Garmin Catalyst Driving Performance Optimiser Review

Garmin Catalyst Driving

Performance Review

The Garmin Catalyst is a whole new territory for Garmin and something we have not seen a lot of in the past.  Companies have tried this type of thing, but none have put in the dedication that Garmin have put into the Catalyst.

If you are someone who likes to go fast behind the wheel (in a closed track setting, of course), keep reading. We’ll be taking a look at a driving performance optimiser to ensure that your vehicle is performing well no matter the track conditions. Whether it’s on an oval track or through a few curves and corners, it’s important to know how much your car is performing even when it’s reaching top speeds.

The Garmin Catalyst Driving Performance Optimiser might be right up your alley if you want something to help you improve lap times and optimise your overall driving performance. If you’ve been racing for a year or a seasoned vet, you’d be hard-pressed to find something like this anywhere else.

We’ll dig into the features and then discuss the pros and cons towards the end.

Garmin Catalyst


The Garmin Catalyst is a whole new direction for Garmin, but dam it's good. It just works how its meant to.  We didn't do much in the way of testing, but what we do was great, especially given we only had one day a Bedford Autodrome in the UK.  The device worked well and comes highly recommended.

Garmin Catalyst Driving Performance Optimizer

Built-in GPS

This has the ability to recognize the layout of each track. Not to mention, it will also give you the precise location of where you are. Yes, Garmin is known for providing GPS gadgets over the years.

So it comes as no shock that most of their devices have that powerful GPS technology their users know and trust. With the touchscreen at a sizeable seven inches, you can be able to clearly see the entire display and know exactly where you are.
Performance data review

Want to know what your overall lap times are? Do you think that you are faster in Sector one than Sector two? You can find out exactly that by using the detailed statistics feature that is available with this tool.

You can review the data after you’ve gone one lap, two laps, or even five. You’ll be able to take note of your lap times (including the slower laps where you may have made a mistake like locking on your brakes late). With all this data at your fingertips, it will allow any motorsports competitor to change up their strategy if they want the fastest times possible.

Remote Cam Image Processing

If you want to capture all those moments during your time behind the wheel, you can do just that. All the video is captured in 1080p quality so it’s clear and sharp. You’ll be able to review your performance on every single lap.

This will help you point out what might be the slightest of mistakes that could have cost you time on one of those laps. Yes, even the best motor racers make mistakes and it costs them dearly in terms of lap time.

With a compatible camera, you’ll be able to pinpoint where you messed up so you can improve the next time you hit the track. Think of it as your personal film study session. Plus, you can use the data and figure out why you were slower on one lap compared to the others.

Pros and Cons

With the features covered, we’ll now be taking a look at the pros and cons. It’s important you take note of these so you’ll be able to know what to expect. Even if there is one con that might be discouraging, it shouldn’t stop you from buying it. 

  • Excellent mounting: You’ll be going fast. You’ll be making turns. So it makes sense that you’ll want a mount that has heavy duty suction power. Just tack it onto your dashboard and windshield and you’ll be good to go.
  • Accurate, real time measurements: If you want the best in accuracy, you’ll get exactly that. You’d be hard-pressed to find a driving performance optimizer anywhere else. You’ll get measurements right down to the nanosecond and beyond.
  • On-demand data access: Of course, you’ll get data on demand in case you need it. You’ll be able to access it using the Garmin Connect app on your mobile device.
  • No stat/video overlay: If only you could have all the stats handy while watching the video at the same time. Unfortunately, there is no feature for that. But in a future update, there should be. Imagine watching your videos while seeing the stats sync up in real time. It’s like watching a replay of Gran Turismo on your phone, tablet, or computer.

Final Thoughts

If you are a motorsports competitor and want to improve each time you practice, the Garmin Catalyst Driving Performance Optimiser might be what you need. You’ll be speeding out of apexes, cutting through curves, and going fast through straightaways like nobody’s business. And you’ll know exactly what times you’ll be getting and whether or not if you are going slower or faster than your personal best. 

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