Garmin nuvi 2597 – should you buy it?

  • By: Dylan
  • Date: June 5, 2020
  • Time to read: 5 min.

The particular model we have to review today is the Garmin nuvi 2597 LMT. This is part of the 2507 series of Automotive GPS devices within the Advanced Range released by Garmin in early 2013. So, without any further ado let’s delve a little deeper and see exactly what we get for our money.

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  • Lifetime Maps & Traffic Updates
  • Bluetooth Compatible For Handsfree Calls
  • Fast ‘Lock’ Onto Satellites
  • Voice Operated Commands
  • Improved POIs

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  • Traffic Information Can Be Hit & Miss
  • Display Is Difficult To Read In Sunlight
  • No Navigational Suggested Spelling
  • Voice recognition Can Struggle With ‘Accents’
  • Garmin Traffic Not As Good As TomTom


Garmin nuvi 2597

DesignGarmin nuvi 2597

After reviewing a number of the Garmin GPS devices it becomes rather difficult to say something different about their devices. They all practically look the same. Essentially they are all a black and grey rectangle device, except on this occasion there is a silver, yes a silver strip along the bottom of the screen! Well, the excitement I just couldn’t contain and all of sudden my expectations of this device were sky high!

Take a look at the picture on the right to check out the silver strip! Nice huh! 😉


The Garmin nuvi 2597 has a nice and responsive 5inch screen. As if to prove the point I even managed to put in my destination whilst wearing a pair of gloves – great for when the weather is really cold! It also has Dual orientation as another feature. This means that when your driving you can use it in both the portrait and landscape position. I’ve never felt entirely comfortable with the sat nav in the portrait position. However, I do see the benefit of having it there if you like to place the device on the window side of the driver’s seat.

I have only one gripe with the screen of the nuvi 2597.  It’s difficult to read in direct sunlight without some serious squinting. On the plus side at least you get to exercise those facial muscles! There have also been complaints from other users that the screen appears ‘washed out’ and perhaps a little bland. Certainly, the colors on the screen don’t jump out at you in the same way that they do with some other devices available on the market.


One of the best features of this device is the Active Lane Guidance. This works by letting you know which lane you need to be in when you come up to a junction. Sounds like the previous Lane Assist with Junction View like the Garmin nuvi 55LM had right? Well, I guess the answer is yes and no.  The feature now, for me anyhow, seems far clearer and easier to understand. Whilst it’s similar to the older version of the software there are some crucial differences. Now you can see in real-time where you are in relation to the junction. previously you only got those static pinky/purple arrows telling you to get into the right-hand side lane. Now you get to see your movements in real-time and how you should get there. Although it doesn’t sound like much of an improvement, trust me it makes a huge difference. These kinds of improvements are always welcome as they remove the stress from driving. Good job Garmin with this feature!

Driving Guidance

Garmin menuJust like the Garmin nuvi 55LM that we recently reviewed the nuvi 2597 comes with the ‘Up Ahead‘ feature. Essentially it tells you in the right sidebar upcoming POIs of interest to you. Perhaps you may want to see a list of any upcoming restaurants or perhaps a gas station? This is useful information when your driving as you don’t have to navigate away from the main navigational screen. Last week this feature proved to be a lifesaver as I needed to find an ATM to get some money so I could go out to watch a match!

Garmin Traffic 

Garmin Traffic will provide you with updates as to any traffic problems on your route. It is kinda difficult to gauge how well these Traffic Alerts work on all sat nav devices. I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve been pre-warned of a minor issue or light traffic jam up ahead. The problem is that by the time I get there the roads are more or less clear. That could be one of two things, either the problem didn’t exist or it has resolved itself. I think we’ll give the sat nav the benefit of the doubt.

Why? Well, when it tells you that there’s a major traffic jam ahead it pretty much hits the nail on the head every single time. Your journey time will adjust accordingly depending upon the severity of the jam up ahead. However, you don’t have to sit in the jam as the sat nav will give you the option to take a ‘detour’ around the congestion. If you take one of the alternative options provided then your journey time will once again be recalculated.

Garmin Real Directions

Garmin Real Directions makes an appearance on this unit. For those of you that don’t know, this is a feature that will point out a landmark to you along your route. It doesn’t point out these landmarks in a ‘tourist guide’ manner, rather it uses them instead of street names. For example instead of being told to ‘turn left at Orleans Avenue’, you’ll be told to ‘turn left after the Riverside Hotel’.

It does take some time to get used to being told to keep an eye out for certain landmarks on the side of the road. To be completely honest, I’m yet to be convinced of the added value of Garmin Real Directions. Perhaps the more I use it and the more Garmin roll out the feature then I’ll become a fully-fledged fan. However, until I’ve used it a lot more and it’s convinced me of its usefulness, I’ll withhold my judgment for the time being! I shall, of course, keep you posted as to progress.nuvi 2597 rear unit


  • nüvi 2597LMT
  • Lifetime maps and traffic
  • Lifetime traffic antenna/vehicle power cable (vehicle power cable is the traffic antenna)
  • Vehicle suction cup mount
  • USB cable
  • Quick start manual

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  1. You’d be surprised how many people don’t know the difference between portrait and landscape. I’m glad you defined that for your readers.

    As I’m reading your review, I’m thinking about Google Maps on my phone and how I’d be lost without it- literally and figuratively! 😛

    Is there any advantage to buying a GPS system over using a smartphone? Would I benefit from buying a nuvi 2597 instead of using Google Maps for Android?

    1. Hi Kalie,

      I think using my printer is what taught me the difference between ‘portrait and landscape’. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve chosen the wrong printing layout for a document!

      I too use a smartphone for navigating a city by foot, but for driving I would always choose a dedicated GPS system. I have found that the information provided is far superior – traffic updates and regular map updates can make a big difference. I also find that using your smartphone for navigating drains the battery very quickly and can impede taking/making telephone calls. The speaker on a sat nav is also usually better than that of a phone meaning that you’ll hear the instructions better!

      Again, this is purely my personal opinion, you may decide to stick with your smartphone. If you need any further advice then just drop me a line and I’ll be happy to help out.



  2. Great information! Do you have any reviews on the best GPS for a trucker? I find that is the hardest GPS system to find because most of them are made for regular transportation vehicles and semi trucks can not travel in all the places that cars can travel because of city restrictions or weight limits. The ones I do find are always so incredibly expensive or they have nothing but terrible reviews on a trucker’s perspective. I need one that would be good for a trucker business.

    1. Hey Kristena,

      Thanks for stopping by! My uncle is a trucker and he’s currently testing out a few units for me. He does a lot of driving and has found that the main issue he’s having is bridge heights! The problem for many truckers is that there is a premium attached to truckers gps devices. This does seem rather unfair but as it’s a vital tool for the job it’s difficult to get away from the cost implications. However, it might be a better solution to buy a certified refurbished GPS from a trusted source. Check out this Certified Refurbished Garmin Dezl 570LMT on Amazon for around 200 bucks. Uncle Trevor really liked this little device although it only has a 5inch screen.

      I’ll be writing a few trucking GPS reviews over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

      Happy Trucking!


  3. I just checked it out and the price is very reasonable for what you get. I was just wondering what separates this product from a smartphone? I use the Google Maps app on my Galaxy all the time. My only Issue is it tends to heat the phone rather fast and unless plugged in, maps uses a lot of battery life. Do you feel this would be a better option than using a smartphone?

    1. Hi Jason,

      To be honest it depends upon how much driving you do and upon your budget.

      If you drive more than a couple of times a week then it’s probably best to have a dedicated sat nav. The mapping and the traffic alerts are nearly always superior to the smartphone. The screen will be easier to read and perhaps most importantly the battery of your phone won’t be drained!



  4. Hi Dylan,

    Thank you for the review of the Garmin nuvi 2597, one thing I found with a few Sat navs I have used in the past is it can be difficult to remove them from view. How easy is it to remove from the suction cup and on that subject how secure is it?

    Talking of Smart phone, I know you can get some sat nav apps for the phones how do these rate compared to dedicated sat navs?

    Thanks again

    Steve T

    1. Hi Steve,

      Some devices are indeed a little tricky to remove from the windscreen – sometimes it’s the device itself other times it’s the suction mount. However, in this instance it’s fairly straightforward to remove the mount. A quick twist should suffice to remove it from the glass. Also, I haven’t experienced any issues with the security of the mount to date, so far so good!

      There are some good phone apps of getting you around the place. I tend to use them when I’m walking around a city etc. When driving however, in my view you cannot beat a dedicated sat nav unit. The screens are larger, instructions clearer and it doesn’t interfere with your phone calls or the life of its battery.

      Take care,


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