot more traffic on the streets of London than the Austrian Alps and that’s when Garmin’s free real time traffic alerts come in handy. The Digital Traffic service is subscription free thanks to updates via a built in DAB technology which does not require an internet connection. Digital Traffic is available on the new Garmin nuvi Advanced and Premium series. The virtual route marker changes to red to highlight traffic congestion up ahead.


Garmin have also made it easier to follow directions with the introduction of ‘Real Directions’. So, instead of “turn left in 200 metres”, you’ll now get “turn left at the church” or “turn left at the traffic light”. The system is updated four times a year in case churches and traffic lights move or disappear.


The premium model has a 5 inch screen, Digital Traffic capability, lifetime maps and Bluetooth connectivity. With an aluminium casing and a convenient magnetic mount it’s priced at £299.99.

You can still get a 5 inch screen on the advanced model for £149.99, but you’ll have to do without lifetime maps and Bluetooth and settle for a plastic casing. If you’re happy with a smaller 4.3 inch screen you can pay £139.99 and still get the Digital Traffic navigation features. There’s also an ‘essential’ model which excludes Digital Traffic.

For more info head to