The Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT is part of Garmin’s all new 2018 sat nav for your car with the key difference being this models is the DriveAssist and not only comes with a forward facing camera to record video from in front of you, but also a selection of driver related features that use the camera to help you drive safely.
Much like DriveLuxe that we reviewed here, personally I don’t like the DriveAssist and feel that the extra features that come withe sat nav are not used to their full extent. If you’re want a dash-camera to record video of in-front of you then buy a dash cam and leave it on all the time.
To often, even during our test of this model, I would quickly pop out for a short drive, not set up the sat nav and therefore not record what was in-front of me. Dash-cams are great and I can see the advantages of them, however if you want a dash-cam, buy a dash-cam and leave the satnav/dashcam/driver alerts unit alone.
"S" & "D"
As with all the latest range of Garmin Sat Nav’s, the DriveAssist 51 LMT comes in a “S” Model and a “D” model which stands for Satellite and Digital. The key difference between the two models, the Digital version (Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-D) uses digital inputs for both directions and traffic alerts, whereas the Satellite version (Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-S) comes with a traditional satellite feed for both directions and traffic alerts.
Digital is definitely better than satellite, but its also substantially more expensive. Personally, if you’re going to be doing most of your driving in city, pick up the satellite version and save £50, however if you’re driving in the countryside, the digital version of this sat nav is worth it weight in gold.
Garmin DriveAssist 51LMT-D Sat Nav Review
As I have mentioned above, personally I don’t like the DriveAssist because I dont think the average driver will use the range of features on offer. That said, it’s still a great sat nav with a range of usefull features that if you’re a taxi driver for example, driving each day, could be really usefull to you.
The 51LMT replaced the 2016 50LMT and in terms of looks and function, not much has changed. You still get that solid design, crystal clear five inch touch screen with pinch and zoom, fantastic directions and a range of features to help you drive saftely.
Switching on the 51LMTm, the unit powers up fast to reveal Garmin’s much improved interface menu system which is easy to use and work with. Entering your destination is easy using the full keyboard and the directions are smooth and very easy to follow. Garmin has been building satnav’s for years now and it show in their map quality which looks great. The Garmin’s are easily the best for basic map and directions.
What separates this SatNav from the others is the ability to use the compact, buit-in dash cam and record your drive onto a built in memory. The software continually records your driving on a massive loop, however the satnav also has a built in G-Sensor that is set so any footage of impact is saved allowing to you easily play it back later.
The built-in camera has other uses. It allows you to use the built in software for many useful driving features. The “GO” warning alerts to when traffic has started moving again, the forward collision warning alerts you when you’re driving to close to the car in from and the “Real Vision” feature switches your satnav to show the actual picture in front of your car and a bright arrow to show your destination.
The other key improvement with the 51LMT that is worth mentioning is the points of interest database that has gone from a large, but relatively basic database of points to being able to access TripAdvisor directly from your sat nav. You still need to connect it to WiFi every now and again to refresh the database, but to see a massive points of interest database and lot of information for each location, it perfect.
The 51LMT works great and for the right person can offer some great driving features that are really useful. My problem is that i will not use all these features and therefore there is very little point in paying for them. For me I can think of other satnavs' that are would make a much better best satnav 2018.
The 51LMT is defiantly better than the 50LMT, however you still need to connect your smartphone to your GPS for live up to the second traffic